Flash Back Fridays

SURVIVAL COURSE: LIVING OFF THE LAND, NATURE

By John Langton, 1972

Jim teaching survival skill, wearing his favorite sweater, hand made at every stage (by Toby's mother)

The University of British Columbia sponsored a week long course on survival in the wilderness near Strathcona Park Lodge. The 25 participants of both sexes ranged in age from the teens to 50′s. Bob Somerville from the Campbell River Search and Rescue talked about water safety and techniques of dealing with boating mishaps. He described methods of drown-proofing by which a person could remain afloat in the water for long periods with a minimum of effort.  Participants practiced water safety techniques from different types of boats. They learned to right capsized canoes and clear the water from them. Instruction was given on starting an outboard motor after it had been submerged. They swam in their clothes to shore and lit fires on the beach, using matches that they had managed to keep dry. Time was spent on identifying edible plants.

One morning the group went high up on the mountain behind Strathcona Lodge to find and sample various types of plants and berries that grow at different levels. They were all very impressed by a panoramic view of Upper Campbell and Buttle Lake. The descent was very steep so this gave Jim an opportunity to teach the correct techniques for descending safely. Read more