Saturday, November 23, 2013

Winter Survival

About a week ago Joesph and Travis attended a one day winter survival course provided by Learn to Return, (LTR).

One of the advantages of home schooling is that our boys can do activities like this without missing school. We include it in their curriculum and they get school credits.

As a flight paramedic I am required to have a survival course once a year.

For over twenty years I have been taking survival courses with LTR. It is a great company and the owner / lead instructor Brian Horner is a great  instructor and just an all 'round nice guy. But, oh baby, he can be tough on you depending on which LTR course you take.


The first part of the course is in the classroom and lab.

Uh oh, this looks like some type of torture device.
It is an inversion trainer to give you an idea what it may be like to end up up-side-down in a vehicle roll over or plane crash.

They have an aircraft simulator to practice crash procedures. 
Brian demonstrating fire starting techniques.

Then it is to the field.

Numbers are drawn to find out who the two person survival teams will be. The students will learn to fear "The Bag".
Checking out the bag of minimal survival gear provided.

Oh no, it's "The Bag"!

So what is so ominous about "The Bag"?

It contains two poker chips. One chip has "S" for safe, the other has "F" for...well...I'm sure you can figure it out...and it's not fantastic, fun, fab, festive, fortunate.

If you get the "F" chip you get to have something unpleasant happen to you that will stay with you throughout the exercise. 

Say like an eye patch over a simulated eye injury, a bandaged head trauma, a broken arm. 

Not too hard in the one day course. In the week long course it can become quite difficult especially if you are unlucky and get all the "F" chips.  

You may loose a boot and have to make one out of stuff that might be available after a plane or vehicle crash.

No survival course would be complete without the large black plastic garbage bag.

One type of survival shelter.
 In a one day course it is not practical to learn how to build all the possible survival shelters there are. In the longer LTR courses you may build several types of shelters and live in them for the duration of the course.

Learning fire starting with several methods.

To be rescued you need to be found.
Leaning to set off aerial flares.

Hand held ground flares.

Too soon it was time to pack it up for the day.

Thank you Brian and the rest of the LTR staff for a great day!

Lear to Return  (Link)

Alaska Veteran's Museum

In observance of Veteran's Day our home school co-op visited the Alaska Veteran's Museum.

As an Army Veteran stationed in Alaska during the Cold War, cold in more ways than one, I always enjoy a visit to this museum.

The museum is staffed by volunteers and most are Veterans.

Do you know where the last shots of the Civil War were fired? Was it the North or South that fired the last shots?

Here is a hint.

John our most excellent guide for the day.

We were honored to spend time with Doc. He is a combat veteran that served in WW2 and Korea. He spent a lot of time with the kids telling them about his experiences. A most wonderful man.

We had a great day at the Veteran's Museum!

Thank you to all our Veterans! 

Thank you for your service and for keeping us safe. Thank you for taking the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic.

Alaskan Veteran's Museum  (link)