You don’t have to be out in the deep woods to learn basic skills. Now even residents of the Big Apple can get training.
One organization in Rochester, New York is designed to arm people with the survival skill they need to make it in the wilderness. EarthWorks Institute has programs that place residents in situations for hours or days to help them better understand nature and learn basic survival skills. These training sessions take place in various New York parks settings since they have the right elements.
Lindsay Cray, executive director and educator of EarthWorks, conducts survival training in area parks several times per week. The concept was implemented last fall in an effort to help residents gain “primitive life skills, social responsibility and how to interact with nature.” The Rochester-based school targets people of all ages — preschoolers to senior citizens.
“Our connection with nature is critical, as is understanding that you are as much a part of the world and nature as it is a part of you,” Cray said.
The local parks provide the perfect place for residents to learn important survival skills. Cray said a lot of what people can learn from are in their very own backyard. She says what people can learn from these lessons is how to feel good about themselves and feel “self-sufficient” while in the woods.
Lessons in the EarthWork’s program consist of how to make a shelter, build a fire, and how to safely prepare water and food for storage. It also helps prepare people for how to keep warm during the winter, where to search for food, and how to find their way back home.
Participants in this survival skills program also learn from Cray how to spot poisonous vegetation, such as poison ivy.
“You are your number one enemy in the woods. If you are lost and panicking, you won’t make wise decisions,” Cray told one recent group.
No matter where you live, get outside and practice the skills you’ll need to survive. Backyards or city parks are great resources.