I’m a survivor

Saturday 1/26/2019

This weekend I attended a wilderness survival Basics and Intermediate course offered by Hiking the Ozarks. The class was held on Saturday in Ozark MO with the hands on activities at Busiek State Forest about 10 miles away.

Since I’m driving to Springfield for the class, I thought I would stay the night at the Busiek Forest and do some hiking on Sunday. I called the Southwest Regional office during the week and inquired about making a reservation for one of the campsites for the coming Saturday night. I was told I would have to come by there office in Springfield MO – 18 miles away- to get the permit. I asked for their hours and was told 8:00-5:00. Since my class didn’t start until 9:00, I left the house at 5:00 to go by the Office to pick up the permit before the class. When I arrived at the office I discovered their hours were 8:00-5:00 Monday-Friday. No way to get a campsite permit on a weekend (which is when most people camp right?) So I started looking for alternate plans.

Anyway back to the class, we spent the morning discussing the material, how to prevent a survival situation and what to do if you found yourself in one. The basic class focused on lighting a fire with a striker, filtering water, and procuring food by building a fish trap and a deadfall trap. After lunch we met a Busiek State Forest to try out the skills we learned in the morning. We used cedar bark as the tinder and were able to get a fire going pretty quickly. The filter was a two stage filter using bandanas, sand, moss, and pebbles. This took some time but finally started getting clear looking water through it. The fish trap was made by standing up sticks in the creek bottom in a shallow stream arranged so fish would swim into the area and not be able to swim back out. The final test was the deadfall trap which took quite a bit of tweaking to get it set so it would hold up the rock, but release the trigger with just a light push on the trigger. All-in-all I feel better prepared for and emergency situation and better able to handle the situation if I should become stuck in the woods for some unusual situation.

So during lunch I investigated options in the area and ended up At Hercules Glades for the night.The campgrounds was on top of a hill at the site of an old fire watch tower. I arrived with about 45 minutes of daylight left so I quickly set up my tent, gathered firewood, and got a fire started before it got dark. Once the fire cooked down to some good coals I cooked some beef kabobs and Jalapeño poppers over the fire. Washing that all done with an IPA made for a great campfire meal. I kept the fire going for heat until about 9:00 pm and then headed to the tent to get some rest for the hiking tomorrow.

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