Survival training is essential for the search and rescue community, or anyone operating in remote areas in changing conditions. With the proper planning and preparedness, the risks of an unintended night out in the elements can be managed. For SARRT in particular, preparedness is an operational cornerstone that allows us to perform technical rescues in uncertain environments with the understanding that our Active Field Members have the skills and mental acuity to adapt to unexpected circumstances and be a life saving resource for those around them. SARRT’s survival training is an ongoing process, adjusted for seasonal conditions and weather patterns. Each training will be conducted by both in-house experts on SARRT and from the survival and wilderness community. The safety of our team members and those they work with and serve is of the utmost importance in everything we train for.
Psychology of Survival
Understanding the stress of a survival situation is critical to a positive outcome. Being prepared is more than gear and skill set refinement, it is the ability to maintain a positive mental attitude, having the ability to keep fear, ego and stress in check to enhance the changes for a positive outcome. Developing a survival mindset is essential for SARRT team members.
There different types of survival kits. Stocking a survival kit depends on the operational environment, the ability for the gear to be portable and accessible in the backcountry, and the season. No matter what the kit’s intended use, they should all contain a core group of essential items that cover the basic human needs for water, shelter, fire and food.
How to build a fire in various conditions with dedicated fire making equipment or by primitive improvised methods based on your environment is essential. Fire is a game changer in a survival scenario, it not only provides warmth and a means to boil water and cook food, it provides the psychological edge needed to withstand an unexpected night out under a dark sky.
Building a protective shelter is vital for wilderness survival. Various shelter types and materials will be reviewed and demonstrated. SARRT members will learn how to scout a location for a shelter, construction methods, and various types of shelter designs based in session and available materials.
Potable water is the most important element to surviving for any period of time in the wilderness. SARRT team members will be taught various types of water purification and collection as well as accessing water purity and possible environmental hazards.
Cold Weather Survival
Cold weather is one of the most difficult scenarios for survival. With a little planning, preparation, and environmental knowledge, the risks associated with spending an unexpected night out in winter conditions can be mitigated. It's more difficult to satisfy basic water, food, and shelter needs in a cold environment. SARRT team members will begin with the essential skills of COLD and progress though the essential skills of winter shelter building, water procurement and interpreting the basic signs of winter weather.
C - Keep clothing clean.
O - Avoid overheating.
L - Wear clothes loose and in layers.
D - Keep clothing dry.
All trainings are open to members of the search and rescue community free of charge.