Basic Survival Training Course Feedback

Well, it’s been a fairly benign winter thus far, in the Southern Cape at least.  On our recent Basic Survival Course we were fortunate enough to have cool but perfectly dry weather throughout, ideal for training purposes.  In an attempt to spare you from my further ramblings, for this month at least, I’ve decided to rather include an article written by one of the students from that very course; lively, amusing and insightful, it paints a more vivid picture than I could ever hope to achieve.  Many thanks to Jan for his literary effort!

 “The checklist supplied by Survival Training South Africa for their Basic Survival course was self-explanatory for the greater part.  However, some items listed appeared puzzling at first: why would you need tampons, condoms, and a foldable saw? Why, I wondered rhetorically, would one not rather pack freeze-dried food, water-bottles, possibly cold beer and lots of solar powered gadgets?  The thinking went that modern armies carry tons of the latter stuff and they seem to survive just fine.

Despite being allowed to take some food on the course, it was really very hard to overcome the instinctive reaction to not worry about food – and deliberately not pack any food or water.  I took the philosophical stance that one never knows when you are going to be placed in a survival situation.  Likely, your food and water would have been consumed long before you were even in the nasty situation. Likely also you would be dressed in non-ideal types of clothing, with no idea that things were about to go horribly wrong. I therefore deliberately dressed in cotton and brand new shoes. I expected to be taught how to survive in the most realistic manner possible, whilst being out of luck in the nutrition and proper clothing side of things.

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