Since the pandemic hit, one of the many things that has become more popular is the interest in learning survival skills.
New England experts say they’ve had a lot more people requesting lessons, and now they’re hosting an event for anyone to learn those skills and put them through their paces.
“More and more people want to get out into nature and learn some of the skills that will help them enjoy it more, keep them safe,” said Dug North, an outdoor skills instructor and practitioner who teaches at the ‘American Outdoor School.
He and fellow New England native Tim Swanson like to live off the land. They have always loved the outdoors, they said.
“Throughout my life I’ve always wanted to camp and hike,” said Swanson, a wilderness survival skills instructor who founded Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival.
“I grew up in Vermont, it was very rural. I spent a lot of time outdoors hunting, fishing with my dad,” North said.
Now, they say, there are a growing number of people who share their passion.
“A lot of people are going into survival because of the apocalyptic threats that we always seem to have now,” Swanson said.
During the pandemic, he was able to take on his business full time: “I think there is a real attraction because people, they want to learn how to take care of themselves, and generally the general public gets into it afterwards. that something is happening. ”
Reality shows like “Alone” probably help — North was asked by producers to try out the survival challenge show.
Their expertise ranges from lighting fires to hunting with homemade tools.
The most important survival skill is finding shelter, Swanson said, because “the biggest killer outdoors is exposure to the environment.”
And you can find empowerment in getting rid of technology and going back to basics.
“It taps into something transcendental, spiritual,” North said. “The first time you start a friction fire using two sticks is the closest thing to magic I know,” North said.
If you want to test your survival skills, the team is hosting Mountain Mayhem in Maine starting August 11.