wilderness training
[some photos by Sasha Lavrov and Maxim Marmur]

this was our two-day wilderness training, led by Alexander Samokutyaev and with Oleg Skripochka. They were great, and amazingly tolerant of a novice with questionable Russian and even more questionable wilderness skills!

We were simulating
"a non-nominal landing at marshy and forested terrain in
winter." The first day we had to build a quickie shelter before
dark; the second day we took time to build a proper wigwam from
parachute silk, one of the most versatile materials known to
mankind. You can use it as the walls of a wigwam or other shelter,
as stretcher material, as bags to carry things, and as bedding. It
doesn't burn; instead, it melts.

We managed to keep reasonably warm, even though temperatures dropped
dramatically from around freezing on Thursday afternoon to about
minus 15 Centigrade Friday night. Overall, the training was a success
and it "trained" me to do a lot of things i have never done before,
including managing a campfire, living for two days with few modern
conveniences, handling sub-zero cold for two days outdoors, working
nicely with strangers, using a machete to chop wood, etc. etc. I
hope never to have to use the training, but it could come in handy
someday....and it's nice to know I could do it! (more on my blog at Huffington Post</a.
The challenging parts were when there were no photographers around.)

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