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PK Podcast 48: Bruce Zawalsky On Canadian Wilderness Survival

PK Podcast 48: Bruce Zawalsky On Canadian Wilderness Survival

Bruce Zawalsky is a professional wilderness survival instructor and author, with over 25 years of experience as an outdoor educator. He teaches survival courses, wildlife and bear awareness courses as well as wilderness navigation. Here in Podcast 48, Bruce talks with me about all these subjects and more, which have much wider application than just in his native Canada….

PK Podcast 044: John Hudson, UK Military’s Chief Survival Instructor

PK Podcast 044: John Hudson, UK Military’s Chief Survival Instructor

John Hudson, Chief Instructor at the UK military’s Defence SERE Training Organisation, joins me in conversation on the Paul Kirtley Podcast. Originally an RAF helicopter pilot and now the survival instructor responsible for training all the survival instructors in the UK military, John is the real deal when it comes to survival training and advice. In the civilian world John’s expertise has been called on for Discovery Channel TV show Dude You’re Screwed as well as other projects. He has laid down some key principles we can all apply to our lives in his book How To Survive: Lessons For Everyday Life From The Extreme World. In this podcast we talk about all this and more, including which survival myths need killing once and for all…

Snow Shelters: Why We Don’t Build Igloos In The Forest

Snow Shelters: Why We Don’t Build Igloos In The Forest

Traditionally igloos were tundra shelters, with other snow shelters and snowhouses involving mounding up snow being favoured in the forest. But modern Ice Box devices blur this boundary. So, I thought I would investigate building an igloo-type shelter in the boreal forest…

The Best Clothing For Digging Out Snow Shelters

The Best Clothing For Digging Out Snow Shelters

Snow shelters take different forms but have many commonalities. Digging them out can be warm work as well as creating problems with moisture in your clothing. I have found over the years, utilising some well chosen items of clothing for digging snow shelters can make all the difference between being damp and chilly afterwards or being warm and comfortable…

White Water Safety & Rescue Training Provides Useful Survival Skills

White Water Safety & Rescue Training Provides Useful Survival Skills

White water safety and rescue skills are essential if you spend any time on or around rivers. These are real world survival skills. If you examine the statistics of what kills people outdoors, water is right up towards the top of the list. Moving water, whatever temperature, poses specific hazards…

PLAN: A Framework For Prioritising In A Survival Situation

PLAN: A Framework For Prioritising In A Survival Situation

It’s never been easier to reach wild and remote parts of our planet, and we’re doing it more and more for recreation and adventure. The question is though, what do we do when things go wrong? If you’re in an emergency situation in the outdoors, if you’re lost, if your stranded, if you’re in a situation that may ultimately become a survival situation, what do you do? How do you prioritise?

As Thick As A Capercaillie: How To Build A Long Log Fire

As Thick As A Capercaillie: How To Build A Long Log Fire

I have in the past written about the value of a long-log fire in the context of articles detailing the building of a lean-to shelter and later, the renovation of a previously used shelter. This has prompted readers to ask questions about the long-log fire itself, how it should be built, how it should be established. First Things First Get the right firewood. When I worked with Lars Fält he used to say there was an old saying that, “logs…

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An Emergency Winter Survival Shelter For The Forest

An Emergency Winter Survival Shelter For The Forest

When snow falls in the forest, you have multiple winter shelter designs to choose from. One of the classic northern forest shelters is a lean-to with a raised bed and a large long-log fire in front to keep you warm through the coldest of nights. I’ve written about the classic northern forest lean-to shelter design before, along with my experience of using it to sleep out at minus 20 to minus 30 celsius. It’s a remarkable way to spend the…

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What To Do If You Get Lost Outdoors: STOP

What To Do If You Get Lost Outdoors: STOP

Every year, there are cases of people who get lost in the woods. And they don’t always do the right thing. In the video above, I share some tips, tricks, and best practice of what to do if you should you find yourself lost or even a little bit geographically confused…

How To Generate Water In The Frozen North

How To Generate Water In The Frozen North

Because they’re frozen, extreme cold environments are practically deserts. In this video and the associated article I share a couple of really effective methods of generating water in a frozen environment. Unless you have a specialist tool to cut through ice, getting at the water underneath the ice is extremely difficult. There is plenty of water present though, in the form of snow and the key to accessing it is…