What's the Deal?
Survive in the Canadian wilderness using the ancient techniques of hunter-gatherers.
Where's it at?
The popularity of such shows as Survivor and Survivorman has led many to ponder whether they have what it takes to survive in the wild, foraging for food, building shelters and connecting with nature in some primordial way.
Book a Basic Bushcraft Skills program with Canadian Bushcraft, a Hiawatha First Nation-based operator specializing in wilderness survival courses throughout Central Ontario. On a three-day program, you will learn how to build a debris hut (a shelter made with scavenged branches and readily available materials from the forest, which is secured using string derived from milkweed and dogbane plants). You'll start a fire using friction and stones such as quartz, and then keep it going.
For food, plants are your best bet. You'll learn how to identify edible shoots such as cattail, the roots of which are a source of starch and taste like a sweet potato when roasted. Hunting, even for small animals, is a much greater challenge. The right snare trap can work, but ant larvae and bullfrogs will provide protein in a pinch. On all courses, tents, food and supplies are brought along as a backup. This training isn't meant for people planning to venture into the wild with nothing; it's insurance for the well-equipped in case things go awry. Your most important asset is still common sense.
Who's it for?
Survivorman wannabes and those who want to venture into the backcountry and be sure they make it out.
A three-day basic skills program with Canadian Bushcraft ( canadianbushcraft.ca) costs $145.
Special to The Globe and Mail