Surviving a volcano eruption – what would you do?

photo credit: https://twitter.com/mori____mori/status/515706795797381121/photo/1
photo credit: @mori____mori

So hopefully most of you know that I place a lot of value in learning survival techniques related to hiking, as well as teaching hiking related survival techniques.

From complex topics such as thermoregulation (which most hikers seem to struggle with), too simple topics such as ‘never hit the trail without a compass’ (which almost every hiker I encounter on the trail and ask, does not have, and which I require for every person on my guided trips) to some of the more complex survival techniques such as compass navigation, when to allow yourself to get wet in the rain and when not too (which might sound simple but is a complex issue that is a key aspect of thermoregulation and highly variant upon other weather conditions) — all of these are topics I have written about and taught on over the last five years (and learned a great deal of myself by being out there and forcing myself to learn more and more about these issues).

Every so often, however, a hiking related survival issue comes up that makes me, if not downright forces me, to grab my extra small moleskin notebook (http://amzn.to/1ompW2P) and scribble some notes on things I have never thought about or encountered before while out hiking.

Earlier this morning I was reading an article that made me go “umm” and reach over and pull out my moleskin and jot down some notes. The article was this one: http://space.io9.com/violent-eruption-traps-hikers-at-mount-ontake-japan-1639813357 and it is all about a volcano eruption in Japan.

There was one specific video that make me cringe, knowing that if such a situation happened to me, I would have to proceed based on nothing more than some adaptation of SERE, rather than being able to evade and survive such a situation because I had already trained and prepared myself mentally and educationally on such a situation.

Watch the following video and from the very start think “what are the first five actions I should be taking at this very moment“.

Continue reading “Surviving a volcano eruption – what would you do?”

What is “Core Temperature” – How important is it – What you need to do and know!

Hello Hikers,

A few years ago as I was developing my long distance hiking skills I realized a very important aspect of hiking which I eventually formulated into a sort of motto by which I hike – and now use as a principle teaching platform.

Managed Core Temperature + Proper Preparation + Proper Sleep + Proper Food + Proper Gear = A High Chance of a Successful Trip!

I am fully convinced that nearly everything you learn about hiking should be founded on those 5 skills!

It does not take a great deal of time spent out hiking to realize just how important those four skills are. The difficulty comes in learning them and learning how to keep yourself aware of each of them, and learning how to keep yourself in tune with each of them regardless of the environment  and conditions that you are faced with while out on the trail.

It would be unfair of me to sit here and say that I have mastered each of those four aspects, because I have not. There are times I am on a hiking trip and I realized that I have highly under estimated the situation and end up not being able to properly sleep – usually it comes down to the cold or hot weather, or from not having enough water or food to keep my body in tune with itself. Continue reading “What is “Core Temperature” – How important is it – What you need to do and know!”