I’ve just returned from a great weekend away on a wilderness survival skills course.
Now I must say, before the weekend, I was a little dubious as to how useful a course teaching the basics of wilderness survival and bushcraft would be for my Africa trip – no doubt it would be interesting, fun and I’d probably pick up some new skills, but how could a weekend in the woods near Salisbury prepare me for the African wilderness?
On the contrary, the course was tailored specifically to teach skills and offer advice on anything related to cycling through Africa. We covered different types of shelter and how to put them up, lighting a fire with only basic materials, preparing food – pigeon and squirrel (because if you can gut a squirrel, you can gut anything!) – and cooking it on an open fire, different types of water sources and making safe it to drink, basic navigation techniques and discussed a number of health and safety issues relevant to travel in Africa.
Prior to the weekend we sent, at the request of Joe who ran the course, a list of questions and concerns about our Africa trips which were also discussed and the excellent advice provided by Kev, who has extensive experience of travelling in Africa, was invaluable.
I take from the weekend, lots of advice about kit including several things I had not previously considered, which will no doubt make the trip more enjoyable and likely to succeed.
More importantly however, I now feel confident that in the unlikely but potentially disastrous event that I get into trouble in the African wilderness, I have the knowledge and confidence use the skills I have learnt to deal with any situation calmly and effectively until I can get help.
I am now 100% focussed on cycling through Africa, with any fears or concerns I may have had allayed, and I can’t wait to get started…
Me, Alan, Ian, Kev, Glenn and Joe
So with that, my thanks go to Joe and Glenn of Wilderness Survivial and Kev from Desert Adventures for their invaluable advice and teaching, and lastly to Eye on Africa for suggesting this opportunity originally.