Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Urban high-rise dwellers are increasingly flocking to survival skill camps, to learn how to trap game and light fires by rubbing two sticks together.
Climate change fears spur more Americans to join survivalist schools
“If something breaks down, if the grid drops out, all of this modern technology fails us instantaneously,” instructor Shane Hobel said. “These skills will keep you alive — period.”
Aug. 1, 2021, 6:30 PM AESTBy Ethan Sacks
Manhattanite David D’Alessio spent a recent Saturday cobbling together a shelter out of muddy leaves and twigs in a wooded stretch 75 miles north of New York City.
While the wilderness training on the 90-acre grounds of the Mountain Scout Survival School has traditionally attracted outdoor enthusiasts, the musician was among several of the 18 attendees who weren’t learning to drink water out of a vine or set traps for rabbits just for fun.
Those are skills D’Alessio, 49, the father of a 6-year-old girl, fears will become essential in the coming years — as the impacts of climate change continue to worsen.
“It’s an inevitability that we’ll be facing a crisis within our lifetime, within my lifetime and certainly within my daughter’s lifetime,” he said.
Survivalist school instructors across the country say there has been an increasing interest in their wilderness and urban-disaster preparedness courses from Americans worried about climate change. As rising temperatures bring more wildfires, droughts and destructive storms, those types of courses are no longer the domain of campers and hunters. One of these schools’ fastest-growing demographics is now young families.
Healthy outdoor exercise and all that, probably does them good to get out of their high-rise apartments and experience nature.