Pre-Conference Workshops:

Friday September 20:  Noon-5 pm

Cost: $75 (Survival Skills, Lost Person Behavior and SAR & Low and High Ropes Course)

(content & faculty subject to change)

Each of the Workshops will be limited to about 20 students in order to provide an intimate learning environment.

#1 Survival Skills (Available 2019)
Lead Instructors:  Dani Beau and Ryan Holt

Dani is an adventure & climbing guide and is also an instructor of survival and primitive skills.  She will be joining us from Iceland to teach participants the basics of surviving the unexpected. She has taught survival & primitive skills at numerous wilderness medicine conferences around the world.

Ryan is also an adventure guide.  He recently completed building a geodesic dome which he uses to run a "Hiker Hostel" for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers.  He will be joining us from Maine.

Both Dani and Ryan successfully completed multiple episodes of the TV show, "Naked & Afraid."

Topics that will be covered:

  • How to approach a survival situation
  • How to prioritize your survival needs
  • Water- learn how to procure water from the environment
  • Shelters- learn how to construct various shelters
  • Fire- practice various fire starting techniques; yes, this includes rubbing two sticks together
  • Signaling- basics on how to get yourself found
  • Food- you will construct various snares and traps
  • Survival kits, tracking, primitive tools and much more

#2 Lost Person Behavior and Search & Rescue (SAR) Exercise: (Not available 2019)

Lead Instructors: Doug Sward and Bridgette Shipley

Doug is the Medical Advisor for Maryland Search & Rescue.  Bridgette is President of Maryland Search & Rescue.

The objective of this workshop is to provide an introduction to “Lost Person Behavior” and the techniques used to search for a missing person.  We will provide an opportunity for workshop participants to try out Lost Person Behavior and Search Management approaches using a table-top format, to “find” a lost person in the wilderness.

We will then move into a “SAR Mission Incident Base Simulation.”  Participants will interact with role players to execute a simulated SAR Mission.  The following aspects of this exercise will be covered:

  • Callout
  • Investigation and Intelligence Interviews
  • Reflex Tasking
  • Clue Management
  • Scenario Analysis and Structured Analytic Techniques
  • Family Interactions
  • Medical and Evacuation Plan Development

IMPORTANT:  There will be a field component to this workshop.  Keep an eye on the weather and dress appropriately.  We suggest dressing comfortably, but consider wearing (or changing into: long sleeves, hiking boots, rain gear as needed).  We will provide a few minutes to change clothes when moving into the field component of the workshop.  The terrain for this event includes fields and hardwood forest.  Poison ivy, ticks, bees and snakes are possible exposures (as expected in any similar terrain).

#3 Low and High Ropes Course: (Not available 2019)

Lead Instructors: John Rollhauser and Rich Lippy

John is an instructor for Outdoor Emergency Care, Ski Lift Evacuation, Off-Trail Rescue and Mountain Travel & Rescue.  He has extensive experience with climbing and ropes rescue systems.

Rich works as a Facilitator at both Ski Liberty and Capital Camps Ropes & Zip Line Courses.

The biggest advantage of this workshop is that you will be in a small group scenario and get personal attention and time with our High and Low Ropes Course.  These elements will be available during select times during the main course, but there is a limited amount of time for each registrant to experience the Ropes Course.  By signing up for this Workshop, you can use your free time on Saturday and Sunday working on other skills like primitive fire starting.

Low Ropes Course:

We will start with some Team Building exercises so you can get better acquainted with your fellow participants.  The Low Ropes Course has 10 major elements and 5 smaller elements.  Some examples include:

  • Lava Crossing
  • Snake-Pit
  • Swinging Log
  • Tension Traverse
  • The Up & Over Wall
  • Spider Web
  • Commitment Bridge
  • Many more…

High Ropes Course:

We will shift gears into the High Ropes Course.  We will begin with some basic instruction in Ropes, Harnesses and other Gear.  We will spend some time going over basic climbing knots.

The High Ropes Elements:

  • Climbing Wall: there are 3 lanes of climbing.  Beginner, Intermediate and Expert (with Incline)
  • Rappelling: there are 2 static ropes for vertical free-rappelling
  • Zip-lines: the canopy tour is a total of 5 zip lines with over 1,100 feet of cable

Archived!!! Pre-Conference

13th Annual Wilderness Medicine & Survival Skills Conference

September 20-22, 2019

PA Wild

Our small group pre-conference workshops offer intimate time with some of our faculty.
This year we will only offer The Survival Skills Workshop
Each year we will rotate which workshops we will offer.