Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe
MP4 | Video: 960×540 | Audio: AAC, 44.1Khz , 2ch | Duration: 12 hours | Language: English | 7 GB

There’s nothing like a trip to the great outdoors. As any avid camper, hiker, backpacker, or paddler knows, stepping out of the civilized "front country" for a few hours, days, or even weeks offers physical, mental, and spiritual regeneration unlike any other experience. But if you’re not already an outdoors enthusiast, where would you even start as an outdoor adventure? Why should you even start? Isn’t the outdoors an experience of "roughing it" with bugs, bears, and bad weather?

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Not at all! While it’s true that a trip onto open water or into the wilderness does come with a variety of challenges-and dangers-outdoor adventures truly are accessible to everyone. With the right gear and a little bit of know-how, a journey into the great outdoors can be a truly wonderful experience.

As the great outdoorsman Nessmuk (pen name of George Sears) once wrote, "We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities." Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe is all about transforming the idea of roughing it in the wild to "smoothing it" and having the best experience possible. Taught by Professor Elizabeth K. Andre, a highly experienced and accredited wilderness guide and a professor at Northland College, these 24 insightful lectures will give you the practical skills, knowledge, and insight you need to set off for the water or the woods.

Whether you pride yourself on your outdoor prowess or consider yourself an avid indoorsperson, you will find a wealth of practical tips and tricks for enjoying the outdoors, including:

What gear you need to pack (and what you can leave at home);
Setting up camp and building a fire;
Staying hydrated on the trail;
Decision-making and risk assessment;
Navigation basics;
Hygiene and cleanliness; and
Wilderness first aid.
Most importantly, Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe is about enjoying your next (or your very first) trip to the backcountry! From hiking the woods of Maine, to sea-kayaking the waves of Lake Superior, to exploring the wild country of Big Bend National Forest, Professor Andre has an incredible amount of experience as an expedition guide, and she fills this course with stories of adventure, harrowing tales of survival, and real-world lectures to help familiarize you with what it’s like to spend a day on the river or a night in the woods.

Discover the Basics of Outdoor Adventures

If you’ve never been camping before, this course will clue you in on what you’ve been missing, and will get you ready to tackle everything from a weekend of car camping to multiple weeks in the bush. But even frequent backpackers or paddlers will learn something new among Professor Andre’s many practical lectures. Among other topics, you will study:

Gear and Clothing: How much do you need? Is the top-of-the-line stuff worth the price? What’s the best way to stay warm and dry? From camp stoves to whistles to layered clothing, find out how to pack for your wilderness adventure-and why you should bring one luxury item on every trip.

Food and Water: Every expedition is a balance of caloric needs, creature comforts, and weight. The good news is that with appropriate water treatment, a few cooking essentials, and the right know-how at the campsite, you can eat in style without breaking your back on the trail or sinking the raft on the river.

Campsite Fundamentals: A good campsite is much more than a tent and sleeping bag. Professor Andre shows you how to arrange an outdoor kitchen, build a fire, set up a tarp, and minimize your impact on the terrain at camp-a courtesy your fellow outdoors enthusiasts will appreciate.

Navigation: It may sound flippant to say that the best way to avoid getting lost is always to know where you are. But by showing you how to read topographic maps and how to navigate with a compass, Professor Andre gives you the tools you need to keep your bearings.

In addition to her many tips for trip preparation, Professor Andre also offers guidance for what to do after you get home, from brushing off your tent for proper storage to stowing your sleeping bag so it will keep you warm on the next trip.

Learn How to Stay Safe in (Almost) Any Environment

One of the great appeals of an outdoor adventure is getting away from civilization. But getting away from society means help is not at the ready. If something goes wrong, you can’t dial 911 and get an EMT professional at your doorstep in a few short minutes. Dehydration, hypothermia, broken bones, snake bites, lightning strikes, starvation-the risks are there, but they can be minimized with a little preparation, care, and know-how.

Beyond packing the right gear, bringing plenty of food and a way to filter water, and taking care with your campsite, Professor Andre offers several practical lectures dedicated specifically to outdoor safety-which can be applied to everyday life as well-including lectures in:

Risk Assessment: When you read about avoidable accidents in the wild, your first thought might be, "What was this person thinking?" As you’ll discover, emotions play as big a role as reason in human decision-making, which can lead to dire consequences in the backcountry. But if you recognize your emotions taking over, you can better assess the risks in front of you.

Weather Analysis: Predicting rain is a neat parlor trick in the front country, but in the backcountry, a storm can mean life or death. Learn to analyze cloud patterns and recognize the warning signs of rain, lightning, tornadoes, and more. As you’ll discover, staying safe in severe weather isn’t always intuitive.

First Aid: From the big three (circulation, respiration, and the nervous system) to breaks, scrapes, burns, and bugs, you will gain insight into how to treat injuries from small mishaps to accidents-and when to call for an evacuation.

Many of the safety tips in this course boil down to planning ahead, paying attention to your surroundings, making good decisions, and exercising caution. Even something as simple as telling someone at home where you are going and when you’ll be back can be the difference between life and death. For instance, one of the most harrowing outdoor survival stories in recent years was made into the film 127 Hours, which tells the true story of a man who gets caught in a canyon in Utah. A simple note on his car at the trailhead might have saved him the worst week imaginable.

Deepen Your Appreciation of the Wild

Connecting with the natural world is what outdoor adventures are all about. It’s impossible to convey the experience of paddling down a river, climbing up a mountain, sleeping under the stars, or telling stories around a campfire. The pace of time changes, and you connect with something ancient inside yourself.

It’s an experience you must pursue in order to understand, but which anyone can simply enjoy. Whether you are thinking about an overnight car-camp at your local state park, a week-long canoe trip to the Minnesota Boundary Waters, or a months-long hike along the Appalachian Trail, Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe will surely inspire you to get off the couch and into the wild.