I have acquired many outdoor skills here at FMA that I never thought I would learn, or need to know, including how to build a stretcher, how to build a shelter, and how to successfully start a one-match fire.
The first skill that Mr. Mike and Mr. Kevin taught us was how to start a campfire in the wilderness, in any conditions, using just one match. First we had to gather twiggies and arrange them like a tee-pee against a stick. Then, larger twigs are placed over the twiggies, so that when the fire is started, it has something to burn. We use our candles to drip wax on the twigs and twiggies so they will light easier. Once we have done that, the fire will start with just one match. I have used this method on expedition, and can say it is an especially valuable skill to have when it is extremely cold.
On the first expedition we learned how to build a stretcher out of sturdy, thick tree limbs tied together with parachute cord. Once the frame is built, branches are woven into it to make it more sturdy and comfortable for the patient. On expedition three, Morgan fell and sprained her ankle, and we actually had to build a stretcher and carry her the rest of the way on it. I am not likely to make a stretcher again, but if I need to, I know that I can.
These are just a few of the outdoor skills I have learned at FMA. These things we have been taught can be life saving, and it’s good knowledge to have under my belt.