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About Featured Expert: Located in central Switzerland, Taro Gehrmann is owner at Swiss Bushcraft and Survival, a co-founder at Bushcraft Akademie, and hosts his own videos about Swiss Bushcraft survival on his YouTube channel. In a 1 1/2 year trip around the world, he gained experience in survival fundamentals and trekking in northern Thailand, Sumatra, Australia and New Zealand. At his survival schools, he offers trekking and snowshoe tours and teaches bushcraft survival skills that include fire techniques, the construction of temporary shelters, outdoor improvisation, and other survival skills.

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Interview Highlights:

The following is a condensed version of the full audio interview, which can be found in the above link at Science of Skill’s SoundCloud station.

Coach Dan: We’re continuing our newer focus on prepping and survival with the man behind the YouTube channel referred to as Swiss Bushcraft, Taro Gehrmann, who’s on the line with me right now to talk survival…When you find newer folks who want to get involved, and want to basically learn how to survive on their own should a tragedy of some kind happen, some big catastrophe, maybe they get lost, they want to learn the fundamental skills of making it out on their own in the wilderness, how do you advise them to start? What are the skills to work on?

Taro Gehrmann: If you’re talking about the kind of my understanding of bushcraft or wilderness survival, is bushcraft is a kind of learning skills, primitive skills, how to use natural materials just to stay confident and comfortable out in nature. If you are able to learn those skills, or if you have those skills, you are better off or in a better position if you get into a survival situation…

What I’m trying to do is teaching people how they can stay at least 3 days up in the mountains, because that’s the time you get found easily. Somebody will miss you, and they will find you for sure. Setting the right priorities, doing the right decisions, don’t care about food that much, try to keep your body warm, get some drinkable water, maybe making some fire, stuff like this. To learn all these skills, you might or should have some kind of a passion or connection to nature, to the outdoors, to outdoor activities. I think if you are a really beginner, you should think about maybe to do a course getting to people with more experience, picking up some stuff there.

CD: What are some of the fundamental skills people should learn? Of course, they have to look at the context of what they’re preparing for, but what are some of the basics that pretty much transcend all of these outdoor survival situations?

TG: I think the most important thing is your own mind set-up in those situation. Really do the right things, stay calm, calming down in the situation where you maybe get lost, or you get an injury on your legs or somewhere, you have to know how to treat the injury. Just don’t panic, calm down, take a serious look at the situation and just the right decisions….

The next one is keep your body temperature, that’s the most important thing…The most important thing is stay warm, keep your body temperature, so it means if you have to stay a longer time waiting for help, you have to be able to improvise some kind of shelters, you have to be able to make a fire in some cases just to stay warm over the night or doing signal fire…

Very important in this case also is that you know yourself that you also know how you’ll react, your body. Without food, the first 24 hours are sometimes a little bit difficult…In every case you have to try it, you have to know how your body is reacting in some situation. That’s what I mean with training, trying out, get yourself sometimes a little bit on the limits, and then you get much more confidence if you move it outdoors…

CD: Moving into a temperate climate, what are some of the really basic pieces of equipment that almost everybody should know how to use?

TG: I think one of the most important outdoor tools for survival for bushcraft is a good knife, a knife which can do quite a few task. It doesn’t have to be expensive. The Godfather of Bushcraft, Mors Kochanski, he was working mostly with a cheaper knife from a Swedish company Mora, which is not even $10. It’s a very sharp knife, and I call it the wood eater…

Then, of course, a metal cup to boil water, to prepare water and food. That’s, of course, important gear you need, and a can, too for the water transport…I think it should be something over 1 liter, 1 to 1.5 liter…

CD: Most of my listeners are probably in the United States, but if someone’s listening in and they want to find and maybe assess an outdoor survival instructor, what should they ask them? What should they look for?

TG: I’m quite good connected to the US market, to the American market. If you have no experience with it, of course you’re using the social media first. Have a look, Google the schools and all of the stuff. I know there are some good schools near Kentucky. The next step is, try to find out what kind of recommendation they have…

Of course I have a Google+ account and all this stuff. I’m doing the most work on my YouTube channel and on my Facebook page, which calls Swiss Bushcraft in the title.

John Bishop

Category Outdoor Survival

Type audio

Duration 29 mins
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