Jing Lavilles de Egurrola, a tropical bushcraft practitioner and skilled mountain guide based in Cebu is this year’s lecturer for CLIMBER’s 1st Basic Wilderness Survival Course.
CLIMBER Philippines, an SEC registered environmental non-profit organization had been planning the activity for over a year through the initiative of Billy Morales, one of it’s members and Bong Magana, the organizations’ President.
For choosing Egurolla, Morales describe the soft spoken Cebuano as “a recognized bushcraft instructor here and abroad. He inherited the craft from his forefathers and had dedicated his life to continuously develop it”. He added that instructors and the skill itself are both vanishing in the modern world.
The two (2) day activity held at Spring of Life Adventure Camp, Old Boso-Boso, San Jose, Antipolo City last 23-24 January 2016 was divided into eleven (11) parts covering the following: Introduction to Bushcraft, Survival Kit, Knife Care and Safety, Survival Tool Making, Water, Shelter, Foraging and Plant Identification, Firecraft, Cold Weather Survival, Traditional Navigation and Outdoor Safety. The participants were immersed with lectures and practical applications.
While mountaineering is different with bushcrafting, the two disciplines goes hand in hand. The aim of the activity is to equip mountain climbers with basic knowledge and skills to be able to survive when confronted with unforeseen circumstances during their climbs.
“During a situation when technology and preparation fails, mountaineers would be equipped with the basic skills and knowledge on how to survive” said Ramon Jorge, Vice President of CLIMBER during the short opening ceremony of the activity.
Sir Jing, as everyone fondly calls him, is the writer behind Warrior Pilgrimage and the founding adviser of Camp RED, a bushcraft survival guild stationed in Cebu where enthusiast are trained in fire making, shelter building, hunting and fishing through skills and improvisation – not relying much on gears. The training is said to be rigorous and last for 6 months or more.
“Don’t give in to the play of the mind. One does not panic when you have the skills to survive” Egurrola stressed during his lectures. He also mentioned that knowing the behavior of animals and identifying edible plants as food is one skill a mountain climber should know.
Adhering to its mission of helping to educate and prepare the new generation of mountain climbers in making ethical and moral choices needed through hiking and climbing training programs, CLIMBER taps those who are considered as experts in Basic Mountaineering Course, land navigation, Leave No Trace Principle, Intro to High Altitude Mountaineering, Basic First Aid, Rappelling, Ropemanship, Wilderness Survival and Wilderness Basic First Aid to provide lecture and practical exercises for interested mountain climbers at a minimal fee.
Asked what were the take-aways from the activity, Joyce Edralin gave these highlights “The first for me was producing fire by friction. I realized that it was really hard. A lot of patience and strength is needed. We are really lucky that we are equipped with modern gears. Second is the proper use of knife in making utensils out of bamboo, I feel this where my relationship with my knife was developed. Third is the relationship between bushcraft and LNT, that both does not really contradict each other but instead serves as a guide for each and everyone of us to become responsible mountain climbers or outdoor enthusiasts”
The survival course was attended by thirty four (34) participants who had been limited to those who have already finished the Basic Mountaineering Course offered by the organization.
Present also during the activity is Lester Susi, another lecturer for CLIMBER.#
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