Feed your wildside!
There's no shortage of guidebooks for survival, but the quickest way to gain wilderness awareness skills is to take a course from an experienced instructor and get hands-on training. Lucky for all of us here in Cuenca, there is a high quality, wilderness survival course available with James Drummondo & FINtastic Adventures de Ecuador.
I spent 2 days, with friends, at his beautiful property on the Rio Tomebamba in Challuabamba. Not only did I learn to start a fire, with a flint, build numerous types of shelters, signal for help, gather and purify water, about first aid and Mcguyver style survival kits, fishing, trapping, hunting techniques and weaponry skills, I had a blast doing it! What a FINtastic experience. I felt like a warrior & a master of fire.
James has a unique ability to communicate his systematic approach with a lifetime of experience and his easy going personality. Detailed, informative, clearly knowledgeable but also laid back and with genuine enthusiasm. He’s also a FINtastic fly fishing instructor and hiking guide in El Cajas.
Looking for a healthy level of challenge for mind, body, and spirit - and a very healthy dose of humility? For anyone whose curiosity is piqued, I strongly encourage you to take this course.
I took a private one day beginners' "Wilderness Survival" course. My "Crocodile Dundee" in the Andes, taught me how to throw a hatchet, carve a spear, make three kinds of shelters, make fire without matches, boil water over those fires, make filtrated water using the charcoal created from the fire, with a layer of river sand a cloth, and grass, fish the river using a limb from an over hanging tree, as well as a bamboo pole. He taught me how to make a bird snare using a pole, twine and a rock. Mom sat inside of his tee pee where she was cozy and warm during my survival training. I may take his fly fishing clinic next.
'Drummondo Dundee', has a wealth of knowledge, training, and personal life experience. It was a fun filled, awesome day.
G' Day Mates,
Sherry Wilson , Cuenca
I can’t believe I am saying this, because Day 1 was awesome, but Day 2 was even better!! Today we had to put all our training into action. I love the quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goathe: “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” I would consider myself a knowledgeable survivalist in many areas of my life, but today I applied and did many things I had never done before. Spear making being one of those. I am more the type of girl that would disarm you if you came at me with a knife, but sharpening a 4 pronged fish spear was a whole different animal. The Axe throwing course was a blast! Who knew that could be so much fun! Breaking glass bottles with a sling shot was one of the most cathartic things I have ever done!! I truly loved every minute of these last 2 days.
James Drummond: thank you for such a wonderful 2 day experience. Thank you for giving us tough challenges, while also being right there to help; and encouraging perfectly when we needed it.
I can honestly say my experience at the Jumanji Wilderness Survival Experience gave me more tools to roam this earth fearlessly, meet its wild creatures, and cheerfully get muddy along the way! I had very little experience with camping or anything “wilderness” except for hiking. James took us through two days of learning safety when using knives, axes and machetes. Basic first aid, how to put together a basic survival kit you can take anywhere, fire and shelter building. How to purify water and signal for help. We made spears and snares for hunting too. My favorite part was learning how to throw an axe. This was fun and I have learned valuable new skills. I would recommend this to anyone!
The course taught me how to make fires with flint and steel, purify water by boiling it or filtering it, I also learned how to capture small game and fish with the use of traps and snares. I learned that making shelters and hunting and gathering is no where near as easy as it looks in the shows. My favorite part of the whole class is either boiling water or the axe throwing and slingshot range. The course was very fun and I enjoyed every second of it.
Jackson 14 , Cuenca
If you haven't yet been to Jumanji for James Drummondo's fantastic wilderness survival course, you are missing out and you need to get there quick. I bugged him until he agreed to do a course for the younger kids so Nico could do it because I knew he'd love it. Jumanji is a kind of magical place to begin with and James is so knowledgeable and was incredibly patient with the kids, even with their non-stop crazy questions and comments.
The kids (and grown ups) learned a bunch. We built a shelter, threw tomahawks, speared fish, made fire and purified water. Honestly, one of the best spent days in a long while. Thanks James and family!