Training – Winter Orientation

Winter Orientation  

This combined classroom and field course provides opportunities to develop basic wilderness survival skills for a Yellowknife winter. The focus will be on short-term survival situations that could arise in our operating area. Due to variable weather conditions you may experience very cold temperatures.

Date/Time: TBA, usually early December (depends on snow cover)
Arctic Response (101-349 Old Airport Rd, strip mall across from Robinson’s Trucking)

Camp Connections
Deploy from SARbay at 19:00 on Friday evening, returning 16:00 on Sunday

Class size: 12 maximum (COVID-19)
Location:  Classroom – Arctic Response 101, 349 Old Airport Rd
Field  – Camp Connections (about 55 Km east on Ingraham Trail)
Instructors: Tom Girrior
Prerequisite Gear List:
Axe/Hatchet, Saw, knife (folding or fixed blade) – all 3 required
Tarpaulin (10′ x 12′) or larger
Rope 20′ x 3/8″ (6M x 10mm),  1 roll snare wire,  Cord 50′ x 3/16″ (15M x 4mm)
Fire making materials
Food and utensils
Sleeping Bag (winter bag rated to season)
Headlamp/Flashlight with spare batteries
Any other items you wish to bring

SIGN UP SHEET:  Click here for sign up sheet

Detailed Course Outline:

Wednesday Evening

  • Course Scope
  • Common Scenarios
  • Behavioral response to stress
    • Stress and simple task performance
    • Complex task performance
  • Lost Person Behaviour
  • Pre-deployment
    • Winter clothing review (3 L’s)
    • Minimum gear list
    • Trip Plans
  • Preliminary Tasks
    • First Aid and casualties
    • Material resources inventory
    • Human resources inventory
    • Leadership and roles
    • Site selection
  • Survival Priorities (Water, Shelter, Signals, Fire)
    • Above or below the treeline
    • Water
      • Obtaining
      • Making it safe to drink
      • Storing and transporting
    • Fire
      • Cooking, drying, heating, signaling
      • How to make
    • Signals
      • Night – Fire, flares, beacons, headlamps, audible
      • Day – Smoke, conspicuity panels, audible
    • Shelter
      • Lean-To
      • Tent
      • Quinzhee
      • Framed Quinzhee
  • Gear Review and Recommendations
    • Cutting Tools (saws, axes, hatchets, machetes, knives)
    • Common cutting tool issues (misuse and condition)
    • Balaclavas, mitt liners, boot liners, googles
  • Classroom demonstration
    • Framed Quinzhee
    • Tripod smoke signal

Friday Evening

  • 18:00 – tentative departure to Camp Connections
  • 19:00 to next morning – Abandoned/unoccupied cabin scenario
    • Review Preliminary Tasks
    • Cabin access methods
    • Spend the night

Saturday (all day to Sunday morning)

  • Group briefing
    • Camp Connections user expectations
    • Bush Survival Scenario
    • Solo, 2 person and group tasks

Sunday (to Sunday afternoon)

  • Break camp
    • Move all materials to signaling site
  • Signaling
    • smoke signals – Tripod, Ground
    • Conspicuity Panels
    • High contrast Signage
    • Mirrors