10 DAY ABORIGINAL SURVIVAL ($4,599 PP AUD)
The 10 Day Aboriginal Survival tour runs a similar survival structure to the Australian Military NORFORCE program which introduces recruits to the Australian Outback with the guidance and support of an Aboriginal hunter/tracker.
Strategic survival is fundamental to learning how to survive in any landscape for a period of time. Often survival endeavours lead to malnutrition and “rabbit starvation” by not correctly identifying the basic components required for consumption.
This program teaches you how to acquire the necessary staples to aid in survival situations for a number of weeks or even months; with very basic tools we follow a remote river which takes a total of 10 days covering a distance of 110km.
Our first day begins with an Aboriginal hunter in a remote area of Western Arnhem Land; it is here that we pay our respect to the Aboriginal elders before we are given the permission to enter onto their sacred land. An aboriginal tracker/hunter will adjoin our mission to our first 10Km checkpoint, from here on in, we will work together to survive the rest of the way.
TOUR PACKAGE INCLUSION
All food and transport is included within the tour package. Airport pickup and drop off is organised with the client, if there are nearby suitable locations within the Sydney area where the client would like to be picked up from then these arrangements can be made on consultation.
Food will be purchased for the client at the nearest Coles or Woolworths, suitable foods which are light weight, compact and long life such as muesli bars, noodles, nuts and dried food are highly recommended as an additional dietary intake.
All necessary equipment will be supplied including; toiletries, first aid, sleeping bags, swags, cooking instruments and additional camping needs. Medications or other medical needs must be identified within the health screening application.
The following guideline to your tour will encompass: 12 factors which will aid in your survival.
This program requires a high level of fitness. All applicants for the program will need 4 weeks of prior endurance training before attempting this endeavour.
Indigenous Game Preparation
There are a number of different cooking styles used by the Aboriginals including baking food items on hot coals to creating bush ovens to cook meat. The different apparatus style depends on the species of animal which is being prepared for consumption. This program will incorporate one or more traditional forms of game preparation.
There are many types of Bush tucker foods found throughout the Top End some of these include tubers, yams, berries, fruits, seeds, sugarbag honey and insect larvae. A knowledge of knowing where to find these staples is just half of the effort, the second half is about knowing the correct procedures involved in there preparation.
Australia has many edible food plants however there are just as many which are noxious and can be fatal if consumed. The indigenous guide will detail information on identifying species and there nutritional/dietary benefits, there are also many species which are used for self-medication for cramps and colds.
The program will identify several species which can be collected and consumed, additional booklets will identify the protein, sugar, carbohydrate and fat concentrations within each of the food plants, these booklets can be kept for personal use.
There are a number of hunting weaponry types that were used by indigenous aborigines, these were specific not just to their location but also to the species of animals which were being targeted. The program introduces clients to boomerang throwing with hands on lessons with the indigenous guide, the aboriginal hunter will show how this tool can be effective for hunting waterbirds and fruitbats.
Using an atlatl takes some experience but this program will teach you the basics of designing and crafting a hunting spear from scratch. There are a number of species which the indigenous hunter will attempt to spear for our consumption including wallabies and feral pigs.
The techniques involved in effective tracking can be taught at a basic level, fundamental aspects of tracking involve identifying individual species based on a number of signs particularly scats, diggings, burrows, footprints and other forms of bioturbation.
Tracking is an essential tool used in hunting prey items; it helps to determine the strategies which may be used to finally capture your target species. Tracking can also help individuals in survival situations, knowing that certain species of animals will only move a certain distance from water this for example could be used to help in your navigation towards a water source. E.g. identifying water buffalo tracks in the scrub
Identifying scats is also of importance, identifying the seeds of edible food plants in animal scats such as blackberry seeds in fox droppings can once again educate you on some of the consumable species which may aid in a survival situation, let alone the species which may also be hunted down.
There are several aspects of primitive trapping which are taught including resource utilisation such as developing cordage and snaring material from natural occurring plants and animals. Identifying which species can be targeted and how and where these species are most vulnerable with trapping is a critical learning component.
The art of primitive trapping is about habitat manipulation with attention to detail, learning how to cover your scent to learning which baits can be used for different target species is just the start, not to mention which trapping designs are most effective based on the species movements.
This program focuses on two primitive trapping types, platform and pressure snaring both effective techniques in capturing small to medium game such as rabbits and hares.
WILDLIFE HANDLING & RESTRAINT
The ability to control and restrain an animal involves many principle features including; anatomical understandings relating to body structure but also physical capabilties including agility, strength, staminar and reaction speed.
Your abilities to handling animals comes with understanding how an animal will react when it is faced in a fight or flight situation. The program has a large focus on capturing and restraining feral animal species such as a foxes, wild goats and boar.
The techniques involved in handling and capturing venomous snakes can take many years of experience, as a result of this I can only showcase these techniques personally as a result of the danger and risk involved with dealing with Australian venomous snakes.
However there are also a wide variety of harmless species of snakes including pythons, tree snakes and file snakes which can be handled without the concern of a serious bite.
Having an understanding of how to move through a landscape is essential for traversing from point A to point B. Identifying Landmark features and following landscape contours such as escarpment ridgelines and certain vegetation types such as pandanus can help with your navigation towards rivers and streams.
A secondary aspect outside of observatory navigation is magnetic and technological navigation. The advantages of being able to read maps and to use a compass to determine points or areas of interest is critical when moving through terrain which does not allow visible landmark features to be followed or used as a guide.
Much of the Australian interior and coastal regions diversify into habitats which are monotone and repetitive making navigation almost impossible, there are however options such as hand held GPS devices which can be used. The program incorporates using Garmin devices to identify geographical and topographical data sets which can be used to direct your path through the bush.
Learn how to make a shelter from a number of natural resources, different shelters are designed around different landscapes and climatic considerations.
There are a number of natural forming shelters which can be found in the Australian Outback, from cave formations and escarpment outcrops to large debris piles accumulated from the effects of flooding. There are however a number of shelters which can be built in a relative short amount of time, these may include grass, palm, bamboo and paperbark shelters.
Identifying which materials can be utilised and how natural cordage can be used to help structure a shelter is part of the learning procedure. Understanding the properties of certain materials and there benefits will further define how else the natural resources may be used, E.g. Paperbark is a waterproof material which can also be used for bedding as well as canoe construction.
Learn how to collect and filter water, preparing water for consumption can involve a number of steps, and there are many different types of filtering processes which can be used.
There are a number of potential dangerous agents which may be present in water including; E.Coli, Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green algae) & Fecal Coliforms which can be potentially harmful to the human body in even small concentrations, learning water purification is a survival must.
Utilising water for consumption in a survival situation is the difference between life and death. There is however a number of steps which need to be taken before water can be safely consumed. There are now new technologies which allow water to be treated easily using microbial incorporated filters such as the Katadyn and Lifestraw devices both of which will be used throughout the program.
However other alternatives may need to be used when such devices are not readably available, such as cans, bowls, shirts, socks, pants and a combination of natural elements such as sand and coal to help in water purification.
Learn how to make fire using a number of primitive strategies including bow drill method and bamboo fire saw.
There are essentially two different types of fire making which I teach which can be used in a range of habitat types. Identifying the correct wood types to use is a critical step in the fire making process. Collecting the appropriate tinder and developing the wood style kit are the next fundamental steps before the correct technique is mastered.
The Fire Drill kit is an ancient method of starting fire without matches or a lighter, a method that applies friction to generate heat. The heat eventually produces an ember in the burnt sawdust. Once the ember is formed it is carefully placed into a “tinder bundle”. Once the ember is in the tinder bundle it is then carefully nurtured and coaxed into flame.
The Bamboo Fire Saw is another method that incorporates a piece of wood being passed horizontally over a vertical wooden beam member, a small slither is made in the centre of the horizontal hand piece which incorporates a small hole which allows sawdust to build in a hollowed cavity, once again a ember is formed and carefully placed into a tinder bundle.
There are a number of hunting strategies which I incorporate into the program including; spearing, persistence hunting, tracking and primitive trapping. I have designed the most efficient techniques for the relative habitat we will be located in. There is a key focus on feral animal species including Feral Goats, Wild Boars, European Carp, Cane Toads, Hares and Rabbits.
Australia has a diversity of feral animal species which are managed in a number of recreational and professional manners. Animal welfare initiatives are also taught on best practice and efficiency within the program.
As part of the program one or more feral animal species will be targeted for our consumption.
Learn how to acquire wild game using a number of different hunting strategies, this may involve persistence hunting or using primitive trapping technologies
The process of utilisation animal products for consumption takes practice. Identifying which aspects of an animal can be utilised and the nutritional value of each aspect is critical in a survival situation. Organs such as the Liver, Kidneys and Brain retain many nutritional benefits but knowing how to identify, clean and prepare these organs requires careful attention to detail.
Utilising meat from the animal and the process of correct removal also incorporates fine details, the bones, skin and tendons also have many uses in a survival situation such as tool making, clothing development and string or rope for binding, tying and snaring.