Festivals & Events

Into the Woods: Maritime Wilderness Skills for Spring Adventures

Prepare for Wilderness Adventures

As the saying goes, "If you go out in the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise."

Unfortunately, that surprise can be a potentially deadly situation if you're not prepared, according to Wayne Russell, founder of Maritime Wilderness Skills, a New Brunswick wilderness survival skill company that offers a broad range of courses for anyone interested in wilderness exploration. Maritime Wilderness Skills teaches a variety of essential skills, from creating a fire by rubbing sticks together to controlling your core temperature through proper clothing and shelter.

“Controlling your core temperature is essential to staying alive in the wilderness,” said Russell, a contestant on The History Channel's ALONE show who has gone into the forest with only his clothing and built a shelter, made a primitive trap, and created fire. “Navigation and signaling skills can also help get you found if you become lost or stranded.” Russell added that one of the most common mistakes that people make when venturing into the wilderness is not letting others know where they're going and when they expect to return.

"Staying safe in the wilderness is never a guarantee," he said, "but there are ways to help stay safe in most situations."

As spring arrives and people head out into the woods, here are five common mistakes to avoid:

5 tips to stay safe in the wild

maritime wilderness skills

  1. Don't forget to leave a trip plan or let friends know where you're going and when you expect to return.
  2. Stay on trail and stick to your set route. Staying true to the trip plan makes it easier for search and rescue teams to locate you if necessary.
  3. Carrying proper gear in case of getting stranded or lost. It is recommended to carry an extra liter of water and a day's worth of food, as well as a shelter and a way to make a fire, such as a steel water bottle or pot to boil water if needed.
  4. Pay attention. It is helpful to stop and write down which way you are turning or take right turns each time to mark the paths you take. 
  5. Knowing how to create a simple and effective shelter and how to make a fire without the proper tools is essential. Russell encourages people to learn primitive skills such as primitive traps, stone tools, brush shelters, and friction fire.

"Learning skills that you can implement if you have nothing but the forest to offer you materials is important," he explained. Courses offer by Maritime Wilderness Skills are ideal for day hikers, hunters, fisher folks and anyone else that goes into the wilderness. New Brunswick is filled with forests, covering approximately 85% of the province's total land area, and while they offer breathtaking scenery and a chance to escape civilization, proper preparation is key to staying safe in the wilderness. By taking the time to learn essential skills and following basic safety guidelines, anyone can enjoy the great outdoors with confidence.

Discover the Best of New Brunswick

Get exclusive, quarterly access to upcoming events, festivals, off-the-beaten-path attractions, bespoke tour packages and exceptional hotel deals, all designed to transform your visit into a truly unforgettable experience.