Wednesday, 20/1/2021 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Get Outdoors: 2-part survival skills class offered through Parks & Rec Dept.

Get Outdoors: 2-part survival skills class offered through Parks & Rec Dept.

By Shannon Myres

The Harker Heights Parks and Recreation program, Get Outdoors, hosted the first of a two part survival skills class at the Harker Heights Community Park on Thursday evening.
Instructor, retired Army veteran Sergio Martinez, has more than 10 years of knowledge and practicing primitive skills.
“It started after I was deployed to Iraq and I saw how the war impacted the civilian life over there. A lot of people (were) struggling to survive and it got me thinking, what if this were to happen to us in the U.S.? So I started learning the basics and I started liking it. I found that it was relaxing for me,” said Martinez.
Martinez demonstrated several ways on how to make a fire, purify water, what to look for and how to build a shelter, packing essentials you can make from household items, tools that can be used for multiple uses, and how to get rescued.
“It’s just one of those things that everyone wants to learn. There’s a lot of people that go hiking and camping and I’m sure parents are concerned about their kid’s safety and their own safety, so we wanted to teach people how to prepare for that,” said Sarah Mylcaine, event co-coordinator for Get Outdoors.
One of the most important skills Martinez presented was focused on mental preparedness.
“Think. Need to learn to relax and learn how to think in those situations. Assess, and make a plan, and execute. Learn and keep wanting to learn,” said Martinez.
A casual day hike can turn into a situation of life or death quickly. The National Park Service’s annual Search and Rescue report states the number one activity that leads to search and rescues is day-hiking.
“I’ve always been interested in survival skills. What am I going to do if I’m alone? So I always try to enrich myself. I learned so many things. I learned what I need to bring, and especially, the organization of it. I’ll be collecting laundry lint for now on,” said Christine Barron, resident of Killeen.
The Harker Heights area has many outdoor activities to offer, especially in the summer months. Being prepared and informed not only contributes to safety, but also a greater connection and appreciation for nature.
“I thought it was cool. I don’t know much about what to do when you get lost. Very interesting. I’ve learned some things.” Svenja Atchley, of Copperas Cove.
The adventure classes by the Get Outdoors program are once a month classes on the second Thursday of the month, offering a variety of outdoor recreation activities and education topics.


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