Randall's Adventure Training Advanced Bushcraft Class Review

Discussion in 'Randall's Adventure & Training®' started by Jacob Peterson, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. Jacob Peterson

    Jacob Peterson Member

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    Randall's Adventure Training Advanced Bushcraft class for 2018 is a 3 day class that my wife Moriah and I took in March.

    The weather was a little bit colder, and damper than we had expected, and in classic fashion, I forgot to bring a bunch of stuff, to include the rain fly for our tent, chairs, and various other things. Luckily I had a 20'/20' tarp!

    As I understand it, every Bushcraft class is a little bit different, and I even got to see a few subjects covered at students request (more on that later), so what you see in this review may give an accurate concept of the types of things taught, but not necessarily EXACTLY what is taught, nor how.

    Of course, this is 2018 so we started the day bright and early at 0800 with a little bit of waiver signing etc.

    We then went to what is called bum camp, to begin our training!

    First, we got into construction of a short term shelter. By short term I mean something thrown together with little to no materials on hand for a nights sleep, possibly with no sleeping bag etc.

    I always wondered how you would easily and quickly make the door, and I was happy to see that that was a big part of what we talked about at the end!

    Did I mention that it was cold!?

    Then we moved a little bit into try sticks with some simple notches, as well as a bit of education on a few different ways to use your knife (safely). This was followed by making a pot holder, which was actually very valuable to me, as their method was much easier than what I had been doing.

    I believe after that we broke for lunch, I'm still a bit fuzzy on how the exact timeline played out with all that, but we were always given plenty of time to eat.

    After that we went into making some traps- this could have been some of the most valuable information of the class for me personally, as no matter how much I learn about primitive trapping, I have never had certain aspects of more realistic trapping and placement explained to me, that was awesome! And it led to some REALLY exciting lessons later in the class!

    After setting up a little trap line, by request, primitive hooks were covered a bit, as well as how to make hooks from paper clips, and then we got into FIRE!

    We started fire with the fire roll, this was quite the challenging task for me! But Moriah successfully got it! James was able to dedicate time to her while she was working on it, and was really able to (kindly) push her beyond what she knew that she could do, resulting in a success, a HUGE win for anybody struggling with a task!

    James also showed us a few other primitive fire techniques and materials. James really likes fire building, and his passion for what he was doing is unquestionable, and the number of things that I learned from him outside of what was laid out in the curriculum was incredible!

    Day 1 ended with everybody feeling accomplished and learned, and led to what could be the best part of Randall's Adventure Training, the fellowship and meal afterword's! Talk about some awesome instructors and awesome people to just hang out with!




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  2. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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  3. Hammer

    Hammer Member

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    Really great pics!! If you don't want to go play in the woods after seeing that, there's something seriously wrong with you. ;)
     
  4. Jacob Peterson

    Jacob Peterson Member

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  5. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    a few more

    IMG_3598.JPG IMG_3617.JPG IMG_3628.JPG IMG_3629.JPG 20180325_102401.jpg 20180325_093128.jpg IMG_3317.JPG
     
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  6. Jacob Peterson

    Jacob Peterson Member

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    My video covering day 2 at Randall's Adventure Training Advanced Bushcraft is up! I will update with more pictures soon.

    On day 2 we worked on Hand Drills, something that i had no first hand experience with. While i expected to see the normal straight stick hearth board hand drill, James Gibson pulled out all the stops showing us an awesome method of making a hand drill with replacable burners! (For lack of a better, more educated term)
    That was really unexpected, and REALLY cool!
    Ill write more soon!

     
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  7. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    Thanks for sharing @Jacob Peterson

    Pretty sure we were using horseweed...not rag weed.
     
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  8. Mudman

    Mudman Member

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    Twas a good time
     
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  9. Jacob Peterson

    Jacob Peterson Member

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    Your right!!!
    I dont even know what rag weed is.
    Dang
     
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  10. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    Rag weed is what makes me sneeze in the Spring !!
     
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  11. Matthew Green

    Matthew Green Member

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    I was also at the 2018 Advanced Bushcraft Class. All my classmates and instructors were nice but, to be honest, I was and am let down by the classes organization, the scope of the class and what knowledge I came away with. I did my research before booking the class and, in the write up on the R.A.T.S. website it lays out a range of skills that were to be covered in the class. Here is the info copied directly from their site:

    DESCRIPTION
    This 3-day class taught by James Gibson will teach the students a wide variety of Bushcraft skills such as friction fires, flint knapping, cordage making, improvised containers, wild edibles, primitive trapping/fishing, game preparation, and much more.

    We did spend a decent amount of time on fire and I feel like I did walk away with some good information on that. However the topics of flint napping, cordage making, improvised containers, wild edibles, primitive fishing (we did get some good info on trapping) and game preparation were glossed over of covered in much less that what I would describe as "advanced" detail. In particular the two topics I was most interested in which were cordage making and wild edibles were barely touched on at all.

    In regard to the overall organization of the class I feel like the course I was a part of really let me down in terms of the organization of the curriculum and the depth and breadth of what was covered. In comparison, one of the articles I read prior to booking my class was this article from KnifeNewsRoom: http://knifenewsroom.com/2017/11/su...lass-esee-randalls-adventure-training-center/ The class I was a part of was nowhere near as in-depth or well organized as the author describes his class.

    I still love ESEE knives and they are what led me to find the R.A.T.S. courses. I will keep using my ESEE knives but I will not be booking another R.A.T.S. course because I did not find the value or depth of knowledge I had signed up for. I would never say that Mr. Gibson himself is not a master bushcrafter however, as it pertains to the class, I would say that the class I was in would be more aptly named "Beginner Bushcraft". There was not really anything covered that I would say was on an advanced level. Most of what I did there were things I could have learned in a book and been able to execute after a bit of trial and error. I was actively involved in the class so I did my part. Unfortunately, I did not feel that the class was worth the money I put into it.
     
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  12. shaneadams90

    shaneadams90 ESEE Knives Marketing Director Staff Member

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    We appreciate your feedback @Matthew Green and you are correct; This is the most disorganized class in terms of structure that we teach. It has proven to be a challenge to find the balance of meeting student needs and creating a rigid structure that reflects every other class we teach. In every class that RAT does we have a list of JPRs and time hacks and we hit them religiously. Judging all of our courses on our Bushcraft class would be a shame. Rest assured we will take your comments to heart and look at our class description as well and this class will come back better.

    Personally, I accept full responsibility for the lack of organization as I was the RAT representative at the Farm that weekend. Patrick was speaking at a conference and that left me to do my best at corralling James Gibson, no easy feat. It was also the largest class we've ever had at the Farm with over 20 people in attendance.

    Ive attended several Bushcraft classes and it is one of my favorite classes bc it's always a little different due to the desires and skills the students bring to the Farm. The class size of this one meant we had way more ideas and questions and that led to more frequent visits from the "Good Idea Fairy", that in my opinion, led us astray on numerous occasions.

    Thanks for your feedback.
     
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