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New York Home > Leisure > Call of the Wild

Published November 09, 2011

Call of the Wild
Survival Training for the End of the World

Mountain Scout Survival SchoolYou’ve done some strange things in Central Park.

Moonwalks around the Reservoir. Horse-drawn carriage drag races. Daring zoo animal breakouts. Picnics.

But you’ve never tracked and hunted a deer with your bare hands.

Introducing Mountain Scout Survival School, a Central Park–based wilderness crash course that’ll show you how to build a fire, purify water and turn just about anything into a deadly weapon, taking reservations now.

It begins near a heavy thicket on the Great Hill. Head due east from the hot dog stand on 109th Street and search for a big picnic blanket. It’ll be the one covered in hunting knives.

The man in charge of this operation: an eccentric former stuntman/SWAT consultant named Shane. Over the course of an afternoon, Shane will teach you how to handle virtually every emergency (or win any bar bet) using only common materials found around you. Tree bark (or a cocktail napkin...) is woven into rope, leaves are built into shelter, and a butter knife and some twigs transform into every squirrel’s worst nightmare.

If you’re interested in continuing your wilderness education (also known as going full Rambo), there’s a nuclear-winterized training facility upstate where they run Mountain Scout Survival School 2.

It’s the Weekend at Bernie’s II of survival courses.
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