Montana Department of Transportation to Hold Winter Survival Clinic
By OutdoorAly

Posted: November 15, 2013

A winter storm advisory has been issued for most of Western Montana, and it is always this time of year when the unprepared fall into some potentially life-threatening situations outdoors.

The Montana Department of Transportation-Aeronautics Division, offers the Surratt Memorial Winter Survival Clinic every year to train for surviving outdoors in such weather. The clinic is geared towards pilots that may have to make an emergency landing in winter conditions and how to survive those extreme conditions. It is named after a pilot that did miraculously survive a crash landing near Lincoln, but then perished from exposure from the cold winter conditions before help could find him.

I have taken this clinic twice, and recommend it to anyone who could find themselves having to spend the night outdoors in extreme conditions. A hunter could potentially get caught in an unexpected weather change in the backcountry and find themselves in a survival situation. You can read a little more about my experiences from last year’s clinic here.


Photo of OutdoorAly attempting to start a fire with a flint-steel-magnesium fire starter at last year’s survival clinic.

This is a two-day clinic that will take place at Homestake Pass Lodge near Butte, Montana January 10-12, 2014.

This clinic will teach emergency medical training, how to build a survival shelter, fire-building in extreme weather, and what items to put in your survival kit.

Attendees will sleep inside Homestake lodge the first night with instructional talks on emergency medical procedures, spend Saturday learning techniques on winter survival, and then put the training to work and spend the second night in your survival shelter outdoors.


A simple tarp survival shelter built by one of last year’s attendees.

This is the perfect opportunity to test your outdoor skills in a supervised environment. Think you are good at starting a fire? Try it in 10 degree weather with wet, snow-covered wood. You really learn what works and what could turn out to be a failure.

Rod Alne of Peak Inc. will be providing the survival training for the clinic. He is the owner and creator of the company, which is located in Butte. The company provides training for our Military Special Forces.

Click here for more information and to sign up.



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