Into the wild

Flocon
stage survie Courchevel

Get your bearings, make a fire, find water, build a shelter… that’s what young adventurers are going to be able to learn this summer in Courchevel. In the company of travel and survival skills expert Yoann Gonçalves, we’re going back to nature!

How did you become a survival skills course leader and where did you learn all your techniques and tricks?
stage survie Courchevel

I travelled a great deal between the ages of 22 and 30. My experience comes from backpacking. I’m a very good student; I learned a lot from people I met on the road and from books. Then I met adventurer Denis Tribaudeau, who runs survival courses in France and all over the world. He taught me many of the techniques I use today to start fires, for example.

What’s the programme?
stage survie Courchevel

We’ve been running courses in Courchevel for children and adults for 3 seasons now. Attendees will learn how to get their bearings, start a fire with two bits of wood, purify water, recognise which plants are safe to eat and which are poisonous. With the younger participants (7 – 13 years), we spend two days at Chalet Lionel Terray with excursions during the day. Then we set off for 3 days in the woods: building a shelter for the night, cooking on a woodfire… it’s more about pretending to be trappers than survivalists. We develop their common sense and help them to work as a team: that’s the most interesting part in fact, watching how the children interact with each other. The adults set off for 3 days with no equipment, no water, no food… just them and their knife!

Why do you think these kinds of courses have become so popular?
stage survie Courchevel

Denis started 15 years ago and since then, it’s gradually become more fashionable, thanks to TV shows like Koh-Lanta and Bear Grylls (Man vs Wild). There’s also a desire to get back to nature, I see a lot of Parisians who want to go back to basics, far from the city. Lots of them also come to pick up tips on how to avoid getting into trouble on a hike. The goal of these “survival courses” is essentially learning how not to get into a survival situation, and if you do, how to find your way back to civilisation.

Further information: https://www.courchevel.com/fr/survie

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