The Fieldcraft Class – Description
Last updated 12JUN2021
What is Fieldcraft? – It is the skills and knowledge necessary to beat man’s oldest adversary, nature, as well as techniques to defend themselves from other hostile men. Fieldcraft techniques have been being developed and perfected since man first ventured out to scout and hunt for game. Since at least the 1600’s, it has been perfected through warfare, becoming the combination of field skills essential to small unit maneuver warfare. From the first European skirmishers and light infantry during the 1600’s, to the American revolutionaries, mountain men and longhunters scouting the frontier, to Confederate guerillas, to the desert rats of World War Two, and to the modern day Infantryman, sniper, and scout, good fieldcraft has always been a necessary skill to ensure their survival in austere environments, amongst their enemies, and with little to no support.
For the prepared citizen, when the rule of law has failed, fieldcraft skills are necessary to expand or protect a perimeter, or to ensure safe passage through a hostile area. Without this critical capability, a prepared man looking to defend his home or protect his family and property is very restricted in how he can defend them. Without the capability to extend his perimeter and detect threats early, this man is a sitting duck waiting to get flanked by those who can operate in the field. Likewise, without the ability to move through a hostile area safely and efficiently, he will become another victim to those preying on refugees.
What is the Fieldcraft Course? – A completely off-grid course that takes place over 4 days in the Badlands of Montana. Students will learn practical skills to ensure their survival against nature, and then be taught skills that will help them successfully fight in small teams against hostile men.
Although I am an Infantry Marine, my teaching style is one that emphasizes a comfortable learning environment with no “drill instructor” mentality or silly games. My goal is to give my students the biggest “bang for the buck” I can, delivering as much knowledge in our time together as I can.
Students will be challenged with long days (16-hour training days are the norm, as well as covering 2-3 miles a day on foot conducting land navigation and other training) as we cover as much material as we can. If they apply themselves and work hard, students should expect to leave with confidence in the following subjects:
- Shelter construction
- Fire making
- Water Disinfection
- Rifle marksmanship
- Small unit tactics, tailored to a small team operating in a non-permissive environment
Price is $400 per person; cash, money order or barter. Payment is due in full 2 weeks prior to class unless other arrangements are made. Cancel within two weeks of class for a full refund.
Class location is in southeastern Montana. The nearest “large” airports are Rapid City, SD, Billings, MT, and Bismarck, ND. The road into the training area is primitive and a 4×4 is advised. If you’re renting a vehicle, or other wise don’t have access to a 4×4, transportation into the site will be provided.
A few reviews from some of my students are available here:
To register email me at email@example.com.
The Fieldcraft Class – Gear List
This class gear list is extensive for a reason. After we are finished at class you will be fully equipped with the tools necessary to operate effectively off grid as well as continue practicing the skills you learn at the class. Furthermore, once more advanced classes are introduced (I am in the process of developing these currently) you won’t need any more equipment. Also, this list wasn’t just invented for this class; these are all tools and equipment that have proven themselves in the past to be nearly essential for those living out in the bush.
I’ve included links to many of the items for clarity and also to help you source them, although you can bring whatever you want as long as the items meet the criteria. If you aren’t sure if something meets the criteria, shoot me an email and we’ll get it figured out. I get no kickback whatsoever if you use these links, I just prefer to go through good small businesses instead of through Amazon.
How you pack and carry your equipment is up to you, although I hope that by doing this class you come away with a very refined system that works for you if you don’t have one already. My advice: keep your pack-list light and tight. If you’re just starting out please don’t hesitate to email me with questions, I want everyone’s time to be as productive as possible.
Navigation and note taking – Land navigation is a big part of this class. By the end of the class you will be able to navigate at a professional level and I have to ensure you have the right tool to do the job. Because of this I will be teaching using the Suunto MC2NH compass and will require every student to have one. (Don’t be that guy…) If you have other compasses you like to use feel free to bring them and use them, but you need to have the MC2 at a minimum.
- Suunto MC2NH Compass
- 1:10,000 x 1 KM (not 500M) scale protractor. The following are direct links to specific protractors that you can use, in order of my own personal preference.
- Map pens
- 3x fine point mechanical pencils
- 3×5 rite in the rain notepad
- Pace beads if wanted
- Head lamp with red lens and spare batteries
- Cloth roll up measuring tape
- GPS (of any form) is not allowed during the class and completely defeats the purpose of the class.
Emergency Equipment – The area where we will be training is rough and remote and there isn’t much for cell coverage. Because of this we will utilize radios to stay in contact as well as have some back up emergency signal equipment. All of this equipment will be required to be carried on your person while training away from camp. I advise a small patrol pack, camelback, haversack, butt pack, etc. to carry this gear in while your are training. Please see this article for an example of how I personally pack for class.
- Small air horn
- FRS radio or Baofeng UV-5R (or equivalent if a licensed ham operator) in waterproof bag with spare batteries. Read the manual and familiarize yourself with it before coming to class please.
- XXXL Hunter’s orange vest (in other words as big as you can find, needs to fit over you and your gear)
- 1 roll Orange flagging/ surveyors tape
- 3x orange chem lights
- Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) with minimum one CAT tourniquet placed in a readily accessible location on your gear.
- Personal first aid kit (PFAK) for cuts and scrapes. Should include assorted band aids, Triple antibiotic ointment, Benzoin ampules, Moleskin, iodine pads, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Immodium, Benadryl.
Survival and Field Equipment
- Fixed blade belt knife meeting the following criteria:
- Full tang
- High Carbon steel (not stainless)
- Non-coated (Blued knives will still work)
- 4-6 inch blade length
- 90 degree spine
- Multitool with the following tools:
- Wood saw
- Folding saw
- Entrenching tool
- Wrist watch (No GPS)
- 1/2” x 6” Ferro Rod
- Large Bic lighter in water proof bag
- 1 square foot 100% untreated cotton cloth. Cheap dish towels and polishing rags work great.
- 32 ounce single wall stainless container with nesting cup. I highly advise the Pathfinder bottle because of it’s large mouth opening. It is also sized perfectly for use with Iodine tablets.
- 100’ #36 bank line
- 100’ 550 cord (earth tone color)
- 25’ jute twine
- 6x tent stakes
- 6×8 or 8×8 or similar sized earth tone colored or camouflage tarp. The following are recommendations, in no particular order:
- Small folded Mylar survival blanket
- Appropriate layers, clothing and spares for the season.
- Good hiking/ combat boots
- Appropriate sleep gear for season. The following is a recommendation based off what I would bring for the particular time of year, but you are welcome to bring whatever you like as long as you can carry it:
- Summer – Poncho and Poncho liner
- Late Spring/ Early Fall – Goretex Bivy Bag and green bag from MMSS (or equivalent) plus summer equipment
- Early spring/ late fall – Goretex Bivy Bag and black bag from MMSS (or equivalent) plus summer equipment
- Insulating mat and inflatable pillow. I use the Klymit Static-V pad, a 3/4 length foam pad and inflatable pillow.
- 2x 3-6 mil 55 gallon drum liners
- Canvas repair needle
- Roll of 1” Gorilla tape
- Roll of electrical tape
- 3 days of food that can be prepared and eaten in the field.
- Electrolyte supplements. Gatorade, Salt and Sugar, Pedialyte powder, etc.
- Eating utensil
- Iodine tablets and neutralizer
- 1 cotton bandana
- Hygiene gear, sun screen, bug spray and poop kit. There will be no facilities available so plan accordingly.
- Your preferred ruck to carry it all.
- Optional- water filter, I only use Sawyer and Grayl filters personally. Check for a filtering level of .1 microns absolute or smaller. We will be sourcing water off the landscape so keep this in mind.
- Optional- additional water bottles, canteens or Camelbak
- Optional- jet boil or alcohol stove. If you are going to be needing to boil water in order to eat your food bring a stove to boil it in. We will be making our own fires off the landscape but not for every meal.
- Modern self-loading centerfire rifle with sling. (.308 or less in power)
- 100 rounds of ammunition. No penetrator ammo. Marksmanship training will consist of position building exercises, dry fire and unknown distance engagements out to 500+ yards on camouflaged targets. While you are welcome to bring a rifle with whatever sights/optics you prefer, students tend to do better with magnified optics.
- Optional- Snap cap if wanted for dry firing
- Enough empty magazines to carry a minimum of 200 rounds ammunition. This is to ensure the student has the capability to carry an average, standardized load of ammunition. These will be empty mags.
- 1 quarter
- Your preferred style of tactical load bearing equipment.
- Cleaning gear, tools, spare batteries and spare parts for weapon system and optics. I will have a full tool set on site but bring the tools specific to your equipment as well.
- Coyote and OD sniper veil. Spray paint one side the opposite color. For example, if using a tan veil paint one side OD so it’s reversible.
- Camo face paint
- Earth toned or camouflaged clothing
- Optional- Any day or night optics you would typically carry
- Optional- shooting aids such as bipods, tripods, etc.
- Optional – Viper hood/ Ghillie and Ghillie thread