“We don’t get to pick the time, place, or how an emergency happens. We just get to choose how prepared we are for it.”
Austin Lester, Fieldcraft Survival
It was not on a whim that Fieldcraft Survival moved to Heber Valley this past year. In the summer of 2020, while the training team was passing through our town from Montana to Prescott, Arizona, they were compelled to stop and take a look around. The Heber Valley possesses some very attractive attributes for a company based around readiness: a culture of preparedness, incredible backcountry opportunities, and a rural lifestyle. By fall 2020 Fieldcraft Survival had relocated their headquarters to our beautiful Wasatch County.
For the past six years, Fieldcraft Survival has been creating unique, customized tools and courses, including a virtual simulator, to help educate, train, and equip everyday citizens for survival in real-world worst-case scenarios. Although the training programs are mostly conducted in person; Fieldcraft Survival products have only been available through e-commerce. However, all that changed when the company landed here in Heber. In February 2021 Fieldcraft opened the doors to their first retail pro-shop along highway 189 in the Charleston Business Park. The shop is a wonderful compliment to their training facilities and warehouse.
The Reputation of Preparedness
Fieldcraft Survival’s founder and CEO, Mike Glover, is a former Green Beret with a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security. His experiences in Special Forces and combat have made him an expert in Counter-Terrorism, Security, and Crisis Management. Nearing the end of his career as a government contractor operating in Pakistan, it became clear to Mike that much of the practical training and tools that most civilians have are very basic and rarely stress-tested. Mike realized that there was a need for more easily accessible training and application. And the idea for Fieldcraft Survival was born! In 2015, Mike launched his company.
Today, Fieldcraft’s team of instructors includes individuals with extensive expertise in fields such as Psychological Warfare, Counter-Terrorism, Military Special Forces, Police Narcotics Units, Survivalist Training, Search and Rescue, Behavioral Health, Off-Road/Vehicle Preparedness, Paramedics, and Firefighters. As a result of their impressive talents, many have been called on to train police teams such as S.W.A.T and others.
In perusing the Fieldcraft Survival website, viewers will find courses and training that involve agile and intricate handling of defense scenarios, including with firearms, in addition to their Firearms, Survival, Medical, Events, Mobility, and Self-Defense training. While Fieldcraft Survival does train police, most of the training offered is for regular folks. As citizens of a community, we know the importance of being prepared. Although, we hope to never have to defend ourselves or our family with a firearm — training and practicing to do so is equally as important as the need to train in situational awareness, medical expertise, and survival skills.
On Wednesday nights, Fieldcraft Survival hosts free overview courses. These courses lay the foundation for preparedness development. Heber residents are familiar with preparedness outlets peppered across the state offering products ranging from food stores and water barrels to solar panels. These are great modes of readiness; however, on the day-to-day, we’re more likely to deal with isolated disasters, like a car accident or getting lost in the woods. When was the last time any of us had to use a quick-clot or a tourniquet? It stands to reason that if we can respond to those emergencies through practice, we’re better equipped for those isolated and widespread disasters that may or may not arrive.
When it comes to conditioning ourselves to deal with emergencies or disasters many of us lack the formal training to do anything but stall out. Austin Lester, of Fieldcraft Survival, talks about learning to stop, make an assessment, and take action. Until we learn the skills and implement that new knowledge in a controlled simulation, we cannot possibly understand how we will respond. One of Fieldcraft’s most popular training tools is their Virtual Training Simulator. The simulator provides real-life scenarios and various drills to improve your decision-making process in a self-defense situation.
Rob Parsons and Austin Lester explained that the courses offered (including many new ones) are currently being reorganized into one of these three categories: Survival, Defense, and First Aid. These make up the “Responsible Citizen” instruction program.
Some of what is being taught in Responsible Citizen is based on what is often seen in Search and Rescue in the backcountry. Emergencies can evolve out of hunting, overlanding, hiking, and other outdoor activities that go awry. Many of us who venture out typically consider ourselves “ready for anything” but when the time comes to prove our skills, we may find that we are not as prepared as we thought.
Educating ourselves and proving what we know before an emergency arises will help us not only respond but be aware of what could potentially go wrong before we ever head out. Although we cannot be prepared for all emergencies, we can take our training and flex our understanding of what is happening around us to adapt our skill set. Austin shared that “. . . keeping track of where you are in the wilderness may feel eerily similar to navigating a rural environment after an earthquake.” This learning environment is what Fieldcraft Survival provides.
Preparedness is a Community Endeavor
A community is made up of individuals; we will weather storms better if we are ready together. We all must have a starting point, and some will want a path to continue their preparedness journey. Having Fieldcraft Survival available to us in ways that are not available anywhere else gives our community a distinct advantage to embrace their training courses and better prepare ourselves for whatever may come. We have the right teachers here, in Heber Valley.
“While we encourage firearm training and proficiency, we are far more likely to encounter situations where we will need training in medical applications and mindset, and shouldn’t neglect those skills when training.”
Rob Parsons, Fieldcraft Survival
READY TO UP YOUR SKILLS? CHECK OUT THESE UPCOMING CLASSES:
Knots And Cordage
How to maximize the use of common cordage for survival situations
Course goes into survival skills and proper mindset
2 Day Land Navigation
Learn navigation, including compass, maps, GPS, and other methods
Self Defense Tactics
Designed to demonstrate and exercise real-world Self-Defense situations