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What to Know Before You Go

Schedule and Location

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 9:00 to noon
Thornhill Shelter

Fees and Registration

$29.00 member
$34.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)
BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course Description

Ron Nosek of Nature Education Programs brings his What 2 Know B4 You Go program to the Arboretum this summer. Learn skills you need to survive in the wilderness in this practical, hands-on workshop. Whether you’re planning to hike, backpack, mountain bike, paddle, or simply drive in remote areas, learning these simple but effective survival skills apply to any outdoor adventure and can mean the difference between life and death. Even the simplest adventure can quickly go south, so be prepared with these wilderness skills to ensure you and your group return home safe with fond memories of the day.

Through real-life examples and hypothetical scenarios, learn what common mistakes people make and how to make smart decisions that save lives. Learn to evaluate your situation, weigh priorities, and make a plan that will keep you and your companions safe. Discuss the basic needs for survival--shelter, fire, and water. Watch demos and participate in shelter building and fire starting with a bow-drill or a flint and steel.

Find out what you should always carry with you on every outdoor adventure—whether you’re headed to a local forest preserve, the Canadian backcountry, or the Utah desert. Any one of them could turn a potential emergency survival situation into a brief detour, an interesting but not overly exciting adventure, or at worst a minor mishap. All together they could save your life. Go home with two of these essential items to get your emergency kit started.

This workshop is essential for anyone new to the outdoors world.

Instructor Ron Nosek on has been intrigued since childhood with the ability of native peoples to live in harmony in the so-called “wild” places. His desire to teach others wilderness skills was born from a real-life story of tragedy in the Utah wilderness, where awareness of a few basic principles could have saved a life. Ron has been teaching ever since. Ron has recently recounted a number of his outdoor experiences in a collection of essays published as Natural Selections.

Course number



Ron Nosek

Ron Nosek is a retired attorney who has been intrigued with the ability of native peoples to live in harmony with the so-called “wild” places since childhood. In 1992, Ron learned of Medicine Hawk Wilderness Skills in Milwaukee and began to take classes under the tutelage of Tom & Ellen Hanratty.  He soon became an apprentice, then a full-time instructor.

Course Details

Notes: Held outdoors, includes walking on uneven surfaces, bending, kneeling, and some light lifting. Please dress for the weather. Limit 20

Arboretum class weather, cancellation and refund policies

What to Know Before You Go