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Chimney Rock Offers Survival Skills Workshops

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will host a three-part workshop series on survival skills this spring to better equip people for outdoor adventuresand short-term survival in the wilderness. The workshops will focus on Basic Wilderness First Aid on March 10, Wild Edibles on April 28 and Shelter Building on June 9. The Asheville Mushroom Club will share its expertise on mushrooms at the Wild Edibles workshop. Each workshop costs $27/adult, $15/Annual Passholder, $20/youth (ages 6-15) and $12/Grady’s Kids Club Members and includes Park admission for the day. Registration is required; register online at chimneyrockpark.com/events or call (828) 625-9611.

“A simple outing can turn ugly if you’re not prepared to handle potential dangers in the wilderness. Knowing some basic survival skills and carrying the proper gear can keep you out of trouble and even save lives,” said naturalist and instructor Clint Calhoun.

Survival in the Wilderness.  Whether you’re new to the outdoors or experienced, don’t take your chances in the wilderness without first equipping yourself with a few critical survival skills. Chimney Rock’s workshops answer questions such as: If you got lost in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, which plants are edible and which are poisonous? How can you build a shelter and fire with minimal resources? How do you safely collect and purify water? And how would you treat blisters or heat exhaustion? Taught by local experts, these courses could help save your life or someone else’s. See below for more information on each workshop.

Part 1: Basic Wilderness First Aid
Saturday, March 10; 9am-noon

Don’t get caught in the wild without knowing basic first aid skills. In part 1 of our Survival Skills Workshop series, learn how to avoid and treat exposure to hypothermia, heat exhaustion, poison ivy, burns, blisters and more. Understand the basics of splinting a sprained ankle and treating snake bites, bee stings and chiggers. We’ll also share the most important tools to carry in a first aid kit for wilderness adventures. Don’t let minor incidents stop you in your tracks—keep moving in the great outdoors with these essential first aid skills taught by local naturalist Clint Calhoun.

Part 2: Wild Edibles

Saturday, April 28; 9am-noon

Food and water are essential to wilderness survival. Abundant, nutritious edible plants grow in Western North Carolina each season, from berries and flowers to nuts and mushrooms. Be prepared to hike off the beaten path for about two hours identifying and learning about wild edibles. Then Sheila Dunn, a longtime member of the Asheville Mushroom Club and a Buncombe County Master Gardener, will whet your appetite with a presentation on favorite edible fungi, such as chanterelles, morels and chicken of the woods. Listen closely when she discusses the few poisonous mushrooms that lurk in our hills!

Part 3: Shelter-Building

Saturday, June 9; 9am-noon

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the woods without one of the most important means of survival: shelter. We’ll look in-depth at various types of primitive shelters and how to construct them out of materials readily available when you’re caught outside with no place to go. Includes practical, hands-on construction of shelters.  We’ll also touch on building a fire as time allows. Led by local naturalist Clint Calhoun.

Registration. Save money by booking all three classes for $65 for non-passholders or $35 for Annual Passholders; prices include Park admission for workshop days. Get more information on the three-part wilderness survival skills series and register online at chimneyrockpark.com/events or call (828) 625-9611.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor destination located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic sites and popular travel destinations. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species, and the second highest waterfall of its kind in the eastern United States. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com. More information on current Capital Improvement projects at chimneyrockpark.com/progress or by calling 800-277-9611.

About Asheville Mushroom Club

The Asheville Mushroom Club is diverse group of mushroom enthusiasts who enjoy learning about, collecting, cultivating and eating edible fungi gathered in forests in the Asheville area. At regular meetings, we expand our knowledge through presentations by experts—many of them club members—about different aspects of fungi identification, folklore, cultivation and culinary preparation. The club also arranges many forays, or field trips, around Western North Carolina, from day trips to camping adventures. Experienced members enjoy sharing their knowledge and introducing people to the fascinating world of mushrooms, with an emphasis on having fun. Learn more at www.ashevillemushroomclub.com.

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