Port Hardy Canadian Ranger Tom Cook

Ranger teaches survival skills

A Port Hardy man spent the last week of January teaching survival skills to members of the Canadian Forces in Haida Gwaii.

Jane Wilson

Haida Gwaii Observer

HAIDA GWAII—A Port Hardy man spent the last week of January teaching survival skills to members of the Canadian Forces in Haida Gwaii.

“It was incredible, I had a great time,” said Tom Cook, a Port Hardy mechanic who spends one night a month and several weekends a year training with the Port Hardy Canadian Rangers Patrol. Cook has been affiliated with the Port Hardy Rangers for the last ten years.

The Canadian Rangers are a sub-component of the Canadian Forces reserve, which provides a military presence in northern, coastal and isolated Canada and whose members are easily recognized by their red hats and shirts.

Cook joined Canadian Rangers from across the province teaching fire building, traps and snares, shelters and other survival skills to members of Haida Gwaii’s 39 Brigade over a three-day period. The soldiers then spent another three days in survival camps with limited resources, putting those skills to the test.

The Basic Wilderness Survival Training is offered by the Canadian Rangers once a year to other branches of the Canadian Forces, said Captain Steven Parker, officer commanding of BC Company of the Fourth Canadian Rangers Patrol Group. Parker said Canadian Rangers are used to teach the training because of their vast amount of outdoor skills.

“I learned once again that you really learn by teaching,” said Cook, who said he has always been interested in survival training.

He taught shelter building from materials found at the training, a skill all of the soldiers used once they were dropped off in their survival camps. Only four of the twenty-two candidates didn’t last the three days in the wilderness and Cook thinks the training was well-received.

“All of the feedback I heard (from the candidates) was quite good,” he said. “They felt that the Rangers as a whole had done an excellent job and done a whole bunch of legwork, and worked behind the scenes to make sure that when the candidates arrived everything was in order and seamless.”

The weather was extremely challenging during the training but Cook said he would most definitely do it again.

“It’s a beautiful area to operate in,” he said. “I just love it; I can’t think of anything bad about the entire experience.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port McNeill council tackles the issue of AirBnBs

Council wants a public hearing to identify options for short-term rentals in Port McNeill.

Port McNeill council roundup: Feb. 11 meeting

Various stories from Port McNeill council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

REVIEW: Poetry helps Conshinz heal from brain trauma

The Book of 1000 Poems, Volumes 1-4, by Conshinz, a.k.a. Port Alice… Continue reading

Meet the new owner of the Scarlet Ibis Pub & Restaurant

Kevin Foley is originally from Regina, Saskatchewan.

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Most Read