Colorado’s ‘MacGyver Of The Woods’ On How To Survive A Night In The Wild

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<p>(Courtesy Doug Hill)</p>
<p>Primitive skills practitioner Doug Hill, who lives in Lafayette.</p>
Photo: Lafayette primitive skills practitioner Doug Hill
Primitive skills practitioner Doug Hill, who lives in Lafayette.

One film debuting at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival this weekend is only 90 seconds long. It provides a glimpse into living primitively.

Doug Hill of Lafayette has been called the "MacGyver of the woods" and founded his own primitive skills school, Gone Feral. He's also an adjunct faculty for Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, where he teaches survival classes and bow carving. His new film is called "Old Skill, New Use."

Hill spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

Hill's five steps to surviving a night in the woods:

Hill says he can teach someone, in three minutes, how to survive an evening in the wilderness with these tips:

  1. Have a modern-day "fire starter," such as matches and tinder on hand. Keep them in separate waterproof containers.
  2. "When you get stuck for the night: S.T.F.D. That stands for Sit The [Heck] Down. (The F is silent.) Get calm."
  3. Find a natural shelter or create a simple lean-to, a structure with an inclined roof supported on one side by trees or posts.
  4. Make a fire using the aforementioned fire starter and tinder. Place it one step in front of your shelter. Gather what seems to be enough firewood to last the night -- "then triple that amount."
  5. Go to bed, waking as needed to stoke the fire.