• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Learn basic wilderness survival skills with “Animal Man”

ByMary M. Ward

Jul 3, 2022

FITCHBURG – Matt “Animal Man” Gabriel began to develop a love of the outdoors at an early age. When he was 11, his father bought him Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival, and so began his lifelong obsession with survival skills.

Gabriel will be visiting the Fitchburg Public Library and the Lunenburg Public Library this month to share his basic survival skills with local children.

“Be a hero to your family,” says Gabriel. “Learn basic wilderness survival skills that could one day save your life or the lives of your loved ones.

A basic wilderness survival course, for children ages 10-15, will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Monday, July 11 at the Fitchburg Public Library, 610 Main St.

Participants will learn how to build “the warmest, yet simplest shelter on the planet,” says Gabriel, “the debris hut.”

Find out how to burn a wooden bowl over charcoal and boil drinking water, soups and stews. People will also discover the mystery of primitive fire making with the bow drill; learn at least four wild edible/medicinal plants that are abundant in North America and available year-round; and “lost evidence” yourself and your children.

On Thursday, July 14, Gabriel will visit the Lunenburg Public Library, 1023 Massachusetts Ave., for the Hunger Games-inspired Basic Survival Class from 5:30-7:30 p.m., for children ages 11-18.

In this workshop, children will learn how to create life-saving shelters anywhere, find out how to locate and purify water, learn how to build a quick fire that can be lit with a single match, practice the famous trap dry bag used by Katniss in the movie, “The Hunger Games”, learn four wild edible/medicinal plants that are abundant throughout North America year-round, try camouflage techniques used by Peeta in “The Hunger Games” “, and the basics of archery.

“I started practicing and trying to duplicate everything I could from the book on the weekends and after school,” Gabriel said. “As an adult, I took two-week vocational survival courses that proved instrumental in forming the core of my survival repertoire.”

Gabriel then spent years increasing his level of knowledge and experience by practicing and experimenting daily.

“In 2015, I felt the call to start teaching, so I started posting videos on YouTube,” Gabriel said. “Today I travel across New England to share my skills.”

Both events require registration. For more information or to register for the Fitchburg Public Library program, call 978-829-1789 or visit www.fitchburglibrary.org.

For more information or to register for the program at the Lunenburg Public Library, call 978-582-4140 or visit www.lunenburglibrary.org.