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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 26, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 2 THE lETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuetdoy, 1973 A bath in the bush aids human survival Story and photographs by ANDY OGLE TIMBRE we were, half-a-doaen of us in tte dark souaWing on our haunches in tire steam- bath, knees practically touch- ing and the sweet pouring from our bodies. The night was black as pitch, it couldn't have been more than 40 above it bad snowed off and on all the West Castle River tumbled past a few feet away. As I'd always associated steam baths with health spas, luxury apartments and expen- sive ski resorts where crazy people leapt from the superr heated atmosphere into snow- banks, the thought of steaming the day's weariness away in a simple bath built for free miles from anywhere was hard io contain. College course Yet far from being a luxury item, it was an integral part of a weekend course in wilder- ness survival, sponsored by the Lethbridge Community College. You ask: "You need a steam- bath to survive in the wilder- Well not exactly. But as our Instructor, MOTS Lochanski, put it, a steambath is not only the best way to get clean in the bush, it also helps you get ac- climatized and is a wonderful antidote for depression. Mars, a wiry man dressed fa worn army fatigues and a bright red beret, who may be Alberta's only freelance wilder- ness camping and pia-vival in- structor, also qualified his in- struction from the start as not precisely wildern ess survival, but outdoor living skills Wilderness survival, he ex- plains, is a highly socialized form of outdoor living in which a minimal ainount of skill and knowledge will keep you alive. Outdoor living implies acqui- sition of a much greater amount of knowledge and skill that may virtually eliminate the need to survive. By way of illustration in a pamphlet he's put out, Mors writes: "When the United States Air Force began to make a study of desert survi- val they first looked at the Sa- hara Arabs, thinking few should know better how to cope with the desert. "They discovered, however, that the Arabs did not 'survive' in the desert, they only lived there." Thus it was at the end of a long day of picking up on some of the things a lifetime in the city somehow hadn't prepared us for, we were huddlti togeth- er in a simple but highly effec- tive steambath. In it's own way, it illustrated the axiom that in the wild you can do a lot with very little from material that is all around. To build a wilderness steam- bath you simply cut 20 or so supple willow saplings about 10 feet tall, strip them of branches except for the end, stick the ;