Winter Survival Tactics Class teaches winter enthusiasts about outdoor safety, emergency gear, and more

MARQUETTE — On Saturday, February 1, Michigan Backcountry Search and Rescue will be hosting a Winter Survival Tactics Class at Chocolay Township Hall.

The free course is hosted in association with the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division and Marquette County Search and Rescue. The class will discuss topics such as survival equipment, outdoor clothing, ice safety, emergency kits, and more.

“Over the last two or three winters, we’ve had some real incidents where students or people have gone out to enjoy the woods and they get lost in a snowstorm,” said Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt. “And they end up dying because of the elements. So I thought it would be a good idea to put together a class. It can be snowmobilers, ice fishermen, or anyone who enjoys the outdoors to learn how they can survive in the woods if something happens to you.”

Michael Neiger is the Lead Investigator of Michigan Backcountry Search and Rescue. He has extensive experience with guiding wilderness expeditions, and he’s also gone on many of his own solo expeditions. All these experiences have given him a great deal of expertise on survival tactics and gear.

“I’ve done solo work,” said Neiger. “I’ve skied from the northernmost plowed road in Canada to the Arctic Ocean, and I’ve paddled from Lake Superior to the Arctic Ocean. Both of those were solo, so I really had to think that through, and that’s where a lot of this equipment comes from. And I’m happy to share that with the public so that we can reduce the tragedies that happen. Unfortunately we have a lot of students in town that come from other areas that just have no idea of what goes on and how harsh the environment is.”

The Winter Survival Tactics Class will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Michael Neiger and Todd Theoret will be presenting throughout the afternoon. Additional topics to be covered include detailing an itinerary, cellphone use, satellite rescue beacons, compasses and GPS units, and more.