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Surviving a zombie apocalypse 101

Zombie Survival class preps students for disaster

If you’re a college student you probably fear cumulative final exams, long reading assignments and of course the impending zombie apocalypse.

The Student Recreation Center (SRC) hosted a Zombie Apocalypse Wilderness Survival course where students learned basic survival skills to apply to the rise of the undead or other more common natural disasters.

Former whitewater raft guide and current SRC instructor Matt Kurth taught the course and said they framed the survival class around the zombie apocalypse to get more people in the door and to make the class a bit more lighthearted.

“It’s a more fun way of talking about something completely horrible,” Kurth said. “People die in tsunamis and earthquakes, which is important, but scared people don’t learn well.”

The SRC offers a variety of classes that offer a cheap introduction to the outdoors for people who might’ve felt scared or overwhelmed by the thought of going out into the wilderness.

“Every class is designed for beginners to be introduced to an activity, and learn to love it themselves,” Kurth said. “A big barrier for people going outside is fear. Preparedness training makes for happier, more mentally confident people and helps with that fear.”

Many things would have to be considered in a zombie apocalypse scenario, like weapons and transportation. The class avoided these zombie-specific issues and focused instead on basic disaster and wilderness survival techniques.

The biggest thing stressed in the class was to make a plan before disaster strikes. A good plan should include rendezvous points, a well-stocked “go bag” and a network of friends preferably extending outside of the state.

One of the students in attendance was Alonso Vasques. Vasques is an HSU student studying to become a wild land firefighter. He said that this class was absolutely vital to students.

“I’m not a doomsday guy, but I think shit will go down,” Vasques said. “It rains in Los Angeles and people crash their cars. I want to be accountable.”

Basic necessities like water, fire and shelter were the main focus. Participants learned different methods of water purification and collection and the three ingredients (fuel, heat and oxygen) for fire.

Kurth along with co-instructor Henry Weddle taught the class basic knots including the bowline and trucker’s hitch then concluded the class with an outdoor demo. With a tarp the class constructed a leaning shelter and an A-frame, both viable structures if you’re ever caught in the woods without a place to sleep.

The class also toured the SRC’s equipment rental building where camping gear, backpacks and kayaks can be rented from the school for a fraction of usual rental costs.

Kurth encouraged the class to take advantage of the resources the school offered and said he was thankful that the recently-decided tuition fee increase would provide the SRC with more resources to put on these classes.

“I’m not a student, but I want to thank students for making that happen,” Kurth said. “The fee raise will be huge for student activities, and will allow for expansion of these programs.”

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