Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

Surviving in the Woods (or finding the people that know how)

Written by Joe Ulrich, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Mar 5, 2013 9:38 AM

Photo by Joe Ulrich

There's a group of people looking down at compasses as they walk around Rustic Park in Berks County. Pink tape is tied around a few of the trees. "You ask each individual person what their reason is for being here, they're gonna give you a different answer," says Brian Winterstein. He founded a group on the social website called Southeastern Pennsylvania Survivalist and Bushcraft, and right now he's watching as the people who came to today's gathering are learning to use compasses and bearings to navigate to the various pink markers on the trees.

The Group meets about once a month and covers things like what plants are edible in the woods, trapping, navigation and fire-starting just to name a few.


Photo by Joe Ulrich

Brian Winterstein discussing navigation skills with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Survivalist and Bushcraft meetup.

Some of those who come are homesteaders interested in self-sufficiency, some are involved in Cub Scouts. Ed Goud is a Cub Scout den leader and his interest in survival skills came when he heard a story about a boy scout who was stranded in the woods in the winter and knew how to survive the night in freezing temperatures. Ed wanted to be able to pass that information along to his scouts.

Skills are tested during survival weekends in which the group heads out into the woods for two days to apply  their skills. "Now you know what mistake you made in safe way," Brian says.

More information about the group and their meet-ups can be found at




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