October 02, 2017

Touch of Nature to offer outdoor living skills courses

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center next month will offer a series of courses that show how to live, function and participate in recreational activities in the great outdoors.

Kaleidoscope of Outdoor Living Skills is open to anyone age 15 and older. Each seminar includes professional instruction and hands-on activities. The costs vary, depending upon the activity.

The schedule kicks off with “Land Navigation,” which covers the use of a compass and topographical maps. Participants will learn about terrain features and association, the legend, key, bearings, protractors and Universal Transverse Mercator points, so they will always be able to find their way out of the woods or other “lost” environments. The $15 basic course is from 2 to 5 p.m., Oct. 11. An advanced navigation course, from 2 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 12, is available for $30.

Two skill levels of rock climbing classes are also planned. Both will cover the essential techniques for safe top-rope and basic sport rock climbing. The $20 basic course is 2-5 p.m. on Oct. 18; the advanced course is 2-5 pm. on Oct. 19 and the price is $35.

“Leave No Trace” is an active learning experience and gives those who attend the chance to learn how to properly dispose of waste and minimize campfire impacts. The class is from 2 to 5 p.m., Oct. 26. The price is $15.

The final fall session is the Camp Crafts Overnight Course. The course is from 5 p.m. Oct. 27 to 10 a.m. Oct. 28. Participants will camp at Touch of Nature’s Rocky Ledges Trail and learn about campfires, water purification, back-country cooking and much more. The cost is $60.

Register for any of the programs online at ton.siu.edu/camps-and-retreats/kool.php. Registration for each program is required at least two days in advance of the event date.

For more information, contact Eric Johnson at ericjohnson7731@gmail.com, visit www.ton.siu.edu, or call 618/453-1121.