According to a recent study, the average American would not survive long in the wilderness or on the island of an eccentric billionaire hunting "the most dangerous game." Improve your odds in time for zombie flu season with today's Groupon: for $55, you get a five-hour wilderness skills and survival clinic created by wilderness expert and Adventure Out founder Cliff Hodges (a $95 value). This Groupon is good at Adventure Out locations in Marin and Santa Cruz.
MIT-educated Cliff Hodges left the tech world to good-naturedly teach survival skills for bad-natured situations, and his exploits (which include killing a wild black bear with a stone-tipped weapon he made himself) have been featured in Popular Mechanics magazine, and he has appeared on an episode of MTV's Made. Hodges continues to teach most of the survival clinics himself, and he personally trained Adventure Out's other instructors. Over the course of five hours, they'll show you how to use friction to make fire, how to use fire to boil water clean, and how to build an animal trap that can ensnare any edible forest animal, from rascally rabbit to bald, slow-witted hunter. Students will also hone the skills necessary to distinguish edible flora from poisonous plants and learn how to build a shelter complete with breakfast nook and foyer.
Classes currently run two or three times per month, but the schedule is set to expand to nearly once each week after December. All gear is supplied, though you'll want to bring lunch, snacks, water, and a notebook and pen. Though classes are geared toward teens, adults, and debonair yetis, kids under 13 are welcome with an accompanying adult.
Technology Review, The San Francisco Chronicle, Popular Mechanics, San Francisco magazine, and ABC7 featured Cliff Hodges and Adventure Out. Yelpers give Adventure Out a near-perfect average of 4.5 stars.
When Cliff Hodges, the founder and CEO of Adventure Out, graduated from MIT with a degree in electrical engineering, he knew a traditional desk job wasn't for him. According to Technology Review, he quickly gave up his engineering career for the wireless world of the great outdoors, where he began to hike, climb, and surf his way around the world, always staying true to his philosophy of environmental respect and protection.
His travels and business accomplishments have gained some measure of notoriety: he's coached on MTV's Made, consulted for ABC News, and was selected as one of four winners of the 2011 Santa Cruz County Civic Service Award: The Nextie. Adventure Out was also identified for meeting survival-skills training standards by New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Chef.
Today, he leads excursions into the California wilderness to teach backpacking and survival skills, including the tracking of animals and wild ice-cream trucks, and they also guide novices through surfing, rock-climbing, and mountain-biking sojourns. Through fundraising, Adventure Out has helped save Castle Rock State Park from closure and a portion of their proceeds is put directly back into the park.