For all fans of a certain TV programme where you end up both highly resourceful and much thinner, balancing on a pole, this article is made for you! OK, there are no palm trees and no promise of celebrity here, but we do promise an authentic experience of surviving on your own in the mountains. The two day Mountain Camp course came from the creativity and spirit of adventure of Guillaume Brun, a hiking guide, former soldier in the legendary Chasseurs Alpins (the elite mountain infantry, who are the equal of the Inuits and polar bears when it comes to acclimatizing to an extreme environment) and first aid firefighter.
An exceptional guide
Guillaume is from the Alpilles region, a fabulous playground for hiking and mountain biking enthusiasts; he moved to the Tarentaise in 1998. He is passionate about the mountains and has enough experience in the field to put Vin Diesel in the shade, including military interventions in Africa and the Middle East. For Guillaume, getting off the beaten track is as natural as making a cup of coffee in the morning. Hence his great idea of sharing his expertise with budding adventurers of all ages (8 and over):
What interests me is to get people out of their comfort zone and pass on my experience to them so that they are able to fend for themselves in a natural environment
For those who like their own cosy bed, it is good to know that there is also a 1-day version of the course!
Learn all the tricks of the woodsman (or woman)
During the Mountain Camp, don’t think you can laze in the shade of a pine tree: Guillaume has put together a programme that will leave you little time to relax, especially as you will have to build your shelter for the night! With your backpack, you are off for two days of adventure in the heart of the magnificent and lesser known Versant du Soleil, on the other side of the valley from La Plagne
- GETTING AROUND OFF-TRAIL. When we say “off the beaten track”, that really is the case. It is a question of learning how to navigate through the undergrowth of the mountains, find the right landmarks and avoid the traps.
- MAP READING AND ORIENTATION. Learning to read (holding it the right way up!) and use an IGN 1/25000 map, understanding the symbols, locating various features of the terrain, using GPS coordinates via applications or GPS devices. All without falling out with your better half ❤️.
- MAKING FIRE. You will find out that it is not the same as when you snigger at others on the TV. Without matches or lighters, you will have to find the right fuel around you, practice with the flint and make sparks fly! Once the fire is going, you organise your bivouac around the fireplace.
- WORKSHOP WATER. Having drinking water is also quite practical for surviving in the wild. Guillaume explains the different techniques for filtering and purifying water when it doesn’t come out of a tap.
- WORKSHOP ON PLANTS AND THEIR USES. Discovering plants that can be used for medicinal purposes and the ones that are edible or toxic. You will be made aware of the dangers of picking and parasites. In the evening, you cook what you have gathered to spice up the dinner cooked on the fire, yum yum!
- BUILDING A SHELTER. You won’t find any tents that unfold in 3 seconds flat here, but you will learn all the techniques for constructing shelters that allow you to spend a comfortable night and enjoy a well-deserved sleep.
- SAFETY AND RESCUE. A workshop where you learn how to trigger a rescue in an isolated area, so that you can be located. The basics of survival.
Live an unforgettable adventure with your family
It is not surprising that Guillaume’s Mountain Camps are so successful. Getting away from the daily routine and experiencing a thrilling moment in the wilds of the mountain with your family… A true professional, Guillaume makes a point of keeping his reflexes sharpened and staying up to date with the best practices:
I regularly participate in new training courses on techniques for self-reliance and self-sufficient living; these courses are an opportunity for exciting discussions.
Life in the Great Outdoors! You will certainly not forget this life-sized experience in a hurry and you will never see the mountains in the same way again.
You are interested ?
Our online travel agency offers stays including 7 days accommodation, with the Mountain Camp for 2 days/1 night.