Get Ready for Rain on Cheat Mountain!

If you’ve been in West Virginia this month, you’ve probably noticed that it rains here…a lot. No where more so than the home of our Sur-thrival camp up on Cheat Mountain in Randolph County. More days than not this summer we’ve been under a flash flood warning, and it feels like we’re all starting to […]

Cheat Mountain

Monday, June 19th we are forecasted a 90% chance of precipitation with an estimated 0.89 inches of rain, with a high of 65 degrees and a low of 49 degrees.  This is not unusual. This is Cheat Mountain. Sometimes I forget that this is a crazy place, the novelty gets lost on me since we […]

Continue your Outdoor Education!

Are you curious about the natural world around you? Maybe a little jealous of the classes that the Mountain SOL student in your life gets to participate in? Well, Aurora Lights Herbal Medics has a summer packed full of workshops for adults and older children focusing on plants and mushrooms.  We will cover identification, cultivation, […]

SurThrival Thursday: MORELS!

Welcome back to another SurThrival Thursday from Cheat Mountain!  I realize my posts lately have been heavy on foraging, but there is a reason behind this.  Thriving in the wilderness is all about living in season, and spring is the season for eating in the forest.  It’s the time when every animal finds reprieve from […]

SurThrival Thursday: Foraging

Hi and welcome back to SurThrival Thrusday! This week I’m going to take y’all foraging with me and my family. Unfortunately my computer crashed mid-edit, so you’ll have to wait just a bit longer for the video! We are going to hike to one of our favorite places in the Monongehela National Forest, and show […]

SurThrival Thursday: Coltsfoot

Welcome back to another SurThrival Thursday from Cheat Mountain. This week I’m very excited to begin featuring spring ephemerals! I’m referring to small plants that appear in the spring before the trees have leafed out, these plants usually flower and seed and sometimes die back completely by the time the canopy has filled in .The […]

SurThrival Thursday- Finding Clean Water

Hello! Welcome back to SurThrival Thursday from Cheat Mountain.  This week I’m going to talk a bit about finding water; we are very lucky to be able to find clean, drinkable water here in Appalachia.  Usually, this means that you don’t have to hike with more than a small water bottle, because water is everywhere […]

SurThrival Thursday: One-Match Fire

Hello! Welcome back to SurThrival Thursdays from Cheat Mountain. This week I’m going to explore fire making: nothing fancy or very primitive, just a simple one-match fire.  I laugh as I am writing this, because of course, there is nothing simple about making a fire on Cheat Mountain. As students from previous year’s classes remember, […]

SurThrival Thursdays from Cheat Mountain: Winter Clothing

Welcome back to SurThrival Thrusday from a really, really cold Cheat Mountain! It’s currently one degree Fahrenheit up here today, so I thought it apt to write about dressing for the cold. Now this is a tricky thing to teach, as each person’s clothing system will vary based on how your individual body produces and […]

SurThrival Thursdays from Cheat Mountain: Debris Huts

Hello from a very snowy Cheat Mountain and welcome back to SurThrival Thursday! Today I’m going to feature our favorite kind of homemade shelter: the debris hut. A debris hut is a kind of shelter made entirely of materials found on site, in the forest where you plan to shelter. In many forest types, you […]