Most of our students do well under our instruction. They fill a hole in their skill set that helps them move to the next level in their journey, come to a course every now and then, and wish us well. That’s okay. And then there are those who are here every time the doors are open, those who bring an already respectable skill set to the table and build it into something truly remarkable. They’re truly devoted to improving themselves and becoming as good as they can be at whatever they endeavor to do. That’s Stephen Hendrix. He’s one of a very small group of elite students who have nailed nearly all the advanced skills on the first try – most notably starting a bow drill fire. He’s a truly competent, well-rounded outdoorsman… and also just an all-around great dude to hang out with and get to know.
1. What do you do for a living? I build apartment communities for a national real estate development group.
2. What are your favorite things to do in the outdoors? That’s a long list and it covers land, sea and air! Recently I have been devoting more time to camping/backpacking as well as working on wilderness survival skills. There is something really satisfying about sitting around a fire in the woods and sleeping outdoors to help get back in tune with nature.
3. How did you learn about SARCRAFT? I think I found the group on the internet while searching for wilderness training and thought it would be great to have a local school to hang out at some instead of having to travel longer distances all the time.
4. What was your favorite memory with us? Definitely making coals and starting a fire with a BowDrill. I had no idea there would be so much “huffin and puffin” to get it to work, but in the end it was well worth it.
5. How has training with SARCRAFT helped you in the field? I have been able to use some new techniques for basic bushcrafting tasks as well as optimize my gear selections before heading out into the woods. The firecraft work I have done there has been especially useful when combined with the “possum mentality” that JJ always preaches about. I recently spent a long weekend in a field survival course and when it was cold at night everyone in my team was grateful that I had been salvaging and collecting materials (especially dry tinder) along the way. Even though the instructors had saturated the materials we gathered with water before we got to start, the task was made easier with the aid of a few materials from my pockets.
6. What skills and topics do you look forward to learning with us in the future? I always enjoy learning alternative as well as obscure ways of performing bushcraft type tasks. Right now I am focused on having a solid foundation of survival skills to be able to pass on to my grandchildren, so anything that helps take the “basics” to the next level would probably peak my interest. I would also enjoy working on some single rope techniques and rescue skills at some point.
Stephen, along with his wife Marla, son-in-law Sam, and dog Trinity, have been with us since last summer, and have truly become part of the family. They’ve gone above and beyond to help us out in so many ways, whether it’s being here every chance they get, or in Marla’s case, bringing some truly fantastic food to share. If you get the chance to meet them at a course, make sure you take the time to get to know them!