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Sam Coffman of The Human Path
Sam Coffman is a former U.S. Special Forces Green Beret medic who has spent his lifetime studying and teaching the subjects that he offers at The Human Path.
The Human Path is a survival school that founder Sam Coffman tells us is unlike any other. Sam is a former U.S. Special Forces (a.k.a. Green Beret) medic who has spent his lifetime studying and teaching the subjects that he offers at The Human Path, such as primitive livings skills and wilderness survival, herbalism and plant medicine, urban survival and preparedness, primitive hunting and fishing, wild foods and foraging, self-defense and tactics, homesteading and sustainable lifestyles, off-grid engineering and problem solving, reconnaissance and information gathering, blacksmithing and knife-making, animal tracking and naturalist studies, ammunition reloading, permaculture concepts, aquaponics, human tracking, wilderness first aid certification, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) certification, brain tanning hides, animal processing and meat preservation and more.
The faculty at The Human Path is comprised of nearly a dozen professionals both former military and civilian, with nearly 200 combined years of either professional and/or military experience.
Although the founder and several of the faculty are former military, this is not a military-style, “bunker-living” survival school. The vision of the school is to bring people closer to the earth while learning to be the best possible people in the worst possible circumstances. It is a mix between military experience and earth-awareness.
Sam teaches the herbalism courses which are focused on post-disaster plant medicine. He is a clinical herbalist and works with doctors, as well as runs a free herbal clinic at the school. His approach to herbalism is to fill the niche of dealing with medicine and health care in a time when there may be no hospitals, medical equipment, antibiotics or pharmaceutical medicine. His herbalism classes focus also on local plant medicine of the southwest USA, with a lot of local plant identification and use.
The curriculum at The Human Path is similar to a college or university. There are core classes (for people on a core track) and peripheral classes, or “electives,” that are open to anyone and have no core prerequisites. In general the tracks are divided into two major areas: Wilderness and urban topics.
Core subjects are then broken down into five core specialties (paths) that all function as part of a team or a community: Hunter Gatherer, Combat Medic, Primitive Engineer, Scout, Leadership/Teamwork. Core students usually pick one path and focus on those classes before moving into a different specialty, as class times often overlap. All classes are very focused on hands-on training, and all of the core classes usually involve some type of scenario which is complete with role-players and situations that push students to make decisions, use what they learned and work as a team under higher-stress.
Aside from scenarios, The Human Path also runs missions to remote areas in Central America with Herbal Medics (a non-profit organization) with the purpose of building off-grid solutions to sanitation and health problems, running herbal clinics, and working only with salvage materials that can be found in-country. This kind of training in remote areas and post-disaster areas gives students the unique opportunity to practice skills in the real world, with real consequences for other people. Aside from helping those in need, students form very tight-knit teams, tight-knit community and are fully prepared for disaster anywhere they may be, whether at home or even in a location they are not familiar with.
Classes are taught mostly on weekends, and 3-day weekends. The core basic class (the 50+ hour, first prerequisite for any core classes) is offered twice a year as a 5-day class, Monday through Friday. One time as the Primitive Core Basic and one time as the Urban Core Basic. Core Basic classes are also offered twice a year (for both urban and primitive) as 3-day weekends, and split into a part 1 and part 2.
The Human Path also offers an online herbology course for their first level herbalism class: The Herbal Medic 1 – Fundamentals. More information can be obtained by visiting the website or emailing infoATthehumanpath.com.
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