Students Dream of Doing and Achieving Great Things ……Teachers Provide the Road Map
~Carl L. Griffin
My philosophy and commitment for Out of Ocala is straight forward … Create the Out of the Ordinary ~
Carl Griffin ,Lead instructor for Out of Ocala, a practicing Florida Attorney . My back-round is extensive on land and the open water survival techniques, as a former life boat coxswain for the Coast Guard , Police Officer , State Trooper , Merchant Captain and Dive Master .With years of both practical and formal education on Survival and Wilderness skills, as well as building the most proficient and updated classroom facility in the Southeastern United States, my training facility is Private and self contained with untouched wilderness areas that allows for true-life practical training. Located contiguous to wild life reserves, my 30 acre facility is the perfect setting for anyone wanting to learn new skills or for the more experienced survivalist to develop and practice new, as well as old, skills.
At The Griffin Ranch we practice what we teach and that is Self-Reliance. Our classes are extensions of what we do on a daily basis which allows you the opportunity to share in those experiences and more. My family first arrived in Florida in the early 1600’s and as such, they had to develop those skills that allowed them to survive and carry on a lifestyle adapted to the Florida wilderness. These skills and those shared by the local native American Indians are the basis of all of our classes. I have further studied and taught with the top professionals in survival and wilderness training around the world. I personally teach or oversee all the instruction for each of our outstanding survival training programs. They are designed to instill the confidence, skill and practical knowledge to handle survival and wilderness situations. I personally design, write and publish all of our training manuals. We do adopt and recommend other sources as there are many good books written on survival techniques, but the manuals used by Out of Ocala are for the Southeastern US. We have developed survival materials that I have not found in other schools or taught by other instructors. My latest news article is The First Six Minutes of Survival. If you would like a copy drop me a line ..
It is very important that you consider the background of each school:
1. How they teach – for instance – do they require you to do without food, water or bare comforts,calling it a survival experience? You learn by doing and seeing how it is done… not by deprivation.
2. Does the instructor know the locale in which you wish to be knowledgeable? It takes many years of experience to build the expertise to take someone out into a wilderness situation where anything could happen or go wrong .. Many say they are knowledgeable but I have seen these same individuals make life threatening mistakes.. They need to be well versed in the local they teach . I have more time in the forests than any other instructor in Florida I have personally traveled from each end of the Ocala national forest by foot ,horseback and all terrain vehicles many times ..
3. Does your instructor know the wildlife of the area? I do not mean being able to know the names of a few animals but the ones that can ruin a good day .. Do they have the experience handling the animals… recognizing their danger signs and able to read their language as well as track so that you know who is sleeping next to you, under you or over you at night . We do a night time safari where you will be amazed and in awe of your neighbors.
4. Is he or she truly survival trained ? With the advent of the internet there are Survival and Wilderness schools popping up daily .. I review and attempt to discover how proficient they are .. and have found that many are nowhere near the standard that I set for Out of Ocala .. Without the basic skills to handle the pine barrens, you are lost if something happens to your instructor or is not able or equipped to handle a real life survival situation..
5. What is the school’s background? Do they operate out of a park or public forest ? Do they have a dedicated facility ? Is it open to the public? Can you cut a tree or pick plants for training ? If your schools does not have a dedicated facility and made the commitment to invest the time and money to ensure your safety, then I recommend you do not invest your time or money in the class .. If they have not made the commitment to a facility then they have not made a commitment to you ..
6. Are they committed to survival training ? Do they say they know how to teach and survive or do they live what they teach? In Florida there are no schools operating 5 days a week 8 hours a day as a full time class .. You will find that several offer classes on specific dates either one or two times a month more if they have the students ..At Out of Ocala we are the only school that teaches where we also live .. You will make up your own mind as each student and guest is treated like family at the Griffin Ranch .. I know of no other school except Creek Stewart , Madison Parker ,who teaches primitive skills and possibly Cody Lundin offers this approach to training .. by the way all are great schools ..
7. Have they experienced Survival Techniques .. Very few individuals ever are plucked from the Ocean or forest after being lost or injured .. very few actually go in after someone who needs the help.. My life has been dedicated to those in need .. As a former Coast Guard life boat coxswain, police officer, State Trooper and Wilderness Scout, I have gone in when others have refused .. I teach what no school teaches in the area of rescue and isolation stress, in odds against you situations ..None of the other instructors have spent any time on isolated duty .. I spent 14 months 28 days…
8. Does your School really know foraging of plants both Medicinal and edible ?? We teach the plants in the local area which are by far a majority of plants in the southeast .. I have seen an instructor not knowing the plants that are poisonous allow water gathering from them. When I advised him he shrugged it off as it did not matter…remember… if you know what is there, a forest is like a Publix supermarket open 24 hours a day providing food, medicinal and hygiene products…
9.Do the instructors stay current on wilderness survival techniques and participate in continued education ? I ensure that all of my instructors stay current on new and old materials related to survival and wilderness training ,as well as I review survival books and school injuries and deaths to determine how and why they occurred, so they will be prevented at my school as well as others . In addition I am an avid reader of those original survivalists such as George Washington Sears and all of his early articles to field and stream and one of my favorites Dug out Dick ,Former Pres T. Roosevelt, few know he almost lost his life on a safari in South America after his presidency. There are so many other wonderful wilderness leaders who have gone before us and set the stage for us to follow and share their methods of survival. My last book was Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg , a true story of a young man lost in the South American jungle with no knife in the heart of the rainy season ,alone and lost for over 20 days .He describes in detail how he survived and how he almost failed .. Ask your instructor what was his last book, by the way one of my favorite questions when choosing a jury .