WOODLAND PARK • A business that has everything for serious outdoor enthusiasts and mountaineers/hikers/backpackers, 315 Survival is now open in the Safeway Mall.
The owner, U.S. Army Master Sgt. Eric Walker, stocked the store with gear designed for recreation as well as survival gear in difficult or unexpected situations. “I used most of the equipment here,” he says.
A former Mountain Warfare Course Instructor for the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, NY, Walker is well versed in mountaineering and can talk. “I taught survival skills on skis and snowshoes, as well as crevasse rescue training,” he said. “In my entire career, between reserve and active, it was the best job I’ve ever had in the military.”
Stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Walker retired from the army in August; until then, the shop is only open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
“Once I retire, I will teach cold weather survival training courses along the Front Range and design some of my own gear,” he said. “I really have a passion for the outdoors and for the gear we sell here.”
On the back wall of the shop, Walker has displayed a display of air rifles. “I have air rifles here that can shoot anything from small game and vermin to caribou or buffalo,” he said.
In addition to inventory, Walker offers historical information about the rifle. “The Lewis & Clark Expedition had a pre-loaded air rifle that predates modern smokeless powder,” he said. “The technology dates back to the 1750s.”
The shop offers camping gear, stoves, tents, cookware and coffee makers, as well as complete cooking utensils from Biolite, a non-profit organization. Dedicated to providing sustainable energy to third world countries, Biolite relies on sales at retail stores such as 315 Survive.
“In many African countries, Biolite donates thermoelectric generators that convert heat into electricity,” Walker said. “I’ve used these stoves to charge my phone everywhere from the Mexican border to Alaska where it’s minus 50 degrees.”
For the backcountry adventurer, Walker recommends backpacks, packs, and fanny packs made by Mystery Ranch in Bozeman, Mt. “We have a lot of retirees at Woodland Park who are ex-military, Green Berets,” he said. “Special (ops) guys who aren’t retired use Mystery Ranch packs because they’re well built.”
Rich in knowledge and experience, Walker says he is not a daredevil who takes risks to survive dangerous conditions. “Personally, I think I’m going to take the easier route but, from a safety point of view, being able to do technical training makes a huge difference,” he said. “I use these skills as tools to keep in my toolbox in case I need them. Knowing how to survive a situation really helps.
For more information, go to 315survival.com or call 719-687-8389.