SOS Team

A self-introduction of our main instructors.
Occasionally we have other instructors or trainees in the trainings.

Christof Hagen

Founder of SOS

  • formerly Igloo Survival School
  • formerly Stone Age Survival School
  • since 1983

Survival specific education

(since Survival could not be studied in Switzerland, I looked for different stations on the subject and trained myself accordingly)

  • across Lapland (contact with Lapps)
  • across NY-State (contact with Iroquois)
  • across Nevada (contact with Paiute)
  • across Wyoming (contact with Shoshone)
  • different monasteries in Switzerland
  • parachute grenadier training (the survival training)
  • Thatcher training (GB)

General education

  • Architect HTL
  • ATPL EASA (Line Pilot Europe)
  • CPL FAA (Flight Instructor US)
  • Jazz studies Fribourg
  • Mountain Guide 1984 Summer
  • Mountain Guide 1985 Winter
  • Work on farmer and alpine house research (inventorying, publishing, construction consulting)
  • Wild plant trainings in different monasteries in Switzerland

 

Who I have taught

  • Swiss Economic Forum
  • Princeton University, Iroquois
  • ETH Zurich
  • Department of Biology, University of Fribourg
  • Intervention Units Police: Scorpion, Diamond (Zurich), Gentian (Bern)
  • Survival Instructor Parachute Reconnaissance, AAD 10, Military Pilots
  • Starry Night, Christ Catholic Church Bern
  • Pile dwelling, Zurich,
  • Earth Skills, US
  • NOLS, Training the teacher, US (National Outdoor Leadership School)
  • Teaching and Learning, Swiss Flight Academy
  • Quaker: Spirtuality of the native american, US
  • Botanic Garden, St.Gallen

Design of various outdoor products

  • Expedition Backpack, Exped
  • Poncho Exped
  • Exped snow saw
  • OutdoorKnife Victorinox
  • 360° tent, SOS
  • Mukkluks, SOS
  • Waist bag, SOS
  • Winter tent, SOS
  • Machete, OutdoorWerk

Armin Heyer

To Armin Heyer (1977):
When I couldn't fall asleep as a teenager, I would sometimes pack my sleeping bag and spend the night in the woods or hike through the night and take the train home the next morning.  While studying psychology, I learned to move more freely and directly as part of nature with the SOS. In the last 20 years I have been able to learn a lot from the SOS and now I am happy to pass on some of this knowledge to participants.
After graduation, I first went out into nature alone for a month to try out my Naturtech skills.  I realized how much harder it is to live alone in nature than in a group.
Living outside with what you find outside fascinates me every day anew. This fascination, to pass on knowledge and skills to other people, motivates me to work as an instructor at SOS. I was able to deepen my experiences in the exchange with survival instructors at the Rabbit Stick in the USA and with the Wilderness Frist Responder of NOLS.
My main job is as a manager for the Öpfelchasper (www.oepfelchasper.ch), which I started in 2007 with my good friend Dominik.  I also work as a freelance psychologist with couples in the area of communication and stress prevention. Privately, I live with my son (2013) in the middle of Zurich and enjoy the contrast between the city and nature.
 

Vincent Metthez (in Training)

It's been a few years now since I discovered survival or, as I like to call it, life in nature. I was born in 1987 and as a child I was always outside. My parents even asked me to stay at home (outside) during kindergarten because I found it difficult to sit still at school.
My apprenticeships as a computer scientist and commercial clerk quickly showed me that I needed an alternative to working in an office. That's why I decided to train with the police and now work for the Swiss army.
I got to know Christof through my current job. Thanks to our encounter and the techniques he taught me, I discovered my own version of freedom. The fact that I can cope and live well in nature took away my fear of losing my surroundings. The fear of not being able to live in an apartment, or the fear of not having enough to eat ...
I also realized that this was certainly the key I had been looking for for a long time: training for independence with tools to live well without everything. Of course, I know that the modern world also offers a lot of joy and that the key to my well-being lies in a good mix of both. After discovering Christof's courses in 2018, I completed several SOS courses and am still taking them. With French as my mother tongue, I support Christof as a translator. Since this year, I have been taking the SOS Instructor course and am looking forward to my future in the outdoors.

 

Wolfram Simon (in Training)

My name is Wolfram Simon (born 1989) and I started my training as a nature survivalist at SOS in 2009. At that time I was already fascinated by the ancient knowledge of living in nature and the associated ability to feel at home anywhere. At the age of 21 I decided to take a survival year to try out the many survival skills in practice and to discover my own way of being outdoors. During that year, I attended all of the courses offered by the SOS. In between the survival and other craft courses, I lived alone for over 100 days in the wilds of Western, Southern, and Eastern Europe to apply what I had learned. I learned to be adaptive and to adjust to unforeseen events quickly and with minimal resources. I was fascinated by the radical immersion in the wide world of survival with all the accompanying changes in perception, intuition and practical skills. I quickly learned to walk between the worlds of civilization and wilderness and to develop the ability to cope with challenging situations with patience and consistency. At times living sedentarily by a wild Ticino valley, at other times nomadically hiking and swimming through the Swiss Mittelland. A deep sense of freedom and grounding emerged. I still use my vacation and free time to constantly cultivate the art of living in nature. What motivates me most is the variety of survival with all its shades, from urban to wilderness survival, from radical purist solo survival to comfortable high-tech survival with friends. Everything in the right place and time!
Since 2017 I give on behalf of SOS, regular survival courses in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. Professionally, I am a trained farmer and I am doing a PhD in Agricultural Sustainability at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Besides survival, paragliding is my great passion.

 

Joanna Hagen

Administration and logistics:
Survival is an art. Supporting SOS in the background for over 25 years - whether in the camp, in the office or as a family woman - is just as much a survival skill. I graduated in art history at the end of the 20th century. I was motivated by a longing for aesthetics. During my studies, I was fascinated by the concept of mimesis - the inspiration of art through nature and attempts to represent nature as faithfully as possible.
Outdoors, I am not looking for esotericism or self-fulfilment, but admire both the beauty and honesty of nature. In my everyday life, I use outdoor skills that I have learned at the SOS over the last few decades. Even though I don't build fires or prefer to sleep in a tent rather than a hut, I experience every SOS course with fresh enthusiasm and am delighted to see the second generation of course participants who have already grown up.