Profile photo of Vargold Instructor Patrick Diedrich in a black short sleeve polo with a Search and Rescue logo.

Meet Your Instructor

Patrick Diedrich

From a young age, my backyard was an expansive state forest in rural America, where summers meant living out of a dome tent and exploring the untamed wilderness. This immersion in nature sparked a lifelong passion for adventure, leading me from the Boy Scouts and high school Forestry Team competitions to the experiences of a Cavalry Scout in the Army.

My journey lead me through the humid swamps of the Deep South, the snowy forests along the Canadian border, awe inspiring mountains of the American West, and the arid deserts of the Middle East. These experiences taught me the skills and resilience needed to thrive in diverse ecosystems.

After my military service, my career path took several turns—from running a consulting forestry company to editing for Recoil Offgrid, even forging custom knives. But it was my role as Training Officer for a regional Search and Rescue group that really lead me to develop this website.

It was here, developing curriculum for SAR volunteers, that I realized how much essential wisdom has been forgotten over time. My life experiences had equipped me with a unique understanding of the chaos inherent in nature and humanity—an understanding I now seek to share.

This platform is dedicated to reviving lost knowledge and fostering a community ready to learn, adapt, and thrive amidst the unpredictability of life. This isn’t just about survival in the traditional sense. Rather, it’s about cultivating a mindset that sees chaos not as a threat, but as a teacher.

Here, I’ll share the insights and skills that have been crucial in my own adventures, aiming to empower you to navigate life’s challenges with confidence and contentment. Join me in rediscovering the art of preparedness, where managing chaos becomes the foundation of our inner peace and resilience.

Photo of instructor Patrick Diedrich teaching reflex taskings to local SAR volunteers
The Vargold logo, a black ring border with the words "Think", "Train", "Thrive", each word separated by a red symbol (the viking rune for protection). Inside the black ring is the "viking compass" A series of eight runes thought to protect someone as they are guided on their way.

Why Vargöld?

It seems like an odd word—Vargöld—but what does it mean?

Vargöld is an old Viking word that translates into “Wolf Time”, or “Age of the Wolf”, a time of intense suffering, hardship and strife.

In Viking lore, it is the time leading up to Ragnarok, the end of the world. You can read the poem where this word is often found here, and more about it’s meaning here.

Holistically, this simple logo is an emblematic guide for self-reliance during difficult times. The center of our logo is the Viking Compass, a collection of runes that represent our ability to find our way, and much more.

The Vargöld motto is “Think. Train. Thrive.“, which represents the core of self-reliance, and is a nod to the common “rule of three” often cited in survival doctrine. It’s also the reason behind the Vargold3T URL and social media handles. Between the words “Think. Train. Thrive.” are the Viking runes symbolic of protection.

For the purposes of this website, the name and logo pays homage to my own ancestral heritage, and is an embrace of the difficult times we often experience in our lives. It is through difficult times that we learn and grow the most.

For this reason, we should make an honest attempt at recognizing hardship for the opportunity it is, so that we may emerge better than when we started.