In the Wilderness -- Essentials of Survival

Intro to In the Wilderness Training: Essentials of Survival

This block of camps takes you from a newbie to skilled woods person. All of these camps are 2 nights and 2 1/2 days of wilderness training, not only to learn important skills but have a lot of fun, and make memories to last a lifetime. Most of these camps are based on using mostly resources found in nature. We will go deep into the skills and you will walkout not only with memories and skills, but with many camps cool projects, and our documentation.

FYI, these are the same skills and materials taught as are in our total immersion Wilderness Skills Institute Instructor certification classes less the deep practice and testing. Session E01: Basic Survival Skills and Session E02: Fire must be completed before attending any other session in the block. The Essentials block must be completed before any session from any other block can be taken.

Session EOS 01: Basic Survival Skills

Survival skills are the necessary skills to keep yourself alive long enough for you to be rescued, for self-rescue, and/or prevent yourself from being in a survival situation to begin with. You should not go into the wilds without having mastery of these basic skills.

These class is also taught as our part of our Women in the Backcountry camp

Session EOS 02: Fire

Humans evolved with fire it is key to our survival and growth. It keeps us warm, sterilizes water, it cooks our food; it signals that we need help, it is necessary to make tools, and it changes the brain chemistry. Yes an evening fire triggers the brain to release hormones to provide a good night’s sleep, to heal our bodies, to bond us, and to stimulate conversation of the past. The confidence you get when you know you can build fire with only that which you can find in nature raises you to a new level; this confidence will make you walk taller. This is 2 ½ days of all things fire. Emergency fire making, primitive fire making, making earthen and hobo stoves and of course safety with fire. This class has something for the newbie through that which will challenge a master. You will not only have these new skills but will build friction fire kits.

Session EOS 03: Shelter

You can survive 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, but only 3 hours without shelter from cold or heat. Next to panic exposure is the number one killer in the backcountry. Every year people die in the US; this camp will teach you all how to make a 5 minute shelter that will keep you dry and alive. We will also build various shelters for longer stays. Our K-12 school is outside rain or shine and in a comfortable environment. Brian has lived and taught and made and stayed in shelters to protect himself from the hot blowing sand of the deserts of the Owens Valley to subzero blowing snow of the mountains of northern Utah.

Session EOS 04: Cordage, Rope, Knots, Rigging, and Glues

Universal to all facets of survival and thriving is thread, cord, rope and glue. We will learn to make these from fibers found in nature. We will learn to apply those tools to stitch, tie, bind, suspend, heft, fish, trap, and restrain

Session EOS 05: Potable Water, Finding and Making Drinking Water

We don’t need to tell you the importance of water, this class is all about having water to drink. We start with locating surface water, determining the safety of the water, making the water safe. You will learn to use store bought chemicals and equipment, making water safe with what you have in nature, making fresh water from sea water.

Session EOS 06: Navigation

Many people get themselves in trouble relying on electronic devices for navigation and seeking help. In this session we will go deep into finding your way in and out of unfamiliar territory using the basic navigation tools We will determine your location from an object off in the distance without using a map. We will also develop skills in map making so you or others can find a given location, basic navigation with the stars, and telemetry.

Session EOS 07: Cooking On the Fire

The class goes deep into cooking in Dutch ovens, cooking directly on the fire on rocks or planks, and cooking in pits. We will cook everythings from game meats to pastries. No freeze dried food in this class. Depending on the time of the year and location of the class we may do some foraging.

In the Wilderness


"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming Wow! What a Ride!"
—Hunter S. Thompson
"Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival"
—W. Edwards Deming