Why are an increasing number of people who like to hike, bike and explore more remote outdoor areas signing up for courses at wilderness survival schools? Perhaps the slogan, so prominent on the Wilderness Learning Center’s home page, is the answer. Your chances of surviving are directly proportionate to how much knowledge you carry in your head and not how many gadgets you carry in your survival kit.
These schools offer basic wilderness survival courses, plus a chance to learn such diverse skills as land navigation and tracking to finding edible plants.
Wilderness Awareness School, a national not-for-profit environmental education group, offers programs for adults, teen and youth summer courses, and a home-study course. Check the calendar for a variety of weekend or longer programs, plus courses in such diverse wilderness topics as Wild Edible Plants, Wildlife Tracking and Bird Language courses.
The Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS) has been offering field-based, hands-on survival and explorer courses for 40 years. These are 7-, 14-, and 28- day courses not designed for the faint-hearted. The Explorer courses offer a rustic wilderness experience without the physically-challenging Impact phase of Field courses.
Ancient Pathways offers experientially-based courses in Desert Survival, Outdoor Safety, and Bushcraft designed for people seeking to develop proficiency in both primitive and modern wilderness skills.
Earth Connection has two school locations, one in Virginia and the other in North Carolina. Both branches offer regularly scheduled weekend courses teaching primitive skills, wilderness survival and self sufficiency , and the Virginia branch also offers private weekday courses. The school's specialties include classes in Friction Fire Making and Wild Edible Plants, but the subjects are as varied as Tracks and Sign to Wilderness Survival and Organic Gardening.
Readers be careful: This is simply a list, and I have not vetted these schools in any way. Make your own decision about whether to take a course and where to take the course. Click on Is a Wilderness Survival Course for You
for a list of questions you might want to ask when deciding where to take a wilderness survival course, and if the course you are considering is the right one for you.