Outdoor Survival Schools: Intensive Hands-On Training for Situational Survival

Courses taught by qualified instructors at outdoor survival schools include everything from procuring water in a desert environment to discerning edible plants from poisonous weeds. Found predominantly in Arizona, Colorado and other western states, these schools are rapidly gaining in popularity due to the increasing interest in survivalism and "prepping" for possible catastrophes such as nuclear war, economic and/or societal collapse, massive terrorist strikes or destructive weather-related phenomena.

outdoor survival schools

Ancient Pathways, LLC

Located in Flagstaff, Arizona, Ancient Pathways offers a variety of courses that consist of eight-hour training sessions to three-day, hands-on field courses. For example, the Desert Survival Intensive Field Course lasts three days and provides instruction regarding:

  • Survival psychology
  • Improvised and natural shelter construction
  • Basic navigation and map-reading skills
  • How to build a solar still
  • Fire-making skills
  • Avoiding and overcoming dangers of the desert, such as scorpions, snakes and heat-related illnesses

Surviving in an extensive, dense forest is another common course found at most outdoor survival schools. Ancient Pathways offers a one-day course about surviving in the wilderness that includes such topics as water purification methods, what to pack in a survival kit and how to use a signaling mirror.

The three-day Survival and Evasion Course given at Ancient Pathways presents information about surviving on your own by taking advantage of natural resources with a minimal amount of equipment to assist you in surviving the elements. Topics that comprise this course involve:

  • How to build snares and traps
  • Survival weaponry
  • Making beef jerky
  • Eluding pursuers by covering tracks and using camouflage
  • Packing a bug out bag
  • Edible plants and berries
  • Emergency first-aid

Ancient Pathways, as with most survival schools, offers instruction about urban survival techniques in the event you are trapped in a metropolitan area following a disaster. Topics covered in the program include when to "bug out" and when to remain in your home, learning to live "off the grid" and prepping for food, water and medical assistance shortages.

Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School

Established in Catawba, Virginia at 57 Hemlock Ridge Lane, the Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School gives comprehensive instruction concerning all aspects of wilderness survival skills. Topics in a typical two-day and one night course include:

  • Maintaining a positive attitude
  • Wilderness first aid techniques
  • Constructing an emergency fire
  • Procuring food and water
  • Reading compasses and topographic maps
  • The art of concealment and camouflage

Survival Training School of California

As one of many outdoor survival schools located in California, the Survival Training School of California lies about two hours north of Los Angeles in the Tehachapi Sand Canyon Village site and offers an in-depth, hands-on, practical skills training program intended to help attendees survive in the wilds. Students taking any one of the school's courses will spend time in survival shelters constructed from natural elements, prepare food over fires and learn how to use basic survival equipment.

According to the Survival Training School of California's website, instructors strive to teach individuals how to be truly self-sufficient in the wilderness. Class sizes consist of less than 15 students at one time and each person receives personal instruction when needed.

Considering Outdoor Survival Schools

For people who are not familiar with survival techniques, enrolling in one or more courses given by outdoor survival schools is an excellent introduction to the art of urban and wilderness survival. However, reservations to attend these schools need to be made well in advance due to their overwhelming popularity, especially if an interested individual wants certain dates and times.

In addition, prices for survival classes vary greatly, from $90 for a one-day course to nearly $1000 for a three-day or longer course, which certainly seems a reasonable price to learn the skills of survival.







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