Desert Adventure Course (14-day)
Roughly one-third of the earth’s land mass is considered a desert environment. The Desert Adventure Course is designed to teach you the skills that are essential to a safe and enjoyable experience in a Desert and High Desert environment. This is a custom course that is only available once per year. It is a 14-day/13-night immersion course with a heavy focus on developing modern and primitive skills to further your confidence and ability to support your needs in this type of environment. Having the necessary skills in the desert will expand your outdoor opportunities by opening up this incredible environment for recreation.
The best way to learn is from a qualified instructor in a controlled setting to ensure student safety while learning and developing these skills. This particular course has two highly qualified instructors to teach you, guide you, and keep you safe while learning these essential skills: Joshua Enyart (the Gray Bearded Green Beret) and Kirsten Rechnitz (Desert Skills Lead Instructor).
Many take to the wilds of their choice for a number of different outdoor recreation activities. Regardless of what took you into the wilderness, your needs while in the wilderness remain the same: Maintaining your body Core Temperature with proper clothing choices, fire, and shelter; Hydration, Calorie Consumption, Rest, First Aid, Navigation, Signal, and the safe and efficient use of tools to facilitate it all. You can expect to learn how to provide for all of these needs during this course.
Students will learn:
- Essential Gear and Clothing Choices
- Primitive Friction Fire Techniques
- Primitive Desert Shelters
- Finding and Disinfecting Water
- Primitive Trapping Techniques
- Basics of Useful, Edible, and Medicinal Plants
- First Aid for Common Wilderness Injuries
- Basic Map reading and Land Navigation
- Emergency Signals
- Tool Selection, Safety, and Use
Click here for the Course Required Equipment List
There are no prerequisite courses for the Desert Skills Course. It will take place in Boulder, Utah.
Recommended viewing: Into the Desert with Kirsten Rechnitz
The Desert Adventure Course is NOT part of the GB2 Instructor Program as a required course. However, this is a highly recommended elective course for Instructor Candidates and Apprentices to increase your experience level and skillset in a challenging environment.
The course uses a “crawl, walk, run” method of instruction. Students will first be taught by cadre, followed by the student being required to demonstrate proficiency on their own. This culminates in being able to then perform these skills under various stressors to ensure proficiency.
This Desert Adventure Course is a “field course”. Students should expect to be immersed in a desert setting for the duration of the course. Restrooms are primitive and on-site. There is no electricity or running water. Vehicles will be parked in a student parking lot and are not accessible while taking the course. Students will sleep in shelters that they themselves construct and cannot leave the premises to stay at a hotel, sleep in their vehicle, or go to town for food.
Food will be provided via caches/drops during this course while you are out in the field and may be supplemented by foraging or fishing, depending on the exact venue. Please do not bring any food or snacks. You will be cooking meals yourself using techniques taught during the course. There will be no breaks for lunch. If you have a medical condition that requires it, you may bring snacks for conditions like blood sugar regulation. If you have any food allergies or other dietary restrictions you will need to bring your own food for the course. If you cannot digest fat (have had your gall bladder removed, for instance) or red meat (tick allergy) you will also need to bring your own food for the course.
Students should expect the potential for very hot weather, cold/wet weather, and primitive field conditions. Cadre and staff will ensure safety at all times during the course. You should arrive in reasonable physical shape with the required equipment list. Expect to walk several kilometers per day carrying your equipment in addition to natural resources that you collect that are needed for individual classes. If you have sustained a prior hot- or cold-weather injury (heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, frosting, frostbite, etc.), please let us know as you are more susceptible to a repeat injury. If you have a previous injury or medical condition that may negatively effect your ability to keep up with the group or walk the required distances carrying your gear, please let us know so that we can discuss whether or not it is appropriate for you to attend this particular course. It is important to note that cadre will evaluate you upon arrival to ensure that you are fit enough to attend this course. It is recommended that you have a complete physical and are cleared by your Doctor to attend this type of training.
For safety reasons, students must continue to train and apply themselves to remain in the course. If you do not quit on yourself, we will not quit on you. However, if a student chooses not to continue training, or doesn’t participate in any part of the training, the student will be escorted back to their vehicles immediately and must depart the training venue. There will be no refund or credit given to take the course at a later date. Students may not depart the training area and return at a later time.
Please see our course cancellation policy HERE
Do I need gear?
Yes. Please see the Packing List link above for details.
Are there prerequisites?
No. There are no prerequisite courses for the Desert Skills Course.
Is this course beginner friendly?
Yes, this course is suitable for beginners who want to learn to survive and thrive in a desert environment.