Wilderness Skills Course
The Wilderness Skills Course is designed to teach you the skills that are essential to a safe and enjoyable experience out in the wilderness. This is the foundational course that many of our other courses will build upon to help you develop as a more self- and nature-reliant individual. This is a 4-day/3-night course with a heavy focus on developing the wilderness skills and confidence to support your needs in the wild. These wilderness skills are not limited to a specific environment; they can be adapted as needed to a number of locations worldwide.
The best way to learn these wilderness skills is from a qualified instructor in a controlled setting to ensure student safety while learning and developing these skills. Upon completion, students will have a newfound confidence that they will be able to handle themselves and continue to hone these skills on their own.
This is not merely a “basic survival course”. It is a much more comprehensive collection of wilderness skills that are primarily meant to enable you to better enjoy your time in the wilderness, while being safe at the same time. However, survival skills are taught indirectly during this course. In an emergency, a person with a solid foundation in wilderness skills can easily call on those same skills to provide for their needs in an emergency.
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.
This foundational Wilderness Skills Course is a prerequisite for the majority of our courses and is the perfect place to start. Regardless of experience level, the skills taught during this course need to be known and carried forward to subsequent core courses like the Bushcraft Skills Course, Primitive Skills Course, and the Winter Skills Course. The Wilderness Skills Course has a very unique, specific, and systematic curriculum that perfectly ties into the larger GB2 system of training. Courses from other schools and instructors should not be expected to adequately prepare someone with all the skills they need to carry forward into later courses and do not satisfy this prerequisite.
Wilderness Skills Students will learn:
Fire Craft Basics
Basics of Shelter
Foundational Knots and Lashings
Finding and Disinfecting Water
Introduction to Primitive Trapping Techniques
Basics of Useful, Edible, and Medicinal Plants
First Aid for Common Wilderness Injuries
Basic Map reading and Land Navigation
Tool Selection, Safety, and Use
Wilderness Skills Course Required Equipment List HERE
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.
Food will be provided for this course. You will learn how to cook over the campfire using the food provided (cadre will not be cooking for you). Food is very high in fat and protein, as well as plenty of vegetables. Due to time limitations, we will not stop for lunch. Please arrive at the start of training having had breakfast as it will be a long day training before dinner. Please do not bring any food or snacks. However, if you have a medical condition that requires it, you may bring your own snacks (to maintain your blood sugar for example). If you have a dietary restriction for any reason (allergy, intolerance, religion, cannot digest high amounts of fat, etc.), you will be required to bring your own food. We cannot accommodate “special” diets and will not accept liability or responsibility for accommodating them. No adjustment of the course tuition price will be made in these cases. If you have a dietary restriction please let us know.
This course is a “field course”. Students should expect to be immersed in a wilderness setting for the duration of the wilderness skills course. Restrooms are primitive (portable toilets) 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.
Students should expect the potential for 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 (usually no more than 3-5km) carrying your equipment in addition to natural resources that you collect (usually no more than 15-35lbs) 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.
For safety reasons, Wilderness Skills 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 can 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.
21-24 APR New York: Joshua Enyart
21-24 JUL Embden, Maine: Joshua Enyart
Please see our course cancellation policy HERE
Recommended reading: Surviving the Wild by Joshua Enyart
Recommended viewing: Into the Woods starring Joshua Enyart
Is there a prerequisite?
No. This Wilderness Skills course is the prerequisite for most of our other courses.
Do I need gear?
Yes. Please see the link directly above for details.
Will the weather be nice?
We certainly hope so, but we highly recommend being prepared for all weather!