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 not be provided for this course:
You will need to bring enough food and snacks for the duration of the course. These should be meals that are easy to prepare and on-the-go snacks. 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 time will be given to prepare dinner.
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.
The course will be held near Lake George, NY.
Please see our course cancellation policy HERE
Recommended reading: Surviving the Wild by Joshua Enyart
Recommended viewing: Into the Woods starring Joshua Enyart
Wilderness Skills Course Required Equipment List
Is there a prerequisite?
No. This Wilderness Skills course is the prerequisite for most of our other courses.
Do I need gear?
Yes, and food. 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!
Corey Bashaw –
I came away from this course amazed at how much knowledge they were able to pack into those four days. Josh was always right there with the rest of the amazing instructors helping everyone along. I would recommend this course for people with no experience looking to really be brought up to speed in a professional and efficient process as well as someone who has a background in the bush. Whether you were on one end of that spectrum or the other you got the same time, focus, and attention to make sure you were getting it right. It felt shoulder to shoulder, all men given the same opportunity to succeed. ??
It’s been a little bit since I returned from Joshua Enyarts Wilderness Skills Course. Before I begin let me just say that I will not be getting into all aspects of the training provided. In doing so I would be doing both Joshua and members here a disservice divulging the methods and training implemented. I will say that Josh and his Cadre will no doubt get you squared away for being in the wilderness setting and being able to provide for your core metabolic needs. The information is presented in a straight forward no BS manner, without any fluff and ego stroking seen by countless others in the industry.
The course was heavy on the “minimalist mindset”, sticking to the recommended gear list was all that it took to meet my metabolic needs. During the initial gear dump many found themselves putting unneeded gear/weight back into their vehicles. The lesson learned by many at this point was that some gear falls under the “convenience” category. Sure, it may be stuff that you’d like to have with you, but wasn’t necessary to provide for your needs, provided one stuck to the recommended gear lists provided. In the course description Josh stated a 40 liter pack was all that was needed. I ended up going with a 39 liter (yeah, it’s actually a thing) with my bedroll secured beneath my pack and I had enough room to accommodate the rest of my kits shown in the graphics of this post.
Every day of the course had a jam packed schedule so you ate in the morning and at night. Anytime that you weren’t eating or sleeping you were either receiving course content, instruction, or training. The course would kick off at 0800 and went until roughly 2000 each night at which time you prepared and cooked your meals. The food you are shown how to cook was excellent and I truly can’t (and wouldn’t) attempt to describe it.
The first night at our camps it was cold, reaching somewhere between 34 and 36 degrees that night. Many of the students and cadre were cold. I was riding that edge but packed clothes specifically for sleeping in which were mostly made from wool. The real hero of that night was having two pairs of wool socks to sleep in. My bed clothing coupled with my heavy GB2 queen wool blanket made the experience tolerable and easily bearable the following nights. In addition to my bed clothing I utilized the GB2 bed sleeve that packed full of browse so that when laid upon and compressed I had 6 inches between me and the ground. I also kept my shelter low profile and tight to retain as much heat as possible. With the aforementioned shelter system dialed in I got to a point where it was downright cozy in my set up. The daily temperatures fluctuated greatly when the sun went down. Being sure to have the right layered clothing system was paramount for 24 hour comfort. Provided you had those layers in place you could always strip off or add on a layer as the temperatures and weather conditions dictated.
A portion of the course focused heavily on land navigation which admittedly I hadn’t done since my time in the army years back. I’ll say that having a Green Beret instructing you in land navigation is literally about as good as it gets. Joshua said himself that by the time the course ended he’d have us up to Snuff and he didn’t disappoint. His land navigation course was set up through thick brush, tall grass and varied terrain. Almost as important as my daily wear clothing was the supplemental clothing I brought. The moment we kicked off the land navigation of the course it began to rain, and seemingly didn’t stop well into the second day of land navigation. I packed for the weather and had brought one of my rain suits. I was happy I opted for the top and bottom coverage instead going with a poncho. Granted the plastic rain suit didn’t breath in the least, but I was grateful to have dry pants throughout the day.
Overall the entire experience was fantastic and the training I received was second to none that I’ve attended. With the Wilderness Skills Course in the rearview mirror I continue to train the skills provided from the course. My sites are now on the Winter Skills , Bushcraft, and Primitive Courses in Joshs course line up. To any of you looking into attending in person training I cannot Recommend the GB2 courses enough.
Phillip Reustle –
So many great things to say so I’ll do my best to summarize my experience at the SC WSC: 1. Josh Is knowledgeable, fun, and really cares about you learning the skills he teaches. Chad was awesome as well. 2. Lot of skills taught in this course. Navigation alone was worth this course. 3. Nighttime was a lot fun because you learn different foods to cook and get to enjoy other students around the campfire. 4. Challenges- weather can be unpredictable and terrain can be tough if not in shape but I was glad for the challenges because it’s just good training. 5. You get quality training, learn a ton of skills, and Josh brings all this great food – was worth every penny and look forward to the next level of training.
Rod Yewell –
As an older fellow I was somewhat reluctant to sign up for this course but it was on my bucket list. It was a challenge from the first day, and I wanted to tap out the first two days. One of the instructors had to motivate me just to get up the first hill. Then it started raining, I stuck with it and so glad I did, learned what I expected to and a lot about not quitting. I made it through with a lot of scratches and bruises, and a new found self confidence of survival. After the 4 days while driving home I was wishing I was still there learning more. Gb2 and staff does an outstanding job on preparing you for the wilds. Looking forward to the next courses next year. And thankful for the experience and education.
Douglas North –
I took the GB2 Wilderness Skills course in the fall of 2021 in New York state. The course provided me with a fundamental set of skills for spending time in the wild. It also set me up for taking on more advanced training down the road.
We covered knife use, fire craft, shelter construction, land navigation, trapping, knots, wild plants, water purification, wilderness medicine, and more.
Every aspect of the learning environment contributes to your education – from where you sleep, to how you eat, working with others, and managing your personal resources. You will also learn to get the most from your gear. We put our equipment to the test and learned clever alternate uses for a lot of it. You can’t find this stuff in a book.
The land navigation portions of this class alone would easily justify the price. You get the theory, then you put it into practice right away. This solidifies the lesson and makes it clear how invaluable this skill really is.
Josh Enyart’s instruction is clear and organized. You can be sure that you are learning the right skills, in the right order, and done the right way. Students will find themselves among a cadre of teachers who are there to provide guidance anytime it’s needed.
The course succeeds in challenging you to push your limits without being gratuitously difficult. It was clear that the goal was to teach the students, not push us to failure.
If you want to take your wilderness skills to the next level, I highly recommend this course. Take it; you won’t be sorry.
Short: Take this class. Read the book first. Get all the gear on the gear list. After that all you need is clothing layers.
Long: I’ve been tracking Josh for years, and a lot of careful strategic planning went into my signing up for his course/s. Weeks before the course, while texting my best friend pictures of our kids, I mentioned I had signed up to take a wilderness course with “a Green Beret dude”, being vague thinking my buddy wouldn’t know the reference. Next thing I know, he called me and said when he heard I was taking the course he signed up too without any hesitation. Apparently he was tracking GB2 as well for years and somehow we never mentioned our interest in him to each other. The next few weeks were spent scrambling to get all his gear together. The Admins were a huge help in guiding us getting the right stuff, in the end saving us both money, which we appreciated very much.
So as we’ve done since we were kids, we decided to have as much fun as possible. We made a plan to simulate we had been caught off guard by some sort of disaster, were headed into a survival situation, and would be wearing exactly what we normally wear during everyday life– i.e. jeans and cotton heavy-metal t-shirts, of course. We planned to do go through the whole experience with this intentional disadvantage, because that’s probably how it will actually go down when SHTF. We also planned to bring our bug-out bags, for better or worse, in their current and imperfect conditions, just to test having to throw our gear in the trunk, hitting the road and meeting up in the mountains.
We learned a lot and had a blast. “This is totally-bucket-list!” is what we kept saying to each other throughout the course. The harder/colder/wetter things got, the better the memories we made. Though completely unplanned and unexpected, it was an awesome experience to go through with a good friend, and I can’t recommend that enough.
P.S. We ended up glad we had jeans as a durable work-layer when sawing and dragging trees through the forest, a layer we didn’t mind getting muddy and grubby while bush-crafting, instead of trashing nice expensive hiking pants.
The GB2 program curriculum is simple, straightforward, and strong. It builds upon itself in ways that give you a compounding sum of solutions — there’s a synergy to the GB2 method that anticipates the mindset and priorities you will need to have when surviving in the wilderness. You learn to use your tools, then you learn about resources all around you, then you learn how each of those resources have multiple uses and applications, which you learn to make the most of by using your tools.
The instructors brought a ton of enthusiasm for all the different topics covered during the course. Our class had a sweet ratio– pretty sure it was one instructor per four students. So you learn as a class lecture, then you split up and do what you learned– in my case my buddy and I worked together, helping each other and/or making fun of each other– in a safe and challenging environment. Meanwhile it’s totally laid back, with the instructors adapting the task at hand to each student’s level, showing a lot of skill and patience, and eventually bringing the group back together, up to speed and on to the next lesson. It’s a great learning-environment.
A cool aspect of the course I didn’t anticipate is the “unplugging” effect my buddy and I both experienced, at different times, both on the third day. It was a tangible sense of stillness. It was a peace that was well deserved after a hard day’s work, staring at the fire, listening to the rain in the trees. You realized that kind of peace is free, you realize it’s something that you need, and this course helps get you back out there to feel it again. That knowledge and experience alone is worth far more than the cost of the course itself.
I hope anyone taking the time to do their research, finding their way to this review will seriously consider taking the GB2 Wilderness Skills Course. For any number of good reasons you should know how to best keep yourself alive in the wilderness long enough to be rescued– or better yet– to self-rescue yourself and your kindred. This course will give you that.
Most of all, the experience was good for my soul, surrounded by like-minded folks, with a common purpose, focused on essential tasks. Josh is the real deal, and that saying a lot with a little. This course was 100% worth my money, and more importantly, my time. I’m on to the next one. And then the next.
So, I’ve done survival training in the (far) past while in the military, learned a lot but it was obviously not designed to be enjoyable. It was useful in that scenario and I’m definitely glad I went through it. But since that time, I’ve amassed many years of instructional experience at many levels, both military and civilian, both in theory and application, and have unfortunately become somewhat of an instruction snob. I find myself constantly critiquing different instructors, much like a veteran yelling at the TV when a military movie is on. They say teachers are the worst students, and that can be pretty true. Needless to say, I signed up for this course in CO, with a healthy dose of skepticism. Day one my partner was very excited to be there, and he asked if I was excited too. I just said, we’ll see … I’ve seen too many other classes where the instructors are all running around in camo like they’re in some ragtag militia, trying to be tacticool, prancing around in front of fanboys, bragging about their tap out rate, instead of being student centered and using sound instructional methodology to give paying customers as much knowledge and experience as possible. I can tell you from first hand knowledge, Green Beret, Ranger, and Seal Training Commanders DO NOT brag about their tap out rate. They hate it. Just means less folks through the pipeline to send downrange. In the civilian world, high tap out rate is the result of poor instructional methodology. I rant about this to frame why I was skeptical at best to pay for training from some Green Beret/Ranger dude. It took very little time for my skepticism to disappear and be replaced with the enthusiasm my partner had. Josh and his cadre were extremely approachable, knowledgable, and most important to me, highly skilled in creating challenging individualized instruction. I was surprised by Josh’s and his cadre’s quick wit and dry sense of humor. It was hard but it was fun. It was obvious they enjoyed teaching as much as we enjoyed learning. He has a unique building block system that continually raises the bar with the stuff you actually need to know to enjoy and be comfortable outside, not just to be able to shoot cool YT and IG vids. The land nav portion was particularly impressive. His technique is unlike anything I’ve seen in the military or on YT. The camaraderie was amazing. Pro tip! If you’re interested in taking this class, make sure you sign up for the GB2 membership. It will save you a lot of money! After the class, I also joined his Discord channel which is a small social media platform for members only (I didn’t know that was a thing). Josh and the cadre are on there literally every day, answering questions, sharing in student accomplishments as they continue to train, cracking jokes, and talking crap! I’ve since become great friends with them and the students from my class as well as others. He’s created the “GB2 Tribe” which has become a brotherhood/sisterhood of like minded individuals continuing to learn, and support each other. If you’re on the fence or skeptical like I was, just join the GB2 membership, sign up for Discord and see for yourself. Then you can talk to a ton of former and future students and the get low down straight from the horses mouth!!!
Brandon W –
I signed up for GB2 WSC on a ‘trial basis’. I was ready to spend money on anyone who didn’t come off as a tool on YouTube. I’d watched some of the videos online as well as the ‘Into The Woods’ and ‘Into the Ozarks’ films before showing up. Josh brought the show to NW Arkansas in April ‘21 and that was just too convenient to pass up. I convinced a buddy to go with me and we showed with only the packing list. It started like I didn’t know how much I wanted it to: gear shake out. Josh’s personality transfers flawlessly from the films and YT videos to in person. “Man, that’s a sexy compass; just like I carry” vs “Good luck with that Jackhole 9000 knife, bro.” Protip: set yourself up for some ‘in the dirt success’ by watching the vids and abide by the packing list. I don’t care if you’re a distance learning master – it’s just rewarding to get it in person. We worked until Late, capital L, into the night and it was cold for the suthren’ Midwest. We giggled happily as we dined on fat pots and stoked the fire – passing out every 15 mins for 16 mins of sleep. Back up the next day ready to roll on cowboy coffee and bannock (if you have to ask, pay the ticket and take the ride). Each day our austere conditions seemed a little less austere as we improved shelter, fire, woods living skills. The first landnav course finalized it for me. I don’t care what your background is: Ranger (scroll, bro) backcountry (for real) hunter, or salesperson (no disrespect there either) – you walk out of WSC fam’d up on real deal navigating and good livin’. Knife skills, fire craft, shelter building, resource management, primitive trapping – it’s all jammed into 4 too short days. Full disclosure: I showed up objective AF and left ready to join the Instructor Training Program. That in itself is an undertaking. Josh is a Professional (capital P if you haven’t caught on yet) instructor from many schools of professional instructor development- this isn’t a pay the fee, get the B type learning. I’ve been through graduate level courses that aren’t as thorough. Take the course, get your feet wet. Then decide: is this something more than a dalliance? If so – I’ll see you in the woods soon. Looking forward to it.
Julie Connelly –
I attended the Wilderness Skills course in November 2021 in the hills of Tennessee.
I was the only female of the 17 class members.
This could have been an intimidating feeling, but from the moment I arrived on site, I was treated with respect, care, concern, and kindness!!
All through the class- it was apparent that the goal was to make sure everyone was up to speed and help was given to show that we all were expected to finish the class and get a signed GB2 certificate. No one was left behind!!
I made sure not to skimp on supplies- and followed the packing list that was provided for the course- I didn’t want my lack of planning to be a reason I couldn’t finish. The recommendations on the packing list are well advised as they have been used, by Josh and the Cadre, and are known to be the best suited for what will be taught in class.
If I could suggest anything for a first timer- it might be – get some hiking with a backpack experience ahead of time!! We didn’t have to hike far, but when you’re not used to carrying 25 lbs up hill- it can make you doubt your abilities.
The skills taught were top notch! We learned several knot tying techniques, which aided us in setting up a rapid ridge line and our shelter.
We had land navigation two days, and I agree with some of the other reviewers, that this alone was worth the price of admission!! We walked to Identify various tree species for the best firewood, as well as for edible and medicinal plants. We were challenged in fire building techniques- to get our water to boil in a short period of time. There was a segment on first aid and for signaling and safety for hiking/or going out alone.
All in all- it was an experience that I can rely on to help me feel more prepared and self assured about my abilities! I’ve come home and found myself teaching others some of of the learned techniques! I find myself spending much more time outside- now that I’m home- because I want to practice and keep the momentum! I look forward to taking more classes with GB2!
And I love the Discord platform for asking questions or getting feedback almost immediately!!
I highly recommend the training to anyone who feels the draw to become proficient in skills that will keep you safe and more prepared in situations that would otherwise be daunting or difficult to navigate without someone else’s help or guidance. First hand experience and preparation is key- and to be taught and mentored through the process by such a seasoned crew is empowering!!
With Immense Gratitude!! “Sleeping Beauty”
Daniel Edmonds –
I had received teaching from Josh at another course and was excited to take a course from him that he had full control of in both content and experience. I was not disappointed.
The Wilderness Skills course just sets you up so well and lays a solid foundation for you to build on by yourself or with some of his other courses. Firecraft, Shelter, Water processing, Navigation, First Aid, Signaling and so many pro level tips that you will fill a notebook.
The content is rock solid and you start building the skills right away, there is little downtime. His approach is laid back and calm while still expecting you to be there to learn and make an effort.
His establishment of community is amazing as students blend with instructors and there is never a dull moment in conversation. Friendships follow you afterwards and are genuine in my experiences. That says a lot in our world today.
The class has built so much confidence in me and set me going on my wilderness skills path. It’s not just another class…it’s a life enhancing experience! Can’t recommend it enough.
For reference I attended the WSC in TN in November of 2021. A couple of thoughts on this class.
First, it’s the only “woodsman” class I’ve ever paid for. After taking a look at at several different programs and other instructors, I chose GB2 and his system. I say system because that’s what your getting, a tried and true system of learning, where class sizes are limited so there is an appropriate ratio, student to instructor. Wilderness Survival is the GB2 base class and all of his other classes build off of this one.
Second, join Josh’s YT channel, watch all of his free content and buy his book. Read it prior to attending a WSC and most importantly re-read it after you return from the class. For me reading the book after the class plus the dirt time from the class cemented the knowledge and skills in my brain. Also. Pay the $8 bucks a month to become a GB2 member. You get access to additional video content, a member discount on all purchases from the website (including live classes) and lastly, you’ll have access to the online Discord group…which is worth the eight bucks alone!
Third, use the gear that GB2 recommends and use the Discord group to ask the instructor cadre and fellow Discorders questions about gear…or any thing else that’s on your mind for that matter! Can you go your own route and buy your own stuff to meet the gear requirements? Sure you can. But trust me, don’t do it. Case in point I had a compass that met the requirement of the class but was not recommended. I kid you not, my first track on my first route in the navigation class, the dang thing came apart in my hands. I’m not hawking GB2 stuff, he doesn’t need me to hawk his stuff, but he’s been there, done that and has the t-shirt. Bottom line you get what you pay for, so buy once, cry once.
Fourth….some of the best time of the class is the time spent with your classmates around the campfire at the end of a long, exhausting day. You’ll meet people you probably would have never otherwise met, learn things you would have probably never learned and for me this was the best part of the course. I learned things about other peoples, cultures, countries, states, that quite simply would not have happened if not for the class. Oh, you also become a member of the Fat Pot Mafia….and that’s all I’ll say abut that.
So in conclusion, do what I did. Take a look at GB2 and the other bushcraft instructors. Look at their backgrounds, their teaching system, online presence, class offerings, class descriptions and make your own decision. In my opinion you won’t find a better group in the world because GB2 cares and is focused on teaching people who are hungry to learn.
Chief Stiches Actual Ends
john didomenico –
I am not a person who jumps into training without thoroughly vetting an organization and its instructors. After doing my homework I registered for my first GB2 Wilderness Skills course. The foundational course for the program. It exceeded my expectations in several ways. The content, structure, tempo, the instructors’ knowledge, and ability to impart that knowledge I’ve had a lot of different training experiences in many different forms and professions. I’ve been trained by high-quality instructors and some that are not. This is high-quality instruction from a true professional. One pleasant takeaway from this course that I was not expecting was the community that exists among the students. That doesn’t always happen organically. It takes nurturing from the Instructors. And that is what Josh and his cadre were very intentional in doing. I appreciate that. Several more GB2 courses have been added to my calendar over the next year as a result of my experience in this course. Enough said.
john didomenico –
I am not a person who jumps into training without thoroughly vetting an organization and its instructors. After doing my homework I registered for my first GB2 Wilderness Skills course. The foundational course for the program. It exceeded my expectations in several ways. The content, structure, tempo, the instructors’ knowledge, and ability to impart that knowledge. I’ve had a lot of different training experiences in many different forms and professions. I’ve been trained by high-quality instructors and some that are not. This is high-quality instruction from a true professional. One pleasant takeaway from this course that I was not expecting was the community that exists among the students. That doesn’t always happen organically. It takes nurturing from the Instructors. And that is what Josh and his cadre were very intentional in doing. I appreciate that. Several more GB2 courses have been added to my calendar over the next year as a result of my experience in this course. Enough said.
Matthew Allred (verified owner) –
I attended the Wilderness Skills course in NY in April of 2022. Reading Surviving the Wild by Joshua Enyart it gave a great primer to the skills I would like to learn. The hands on experience was nothing short of amazing. The cadre were all super personable, helpful and genuine individuals. You could tell they loved what they taught and have a genuine passion for it. Even though I was familiar with some parts of the course there was always some nuance learned that refined my knowledge set. 100% would recommend.
Becky Naughton (verified owner) –
I just returned from GB2’s wilderness survival course at the Lake George venue in mid-April 2022. I signed up wanting to learn some basics on navigation, but got so much more from this course. I have had some prior training in survival skills, but Josh and his team were able to give me some excellent tips and tricks to make me feel more confident in knife skills, fire craft, shelter building and team building. The instructors utilize a “crawl, walk, run” approach, which I found a great way to learn a new skill. The course was challenging, but very rewarding in the end. On day 2, I remember thinking to myself, “It would be so easy to get in my car and go home to my warm, comfortable house”, but I shrugged this thought off and kept at it. These experiences should be hard; they should push you and this is when the learning really happens. The venue itself was beautiful but cold, which added to the challenge of the experience. Mother nature will rarely give you those perfect sunny 70 degree days, so you should not expect to learn in such perfect conditions. You should expect to have some uncomfortable cold nights, but this will force you to assess and (hopefully) better your situation. The instructors will help you with this, but you need to make sure to ask.
Regarding the packing list… follow it! You don’t need more, but you should expect to put your gear to the test. You won’t be able to get a back-up jacket or tool from your car during the class, so make sure that what you bring with you is going to be versatile and appropriate for the expected conditions.
One of my favorite things about this course was the team building. It is a pleasure to come together with a group of like-minded folks to face a series of challenges. Maybe I was lucky, but my class worked together well. We all have our varying strengths and weaknesses, but together, as a group, we were able to use our strengths to the advantage of the group and overcome some of the limitations. I think that, overall,we all knew that we were there to help each other out and this showed in the overall success of the experience.
Overall, I would recommend this course to anyone, no matter your background or experience. Josh and the team provided a learning environment that encouraged questions, suggestions and openness. I look forward to signing up for more courses!
Christopher Urbanek (verified owner) –
This course is an amazing introduction to the skills that are necessary to “smooth it” in the wilderness.
Before I get into the course, I want to provide some information about myself so you know what experience I have with the wilderness.
As a young child I was never a scout, rarely went camping, and spent very little time without the creature comforts many now rely on. Although I always loved to be outside, I never received any training to do so without the security of a motor vehicle a short walk away.
As an adult, I decided to pursue the passion I always had, but never took the time to develop. I read books and watched educational films on wilderness skills, but never had the confidence to apply what I learned without the safety of a structured course.
I did research on a lot of courses and trainers over the period of about a year and none of them seemed right for me. Then I found Josh on YouTube, whose teaching methods just “clicked”. His method of teaching makes intimidating topics easy to understand, and I noticed the information I learned from his videos and book stuck around my aging brain far better than any others I had found.
I went into this course nervous about my lack of experience, but the feeling quickly left as Josh and the cadre made me feel welcome and comfortable.
Now for my review.
First, Josh’s teaching methodology that inspired me to join the tribe and attend the course worked even better in person than on video or print. He explains the “why” and not just the “how” of each topic, which helps cement the knowledge. He is incredibly patient and makes sure everyone grasps each topic before moving on.
Second, the cadre are top notch. They ooze knowledge and experience and can explain everything so that people at any level can understand. They are very talented teachers who provide the students with many invaluable tips to get them through the most difficult challenges. They know how to dish out a healthy dose of humor and make everyone feel more comfortable.
Third, the stressors Josh and the cadre use are just right. They were enough to make the inexperienced (like me) make stupid mistakes they could learn from, but not so much that any task seemed impossible or milestone unreachable.
Perhaps more important than all this is that we all had fun. Some of the best memories I have are of sitting around the campfire with the tribe, picking at our dinner, and chewing the fat.
I recommend this course to anyone of any skill level who is interested in improving their outdoor experiences. I look forward to meeting some of you at a future course!
Anthony Pasquale (verified owner) –
April 2022 Wilderness Skills Course
I guess saying ” Amazing ” would be an understatement. The Professionalism was the best I’ve have ever experienced. The Instructors are first rate. Now I have to say that I have done a couple of different ” Wilderness training or survival trainings ” in the past ( before covid ) but this was at a level I have never seen. Everyday was full, clear instructions and practice that let you learn and enjoy the process, almost felt like you could really do this well. Josh and his team go out of their way to make sure you have the skills and understanding needed not to just survive but to appreciate the wilderness. There were folks there that had far most experience than I and you could tell they were also learning something new and working the craft. I would recommend that whether an expert or a newbie you will walk away from this with a greater understanding of what and why things are done in a specific way ..and grow in that knowledge…. I actually enjoyed so much I might do the course again…See you out in the woods… Can’t wait for BushCraft Skills Course..
Jeff Carlson (verified owner) –
I’m not new to this type of training and this particular installment totals my classes with Josh at 6 now. My son and daughter have also been through classes with him before. This time we brought Mom along. This was her first go at anything like this. As always, the GB2 crew excelled with everything and we all learned valuable skills with just enough discomfort to add some realism. The curriculum at this course hits on all the basics and is probably the most comprehensive that I know of for a 4 day course. We were teamed up in “buddy pairs” for our exercises and I got to watch my son lead the team of my wife and him. He has quite a bit of experience in this subject, much of that thanks to Josh, and it was exciting to watch him lead his team and complete tasks without any input from me. I was with my daughter and that was a nice change of pace.
The medical portion of the course was filled with current legitimate information and delivered to us by a professional provider with actual experience.
I got to watch my wife build the first fire of her life and see how happy she was with the success. She had originally agreed to come do this for me as I have asking her to do it for years. She is an ultra endurance athlete like me and is often out in the backcountry on her own at events. It is a no brainer for us types to have these skills. I think something clicked on inside her because it seems she’s been bitten by the bug. She is putting together her own kit and has a quality puukko now to practice with. She wants to move on to the Bushcraft Class next 🙂 This class was a special one for me as I got to watch the whole family go through it. Any man can appreciate that as a husband and/or father.
I can’t emphasize enough the caliber of the folks involved in this program. World class is all I can say. I’m jazzed enough by it all that I enrolled in the Instructor Training Program and will be joining them to teach more people these skills. This is absolutely the group I want to affiliate with to do that.
Garrett Haines (verified owner) –
If you’ve been interested in an outdoor class but are undecided –this is the course for you.
If you have some or much experience in the woods –this course is for you.
1. We had people who had never slept in the woods – by the end of the training, they didn’t want to go home and were asking about the next course. — I want to stress this point. — If someone with little or no knowledge can take the course, have success, and leave with no regrets, that should be a clue as to the curriculum and instruction offered by GB2.
2. Experienced outdoor types got a ton out of the weekend. They could ask more detailed questions based on their understanding of topics. Comments were often, “man, I thought I knew this stuff, but Josh and cadre are on another level.”
3. The crawl/walk/run teaching methodology provides a positive learning environment with the optimal balance of patience and pressure.
4. The cadre has professional experience outside the GB2 program, adding dimension to the teaching staff. – instructors were also available for one-on-one tutoring at almost any hour.
5. Although gear is essential, Josh covered items that meet job requirements without breaking the bank. Further, the equipment for this course is used in future classes (no need to buy a totally different bundle just to attend subsequent levels). Finally, the paradigm holds that the more experienced you are, the less gear you’ll need. GB2 is there to teach you skills, not shake you down to buy their products.
6. To get the most out of the training, purchase the Surviving The Wilderness book. Skim or read it. Test your gear before arriving, and get as much walking exercise as feasible – all the better with your pack and some (you’re judgment) weight.
7. Read the reviews here. You’ll get a distinct impression that this is a positive learning environment where people have fun. If you have fun at an activity, you retain more, you’re stress decreases, and you’ll feel good about the time spent in the woods.
This course has my highest recommendation.