None of our courses require any previous experience.  Simply bring the required items from the equipment list, your sense of adventure, and we’ll work together to take care of the rest.  All of our courses are kept small to foster genuine camaraderie among the group, and to give you the best opportunity to develop your skills, your judgment, and your confidence.

To help you choose a course that is right for you, please find below a brief summary. When you’ve found one that interests you, click on the appropriate link for more detailed information.  Upon registration, a detailed course information sheet and equipment list will be sent to you.

What is the minimum age required for our courses?  In our open registration courses, children 15-17 years old are welcome when accompanied by a parent or guardian.  In our private courses, however, there is no set age requirement as it depends on the specific group’s needs and goals.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Our land navigation courses are some of our most broadly popular programs, appealing to anyone who spends time in the outdoors: day hikers, backpackers, rock climbers, hunters, adventure racers, scouts and their leaders, to name just a few.  Our navigation courses are all taught using traditional map and compass skills without the use of electronic aids.

Wilderness Survival

Campfire CookingAll of our survival courses reflect a “Modern” philosophy in that we emphasize basic equipment, preparedness, improvisation of available resources, and the expectation of rescue within 72 hours (since 95% of all search-and-rescue operations are resolved within this time-frame).  Instruction focuses on the Seven Priorities of Survival: survival psychology, wilderness first-aid, shelter, fire, signaling, water, and food.

Our survival classes are primarily held in the Quebec Run Wild Area, a 7,441 acre undeveloped reserve within Forbes State Forest located about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in the beautiful Laurel Highlands.

Wilderness Medicine

South Dakota, Badlands NPGetting into the Great Outdoors is wonderful.  But sometimes people get hurt or sick.  And you may not be able to dial 911, and, even if you can, the dedicated folks at EMS may not be able to get to you right away.  Then what?  That’s when having training in wilderness medicine can make all the difference.  Not only will you learn how to deal with backcountry emergencies, but, better yet, you will learn how to avoid many of them.

We offer the following certification courses:

No matter which course you take, you will learn the fundamentals of wilderness medicine that will be centered around scene safety and patient assessment.  You will learn how to deal with traumatic injuries, like sprains, fractures, and burns, plus how to better manage wounds.  You will also learn how to deal with medical problems, like illness, allergies, and heat and cold issues.

Team Building

Our instructors haven’t just been living in a cave alone somewhere in the wilderness.  We have advanced degrees from some of the finest universities, and we’ve spent a lot of time in the corporate world too!

Survival in a wilderness environment really isn’t all that much different from survival in a commercial or organizational environment.  Our courses are a great way to promote teamwork, encourage new ideas, and inspire leadership, while dealing with limited resources and fears of the unknown.

We can custom tailor a program to fit the specific needs and goals of your business, organization, or group.  Contact us to learn how.

Adventures: Treks & Paddles

wild-survival-course-photoTrue North also runs a series of excursions that are intended, not only to be fun, but to provide an opportunity to learn more about the natural world that surrounds us.

After all, whether it’s a hike, paddle, or workshop, True North’s goal is to help you to confidently explore your world.

View upcoming adventures 

Private Instruction

IMG_2670Many times individuals or groups prefer more personalized instruction or have specific goals in mind. We can tailor a private program, then, to suit your particular needs, either at one of our training locations or one of your choosing.  This option is often a popular choice for families who want to spend time with their younger children while learning important skills.

Contact us for more information.


Erik is available to give a lecture to your group or organization.  Whether the audience is small or large, Erik works hard to make sure that all enjoy themselves and find it a meaningful learning experience.

Please contact us to learn more.