Advanced Wilderness Survival


This 4-day / 3-night course is designed for those seeking to learn the fundamentals of wilderness survival in a more physically demanding and hands-on learning fashion.  This course definitely isn’t for everyone … But those few who do finish it, typically give it a thumbs up and show a happy (though weary) smile!


This course is approved by the WMS for credits in its Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) program. See details below.

Our Advanced Wilderness Survival course will help you discover why the folks at Survivor’s Edge named True North one of it’s Masters of Survival in it’s list of “Top 10 Survival Schools.”  That’s because it’s designed to reflect the demands of a genuine survival situation.  It is geared towards those seeking a more physically and intellectually challenging learning experience with minimum equipment.


Signaling Exercise

This course will be begin and end with an off-trail hike.  Among other skills, students will learn: to tie basic knots and lashings; the basics of first-aid and prevention, and how to deal with potential life threatening injuries (like snake bites); how to procure water; improvise tools; and to confidently build a fire in all types of weather conditions … including rain.  Students will learn basic and advanced principles of land navigation.  Students will sleep, not in tents, but rather in improvised emergency shelters that they construct earlier each day.  They may not bring sleeping bags or pads.  Students may not bring any food or snacks – instead minimal provisions will be issued at the start of the course.  All cooking with be done over the campfire.  Students will be tasked with various projects and challenges throughout the course.

This course is geared towards participants of all skill levels and backgrounds so no particular experience or athletic ability is necessary. We only require that you bring the necessary equipment, your sense of adventure, and your Positive Mental Attitude. From there, we will work together to take care of the rest. However, please note the “Level of Physical Difficulty” description below so that we can all get the most out of the program.

  • Course Duration: 4-Days / 3-Nights
  • Tuition: $550
  • Course Limit: 8
  • Course Minimum: 4
  • Start / End Times:  10:00 a.m. Day One / 12:00 p.m. Day Four
  • Location: Quebec Run Wild Area (roughly 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh)
  • Quebec Run Wild Area

    FAWM Credits:  This course is approved by the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) for 24 credit hours in the Survival, Field Craft & Equipment subject area of its Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) program, but please note that per WMS credit policy for all its accredited programs: “Actual credits awarded depend on personal credit needs and history as determined by the Wilderness Medical Society.” For more information or clarification contact us, or the WMS directly. For a detailed course breakdown, please visit their Activities Eligible for Fellowship Credit and click on the course listed in the schedule, or contact the WMS directly.

After their registration is completed, students will receive a detailed course information sheet which will contain all of the applicable details, like required and recommended gear, exact location, driving directions, etc.

Description of the Level of Physical Difficulty – Moderate to Strenuous:  This course involves multiple sessions of hiking with laden backpacks, walking and other activities over varying distances at a steady pace over varying terrain that will include off-trail sections, rough spots, unexpected obstacles, and low to steep inclines and declines.  This course is conducted in varying weather conditions, including hot, cold, humid, rain, wind, and snow, or a mixed combination.  This is a physically active course, with only 2,400 calories issued for the duration of the program, so it is best suited for those in good physical condition and ready for a fast paced day.  If you have any questions, or would like some guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Check Out these Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

Are bathroom facilities available during the course? Since Quebec Run is a designated “wilderness area” there is no infrastructure whatsoever, including toilets.  Besides, if you are interested in this course in the first place, I’m sure you’d feel let down if we answered “Yes.”

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.

AWS Equipment List

Advanced Wilderness Survival – Equipment List

What kind of gear do I need to bring?  If you would like a better sense of what gear you need to bring on the course, or optional gear to consider, then check out the equipment list that will be included with the course information sheet (just “click” on the image to enlarge).

However, since one of our course goals is to teach you about survival gear, plus offer you a chance to “test drive” it before you buy it, if you don’t have an item, don’t necessarily feel compelled to buy it right away … especially if it’s expensive.  Instead, contact us to see if we can loan you an item or make a recommendation for purchase.