Advanced Wilderness Survival


This demanding 4-day / 3-night course will teach you how to confidently manage a wilderness emergency and become a better leader.

The goal of our Advanced Wilderness Survival is to provide you the confidence to, not only survive a wilderness emergency and expedite rescue, but become the leader that others will need. Most search-and-rescue missions conclude within a 72-hour timeframe where many victims only passively hope to be found.  Instead, our instructors will provide you the skills and knowledge to be proactive, and they will expose you to the mental and physical stressors that you’ll likely encounter — lack of resources; poor weather; fatigue; and hunger — so that you can bring out your best and demonstrate leadership.  After all, the essence of survival is really about protecting others.


Signaling Exercise

You will learn the same modern approach to wilderness survival that is taught to U.S. military personnel to bring them home.  You will learn such basic skills as knots and lashings; the fundamentals of first-aid and prevention; how to procure potable water; improvise tools; and to confidently build a fire in all types of weather conditions … including rain.  You will sleep, not in tents, but rather in improvised emergency shelters that you construct earlier each day.  You may not bring sleeping bags or pads.  You may not bring any food or snacks – Instead, you will be issued minimal provisions at the start of the course.  All cooking with be done over  coals.  You will be tasked with various projects and challenges throughout your training — And you’ll have the option of spending the last night alone on your own.  By the time that you’ve finished your course, you’ll have a better sense of risk assessment and management so that you can ideally avoid an emergency in the first place.  Regardless, you’ll be ready to protect yourself and others, then return home with pride.


From our anonymous course evaluation

This course is geared towards participants of all skill levels and backgrounds so no particular experience, prerequisites, 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.

Here is an overview of the program:

  • Course Duration: 4-Days / 3- Nights
  • Start / End Times: 10:00 a.m. Day One / 12:00 p.m. Day Four
  • Fee: $750 per person.
  • Location: Quebec Run Wild Area (see below for more detail).
  • Maximum Group Size: 6
  • Minimum Group Size: The course requires a minimum of four persons to run this training.  If we are unable to meet this size, True North will fully refund your payment with as much advance notice as possible.
  • Minimum Age: 18 Years.
  • 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:

What happens when I register?   One of our instructors will personally follow up with you regarding your contact information, basic medical information (for safety purposes), and our waiver.  Then we will send you a detailed course information sheet which will contain all of the applicable details, like required and recommended gear, exact gathering point, general driving directions.  For an overview of the gear list now, check it out further down.

Quebec Run Wild Area – Click to enlarge.

Where is Quebec Run Wild Area located?  Quebec Run Wild Area is a 7,441 acre reserve within Forbes State Forest, located roughly 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, along the West Virginia border.

Do you run this course for private groups?  Yes, just contact us for information and details.

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.”

AWS Equipment List

Course Equipment List – Click to enlarge

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.

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.

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