Basic Wilderness Survival

This 2-day / 1-night course is designed to teach the fundamentals of wilderness survival so that you can expedite your rescue and return home with pride.

The goal of Basic Wilderness Survival is to provide you the skills and knowledge to respond with confidence to emergencies in remote or austere environments.  We will accomplish this by teaching you the same approach to survival that is taught in the U.S. military to bring home its valuable personnel by emphasizing proper preparedness, adaptability, and a realistic approach to improvisation.  We will also help you to make better decisions by showing you how to best manage the Seven Priorities of any wilderness emergency.

Shelter Lesson

You will learn in an active and hands-on way.  After a short hike to our base camp, you’ll immediately jump into learning: from basic knots and lashings to building an emergency shelter to discovering the Kearns Method to confidently starting a “knee-high fire in five minutes in the pouring rain” … Trust us, it can be done!

And don’t worry, you’ll get the best of military survival training without the hardships!  You will sleep in your own tent, use a sleeping bag, and may bring plenty of food and snacks.  You can cook using your stove, or, if you are feeling adventurous, learn to cook over open coals with your instructor.  All while having some fun while learning.

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.  Please check out the “Level of Physical Difficulty” description down below for this course so that you can get the most out of the it.

Here is an overview of the program:

  • Course Duration: 2-Days / 1- Night
  • Start / End Times: 10:00 a.m. Day One / 12:00 p.m. Day Two
  • Fee: $250 per person
  • Location: Quebec Run Wild Area (see below for more detail).
  • Maximum Group Size: 10
  • 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: Children 15-17 years old are welcome when accompanied by a parent or guardian.  In our private courses, there is no set age requirement as it depends on the specific group’s needs and goals.
  • Description of the Level of Physical Difficulty – Moderate:  This course involves 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 course is best suited for those in good physical condition.

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.  Relax, before we set out into the wild woods, we’ll teach you what’s needed to feel just like you are at home.  Almost.

What about the Coronavirus?  True North continues to follow all Center for Disease Control and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines to minimize transmission of COVID.  We recommend that you bring a face-covering to wear for those brief handful of times when you cannot socially distance.

BWS Gear 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 and camping 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.   Or you can even consider these rental options that previous clients have used with much satisfaction: