Basic Wilderness Survival

This 2-day / 1-night course is designed to teach the fundamentals of survival in a hands-on and direct way.  It allows beginners to acquire basic backcountry and camping skills while building their confidence in the woods, and it allows those with more experience to build on, and improve, what they already know.


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

Our Basic Wilderness Survival course is geared towards those who want to jump right in and learn survival skills in a hands-on and challenging environment.  It will begin and end with a trail hike.  Among other skills, students will learn: to tie basic knots and lashings; the basics of first-aid and prevention; how to procure water; improvise tools; and to confidently build a fire in various weather conditions.  Students will sleep in their personal tents.  They will use sleeping bags, and they may bring plenty of food and snacks.  Cooking can be done over the campfire or by using personal stoves.

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: 2-Days / 1- Night
  • Tuition: $250
  • Maximum Group Size: 8
  • Minimum Group Size: 4
  • Minimum Age: See below for details.
  • Start / End Times: 10:00 a.m. Day One / 12:00 p.m. Day Two
  • 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 11 credits hours in the Survival, Field Craft & Equipment subject area of its Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) program, but please note the WMS credit policy for all its accredited programs: “This course offers FAWM core and elective credits. 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:  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

Are bathroom facilities available during the course? Since Quebec Run is a designated “wilderness area” there is no infrastructure whatsoever, including toilets.  Relax, though, 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 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.

BWS Gear List

Basic Wilderness Survival – Course 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 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