Wilderness Survival 101


Join our instructors for a perfect introduction to the basics of wilderness survival. 

This 1-day course is designed to be an introduction to the fundamentals of survival.  It is a great way for beginners who are not yet comfortable with the idea of an overnight to begin learning about the backcountry and how to deal with wilderness emergencies.  It’s also a great way for even experienced outdoors people to learn or refresh important fundamental skills.

The focus of this program is a “Modern” one with an emphasis on basic skills, equipment, and preparedness with the expectation of rescue within 72 hours.  You will learn about the Seven Priorities of Survival (survival psychology, wilderness first aid, shelter, fire, signal, water, and food) with particular emphasis on shelter construction and fire building.  This course is a great way to learn basic skills, build confidence, and become more comfortable in the outdoors.

This course is geared towards participants of varying skill, experience levels, and backgrounds so no prerequisites are required. We only require that you bring the necessary equipment, your sense of adventure, and plenty of Positive Mental Attitude.  It involves a mix of “classroom” lectures and field training in an easily accessed, central location.  However, please note the “Level of Physical Difficulty” description below so that we can all get the most out of the program.

  • Course Duration: One Day (7 hours)
  • Tuition: $100
  • Maximum Group Size: 10
  • Minimum Group Size: 5
  • Start / End Times: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Minimum Age: See below for details.
  • Location: Various … See below for details.

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 – Easy to Moderate:  This course involves some walking and other activities over short 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 ready for an active 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?  Bathroom facilities will be available before and after this course, and at various times throughout the day.

Where is this course located?  We run this course in a mix of locations conveniently located near the city of Pittsburgh.  Our main sites include BSA Camp Guyasuta in Sharpsburg, and Harrison Hills County Park in Natrona Heights.  Upcoming specific locations are as follows:

  • Harrison Hills – April 6, June 29, August 3, October 5 (2019).

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.

Wilderness Survival 101 – 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.