Best Wilderness Survival Schools

Of course, you can read tons of books about how to survive in extreme situations but there is an adage that there is no better learning method than practice. Surely the quickest way to develop wilderness survival skills is to join a wilderness survival school and get hands-on training supervised by an experienced instructor. These days there are plenty of different wilderness survival courses available, so selecting the one which is the best for you might be a problem. Below we offer you the list of the top wilderness survival courses you might consider taking.

Aboriginal Living Skills School

This school has been operating for over 20 years so you are sure to trust it. It specializes in training primitive living skills, wilderness and modern outdoor survival skills, urban, suburban and rural preparedness, and disaster survival. The school located in Prescott, Arizona, is run by Lundin, a world-known wilderness skills expert, one of the stars of Dual Survival and the author of several survival books.

Boulder Outdoor Survival School

Since 1968 Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS) has been training living skills, being the oldest and largest traditional survival school in the world. The school started from a youth leadership course at Brigham Young University initiated by Larry Dean Olsen who organized 30 day wilderness excursions for students to develop survival skills and adaptability. For ten years the course was called "Youth Leadership 480" and then it transformed into a separate organization in Boulder, Utah, and BOSS appeared.

Ancient Pathways

Started in 1989, Tony Nester's Ancient Pathways focuses on desert survival and primitive technology. With more than 20 years of wilderness teaching experience Nester offers a variety of courses in Arizona, including programs in primitive skills, wilderness survival, and bushcraft. This school emphasizes the importance of hands-on experience and application of field-tested practical skills.

Tracker School

Tracker School was founded in 1978 by Tom Brown, Jr, a famous tracker and wilderness survival expert. The courses offered at school are based on the teachings of Stalking Wolf, the Apache elder who taught Tom when he was young. Now the school provides more than 75 classes across eight course tracks, teaching tracking, wilderness awareness, and survival. The courses take place in New Jersey, California, and Florida.

Wilderness Learning Center

Located in upstate New York, the Wilderness Learning Center boasts its private 537-acre classroom designed to develop wilderness survival skills that are peculiar to the northeastern climate. The center offers seven day long wilderness survival courses which objective is to train students adjust to and survive when in wilderness. The school also runs courses in Vermont, North Carolina and Michigan.

Wilderness Awareness School

The Wilderness Awareness School is a not-for-profit environmental education organization offering wilderness survival courses in Duvall, Washington. Among the courses run by this school is a nine month residential program that covers a wide spectrum of subjects, including the principles of leadership, wildlife tracking techniques, primitive wilderness survival skills, wild edible plant preparations, nature-based mentoring skills, and others.

Mountain Shepherd

Located in Catawba, Virginia, Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School provides a number of programs created to help students gain experience in wilderness survival. Their basic course teaches seven priorities of survival (positive mental attitude, shelter, water and food, wilderness first aid, fire craft, signaling). There are also special courses in escape and evasion, as well as team building and training for organizations.

Related sites:,