Wilderness Survival Class
Basic Wilderness Survival Course Syllabus
Classroom Location: Norton, Virginia 24273
Course Goal: To acquire basic knowledge, skills and attitude essential to survive in the wilderness or in an isolated environment for 12-72 hours.
Course Length: 8 hours (The course length may vary depending on the instructor to student ratio and the participants’ abilities.
LESSON I: Introduction
• Course overview, objectives, goals and methods
• Safety briefing
• A brief discussion of the need for quality survival training
• Training Philosophy
• The importance of planning and prevention of survival scenarios
• General survival principles
LESSON II: The Psychology of Survival
• The will to survive
• This discussion highlights the criticality of the mind as the most important survival “tool”
LESSON III: Introduction to Basic Wilderness Survival Planning
• Pre-trip planning
• Crisis planning (Stop, Think, Observe, and Plan...make a plan and stick to it).
• We will demonstrate the importance of planning and its relationship to prevention and mitigating risk during outdoor endeavors
• The relationship between training, confidence, and survival
LESSON IV: Fire
• The importance of fire as a friend and tool
LESSON V: Shelter (20 minutes – classroom)
• The importance of having shelter in the wilderness to protect against the elements
Lesson VII— Introduction to Signals
Lesson VIII— Clothing
Lesson IX— Basic introduction to map and compass
Lesson X— Survival Kits
Lesson XI— Critical Skills Practical Exercise (4 hours – outdoor training area) The last half of the day is spent in the field honing the most critical survival skills:
• Fire-making – students will demonstrate their ability to start a fire by various means.
• Shelter-building – students will demonstrate building both man-made shelters (Tarp or poncho) as well as primitive shelters using only natural or readily available materials.
• Signaling – students will demonstrate the ability to use commonly carried signaling devices.
• Determine direction – students will demonstrate the ability to ID the cardinal directions, locate their position on a map, and determine topographic features. Determine the general flow of water based on terrain.