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Essential Wilderness Survival Skills

What You Need to Know to Stay Alive in the Outdoors

- Online Survival Course by Alderleaf Wilderness College -


Essential Wilderness Survival Skills Course Details:
Location: Online (7 Modules - 12 Videos - 9 Handout Booklets)
Instructors: Jason Knight & Team

Purchase this Course

Ready to transform your experience with the outdoors?

Learn the core skills of survival - shelter, water, fire, and food - in a format that allows you to participate at home and at your own pace - with the Essential Wilderness Survival Skills (EWSS) online course.

Become competent in taking care of your survival needs in the wilderness. See the outdoors with new eyes – such as which plants you can eat and what trees can be turned into a fire kit.

Come away with practical life-saving skills, a deeper relationship with nature, greater confidence, and resources to share with your family & friends in emergencies and for fun.

In this course you will:

  • Understand the survival mindset
  • Learn how to build natural shelter
  • Experience how to make fire from friction
  • Learn how to find and purify water
  • Understand how to safely forage for wild foods
  • Know how to better prevent and prepare for emergencies

Throughout the course we guide you through each skill step-by-step with videos in each module and accompanying handout booklets. Core concepts are emphasized and reviewed, with options to explore additional related skills. 

You can complete EWSS in as short as a weekend (as a crash course), though most spread it out over a few weeks. Once you join, you'll have access to the course materials for two years. There are no tests and no homework (other than suggested projects). We've designed the course to be fun and empowering!

The Essential Wilderness Survival Skills Online course includes:

  • Seven Training Modules with Twelve Detailed Video Lessons 
  • Nine Handout Booklets (over 87 pages!)
  • Lessons on Survival Concepts, Natural Shelter, Water Purification, Friction Fire, Wild Edible Plants, Survival Kits, Navigation & More
  • Recognition of Completion document at the end of the course

Take advantage of our years of experience teaching thousands of students to accelerate your own learning!

Instructors: Jason Knight and Team: With a wealth of knowledge and many years of experience, each of the instructors bring a high level of instructional excellence and professionalism to the course. Lead instructor, Jason Knight, has been teaching wilderness survival skills for over twenty years. He is the director and co-founder of Alderleaf Wilderness College. Jason has consulted as a local wilderness skills expert for the Discovery Channel's Dual Survival program and the award-winning film, Captain Fantastic. He is also a seasoned wildlife biologist & certified senior tracker that has managed mountain lion studies for the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife and contributed to the field guides "Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest" and "Tracks & Sign of Reptiles & Amphibians".


"Awesome course! I've been a hobbyist survivalist for about 7 years now, but your course brought many new pieces of information to the table! I can't wait to practice what I've learned!" -Joe Littlehorn

"I absolutely love this course on Essential Wilderness Survival Skills. The videos were precise and to the point which help to keep me on track to listen and learn. Thank you!" -Cheryl Wyatt

I am currently a Scout Leader and have spent many years hiking, camping and enjoying the outdoors. The importance of being prepared is priceless. I have taken several wilderness survival courses in the woods and have read books. I highly recommend this course! I learned new stuff. Worth the time and cost! Thank you for sharing! -Luis Cuadrado

"Essential Wilderness Survival Skills is a very nice introductory course for anyone interested in learning wilderness survival skills and also provides resources to further ones study beyond this class. It is apparent that the instructors are knowledgeable and have practical experience in the skills presented. It includes lessons covering a basic introduction, shelter, fire, water, useful plants, food, navigation and survival kits. It provides a basic understanding of the skills needed to survive a couple unexpected nights in the woods and is very applicable for anyone who spends recreational time in the outdoors including hikers, campers, hunters, etc. The program is designed to demonstrate a skill through the videos and handouts with the expectation that the student then go out and perform the skill independently. By following their program you address each skill needed in a survival situation in the order of importance with explanation as to why that particular need should be addressed in its respective order. They proved to be readily available with very quick responses to questions or comments and it was an absolute pleasure to talk with them. I would recommend it for anyone who is trying to get started in wilderness survival skills but find it difficult to attend a hands on class. There is no question that learning skills in the woods with a qualified instructor is the standard but for those with a busy life or without access to a local instructor this is absolutely a good place to start. I have not taken any of their on site courses but based on my experience I would love to have the opportunity to visit their school someday!! Thank you!" -Rocky Hollow

Course Contents:

Module 1: Core Wilderness Survival Concepts
- Wilderness Survival Concepts: The Foundation (video lesson)
- Survival Concepts Handout Booklet (pdf)

Module 2: Wilderness Survival Shelter
- The Debris Hut: Staying Warm & Preventing Hypothermia (video lesson)
- Survival Shelter Handout Booklet (pdf)

Module 3: Survival Water Purification
- Obtaining Clean Water to Prevent Dehydration (video lesson)
- Purifying Water with Natural Materials (video lesson)
- Rock Boiling Handout Booklet (pdf)

Module 4: Survival Fire Skills
- Fire from Natural Materials (video lesson)
- Bow Drill Demonstration: Step by Step Guidance (video lesson)
- Bow Drill Handout Booklet (pdf)
- Fire Making Basics: Solidifying a Core Skill (video lesson)
- Basics of Fire Handout Booklet (pdf)

Module 5: Survival Foods
- Wild Edible Plants: Abundant Survival Foods (video lesson)
- Wild Edible Plants Handout Booklet (pdf)
- Practical Survival Protein: Higher Calorie Opportunities (video lesson)
- Practical Survival Protein Handout Booklet (pdf)

Module 6: Preparation & Prevention
- Survival Kits: Know What to Bring on Every Outing (video lesson)
- Survival Kits Handout Booklet (pdf)
- Navigation: Prevent Emergencies and Find Your Way Out (video lesson)
- Survival Navigation Handout Booklet (pdf)

Module 7: Bringing It Together and Further Resources
- Wrap Up & Review & Where to Go From Here (video lesson)
- Recognition of Completion Certificate (pdf)

- How to Make Survival Cordage from Plants (video lesson)
How to Make a Hand Drill Fire (video lesson)
The Many Uses of Stinging Nettle (video lesson)
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes (video lesson)
Wild Edible Plants Recipes (pdf)

Taught by Alderleaf Wilderness College

Alderleaf is one of the leading wilderness schools in the United States, offering training in wilderness survival, wildlife tracking, ethnobotany, permaculture, and outdoor leadership.

Course Price: $297

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