Wilderness Survival Courses?
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Wilderness Survival Courses? on 12/03/2012 21:12:28 MST Print View

I live in Western Massachusetts. Where can I take Wilderness Survival or Wilderness First Responder courses near me? Is there a resource that can tell me?

I would take a certification program and pay the fee, or I would take a free course if it was accredited even if it didn't give me a certification. My goal is to increase my own safety and the safety of others that I hike with.

Thanks for any info!

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Wilderness Survival vs Wilderness First Responder on 12/04/2012 00:24:31 MST Print View

Wilderness Survival classes are likely to be very different from Wilderness First Responder classes.

Wilderness First Responder is an expensive, 8-10 day class in managing backcountry injuries and illness. Great WFR classes are taught all over the country by NOLS-WMI: http://www.nols.edu/wmi/courses/wfr.shtml. For other sources, try the outdoor programs at large universities.

Highly recommended.

Don't know much about Wilderness Survival classes. I think they are focused on finding or improvising water, food, and shelter in the wilderness.

Gerry Volpe
(gvolpe)

Locale: Vermont
survival on 12/04/2012 16:17:36 MST Print View

I have done both WFA and WFR in the past with SOLO in NH, a great outfit. I have also taken some survival classes at the Tracker School in NJ which are great though pricey and oriented toward primitive skills. It might be worth checking the outdoor programs at local colleges and universities, they sometimes host classes and open them to the public. The AMC website might also be worth checking since your in MA. I think focusing at least at first on a first aid class is the most applicable to backpacking. A lot of "survival", at least when applied to modern outdoor pursuits is really just advanced backpacking skills with first aid and crisis management. A good surival guide such as Tom Brown's series among many others, along with some practice can add the more immediate bushcraft type priorities such as improvised shelter, fire building, and water source selection if you feel so inclined.

Edited by gvolpe on 12/04/2012 16:18:47 MST.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Wilderness Survival Courses? on 12/04/2012 18:40:55 MST Print View

There is a considerable difference between "survival" (a la Bear Gryllis, etc.) classes and various safety and first aid classes. IMHO, if you're backpacking, it's probably more important to concentrate on the latter.

For NOLS Wilderness First Aid classes, here's the schedule:
http://www.nols.edu/portal/wmi/courses/wfa/
I noticed a couple in Massachusetts, but I don't know if that is near you.

Other than that, area mountain clubs would be your best bet.