Come learn wilderness skills from Matt Tate and Joel Graves, the Hosts of the Netflix hit series Snowflake Mountain and, a couple of the best Instructors in the industry!
You’ll spend the first two days learning in a controlled environment, you’ll then be launched out into the wilderness for 3 days to put your newfound skills to the test!
This course is designed to quickly get you up to speed on some of the core fundamentals of wilderness survival and then, allow you some immersion time to pressure test those skills. During the first two days of this course, you’ll sleep under a tarp with a sleeping pad and sleeping bag in a controlled environment while learning wilderness skills (shelter, water, fire, basic traps, primitive weapons, knots, first aid, knife safety, etc). On the morning of the third day of this course, we’ll remove the safety net a bit and set you out on your own to utilize the skills you have learned. During your immersion phase (two nights / three days), we’ll guide you to a location where you’ll operate on your own, choosing a shelter location, setting up and establishing camp, and using your newfound skills to survive for the rest of the course.
However, we never fully remove the safety net in a training environment. Your Instructors will remain in the nearby area, periodically checking in on you to ensure your safety and to act as tutors/mentors throughout your immersion experience. In a nutshell, you’ll have as much or as little access as you choose during the immersion phase, to ask Instructors questions or get advice on how they might approach a particular issue. Some Students may have a high level of confidence, choosing to seek little interaction with Instructors during this time. Other students may need a little more advice throughout the immersion phase. Either way is fine; our goal is simply to have you get some independent “dirt time” with us nearby as a safety net and knowledge source. There is no better way to gain confidence in your ability to survive in the wilderness than to immerse yourself and put your skills to use!
You will be allowed to bring the following items once we enter the immersion phase of training.
Required items for immersion training:
- Backpack or bag
- Tarp (for shelter)
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Space blanket
- 4 Large trash bags / liners (clear)
- 100 ft. of paracord
- Cold weather clothing (Depending on the time of year – heavy coat, bibs, thermal underwear, beanie etc.)
- Extra clothing – 2 pair each of socks, underwear, t-shirt / undershirt
- Hat (optional) – boonie hat, beanie, ball cap, etc.
- Water filter – (We recommend the Sawyer filters or the Grayl Filters)
- Metal container / spork
- Ferro rod w/ striker
- Flashlight and headlamp
- Fixed-blade knife (you may bring multiple knives)
- Folding saw (Silky, Corona, Fiskars, Bahco, etc.)
- Rain gear
- Fishing kit (handline kit or small collapsible pole with small tackle kit)
- Trapping wire
- Small med kit (we will have a comprehensive medical kit on site as well)
- Any medications that you may need to bring with you
- Arkansas fishing / hunting license w/ trapping option
- Cell phone w/(optional) battery charger (solar battery)
- Recurve bow and arrows
- 100 ft. of tarred bank line
For your immersion phase, you will be issued:
- Small ration of rice
- Beef bouillon cubes
- Salt and sugar
Beyond your minimum-issued food rations, if you want additional food, you will have to procure it from the wild.
The days will be long, filled with learning new skills and gaining hands-on experience. Expect to be tired, although we always train with a “safety net” in place. We can simulate some of the stresses of a real survival situation by introducing fatigue coupled with whatever weather conditions Mother Nature deals us. This is an important part of the learning process because it will allow you to see where you notice subtle changes in cognitive processing, dexterity, coordination, and decision-making. You should be mentally prepared to embrace this part of the experience as it’s critical to personal growth, discovering your limitations, and discovering creative ways to approach various situations and scenarios.
Our goal is for you to emerge from this experience with a newfound confidence in your ability to face an unexpected night (or nights) in the wilderness.
After you’ve completed the course on the final day, you can look forward to walking out of the wilderness to a welcoming, hot meal provided by the staff, followed by student discussions about lessons learned during the immersion phase. Lastly, you’ll receive your certificate of graduation from the Wilderness Launch Course!