Other Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Week-Long (6 day) and the Weekend Class?

The Weekend Class is for those who want to be exposed to learning Survival Skills with limited hands-on” experience while the Week-long class will cover more topics and provide with the hand-on time to really learn the skills covered in class.

 The Weekend Class was put on the schedule for those people that can not possibly take a week off from work to learn survival skills.  The Weekend class has less detail and less “hands-on” time with the skills because we only have the weekend to cover the basics of Shelter, Fire, Water and Food.  These topics are covers more quickly and we omit Navigation, Awareness, Food Preservation and Plants and only have one real nightly “campfire” open discussion on any topic the class wants.

With that said, if you do take the Weekend Class AND go home and practice what you learned, you will gain the skills you desire and will be able to progress onto Survival 2 and the other Advanced Survival Classes we offer.

 Can children attend you classes?  My family and I are considering using one  of your classes as our educational vacation this year. We have a boy 10 and a girl 12 years old.

The classes that are listed on the web site are for the general public that anyone may attend, including you and your family. Children under the age of 17 must have a parent or guardian accompany them at these regularly scheduled classes. Since those under 17 years old will be learning and participating in all aspects of the class, they will need to register as another student (at a 50% discount on the tuition), just like the adult accompanying them.

Many  parents use the classes as an opportunity to become closer with their children since both the parent and child at learning new and fun skills together.  Teenagers typically do quite well with this, but I the youngest we’ve had in a regular class was 10, and that’s probably about as young as could reasonably fit without unduly distracting the parents and/or other students.   Also children under 10 may not have the arm strength for the carving of the traps we will be doing. Although we do teach certain special classes for young school children and scouts, including some overnight and multiday classes, they are structured and paced quite differently.

I can not get the time off when your class is scheduled but would love to learn Survival Skills.  What are my options?

If the dates of the regularly scheduled classes do not fit in your schedule, we can setup a “private one-on-one  class” for you (or  your family or  group of friends) at a time that is convienent for you ( and when we not teaching a scheduled class). It can be as short as 1 day or as long as 6 days (4 days are typically required to cover all of the material in our Standard Survival 101 class)

 The agenda for this “private” class can range from the same agenda that we follow for our normal Survival 101 Classes to a custom agenda that you and I design that emphasizes area that you (and your family or group) are most interested in. Most people that arrange for a private class simply want to learn all aspect of wilderness survival and self reliance, so our typical agenda is what they elect to follow.

 A private class will only be attended by those that YOU want there. No one will attend that you did not invite.

What is the difference between a Private Class and a regularly Scheduled Class?

If the dates of the regularly scheduled classes do not fit in your schedule, we can setup a “private class” for you (and your group if you have one) at a time when we are not teaching a class and you have the time to do a class. It can be as short as 1 day or as long as 6 days (4 days are typically required to cover all of the material in our Standard Survival 101 class)

 The agenda for this “private” class can range from the same agenda that we follow for our normal Survival 101 Classes to a custom agenda that you and I design that emphasizes area that you (and your family or group) are most interested in. Most people that arrange for a private class simply want to learn all aspect of wilderness survival and self reliance, so our typical agenda is what they elect to follow.

 A private class will only be attended by those that YOU want there. No one will attend that you do not know or have invited
  The most economic what to take a class is to sign up for a general public class that we have scheduled but many people are opting for a private class that is smaller in size with only you or only the people you want there.  As mentioned earlier, the agenda can be customized if you wish.

 The total cost of our 6 day Regularly Scheduled Survival 101Class is $695.  The per day cost of a Private class is  $200 for the 1st person, $150 for all others that YOU want to attend.

I have some Survival experience from another school and read a few books on Survival.  Do you require students to take your courses in order or can they skip a class if they feel they know the material.   In other words, can I take Survival 201 even though I have not done your Survival 101 Course ?

If you have perfected all of the skills we teach in Survival 101 then yes, you can “opt-out” of Survival 101. I don’t want to take your money for a class you truly do not need…however (read on).

By perfecting your skills I mean….. have you made and slept in several debris shelters, have you made and set dead-fall and spring snare traps, can you consistently start a 1-match fire, use Flint & Steel  or  start a Bow Drill fire in under 45 seconds. Can you use a map and correct for magnetic declination when using compass. Can you identify and know the Edible and Medicinal Plants in your area. If you can do all of these things call us and we can discuss your skipping Survival 101.

 So far, in 20 years, I have allowed 4 people to skip Survival 101 and go directly to Survival 2. Three (3) of them had trouble during the class and kept saying “you did not cover how to do this or that”. Our answer every time was “Yes we did in Survival 101”

 We truly teach more skills and pass on more information than any other Survival School out there (check our testimonials on Survival 101) so typically a class at another school will not give you enough knowledge to get the most out of Survival 201.

As far as reading survival books to opt out of Survival 101….its like reading a book on how to swim.  No matter how many books you read on swimming you really can’t swim until you lean the skill in the water, or better yet, have someone teach you how to swim.

I have  very little experience in the outdoors, in fact I’ve only been camping once in my life, can I still take the Survival 101 Class?

Yes you can.
Due to the wide range of backgrounds and experience of our students we designed the class to start with the basics, this way no one is confused or embarrassed about how much or little they know.  The class will quickly progress to the level we need to be at in order to get you comfortable and confident in the woods by weeks end.

 Survival and Self-Reliance in the wilderness is really knowledge based so if you pay attention and listen to the instruction you’ll have no problem in the class.

 

What will I need to bring to Class?

Actually all you really need to bring is a tent, sleeping bag, ground pad and knife (if you have one).  With that said here is a check list of things you may want to consider bring to make the weekend a little more enjoyable for you…

o  Tent with rain fly
o  Sleeping Bag  (at least a 40  o   bag summer / 20o  fall)
o   Ground Pad
o   Separate pair of Wool Socks to only be used to sleep in   (yes, even in the summer)
o   Mess Kit (Plate, Spoon, Fork, Knife, and Cup)
o   Sharp Knife   (We will have knives available for  purchase for $15)
o   Small file and small saw for assisting in carving notches in wood for traps  (optional)
o   Flashlight or headlamp
o    Long sleeve shirt   (for a possible cool nights or mosquito protection)
o   Tick Repellant   (Permanone Permethrin Spray is one type used on clothing only that works well)
o   Work gloves  (for gathering wood and handling hot rocks)
o   Towel and Bathing Suit (Burr Oak State Park / lake are 15 minutes away – a great “shower” substitute)
o   Rain Gear  (and footgear for rain and mud)
o   Personal Items   (anything you may want to have with you to make yourself more comfortable)
o   Notebook and Pen   (for taking notes)
o   Small frying pan 3”-4” in diameter (optional but nice to have when we make our Mountain man Breakfast))
o   Peterson’s Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants   (optional) – available at book stores or on-line
o   Newcomb’s Field Guide to Edible Plants (optional)  – both field guides are available at book stores  or  on-line
o   Small Chair  (optional but REALLY nice to have for your comfort around the campfire)
o   Snacks for your personal (or shared) consumption
o   Any of your own personal “survival gear” you may want to “try out”

I do not have a knife, should I buy one before the class?

No…during the class we will be covering types of knives to buy as well as knife sharpening and knife sharpeners.  I would rather you understand the basics of what makes a “good knife” before getting one. You can borrow one of my knives for the week or buy an inexpensive one for $15 that we will have available at class.

I have had a heart attach a few years ago, can I attend class?

We have had many people with various medical conditions attend the week long and weekend classes.  Our classes focus on the KNOWLEDGE and TECHNIQUES to do the skills and not on hiking you hours on end so the class relies very little on physical strength or endurance.  There will ne no extensive hiking or climbing at all during class, so if you can take a walk around the block, yes you can take the class.  However,lease let us know of your past medical history “just incase”.

I’m a vegetarian, what do I do about the meals with meat?

We have a number of vegetarians who attend class so we try to make a number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners meat-less.  However there are a few meals with meat and tuna.  At these meals we request that you make your own provisions to bring a meal with you that you can heat up on our stoves in the kitchen.  We will always have bread and peanut butter and jelly available for these meals as well as snacks during the week and your welcome to use our kitchen (or bring your own Coleman camping stove if you’d prefer).
Here are typical menus for the class and we reserve the right to modify or change any meal, this will provide you with an idea of what will be served during the week.

Go to Sample of Survival 101 Menu