Wilderness survival skills courses

To stave off the blues, I want to study survival skills this winter, with a focus on historical practices especially. You know, what did people do before they had all the gear? I have some basic knowledge but would like to go further.

I have googled a couple of online courses that are pretty reasonable and I thought this might be more entertaining than simply reading a book. Some of them seem to have the option to then attend hands on classes in shelter building, etc.

Basically, I am looking for suggestions on books or online learning. Curious if anyone has used online interactive classes from some of these organizations.

I really, really want to avoid anything with a religious/doomsday slant. ; )

REALLY great reading…
Follow internal links, and where the pictures are too small, click on them for larger ones.


I took an online course through
the local community college. It was actually quite fun, and I did it with the intentions of getting more into backcountry hiking & backpacking. Paddling is still pulling more time for me, but the course was decent. For a $69 fee, I couldn’t complain, and I learned a few things.

survival skills etc.
I can recommend this book:


Also, if you are really into into it, you can take one of these courses:


Tom Brown Schools
Google Tom Browns Tracking and survival schools. he is the best, hands down.

yeah yeah yeah
many thanks. This is great. This is the type of stuff I am looking for. You do not have a copy of the book you recommended by chance, Canoe-Junkie?? Looks like it is out of print. I will search for it as well.

PERFECT! Gracias!!!

Also look
for “Tom Brown’s Field Guide- Wilderness survival” Practice techniques at home before trying to apply them in the wild.

Yes, I have a copy. I usually have success finding hard to find books through bookfinder, which searches many online sellers.


I see now…
The reason it’s coming up as out of print is because the name has been changed. Try:


Thanks it looks good
I am going to see if I can find a cheaper used copy or possibly library. I found a couple on survival doing a library search, but not this one, yet. Thanks for the info.

Now, how do I get the town board to give me a building permit for my new, home-made dwelling? ; )

I will soon be teaching
survival techniques at the Hillsborough River State Park if the program doesn’t get cut by winter. It’s still in the discussion stage. We’re not offering it yet as everything’s up in the air as of now due to budget cuts throughout Florida Parks System. If the program holds together this course maybe offered as a freebie. If so you’re welcome to join us. It will concern the Florida Wilderness so I don’t know if it will help you where you live.

After scanning your profile it may interest you to know Skippers Smokehouse restaurant and oyster bar has live blues playing quite often outside in the “Skipperdome”. Maybe you’ve heard of it. They’ve had some top blues talent (Savoy Brown, NRPS, Bobby Blue Bland, John Mahall to name a few). Check it out on the net.

That sounds wonderful!
Too bad I am not closer, I would love to take that. I will add it to my list of things to do. I need to clone myself. I have all these hiking and canoeing trips I want to take in a variety of states; I want to build a birch bark canoe in Washington; go stay in a primitive shelter in Maine for a week; and now I will add your class! Someone needs to sponsor me to do these things.

“How To Think Like a Survivor”…Amazon
This book is about attitude and ways to prevent or minimize the survival scenario…It includes winter info as well. A good Boy Scout can show you how to make a framed shelter, watching animals can show you how to stay warm. Check out my book in the library, maybe it can help.

Tom Watson/Author:How To Think Like A Survivor".

hmmm…I might be a little late posting this. Looks like an older topic.

Have you ever thought about just getting some dvd’s? These are supposed to be really good–can’t speak from experience, though.



Never too late for new stuff here
I will check them out.

My long term career goal is to become a hermit, so I need to keep studying. ; )

please don’t! The world needs more outdoor-loving females, like you!

If you’re looking for more good survival info for free, you could check out this forum…


Lots of people who REALLY know their stuff there…but it is mostly geared towards people who are waiting for society to collapse. If you can overlook that stuff, it should be VERY helpful to you.

DVDs and Books are good BUT…
there are no substitutes for ‘hands on’ training. Example: I have a university co-ed with 3.5 years of enviromental sciences completed with very high marks. Yet, after the first day of working with me removing exotic aquatic flora on our local river and showing her how things function to become part of the river she informed me that she learned more from me in one day than she did in three weeks of classroom instruction.

Book learning’s fine but there are nuances in every type of enviroment (especially in Florida) that books just can’t cover. Take a survival course before making a go of it yourself or you may find the books and dvds letting you down in the most unexpected worst possible scenario.

No, I’m not putting in a plug for me. Take any survival course you want but take one before relying on a book to get your ass out of a sling.

Tom Brown is a great read -
Paddletothesea gulfcoaster ragadas canoe_junkie

  • are all right on. I would suggest, hands down…

    “Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival”

    (Survival School Handbooks / Tom Brown, Jr) by Brown Tom, Jr.

    Book (Paperback), 287 pages; Publisher: Berkley Trade (Apr. 1987)

    ISBN-10: 0-425-10572-5

    ISBN-13: 978-0-425-10572-6

    … THEN take the time to really practice the techniques. (One can modify the methods, like substituting a wood open-bottom box for a heavy rock so one can catch-and-release rather than kill small animals.) It is amazing to see how well some of the methods really work – like using a small sponge for gathering morning dew, or constructing an effective desert water still – or how HARD they may be to master. The psychological training is also quite important.

    Tom Brown’s other books are interesting and UPLIFTING too, especially “The Search”. His story about entering the wilderness with no clothes and no gear, except for a hunting knife, and coming out a year later, well dressed and well fed, and encountering a giant fully loaded garbage truck first thing (wow!) …priceless.

    Have fun!

I just finished the McPherson book. And, doing some reading about snow and debris shelters. I had to break it down into subjects because it is overwhelming to absorb it all. The McPherson book is encouraging because they do not approach it as doing something to “perfection” or to an “artistic” level, but doing it to survive. I tried to get in on some classes with them, but apparently they only do this for the military?

So, this will motivate me to get into the Tom Brown stuff. I had an ex-teacher who scoffed somewhat at some of his books, so have shied away a little. Sounds like he has a lot to offer so I will read some of his stuff with an open mind.

primitive stuff