For some people, the outdoors is a pleasant and easy experience. They can simply pack their bags and go off for a weekend away from civilization under the comfort of Mother Nature. However, if you’re someone like me, who is incredibly daunted by the thought of experiencing the wild first hand without proper supervision, then outdoor survival schools are just the thing for us.
In the coming weeks, I’m about to make my first outdoor survival school lesson. It’s a week long course designed to teach me the better part of living in the wild and surviving it. However, I didn’t go into this blindly, I had to choose the school carefully to go and learn the basics of survival. I started out by asking a few questions, which hopefully even you can use to find out which school is best for you.
The most important question you can ask yourself is how does a survival school work? Well, it’s simple; these schools teach you the basics of outdoor survival. Your trainers are experienced individuals, usually ex-military, who have been roughing it out for some time now. These trainers take you along with a group of people, into the wild. Here you learn everything from basic survival, such as food and water, to advanced techniques such as building your own shelter. Ask as much information about these instructors and trainers as possible. You’re handing your lives to these people and its better you know you’re putting your life into capable hands than to be unsure. Similarly, check the certifications, especially if it has affiliations that you can cross check with. Most survival schools also offer a money back guarantee, and while some might offer it as part of a scam, legitimate ones will always reimburse you should something go wrong.
You also need to find out if there are proper health and safety precautions. Some people don’t realise how dangerous a situation can get, and that’s where a well laid safety back up plan comes into play. When choosing a school always ask about health and safety, more importantly, you can also ask about any recent accidents that may have taken place. Remember, all these things are your right to ask, and if a company doesn’t have an answer that satisfies you then the company is clearly suitable for you.
Check out the school’s website to see if there are any testimonials by people. If possible, try and contact these people and ask them firsthand what their experience was like. Usually, company websites will have a forums section. These are message boards that you can use to find out as much information about the school and outdoor survival. Try and get as much information out of them as possible, because you’ll get genuine unbiased information from them whether they had a good time or not.
Finally, here’s a list of survival schools and their web addresses to help you get started.
- Wilderness Awareness School – http://www.wildernessawareness.org/
- Boudler Outdoor Survival School – http://www.boss-inc.com/
- Midwest Native Skills Institute – http://www.survivalschool.com/
- Mountain Shepard Wilderness Survival School – http://www.mountainshepherd.com/
- Trueways Survival School – http://www.survival-school.org/