Author Topic: Wilderness Survival Schools  (Read 42097 times)

Offline Gray Ghost

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Wilderness Survival Schools
« on: January 31, 2010, 03:16:05 PM »
I have been casually looking at wilderness survival schools for the past year. Currently I am going back and forth between the Tom Brown Jr school and the RAT Survival School. Has anyone been to one or both of these? Recommendations on other schools? Pros, cons, etc?

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2010, 06:12:17 PM »
I don't know anything about those two schools.  I do know that there are a LOT of people who think that Tom Brown Jr. is a fraud, and won't have anything to do with him (but I'm not terribly sure of their reasons, so that's all I can give you).

I know these guys: http://www.weteachu.com/

And I highly recommend them, because they're good people, and I've worked for them in the recent past.

Offline marauder

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 06:19:47 PM »
If you are looking for a primitive living skills class, the Tom Brown school is probably the best one in the world. 

Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2010, 02:22:26 PM »
If you are looking for a primitive living skills class, the Tom Brown school is probably the best one in the world. 

He seems to be quit the polarizing personality. People seem to either love him or hate him.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 04:22:06 PM »
He seems to be quit the polarizing personality. People seem to either love him or hate him.

That's what I was thinking too.  I don't know the reasons for hating him though.  I just know that some people really do not care for him, his books, his knife, or his school.  *shrugs*

I went back and read some threads about him on another board after I saw that Marauder loves his school, and I guess PART of the issue is that his books are largely fiction, according to hard-core survival type of people.  They say that half his suggestions do not work at all (or are totally impractical), and the other half aren't done the way he suggests things be done.  I don't know that from personal experience, though, since I've never bought anything from him.

Also, if I remember correctly, Nutnfancy HATES the tracker knife.  He says that it's far too heavy, not well balanced, and is a joke as far as a survival knife goes.

But again - that's somebody else's opinion.  I don't have a tracker, but I do respect Nutnfancy a LOT, and will listen to him regarding that knife.  You gotta make your own choice there.

Whatever you choose, I'd love to read about your experience, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.  Please post it here!  :)

Offline longrifle

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 04:39:33 PM »
I have the tracker knife. nutnfancy is about right, not he best survival knife out there for sure, but it does look cool! ;D
I carried it this last deployment in Iraq, works great for opening MRE's and scaring bad guys. tried using it to skin a critter a couple months ago, didnt work so hot for that.

longrifle

Offline marauder

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2010, 07:34:31 PM »
The tracker knife is a POS.  I'd rather use a folder from Gerber. lol. 

You have to view my post within the context of learning "primative living skills."  If that tickles your fancy, his school is the best.  I had the opportunity to take his basic "tracker"  course for free.  It was way too Native American and "loin cloth" for my tastes.  Did I learn a lot?  You bethca.  How much is practical?  I don't know about you, but I don't forsee myself being in a pitch pine forest, half naked, carrying nothing but a 6 inch fixed blade knife.  lol. 

I've had the opportunity to take other classes and "train" with other people.  I much prefer a more modern method.  While not a "tacti-cool fool" I'm much more of a "tactical to practical" kind of guy and I take that approach to my gear buying and my daily carry or dressing style. 

If you only have budget to take one class in the immediate future, I would NOT suggest you take this one.  If you are looking to round out your training or are looking to get in touch with your Crazy Horse roots, this is the class for you. 

I would very enthusiastically recommend the Urban Escape and Evasion course taught by On Point Tactical.   Much more practical and if we use our risk assessment matrix, much more likely to be put to use.

Offline marauder

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2010, 07:42:17 PM »
To add, the reason he is polarizing is that he breaks one of my cardinal rules.  He thinks he knows everything. Unfortunately, that seems to be a prevailing trait amongst survival "gurus."   He doesn't take a holistic view to his courses.  His way is THE way. 

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2010, 09:51:21 PM »
Oooohhhh, I've been wanting to take the Urban Escape & Evasion course from On Point Tactical for a long time.  Looks VERY cool!

Offline ridge rover

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2010, 07:01:38 AM »
About that Tracker, I say get a Hood ATAX instead! More versatility!

I heard TBJ on Coast to Coast AM one night, a night of boredom!

Check your local scene first. TBJ has many students with schools, many are more respected than TBJ!

These days, much good instruction is available. Unfortunately, you often have to travel!

Offline marauder

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2010, 09:33:49 AM »
Oooohhhh, I've been wanting to take the Urban Escape & Evasion course from On Point Tactical for a long time.  Looks VERY cool!

It is very cool.  Their urban survival course is also very cool.  And again, probably MUCH more applicable to most of our everyday lives, than learning how to make snares from natural fiber cordage.  Those skills are cool too, but in my view, you need to be able to get yourself to the wilderness first. 

On Point is based in Jersey, but I know they do the Urban E&E course as far west as Arizona. 

Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2010, 12:52:14 PM »
To add, the reason he is polarizing is that he breaks one of my cardinal rules.  He thinks he knows everything. Unfortunately, that seems to be a prevailing trait amongst survival "gurus."   He doesn't take a holistic view to his courses.  His way is THE way.  

That is kind of the read I have gotten on him. No humility at all. Personally, I MUCH prefer Ron Hood's approach of I don't know all and am always learning.

About that Tracker, I say get a Hood ATAX instead! More versatility!

Yeah, I looked at his knife and a few of the reviews. I have no interest. I am all RAT Cutlery (now ESEE) all the time.

These days, much good instruction is available. Unfortunately, you often have to travel!

I am really surprised there is nothing in Texas, but oh well, guess I am going to be doing a lot of traveling.

Oooohhhh, I've been wanting to take the Urban Escape & Evasion course from On Point Tactical for a long time.  Looks VERY cool!

On my list of Definitely going to do.

On Point is based in Jersey, but I know they do the Urban E&E course as far west as Arizona.  

They do do them all over. There is one coming up near me, in Dallas, in the next couple of months.

Whatever you choose, I'd love to read about your experience, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.  Please post it here!  :)

I think I am going to end up taking them all, LOL. It's all like crack to me and I find the stuff oddly relaxing. It's going to take me some time, but I will post my experiences, back to this thread if it does not get archived by then, as I go through each. OnPoint will probably be the first since it is the cheapest and closest. Just have to make sure I have the funds to go to Burning Man, Urban EE, and the fiance's Dental School Tuition all in the same year.

Wish Les Stroud was still teaching. Whether he is the best or not aside, he seems like he would just be a cool person to hang out with for a couple of days and that he would be a patient teacher.

Offline The Wilderness

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2010, 01:20:47 PM »

I think I am going to end up taking them all, LOL. It's all like crack to me and I find the stuff oddly relaxing. It's going to take me some time, but I will post my experiences, back to this thread if it does not get archived by then, as I go through each. OnPoint will probably be the first since it is the cheapest and closest. Just have to make sure I have the funds to go to Burning Man, Urban EE, and the fiance's Dental School Tuition all in the same year.

Are you going to Dirt Time 10 ?

A bunch of us are going.

TW

Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2010, 02:50:55 PM »
Are you going to Dirt Time 10 ?

A bunch of us are going.

TW

I really want to, but can't this year. My summer budget is going towards Burning Man this year.

I will be at the Hoodlums Texas Spring Thing though  ;D

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2010, 04:23:59 PM »
BURNING MAN!! WOOT!  Have you done burning man before?

Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2010, 10:38:28 AM »
BURNING MAN!! WOOT!  Have you done burning man before?

No, I have been to a few regional burns, but never Burning Man itself.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2010, 12:22:01 PM »
I want pics when you go, and a full "journal" of what you experience.  PERSONALLY, I'd rather go to Dirt Time than Burning Man, but I've had a looooooot of friends (hippies, the lot of em) who have been to Burning Man, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

I'd like to go, but it's such an exercise in art (rather than in reality), that it's almost not worth it for me.

Regardless, I think it's a reallllly cool event, and I'd like to hear about your thoughts on what happens there.  :)

Offline marauder

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2010, 03:26:49 PM »
Throw in a Wilderness focused medicine/First Aid Course from SOLO or WMI (Wilderness Medicine Institute) and you'll have a well rounded training background.  SOLO is based in NH, but they teach all over.  WMI is the medical training arm of NOLS.  They are in either in WY or CO these days, but they teach all over the country.

I took SOLO's Wilderness EMT class at the mothership about 13 years ago.  Very high speed stuff.  Saved my bacon on more than 1 occasion.  Other than training on your main weapon, I would throw a first aid class to the top of my list if I were starting from scratch.  You could start with Wilderness First Aid or First Responder.  Don't need to go for the whole enchilada in one fell swoop.

Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2010, 09:26:31 AM »
Throw in a Wilderness focused medicine/First Aid Course from SOLO or WMI (Wilderness Medicine Institute) and you'll have a well rounded training background.  SOLO is based in NH, but they teach all over.  WMI is the medical training arm of NOLS.  They are in either in WY or CO these days, but they teach all over the country.

I took SOLO's Wilderness EMT class at the mothership about 13 years ago.  Very high speed stuff.  Saved my bacon on more than 1 occasion.  Other than training on your main weapon, I would throw a first aid class to the top of my list if I were starting from scratch.  You could start with Wilderness First Aid or First Responder.  Don't need to go for the whole enchilada in one fell swoop.

Good suggestion. I have been looking at wilderness first aid. So far I have been through:
CERT
• Red Cross First Aid, CPR, & AED for Adults, Children, and Infants
• Tactical Pistol (Secret Service Instructor)
Hoffner's Tactical Pistol I (16hrs)

Offline marauder

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2010, 12:27:32 PM »
Wilderness First Aid is only slight more applicable to a SHTF scenario than typical Red Cross First Aid. So in that regard, you probably have your bases covered.  Wilderness First Responder would be your likely next step in training.   

Wilderness First Aid is going to give you an "outside" mindset which differs from regular Red Cross First Aid.  However, if you spend any time outdoors with regularity, you can adjust your mindset and your kit on your own. 

Also, don't overlook or discount an Appleseed shoot.  Nice weekend.  Get's you in touch with your inner "Minuteman" and you will learn a good amount.  Also, quite affordable in these times in which we find ourselves. 

AS you can see, I love talking training  :)

Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2010, 07:01:56 PM »
Also, don't overlook or discount an Appleseed shoot.  Nice weekend.  Get's you in touch with your inner "Minuteman" and you will learn a good amount.  Also, quite affordable in these times in which we find ourselves. 

AS you can see, I love talking training  :)

My best friend and I have been looking into Appleseed. We started off looking at a couple of sniper schools here in Texas, but when we looked at Appleseed we decided that was really the kind of background we wanted. Trouble is getting information. I looked at the site and saw very little for Texas. We caught wind of something in Austin, but after contacting the person that organized we got no response. He contacted Appleseed directly and really didn't get much of a response. We are starting to consider volunteering to organize one in Houston for the South East Texas Region. That is a very time consuming endeavor that neither of us really have time for.

Do you happen to know if Appleseed allows for sponsors? We have two friends that each own gun companies. One is a regular store and the other is a manufacturer and class three weapons dealer.

Offline ridge rover

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2010, 07:15:17 AM »
Guess deciding where to go is about priorites and needs. Sometimes its OK to throw out being practical and "do what you like!"


But about that Dirttime! I just checked the instructor list and I still haven't picked my jaw off the floor! Mountain Mel and the McPhersons who penned "Naked into the wilderness." And thats just the begining!

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2010, 09:16:17 AM »
But about that Dirttime! I just checked the instructor list and I still haven't picked my jaw off the floor! Mountain Mel and the McPhersons who penned "Naked into the wilderness." And thats just the begining!

Yes - DT is amazing.  You should see if there are still spots available - we'd love to see you there.  :)

Offline Fuz

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2010, 09:37:13 AM »
I know/work with a few folks who have been instructors at Tom Brown Jr.'s school, and it seems that Hubris is TBJ's biggest fault.  Hard to say what the man has been through...but I have used some of his field guides. 

Another source to meet instructors, take classes and get started is the Earthskills Rendezvous. http://www.primitiveskills.org/
 I'm biased, it's my favorite and I go twice a year to the week long workshops.  We have had instructors from BOSS (there is another thread about that school) and instructors from Tom Brown's school, earthknack, and many published authors on the subject of wilderness skills. 


One thing to Consider...I often  refer to some of the "Survival" skills as "Thrive-al" skills.  We don't want to just get by, we want to flourish! 


Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2010, 09:43:25 AM »
I know/work with a few folks who have been instructors at Tom Brown Jr.'s school, and it seems that Hubris is TBJ's biggest fault.  Hard to say what the man has been through...but I have used some of his field guides.  

Seem to be the case.


One thing to Consider...I often  refer to some of the "Survival" skills as "Thrive-al" skills.  We don't want to just get by, we want to flourish!  


That is a good way of putting it.

Another source to meet instructors, take classes and get started is the Earthskills Rendezvous. http://www.primitiveskills.org/
 I'm biased, it's my favorite and I go twice a year to the week long workshops.  We have had instructors from BOSS (there is another thread about that school) and instructors from Tom Brown's school, earthknack, and many published authors on the subject of wilderness skills.  

This looks very interesting. One thing that was hard to quickly gleam from the site was where these are held. Are the events always in the same locations or do they move around?

Offline marauder

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2010, 09:59:06 AM »
I don't know if Appleseed accepts or seeks out sponsors.  I did attend a shoot. I found most of the info on their forum page and followed the info from there to get signed up.  off the top of my head, I don't really remember if there were any banners or such hanging around the range or common areas.  I don't recall being bombarded with any sorts of literature that screamed out "sponsor " on it.

I wholeheartedly agree that sometimes it's good to take a course or buy some gear "just cause you like it."  No arguments from me at all on that one.  I think my basement bears that out. lol.

Being in NJ and running in SOME of the same circles as TBJ, hubris is DEFINITELY a trait he didn't inherit or develop along the way. lol. 

Offline volwest

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2010, 10:23:59 AM »
Hey sis...

On point tactical is having an urban E&E course in Los angeles this february...


http://www.onpointtactical.com/Enroll.aspx?id=138

Offline ridge rover

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2010, 06:54:41 AM »
GG, search Falling Leaves on the other forum. I did an extensive picture post of the rendezvous Fuz is talking about.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2010, 08:25:56 AM »
GG, search Falling Leaves on the other forum. I did an extensive picture post of the rendezvous Fuz is talking about.

Just out of curiosity, which "other forum" are you talking about?  I'm thinking you mean the Hoodlums (though I'm not positive).... If you do mean the HW forum, you should know that plugging that forum on this one is TOTALLY okay with us at any point.  :)  We love Ron & Karen, and support everything they do (their DVD's, their knife, their magazine, all of it).  :)

Offline Gray Ghost

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Re: Wilderness Survival Schools
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2010, 10:47:18 AM »
Just out of curiosity, which "other forum" are you talking about?  I'm thinking you mean the Hoodlums
Yep! We have a Texas meetup in April. Althought I am starting to loose track of just how many of these forums I am on now, LOL. Just joined Appleseed's forum last night.

Looks like that will be the next thing I do - 7 days off rifle and camping bliss next month in Davilla Texas ;D I will post my experience back to this thread as it pretty much applies to the discussion.

If you do mean the HW forum, you should know that plugging that forum on this one is TOTALLY okay with us at any point.  :)  We love Ron & Karen, and support everything they do (their DVD's, their knife, their magazine, all of it).  :)

Good to know! Everyone from HW has been very careful about not upsetting TSP mods with cross pollination. Ron himself also gave me some good advice on the Wilderness Survival Schools.