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Wilderness Skills

Wilderness Skills
Length: 5 days (Monday through Friday)
Location: Big Oak Wilderness School, Nolensville, TN
Cost: $400.00 (meals not provided)
Prerequisite: Need to be 18 years of age or older
Enrollment: limited to 10 students
Accommodations: Bring your own tent. (We have tents for rent, please reserve ahead of time.) The school classroom has heating and air conditioning and a bathroom.  The school has a refrigerator; cook top and a microwave oven, there will also be a campfire every night.
Meals: Each student is responsible for their own food. There are restaurants and grocery stores within driving distance. (about 5 minutes)

Click here for Class Schedule

The following skills will be covered plus much more:

Shelter
The ability to stay cool in very hot conditions and to stay warm in very cold conditions are equally important, and just a few of the very many topics covered in this section. The student will be shown how to construct a debris hut and how to make it into a very comfortable temporary shelter

Water
Where does water come from? Where does it go? The student will learn several ways to obtain water and purify it in the wild.

Fire Making
The ability to make fire was sacred to our ancestors and is a very important wilderness skill. Fire provides warmth and protection. It enables us to cook and preserve food, purify water and shape weapons and tools. The ability to consistently and dependably make fire is a necessity for anyone in the wilderness. This ability can save your life and that of your companions.
In this class you will learn how to select various fuel materials and construct the fire lay. Various forms of generating fire will be demonstrated, and the student will make their own bow drill set. There will be lots of hands-on activities using the various methods, with discussions on tinder and coal extenders. Emphasis will be placed on form, technique, and mental attitude, all of which when put together will instill in the student the confidence to consistently make fire.

Food
While not really necessary for short term survival, food is a concern that will be addressed. Some foraging techniques and a couple of traps and snares will be shown (no animals will be trapped during the course).

Tools
We will make some traps and snares (no animals will be trapped during this class, for demonstration only). You will learn the basics for flintknapping and learn to burn bowls and spoons.

Tanning
They say that every animal has just enough brains to tan its own hide. We will cover how to make beautiful buckskin including techniques of skinning, fleshing, scraping, braining, stretching and smoking the hide.

Tracking
Tracking is more than just following impressions on the ground, it is an indicator of what has happened, what is happening and will happen. The accomplished tracker can read many things from a single set of prints. This class introduces the student to the many concepts of tracking including: print identification, gait patterns and track aging.  Animal Markings and sign tracking will also be covered.

Cordage
There is an abundance of natural materials from which primitive cordage can be made. We will show you how to gather and process these natural materials and how to twist these fibers into useful cordage.

Knives and Knife Handling
If you could only take one thing with you into the wilderness, a good knife would be your best choice. We will discuss knife types, construction and safe handling. Knife sharpening techniques will also be discussed.

Plus so much more….

 

EQUIPMENT LIST
Required

Sharp Knife (3” to 5” blade, non-folding)
Sleeping bag or blankets
Food, snacks, cooking utensils 
Eating Utensils (Fork, Spoon, Knife, Plate, & Cup)
Water Bottle (school has drinking water)
Changes of clothing (cold and Warm weather)
Warm outer gear and rain gear
Towel and soap
Notebook and Pens
Flashlight
Backpack (to carry equipment)

Recommended
Tent
Tape recorder/Tapes
Camera/Film
Extra Batteries
Camp Chairs or Seat Cushion (for sitting outside and around campfire)