THE Bushmaster COURSE (5 days)

Bushcraft | First-Aid | Primitive skills

Cost: $750 per person. 6 person Max. 3 person minimum to run course. Meals included
2017 dates: October 21-25 (2 spots left), November 10-14                                                      2018 dates: April 21-25May 19-23Note: $50 price increase for 2018 courses                    Location: Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, San Diego, California                                         Address: 2300 Camino San Ignacio, Warner Springs, CA 92086. We meet at the guard hut located at the main entrance gate at 9am. We finish around 11 am (on day 5). Do you have a transport problem or paying in one transaction? Contact us about our free shuttle service from San Diego or for other payment options. 


3 days of comprehensive survival and bushcraft training that will prepare you for the last 2 days spent solo in the wild applying the learned skills with just a knife. Advance your level of self reliance in the wilderness to a higher level. We combine the most effective survival skills, bushcraft, First-Aid and navigation techniques and pass them on to you in desert and temperate forest terrains.

Survival training in the California shower facilities, no modern toilets, seclusion, and no experience required - just full immersion with nature.

Not only have we loaded this course with bushcraft skills but there is an element of progression involved. Students will be taught to work with natural materials and less modern tools throughout the course until the grand finale - you will apply the learned skills to survive by yourself for 2 days and one night in the wilderness with only a knife, primitive tools you have made, and the survival / bushcraft skills you gained over the previous 3  days. 

Not sure what to expect on this course? Watch a short video of us in the field!

Survival Course Details:

The first 3 days of the course will be fully loaded and focused on the skills. 3 meals a day will be provided and students will be encouraged to help with preparation. These 3 nights will be spent in our forest wilderness camp sleeping in either your primitive shelter, tents, or under the California stars... it's your choice how much you want to rough it! All modern camping gear is allowed. Day 4 and 5 we ditch all the gear, except for a knife and the primitive tools made over the previous 3 days, and head over to the high desert wilderness. This only involves a 20 minute 4x4 drive. We will then hike into an amazing ecosystem with running water, wildlife, and plenty of resources. Students will construct camp, make fire, purify water, and find food on their own with the periodical check-up from the survival instructor. Students will be need to rely on the survival skills learned and their own improvisation for their night - instructor will be close by at all times. Day 5 we break down camp, debrief and take the hike out. Students will receive a course completion certificate on day 5. 

Survival skills Covered:

Please note that to complete the full curriculum is dependent on students pace and weather, therefore some skills might not be covered.

Shelter* Debris hut, lean-to, rasied bed, and tarp shelters for wet weather conditions.

Fire* Bow drill friction fire method, Hand drill friction fire method, ferrocerium-rod, waterproof matches, tinder making, making natural char and char cloth, reflector walls, campfire cooking techniques. Learn a new fire-making method every day!

Water* sourcing techniques, plant stills, Native American rock boiling, purification methods.

Hunting and Trapping* Construct a survival Atlatl (primitive spear thrower) and traps for small game. 

Wild Plants* Learn to identify various plants and trees for building, food, medicine, rope, friction fire, tinder, and more.

Navigation* Learn basic map and compass as well as primitive methods using trees, sun, stars, and the moon

Wilderness First-Aid* Dealing with hypothermia, heat stroke, and dehydration. Cleaning and closing of wounds, controlling bleeding, splinting fractures and sprains and treating snake and spider bites. 

Joel is incredibly knowledgeable and well spoken when it comes to bushcraft and survival skills! I have had some experience in the past learning and practicing survival skills, but I was totally blown away with what I was able to take away from the course.
— Jesse Taylor, San Diego CA

What to Bring:

On this course we drive into our bush survival camp for the first 3 days, therefore you have no restrictions on the type of gear you bring. If you own a 4x4 vehicle then you have the option to bring it along and get some dirt time, if not then we will give you a ride! Day 4 and 5 we drive a short distance to our next location, park the cars, and then hike out with minimal gear.

Visit our Gear page for recommendations

  • Fixed blade knife and folding saw. Machete's, axes, hatchets etc..all welcome!
  • Water bottle (Kleen Canteen is a good option as it is stainless steel and unlined so good for boiling in)
  • Headlamp, gloves, camera, notepad, and pen all optional
  • Warm clothing layers for night and light clothing and hat for day time
  • Poncho or raincoat
  • spare socks and underwear
  • Day Pack
  • Waterproof shelter (Tarp/poncho or army bivy or tent) We always like to sleep out under the stars but be prepared as rain is a possibility. We have spare tarps let us know if you need one
  • Food - we provide 3 meals a day. Just bring snacks for the duration of the course. 
  • Any other survival/camping items you desire


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