Wilderness Survival School history

Watch survival participants in action!

Bush Survival Training is an outdoor survival school that was founded in San Diego, California and recently relocated to Sisters, Oregon. owned and run by Survival instructor Joel van der Loon. Joel was born and raised in Africa and has spent most of his adult life traveling the world. Joel brings numerous years of experience to the table through survival classes that teach people to reconnect and function in the wilderness with both modern and primitive methods. 

If you want to be prepared to handle an outdoor emergency, plan for an expedition, or simply want to be more efficient at camping then you are at the right place.

Safety is Number one

Wilderness survival can be dangerous, therefore safety is very important to us even though there is always a small amount of risk involved in the great outdoors. Our survival instructors are certified as wilderness first responders and carry a comprehensive First-Ad kit, as well as an emergency PLB (personal locator beacon) at all times.

our survival school location

Bush Survival Training is a small family run school, although we are small we proudly run a variety of courses through out the year in various locations such as Tanzania in Africa, Nicaragua, Central Oregon, and Southern California.

Our San Diego location is home to San Diego's highest peak at 6,500 ft with deciduous and coniferous forest, desert springs, and a variety of wildlife such as coyotes, deer, mountain lion, bob cat, and much more makes this the ultimate training location due to the diversity. This wilderness has spectacular scenery, seclusion, and plenty of resources for us to train. Our forest location is at 5,000 ft of elevation which keeps temperatures comfortable throughout the summer. Our high desert location is at roughly 2,000 ft of elevation and contains an amazing desert oasis with sycamore, alder, oak, and willow trees. Contact us for more information about this awesome California location! 

The California property is a 1 hour and 40 minute drive northeast from downtown San Diego and the trip alone is beautiful as you pass through farmlands and meadows.

California Survival School Address:
2300 Camino San Ignacio
Warner Springs, CA 92086
(always check with your instructor for course starting point) 

learn from the hadzabe in Tanzania

Tanzania is a true wilderness wonder and the perfect setting for a bushcraft school in Africa. The Hadza, Datoga, and Maasai tribes as well as the variety of flora and fauna make it a bushcraft enthusiasts dream to visit.

Bushcraft survival courses are lead in the Lake Eyasi region, close to the famous Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti national park. This region is very wild and home to the hadza bushmen and Datoga herdsman. They still live a hunter gatherer lifestyle and are master bow hunters.

There is a variety of animals around Lake Eyasi including water buck, dik dik, bush pig, buffalo, kudu, Hyena, leopard, baboon, monkeys, mongoose, hares, genets, civits, snakes, and much more. This Africa location is ideal for survival training as we learn alongside the Hadza, honing in on the primitive survival skills they have been using for generations.

We always have two local guides accompany us in the bush therefore you will not only learn primitive survival skills from the Hadza but naturalist and tribal teachings too.

This survival experience will be exhilarating from start to end - learn bushcraft skills from the true experts and enjoy Africa in its most pure form!