Wilderness Survival School history

Watch survival participants in action!

Bush Survival Training is a global survival school based in San Diego, California 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.

We named our school Bush Survival Training, which is a term used for bush folk in Africa that can fix or create anything in the bush (wilderness) with very few resources. It represents who we are at heart.

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. We have five regular courses in California and survival adventures in Africa. Individuals that really want to push themselves and experience the hardships of living off the land with just a knife can sign up for the Knife-only Walkabout.

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.

Authentic Locations

Wilderness survival training should be done in a location that is as close to true wilderness as possible. This is often hard as it would mean traveling long distances for folks living near urban areas. We have chosen our locations very carefully to ensure that you get the wilderness isolation when partaking in any of our survival courses. 

We have three spectacular survival schools in California (San Diego, Orange County & Los Angeles), South Africa, and Tanzania-East Africa. We are working to add more survival training locations, so stay tuned! 

Learn more about each survival school: