Staying Alive: Modern Wilderness Survival Skills Exploring the fundamentals of fuel and oxygen.Exploring the fundamentals of fuel and oxygen.




Lighting them up with a half a paper match.Lighting them up with a half a paper match.




Successful fire lightingSuccessful fire lighting




Making a tinder bundle.Making a tinder bundle.




The beginning of a shelter.The beginning of a shelter.











Staying Alive: Modern Wilderness Survival Skills

(Class limited to 12 students)
August 13-14, 2022
Tuition: $695
Instructors: Cody Lundin and Mark Dorsten
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Click here for wait list options if course is labeled "full"

Our Staying Alive course was the cover story for Backpacker magazine’s September 1999 issue for a reason. For 29 years it’s taught hundreds of students no-nonsense, practical skills designed to help them survive a modern wilderness emergency. Loosely based upon Cody’s best-selling book, 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive, this course is what every outdoor traveler needs to know for maximum safety and enjoyment in the outdoors.

Modern Fire: learn the art of making fire from paper, wood, and metal matches, as well as lighters, magnesium, chemicals, optics and parabolics, how to boil water with corn chips, the physics of fire, techno-tinders that work, fool-proof home-made tinder, fire safety and fire extinguishing techniques.

Using a parabola-to ignite punk wood

Making shelter with native materials.Making shelter with native materials.Wilderness Shelter: where, what, why and how to build improvised shelter for hot and cold environments, how to sleep warm and dry, use space blankets, set up the multi-use tarp and choose outdoor clothing to prevent hypothermia and hyperthermia.

Digging a ground still.Digging a ground still.Water Wisdom: creating water through evapotranspiration, bag and solar stills, water survival gear, nature’s water indicators in the woods and making it fit to drink using modern water disinfection methods.

Signaling for rescue lectureSignaling for rescue lecture

Signaling for Rescue: getting attention using mirrors, ground to air, sound and smoke, homemade signal mirrors and whistles.

Fire lighting options.Fire lighting options.Survival Psychology and Physiology: effective trip planning, recognizing survival priorities in the deserts and mountains, dealing with fear in yourself and others, activating the Search and Rescue system and much more.

About to open a solar stillAbout to open a solar still

Important training consideration: Many outdoor schools confuse primitive living skills with modern outdoor survival skills. There is a radical difference between the two, both in their intention and how the skills are executed in the field under stress and fear. If you want to learn the truth about preparing for and surviving hypothermia and hyperthermia, the biggest outdoor killers, this course is must-know outdoor knowledge. Learn dozens of no-nonsense skills that can save your life or that of someone you love! (minimal hiking required)

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"My experience in attending the Staying Alive course was that I found out that I didn’t really know anything about emergency survival. I liked that it wasn’t BS flashy survival stuff. They are serious about what they do and if you do what they teach, you have a high likelihood of surviving a serious situation."
Jack Carnes, “Staying Alive: Modern Wilderness Survival Skills” alum, 2012.