Bushcraft Essentials

2018 Courses

  • February 17-18
  • May 26-27
  • September 22-23
  • November 17-18


Bushcraft refers to the skills required for living in the backcountry. We focus on teaching you primitive shelters and fire, using tools, orienteering and using and creating your own gear. Mountain Shepherd’s approach to Bushcraft is centered around reducing your dependence on modern backpacking gear while increasing your ability to exist comfortably in a wilderness setting. While there is a distinct difference between survival and bushcraft, a solid foundation in these skills will enhance your ability for survival and help you to maintain a positive mental attitude if the situation was ever to arise.

The course focuses on the art and science of living in the wilderness. Our goals are twofold: exist comfortably in the backcoutry, and reduce our dependence on modern backpacking gear. The skills we teach in our Bushcraft courses are for thriving with minimal gear. These same skills, though, will empower students to feel prepared in survival situations.

Topics covered include:

  • Tools (Knifecraft, Axecraft)
  • Primitive Fire Making
  • Primitive Shelters
  • Natural Orienteering
  • Spoon Carving

Cost: $295

What else should I know?

What outdoor experience do I need to attend this course? Outdoor experience levels do not matter. We have students with no experience to weekend warriors. Everyone learns valuable information in this course. You will leave prepared to help yourself and others while on any adventure.

Do I get to eat bugs? You will learn which bugs are edible and how to find them.  Eating them is optional!

What time does the course start and end? The course begins at 10:00 Saturday morning and finishes by 1:00 on Sunday. Plan to arrive by 9:30 on Saturday. If you prefer to travel on Friday, you can stay at the lodge. $50 includes a bunk and breakfast. $25 for each additional person in your group.  Group, semi-private and private rooms are available on a first come first serve basis.

Do I sleep under the stars? This is your adventure!  You can sleep in a tent, a shelter you improvise or stay in the lodge.  The choice is yours.

What should I bring? Click here for an equipment list. This list includes gear you should always have with you on an outdoor adventure. Bring what you have or borrow from us. No need to buy any new gear prior to coming to a course.

Is the course taught outside? The training camps are setup outside held under parachute canopies. The Virginia location courses are held on Mountain Shepherd’s gorgeous 100 acre property bordering the Jefferson National Forest.  The magnificent Tillamook Forest is used for the Oregon courses.

Do I need to bring a friend?  If you come alone, you are guaranteed to leave with new friends!  Of course, your friends are always welcome – sign them up too!

What is the age requirement of this course? This is a course for adults. 18 year olds may come alone. 16 & 17 year olds may come with a responsible partner over the age of 18.