Humble Thunder

Humble Thunder
2018 Courses

  • January 25-28
  • February 8-11
  • March 1-4
  • April 12-15
  • May 10-13
  • May 31 - June 3
  • July 5-8
  • August 16-19
  • September 13-16
  • October 25-28
  • November 8-11
  • December 6-9


Looking for a real survival experience?  Do you want to test your ability to conquer nature?  Humble Thunder is more than the course for you!  Over the course of four days and three nights, you become a proficient global survivor.  Relying on the seven priorities of survival, including positive mental attitude, wilderness first aid, shelter, fire craft, signaling, water, and food, you will survive the elements as you camp in a primitive manner.  Using nothing but newly learned skills, you will build shelters in which you will sleep.  Campfires that you will build will cook your food.  An day long off-trail hike puts your newly learned land navigation skills to the test. In the end, after you are rescued, you will recognize that yes, nature can be tamed – and you possess the skills to survive!

Cost: $550

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 and active military. 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 Thursday morning and finishes by 1:00 on Sunday. Plan to arrive by 9:30 on Thursday. If you prefer to travel on Wednesday, 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!  The course is designed so that you sleep in shelters you improvise. However, you can sleep in a tent, a hammock 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.


Why did you decide to attend a survival school? I want to know what my limits are and I would like to learn a bit more about that in a controlled situation. I want to have the knowledge to help myself and others I encounter.

Why did you choose Mountain Shepherd? Philosophically, MSWS seemed to fit my beliefs and comfort level. There are many survival or survivalist schools out there. When I talked to the people running those programs, they either seemed disorganized or didn’t seem to have any flexibility. If I already knew I could survive anything, I wouldn’t need to go to the school. Some of the other programs made me wonder if I in fact, did get into trouble, if they would just give me an “F” posthumously. (*Note: definitely let someone know where you’re going and when you should be back if you choose one of those schools) At MSWS, I felt confident that they would push me, but not over the edge.

Before you went, what did you think survival training would be like? I held out the possibility we would be dropped off at some remote location in the woods and left to find our way back over four days.

How did your experience surprise you? As a planner, I wanted to know what the exact schedule would be and exactly what I should pack. At some level, I know part of survival is being able to live with some ambiguity. I was pleasantly surprised to find that whatever I needed after flying in, Reggie and Dina were happy to loan me. I also discovered that you really need only a few things to survive quite nicely. I was also very happy with the level of organization and clarity of the instruction. I understood what the learning objectives were and was given instruction at my level- not above and not below.

What was your favorite part of the entire time? The relaxed atmosphere and fun learning environment.

To whom would you recommend a survival course? Anyone who wants to stretch their comfort level and gain more confidence.

What advice would you give to others who are about to take a survival training course? Go ready to suck up every piece of information given.

Susan - Age: 48

School Psychologist