Survival 101 – Women’s Course

Survival 101 - Women's Courses
2018 Courses

  • April 14-15
  • May 12-13
  • July 7-8
  • August 18-19
  • September 15-16
  • October 27-28


Whether trying to survive in the wilderness or in the board room, confidence in one’s abilities is a necessary ingredient.  Woman in business, in relationships, or on their own in a strange environment need strong confidence to thrive.  This unique version of Survival 101 is geared toward women.  Through becoming immersed in a realistic survival scenario, you will gain not only practical survival skills, but also learn how to develop the keys to success that are already inside you.  Over the course of two days and one night, you will explore the seven priorities of survival; the even ingredients of building self confidence!  The seven priorities include positive mental attitude, wilderness first aid, shelter, fire craft, signaling, water, and food.  Through this simulation, you will also become familiar with wilderness safety, preparedness, and camping skills.  While participants have the option to spend the night in a tent, they can also choose to stay in Mountain Shepherd’s lodge.  Take the first step toward a new and more confident you – register today!

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 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 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!  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?
​ ​For several reasons: 1) to learn some proper basic outdoor/camping skills to make camping trips with family and friends more enjoyable; I was a newbie and didn’t like being dependent on those more experienced to do everything for me. 2) to learn how to prepare for and handle emergency situations that may arise when camping, hiking, traveling, etc. 3) to challenge myself and gain confidence in a new skill set. 4) for a fun, new experience.

Why did you choose Mountain Shepherd?
​ It had very good reviews, and its website (instructors, photos, course descriptions, testimonials) lined up with what I wanted in a school. Also, the 101 course didn’t seem overwhelming for a beginner.​

Before you attended the course, what did you think survival training would be like?
​ I thought it would be more strenuous and intimidating.

How did your experience surprise you?
​ It was so much fun! The teaching was excellent, detailed, and practical. The learning was easy to understand and put to use. It opened, not only my eyes, but also my mind to ​things all around me that could be useful (or dangerous) in a survival situation, or perhaps just enjoyed (or avoided) if on a pleasure outing. The experience raised my awareness and

What was your favorite takeaway from the course?
The fire craft was probably the most fun, but I think learning to keep a positive mental attitude and the order of priorities ​were the most important.

To who would you recommend a Mountain Shepherd survival course?
​ For the Survival 101 course – Everyone. As a middle-aged woman who was raised a “city girl,” I found it empowering and ​enjoyable. I hope to return for some of the more advanced courses. I also hope to return with my step-sons – they may be good “campers” but that’s not the same as being trained to handle things when something goes wrong.

What advice would you give others who are about to take a survival training course?
​ Buck up and do it.​

Jane Thomas - Age: 54


Why did you decide to attend a survival school?
I do a lot of hiking, both short and long trips, so the possibility of an accident occurring is ever present. I hope this would give me the skills and the knowledge of how to take care of myself should something unforeseen occur.

Why did you choose Mountain Shepherd?
One of our group members located the school. After reading online about them, it seemed like a great choice.

Before you went, what did you think survival training would be like?
Learning how to survive with basic supplies. How to start fires, make camp, etc… What to do in the event of an emergency. I think the class ended up being everything I expected and more.

How did your experience surprise you?
I think a lot of the skills we were taught seem overwhelming or hard when you talk about them, but the way Dina broke everything into simple and easy to remember steps, it was much easier than I ever imagined. The methods Dina used to teach made the information easy to absorb and retain in memory.

What was your favorite part of the entire time?
Learning to build a fire. I usually hike with gas stoves but if an accident occurred or if I became lost I could potentially run out of fuel. Now I have the knowledge and skill to be able to build a fire to sustain myself until rescue. I think this was one of the most important skills I learned.

To whom would you recommend a survival course?
I have already recommended the course to many of my friends and family. Anything can happen when we least expect it, so being a little prepared can go a long way in terms of survival.

What advice would you give to others who are about to take a survival training course?
Don’t go in with any preconceived notions that you don’t have anything to learn. There is so much good information that even a trained survivalist may pick up a good item or two.

Stacie Miles - Age 35

Paramedic / Emergency Manager