Wild Comforts

Wild Comforts
2018 Courses

  • April 7-8
  • June 23-24
  • July 21-22
  • November 3-4


Any parent navigating parenthood will probably admit that the family unit can feel like a wilderness at times!  While numerous parenting books attempt to help parents navigate this foreign land, many find that their children do not fit the simple molds found in such books.  If you are looking for a unique way to bond with your children, and in turn strengthen your family, you will want to enroll your family today in this two day and one night camping experience.  Over the course of your family wilderness adventure, you and your family will develop better camping skills through hands-on experiences.  The seven priorities of survival will serve as the foundation upon which your adventure will rest, so you will explore positive mental attitude, wilderness first aid, shelter, fire craft, signaling, water, and food.  Enroll today to begin to create a memory your children will keep close to their hearts.

Cost: $195 per adult (must be accompanied by a child), $100 per child

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 and children. 10 years old+. If your child is mature and has an interest in the outdoors, let’s talk about it.


Why did you decide to attend a survival school?
Tom has worked in international affairs for most of his career and travels regularly to remote parts of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. He also rides a dual sport motorcycle, often solo, on backcountry and forest roads. He has been in the habit of packing a survival kit for years, but what to include has always been based just on prior experience and books. Tom wanted insights from a professional, and when he saw the Wild Comforts offering, he thought it would be a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

Why did you choose Mountain Shepherd? Mountain Shepherd came up on a Google search of survival training. It is within driving distance of our home, and the backgrounds of the trainers and description of the classes conveyed a sense of professionalism and real experience.

Before you went, what did you think survival training would be like? Kathy, Grace, and Claire thought the training would be less interesting than it was, but they are good sports and knew that their Dad would enjoy it.

How did your experience surprise you? Kathy, Grace, and Claire were surprised by how much fun it was. Tom was pleased to validate some of his current practices and equipment, and also to learn many new techniques and skills. Mountain Shepherd’s very logical explanation of priorities and the rationale behind them was excellent.

What was my favorite part?
Tom’s favorite part was seeing his daughters learning skills and embracing the challenge of setting up their own shelter and sleeping comfortably in it through a rainy night Tom also has revamped his med kit based on the training and would like to go back for the survival medical course.

To whom would you recommend a survival course?
We’d recommend the Wild Comforts course for families. Very practical and accessible information and hands on training in a beautiful outdoor environment. In general, anyone who likes to get away from it all – whether on foot, bicycle, 4×4 adventures, motorcycle, or canoe/kayak – should invest the time in a basic course like this. Having a fanny-pack sized kit of equipment AND the knowledge of what to do with it can dramatically mitigate the danger and fear of being stranded or lost.

What advice would you give to others who are about to take a survival training course? (a) Select the course and school carefully if you don’t want a lot of end-of-the-world scenario and macho baggage with your training. Also, don’t confuse survival training with a course of primitive living practices. (b) Leave your ego at home and have an open mind. There are hundreds of different ways to do things, and the best approach is often situation specific. Good trainers will help you understand the general principles behind the specific choices they make (Reggie Bennett of Mountain Shepherd is gifted in this regard). (c) Don’t worry about whether you are in “good enough shape” for a course – you are not trying out for a SEAL team, you are learning skills needed to save the sorry old body you have in an emergency situation! (d) Bring your own gear if you already have some and use it – this is a great opportunity to see if that knife/fire starter/ tinder / signal mirror/ compass etc. you lug around is best, and to compare it to what professionals who test equipment for a living choose to use.

General review: 5-stars out of 5. Would recommend highly for content, delivery, atmosphere, and overall experience!

The Callahan Family
Tom - Age: 50
Kathy - Age: 48
Grace - Age: 15
Claire - Age: 12

Vice President of Government Affairs for PAE, Inc.<br />Teacher and Writer