Survival Quest (formerly Rolling Thunder)


Looking for a real survival experience? Survival Quest is the course for you! This  advanced adult course is designed to put your skills to the psychological and physical stress experienced in a survival situation. Over the course of four days and three nights, you become a proficient global survivor. The course begins with hands-on learning of the seven priorities of survival, including positive mental attitude, wilderness first aid, shelter, fire craft, signaling, water, and food. The second day brings backpacking and camping skills, first aid scenarios, and land navigation, using only a map and compass. Day 3 takes you on an off-trail hike putting your newly learned land navigation skills to the test, and sets you up for a solo overnight experience to end  the course. After you are rescued, you will recognize that yes, you do possess the skills to survive! Upon return to civilization, you will find a new you – one that is stronger, and one that is much more confident. Register today to begin this ultimate, truly life changing adventure!

What to Expect

Mountain Shepherd’s gorgeous 100-acre campus provides an immersive wilderness experience, with comfort close at hand if needed.   Starting with a brisk uphill walk to our first hands-on lesson, the course cycles among covered outdoor training camps so students can learn and practice the seven priorities of survival in a variety of settings. Home base is the Mountain Shepherd lodge, with ample indoor and outdoor space for meals and downtime. While you should be prepared to spend both days outdoors, Mountain Shepherd’s well-appointed classroom is available if the weather becomes extreme.

Students can choose to overnight in a tent, hammock, or improvised survival shelter. Loaner gear such as tents, hammocks, and sleeping bags are available, so this is a great opportunity to try something new or test out your own sleep system.


Adventure Highlights

  •       4 days/3 nights
  •       Survival training
  •       Map & compass training
  •       Off-trail navigation
  •       All meals included
  •       Memories to last a lifetime
  •       Small group environment (10 maximum)
  •       Hands-on learning
Who chooses this adventure?

Experience in the outdoors is recommended. This is for student comfortable hiking and camping to warriors of the wilderness, however we recommend that you are comfortable being outside. Everyone learns valuable information in this course. You will leave well prepared to prevail in a survival situation.

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

What's Included?


The only required items are weather appropriate clothing and comfortable tennis/walking/hiking shoes or boots. You don’t need to buy a thing. The equipment list includes gear you should always have with you on an outdoor adventure. Bring what you have or borrow from us. We have everything you’ll need. It’s best to borrow before you buy. Part of the training includes gear recommendations for your personal survival kit.


All meals and snacks are provided, with plenty of options and dietary accommodations available.

Overnight accommodations

This is your adventure! You may choose to fully embrace the experience by spending each night in an improvised survival shelter. It’s also totally fine to sleep in a tent or a hammock. The choice is yours.

Travel Arrangements

Your adventure begins and ends at the Mountain Shepherd Lodge in Catawba, VA.The nearest airport is Roanoke (ROA), which is approximately a 30 minute drive time.

Arrival time is by 9:30 Thursday morning. The course concludes by 1:00 on Sunday. 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. Contact us for reservations. Payment due before you leave.

Activity Level


After meeting at the Mountain Shepherd Lodge on Thursday morning, you’ll do some introductions and pack lunch for a day spent in the woods. There will be a 1/4 mile, 10-minute hike to the teaching campsite (this does begin with a short, steep climb). At the end of the day, the group will walk back to the Lodge for dinner, and the option to pack-up for an evening out under the stars back at the campsite.

Day 2 will also involve a several short hikes on the property, as you prepare for longer hikes on day 3 and 4, where you will be traversing the property off trail, practicing your new navigation skills.



NOTE: Once you purchase your course, you should automatically receive our registration form in your email. If you don’t see it right away, please check your junk folder.