To fulfill this dream, outdoor skills and knowledge, passed down from a lifetime of experience, will certainly help. Most outdoor schools are run by, and cater to, men. Many also waste time teaching people how to live in the wilderness, versus how to get home safely if things take a bad turn. This often leaves folks with the sense that learning survival skills is very hard and only for those that are physically in their prime and preferably male (neither of which is true!). Beautiful and challenging wild places have value for everyone, and creating a supportive, welcoming environment is our goal. That’s why we teach survival courses dedicated specifically to women.
This single day “crash course” in basic survival concepts is excellent for those who are short on time, yet want to feel more confident in the outdoors. It will help keep you centered and making healthy decisions if things get hairy. It's mostly lecture-style with some hands-on training. Young, old, physically challenged or otherwise are welcome! Here's how it works:
Register for a class today, so you can stop worrying about what might happen in the wilderness and start fully enjoying your outdoor experiences!
We know what it feels like to be a beginner and to try and learn in a male-dominated environment! We've taught hundreds of women to feel more competent in the outdoors, thus increasing their enjoyment of and connection with wild places. Still not sure? Check out what other folks have said about our courses:
Jessie joined the US Air Force as a way to pay for college and to escape the small town, midwest blues. What she got in addition was a sense of competence and a deeper connection to the outdoors. She survived her own childhood trauma through the support of the natural world: the wilderness was a comfortable and safe place that held her when the humans around her could not be trusted. She went from a shy girl to one of the few female S.E.R.E. Specialists (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape), teaching military members how to stay alive and return home if they were shot down behind enemy lines. After an honorable discharge she went on to direct team building courses, guide outdoor activities, and work for over a decade in wilderness therapy. She’s dabbled in media as well acting as a consultant (After Armageddon, Hacking the Wild), a reality TV personality (Mygrations, Kicking and Screaming, Alone season 9), and an online educator (MasterClass). Her passion is empowering women through teaching them skills that are traditionally considered male.
We have a varety of courses across the United States that range from half-day survival workshops to week-long, full-immersion experiences!
Once you register for a course, you will recieve a detailed email that gives you all the information you need about how to prepare for your particular class.
Join us on the course and learn (with a group of your peers) practical skills to help you get home safe, regardless of what happens.
Go forth, and make awesome memories!
Every time you go on outdoor adventures and you don't know what to do if something goes wrong, you are taking an unnecessary risk! Learn the skills so that you know from the first step of your next adventure that you will get home safe, no matter what happens.
We cater almost exclusively to women who want to learn more about the outdoors. That means you get to expand and make memories with a group of other awesome women! Our reasons for gathering in women's-only spaces are varied, yet often similar. It's a wonderful experience to meet new friends and support one-another.
Equipment retailers stay in business buy selling you the latest and greatest (and most expensive) outdoor gear, regardless of whether or not you need it. Trying to figure out what to buy without knowing why, is frustrating and the more you know the less you need to carry. We'll answer questions and help you cut through the hype so you stop getting fleeced by the less scrupulous corporations. Lighten your pack, and keep your wallet heavy.
Avoid the worry and hassle of new adventures! Know what you are going to take and why, every time you set out on a new journey. Learn concepts and simple mnemonics to help you recall what to do if an emergency situation develops. Feel more relaxed and enjoy your time outside knowing you have what you need to stay safe.
Jessie has taught thousands of students, including military members, folks with physical and mental challenges, children, elders, families, LGBTQ+, POC, and so on. She is a former Airforce SERE Specialist, a MasterClass instructor and a contestant on History Channel's ALONE. You know that the information you recieve has been tested in the field, and is taught by a both knowledgeable and engaging instructor.
EVERYONE! At O.W.L.S. Skills we endeavor to create a safe and supportive learning space specifically for women and non-binary folks who are comfortable in women-only spaces. However, we do occasionally offer all-inclusive general admission classes where men are welcome as well. Our classes are intended to help people feel more confident and empowered while connecting tangibly with the land through skills and knowledge. The wilderness welcomes all, and we endeavor to meet each student where they are in their journey towards it. We can adapt many classes to those that are struggling with a variety of physical challenges as well. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.
These general admission classes are geared towards adults, so we recommend that folks be at least 10 years old. All children 17 years or younger must have legal parent/guardian permission to attend, and all children 15 years old and under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Children under 10 may attend with an authorized adult, however, they may not be able to absorb some of the concepts. If you’d like to have a course for kids, we recommend booking a private course with us.
Each class is unique based on location and local conditions for that date. You will be sent a detailed email with information on the required and optional gear for your specific chosen class, anticipated weather conditions, directions, and so on, one week prior to your class date. Below is a sample of the format and information contained in a generic packing list for a one-day course.
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