Jessie teaching a class

Survival 102

Our classes are typically only available to women and non-binary folks who are comfortable in women-only spaces.

This stand-alone course is for those that would like more hands-on practice and coaching. The weekend is spent diving into the five basic needs of a survivor in an outdoor base camp. It includes lectures, demonstrations, and student practices in a friendly, supportive learning environment. Evenings are spent cooking and eating dinner around the fire, followed by more discussion and lessons, including night navigation techniques. Smore's and dinners are included!

Price: $520 Per Person

Who is this for?

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.

What skills will I learn?

Rope Work

  • Understanding types of rope/line
  • Basic knot nomenclature
  • Learn at least twelve different knots/hitches and how to apply them

Knife Basics

  • Understanding types and styles of knife
  • Learn basic safety and use principles
  • Learn basic sharpening tools and techniques
  • Learn advanced sharpening tools and techniques
  • Learn how to maintain and store a knife
  • How to use a file to sharpen a knife


  • Basic clothing principles
  • Temperature moderating methods


  • Choosing a shelter location
  • Emergency shelter concepts and demonstration
  • Shelter basics for each major biome
  • Practice tarp shelter construction
  • Natural shelter construction concepts
  • Shelter living considerations


  • Fundamental fire concepts
  • Material and site preparation
  • Fire safety
  • Fire-starting tips
  • Explore a variety of ignition techniques
  • Practice fire-making from A-Z


  • Awareness techniques
  • Basic scouting techniques
  • Basic compass use


  • Common ways for find and gather it
  • Pros and cons of various disinfection methods
  • Tips to avoid getting sick
  • How to find water in all major biomes
  • Practice disinfecting and using wild water


  • How to ration what you have
  • Edibility test for plants
  • Basic snaring techniques


  • Basic calming techniques
  • Basic hygiene principles
  • Common injuries and how to avoid and treat them


  • Learn the three types of signals
  • What to look for in a good signaling site
  • Preparing a signaling/recovery site
  • Vectoring in rescuers
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Common Questions

What are the dates and times?

All weekend classes run from Friday at 4:00PM to Sunday at 4:00 PM. This is a 3 day/2 night course, and most people will camp out for the duration of it.

Do I need to stay overnight?

We prefer that you stay the duration of the course. You will get more out of it. However, if for any reason you are not comfortable or able to stay outside with us, you are welcome to book accommodations nearby.

What should I bring/wear?


  • Face mask and hand sanitizer
  • A good pair of hiking boots or winter boots (feel free to bring both if you like, we won’t be hiking much in this class though, so go for warmth/comfort over durability)
  • Long pants (synthetic or wool best)
  • Long sleeve shirt (synthetic or wool best)
  • Sun Hat
  • Rain/wind gear
  • At least 2 liters of water storage capacity (water bottles or bladders)
  • A bowl and/or cup and spoon or fork
  • All necessary personal medications and health aids (back support, knee brace, inhalers, EpiPen, etc.) for at least 5 days (in case of snow-in or some emergency)
  • Warm layers such as:
    • Warm hat
    • Neck gaiter
    • Balaclava
    • Gloves (finger-less and/or regular) or mittens with liners
    • Fleece, wool, or some other type of thick insulative layer or two for top and/or bottom
  • Two extra pairs of socks (one pair thick, fluffy, and less snug for sleeping only)
  • One extra set of underclothes
  • A durable food bag containing 2 lunches, snacks, and 2 breakfasts suitable for camping (please ask if you have questions). Dinners will be provided Friday and Saturday night.
  • Extra drinking water if you prefer not to use/treat wild water (3 to 4 gallons per person recommended)
  • Headlamp or flashlight with spare batteries or a way to recharge
  • Sleeping bag/system (rated appropriately for temps that may get below freezing)
  • Sleeping bag liner (I usually use a simple fitted bedsheet, flannel preferred for colder weather)
  • Insulation pad (non-inflatables are best for reasons that will be explained in class. If you don’t have one let us know and we have extras you may borrow.)
  • Weather Cover (tarp or tent). If you bring a tarp (usually in the 8x10 range for size) please bring about 50 feet of paracord or other strong line to tie it up with. Please check with me if you are not sure what to bring. Don’t worry, you’ll learn how to make it into a good shelter!
  • Toiletries as desired (toothpaste and brush, comb, hair ties, Chapstick, sunscreen, lotion, etc.)


  • Long johns/insulative underwear
  • Survival items you have questions about or want to practice skills with (maps, compasses, shelter pieces, fire starters, survival or medical kits, winter gear, etc.)
  • At least one knife to use and practice sharpening with (a dull kitchen knife or two is fine, no need to buy a knife for this. You’ll be learning what to look for in a good knife to make an informed decision after the class. We have plenty for you to use during class)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses or safety glasses
  • Camp chair/crazy creek/sit pad
  • Note taking materials
  • Daypack
  • Leather gloves
  • Bug spray (seasonal)

What are the age requirements?

Most classes are geared towards adults, so we recommend that folks be at least 10 years old for one to two-day classes; 15 for week-long courses. All children 17 years or younger must have parental/legal guardian permission to attend the course and all children 15 years old and under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Children under 10 may also attend with an adult, however, they may not absorb some of the concepts. If you’d like to have a course specifically designed for children, we recommend booking a private course with us.

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