14 Survival Schools That Could Save Your Life

Participants in a survival school sitting around a bushcraft hut

14 Survival Schools That Could Save Your Life

Here at Bug Out Bag Builder, we love survival gear. One could argue a little too much perhaps...

Having emergency supplies is one thing. Knowing how to use them of course, is another. And although most folks facing a disaster head-on won't be running out to the woods to hide out, it still behooves you to have basic survival skills.

The best way to get those skills is by attending a survival school. Good news is, there are quite a few of them and they are AWESOME. Here's a some of the best that you should check out.

US Survival Schools

Randall's Adventure & Training - two men on ropes going down into a deep hole

Randall's Adventure & Training

Located in Gallant, AL (outside of Birmingham) and in business for over 20 years, Randall's Adventure & Training has a huge variety of training for civilian and non-civilian customers. Not only that but they are the same group of people behind ESEE Knives, our favorites.

From a week-long Jungle Survival course in Peru, to beginners basics, to advanced Bushcrafting classes, RAT offers them all for very reasonable rates. Day classes start at $100. If practicing for a 72-hour survival scenario then look at the Field Survival course. Just make sure to read the requirements though, you need to be physically prepared to take that class!

Tom Brown Jr's Tracker School: man talking in front of a bushcraft shelter

Tom Brown Jr's Tracker School

Some would argue that this is where it all began. Tom Brown Jr is a legend in the survival and bushcrafting communities and his school has left its mark on the many that followed. Brown has been teaching what he learned from Stalking Wolf (an Apache Elder, Shaman, and Scout) since 1978 and is still going strong.

Most of Tracker Schools courses are offered in southern New Jersey, a short ride from both Philadelphia and New York City although occasionally there are offerings in other locations.

Pathfinder School: Dave Canterbury kneeling in the woods with a axe

Pathfinder School

Hosted by world renowned grizzly bear Dave Canterbury, Pathfinder School offers classes in Ohio and some in Georgia. They offer classes ranging from Basic to Advanced, Trapping, Blacksmithing, Bow Making, and more.

Dave also has several books and a whole line of survival gear over at Self Reliance Outfitters.

Byron Kerns teaching a group of men how to build a bushcraft shelter

Byron Kerns Survival

One of the most bodacious instructors out there, Byron Kerns is a former Air Force SERE instructor who offers classes in N. Georgia and Central Florida. Like others he has a range of classes from beginner to advanced but all of his classes are fairly easy-going and friendly to most: even the most novice survivalist will have a good time. 

We've taken his Bare Bones class and plan on retaking it again this year (it was that good.)

Sigma 3 Survival School: several students sitting around a fire cooking food with sticks

Sigma 3 Survival School

A unique and well designed course offering is what Sigma 3 offers in several different locations throughout the US and overseas. Based in Mansfield, MO where the majority of classes are held, they also have offerings from time to time elsewhere.

They offer an Instructor Course that lasts 45 days...45 days in the wild, no leaving! I need to take a 45 day vacation this fall...

BOSS Survival School: happy people sitting around a campfire in a south west US canyon

BOSS Survival School

Located in Boulder, Utah (not CO) about 4 hours south of Salt Lake is the Boulder Outdoor Survival School. You cant ask for a more beautiful part of the country than this! Add that to the fact that their instructors have the best hats out of any other schools...i mean it, go check out their instructor photos.

Their focus is on Primitive arts and their flagship offering is their Field Courses, where you only bring a blanket, poncho and knife. That's all folks! They offer 28, 14 and 7 day versions so you can really settle in and forget the modern world for a time. This ones high on my bucket list.

Canada Survival Schools

Chilcotin Holidays Wilderness & Nature: a woman sitting on a hill with mountains in the background

Chilcotin Holidays Wilderness & Nature

Located in beautiful Western Canada, Chilcotin Holidays offers vacations in addition to several levels of wilderness survival courses. You can't find a more picturesque part of the world to send time out in the woods. Bushcrafting, Log Cabin Making, Horse Logging, and more courses offered.

Canada West Mountain School: a man explaining how to setup a shelter with a tarp and hiking pole

Canada West Mountain School

Offering courses in BC Canada, CWMS offers a huge variety of courses from Widlerness Survival to Mountaineering, Avalanche survival, First-Aid, and tons more. You could spend a year with these folks learning great stuff!

Canadian Wilderness School & Expeditions: backpacks and sleeping bags setup in a bushcraft shelter made of pine branches

Canadian Wilderness School & Expeditions

Learn survival skills and become a better climber too at CWSE. They have classes that go from weekends long to weeks long in some of the most beautiful parts of the world.

These are just a few examples of the Survival Schools available in Canada. For a really great list of several dozen (broekn down by location) check out this list by Canadian Survival Schools.

United Kingdom Survival Schools

Bear Grylls Survival Academy: a group of people on a path surrounded by large boulders

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

No survival school list would be complete without mentioning the man who has made a massive name for himself in the survivalism world, Bear Grylls. He now hosts a survival academy in the UK, and offers a class in upstate NY. I think he also does some classes in China from time to time.

Will Bear be your instructor? Probably not, there are several other well trained instructors in his school. Will you have to drink water from elephant dung? Hmm...unlikely, unless you bring your own.

MCQ Bushcraft: a bushcraft camp with log seats, a campfire, and work stations

MCQ Bushcraft

One of our favorite Youtube vloggers, Mike McQuilton will be teaching Bushcrafting courses again (after he and his wife get back from an extended trip to Scandinavia) in late 2018 or early 2019 in Lake District National Park in England. You couldn't ask for a more scenic and wonderful location, and Mike is a really great guy. Tons of knowledge and a gentle demeanor that is hard not to get along with. Check him out!

Ray Mears Woodlore School of Wilderness Bushcraft: a man sitting under a tarp next to a tripod over a campfire

Ray Mears Woodlore School of Wilderness Bushcraft

Author of a million books and TV expert extraordinaire, Ray Mears is nearly a household name in the UK. Luckily for us his expert knowledge is available to us via his Woodlore School. There they offer family courses, junior courses for the young ones, week-long and weekend classes. Many classes offered in East Sussex, United Kingdom, not far from London.

Coastal Survival School: a man standing in front of a temporary tarp shelter

Coastal Survival School

Coastal Survival School offers what are essentially “Post apocalypse coastal survival courses” along the vastly versatile and diverse Jurassic Coast in West Dorset (in SW England.) Rather than just spending time in the woods, they focus on the realities of living along the coastline: its benefits and drawbacks. Fishing, foraging, and shelter making are a large part of what they offer. Get your rain gear ready, this will be a wet one!

Other Parts of the World

Extremesurvive: a man kneeling in front of a bushcraft shelter made under a fallen tree


Want to learn survival training in Croatia? It's a quick flight from most of Europe to get there, and the folks from Extremesurvive have several courses available most weekends. Get out of the office and into the wild!

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