Western Washington Wilderness
Future Dates TBD
“Run don’t walk to attend the week-long Wilderness Survival Immersion class offered by the Wilderness Awareness School. Not only did I gain valuable survival skills but also established a lasting connection to nature in a new way that I had not experienced before. Beyond that, the entire experience was transformative and rejuvenating.”
– 2019 WSI Participant
What would it be like to relate to the Earth without the conveniences of our modern world? During the 7-day Wilderness Survival Immersion, you will explore this realm with highly experienced instructors who are skilled at creating challenges that are just within your grasp!
The Wilderness Survival Immersion serves as a stepping-stone for those wanting to expand their connection with nature and build their wilderness survival and ancestral living skills. This wilderness survival skills course is designed to allow you to experience nature directly, and feel the freedom of surviving off the land and learning to trust the earth to provide for all of your needs.
- Making fire (with modern and ancient methods)
- Constructing and living in survival shelters
- Locating food and water by identifying indicator species
- Surviving with minimal supplies and a knife
- Identifying and enjoying wild edibles
- Processing animals for food and resources
- Experiencing nature in an ancient and meaningful way
The biggest benefit of this class is learning to increase your level of comfort in the wilderness. These lessons will not be from a book or a video; they will be deep inside your bones. Graduates of the program often share that they carry this feeling of connection with nature into their daily lives.
This shift is possible whatever your experience level, and comes as a result of transcending your perceived edges. You will experience the simplicity and abundance of nature as you sink into a wild place with minimal gear.
Please read this carefully before you register. This course is very challenging, both physically and mentally. As a participant, you must be prepared to push yourself beyond perceived physical, emotional, and mental edges – amidst a wilderness setting. You will have the opportunity to learn how to flow with natural processes as you rely upon nature’s bounty for food, water, and shelter.
Due to the intense physical requirements of this expedition and the remote location, we require that all participants undergo a complete physical examination and submit a signed Physician’s Medical Examination Form (included with your registration confirmation packet). We need to receive this at least 30 days prior to the start of this expedition or as early as possible if registering closer to the start date. This will require you to make an appointment with your physician. We have implemented this requirement for your health and safety and for the overall experience of the group.
We carry some basic gear on the survival expedition, most of which consists of the clothing that we will be wearing. Upon registering for this course, you will receive a required gear list. When we meet as a group, there is an opportunity to modify what we carry prior to heading into the field. This is dependent on the weather and other factors.
We spend a large portion of our time exploring our local area, practicing survival skills, being aware of our surroundings, and staying on the lookout for potential food, water, and shelter resources. The emphasis of this course is practicing survival skills in one place and connecting deeply with a wild landscape.
We explore daily over uneven ground and will go without food and with limited water for extended periods of time. If you have any concerns or questions about whether this wilderness survival course is appropriate, or if you have any special needs that you would like to discuss prior to registering for this course, please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to talk with you.
Please note that there is a Physician Release Form that is REQUIRED to attend. It must be filled out by a physician (MD or ND) to participate.
Meet Your Instructors
Richie was born and raised in Yelm, WA. Spending his summers camping in Weyerhauser with family and friends he developed a deep love for the forest. Working with youth at Camp Cispus during high school and college he realized his passion for working with kids. He has since dedicated his life to reconnecting with nature, community, and self. He is deeply committed to helping both kids and adults to find their passions by sharing his with them.
Since coming to the school in 2007 he has completed The Immersion at Wilderness Awareness School, the Apprenticeship Program, the Tracking Intensive, and a number of other programs. Over the past three years on staff he has worked at Roots and Wings, Coyotes, Community School, and Wild Within. He is now excited to bring his gifts and passions to the adults as a core The Immersion Outdoors School instructor. Things that keep Richie active are going out trailing animals, practicing archery, learning about bird language, making his own sour dough bread, deer bone broth, kombucha, yogurt, kefir, and other kitchen projects, making moccasins, spending time with friends, family, and his beautiful wife Natalie and their daughter Ruby.
Lindsay has over 20 years of training and experience with plants of the Pacific Northwest. Studying plants has been a core focus of Lindsay’s life and passion. She has experience with native plant re-introductions, permaculture, organic farming/gardening, wildcrafting, landscaping with native plants, ethnobotany, arboriculture, plant intuition, and is a plant science dork.
Lindsay holds a Bachelor’s degree in Ethnobotany, and a MA in Counseling Psychology (LMHC). The root of her knowledge comes from thousands of hours of “dirt time”, study and an intentionally cultivated relationship with the land. As you will learn, the best education is spent getting your hands dirty and connecting deeply with plants in wild places!