Wilderness Self Reliance and Survival

This is our listing of all our classes in this category, on the ones listed in the Current Classes Section are scheduled the rest are TBA.

Current Classes

WSIP: Wilderness Survival Immersion Program

Nine months, one weekend a month, starts with a 4 day course and ends with a 4 day full survival trip. Learn to take care of your most basic needs with just your own two hands, your mind, and your motivation. Build and sleep in shelters, become proficient at bow drill fire in all conditions, learn to purify water, find food through foraging edible plants, hunting, and trapping.

Land Navigation

Losing your way in the wilderness can be an inconvenience or a life threatening problem. However, with some simple tools, knowledge, and skills, not only can you avoid getting lost but you can plan and execute off trail travel into amazing back country landscapes or navigate to a specific location when it really counts.

Survival Basics 4 Day - Fall

Join us for four packed days of survival basics! We will be running a Spring and Fall Version of this class with different skills emphasized and offered specific to the season. Open to all skill levels, this program will offer challenges to students to push comfort zones while meeting their most basic needs. Includes a debris shelter overnight.

Summer Wild Edible Foraging

Learn Wild Edible Foraging! We will start by learning plant id with a foundation in botany. We will then be spending the afternoon learning, exploring, and nibbling on what early summer foraging has to offer.  All experience levels are welcome!  

Fall Foraging and Processing

Late fall offers us a bounty of food. From roots at the peak of their energy storage, to fall nut harvests, to the last greens surviving the frost, the late Autumn landscape still provides foods to explore and harvest. This course will go into the seasonably available foods, as well as preparation and processing of across, one of the most abundant and nutritious or fall edibles. 

Winter Survival

This is an introductory weekend to the winter in Vermont. We do not expect you to be a survival expert, winter living is challenging, that is why we are excited to be running this course!
 
With several feet of snow on the ground, freezing temperatures, and scarce food, survival in the winter can be demanding.   This course will serve as a thorough introduction to some of the skills needed such as: winter shelter building, winter hunting and trapping, survival snow shoes, winter fire making techniques, bark foods, and much more. This course will offer wisdom into the forested landscape in winter and all of the resources still available from it. The winter months are profound teachers of efficiency and effectiveness, bringing home the reality of survival skills in a winter environment such as Vermont.

Pelt Tanning

Furs and pelts are an amazing way to get your hands on the tanning process. This introduces you to much of the principals, terminology, and processes of hide tanning while being less intensive and more approachable then tanning a whole deer hide into buckskin. You will get to learn how to take raw pelts and turn them into beautiful furs to use in projects such as making hats, gloves, vests, hood liners, and pouches. In this course students will tan and take home a finished pelt. We will cover the steps of skinning, fleshing, membraining, softening, and smoking. We will also talk about and show possible projects you can create using your new skill. Pelt tanning is an important wilderness skill, and something every nature based culture used to create a wide variety of clothing and containers.

Survival Basics 4 Day- Spring

Join us for four packed days of survival basics! This class is great for all skill levels and will challenge students to find new ways of engaging with the landscape to meet their most basic needs. We will be running a Spring and Fall Version of this class with different skills emphasized and offered specific to the season.

Wilderness Self Reliance

The Wilderness Self Reliance Weekend is a weekend course designed to cover the basic necessary knowledge one should have on even the most simple outing into the wild. Hunters, hikers, naturalists, travelers, or anyone doing anything in the back country will find this course a helpful compliment to their own skills sets and knowledge. We will cover preparedness, survival mentality, emergency shelters, fire starting through several modern and primitive methods, water gathering and purification, navigation, weather prediction, basic survival food gathering, hunting and trapping, and more.

Spring Wild Edible Foraging: Roots and Shoots

Spring!  The time to eat your greens!  This is also a fantastic time to learn the basal rosettes of so many biennial plants that have edible roots.   We will spend the day identifying various plants, nibbling, and putting together a salad of wild greens and sautéing of foraged roots.  This is a great way to get into a foraging practice for the rest of the growing season.

Winter Fire Making

Come out to Roots for the day and bring your fire skills to a new level! We will cover basics of building and maintain a good hot fire in the snowy winter conditions and learn which trees to select for our fuel. We will then carve our own bow drill kits and put them to use to create fire from friction! 

Core Skills

Roots Core Skills  introduces students to our school’s main elements, primitive survival skills, tracking, and awareness. In this week long course students will gain hands on experience and time tested information about survival shelters, primitive water filtration and gathering, and friction fire skills such as bow drill and hand drill.

As we move into food gathering students will spend time harvesting and processing wild edibles, practice hunting skills, and learning how to skin, clean, and cook.

Tracking and awareness will support all of these skills as we learn the skills necessary to becoming a member of our ecosystem, not an alien struggling to survive.

Open to all skill levels. We do not just dump students in the middle of no where with nothing. This is course is designed to maximize what  you can learn well in one week, not to beat you up.

Students will also gain hands on time with rock tools, primitive water vessels, cordage making, and more. We keep this class small so expect more time doing than watching.

Cooking By Fire

This class is about the art and know how as well as the celebration of cooking and eating over a fire.   These skills take us to an intimate place within the landscape as we coax flames and coals, learn techniques of the hearth and outdoor fire, process wild edibles, and eat!  Alongside of this, we will be able to translate the techniques used everyday in our kitchens to using fire, coals, and ash to cook delicious meals.