Desert Survival Course

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by desert_tom, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. desert_tom

    desert_tom Guest

    After searching extensively for advanced survival courses in my area ( southern nevada ) i started thinking. it was a pretty long thought train, since i was pissed that i couldnt find anything. well i got to thinking that refining my own desert survival skills might be as good as learning more advanced things. i also thought that teaching people is the best way to refine skills already learned and to learn new things from new people.

    anyway, i have been working out a lesson plan for a beginning desert survival class for 10-12 people. i have a friend on board who is also a "survivalist". my question is, is there anyone here who has given instruction on survival or wilderness training? is their anything specific i need to do legality wise ( business license, insurance, yada yada BS ) any tips or pointers would be great.

    and also, once everything is set and done, what is a good price to charge for this service? not that im too terribly worried about the money, but time isnt free and people may feel jipped if they dont pay.

    thanks for the advice

  2. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    Please give us some more information about your plans.

    Are you going to take them out for an extended period of time? Overnight?

  3. desert_tom

    desert_tom Guest

    i was thinking

    i was really thinking just a crash course, maybe in an outside setting, maybe indoors, about basic desert survival techniques and stuff you should have ( small personal survival kit ). if all goes well and i get a good response, then we would move to something bigger. the lesson plan i have going now includes these things:

    1.) Introduction and Overview

    2.) Basic Small Survival Kit
    Going over everything in the small personal survival kit. The uses and the alternative uses of each individual item.

    3.) Terrain - different kinds of desert terrain including Mountainous, Rocky Plateau, Sand dunes, Salt Marshes, and dissected terrain (Wadi / Orroyos)

    4.) Environmental Factors - low rainfall, intense sunlight and heat, wide temperature range, sparse vegetation, mineral content near ground surface, sandstorms, mirages.


    6.) Heat Casualties - heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke - signs and how to administer first aid.

    7.) Hypothermia - signs and how to administer first aid.

    8.) Things that bite, things that sting and things that will kill you. Going over reptiles, bugs, and plants. Brief overview of predators.

    9.) Shelter - natural and man made.

    10.) Procuring Food.

    11.) Closing Thoughts.

    With a major emphasis on Survival, not on living for extended periods of time in the desert. alot of things i have usurped from the US army survival handbook, because they have better wording for things. ( thingy, doo hicky, thingamabob. )

    again, any information would be great.

  4. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    There are probably courses already in place - just under different names than what you might have been looking for. I have taken Wilderness First Aid which covers survival, nature's pharmacy, communications, organization, planning ... and all kinds of stuff like that.

    I have also taken "Outdoor Bound" courses through the local University which teachs mountaineering, river-rafting, skiing, snow-shoeing, hiking ... etc.

    From what I can gather, someone who wants to be a teacher of a subject must be certified to teach in related fields. I would recommend that if you want to put a course together, first get certified to teach in related fields that will allow you to put it all together for the courses you would like to go with.

    You would need the backing of a large organization (College, University, Red Cross, TechSchool ... etc) to certify others for what you are teaching. You don't need the backing of a large organization for "non-certificate" teaching - meaning that the person who leaves your classroom (indoor or outdoor) only goes away with knowledge - no certificates that can be framed.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  5. desert_tom

    desert_tom Guest

    I'll look into it some more through the local universities. thanks for the input Naekid.
  6. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    I have Military Buddies that did exactly what you are doing, and they couldn't make a living at it.
    They were military Jungle (Mayflower), SERE, and 'Special Forces' and the insurance was so incredibly high they simply would have to charge too much.

    You might want to change your focus a little.

    Instead of 'Survival', consider 'Outward Bound' type program or Corporate Team Building Exercises.
    That pays BIG money and the Insurance/bonding is MUCH less! (doesn't have the word 'Survival' in it!)

    "Desert Navigation & LIVING Skills",
    "Basic Desert LIVING Skills",
    "Aboriginal LIVING Skills" classes.
    (you say 'Indian' and I'll want to punch you in the nose!)

    To say 'Survival' means there is a distinct possibility that one will NOT Survive, and that makes insurance companies gun shy!
  7. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

    I would strongly recommend you do a google search for BOSS, the Boulder Outdoor Survival School and read every link you run across. First off, it's an outstanding program from everything I've read. Top notch instruction with no shortcuts. Students are tested in the Utah desert and go home with the confidence that they really can make it in the wilderness in a very harsh environment.

    Second off, you'll find a number of interesting articles on the student they lost a couple years ago on a trip and the law suit they settled. I can't recall the details, but it's enough to make you really think about the consequences if things go horribly wrong and you're the owner of the business.

    I'm hoping to take their seven day class next summer, but it's not about survivalism, it's about primitive survival. I'd be fascinated by a survivalist survival course, but I don't know how big the market is or how much you could charge.

    I'd say at minimum, you should equip every student with a SPOT or similar device. At the very least, it makes body recovery more convenient.
  8. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    My military buddies had a student that decided to play with a Coral Snake and got bit and died.
    The law suit from his family was HORRENDOUS!

    They sued for 25 Million,
    Got 6.8 Million in settlement for a guy that was 28 years old, dropped out of high school, no advanced education, and hadn't kept a job more than 9 months his entire life, and had spent 3 years of a 6 year sentence in jail for drugs...
    His parents purchased the 'Survival School' for him to try and get him to dry out...


    I think the crying widow and two snot suckers he fathered were the deciding factor for the lawyers...

    Put me on the jury and they wouldn't have got a dollar...

    Endurance, those SPOT and like transponders are becoming pretty standard equipment at a lot of hunting lodges now!
  9. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

    I've had a SPOT since April and I love it. So does the GF. I ride solo a lot and it's reassuring that I can send her an "ok" message when I leave the trailhead so she knows where I'm riding, even if there's been a last minute change in plans or I'm out of cell range. If I don't follow up with an ok message within a half hour of dark, then she'll call my cell phone. If I don't answer, she'll start the manhunt. That way, even if I'm lying unconscious, she can send out the troops or at least notify them to start searching in the morning and verify my car is still at the trailhead.

    I've never used the help function, but it goes to the GF and two other close cycling friends who'd be willing to drive out and pick me up if it started pouring rain or I broke something on the bike I couldn't repair. They know that's how I'd use it and they'd coordinate a "rescue" themselves.

    Obviously the 911 feature is self explanatory. The cool thing is you can upload a bio with your outdoor experience, equipment description, contact numbers, etc., so search and rescue knows who they're searching for when they get the call from the SPOT control center.

    So far I've been impressed with coverage. I've only had two times where it didn't send a signal when I did an ok check out of several hundred uses and I'm not sure if perhaps I didn't hit the button hard enough or perhaps the terrain was too steep to get a satellite signal out (I'd suspect this in one case, but not the other). If you don't subscribe to the tracking service (which updates your location every 10 minutes) a single set of batteries lasts a full year. With the tracking the batteries only last two weeks.
  10. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    The ones they gave us in Montana on a hunting trip they could 'Ping' like a satellite pager to find your exact location if you didn't respond.
    The ping is responded with your coordinates.

    You have like 15 minutes to respond, and if someone 'Pings' you, and you don't respond, the system sets search & rescue in motion...

    There was an 'Emergency' button on it too.

    The only thing I didn't like about them is they have a little antenna wire sticking up that got in the way if it was on your belt, and if you put it on the pack or something, you might not hear/see the 'Ping' notification.

    Kind of like a boat or aircraft EPRB, but they can locate you remotely without you having to activate it.

    I hear they have saved HUNDREDS in Alaska already at the hunting lodges!
    (Stupid tourists like me getting lost!)

    Anyway, I've been messing with my very first personal GPS device, I'm still a map & Compass guy!
    (Old farts are like that!)

    What does the 'SPOT' and services cost a year?
  11. green1706

    green1706 Guest

    Tom Brown runs a survival school in NW NJ's sussex county.
    Tom Brown Jr., America's most renowned tracker and wilderness survival expert, has devoted his life to educating people in the skills of Tracking, Wilderness Awareness and Survival.
    As the prerequisite for all other Tracker classes, Standard provides for each student a common vocabulary and a consistent understanding of the foundation of all of Tom’s teachings. To thoroughly prepare students, this Standard course provides a comprehensive introduction to each of Tracker’s seven core tracks, which are: Philosophy, Teaching, Healing, Prophecy/Vision, Scout, Survival Skills, and Tracking. So........


    military survival / wilderness survival
  12. Stu Padasso

    Stu Padasso Member

    RE: Tomas

    Is this Tom J. 3 Recon USMC
  13. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member