Fortunately, most of us will never find ourselves in a life or death situation in the woods. You’ll likely never have to build a fire by rubbing sticks together, make a distinction between poisonous and edible plants, build a solar still to collect water, or make a shelter to keep safe from the elements. You likely won’t have to navigate back to civilization after a plane crash or live long enough for a search party to find us after losing the trail on a long hike. But what if you do?  Even if you never need to be a real-life survivor, there are still lots of great reasons to learn how to make and use a bow-drill kit, or carry a lit coal for miles in a piece of fungus, or build a cozy lean-to and make yourself at home in a forest.

1. It’s fun!

Have you ever built your own shelter, caught some fish, and cook them over a fire you just made?  It’s so much fun! Learning to live off the land is a great way to relax and experience the world on a whole new level. In this age of screens, connectivity, flash in the pan trends and instant gratification, shift down a few gears and enjoy a birdsong.  You won’t regret it.

2. You don’t need much

Modern “necessities” have a sneaky way of confusing what’s really important. Leave social media behind for a weekend and you might be surprised to find how little you miss it, after some initial separation anxiety. Take time for yourself and don’t worry about the rest of the world for just a little bit. You’ll come away feeling strong, centered, and focused. Or, at least you’ll have a great story about how everything went wrong! Our campers love to tell stories of their hardest trips, we call it type-2 fun because it’s not always fun while it’s happening, but it’s super fun to tell the story!

3. It’s all about teamwork!

As often as survival stories are told as a lone-wolf type overcoming all odds on their own, the key to survival is working together. A critical survival skill is being able to keep a cool head in stressful situations.  How do you learn to do that?  Seek out safe & challenging situations like racing a setting sun to build a shelter, make a fire, find water and gather food for the night.  That’ll learn you a cool head or you’ll be thirsty and cold.

4. A deeper connection to nature!

Take a deeper dive into the world around you and learn what it means to be one with the environment. You might understand how the food chain works, but have you ever really felt like you were a part of it? You’ll see the sun in a whole new light when the first rays of dawn catch your skin after a chilly night.

5. You’ll feel powerful!

Make a fire from scratch, catch a fish in a handmade trap, sleep long and deep through a cold and windy night. It is an unmatched feeling to have the power to thrive with nothing but what nature provides. You will access a deeper sense of living and gain control over your mind and your surroundings.

6. Hey, maybe it will come in handy someday…

Who knows, maybe you really will need to know some survival skills someday. Perhaps not a life or death situation, but you will grow confidence in yourself in learning these skills and that can turn a tough situation into a fun adventure. These skills offer mental clarity and self-reliance that will aid you in all aspects of life and embolden your inner strength.

Want to learn more about survival skills?

Check out Flying Cloud and Red Spruce Grove.  You can reach Charlie directly at

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