Equip yourself to

tackle the elements


Autogenous Rescue Training and Outdoor Survival

ARTOS Survival is a Northwest Montana based survival school set apart. Our courses empower the adventurer with knowledge and skills aimed at effective and practical preparation and operation in the field and, if things don’t go as planned, high performance survival, medical, and self-rescue techniques for emergency situations. Whether spending a day on the trail, bugging out for days at a time in the backcountry, or planning for the worst in an urban setting; whether light on gear or carrying a full loadout; whether playing recreationally or operating professionally, our courses are designed for you. This is not “survivalism”. This is not just hobby bushcraft. We train to save lives. Our open-to-the-public courses mainly take place in and around the Flathead Valley of Northwest Montana (see course pages for specifics). Take a look below at the three pillars of our training.


Build a toolkit of proven skills, tactics, and philosophies that will keep you alive and help get you home following an emergency situation. No matter how you spend your time, from day hiking to multi-day adventuring to operating in the field, the skills we rely on should be able to be applied safely, quickly, and reasonably easily. The content of our courses is not meant to impress with gimmicky tricks, but is designed to work, plain and simple, every time.


If you encountered a patient with a traumatic injury or medical emergency in everyday life, would you know what to do? What if it happened in a wilderness setting? How would your actions differ between the two situations? Would you know how to properly use the items in your first aid kit or would you be doing more harm than good? Does your first aid kit have the appropriate equipment of adequate quality and quantity to get the job done right? Would you know how to improvise materials from your environment if you didn’t have the applicable items in your first aid kit? Would you know whether or not you need to evacuate? Could you evacuate your patient without causing further injury? Do you have an understanding of the body’s functions so you can effectively provide for its needs? Can you recognize the resources, both inanimate and human, to source what you need and delegate tasks as a leader? Ignorance is deadly. Reliable knowledge is critical.


One of the most important aspects of emergency and outdoor survival is preparedness. This not only means packing the appropriate, high-quality gear for any given outing or assignment, but also fostering the mindset to ensure you retain your situational awareness and keep your wits about you in a high stress environment. No two things are more deadly than complacency or quitting. Of course, physical training and making a plan are also essential. The question is: can you and will you actually implement these preparations? And, if so, will your preparations be useful or detrimental? The preparations, skills, and knowledge we train in must be practical and serviceable.

Meet Your Instructor

Patrick Norton

Patrick is most at home working and playing in the outdoors and teaching survival and emergency medicine. He is a former wildland firefighter, an EMT specializing in wilderness medicine (WEMT), and a certified medical instructor. He is also a certified wilderness field instructor and swiftwater rescue technician. He has taught and led survival and medical courses for a diverse clientele from the mountains and deserts of California to the boreal of Alaska. On the other hand, his origins are in the urban centers of the San Francisco Bay Area. It goes without saying, that he has extensive experience in a variety of different environments and an understanding of the distinguishing requirements, concerns, and dangers associated with operating in them. He is dedicated to using his experience in the field and in the survival training industry to develop and provide the most effective and practical training curriculums to the public, government organizations, and private businesses.

Courses to build your skills, knowledge, and confidence

2024 course dates out now! ARTOS offers a variety of instructional, hands-on courses from our Wilderness Emergency Survival Standard (WESS) series to wilderness medicine certification courses. Alternatively, our Wilderness Emergency Field Simulation (WEFS) series of courses immerses participants in realistic survival situations to enable them to test their preparation, skills, and mindset in a backcountry setting. We are always working on releasing enhanced level curriculums in our current course progressions as well as all new, subject dedicated courses such as Climate specific Survival, Wilderness Navigation, Wild Plant ID and Use, Survival Food Procurement, and more. Our open-to-the-public courses mainly take place in and around the Flathead Valley of Northwest Montana (see course pages for specifics). Sign up using the course pages linked below or use the contact form at the bottom of the page to schedule private or custom courses for your group or organization. We travel!

artos level 1

Wilderness emergency field simulation (WEFS)

Have you ever wanted to know if you could make it out alive in a backcountry emergency situation? Now is your chance to test your survival skills and gear in a 3-day immersive wilderness survival scenario with our WEFS 1 field course, Wayward in the Northwest. No experience necessary, although the ARTOS Wilderness Emergency Survival Standard 1 course is a great way to prepare. 2024 course dates coming soon! Sign up for our newsletter using the contact form below to be the first to know!

artos level 1

wilderness emergency survival standard (WESS)

The WESS 1 course is the ARTOS Survival standard. This is a combination of our 2-day Level 1 Wilderness Emergency Survival Skills and 2-day Wilderness First Aid courses packed into just three days! Learn and train hands-on in all the essential skills and principles of wilderness emergency survival. From shelter building and fire craft to rescue signaling, water sourcing and treatment, and more, this is the foundation on which all other ARTOS Survival courses are based. This course involves physical activity, long training days, and a willingness to get your hands dirty. This course is more of a challenge than either of our standalone 2-day courses. We train until all objectives are complete! 2024 course dates: June 7-9 and October 11-13

artos level 1

wilderness emerency survival Skills

This is the survival skills component of our Level 1 Wilderness Emergency Survival Standard (WESS) course taken over two days. We will cover all the aspects of wilderness emergency survival covered in the WESS 1 course without the Wilderness First Aid certification. Students will train in the most efficient, effective, and practical real-world skills and principles to survive the vast majority of dire wilderness situations. Combine this course with our Wilderness First Aid Course to earn your WESS 1 certificate and patch. 2024 course dates: Sold out. Check back soon for new course dates.


wilderness first aid Certification

At ARTOS, we believe a complete wilderness survival skillset is not complete without, at minimum, basic backcountry emergency medical training, since many times the emergency includes or is, in and of itself, a medical emergency. In this class, complete with lots of hands-on scenarios, you will learn all about how to respond to an injury or illness in a wilderness setting where help may not be anywhere in sight using manufactured and improvised methods. You will leave this class with an official Health & Safety Institute WFA certification. Combine this course with the Level 1 Wilderness Emergency Survival Skills course to earn your WESS 1 certificate and patch. 2024 course dates: August 17-18


Introduction to wilderness emergency survival

This all-ages 1-day class will give you some introductory knowledge on survival philosophy, skills, and gear. We will go over the essentials in a more abbreviated, family friendly way than our 2- or 3-day survival courses with some fun demonstrations and hands-on activities throughout. Great for kids! 2024 course dates: July 27

Upcoming Future Courses

Stay tuned for our next course releases:

artos level 1

Wilderness navigation

The ARTOS Wilderness Navigation course will train participants in essential navigation tools and methods such as map & compass and digital GPS devices. Students will also learn how terrain effects travel and how to retain situational awareness and orientation without navigation tools. We understand how confusing navigation can be, especially without extensive practice. Our course is designed to simply and effectively make students competent land navigators!



While the ARTOS WESS 1 course is designed to address all the survival essentials even down to cold temperatures, the Winter WESS course dives into the nuances associated with persevering in a snow-covered landscape. For those that frequently adventure or operate in winter climates or just want to expand their skillset, this course was made for you.


Wilderness Emergency Survival Standard (WESS)

The WESS 2 is exactly what it sounds like, the next level of wilderness survival training to build upon the foundation set in WESS 1. Add more skills and knowledge to your arsenal so you can survive more comfortably for longer and adapt even better to what the wild throws at you. Rest assured, this course will stick to the ARTOS Survival philosophy of efficacy, knowledge, and application to make your skillset as effective, realistic, and practical as possible.

Other Future Course Offerings

Environment specific survival: desert, jungle, maritime, etc.

Low-signature and covert survival

Urban preparedness and survival

Survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE)

Wilderness medicine scenario-based skill building workshops

Wild plant and fungi identification and use

Survival food procurement: trapping, tracking, hunting, fishing, foraging, processing, and cooking

Scouting and reconnaissance

Bushcraft and primitive skills

Wilderness tool and weapon craft

Wilderness First Responder/WEMT

Instructor trainee program

We also offer many conventional medical courses such as First Aid, CPR/AED, Stop Life-Threatening Bleeding (similar to Stop The Bleed), Basic Life Support for medical professionals, and more for your group or organization. Send a message below to inquire.