Wilderness Emergency Survival Standard 1 (WESS 1)

5.00 out of 5
(2 customer reviews)


+$50 to add on a CPR/AED certification, which is a prerequisite. Other valid and current CPR/AED certifications accepted.

Please read ALL the informational tabs below the Add To Cart button for important course information.

Please add a student for every course spot you would like to purchase. At least one student is required to add to cart.
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The WESS 1 is the ARTOS Survival standard. It is a combination of our 2-day Level 1 Wilderness Emergency Survival Skills and 2-day Wilderness First Aid course packed into just 3 days! This class is for those that want a little bit more of a challenge compared to our standalone survival or WFA courses. It will give the student a little bit more of a feel for the stresses created by the circumstances of a wilderness emergency. Learn how to be self-sufficient when help could be days away.

This course will give the student the knowhow to survive and provide medical care in nearly any environment, using the most efficient, effective, and practical real-world skills and principles consolidated into an easy-to-use system.

Whether you are a complete novice or have extensive experience in the field, this course is for you. This is the foundation on which all other ARTOS Survival courses are based.

This course is taught in an outdoor setting with ‘classroom’ and hands-on portions in the field, designed around the ideal progression through the hierarchy of life-sustaining needs. You will also receive a Wilderness First Aid certification from the Health & Safety Institute (HSI) so you will be able to treat medical emergencies in the outdoors for extended durations. This course involves physical activity, long training days, and a willingness to get your hands dirty. We train until we are done!


  • Build a weatherproof shelter from natural materials
  • Make fire from a variety of methods, including a primitive bow-drill kit
  • Source and treat water
  • Make an effective trap for small animals
  • Identify wild plants and their uses
  • Make cordage from plants
  • Perform various rescue signaling techniques
  • Provide first aid for various backcountry injuries and illnesses
  • Recognize and treat exposure (hypo- and hyperthermia)
  • Prepare your gear, body, and attitude for the outdoors
  • Learn survival philosophy and how to respond to emergencies
  • …And more!

Important Course Information (Please Read)

ARTOS 3-day WESS 1 courses are open to the public and are held at a beautiful 250-acre camp on the shores of Flathead Lake in Lakeside, MT, just south of Kalispell, MT.

Ages are 14 and up due to HSI Wilderness First Aid requirements and the fast-paced nature of the course. Minors must be accompanied by an also enrolled parent/guardian. ALL PRESENT MUST BE ENROLLED!

Class starts at 0800 on day 1. The first two days run long (into the night). Class usually ends by 1600 on day 3.

You do not need to arrange for accommodations. You will sleep on-site in a handmade survival shelter (recommended but tents are okay too).

You must have a valid and current CPR/AED certification for the Wilderness First Aid portion of this course. ARTOS can provide this training and certification. It includes an online component done on your own time, which must be completed before the first day of class. Hands-on skills will be verified on the first day of class, after which you will receive a certificate. If you already have CPR/AED or choose to get your training elsewhere, any valid and current certification will be accepted.

The next tab lists the required gear you will want to think about acquiring well before the class. We encourage you to use what you already have so you have less to purchase.

After your order is processed, an orientation package with further information, including exact location, time, what to expect, and instructions on how to begin the online portion of CPR/AED (if purchased), etc. will be sent via email.

Instructors are trained and certified in emergency medicine and will carry first aid equipment, emergency signaling devices, and defensive measures for dangerous wildlife throughout the course.

A complete refund can be issued for any cancellation more than 21 days before the date of the course. For any cancellation within 21 days of the date of the course, a credit will be issued and honored for any open course of equal value.

In the event that ARTOS Survival must cancel a course due to unforeseen circumstances, students will be given notice as soon as possible and given the option to either reschedule to a later scheduled course of equal value, to be notified when a new course date for the enrolled course is scheduled, or to receive a full refund. If flying in or scheduling lodging or vehicle rentals for your trip, please choose refundable options or purchase travel insurance in the event that this does happen.

Sign up by clicking ADD STUDENT. Fill out the student information form. If you desire, you may add more students by clicking ADD STUDENT again. Then click ADD TO CART. You may then view your cart and checkout as usual.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have by emailing patrick@artossurvival.com. We do our best to reply promptly and thoroughly.

Required Gear

  • Your favorite high-quality fixed-blade knife or multitool. If you want to bring a knife, Mora Knives make a great beginner blade. You can get the Companion model for about $25 online. For a multitool, Leatherman, Gerber, or Victorinox brands are the best. Just make sure it has a locking, plain edge blade. A saw blade is a big plus!
  • Appropriate clothes for the weather. Make sure you are comfortable. Training days are long. We recommend having multiple layers, boots, and a hat and sunglasses.
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tents and other camping gear are allowed, but you are encouraged to sleep in the shelter you build in class. It is a good idea to bring these just in case.
  • Water bottle and water
  • Foodstuffs for 3 days. You may bring anything you want as you will have access to your vehicle during meal times. Mountain House or other backpacking meals are a good option. MREs will work as well. It is also highly recommended that you bring snacks for throughout the course.
  • Headlamp or flashlight, extra batteries
  • Work gloves
  • Daypack
  • Pen and notebook
  • Digital or analog watch with second hand
  • Camp chair (optional but nice to have for comfort)
  • Any gear you would like to camp or train with

2 reviews for Wilderness Emergency Survival Standard 1 (WESS 1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jared Potter (verified owner)

    Great information and good time. Patrick is very professional and on point. we did everything in description above. Pat was patient with all students, which is rare to find, and answered all questions that were “situation will dictate.” I personally was humbled with the amount of knowledge he had and thought the course was great. most everybody should be fluent with this info and experience. give it a shot.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mullet Man (verified owner)

    Folks, listen up: I’ve just finished the Wilderness Emergency Survival Standard (WESS) course, and I have to say that Patrick (a really great American) really knows his stuff. As someone who knew next to nothing about CPR and emergency medical topics before the course, I was pleasantly surprised with how much knowledge I gained so quickly with Patrick’s expert instruction. He makes it engaging and fun to learn this stuff, and the scenarios he has you doing throughout really helped me go from information overload to confident application quicker than I ever thought possible. In just three days I saw all of us students go from complete novices to people I’d trust to help me in an emergency. In addition, the medical portion is broken up by very fun outdoor activities like shelter building, the bow drill and trap building. We all had a blast. I’ll be on the lookout for future offerings.

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