Wilderness Emergency Survival Skills 1


No prerequisites.

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

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This is the survival skills component of our Level 1 Wilderness Emergency Survival Standard (WESS) course taken over two days. It covers the essential aspects 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 in nearly any environment, using the most efficient, effective, and practical real-world skills and principles consolidated into an easy-to-use system. Combine this course with our Wilderness First Aid Course to earn your WESS 1 certificate and patch.

Whether you are a complete novice or have extensive experience in the field, this course is for you.

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. This course involves physical activity, long training days, and a willingness to get your hands dirty.


  • 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
  • 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 2-day Wilderness Emergency Survival Skills 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 12 and up. Minors must be accompanied by an also enrolled parent/guardian. ALL PRESENT MUST BE ENROLLED!

Class runs all day (approximately 8-10 hours) both days and starts at 0800 on day 1.

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

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, start time, what to expect, 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 2 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
  • Camp chair (optional but nice to have for comfort)
  • Any gear you would like to camp or train with


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