You are registered for the Wilderness Survival Trek with Wilderness Awareness School!
This page contains important information about the course. You will need to make your travel plans and prepare physically and mentally. Please read it thoroughly. It’s essential to do this as soon as you are able due to several tasks that you will need to prepare for participating in this expedition.
We need you to return the following paperwork to us as soon as possible:
Because of the nature of this program we must have this form no later than May 1st to approve your participation in this program.
Please note: the Medical Record and Physician Examination form must be filled out by a physician (MD or ND). This will require you to make an appointment with your doctor for a complete physical exam. This form is necessary for this expedition due to the combination of physical stress on your body and the isolated wilderness setting – it is for your, and our, safety.
These logistics are essential to help us provide you, and all of our participants, with an outstanding experience. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!
We are looking forward to a powerful, exciting week!
Adult Program Manager
Wilderness Awareness School
A note from your expedition leader:
Thank you for signing up for the Wilderness Survival Trek Expedition. This course is an amazing building block for individuals wanting to learn wilderness survival skills and expand their connection with nature. The Trek is as much about learning individual skills as it is living in a tribe. We experience learning through walking, gathering food, building shelter, storytelling, and living with the bountiful landscape.
Be prepared to push yourself beyond perceived physical, emotional, and mental boundaries amongst the elements of nature. This week will be a life changing experience on many levels and students will be challenged. Participants learn how to better flow with natural processes and rely upon nature’s bounty for food, water, and shelter.
We will cover various ancient skills such as fire by friction, primitive shelter construction, locating food and water by identifying indicator species, and much more. As a result of participating in this course you will experience an increased level of comfort in the wilderness, a greater confidence in a survival situation, and a greater connection to your environment. This comes as a result of an individual realizing the abundance of nature and how to travel through various environments with minimal gear.
We will carry some basic gear; a packing list is included. We ask that all participants bring all of the required items. Many of the items are clothes that you will be wearing. Before setting out on our trek, we will look over everyone’s gear and help you to sort out unnecessary items. Please go over the required list carefully. It might surprise you to see that certain items like “tent” or “sleeping bag” are not present. I assure you that the list is accurate.
We will spend a large portion of our time hiking over varied terrain, being aware of our surroundings and on the lookout for potential food, water, and shelter resources. Some of our time may be spent in a base camp. There will be many skills taught in this course. However, please realize that this is a survival skills course with an emphasis on moving through our natural landscape. Be prepared to be moving over large distances, over rocky terrain, in hot or cold weather, ascending and descending significant elevations.
We will be traveling in a wilderness setting. The wilderness is unpredictable, and unforeseen circumstances may alter the flow of the course if emergency action is required. Rest assured, we say this as a precaution and to fully express to you the potential realities of a wilderness expedition. Both of our lead instructors are certified Wilderness First Responders.
Please note: This program is intentionally designed to mimic elements of different survival situations. Students will not be given a syllabus of the specific daily plan. This omission is not intended to create feelings of confusion or mistrust. Our goal is to allow students to learn from their own responses to the challenges of survival. We will be giving you a well-rounded set of skills that you will remember within your body. The best way that we know to do this is through experiencing hunger, lack of sleep, being cold, and other realities of survival situations.
We are not attempting to scare you with this information. We are trying to paint an accurate description of this survival course. There will be challenges, but there will also be simplicity and pure joy. We encourage deep connection with self, the land, and our budding tribe. I am looking forward to a safe, powerful experience with you all. This course will undoubtedly be one you will never forget.
Lead Instructor, Trek Expedition
Wilderness Survival Trek
This program will run from Sunday, June 26 at 3:00pm until Saturday, July 2 at 3:00pm. We will start and finish at these times at the Wilderness Awareness School Land in Duvall, Washington.
From our Campus in Duvall we will travel in school vehicles through the mountains to the semi-arid Ponderosa pine forests of central Washington.
Our office is your primary contact for administration questions. Wilderness Awareness School is open 8am-4pm (Pacific time). The office number is 425-788-1301. You can also email [email protected]
You can find a map and driving directions here.
Please meet at the School’s Campus, Linne Doran, no later than 3pm. Note that we are NOT meeting at the school’s office.
Airline / Train / Bus Travelers
If you are arriving from out of town we run a shuttle from the SEATAC airport for an additional fee. Please sign up by calling or emailing our office if you need this service. There is no public transportation to Duvall or our land.
WAS Shuttle departs the airport at 1:30 PM on Sunday
WAS Shuttle returns to the airport by 4:30 PM on Saturday
Our land address is: 20410 320th Ave NE, Duvall, WA 98019
What to Expect
Summer in central Washington will most likely be dry and hot during the day and quite cold at night. It is critical that you bring everything on the enclosed gear list (below), as it has been designed for your safety in these conditions.
We will be dining on many of nature’s delicacies! Be prepared for periods of minimal food for at least 3 days. Realize that you will still be traveling and working on your other survival needs during these times. More information on what to expect and how to prepare is included below. Please arrive fed on Sunday and have a small snack for the van ride (no sugar).
Staying hydrated will be one of the keys to having an enjoyable experience. We will be purifying our water as we go. Please bring some form of water treatment for the trip. Bottle Filters (bring 2 of these), SteriPens, Iodine and Chlorine are all acceptable. Aqua Mira Chlorine Dioxide drops is a staff favorite. Hand-pump filters are sluggish and are not recommended. REI has a good selection of this gear. If you do bring a bottle-filter or SteriPen please bring some purification tablets/drops as backup in case those items clog or break. Two 1-liter bottles are required.
*Another note on hydration-please show up well hydrated for this course. Please refrain from drinking alcohol, attending sweat lodges, saunas or any activities that may dehydrate you the day before the class. We wouldn’t mention it if it hadn’t happened.
Your preparation can make a big difference in your experience. We will have a modified diet throughout the week (unless you normally eat wild berries and grubs) and it is key to know how your body reacts to little or no food. We suggest that you do at least one 24-hour fast prior to the trip. Drink plenty of water and take note of how you feel.
Another way to prepare is to limit the foods that you will go without during the trip. A general “cleanse” (minimizing or removing grains, sugar, and dairy) would aid you. Essential things to remove are caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and recreational drugs. If you are a daily coffee drinker, you will want to wean yourself slowly at least a month prior to the trip.
There will be no smoking, alcohol, or recreational drugs on this trip. If you use these substances, plan to be off of these entirely at least one month prior to the program. This trip is very strenuous, and it is NOT the appropriate place to go through a heavy detoxification and/or quitting an addiction. Feel free to contact Lindsay if you have further questions about this.
If you are not in good physical or cardiovascular shape for this trip (and even if you are) – it will be essential that you train physically before the trip. You will function better mentally and physically if you are in good shape. Use this expedition as a reason to get into excellent physical condition. Go for runs, hikes, bike-rides, etc. And then build up to doing those things with limited food! Obviously, you should consult your doctor before doing these things.
Lastly, you are welcome to educate yourself and practice survival skills in advance. Read articles or books (see below), research edible and poisonous plants, practice sleeping outdoors without your cozy REI sleeping gear, practice making a fire using only one match, go to a spot in nature and observe, etc. In general, get outside and practice camping.
We ask all participants to stay home if they have signs or symptoms of Covid-19. Please see the following Dept. of Health Guidelines for an updated list of symptoms. All students are asked to quarantine or isolate if they have symptoms or a Covid exposure per the most up to date state and county guidelines. Please note that masks may be required OR may be optional. We will send an update about current health and safety requirements 2 weeks before the start date.
Recommended Resources (not required)
- Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast Jim Pojar, Andy MacKinnon
- Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West Michael Moore
Food & Fiber:
- The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide Linda Runyon
- Food Plants Nancy Turner
- Plant Technology Nancy Turner
- 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive Cody Lundin
- Primitive Technology 1&2 David Wescott
- The Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Survival John McPherson
- Bushcraft Mors Kochanski
Participant Required Gear for Wilderness Survival Trek
Please note that watches, lighters, cellphones, flashlights, whiskey, sleeping bags, and many other “camping” items are not on the list. If it’s not on the list we won’t be bringing it!
- Wool or poly blend hiking socks (2)
- Hiking shoes (well broken in) –Heavy boots are not recommended!
- Long john top (wool or synthetic)
- Long Sleeved shirt (lightweight bug and sun protection- cotton/synthetic)
- Mid-weight Shirt/Sweater (wool or fleece)
- Mid-weight jacket (wool or synthetic)
- Long john bottom (wool or synthetic)
- Sturdy pants (synthetic)
- Quick-dry shorts (optional if wearing “convertible” pants)
- Sports Bra/Athletic top (if needed)
- Belt – adjustable
- Stocking cap
- Cotton bandana (2)
- Water Socks/Tevas/5-fingers
- Strong, waterproof army surplus type poncho, made from heavy rubberized canvas or heavy duty ripstop nylon with grommets – NOT cheap, plastic ponchos found at sports stores
- Day pack, capable of carrying 20-25 pounds, and around 1800-2500 cu. in. (30-40 liters)
- Two 1-liter water bottles (NOT a 2 liter bladder; recommended: metal, non-insulated, wide mouth. We recommend this one)
- Water treatment: See Water above
- Small Personal Medical kit with tweezers
- Personal Medication/Necessities (Eyeglasses -contacts not recommended, tampons for those who menstruate)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss
- Sharp sheath knife, NO folding knives. Knives are available for purchase at the time of online registration or by emailing [email protected] up to the Thursday before your program date. Knives will NOT be available for sale once you arrive at your program.
- Heavy duty trash bag
- 5 feet of duct tape wrapped around a short pencil or pen
- 50 feet of parachute cord
- Emergency whistle
- Compass (simple Suunto or Silva compass with adjustable declination)
- Sunscreen (unscented)
- Lip Balm
- Leather/Work gloves (for skills)
- Small (2×4) Pocket Notebook pad & pen/pencil
- Small sewing kit
- 2 Ziploc baggies
- Small duffel bag to store non-required gear at our School Land