Wilderness Survival

Most rescues happen within the first 72-hours. Our 2-Day Wilderness Survival Basics Course teaches students the essential skills to use these critical hours effectively. Working side-by-side with instructors, students will learn shelter building, water purification, rescue signaling, firecraft, and other core wilderness survival skills. The course also emphasizes planning and decision-making in the wilderness. This class is intended for students at the new or beginner skill levels.

This fun two-day course takes place at our private woodland classroom, Hemlock Ridge. This area is a quarter mile hike from NOC’s main campus. It is a steep climb, so being prepared with appropriate footwear is essential. We have a privy on-site, but there is no running water. Class is held rain or shine, so participants should dress accordingly. Participants can also choose to camp at Hemlock Ridge on Saturday night if desired. Camping on Hemlock Ridge is on your own and optional and is not instructor supported.

Minimum Age: 14 (All minors must be accompanied by parent or guardian)

Meals: Available through NOC’s Restaurants


Courses Dates

2-Day Wilderness Survival Aug 3rd - 4th, 2024 Bryson City, NC $250
2-Day Wilderness Survival Sep 14th - 15th, 2024 Bryson City, NC $250
2-Day Wilderness Survival Oct 5th - 6th, 2024 Bryson City, NC $250

SOLO Southeast Reviews

"I feel much more prepared for future trips & adventures. Excellent balance of knowledge, humor, and hands-on learning. Very personable, respectful, and helpful!"
— Former SOLO Student

"Humor and honest feedback made this course stay interesting, educational, and overall very effective."
— Former SOLO Student


Course Outline


Course Topics

  • Building Shelter
  • Firecraft
  • Water Purification
  • Rescue Signaling

Course In Action Photos


Packing List


NOC Provides the primary gear needed for each course. We will spend the majority of our time outdoors, so dress appropriately for the season in clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. You can check weather for zip code 28713 prior to packing if needed. The following list is to supplement the clothing you will be wearing.

Necessary Items:
• Backpack to put everything in (min. 24 liters)
• Rain gear (tops and bottoms)
• Warm layers of clothing
• Warm hat or sun hat (weather dependent)
• Closed-toed shoes
• Pen and notepad
• Water bottle (at least 1 quart)

Optional Items:
• Small tarp, rain fly, or groundsheet (optional)
• Fixed-blade or lock back knife (folding knife w/lock). Note: If you don’t own one of these, we recommend trying some of our knives to see what you prefer.
• Leather gloves
• Sunscreen & Insect repellent
• Personal first aid kit
• Trekking poles

Camping on Hemlock Ridge:
Students in our 2-day courses will have the option of camping at our woodland classroom on Saturday night.
Students in our 5-Day Wilderness Survival Instructor course are required to spend 2 nights out with the class.

Please bring the following items:
• Tent/Tarp (or other shelter)
• Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
• Eating utensils (including bowl and cup)
• Flashlight or headlamp
• Non-perishable food (e.g. Mountain HouseTM camping food)
• Extra water

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