Winter Woodsman Course | Bushcraft, Survival & Outdoor Skills Course

Course Info
· Max. Size: 4
· College Credits: 2
· Americorps: Yes
· Tuition: $950

Winter Bushcraft, Survival And Guide Training Course In New Hampshire

Course Calendar     Register Now

Our overview of winter bushcraft and outdoor living in the frozen wilds of New Hampshire. Topics covered are snowshoes and snowshoeing, sleds and toboggans, canvas tents, wood stoves, shelter construction incorporating wood stoves, ice fishing, tracking, axe, knife and saw use and safety, use of the ice chisel, understanding ice and ice safety, winter tree identification, outdoor cooking, making emergency snowshoes, and, in general, how to live safely and comfortably below zero. The goal is for participants to learn how to conduct themselves well in bitter cold.

Winter is a season of narrow margins in the north woods. The cold and snow quickly magnify accidents and poor decisions into life-threatening situations, and the stranded traveler quickly learns that the skills that served him or her well in warmer weather are sorely lacking when the temperature is frequently below zero degrees Fahrenheit for weeks at a time. But for those who would learn the skills of winter it is a magical time, when all the bugs and people have gone away for the season, leaving the quiet bush to those who would venture forth armed with knowledge and experience. You can gain both knowledge and experience in our Winter Woodsman course.

With our practical, hands-on approach you’ll develop knowledge and experience that will serve you well whether you’re forced to spend a night out at the end of hunting season or are planning a multi-week snowshoe trip.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Defining survival and survival priorities
  • Fire: 5 stages of fire, 1 match firelighting, lighting a fire by friction, percussion, refraction and modern firelighters
  • Shelter: Concepts of shelter, hoop house, quad pod, dome, emergency open shelters that will keep you alive at 40 below zero and the role of snow as an insulator and when and how to construct snow shelters
  • Water: The role of hydration in survival, winter water sources, melting snow
  • Sleep: The importance of restful sleep in survival
  • Dressing for the outdoors: The role of clothing in survival and such topics as the difference between wet and dry cold and appropriate footwear for each
  • Tools: Knife, axe, saw, and ice chisel
  • Identification of Useful wild plants of winter
  • Identifying and understanding animal tracks
  • Ice fishing with modern and improvised equipment
  • Safe travel on ice
  • Living on snow shoes
  • Methods of increasing one’s acclimatization to the cold
  • Examination of myths and inaccuracies on winter survival that are prominent in the literature

Participants will have the opportunity to build a shelter and spend several nights in it, build a bush bucksaw, build a pair of emergency snowshoes and a simple but effective snowshoe binding, build a packframe and much more.

NOTE: No fish and game laws will be broken during the course. Snares will be constructed, explained, then taken down as snaring small game is illegal in New Hampshire. Ice fishing will only be carried out by those with a valid New Hampshire fishing license.

Gear List:   A good place to start is with our Winter Woodsman gear list.

Arrival and Departure:   The course runs from Monday morning to Saturday morning. Plan to arrive on sunday afternoon, between 4 and 6. The course is over on Friday afternoon, and people are welcome to stay over Friday night.

Cancellation and Refund Policies:   Please visit our School Policies page for information on all of our policies.

What is included with the tuition:   Included in the tuition is lodging, instruction, and group gear.

What is not included with the tuition:   Not included with the tuition are personal gear, items from town and any foods.

Tobacco:   Smoking is not permitted in or near any buildings, tents (unless it’s your own) or shelters. All cigarette butts are to be placed into the metal can provided.

Other: Please don’t bring any pets or illegal drugs.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

We reserve the right to include or omit any of the course topics listed due to class interest, availability of materials, inclement weather, or other factor that makes them impractical or unsafe.

Course Calendar · Apply Now


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