Posted by Larry Catt on October 13, 2014
Outstanding Course and Worth the Effort it Will Take to Complete.
Intermediate (Pioneer) Survival Class
Posted By: Roy Osborne
First, a bit of background. I wanted to attend one of the Pathfinder courses and bring my oldest son along. I have been an outdoor enthusiast since I was a Boy Scout nearly 30 years ago. I'm also a US Marine combat veteran. My son has been involved in scouting since first grade and is working on Eagle Scout.
We weren't sure if we would want to take the Basic course or the Intermediate (Pioneer) Course. We were concerned that the basic course would be mostly review for us based on the course description and our backgrounds so we signed up for the Intermediate.
This course was very challenging. Dave and the Instructors keep things very fast paced and create a stressful environment at times to keep the training in line with a real survival situation. Likewise, they are very patient and make great mentors to the students. You need to have a very good grasp of fire building and land navigation. Rather than just learn how to survive for a short time, you learn how to live using the items provided by mother nature and the idea of this training is to remove the reliance on modern tools and equipment and use items and methods the Pioneers used.
I highly recommend this course to anyone that wants to increase their knowledge of survival training and to anyone, such as hikers, hunters, or outdoor enthusiasts in general, who put themselves in a situation that they may need these skills. However, I believe it would behoove you to take the Basic Course first. Regardless of your experience level in outdoor skills, you need to have a good understanding of the Pathfinder methodology. You could tell which students had been to the basic course. It’s not to say the Intermediate course was easy for them, just easier compared to those who hadn't taken the Basic Course. I was one of the few from our team that received the certification and my military (Infantry) background is what gave me the edge I needed since I hadn’t been to the Basic Course. If you take the Basic Course first, you should be fine as well.
In closing, I strongly recommend this course to anyone whose skill level is ready for it. It has been one of my favorite outdoor training experiences I have ever participated in and Dave and the Instructors are great. I can't express how much I admired the one on one time that they spent working with everyone. This is a top notch school and I can't imagine anyone running a more professional and dedicated program.
Definitely More Advanced & Intensive Than The Basic Course.
Intermediate (Pioneer) Survival Class
Posted By: Kristopher Johnson
Back again from the Pathfinder School, and I must say it was a great Intermediate (Pioneer) Survival Class. It took a few weeks to process the experiences, and I think that says a lot about the course itself. The training one receives in this class is definitely more advanced and intensive than the Basic Course, and while the same sense of urgency is always prevalent, there is definite long term and lifelong skill building going on. You will be tested, but you will come away with many rewards.
I must first add a few things at the beginning for those who are thinking about taking this course. I highly recommend taking the Basic Class before attending the Pioneer Class. As the description of this course alludes to, this class will build on the principles learned in the Basic Class. I think for one thing, becoming acquainted with the Pathfinder teaching methodology before this class is a real bonus, as I had previously attended & certified in the Basic Course. The other thing to mention is to make sure you are in relatively good shape, the intensity level constantly increases. While I happily got certified at Pioneer, there were many times I wish I had been training harder. You will be ahead of the game if you are physically and mentally in shape.
With all that said, I could not ask for a group of better instructors. Dave, as always, was a great teacher and woodsman. He has got a great thing going, and it was awesome to be able to learn even more at the Pathfinder School. Dave is always teaching and pushing you to do your best. I have to thank my team leader and instructor, Jamie Burleigh for the incredible experience and knowledge I gained by working with him. I say “working with” because Jamie surely has a calling to teach and work with students. He is an excellent instructor, and really takes the time to not just answer the “what’s” but wants you to take it in and understand the “whys”. I can't say enough about how much it means to be able to learn from instructors and friends that truly care about how and what they teach, and most importantly care about the student. If you never give up, these guys will not give up on you.
I highly recommend this class to anyone interested. There are some awesome skills and knowledge to take away from the Pioneer course. From primitive fire to wild medicinal's to navigation and many other skills, you will take away not only some great knowledge you will come away with great and rewarding experiences in my opinion. I had a great time and with even more things to work on now, I’ll be getting ready for the next class.