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Wilderness Survival Instructor Training & Certification Program

Wilderness Survival Instructor Training and Certification Program The Pathfinder School

Wilderness Survival Instructor Training and Certification 

This program is the most intensive survival instructor training available. It is meant for people that have little to no experience but want to learn and are interested in becoming a wilderness survival instructor, or people that already have skills and experience that want to either enhance those skills or test themselves during a realistic and challenging course, and everyone in between.

This course is not just about being able to perform skills. This is about being able to perform and teach these skills on demand in a variety of conditions, often under stress, in many different environments. Expect to be challenged both mentally and physically during this course. You will be required to learn skills to a higher level and also be trained and evaluated on your ability to instruct those skills. 

Instructor Candidates who successfully complete this training will receive a certification from both the Pathfinder School LLC and the Flint & Steel Critical Skills Group LLC.

 The course is broken down into modules so that we can capture the different environments that Instructor Candidates may find themselves teaching in, as well as being more convenient for your schedule. In addition, there is an Eastern Track for Instructor Candidates that plan to teach in the Eastern United States (or similar environments), and a Western Track for those who plan to teach in the Western United States (or similar environment). The course can be taken consecutively or pieced together over time as an Instructor Candidate’s schedule allows. Regardless of how long you take to complete the course, there is an expectation of personal “dirt time” to ensure that you are ready for the next module of your training. The standards will not change to accommodate longer times between modules, you are still responsible for the skills.

All modules are required to be completed with the exception of WFA/WFR. If the Instructor Candidate already possesses a certification from Mark DeJong (Off-Grid Medic) that is still current & valid at the time of graduation. Please contact the Pathfinder School to receive credit for that Module (you will be required to submit documentation for credit). 

 

WSI Module 1: Woodland Module (15 Training Days)

Location: The Pathfinder School

To Sign up: Register Here

This Module will be taught at the Pathfinder School in Jackson, Ohio and will be the foundation that every other Module will build upon. The Woodland Module consists of three 5-day courses for a total of 3 weeks (15 Training Days). This Module will teach woodland-specific skills and be heavy on basic survival and bushcraft skills including fire craft, survival shelters, water procurement, food procurement, intensive land navigation training, tool selection, pioneering skills, and principles of instruction.

 

WSI Module 2: Mountain Module (5 Training Days)

Location: Flint & Steel Critical Skills Group School

To Sign up: Register Here

This Module will be taught at the Flint & Steel Critical Skills Group school location in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and will build upon the foundation of the Woodland Module. The Mountain Module consists of one 5-day course. This module will teach mountain-specific skills and will begin to transition to more primitive backups to the basic techniques already learned including fire craft, shelters, water and food procurement, and will introduce some valuable mountaineering skills and survival signaling. Due to the nature of the weather in the mountains, axe skills will be dialed in further, and given the steep terrain land navigation will be heavier on using the Terrain Association method.

 

WSI Module 3 (Eastern Track): Tropical/Swamp Module (5 Training Days)

Location: Flint & Steel Critical Skills Group School

To Sign up: Register Here

Instructor Candidates that intend to teach in the Eastern United States (or similar environments) will attend Module 3 at WayBack Wilderness in Cantonment, Florida and will continue to build upon what you have learned in the first two modules. The Tropical/Swamp Module consists of one 5-day course. This module will teach tropical/swamp-specific techniques and be heavier on primitive skills than any of the other modules. Primitive fire craft, shelter craft, water and food procurement, primitive weapons and tools will be the focus to continue to round out the Instructor Candidates skillset.

Instructor Candidates must complete either the Tropical/Swamp Module or the Desert Module to receive credit for Module 3. It is not necessary to complete both.

 

WSI Module 3 (Western Track): Desert Module (5 Training Days)

Location: Flint & Steel Critical Skills Group School

To Sign up: Register Here

Instructor Candidates that intend to teach in the Western United States (or similar environments) will attend Module 3 at Primitive Wilderness Survival in Chico, Texas and will continue to build upon what you have learned in the first two modules. The Desert Module consists of one 5-day course. This module will teach desert-specific techniques and be heavier on primitive skills than any of the other modules. Primitive fire craft, shelter craft, water and food procurement, primitive weapons and tools will be the focus to continue to round out the Instructor Candidates skillset.

Instructor Candidates must complete either the Tropical/Swamp Module or the Desert Module to receive credit for Module 3. It is not necessary to complete both.

 

WSI Module 4: Wilderness First Aid/Wilderness First Responder Cert (7 Training Days)

Location: Offered at Flint & Steel Critical Skills Group School

To Sign up: Register Here

This Module will be taught at a number of locations with many opportunities to receive this training and certification from Mark DeJong (the Off-Grid Medic). The WFA/WFR Module consists of one 7-day course. Mark’s Program has been specifically tailored to both the Pathfinder and Flint & Steel systems. Taking students into the backcountry is an incredible responsibility. The more remote the location, the farther away from medical treatment they are. Instructors often have the primary responsibility for the safety and welfare of their students and must be trained to handle those situations until a higher level of care can be reached. Anything less is irresponsible.

 

WSI Module 5: Winter Module (5 Training Days)

Location: Flint & Steel Critical Skills Group School

To Sign up: Register Here

This Module will be taught at the Flint & Steel Critical Skills Group school location in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York.  The Winter Module consists of one 5-day course. The Winter Module prepares the Instructor Candidate for operating and teaching in cold weather environments. Candidates will learn new cold weather-specific skills as well as continuing to refine skills already learned in previous modules including fire, shelter, water and food procurement, and tools.

 

WSI Module 6: Final Instructor Evaluation (3 Training Days)

Location: The Pathfinder School

To Sign up: Register Here

Instructor Candidates who have completed all the other modules are eligible to attend and complete the final evaluation before becoming certified. The Final Instructor Evaluation will be held at the Pathfinder School in Jackson, Ohio. The Instructor Eval will consist of one 3-day intensive course held immediately prior to the Pathfinder Gathering. Instructor Candidates will be required to both perform and instruct skills that have been taught throughout all the other modules in this culminating exercise in order to prove proficiency in all tasks under stressful conditions. Although all tasks and skills may not be evaluated during this module, the Instructor Candidate is responsible for any or all of them at a moment’s notice.

 

WSI - Train the Trainer (3 Training Days) 

Location: The Pathfinder School

To Sign up: Register Here

This class will be based on What it takes to run a School of your Own, What it means to not only own but be able to teach others, Creating Outlines and figuring logistics for classes, understanding the core principles of a good Instruction Method, and teaching groups in multiple Survival and Bushcraft Skill Sets.

 

Graduation: The Pathfinder Gathering

Instructor Candidates who have successfully completed all modules will be presented their certifications from both the Pathfinder School and the Flint & Steel Critical Skills Group during the Pathfinder Gathering in Hillsboro, Ohio.

Instructor Candidates can complete the course consecutively (with travel time between modules) or piece it together over time as their schedule allows.

It is highly recommended that Instructor Candidates continue to pursue dirt time between modules as each module builds on the previous and the responsibility to be able to perform each skill continues from modules to module.

Tasks will be expected to be completed at an Instructor level, not a student level.

 

Completed Program Cost: $4000 (not including travel, before or after class lodging, personal expenses, food or gear.)

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