Maine Primitive Skills Survival vs  Working Skills in any season is a matter of depth of skill and knowledge.

 Survival vs Working Skills in any season is a matter of depth of skill and knowledge.


Survival is about “making it”. In winter, the margin between life and death can be razor thin. For this reason, our survival courses are not only seasonal, they are taken very seriously. We detail with excruciating effort and guided experience the effort and techniques needed to keep folks from perishing in the out of doors. The instructors share from their own direct experience and the emphasis of the course is to get folks out alive and with as much of themselves as they went in with. Hypothermia is the leading cause of death in outdoor activities. Frostbite is responsible for the loss of fingers, toes, ears, and noses. Recognizing the symptoms of such maladies is as important as learning how to first prevent them. Treatment is covered as part of the exit strategy as time is a critical factor in getting ones core temperature warm. The focus of the survival courses is to give the student all that they can absorb with regards to getting back home safely should something go wrong.

The focus of the school is different. While Winter Survival is all about getting out of the woods alive, Winter Skills is about getting out into the woods and living!  Tracking, winter foraging, basket making, snow shoe making, bow making, building snow shelters, fire making in wintry conditions, these are just a few of the skills we can develop during the winter months. Winter skills are what you would be doing had you lived in a tribe that had been deeply connected to their landscape for generations . . . and never lost that connection.  The difference between suffering until self rescue or aid from others arrives to bring you back into a climate controlled landscape and developing the skills that create a sense of deep connection to the landscape (nature literacy) and thriving is the difference between “Survival” and “Earth Living”. For more information about both our “Winter Survival” and our “Winter Skills” workshops click their names in this sentence.