Take Survival Training this Spring

"I would recommend this to anyone who wants to push themselves and challenge their skillset. Highly recommend this course, especially to wilderness first responders." — SMSC Graduate
Foraging for Cedar Cordage Debris or Sapling Shelters

The Spring Mountain Survival Course (SMSC) is a world-class professionally taught Modern Wilderness Survival Course designed to give you the knowledge you need if stranded in the Mountains of Canada. If you are a Hiker, Backpacker, Traveller or GSAR Volunteer in British Columbia or Alberta, then this is the professional Wilderness Survival Training you need to take. It will provide you the skills and ability to survive when stranded in the Montane or Temperate Rain forests of your province or elsewhere in the any Canadian Mountain environment.

We will begin the course at our base camp, in the Columbia Mountains near Boswell, B.C., at an elevation of around 600m. We will spend three days and nights learning mountain survival skills. This “Temperate Rainforest” in spring is a wet, moisture-filled environment. This forest provides a great training environment filled with cedars, fir, larch, yew, birch, willow and pine. We spend time exploring and foraging in this forest for firewood, saplings, cordage, shelter materials and plants.

"The dirt time you get in the critical skills of fire lighting & shelter building truly you have the time to "master" these skills." — SMSC Graduate
"The course is well organized, planned and executed. Practical survival training, critical thinking and correct application of skills and resources." — SMSC Graduate

We will concentrate during these three-days on teaching the fundamental survival skills you need to learn, including safe tool use, fire lighting, cooking over a fire, shelter building and water purification. During this time, you will live in a rustic camp. Each participant will build and live in a number of single-person and double-person shelters with a shared fire. Fire management and cooperation with the individual on the other side of the fire are essential skills you will be learning.

On day four, we leave base camp and move by vehicle to a higher elevation to build another camp. Here we spend the night in higher terrain, near snowline. In this area we will quickly see the differences in elevation and slope. Here we will ensure you can survive and thrive if stranded. We will have a chance to see and understand northerly and southerly facing slopes, higher terrain changes and a walkabout in the “Sub-alpine Forest” of the Columbian Mountains. We will finish the course with a wrap-up and debrief at base camp.

This survival course gives you the skills and confidence you need for survival in the Canadian mountains or another montane environment. Before registering, please complete the Online Survival Core Seminar and read Canadian Wilderness Survival.

"Both men are walking encyclopedias of knowledge in their respective areas of expertise. Listen well as there is immense amount of information." — SMSC Graduate

Field Training Skills Covered


  • Safely using a Survival Knife
  • Basic Knife Handling
  • Sharpening Board & Knife Sharpening
  • Wood Splitting with a Survival Knife

Building & Using Survival Tools

  • Build & Use a Baton
  • Build & Use Wooden Tools
  • Notches & Try Sticks
  • Useful Knots
  • Using a Bow Saw
  • Safe Falling of Deadfall Trees
  • Improvised Bindcrafting
  • Making Cedar Cordage

Water Purification

  • Safe Water Collecting
  • Purifying Water

Fire Lighting

  • Proper use of Lighter and Matches
  • Using Artificial and Natural Tinder
  • Finding Natural Fire Lighting Aids
  • Extensive Fire Lighting with a Striker
  • Standard and Survival Twig Bundles
  • Getting a Fire Started
  • No-Evergreen Fire Lighting

Fire Management

  • Keeping a Fire Burning
  • Selection of Proper Fire Wood
  • Fire Management Skills
  • Coal Management
  • Restarting a Fire

Shelter Building

  • Debris or Sapling Shelter
  • Single Super Shelters
  • Various Improvised Shelters
  • Building a 4-Finger Bough Bed
  • Building Wall & Roofs using Natural Material
  • Build various Survival Shelters

Signalling for Help

  • Signal Fire Twig Bundles
  • Building & Lighting a Signal Fire
  • Building Ground-to-Air Signals
  • Using a Whistle for Signalling
  • Safe use of Flares
  • Using Modern Signalling Devices in the wilderness correctly

Hiking & Camping Skills

  • Packing for Hiking & Survival
  • Survival Camp Locations in the Mountains
  • Safe Spring and Summer Mountains Travel
  • Safe Water Crossing
  • Build a Walking Staff
  • Setting up a Guyline
  • Building Cooking Cranes
  • Cooking over a Fire
  • Cooking with a Stick Burner

Montane & Temperate Rain Forest

  • Trees of the Montane Forest
  • Trees of the Temperate Inland Rain Forest
  • Useful plants of the Montane Forest
  • Safe Camp Locations in the Mountains
  • Use and Identification of Aspect/Slope
Inland Temperate Canadian Rainforest Single Supershelter ready for use
"…talks about the task, then does the task, then gives you the time to complete the task…" — Former Student

Spring Mountain Survival Course Fine Print