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Wilderness Skills Instructor Training

Sept - May (3 days a week)


Sept - May (3 days a week)

Our Mission: Develop the Best Outdoors Educators & Guides in the Field.

At A Glance

When : Tues, Wed, Thurs with extended overnight weeks (Sept - May, 30 weeks total)

Visits : To schedule a visit or attend our Info Nights, contact us.

Tuition & Financial Aid: A $145 deposit, with 10-monthly payments of $665.

We offer a variety of scholarships and discounts, including at 10% automatic discount for Veterans or a scholarship for our Outdoor Educator Internship. For scholarships, contact us for information.

Our community works to keep tuition more affordable for this comprehensive training program because we believe in developing more educators who connect youth and adults to the natural world.  We highly encourage prospective students to thoroughly research other 9-month (3-days a week) Wilderness Skills Programs and compare out tuition directly to theirs.

Location : Trackers Earth’s many forest campuses near Portland, Oregon.

Housing : Limited local and onsite housing is available (separate from tuition)

Wilderness Year Info Night

Where: Trackers Earth Portland | When: Coming Soon...

In this 9-month, immersive program, connect with nature by re-engaging with traditional ways of living. Get hands-on experience in bushcraft and wilderness survival while developing your instructional skills. Train to provide experiences in diverse natural environments while studying outdoor program development. Live the life you teach while you forage, hunt, gather, and fish as a class community and village.

Adventure in Learning

Adventure in Learning

The wilderness skills you learn reconnect you with the natural world. This program is more in-depth than typical outdoor educator courses. Cultivate your knowledge of wild edible plants and outdoor lore. Practice the ancient art of animal tracking. Learn to navigate on and live with the land. Forge your own knife for bushcraft. Make your own bow for archery. Craft your primitive camping gear and kit. Finally, test your knowledge and preparation in a 1-week survival trek to graduate.

Adventure in Learning – Wilderness Skills

 Fishing & Foraging

Fish and forage the rivers, lakes, and coastlines for aquatic life. Craft your own hunting and fishing tools. Harvest invasive species for food and to restore the habitat.

Gathering & Wild Plants

Gathering & Foraging Forage for roots, leaves, shoots, fruits. Learn skills of identification and safe harvest of wild foods. Preserve what you gather for your larder and pantry.

Wilderness Survival

Find your shelter, water, fire, and food. Craft with stone, bone, and fiber. Navigate and stay safe in the wilderness. Develop essential safety skills for long-range wilderness travel.

Primitive Kit

Make the gear you take. Weave baskets, craft fire makers, and create stone tools. Forge your knife through blacksmithing. Use what you make in a 1-week Survival Trek in the spring.

Natural History & Ecology

Learn to read the stories of the forest. Track the herds of elk and the trail of the bobcat. Fit these pieces together towards a deeper understanding of ecology and personal nature connection.

Homestead Collective

Your class joins a shared farm plot at our 90-acre campus in Sandy, Oregon. As a community, you raise food for your pantry and the year-ending harvest celebration.

Archery & Bowmaking

Develop functional field technique for using the bow in a wilderness setting. Improve form and accuracy. Handcraft your own wood bow and stone-point arrows.

Livelihood: Organization & Operations

Unique to this program is an overview of essential operational, organizational, and professional skills. We help you to explore the market for both employment and entrepreneurial development in wilderness skills and outdoor education. Begin to understand everything from simple budgets to new business plans.

Adventure in Learning

Livelihood: Organization & Operations – Leadership Skills

Outdoor & Organizational Leadership

Develop your capacity and experience for leadership on all organizational levels. Learn essential practices, from guiding groups in the field to managing large and small organizations.

Livelihood & Business Planning

Strategically chart the course for a sustainable and ethical livelihood as a wilderness skills instructor and educator. Learn how to write a business plan for organizational development.

Outdoor Safety & Operations

Keep yourself and others safe in the outdoors. Receive your Wilderness First Responder Certification. Learn to manage the day to day operations of program gear and logistics.

Field Practicum & Experience

Get hands-on experience observing our real wilderness skills and outdoor education courses. Ride along with top Trackers Earth instructors while learning to write your own curriculum.

Principles of Outdoor Education

Delve into the principles and theory of outdoor education. Learn to work with all ages, from youth to adult, crafting a greater range for educational livelihood.

Trackers Outdoor Education

Trackers Earth is one of the leading providers of Forest School and Outdoor Education. Offering both youth and adult programs, we serve over 20,000 students per year in our educational camps, skills courses, and Forest School. We train and work with a staff of over 300 outdoor educators on an ongoing basis. Our teachers bring this history and depth of experience in the real world of outdoor learning to your education.

Visit Days

Free: Visit Trackers Earth for the day. Explore the program, tour our sites, and meet our team of expert teachers. Experience first hand what our programs are like in the field, and pick up new skills along the way.

Each day provides a site tour, other activities are based on the season and instructor specialty. This could include a short hike to learn about wild edible plants or wildlife tracking, starting a fire without matches, or joining our current year-round students on their long-term projects.

Meet at the building at 8:45AM to leave at 9AM. Return at 3:30PM. If you’d like, you can bring a lunch and a bottle of water. Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately.

Where: Trackers Earth Portland
When: TBD, Summer/Fall 2018. 8:45 AM - 3:30 PM

Wilderness Instructor Training

Schedule a conversation with us.

Our outreach director will contact you to discuss your specific interest and needs in the program. We answer any specific questions you may have and we can also assist in exploring whether our program is a good fit for your goals.


Become a Wilderness Skills Instructor in 9 Months

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