Survival Camp Corvallis: Staying Alive in the Remote Wilderness

Photo by Genevieve Weber

Whether you’re preparing for life after a zombie uprising or are just curious about the lost art of wilderness survival, you may be interested in the primitive skills “survivor camp” offered by the Corvallis Parks and Rec. department this month.

Taught by local artist (you may have seen his wooden helmets on display at Peak Sports) and wilderness survival enthusiast Dan Coyle, the camp offers instruction in practical outdoor skills.

“In the survivor camp I teach a mix of primitive skills, wilderness awareness, wilderness medicine, back country travel and, generally, how to use those topics to manage well in emergency/crisis situations,” says Coyle.

The classes will focus on real world scenarios and may include such topics as:
–    Finding and/or building shelter with limited resources (tarps, snow, natural shelter etc.).
–    Building a fire in various environments and with various, limited types of resources (everything from friction fire/bowdrilling, to where to find good fuel in wet/snowy environments, to the physics of fire).
–    Orienteering (Using the sun, stars, compass, and more).
–    First aid and emergency medicine in remote places (prioritization of “rescue” resources, crisis   management and planning, team work, simple first aid and improvised first aid).
– Demonstrations of gear to have in a crisis kit.
– How to make rope, bandages etc. from what is available.
–    Primitive skills, including buckskin tanning, basketry with natural materials, stone tools, fire, primitive pottery, and more.

“The theme I like to stress is that being in a remote place means having few resources outside of one’s own judgment and decision-making abilities,” said Coyle. “I want students to practice using common sense and thoughtfulness.”

The class runs from March 24 – 29. To register, visit or call 541-766-6918.

by Mike Vernon