Outdoor Skills Immersion Bay Area, CA
Important info for 2014-15:
This year we will be offering a series of single weekend courses in place of our 9-month Immersion program. This is in response to feedback we have received indicating that it is difficult for many participants to commit to a 9-month program. To allow for flexibility, we will be adding a series of "a-la-carte" weekend courses. These classes will cover topics from our Immersion curriculum. We hope to have our preliminary fall course sschedule posted online by mid-July.
Check out our Classes and Workshops page for updates.
What We Teach
Learn to see entirely new layers in the spaces we inhabit, from the concrete of the city to the wild lands of the forest. This program opens your eyes to the hidden stories all around us.
The basic human needs: Food, water, shelter. Simple, yet potentially infinite in complexity. Yet we know that "Survival" is more than Man versus Wild. At Trackers, we form a community of collaborators and problem-solvers that continues even outside program weekends. You can do much more with much less. These are skills that awaken your inner bad ass.
Our learning is focus on reviving a village, one with an innate understanding of the wilderness and long-term sustainability.
This year focuses on the core studies of our Rangers Guild. The art of the Ranger is true wilderness living. Traveling light with the sole purpose of caring for the village.
Wilderness Survival & Primitive Skills Learn how to tend to your needs of shelter, water, fire and food while also tending to the land around you.
Animal Tracking See through the eyes of ancient tracker. Develop the ability to follow and find bear, bobcat, cougar and deer.
The Curriculum of Shadows: Invisibility and Awareness Take your nature awareness to the next level. Learn how both survival and tracking are actually be about flow. This is the art of strategy through the path of least resistance.
The Trackers Difference
Our methods are stand out from many outdoor and wilderness schools. Expert instructors offer hands-on projects. They work directly with you to cultivate a learning relationship of competency and creativity. One based your individual passions and pursuits.
Fellowship and collaboration are the cornerstones of our learning environment. This is where the guilds truly come to life. Trackers has a reputation for doing "more in one day than other schools do in one year."
Register for Outdoor Skills Training Program
We have scholarship awards available of up to 10%-30% or tuition for students in need. Due to limited funds of awards we recommend you apply early. Submit a scholarship application
We also have an scholarship option for people specifically training for environmental education. Learn more about our Environmental Educator Training Program
Legend of the Rangers Guild
The Rangers are hunters and scouts for the village. They are versed in the arts of wilderness survival, tracking and awareness. In their listening they find a silence, one that compels them to protect what is Wild.
Flow is the Way of the Ranger. They follow the trail of the cougar, deer and other animals. With finely honed senses they become the eyes and ears of the village, living completely with the land and tending to it as if an invisible ghost.
The Remembering is here. There was a time you forgot who you were, how it feels to release an arrow, the music of the bowstring resonating, the route of your blood, the path of those who came before.
You felt you were asleep for a long while. The world engined on. And then, one day, you woke up.
Recognizing many of these skills take profound practice we mentor you beyond the training weekends as you work on completing all of our Rangers Guild Basics within the year.
Completing the Tracking Basics means doing 21 lens journals and 4 week-long studies in different substrates in Trailing Profiles.
☐ 18 lens journals for clear tracks of different wild mammals
☐ 1 lens journals for clear track of a small domestic dog
☐ 1 lens journals for clear track of a large domestic dog
☐ 1 lens journals for clear track of a domestic cat
☐ 1 week-long Trailing Profile Study in sand or dirt
☐ 1 week-long Trailing Profile Study in leaf debris
☐ 1 week-long Trailing Profile Study in debris of choice
☐ 1 week-long Trailing Profile Study in lawn or meadow
Completing the Survival Basics means completing 25 different primitive skills based experiences.
☐ demonstration of Trackers knife safety and competency skills
☐ ability to navigate by compass cross country .5 miles
☐ working knowledge of topographical maps
☐ by the sun and a watch pinpoint and walk a straight line South for 500 feet through brush
☐ 6-feet of cordage harvested from natural fibers capable of suspending 5 lbs
☐ sleeping two-nights in an all natural debris shelter with no sleeping bag (not in summer)
☐ one liter of water harvested from dew or solar still
☐ one spring followed all the way to source
☐ one page journal and three water borne illnesses and prevention
☐ boiling 1-liter of water with rocks
☐ lighting one fire with one match in 5-minutes in severely wet conditions
☐ bow-drill coals from each of these materials
-two softwoods (one domestic, one wild harvested)
-two hardwoods (both wild harvested)
☐ one hand-drill coal
☐ arrowheads made from each of these materials
-glass bottle bottom, flakes across all surfaces
-bone or obsidian, only stone tools are used
☐ completion of three quickie survival bows made from different woods (make them pretty)
☐ making a wood eating bowl by coal burning
☐ skinning one small animal (domestic okay)
☐ tanning the hide of one small animal (bark tan)
☐ hitting an 8-inch target 25-feet away with a rabbitstick ten times in a row
☐ hitting an 8-inch target 50-feet away with a bow and arrow set three times in a row
☐ making one simple basket that can hold 1 pound of grass or grain seeds
The Curriculum of Shadows
Completing The Curriculum of Shadows Basics means 25 different invisibility and awareness projects
☐ sit one full day alone sun-up to sun-down in one wild area
☐ camouflage on well-used game trail in minimal clothing for 4-hours
☐ one full day blind-folded (get assistance, don't die or get hurt)
☐ one full day silent
☐ one full day fasting on only water
☐ find your spirit animal (ha, ha, just kidding)
☐ move one full day at half speed
☐ move one morning: sunrise to noon at quarter speed
☐ balance on one foot for 20-minutes (both)
☐ successfully evade trained Rangers (Leve 1) hunting you within a defined course area for 1-day
☐ one page journal and 10-different localized song birds
☐ ability to mimic 3-bird calls impeccably
☐ develop and teach to instructors 5-different stealth scenario relevant hand signals (keep 'em secret, keep 'em safe)
☐ find and lens journal one set of large predator (over 25 lbs) tracks by bird alarms
☐ feed wild birds eating out of your hand
☐ read all six original Dune books by Frank Herbert