About US

California Survival School was founded by two brothers with a passion for traditional living skills, outdoor adventure, and self-sufficiency. We are a family run school dedicated to providing people with local access to hands-on outdoor learning adventures that refine inborn survival instincts into functional survival skills-sets and cultivate an intimate connection with the natural world that enriches life in ways for which there is no substitute.

Leadership Profile

Dan Baird – Head Instructor

Dan began sharing his love for the outdoors and primitive living technologies professionally in 2004 as a back-country wilderness survival guide and primitive skills instructor with Anasazi Foundation, leading multi-week primitive living expeditions for teens and adults through the high desert and mountains of northern Arizona. Dan has since lived and traveled in places as far reaching as Romania, Mexico and Hawaii to learn and teach primitive living skills. Today, Dan loves having the opportunity to make primitive skills and nature awareness learning opportunities available to hundreds of people across California each month via California Survival School and WilderSkills primitive adventure programs.

Watch Dan & Mike on ABC 7 News Los Angeles here.

Michael Baird – Instructor

Michael Baird is an Eagle Scout and veteran outdoor skills instructor. Micheal began teaching water rescue and survival skills as a lifeguard and W.S.I at 16, as well as wilderness and maritime survival skills through the Boy Scouts at age 18 while working as crew on an 18th century sailing vessel throughout the coastal waters of Southern California. In addition to his maritime know-how and outdoor experience via Boy Scouts, Michael’s ability with traditional living skills has been honed in the back-country since childhood. He is known for his ninja-like prowess with a rabbit stick.


Laura Stein – Instructor

Laura has been studying and instructing primitive wilderness survival more than a decade and is highly experienced at working with youth and families in outdoor settings. Her approach in teaching primitive skills and nature awareness draws on Tom Brown, Jr. and Jon Young’s Coyote Mentoring principles of questioning, storytelling, and adventuring, to inspire students towards seeking out their own nature experiences.

In addition to sharing her primitive skills expertise as an instructor for California Survival School, Laura is also a Wilderness EMT and holds degrees in Tourism & Hospitality Management and Environmental Studies from Temple University. She is also proud to be a co-founder of WilderSkills youth adventure programs.(WilderSkills.Com).