Global Backcountry Survival Training And Adventures
As the largest wilderness survival training program in the United States, California Survival School field trains more people in wilderness survival than any other.
The heart of wilderness survival training is a curriculum that focuses on risk mitigation and wilderness safety strategies, and this is the primary focus for every course and trip CSS offers.
Whether you are a beginner seeking a first-time training adventure, or an outdoor professional needing to maintain life-saving skill sets, our wide range of training and expedition options have something for you.
California Survival School instructors have provided survival training and adventure expertise to everyone from Bear Grylls and Good Morning America (clip here), to Google Inc., and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department mountain rescue team.
Training Courses & International Adventures: The adventure of a lifetime, everytime. Start your training journey this weekend with one of our survival skills and wilderness safety courses, or an expedition adventure.
Survival Consulting & Media Services: Click here to learn more about what makes Team CSS the most experienced crew in the world when it comes to survival media.
Team-building & Executive Leadership Training: California Survival School is proud to be consistently rated as a top experience provider by Fortune 500 Companies and top-level Executive Leadership teams around the world. Our clients include names like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and The Saudi Royal Family. Learn more here.
Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Response: Team CSS services related to urban settings and disaster response include First-aid training, organizational risk mitigation consultation, disaster preparedness training, search & rescue training, and more. Click here for details.
Military/Tactical Survival Training: Military, Law Enforcement, and other outdoor professionals often require highly specialized types of outdoor training. Our staff include Law Enforcement instructors, a Retired Navy SEAL, and former US Air Force SERE Instructor specialists. Click here to learn more about professional training via our SERE Training School brand in Colorado.
Dan Baird is one of the world’s leading Back-country Primitive Survival Experts and Guides.
Dan regularly travels and lead’s survival training and exploration trips to some of the most remote and hostile places on earth.
As Head Instructor of the largest survival training school in the U.S., Dan is responsible for programs training an average of 4k+ persons annually in wilderness and urban survival skills.
In addition to being a leading back-country primitive survival guide, Dan is also a certified Medical Wilderness First Responder, a FEMA/DHS trained National C.E.R.T. Instructor, and a member/trainer of Law Enforcement Search and Rescue (SAR) teams across California.
Dan has been featured for his remote guiding and survival expertise in the media with National Geographic, History Channel, Forbes, Good Morning America, and many more.
Lead Instructor, Survival Legend
A founding instructor for Boulder Outdoor Survival School and one of the most experienced primitive survival instructors alive, Dave Holladay has been practicing and teaching primitive living skills for over 30 years. Dave has provided survival training and mentorship to the biggest names in survival television, including Bear Grylls (Man V. Wild), Cody Lundine (Dual Survival), Les Stroud (Survivorman), Matt Graham (Dude, You’re Screwed!/Dual Survival), and more. He has also been a survival skills consultant on major motion pictures including: Jeremiah Johnson and Castaway with Tom Hanks.
A native of Arizona, Dave has lived and traveled throughout the southwestern United States and once walked from Mexico to Utah overland with nothing but the clothes on his back. An expert on living off the land in the American Southwest, Dave also has considerable knowledge of primitive living practices throughout the rest of the Americas from traveling throughout Central and South America since childhood. For over 20 years Dave has routinely led primitive-adventure trips through Copper Canyon Mexico alongside the Tarahumara Indians. He is proud to be their friend and an advocate who supports their efforts to preserve their cultural identity and traditions.
Matt Graham is one of the world’s premier survival adventurers and primitive living skills teachers. A well-known TV presenter, Matt has appeared on Discovery Channel’s “Dual Survival”, “Dude, You’re Screwed”, and “Bushcraft Build-off” among others. Matt Graham grew up near the ocean in California by winter, and had a summer cabin in the mountains where his father who was a big fan of Euell Gibbons, taught him about edible plants and hunting. Moving on to Yosemite Valley at age 17 Matt took up Mountain Running and Climbing, spending long stretches deep in the backcountry. He also had mentorship from Miwok elders and a naturalist who lived in the valley. At age 23, Matt ran the length of California on the pacific Crest Trail (1,700 miles) in 58 days. Eventually he became a noted primitive skills expert and hunter gatherer, once spending 6 straight months in the wilderness alone without contact from town.
Matt has been leading Hunter Gather style courses for more than 23 years and is someone who has a unique skill set to learn from.
Kap Te’o Tafiti
Lead Instructor – South-pacific Traditional Skills Specialist.
Hailing from Samoa and based in Hawai’i, Kap is one of the world’s foremost traditional island survival skills specialists.
As Head Cultural Ambassador of PCC Hawaii, Kap is a world- class “edutainer”, who educates, and entertains millions of people annually.
Kap is especially known for his abilities with friction-friction fire, wild foods, traditional cooking, fire-knife dancing, and more. Recently, Kap was a lead cultural specialist working with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson during “Fast & Furious presents: Hobbs and Shaw” on Oahu.
Specialist Instructor, Former U.S. Air Force SERE Instructor
Jessie Krebs is a former U.S. Air Force SERE (Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape.) Training Instructor from the old school the days when they were simply called Air Force “Survival Specialists”. In addition to her experience training hundreds of Air Force personnel to survive in hostile environments, Jessica is a an experienced back-country mountain guide who still regularly leads recreational and wilderness therapy expeditions across many stretches of the American Southwest.
Jessica is the Lead Instructor for California Survival School’s SERE oriented training programs for both civilians as well as Military and other Outdoor Professionals.
With over 20+ years of guiding and survival instruction experience, Cat Bigney is one of the most accomplished and prominent wilderness survival and traditional living skills instructors in the world. Cat has hosted her own survival/adventure series for National Geographic – “The Great Human Race”, and also acted as Lead Female Consultant for Bear Grylls’ “The Island”. Cat has also been featured Discovery’s BushCraft Build-off, Ed Stafford’s “First Man Out” and more.
Reza Allah-Bakhshi is a world-class adventurer, journalist, photographer, and survival skills instructor who travels the world to learn primitive living skills directly from indigenous cultures that still use them on a daily basis and to tell their story. Reza’s pursuit of ancestral knowledge has taken him to study under masters of primitive living in the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, and across the United States.
Reza is a regular contributor to SWAT magazine and other outdoor/survival publications, where he publishes articles on survival gear and tactics. An orange county native, Reza loves to explore the local mountains of his Santa Ana home and has become adept at identifying the plants and animals that are useful to survival in his home range. Reza is also a certified wilderness first responder.
Specialist Instructor, Retired Navy SEAL
Rob DuBois is a security consultant, public speaker, performance coach, and retired Navy SEAL. He was also labeled a “smart power authority” while advising the Iraqi general in charge of intelligence in Baghdad. Rob is the author of the singular book on global security and effective society from the point of view of a boots-on-ground practitioner: Powerful Peace; A Navy SEAL’s Lessons on Peace from a Lifetime at War.
Rob has worked in more than 30 countries, representing every climate on earth, and survived in all of them. His primary work in the SEAL Teams was “special reconnaissance” — the art and science of walking through, and observing from within, enemy territory…without detection. In 2015, Rob DuBois successfully completed a primitive crossing of hundred’s of miles of Serengeti in National Geographic’s “MYgrations.” He is the Founder of Impact Actual in Hawai’i, and works anywhere on the planet. Rob’s vast professional expertise has been invaluable in helping California Survival School build and support training programs for members of the U.S. Armed Services, retired Military Veterans, and other outdoor professional organizations.
Michael Baird is and Eagle Scout, a certified Wilderness EMT, and seasoned back-country primitive survival guide working throughout Arizona, Utah, and California. Micheal first began teaching the public water rescue and survival skills professionally 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 19th century tall ship sailing vessel throughout the coastal waters of Southern California. Micheal is also an active member of C.E.R.T. in Orange County, CA.
Tamra Dawn Hyde
Tamra is a Tennessee native and has been running around in the woods since childhood. Tamra began teaching wilderness survival and primitive living skills professionally in 2005 as a trail guide for Anasazi Foundation in the mountains and deserts of Arizona. After four years at Anasazi, Tamra left to continue her pursuit of ancestral skills and career development in wilderness therapy as a trail guide for Windgate in Southern Utah from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, Tamra joined California Survival School as a survival instructor and also became the assistant director of operations for WilderSkills Outdoor Adventure programs (WilderSkills.com). Tamra is also a trained Wilderness First Responder and loves teaching friction fire and wild edibles!