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Primitive Desert Survival Training Special Course
Join wilderness survival experts and long-distance runners Matt Graham (Host of Dual Survival) & Dan Baird (Nat Geo’s Mygrations) for an epic primitive living adventure like no other offered anywhere.
Combining long-distance trail running and training in primitive survival skills, this trip offers adventurers both an epic challenge, and the opportunity to experience an ultimate sense of fluidity and freedom out in the wild as you learn to live and move like an ancient tribe across the land.
Running roughly ten to fifteen miles a day as a group, and carrying little more than a small amount of extra clothing, this tribe of up to ten students will be running and primitively camping as a unit throughout some of the most stunning terrain in all of Southern Utah.
Next Course Dates:
September 4th – 7th, 2023
What is Included?
- 4 day primitive running & camping adventure through iconic red-rock canyons of S. Utah
- Learn the secrets of safe and swift ultralight long-distance running & primitive living. Roughly 10-15 Miles/Day, carrying little more than the clothes you wear! Hands-on primitive survival training each day.
- Safety-first mindset & Training. As with all CSS adventures, strong emphasis in this course is placed on learning running travel risk-mitigation and emergency response strategies that teach one how to plan and move safely across the land. Instructors will carry proper emergency response gear for team.
- Must be in good health and have experience running about marathon distance. Prior camping experience helpful. More details below.
Learn to live and move as many early nomadic peoples and tribes used to when traveling light. Skills taught during the adventure can include:
– Different methods of staying warm at night
– Traditional water-finding techniques
– Traditional and modern fishing techniques
– How to create fire with just sticks
– Crafting techniques for primitive tools & Traps
– How to make strong cordage using only plants
– Locating and using wild edible and medicinal plants
– Modern and traditional land navigation
Each day will move out as a group to run roughly ten to fifteen miles through some of the most breathtaking canyon landscape that exists in the world. This will be trail running, with potentially frequent significant elevation changes. While definitely challenging, the idea is to take things at a doable group pace for both fun and safety. This will not be a race environment. Central to our run will be the tenant to learn to move well as a tribe. No one will be left behind during the journey.
The course does have set fitness requirements:
Students should already feel comfortable running distances of 15+ miles. Prior experience running marathons is helpful but not required.
Requirements: Within 30 days of the course, students must be able to verify via app-based metrics (Like Nike Run Club, Strava, or Map My Run) that they can complete running time distance/speed metrics as follows: 10 miles at a 10 minute pace.
These metrics are based on experience for what allows for a good group flow over the course of an entire group running week, rather than a single run. Please let us know if you have questions.
What Gear do I need to bring?
– A 5×5 ft cloth (to bundle carry your items old-school)
– An extra layer of clothes
– A small pocket first-aid kit (tape, mole-skin, etc)
– An emergency pen-light
– Your preferred sturdy/comfortable footwear.
You may also bring an optional water soft/collapsible bottle if you wish. That’s it! Your instructors will have some additional back-up emergency kit needed for the course as well.
How Do Meals Work?
The human body is amazingly capable of going long stretches and operating normally with minimal food. In fact, your instructors really look forward to trail-time under these conditions as being invigorating and powerful.
Our tribe will be moving fast and light, with a small amount of traditional native southwest corn pinole you will help process on stone metates (and then fire roast) day 1 of the trip. We will also be foraging when allowable, and you may just be surprised at how great and revitalized you begin to feel when you allow yourself the opportunity to travel and live lean and light this way. Your instructors will be happy to show you the ropes.
Attendees on this course should feel comfortable in their ability to complete runs of about marathon distance. This adventure course provides what may be seen as a significant physical test. Trail running and primitive living can be considered physically demanding by themselves, as are potential additional opportunities to swim and do other physically demanding activities that may arise during the journey. As this adventure can be quite physically challenging, California Survival School requires that all adventure course applicants have a complete physical examination and receive their Doctor’s approval in writing before final acceptance for attending the course. Please note that, even with your Doctor’s permission and California Survival Schools ‘s acceptance of you on the course, there are no guarantees. Health and participation risks (inherent and otherwise) remain. It’s up to you and your physician to determine if this course is an appropriate choice for you. All participants must be aware of these risks and accept them. All students will be required to carry a personal travel medical and evacuation insurance policy (generally around $60) Please let us know if you have any questions.
Attendees must be at least 18+ years of age.
We will be rendezvousing in Boulder, Utah, on private land near the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Further details will be provided upon reservation.
The closest airport is SLC (Salt Lake), and the easiest way to get to Boulder is to drive from there. Some folks may wish to car-pool from airport. Please let us know if that interests you.
When you register for your trip, you will receive an information email in the next few days that covers all the major details of planning for this trip (i.e. – How to get here, pre and/or post-trip nearby lodging recommendations, packing lists, etc.) If you have any additional questions, please email us at email@example.com or call 1-949-216-0252.
Trip Refund/Cancellation Policy: 50% of deposit is non-refundable at registration. Due to the special nature of this course, there will be no refunds or cancellations of trip spots allowed after 60 days prior to start of the course. Course fees will also be 100% forfeit for those holding a course spot who are not able to verify required running fitness times via approved app within a month of the course, or who cannot maintain pace with the group at expected fitness levels on course day 1 introductory run.
Illness & Covid-19 Related Refunds: If a student or household member tests positive with COVID-19 prior to the trip, and a medical professional affirms the need for the student to continue to quarantine during trip dates to prevent possible spread to others, we ask that student to not attend. A refund will be granted in such a case, less payment processing fees of 3%, with written proof of a positive COVID-19 test result or proof of positive exposure in which a medical professional asks for quarantine for a household member or the student themself.