desert winter backpacking and bushcraft adventure in Utah.

  • Price: $1125


Location Course Date(s) Price
Boulder UT12/11/20 - 12/14/20$1125Sold out

Winter Desert Minimalist Backpacking And BushCraft Adventure

When: (4 Days, 3 Nights) See below for upcoming course dates.
Instructors: Matt Graham & Dan Baird
Where: Southern Utah
Skills Covered: Utah Desert Winter Survival – Minimalist Backpacking and Camping Skills – Back-country Blade-use & Primitive Tool Construction – Minimalist Warm Winter Travel – Bushcraft Skills – Primitive Survival Techniques – Wilderness Navigation – Wild Edibles and Medicinal Plants – and More!

Learn the secrets of doing more with less on our desert winter survival backpacking adventure in some of the most beautiful red rock canyon country in the world.

This 3 night, 4 day Utah winter bushcraft journey will teach you the critical skills needed to travel safe and stay warm with minimal gear by working with nature instead of against it.

Your instructors on this winter canyon adventure will be survival experts Matt Graham (Host of Dual Survival) & Dan Baird (Nat Geo’s Mygrations).


Next Course Dates:

See below for current course dates.

Your Instructors

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. 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.
Dan Baird regularly leads primitive adventures to some of the most remote and hostile places on earth. Dan’s survival adventures and expertise have landed him on Good Morning America 3 times and his successful 30 day primitive crossing of 230 miles of African Serengeti for National Geographic has been aired in more than 160 countries world-wide. 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.

What is Included?

  • 3 night / 4 day back-country winter backpacking and bushcraft adventure through iconic red-rock canyons of Southern Utah
  • Learn the secrets of minimalist backpacking and the bushcraft skills that will help you work with nature for your safety and comfort instead of against it.
  • Prior camping experience helpful, but not required. More details below.

The Skills:

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

The Backpacking:

This winter backpacking and bushcraft adventure will include hiking to multiple basecamp sites for learning different skills. Expect at least two hiking days of about 8-10 miles each.

The Winter Weather:

Winters in Southern Utah can vary widely. We usually expect patchy snow and temperatures of around 60 degree days and 20 degree nights. Students will be updated on weather needs and expectations the week prior to the course if this will change much. Remember, part of the point of this winter backpacking and bushcraft course is to teach you how to comfortable cope with cold weather so that being outdoors in winter is both safe and fun.

What Gear do I need to bring?

  • Large Lightweight frameless rucksack, or simplified backpack (primitive looks or canvas is welcome, and ideal). Size it to hold gear listed below. Contact us with questions.
  • Sleeping bag (range from 15 degrees to 0 degrees bag is ideal). If you have never slept outdoors in colder temps like this or get cold easily, opt for a warmer bag. (Many winter backpackers prefer a bag rated for temps at least 15-20 degrees colder than it actually is.
  • One thin lightweight wool blanket (used for gathering materials, wrapping up with on cold mornings, sleeping on for an extra barrier from the ground, and more)
  • One nylon tarp (about 8x8)
  • Emberlit titanium wood stove (about 6 oz)
  • Small personal cook pot (one liter or less)
  • Small Scandi-grind knife (like a Mora Companion F with 4 inch or smaller blade)
  • Lightweight chopping tool (Small machete or tiny axe)
  • Two bandanas
  • Extra stuff sac (About 1 gallon Size. To hang and store your food from mice/animals)
  • 50 feet of Parachute Chord (Paracord)
  • Water filter (recommendations in gear list after registration)
  • 1 Liter Water bottle of your choice.
  • Appropriate layered clothing and footwear for temps ranging from 10 degrees to 60 degrees (Recommended list provided on registration.)
  • Personal Med and blister kit (Recommendation upon registration).

How Do Meals Work?

On this back-country bushcraft adventure, your instructors and nature will be providing all food. No additional snacks or outside food is allowed. Please email us if you have questions or dietary concerns.

Physical Requirements?

Attendees on this course should feel comfortable in their ability to complete hikes of 10 wilderness miles distance. This adventure course provides what may be seen as a significant physical test. Backpacking can be considered physically demanding by itself, 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 affirm that they are in good health and have no medical issues such that their Doctor would not approve their attendance on this backpacking trip. 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 also be required to carry a personal travel medical and evacuation insurance policy (generally around $60). Please let us know if you have any questions.

Age Requirements?

Attendees must be at least 18+ years of age.

Additional Information

We will be rendezvousing near 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 out towards 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 generally receive an information email  within the week 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 or call 1-949-216-0252.

Trip Refund/Cancellation Policy: Due to the special nature of this course, there will be not refunds or cancellations of trip spots allowed after 60 days prior to start of the course.

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.

Upcoming Dates


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