Wilderness Courses at Alderleaf

Alderleaf offers a variety of skills-focused wilderness courses, presentations, and programs of varying lengths. Fields of study include wilderness survival, wild edible & medicinal plants, wildlife tracking, outdoor leadership, and sustainable living skills.

Our wilderness courses provide people of all ages and skill levels with valuable nature skills. Classes are led by faculty with a wealth of experience and are held year-round in the Pacific Northwest.

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Custom Courses, Presentations, & Consulting

Additional Programs (Past Courses and Special Events)

Course Discounts



Core Programs (9 to 10 month courses):

The Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program - Our most comprehensive course! In-depth training in survival, nature skills, and sustainability.

The Advanced Wilderness Skills Program - A second year of advanced training for Certification Program graduates.

The Wilderness Instructor Apprenticeship - Expand your outdoor leadership and teaching skills with valuable hands-on experiences.



Weekend Courses (1 to 3 day classes):

Wilderness Survival Course - Learn the most important skills for survival: shelter, water, fire, and food. Gain practical, hands-on experience!

Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants Course - Learn how to utilize wild plants for food and medicine in the wilderness or at home.

Knife Making Course - Forge your own knife while learning about steel selection, basic metallurgy, profiling, heat‐treating, grinding, and more.

Wilderness First Aid Course (WFA) - Learn primary concepts of medical care in a wilderness setting for "common" medical emergencies.

Axe Forging Course - Learn basic metallurgy, forging, heat treating, and hafting while you produce a small backcountry axe to take home.

Home-Scale Permaculture Course - Learn to apply sustainable living strategies to your home at this weekend Permaculture Course.

Overnight Survival Course - Learn new survival skills and put them to practice in a guided overnight survival experience.

Wooden Bow Making Course - Learn how to make a wooden long bow. Build and take home a bow and the skills to make more!

Wildlife Tracking Course - Discover the fascinating world of tracking! Learn to identify and interpret the tracks and signs of wild animals.

Wild Mushroom Identification Class - Learn the skills needed to utilize wild mushrooms! Spend a day learning about these magnificent fungi.

Survival Fire Making Skills Class - Learn how to create fire with natural materials! Hands-on experience with bow drill, hand drill, and flint & steel.



Week-long Courses (5 to 21 day classes):

Wilderness Survival Skills Intensive - Spend five full days immersed in studying outdoor survival skills! Detailed instruction and hands-on practice.

Summer Wilderness Skills Camp for Youth - Our class for kids. Your children can also experience Alderleaf's amazing wilderness education.

Wilderness First Responder Course (WFR) - 10-day first aid course to meet the needs of outdoor leaders working in back-country locations.

Permaculture Design Certificate Course - Learn how to work with nature to create a more sustainable world and become more self sufficient.



Online Course (at your own pace):

Essential Wilderness Survival Skills - Learn the core skills of survival in a format that allows you to participate at home and at your own pace.



Online registration is available for many of our wilderness courses.
Visit the Course Registration page to sign up for classes.



Additional Programs (Past Courses & Special Events):

Past Wilderness Courses:

Below are examples of additional courses we've offered that are not on the current year schedule. Most classes may be set up as a custom course for your group. Contact us to inquire or join a waiting list.

Wilderness Navigation Course
Bird Language Course
Homesteading Skills Course
Advanced Plants Course
Food Forest Course
Survival Stone Tools Class
Survival Knots, Cordage, & Lashings Class
Survival Nature Awareness Class
Language of the Birds Class
Nature Photography Class
Nature-based Outdoor Education
Wilderness Scout Intensive
Survival Trapping Course
Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship


Past and Future Special Events:

Listed below are special events we've hosted in the past and/or are planning for the future. Join our eNewsletter to stay abreast of schedule updates and additions or contact us to join a waiting list.

CyberTracker Track & Sign and Trailing Evaluations
Human Tracking Course
Brain Tanning Course
Reptile & Amphibian Tracking Course
Flintknapping Course
Arrow Making Course

Cob Oven Workshop
Carnivore Tracking Presentation with Sue Morse
Tracking Workshop with Sue Morse
Tracking Expedition to South Africa
Trailing Workshop with Adriaan Louw
Tracking Presentation with Adriaan Louw



Course Discounts - Receive 10% Off!

We offer three ways to receive a 10% discount for our short courses (day-long, weekend, and week-long wilderness courses):

1. Early Registration Discount: Register at least two months prior to the start date and receive a 10% discount; or

2. Family/Friend Discount: Register together with a family member or friend at the same time and receive a 10% discount; or

3. Multiple Class Discount: Register for more than one class at the same time and receive a 10% discount.

(Please note: To receive the discount, you must register by phone or postal mail, as our online registration system is unable to calculate discounts)


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Read the Seattle Times article about Alderleaf Wilderness College.



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