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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



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.




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!

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

Wild Plant Walk Classes - Learn how to identify wild plants and recognize their edible, medicinal, & craft uses at these seasonal outings.

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

Survival Stone Tools Class - Learn how to turn common rocks into a stone knife and other tools for wilderness skills projects.

Flintknapping Course - Learn how to make spear points, arrow points, knives, and a variety of other stone tools using obsidian.

Wildlife Tracking Walks - Discover the hidden world of animal signs that surround us all the time, while exploring local forests and riverbanks.

Wildlife Trailing Class - Learn how to locate fresh animal sign, follow the tracks and subtle clues, and find animals without alerting them.

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

Survival Knots, Cordage, & Lashings Class - Learn how to make cordage and tie the most useful knots for survival skills projects.

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




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

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

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




Extended Programs (9 to 10 month courses):
(currently on hold due to the global pandemic)

The Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship - Spend ten weekends learning to interpret and follow animal tracks & sign while visiting great tracking sites.

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.


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
Survival & Tracking for Hunters Course
Intro to Mushroom Cultivation Class
Primitive Hunting Tools Course
Overnight Survival Course
Wildlife Tracking Course
Bird Language Course
Homesteading Skills Course
Advanced Plants Course
Food Forest Course
Survival Nature Awareness Class
Language of the Birds Class
Nature Photography Class
Nature-based Outdoor Education
Wilderness Scout Intensive
Survival Trapping Course
Wooden Bow Making Course


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
Permaculture Design Certificate Course
Wilderness First Aid Course (WFA)
Wilderness First Responder Course (WFR)
Blacksmithing Course
Axe Forging Course
Brain Tanning Course
Leatherworking Course
Reptile & Amphibian Tracking 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
Human Tracking Course



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)


Sign up to the Alderleaf eNewsletter to receive updates on
new wilderness courses and nature skills articles.


Read the Seattle Times article about Alderleaf Wilderness College.



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