Survival Instructor Course

Difficulty Rating:


Though this is an advanced class, no skills or prerequisites are required to enroll. We will take you from not knowing anything to being comfortable in the outdoors with the skills and mental strength you will have learned in this program.

This advanced wilderness survival training course is designed to teach students primitive and bushcraft skills as well as refine their modern skills to live off the land. The purpose of the wilderness survival training course is to transition you into being able to live completely off the land and make you a more self-reliant survivalist. You will learn utilize all resources that are available in your surrounding environment. The superior survivor will use his/her knowledge of wilderness survival training to survive in austere locations using primitive and bushcraft skills. Successful completion of this course will enable you to be more self-sustaining in austere locations and rely less on modern gear and supplies.

The Colorado Woodsman Class Is our most extensive and immersive experience. This course will challenge and test you but you will walk away a changed and better person that will allow you to view the world in a different light. You will spend 50 days with us which, we feel, is the best way to train you for a real life survival situation or the ultimate Colorado woodland experience. You will be totally immersed in this outdoor experience, yet will remain in a reasonably controlled environment. Our goal is not to break you, or to get you to “tap-out” of the training class, but to lift you up until you succeed. It is also the first step you can take to become an instructor for The Survival University (TSU) and Colorado Mountain Man Survival, LLC. One does not have to become a survival instructor to take this course, but if that is the path that you choose, we will help you succeed. Although this 50 day immersive class is held in Colorado, it will prepare you for situations in any region, in any climate. Once completed, you will gain the confidence AND the skills to venture out into the backcountry, anywhere in the world, without worrying about anything Mother Nature throws at you.


  • Psychology of Survival
  • The Priorities of Survival
  • Survival Kit Preparation
  • Primitive Hygiene/Sanitation
  • Enhance creativity and critical thinking skills
  • Choosing and using tools for Survival (both primitive and modern)
  • Fire Craft (both primitive and modern)
  • Survival Shelters (both primitive and modern)
  • Finding, Filtering, and Purifying Water
  • Passive techniques for Food (Land and Water Based)
  • Edible, Useful, and Medicinal Plants (seasonal)
  • Stone tools
  • Knot Tying
  • Primitive Navigation Methods
  • Primitive Tool Making
  • Wild Edible and Medicinal Plant Uses (seasonal)
  • Camp Craft & Bushcraft Cooking
  • Making rawhide from the hide and processing it into useful cordage.
  • Primitive container making with natural materials
  • How to build an entire bush kitchen from nothing.
  • Primitive Hand drill and Totally Primitive Bow Drill; Bark cordage
  • Advanced Survival Trapping/ We will cover several primitive and modern traps.
  • Basket Fish Traps & other useful survival fishing tactics
  • Camp Craft and Bushcraft
  • Wilderness Medicine

Enhancing Values that are directly related to:

  • Mental Strength
  • Situational Awareness
  • Physical Performance
  • Physical Exertion Stress
  • Metabolic Recovery
  • Adaptability
  • Crisis Management 
  • Emergency Preparedness

Course Outcomes and Demonstrated Skills:

  • Basic plant identification and utilization
  • Fire starting techniques and maintaining fires | importance of fire as a tool
  • Building expedient and long term survival shelters
  • Water procurement
  • Food procurement (primitive trapping/primitive fishing/insects as food)
  • Water filtration vs purification
  • Stone tool creation and utilization
  • Plants as tools
  • Knife skills
  • Crisis action planning
  • Signaling


Other than gaining a solid foundation into becoming a survival instructor in an ever growing industry or with becoming a proficient outdoorsman, this class will ready you for other careers in outfitting, guiding, outdoor leadership and many other outdoor professions. You will be able to put 500+ hours of training on your resume, as well as, the receipt of a nationally recognized Wilderness First Responder Certification from Offgrid Medic LLC. A WFR Cert is the gold standard and required for many outdoor industry jobs and no other survival school can offer you that certificate in addition to 500 hours of training on your resume.

You will not be trained by a single instructor, but rather a team of experts in their field to include tracking, counter tracking, modern navigation, camouflage and concealment, wilderness medicine, flint knapping and more. Of course we will teach you all of the necessary core survival skills such as fire making, knot tying, shelter building, water procurement and purification, hunting, trapping and many more skills. We won’t just show them to you once, but these cores skills will be revisited, reproduced and driven into your mind until you have them mastered. Every day you will be tasked and tested with the skills until you know them like the back of your own hand.

At the end of this course you will receive a written and physical test. Should you want to become an instructor candidate for TSU you must pass this test. Though we will do everything in our power to help you make this happen, some may not pass, but all will join our brotherhood of Colorado Woodsmen. Either way, you will become part of the TSU family.

Upon completion of this class you will gain:

  • A nationally recognized Wilderness First Responder Certification from Offgrid Medic LLC.
  • Skills that will make you more prepared and more valuable than most, in difficult situations.
  • Have the confidence and the skills to venture into the backcountry with little gear.
  • Receive discounted prices to future related courses and recertification’s.  Discounts to guest instructor events may not apply. You aren’t just purchasing a class; you are purchasing a lifetime membership of perks and benefits.

If you choose to take the path of becoming a TSU Instructor Candidate and perform an internship with TSU, you may also be able to:

  • Become an intern/apprentice to actually teach classes by our side so that you can gain the confidence and initiative to go out and teach on your own, at your own location.  An internship is required so that we are sure that you maintain a good attitude, have the ability to teach and will represent TSU at our high standards.  However, permanent job placement or school ownership is not guaranteed.
  • Receive discounts on gear and be able to purchase any of our available gear at wholesale cost and gain free or discounted prices on any approved sponsor gear.
  • Receive coaching on how to start your own satellite school, as well as, tips and techniques to boost your social media performance to gain your own clients.
  • TSU will market and promote you after your internship.  You will have to provide your own school location and social media materials, but we will do the rest.
  • The option to start your own franchise or satellite school under the TSU name and teach core classes until you demonstrate the ability to teach more advanced classes.
  • Make money doing something you love.  Profit split is better than other schools out there.
  • Make up your own calendar and be able to choose your own discounts and sales on your classes.

Our teaching style is about quality over quantity. We will start out by teaching you core survival skills to include wilderness medicine and build up to touch on more advanced techniques. Not only will you learn what it takes to get back home but we will also teach you what it takes to stay in the wilderness for as long as you want. We will teach you about fires, shelters, water purification, food procurement, wild edibles, tools, knots, signaling, self-rescue, and real navigation with a map and compass, until it is burned into your head. Later in the course we will move on to advance tactics like flint knapping, primitive hunting tools, field butchering, skinning, hide tanning, tracking, counter-tracking, camouflage and concealment and other pertinent “military” style tactics. The final days of the course are scenario based where we will test your skills in a controlled, but difficult environment where you can put most of the learned techniques into play.

You will be training with us in the woods for 50 days straight. We will allow you breaks to rest and resupply, but will encourage you to not enjoy the comforts of modern society while you are with us. By avoiding this temptation, you will challenge yourself in this totally engrossing experience and bring your skills, knowledge and survival psychology to its maximum potential.



Lead Instructor - Jason Marsteiner

Assistant Instructor - Mathew McFarland

Wild Game Butchering Instructor - Jason Nauert

Navigation Instructor - Matt Boger (22 Year Army Ranger - Retired)

Guest Wilderness First Responder Instructor – Mark DeJong (Offgrid Medic LLC)

Guest Mushroom Expert - Mushroom Mike Essam (State Certified)

Guest Wild Edible Instructor - Cattail Bob

Guest Medicinal Plant Instructor - Kirsten Zulyevic (Survival Betty)

(Note that Guest instructors may change throughout the years, but will be substituted with equivalent experts in the field and this list will be updated accordingly. Like these guest instructors? Book a class now so you don't miss out!)



This class will be held at our location in the mountains west of Colorado Springs. We are at an elevation of about 9400 feet and have over 3000 acres of private land to play on, making us one of the largest survival schools in the world. You will stay in our camp for the duration of the class and live in primitive shelters. To pass this class, it is required that you do not use modern shelters during your stay and be able to demonstrate the ability to proficiently perform the most common tasks. Leave your tent and hammock at home! A large wall tent will be provided for storing gear, a bear box for food, fire pits for cooking, wood for burning and port-apotty is located on site.



This schedule will be followed loosely, but every topic will be covered. Variables that change this schedule will be the availability of instructors for each topic, and of the reasonable pace of the class. The Survival University takes pride in bringing in guest instructors that are experts in a specific field. While we are experts in survival and love what we do, we know there is always an opportunity to learn from someone who specializes in fields we do not. We strive to bring in the best in the area to assure you get the absolute best training possible. Furthermore, if you do not complete or show proficiency in a previously taught core task, we will revisit it on several occasions along the way.

5 Day Outdoor Skills

7 Day Outdoor Skills XL 

3 Day Butchering and Austere Cooking

7 Day Wilderness First Responder

3 Day land Navigation

1 Day Wild Plant Walk

1 Day Wild Mushrooms Workshop

3 Day Artisan of Wild Plants

4 Day Survival Adventure Hike

7 Day Survival Challenge


Concurrent Class Scheduling:

During much of this course you will be mixed with “non-instructor” students, as your classes will run concurrently with other scheduled classes. Students will come and go during your 50 day stay with us. This is part of your instructor training, as we will closely monitor your professionalism with other outside students and we expect you to maintain a positive attitude towards other clients. This will also give you the opportunity to shine and help out beginners, should you already know a skill that we are teaching. Be aware that any unprofessionalism could be used to determine if you pass or fail the class and any harassment or discrimination of other students will not be tolerated. You are not only here to learn survival skills, but your people skills will also be put to the test as the goal is also to ready you in a teaching field.


Graduation Requirements:

In addition to having to pass the WFR Certification test during the first few weeks of class, you will be given both a physical and written test at the end of the training class. The written test will be the easiest of the two, as the physical test will be you against Mother Nature in a day scenario based test. You must show proficiency and understanding of all course curriculum and ability to perform physical tasks required to be able to survive in the wilderness under unsavory conditions. Our standards and expectations are high, but it is our goal to see you succeed. Your failure is just as much ours and we do not intend to fail.


Liability Disclaimer:

Due to the inherent dangers of survival training, we make no guarantees of safety and all students should seek medical advice and clearance from their personal Physician prior to attending any event with Colorado Mountain Man Survival LLC. Registration for any of our events constitutes acceptance of the Colorado Mountain Man Survival LLC Waiver and you will be required to sign and return a copy of the Waiver. Hunting/Trapping Disclaimer: Colorado Mountain Man Survival LLC is bound by Local, State and Federal Laws and is not a licensed outfitter. We will not perform any trapping, hunting or fishing during class hours and it is forbidden to do so by students during class time. We will teach you techniques, but not physically perform these tasks. Students may perform these activities on their own accord and without direction from instructors, after class, with proper licensing. Colorado Mountain Man Survival, LLC., accepts no responsibility for any student that chooses to partake in these practices during or after class.

Spring vs. Winter Courses:

Spring and summer courses will have more emphasis on wild plant skills while winter courses will focus on cold weather illnesses, winter safety and fire making skills. As we do not physically hunt, fish, or trap, we will provide an equal amount of time for these food procurement skills during both classes. Resources change rapidly at our climate so we will focus on those that are available during your stay with us.

Food and Water:

We will butcher and process cultivated animals during the training and teach you how to make jerky in addition to other survival food, but you will provide your own food for most of this course. Water will be provided for you, but you should come prepared with a water purification system of your choice. Local grocery stores are within a short driving distance and you will be provided time to restock and resupply food. Local eateries are also nearby, but we will encourage you not to visit these establishments as it will take away from the whole engrossing experience. If you do choose to eat at local eateries, leftovers are not allowed in camp, as it will be distracting to others that choose not to leave.


There is a Walmart and several hardware stores within a short drive so you will be able to purchase items that you may have forgotten or that need replaced. We will provide you with a recommended gear list. We do have a web based store available and would appreciate it if you supported Colorado Mountain Man Survival LLC by purchasing equipment through our store.


Transportation will not be provided by Colorado Mountain Man Survival LLC unless it is to and from the airport or bus station. We encourage you to drive your own vehicle to our location.

Survival Gear needed:

You will be spending 50 days with us in our camp. You will need to bring durable gear, as we will not provide you with any. If your gear breaks, you will have to visit a local store to replace it. Though it is not required, we suggest you bring backups for items like your bushcraft knife and ferro rod, and sleeping bags that will sustain possible drastic and sudden weather changes.

Minimum Required Gear

  • Fixed Blade Knife between 4-6″ - preferably a bushcraft style (Your knife is your most used and valuable tool. If you need recommendations, please contact us)
  • Folding Saw
  • Hatchet / Machete
  • Lensatic Compass
  • Small Mill File
  • Multi-Tool
  • Rain Poncho
  • Sleeping Bag (0-20 degree bag depending on time of year)
  • Bivvy
  • Flashlight and headlamp w/ extra batteries
  • Large Roll of Paracord (at least 200’ recommended)
  • Outdoor Clothing, boots, and bug spray
  • Wet weather gear
  • Wool Socks
  • Stainless Steel Canteen (single walled)
  • Water Purification System
  • Fire starting kit; must have ferro rod
  • Cook Kit
  • Medium to Large Backpack
  • Medical Kit
  • Hygiene Kit

Payments – No Refunds:

There are no refunds for this course and leaving class early constitutes either a forfeiture of funds or you may return to take the remainder of the course at a later date. You may also choose to use funds towards other classes outside of the 50 day class. Your credit will be good for 3 years. After that, you understand and accept a forfeiture of the payment.

Payment Plans:

Contact us to set up a payment plan. Payment plans will be accepted with a $1000 down payment with monthly installments of the remaining balance. You must make payment in full before attending the course. There will be no refund of down payments or other payments made. See the above refund policy.

Food and Water Required:

Water will be provided and food is your own choice. We recommend quick field expedient meals such as our Camp Ready Meals or MRE’s. They can quickly be made at our primitive camps and won’t slow down the learning process. You can also purchase food locally once you get here. Walmart and several local eateries are within a close drive away. As a courtesy to other students, you will not be permitted to bring restaurant food (leftovers) into camp, if you choose to go into town to eat.

Overnight Camping Gear:

To pass this course, you will be required to sleep in a primitive shelter during your entire stay with us. Leave your tent at home! Otherwise, bring whatever gear you feel comfortable with. Bring your gear with you. We do not provide you with gear unless you purchase it from us ahead of time. You don’t need much equipment for our courses, though good equipment does speed the learning process up greatly! You don’t have to buy our gear to attend the course, but you need survival gear of equivalent quality.

If you are still unsure of what gear you need for our survival courses, then we have assembled a complete kit that is still high quality but for a budget friendly price. All the items in this kit were hand selected by the lead instructor at The Survival University to be the best bushcraft tools on a budget. The CMM Survival Kit is a full package kit that can be used in all our courses. These are all must have tools at a good price. Its a great survival kit, bug out kit, go bag, and much more. Add some other items to this kit and you have a decked out survival bag that you can survive in comfort. With this kit and our training you can be guaranteed to survive like a king in almost any environment!

  • 3-Day Backpack                                 
  • 100' of Paracord Poncho                                              
  • Folding Saw
  • Bushcraft Knife                                  
  • Flashlight
  • Stainless Steel Klean Kanteen             
  • Space Saver Cup     
  • Sawyer Mini Water Filter                     
  • Ferro Rod           


50 days/50 nights


You are always welcome to camp out the night before and the night after any course. Just let us know in advance!

Airport and Bus Stops:

If you are arriving by bus or plane, we can pick you up. Contact us to make arrangements.


$5495 per student.

We apologize, but due to the nature of this class and the amount of guest instructors, we cannot offer a discount and no refunds will be given once you have signed up. However, you may transfer your tuition fees to future classes if you are unable to attend.