"I am a pretty regular day hiker and occasional car camper. I had heard of BigPig Outdoors from a friend as a course that would help me be better prepared in the event something happens unexpectedly while I am hiking. This part of the course interested me because I am starting to take my 3 and 4 year old kids out on the hikes with me. Also it was described as a course that would challenge me mentally and being an athlete and martial artist, this also caught my attention. My experience with BigPig Outdoors not only met my expectations, but far exceeded them. I left the course with total confidence that I could perform the essential survival techniques (building a shelter, lighting a fire, etc.) under a real life pressure scenario. I know exactly what I should be doing before I go on my hikes in preparation and what I absolutely have to carry on myself at all times when I am hiking (I used to just carry a water bottle!!!). Needless to say I am grateful to this course for what I have learned and now can pass on to my children so that they will be safe. Finally, my experience with Andrew also was phenomenal. It was very apparent from the beginning that he is a master at his craft. He is extremely knowledgeable and presents the material simply and easy to understand. In addition, the environment he creates as a result of his leadership is one of a family. I would highly recommend this course with the highest confidence and I am looking forward to taking my next course with Andrew" John B. Class 37/50 - Atlanta, GA
"Andrew, I learned a ton spending a fair amount of time outdoors. I learned more in two days of class, than all my time in boy scouts and as a ranger. Faster, Lighter, Inexpensive and better prepared to make it through a real situation in poor weather. I really appreciate your mellow teaching style and have tons of respect for your skill level. I am glad I was ab;e to learn by watching you perform the skill and then do the skills until you were confident in my skills, in turn making me confident. Thanks a bunch. Hopefully we can see you out West soon." Kenny B. Class 37/50 - Yosemite, CA
"Andrew, Wanted to let you know that both Charlie and I had a wonderful time this weekend. Not only will the skill we learned this weekend give us confidence and peace of mind, but we had one of the best experiences of our lives out there. We plan on coming back for more when you start offering other classes. We are still talking about it today and probably will for a few more weeks." Brandon R. & Charlie B. Class 38/54 - Blaine, TN
"I had the opportunity to attend BigPig Outdoor's Survival 101 course a couple years ago. As a career National Park Ranger, a hunter, and lifetime outdoor enthusiast, I expected a refresher in woodsmanship skills and maybe a couple new "tricks". Survival 101 was everything but a refresher. The course started with some education on mindset and went through gear selection, skill development and a lot of practical application. I have never been to any other type of course that does such a great job of integrating information with practical application. I truly felt that I understood the information and that I could apply it. Nothing teaches you that you can survive a cold, wet night out without gear like actually doing it and at one point I had my shelter at 100 degrees!! At the conclusion of the course, my perception of what I thought about survival skills had completely changed. I left the course not only confident in the fact that I could weather a survival situation, but with whole new skillsets that I have the opportunity to practice and use on my own. I am anxiously awaiting my next course with BigPig Outdoors" Jake O. - Yosemite National Park
"I attended Andrew's flagship survival course in '08 and I found his ability to teach what matters in a sensible, progressive approach effective and refreshing. Andrew offers an exceedingly rare combination of knowledge, skill, direct personal experience, and perhaps most importantly, a deep desire for his clients' success and safety in the wilds. Despite my own years of outdoor adventuring and focused survival training I was surprised at how seamlessly Andrew reinforced the bedrock principles while teaching new approaches and skills that I have used ever since. I consider my study with Andrew to be one of the finest training experiences I have had the good fortune to enjoy." Mike A. - NREMT, WEMT
"My survival class at Bigpig Outdoors was without doubt one of the most educational, challenging and fun things I've done in the woods. The hands-on instruction was focused on exactly what I needed to avoid and manage a dangerous outdoor event. From planning, to prepping, to mentally and physically thriving when things go wrong, BPO gave me the skills and confidence to tackle a host of outdoor challenges, and the concepts and mindset to overcome many more. The instruction is great, but it’s the emphasis on actually practicing what you’re learning that makes the curriculum and techniques stick. Plus, the capstone challenge was exhilarating – an experience I've vividly recalled for friends many times. I couldn't ask for a more knowledgeable and supportive staff, and the experience was a wonderful way to spend a winter weekend. In short, I recommend BPO without reservation." Matt D, Ph.D. - Author, professor, and casual outdoors enthusiast
Another review on BigPigBlog.com: http://bigpigblog.com/2014/01/06/survival-101-course-review/
Blogs about recent classes: http://bigpigblog.com/2014/02/25/a-motley-crew-survives/
Smoky Mountain Bushcraft & Survival School
"We do not rise to the occasion, but rather fall back to the level of our training"
- Archilochus (Greek Soldier, Poet) 650 B.C.
Archilochus knew that when the pressure is on, the mindset and skills to deal with that situation do not develop within us, rather we rely on the skills and knowledge developed by our training. By combining high quality skills instruction and reality based scenario training, BigPig Outdoors guarantees you will own the skills and confidence to survive a wilderness emergency.
Starting with lecture and hands on skill development, each day ends with a Survival Scenario to test your skills. Designed to familiarize both your body and mind to the stress of a real-world survival situation, this gives you the unparalleled advantage of having "been there, done that" when the time comes.
This is not just a survival class, it is a survival experience!!
Mental Aspects of Survival
Survival Kits & Tools
Survival Scenario 1
Survival Scenario 2
What to bring:
This class focuses on the common problem of being unprepared for a night out in inclement weather, whether it is from an injury, poor planning, or getting lost. Students are encouraged to "fight like you train" and bring the gear they would normally carry on a day hike (the exception is food):
Students will be provided with a basic survival/shelter kit for use in the class.
A complete set of dry clothes can be brought and left in the vehicle.
Food: Students are responsible for bringing their own meals and cooking them on site. Informal instruction on campfire cooking will be available along with sampling campfire cuisine. Class will end on Sunday afternoon, so plan for lunch & dinner on Saturday and breakfast & lunch on Sunday. Your body needs more calories during cold weather, so bring plenty of snacks.
December 15-16, 2018
January 2019 TBD
February 2019 TBD
March 2019 - TBD
* Other dates available upon group request
Age: 12+ (under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult)
Class size limit: 16
Cost: $175 ( or $50 Deposit with balance due at class time)
* Classes start at 9:00 am on Saturday and ends around 4:00 pm
* Please read the BPO Policies and FAQ page before purchasing