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Weekend Workshop: Survival Skills Overnight

Weekend Workshop: Survival Skills Overnight

Backcountry Camping
Pack List
Weekend Workshops

A weekend of learning and mastering primitive skills

If you've ever wanted to learn backcountry survival, this weekend is for you. You'll spend two days mastering primitive skills such as friction fire, making shelter, and idetifying wild edibles all while enjoying some time away from the city and in the great outdoors.

You'll meet your Discover Outdoors guides bright and early for a short drive and an enjoyable hike to your home for the weekend: a backcountry shelter nestled peacefully in the hills of Harriman State Park. Once at camp, your first task is to create your very own bow drill kit under the instruction of your expert leaders. They'll show you how to use your knife safely and to carve your tools before helping you create the first sparks of a friction fire. One huge accomplisment down, you'll next learn the basics of creating a shelter from the natural matierals around you before enjoying a hearty dinner.

Tonight, you'll have the option to sleep in your tent or, for the bravest among you, camp out in a self-made shelter.

In the morning, try to put your new fire-making skills to the test and see if you can create a cooking fire from your bow drill before breakfast. After fueling up, your guides will lead you through some more skills lessons - including rope making and a short hike to explore local, wild, edible or medicinal plants. Full of knowledge, you'll pack up and head back home. Rest assured that once you've learned to survive in the wild, you can face the concrete jungle with confidence.

    • Your Discover Outdoors guide will meet you on the Upper West Side at the southeast corner of west 76th st. and Broadway at 7:45 AM. We will depart promptly at 8:00 AM.  Subways 1, 2, 3 to 72nd Street.
    • Three mile hike
    • Bow drill carving
    • Friction fire lesson
    • Dinner, bed
    • Nature observation exercise
    • Breakfast
    • Skills practice (rope making)
    • Plant ID / animal tracking hike (three miles)
    • Three mile hike to trailhead
    • Return to New York City, arriving by 6 PM
    • Roundtrip transportation from New York City
    • Professional instruction and guiding
    • Dinner (day one), Breakfast, Lunch (day two)
    • Park permits, fees
    • Tent, Sleeping Bag, and Sleeping Mat Rentals available for an additional fee (tents are shared unless single supplement requested)

Skills Learned:
  • Carving a bow drill
  • Creating friction fire
  • Making shelter
  • Making rope
  • Identifying wild edibles and medicinal plants
  • Animal tracking
  • Finding water

Backcountry Camping

We'll be camping out for one night near a backcountry shelter. We'll be sleeping in backpacking tents. Tents can be rented for $50/ea (rented tents are double-occupancy) or you can bring your own. Sleeping bag and sleeping pad rentals are also available. Food and communal gear will be carried up by the group, so be sure to leave space in your pack!

Pack List

  • Comfortable, athletic clothing
  • Hiking boots with light wool socks
  • Layers are recommended to account for changing conditions
  • Rain Jacket
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack (50 L recommended)
  • Backpacking tent (can be rented for additional fee)
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented for additional fee)
  • Sleeping pad (can be rented for additional fee)
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Basic first aid kit (band-aids, moleskin, etc)
  • Bowl, mug, and utensil
  • Knife (used for carving; fixed or locking blade, non-serrated)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Bug spray
  • Warm clothes for evening at camp (fleece, jacket, warm pants)
  • Camelbak bladder or water bottles (3 L capacity)
  • Toiletries
  • Packed lunch for day one (eaten on trail)
  • Additional snacks
  • Camera
  • Notebook and pen
  • Optional gear: backpacking stove, water filter

Weekend Workshops

Weekends aren't just for all day brunch and binge watching TV anymore. Make the most of your Saturdays and Sundays by spending the weekend outdoors, learning a new skill.

Weekend workshops combine hiking and camping with a chance to work with the experts on topics like backpacking, primitive skills, or mindfulness. With the support of your group and seasoned DO guides, you'll be encouraged to explore new things while enjoying the peacefulness of a weekend outside of the city.