Bushcraft & Wilderness Activities - BTR201

Study Bushcraft and Survival Skills

Learn Survival Skills for Bush walking, Camping, Ecotourism and Adventure Activities. This is a course for both participants and organisers. It is designed to provide a foundation of skills and knowledge for working in Ecotourism or Leisure industries, as a leader, tour manager or facility manager.

There are 10 lessons as follows:

  1. Understanding Wilderness Areas
    • Introduction
    • Living Things
    • Ecological Relationships
    • Climatic Zones
    • Climate/Soil/Vegetation Interrelationships
    • Plant Associations
    • Continental Drift
    • Understanding Impacts of Weather on Wilderness Activities - Highs and Lows, Thunderstorms, Atmospheric pressure changes in storms, guide to weather symbols.
    • Terminology
    • Participant Fitness Levels - testing current physical fitness and further tests

  2. Equipment
    • Introduction
    • Equipping to survive - minimum essential items for the survival kit, additional items, individual medical kit
    • Essential Items for Wilderness Travel
    • Clothing
    • Nutrition
    • Food packaging
    • Liability and Insurance
    • Risk Assessment
  3. Protection from the Elements
    • Introduction
    • First Aid Procedures
    • Hypothermia (exposure)
    • Hyperthermia (heat exhaustion)
    • Building a wilderness shelter
    • Lighting a fire
    • Mental strength
  4. Natural Resources
    • Introduction
    • Finding water - plan ahead to find water, how much water do you need? Landscape vegetation and animal signs, things to avoid, making an above ground still, soakage water, water from tree roots
    • Case Study - Survival story
    • Bush tucker or Survival Food - Australian bush tucker foods.
    • Preparation of plant food.
    • Animals for food
    • Use of Bush Tucker Food
  5. Navigation
    • Introduction
    • Navigation and direction finding - how to use a compass, map reading, longitude and latitude, scale, contour lines, estimating distances, pacing.
    • Navigation by the sun, moon and stars
  6. Dealing with Emergencies
    • Introduction
    • Venomous creatures - snakes - symptoms of a poisonous bite, first aid, arachnids - first aid, marine creatures - jelly fish, cone shell, first aid, scorpionfish, lionfish and stonefish - first aid, other dangerous marine creatures.
    • Carnivorous mammals - bears, big cats
    • Poisonous plants
    • Bushfires
  7. Camping
    • Introduction
    • Setting up camp
    • Camping - different styles of camping
    • Successful camp programming
    • Waste disposal
  8. Passive Land Based Activities
    • Introduction
    • Observing nature
    • Orienteering
    • Environmental activities for children
    • Plant collection

  9. Water Based Adventure Activities
    • Introduction
    • Some water-based activities - snorkeling, scuba, sailing, speed boating and jet skiing, canoeing, white-water rafting, water skiing.
  10. Active Land Based Adventure Activities
    • Introduction
    • Activities - abseiling, hang gliding, rock climbing, snow skiing, snowboarding
    • Motorised Vehicles - landscape impact, safety, considerations
    • Mountain Bikes
    • Horse Riding

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • To appreciate the scope and implications of ecotourism opportunities in wilderness areas.
  • To be able to prepare for an excursion into a wilderness area
  • To determine appropriate methods of protecting against the elements.
  • To determine different uses for natural resources in the wilderness.
  • To be able to navigate in a wilderness area using a variety of different techniques.
  • To deal with a range of emergencies in a wilderness situation, including developing contingency plans and determining appropriate first aid.
  • Explain campsite establishment and management.
  • Determine appropriate procedures for managing different passive wilderness activities.
  • Determine appropriate procedures for managing different water based wilderness activities.
  • Determine appropriate procedures for managing different active wilderness activities.


Be Prepared, Be Knowledgeable, Be Organised

-and Your time in a Wilderness area can be both Safe and Enjoyable

There may, in unexpected situations, be times when an excursion into a wilderness area will have to make use of the natural resources in order to ensure survival.

This course is about understanding the things that can go wrong, preparing for both the routine as well as the unexpected; and ensuring contingency plans are in place when venturing into wilderness areas.

Obviously, water is one of our most immediate necessities and food is not far behind. Although humans can survive long periods without food this is not the case with water. In temperatures over 35ºC you may need in excess of 5 litres per day. Altitude and snow can be critically dehydrating, and exertion results in water loss.

Vegetation can be so thick in some remote wilderness areas that people can become lost within a very short time of leaving a track. In very rugged and relatively unexplored areas people have gone missing never to be found again. The obvious answer is not to leave designated tracks however, in remote areas there may not be a track or tracks may be overgrown. This can lead to disorientation and confusion over which track is the correct one to follow. Suddenly being lost in the wilderness is disorienting and extremely disconcerting. The first thing to do is NOT to panic but to use the STOP principle (Sit, Think, Observe, and Plan).

The most important aspect of dealing with emergencies in any situation is to stay calm, this is even more important in a wilderness area where there may be a delay in the arrival of outside help. Once again you may need to apply the five basic concerns of survival: attitude, shelter, water, food and fire. In a medical emergency you will need to apply your first aid skills, wilderness survival training and have the appropriate equipment to call for help as needed. You will need to have the ability to determine an appropriate plan of action in a calm, well informed manner.

If you are traveling in a group (but are separated) then you should stay put, it is very easy to wander ever further away from help unintentionally when you can't find your bearings. If this fails to bring help then you will have to put into use your navigational skills. It is important also to remember that all you need to survive will be in the wilderness around you. The most important thing to remember is that your attitude will play an important part in your survival followed by shelter, water, food and fire.

More people die in the bush through lack of preparation and inadequate equipment then for any other reason. Understanding the affects of the elements on the human body as well as the need for the best quality equipment (suited to the environment in which you are travelling) is therefore a crucial component of wilderness travel. Having the ability to find water, food and provide shelter in emergency situations can be the difference between perishing in the bush and survival. An advanced first aid certificate is a must.



  • individuals preparing for a camping trip, trek, or period of time living in the wilderness
  • camp ground staff or managers, youth leaders, tour guides
  • adventure tour guides, teachers, camping equipment suppliers
  • ecotourism business owners.

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Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $781.66  1 x $710.60
B 2 x $416.96  2 x $379.05

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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All orders processed in Australian dollars.