“I grew up in the north woods of Canada. You had to know certain things about survival. Wilderness survival courses weren’t very formalized when I was growing up, but I was taught certain things about what to do if I got lost in the woods.”

Margaret Atwood, Novelist

Pros and Cons of Wilderness Survival Courses

advantages and disadvantages of wilderness survival courses

Wilderness survival courses have become increasingly popular over the past years. In fact, many people in our nowadays society feel the need to reconnect with nature and to go back to the roots.

While wilderness survival courses can provide us with many advantages, there are also some problems related to them. The pros and cons of wilderness survival courses are discussed in the following.

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Advantages of Wilderness Survival Courses

  1. Wilderness survival courses can reduce our stress levels
  2. Can raise awareness on our environmental problems
  3. You learn how to survive in case of emergency
  4. You can practice in a rather safe environment
  5. Can help you grow in character
  6. May help to improve your emotional stability
  7. Wilderness survival courses can help you unplug from your daily life
  8. You can figure out who you really are
  9. Can help you to go back to the roots
  10. Survival courses can help you to get out of your comfort zone
  11. Survival courses can be quite a lot of fun
  12. You can meet many like-minded people

Wilderness survival courses can reduce our stress levels

One important benefit of wilderness survival courses is that they can help us to significantly reduce our stress levels. In fact, many people in our current state of the world are quite stressed by their jobs and also from their private life.

If you are one of those people, it may be time for you to go on a survival course since you will be able to spend time in nature and to slow down for a few days.

In turn, chances are that you will be able to regain your mental strengths and may be better prepared for demanding tasks yet to come in the future.

Can raise awareness on our environmental problems

Wilderness survival courses can also help to raise awareness of our environmental problems. It is one thing to hear or read about our environmental problems. However, it is a completely different experience if you see our environmental problems with your own eyes.

Moreover, in nature survival courses, you will also experience the true beauty of nature and will therefore also be more willing to behave eco-friendlier once you get back home.

You learn how to survive in case of emergency

Another advantage of wilderness survival courses is that you learn how to survive in case of emergency. In most survival courses, you will learn all basic things that you will need to survive in natural environments, including making a fire and finding basic food and water that may keep you alive for a few days.

Thus, you will be better prepared for emergency and your chances to survive in case you get lost in the wild my increase as well.

You can practice in a rather safe environment

While wilderness survival courses will teach you basic survival skills, you can practice these skills in a rather safe environment. In fact, you don’t have to worry too much most of the time since an instructor will be there for you.

Therefore, you can practice your survival skills in a safe and playful manner, which may also give you the motivation to practice quite hard and to learn a lot.

Can help you grow in character

Survival courses can also help you to grow in character. In fact, we as humans can learn from every new experience we make. Many people in our current state of the world have never spent extensive time in natural environments and especially if you are one of those people, wilderness survival courses can greatly help you in character since there are many experiences that you will only make when you are in the middle of nature.

May help to improve your emotional stability

Another upside of survival courses is that they can also help you to improve your overall emotional stability. In fact, through all the new tasks you have to do in those courses, you will learn quite a lot. This not only includes physical skills, but it also includes self-development on a mental level.

For instance, you will be able to figure out where your boundaries are right now and you can go from there to improve yourself further. Moreover, after you finished your survival course, chances are that you will also feel more confident since you know better what to do in case of emergency.

Wilderness survival courses can help you unplug from your daily life

Many people also get annoyed with their boring daily life in the long run. Over time, it simply often becomes quite exhausting to go to work every day, to come home late and to have the same routine for an extended period of time.

Hence, if you currently search for ways how to escape your boring life, chances are that survival courses are the way to go since you will learn completely different skills than what you are used to back home.

You can figure out who you really are

Another chance of wilderness survival courses is that you can figure out who you really are and what you really want to do with your life. Many people in our nowadays society feel lost and don’t know what they want to accomplish in life.

If you are currently lost and want to figure out what you want to do with your life, survival courses can also help you in this regard since you will have time for yourself and will be able to unplug from all the noise that is present in your daily life.

In turn, chances are that you will be better able to figure out what you truly like instead of just doing what society or your parents think is right for you.

Can help you to go back to the roots

Since our ancestors lived in the middle of nature, we have it in our DNA to spend time with nature and to reconnect to natural environments. In fact, many people feel that there is something missing in their lives and when they finally spend enough time in nature, they suddenly know what it was.

In fact, we as humans are not wired to spend all of our time in the office. We also have to go back to the roots from time to time in order to satisfy our true nature.

Survival courses can help you to get out of your comfort zone

Wilderness survival courses can also help you get out of your comfort zone. While it is quite convenient to stay inside our comfort zones, it can also be rather harmful to us since while we stay in our comfort zone, we will not learn too much.

In fact, we learn the most when we try new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can really help you to develop yourself.

Survival courses can be quite a lot of fun

Apart from the many helpful skills you will learn during survival courses, those courses can also be quite a lot of fun. In fact, many people really enjoy spending time in nature and to unplug from their stressful daily life.

Hence, if you just want to have a little bit of fun and want to leave your daily routine behind, chances are that wilderness survival courses will be the way to go for you.

You can meet many like-minded people

In wilderness survival courses, you will also be able to meet many like-minded people who also want to reconnect to nature. Since you will spend plenty of time together, chances are that you will also be able to form a deeper connection with those people and you may even be able to make some really good friends.

Disadvantages of Survival Courses

  1. Wilderness survival courses can be costly
  2. You have to give up your amenities
  3. Some people don’t feel comfortable in nature
  4. You may get lost
  5. Wilderness survival courses can be exhausting
  6. Mosquitos can be a problem
  7. Problematic in areas with quite toxic animals
  8. You may be overwhelmed by all the information provided to you
  9. Quality of survival courses heavily depends on quality of instructors
  10. Survival courses can be time-consuming
  11. Survival courses will often not prepare you sufficiently on a mental level

Wilderness survival courses can be costly

Even though there are some benefits related to wilderness survival courses, there are still some issues related to them. For example, one downside of wilderness survival courses is that they can be quite costly. In fact, depending on the duration of the course lengths, you can spend several hundreds or even thousands of dollars on it.

You have to give up your amenities

Another disadvantage of survival courses is that you will also have to give up some of your amenities back home. In fact, if you book a survival course that will take more than one day, you will often sleep in a tent or even have to build your accommodation yourself. Hence, don’t expect too much comfort during your survival course.

Some people don’t feel comfortable in nature

If you are a person who just doesn’t feel comfortable in nature, wilderness survival courses will simply not be for you. However, if you never spent time in nature and just think that it is not for you, you should still give it a try. Who knows, maybe you will still like it!

You may get lost

During survival courses, there might also be the risk to get lost. While you will be surrounded by instructors most of the time, you may also have to carry out missions on your own and if you are not careful, you may not find your way back to the camp.

This can be especially problematic in dense forests and at nighttime. If you get lost under those conditions, make sure that you stay calm and think about how you can get out of your misery.

Wilderness survival courses can be exhausting

Some people also perceive survival courses as rather exhausting. In fact, those courses often imply a certain level of physical exercise and if you are not willing to work with your hands a little bit, chances are that wilderness survival courses will also not be for you.

Mosquitos can be a problem

In some areas, mosquitos are a real problem. Especially in parts of our planet where mosquitos can transmit serious diseases, you should be quite careful and wilderness survival courses may not be safe due to that.

Problematic in areas with quite toxic animals

Also if you live in a region where toxic snakes or spiders are rather common, you may also want to avoid wilderness survival courses in order to protect yourself from potentially harmful encounters with one of those toxic animals.

You may be overwhelmed by all the information provided to you

Another issue with wilderness survival courses is that they often provide you with plenty of information and many people will suffer from information overload since they will often not be able to process all this information in a proper manner. In turn, many people may also forget the learned skills quite soon after the course has been finished.

Quality of survival courses heavily depends on quality of instructors

Also the quality of wilderness survival courses greatly varies across companies. In fact, it also greatly depends on the quality of the course instructor. Hence, if you want to go on wilderness survival, make sure that you read reviews first in order to choose the best possible course for you.

Survival courses can be time-consuming

Since some survival courses last for several days or even weeks, make sure that you will also have enough time to join those courses in order not to get stressed from a clash of appointments.

Survival courses will often not prepare you sufficiently on a mental level

While you will learn some survival skills through those courses, it is a completely different ball game to apply those skills in real-life situations when your life depends on the decisions you make.

In fact, there is no course out there that could really prepare you for those extreme situations and it will therefore be rather unclear whether survival courses may really help you to survive in case of emergency.

Top 10 Wilderness Survival Course Pros & Cons – Summary List

Wilderness Survival Course ProsWilderness Survival Course Cons
Wilderness survival courses can reduce stressWilderness survival courses can be costly
Can help you grow in characterSurvival courses can be time-consuming
Can raise awareness on eco-problemsYou have to give up amenities
Survival courses can reconnect you with natureYou may get lost in survival courses
Survival courses can get you back to the rootsMosquitos may hurt your experience
May improve your emotional stabilityMay be dangerous
Can help you unplug from daily lifePoisonous animals can be a problem
You can figure out who you areInformation overload
You can practice in a safe environmentQuality of course depends on instructors
You can learn how to surviveMay not help you too much when it counts

Should You Take A Wilderness Survival Course?

As we have seen before, there are numerous upsides and downsides of wilderness survival courses. In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether you want to join such a course or not. In my opinion, reconnecting to nature is always a good thing.

However, this does not necessarily imply that you have to go for a wilderness survival course. It could also mean spending a weekend trip in nice natural environments.

Sources

https://www.wildernesscollege.com/wilderness-survival-tips-2.html

https://www.redbull.com/pk-en/wilderness-survival-tips

https://originaloutdoors.co.uk/survival/survival-tips-for-travellers/

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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