Business Overview

If you love the outdoors and have a passion for teaching others to experience nature and improve their life skills, the survival school business might be right for you. Your students might be children, families, or friends out for an interesting weekend experience. You may even attract people who are active adventurers seeking to learn practical survival skills for their next big trip. Your school might focus on barebones survival, or bushcraft, which places an emphasis on thriving over longer periods in the wilderness, or perhaps a mix of both.

Who is this business right for?

Your first and most immediate skill must be a love for and depth of knowledge in outdoorsmanship. You should also have an innate ability to teach and to encourage students to share your passion for nature and wilderness survival. Depending on the specific direction you take your business and the ecosystems of your area, you might also require knowledge of first aid techniques, survival trapping, plant and animal identification, harsh weather survival, or other kinds of outdoor survival skills.

What happens during a typical day at a survival school?

You’ll likely find yourself spending about one-third of your time on marketing and promotion, one third on typical business-related endeavors and one-third actually out in the field with students. Typical responsibilities can include the following.

  • Communicating on social media and creating and implementing other means of getting your message out to prospective students
  • Contacting property owners or public lands officials to schedule courses
  • Booking classes and answering questions from prospective students
  • Presenting seminars and workshops at coffee houses, libraries, civic centers, and other locations to inspire camp sign-ups
  • Conducting on-site training programs that could last from one to five days or longer

What is the target market?

Your audience could range from serious outdoors enthusiasts to groups merely looking for a unique form of weekend recreation. But all will want to spend time outdoors and learn more about nature and their relationship with the outdoors. Be sure to adequately describe courses and expectations to avoid disappointing attendees.

How does a survival school make money?

You’ll charge participants either a per-day fee for workshops and weekend training, or a predetermined course fee for classes that are ongoing over a period of time.

What is the growth potential for a survival school?

Survival training has become a big business since about 2012. This level of acceptance from the community means that more prospective students will know about it and seek classes, but it might also mean that you’ll find stiffer competition in the field and constrained revenue.