Wilderness Survival Skills Instructor
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This list tends to answer MOST frequently asked questions. Please feel free to ask me any questions that you have through email as well! Contact me to scheduling a cool class with me! Thank you for your interest in learning with Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival. Please consider following me on Facebook and Instagram @owleyeswilderness.
Tim Swanson is the founder of Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival, a “traveling” nature connection and wilderness survival school for people of all ages. He holds a double Bachelor’s Degree in Adventure Education Leadership and Adventure Therapy (Unity College). He is a Level 1 Certified Animal Tracker (CyberTracker) and a Wilderness First Responder (SOLO). He is passionate about educating our children/teens/adults about nutrition, natural awareness, equality, and hopes to spread his love of nature through the practice of wilderness survival.
HOW TO BOOK A PRIVATE OR PUBLIC CLASS
After reading this page, and it all sounds fair to you, please send me an e-mail. If you send me a preferred date, time range, and topic right away, it will put you in my calendar faster. I would love it if you could give me a brief description of the group in terms of ages and numbers. For public classes, I will add them to my calendar with a link to your web posting so that people looking at my website can see the class offering. Please let me know if you would like to meet at a public land in Groton, or a public land near you (I do have to charge extra if my travel time is over a half hour). Please research laws and regulations for your land to see which topics we can or cannot do.
In order to book a class, I require a NON-REFUNDABLE scheduling deposit of $20 an hour (a three hour class will cost $60 to book) through Paypal or Venmo. This deposit goes towards the overall cost of the class in which you can pay the rest right before the class. Because classes are occasionally booked months in advance, it is hard to book another class when one is cancelled. This deposit shows that you are serious about attending and have all intentions of taking the class. In the event that I need to cancel a class, I will refund your deposit.
I try to keep my pricing simple and easy by charging by group number categories:
1 person: $50 an hour (1 parent & 1 minor combo counts as this category)
2-9 people: $75 an hour
10-14 people: $100 an hour
15-24 people: $135 an hour
25 or more people: Considered a special event. Price negotiable. (topic and materials)
Usually people reach out with 2-9 people in the group. I charge BY THE HOUR and material fees are included in this hourly price. (Example: for 2-9 people I charge $75 an hour. A two hour fire class with 8 students would be $150) I frequently bring gear (knives, fire starting tools) for sale if people choose to buy their own equipment, but I have all required materials to borrow. I accept Paypal, Venmo, or cash PRIOR to the start of the class. Venues wishing to book public classes will be charged by me on the same system but are welcome to charge whatever price per person they would like.
My pricing list does not factor in additional costs with travel time. Each class includes an hour of my driving complimentary (a half hour there, a half hour back). Any travel time above that hour will be charged additional to class costs.
I offer almost 50 different classes. Please look at my “CLASSES” Tab on my website to read through them. Each class has suggested time to fully cover that class. You are more than welcome to mix and match classes to create a program that works best for you. I am also willing to create long term programs for homeschool groups or individuals wishing to go deep into their skills.
All ages are welcome. All of my classes can be adjusted to fit different age groups (however, I do have a suggested age minimum in the description of each class). I leave it up to the parents to make the decision for their child if they are mature enough for a class. I will not stop a class to address behavioral situations and kindly ask the parents to handle any basic needs of their child. Remember, the age defines what material we will cover. Example: a family-oriented tracking class will have a different vibe than an all adult class. I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO RESTRICT A STUDENT’S USE OF TOOLS IF I FEEL THERE IS ANY DANGER. All class topics are open to adults.
I have special land use permission in Groton, MA, as that is where Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival is based. If you would rather me come to you and meet in your yard or a public nature area near you, that is fine, but my travel time will make the cost a bit higher. I always follow laws and regulations so there may be class topic restrictions. Everyone’s yard also looks different and each town has restrictions. I always ask that class time is longer than my total travel time. I need to be within easy access to my vehicle and I need to be legally parked.
My availability varies but I am generally available weekdays and weekends, at any time of day. My weekends fill EXTREMELY fast so expect to schedule a few months in advance. Please let me know which date(s) and time(s) you would like to book. ASSUME A CLASS IS NOT BOOKED UNTIL WE HAVE BOTH CONFIRMED THE TOPIC, DATE, TIME, AND A SCHEDULING DEPOSIT HAS BEEN PAID.
Participants may suffer an occasional minor cut, bruise, scrape, or burn. Primitive skills, hiking in the woods, and learning to use tools all come with natural consequences. As much as I address risk management, I cannot let the kids and adults enjoy the natural world with out being exposed to minor risks. It is pushing up against these small risks that allows them to learn the natural consequence of not being careful with their bodies. ALL participants are required to fill out a release of liability waiver at the beginning of class (children under 18 need parents to sign).
WHAT TO BRING
Water, snacks, appropriate clothing (warm layers, rain layers), notebook/pens, any survival tools you wish to use, materials from previous classes you have taken with me (bow drill sets, etc). I also recommend leather work gloves for certain tasks, and blaze orange during the fall hunting seasons. PLEASE BRING TOO MUCH CLOTHING. I have noticed a lot of my new students tend to underdress for cold weather. If you need assistance on how to dress for the weather PLEASE do not hesitate to reach out to me, I want you to be comfortable. I have a link in the “shop” tab on my website if you would like to buy a knife before or after the class. I have tools (knives, saws, axes, fire starters, rope, archery/fishing equipment, etc) for students to use at each of my classes depending on the topic.
“Bad” weather is an ally when training for survival. Assume that classes will run rain or shine unless lightning poses a risk or roads are dangerous due to snow.
Thank you for understanding that I am a wilderness survival skills instructor and frequently spend long amounts of time in the wilderness away from technological communications and screens. It may take me over a week to return your email. I do not have any “office hours” and check my emails when I can. Expect to receive emails from me at scattered times.
Thank you for your interest in learning with me!
Tim Swanson, Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival