Luckily winter survival isn’t complex, it just requires the proper understanding of basic survival knowledge and some good old first hand training. This three class program will introduce you to fundamental survival knowledge that will apply to survival in all of Maine’s 4 seasons as well as cold weather specific topics such as hypothermia and frostbite. Our two evening courses will cover the psychology and physiology of winter survival, the building and use of a survival kit, proper winter clothing and gear, essential survival and bushcraft skills (to be used in depth over the weekend camp out), as well as a set of selected readings to further your understanding of what it means to keep yourself alive in the winter.

The weekend camp out is the culminating event where you’ll get to put it all together. Using the knowledge you gained and the survival kit you built over the prior two weeks, you’ll be challenged to prepare yourself for a night out in the woods in the height of winter. Over the two days you will learn how to:

  • Light fires using multiple methods of ignition and how to build and maintain those fires
  • Build group and individual survival shelters using basic survival kit materials along with natural materials
  • Find you way through the woods using modern compasses and the stars (if possible)
  • Move through the woods using snowshoes
  • Signal for help with survival kit tools and signal fires
  • To use all the tools in your survival kit
  • Use a knife to fell small trees, carve camp tools and light fires
  • Produce water
  • Identify the physiological needs of the human body and find ways to meet those needs
  • Sleep through the night with no tent or sleeping bag
  • Use the tools of the forest- Axe, saw, and knife
  • Tie 4 essential bush knots
  • Dress appropriately for winter
  • Transfer wilderness survival to rural winter survival challenges
  • Test and gauge the safety of ice


Maine Sport Outfitters, Rockport, ME

Field Based Component, TBD


Evening sessions:  January 22nd & 29th, 6pm – 8pm

Field Based Weekend:  February 2nd & 3rd

Materials Fee

In addition to the $250 course cost, $75 will be collect from each participant prior to the field-based sessions to cover the cost of materials.

Instructor Bio

Paul Sveum is a registered Maine Recreation and Fishing Guide and a long time wilderness living and survival instructor. He has completed two long winter expeditions, 24 days in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness and 16 days in Yellowstone National Park, both trips saw temperatures below -50 for days on end. Paul also lived year round for 5 years in northern Wisconsin and at Jack Mountain Bushcraft in northern Maine in a 9×12 canvas wall tent and later in an uninsulated 12×16 off grid hand built cabin. Over the last 15 years Paul has taught dozens of short and long term survival classes specializing in winter and emergency preparation and believes the most important survival tool you can have, besides a celebrity TV survival guru following you everywhere you go, is confidence in your ability to overcome any challenge.