Learn outdoor safety and survival skills in this online course. Understand the importance of choosing the right equipment, navigation, living off the environment.

Course Code: BTR201
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Study Bush craft and Wilderness Activities  

  • Develop survival and wilderness activity skills
  • Learn to be self reliant and capable of meeting all sorts of challenges in the wild.
  • Prepare to participate in or lead bush walks, camping trips, adventure challenges and much more..

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Understanding Wilderness Areas
  2. Equipment
  3. Protection from the Elements
  4. Natural Resources
  5. Navigation
  6. Dealing with Emergencies
  7. Camping
  8. Passive Land Based Activities
  9. Water Based Adventure Activities
  10. Active Land Based Adventure Activities


  • Appreciate the scope and implications of ecotourism opportunities in wilderness areas.
  • Prepare for an excursion into a wilderness area
  • Determine appropriate methods of protecting against the elements.
  • Determine different uses for natural resources in the wilderness.
  • Navigate in a wilderness area using a variety of different techniques.
  • 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.

Are You Prepared for the Wild?
Once you are in a wilderness area the opportunity to buy equipment does not exist. It is therefore crucial to the success and safety of any trip to be well prepared. Lots of research will need to be done prior to setting out to ensure that the correct type of equipment to suit the conditions is purchased. You also need to be able to identify the type of clothing and bedding that suits the environment in which you will be travelling (i.e. alpine, tropics, desert) and is appropriate for seasonal conditions (i.e. spring, summer, autumn and winter). It is essential to be able to identify the desirable characteristics of:
  • Footwear for single versus multiple day trips.
  • Ground pad and sleeping bag.
  • A shelter. 
  • A lightweight stove. 
  • Other miscellaneous equipment.
  • Small survival kits. 

There are a few basic principles involved in building a survival kit.
  • Always have one in you backpack and one in your pocket (in case you lose your backpack, i.e. whilst crossing water).
  • Ensure that contents are appropriate to the season (in winter you will need more fire starters than insect repellent).
  • Include a miniature survival guide that includes a section on edible plants if possible.

Minimum essential items for the survival kit should include:
  • High quality pocket knife with at least two cutting blades  
  • Pocket compass  
  • Strong needles – sail-maker’s, surgeon's, and darning  
  • Match safe (plastic or metal container) with waterproof matches  
  • Assorted fish hooks in appropriate containers  
  • Small hank of wire for making animal snares  
  • Needle nose pliers with side cutters  
  • Bar of soap containing antiseptic
  • Small fire starter of pyrophoric metal  
  • Personal medicines, if appropriate  
  • Water purification tablets  
  • Band aids  
  • Insect repellent 
  • Chap-stick  
  • Whistle

Extra items that may be useful include: 
  • Pen gun and flares  
  • Coloured cloth for signalling  
  • Wire saw  
  • Sharpening stone  
  • Plastic water bottle  
  • Safety pins  
  • Travel razor  
  • Small mirror  
  • Flat file  
  • Aluminium foil 
What should be in an Individual medical kit?
  • Sterile gauze, compress bandage 
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Skin antiseptic 
  • Aspirin tablets  
  • Salt tablets 
Your best source of information for building an appropriate set of survival kits will come through research long before the trip starts, from a combination of good texts and quality survival instructors, and also from your previous experience of what items are important to your survival.
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Member of Study Gold Coast

College Member of Complementary Medicine Association assessed to teach a range of areas including Counselling, Nutrition, Natural Therapies.

Recognised since 1999 by IARC

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Dr Robert Browne

Zoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability.
Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and develop

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo

Bob James

Horticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc.,

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