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Adult Opportunities

Plants for Wilderness Survival

Learn the many ways that plants can help you stay alive in the wild.

Content Detail

This course has been canceled.

Our modern lives are often disconnected from nature and many of the old skills and knowledge are on their way to being lost. In this interactive workshop, participants will rediscover how humans have used and relied upon plants for survival for generations. You will learn how to:

  • Find and make tinder from plants.
  • Choose plant materials you can use to build and start a fire.
  • Use plants to gather water.
  • Construct a bowl or spoon using tools from nature.
  • Construct different types of shelters using natural materials.
  • Make cordage or rope.
  • Enjoy a bow-drill demonstration, using the power of friction to start a fire.

Plants can provide basic survival needs for shelter, warmth, water, and sustenance. Build your outdoor skill set and connect more deeply with nature by discovering the many ways plants can help you survive. No experience is necessary; this program is great for beginners.

This program takes place outdoors at the Arboretum. Portions may require walking on uneven surfaces, bending, kneeling, or lifting. 

Instructor: Ron Nosek, owner, Nature Education Programs, Ltd. 

Age: 16 and older


Ron Nosek, owner, Nature Education Programs, Ltd.

Ron Nosek is a retired attorney who has been intrigued with the ability of native peoples to live in harmony with so-called “wild” places since childhood. In 1992, Ron learned of Medicine Hawk Wilderness Skills in Milwaukee and began to take classes under the tutelage of Tom and Ellen Hanratty. He soon became an apprentice, before moving on to full-time instructor.

What to Know

Held outdoors, rain or shine. Dress for the weather. 

Be prepared to walk off trail on uneven terrain. Moderate bending, kneeling or lifting may be necessary for certain activities. 

Bring a notebook and pen.


Program Schedule

Saturday, October 8, 2022

9 a.m. to noon


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