Traditional Outdoor Skills Instruction

Teaching Fundamental Outdoor Skills;

Developing Outdoor Competence; and 

Building Backcountry Confidence

Desert DAWN travels to you with exciting nature based workshops.  Often it is more efficient for us to pack our bags and travel to your location to share knowledge.  Nature is everywhere, so we can teach anywhere.   We have a selection of workshops already designed or custom workshops can be created to meet your needs.



Traditional Outdoor Skills 



The Discovery Experience of Traditional Outdoor Skills is an overview workshop of fundamental outdoor skills.

Knife Craft

Fire Craft

Rope Craft

Campfire Cooking

We can bring this workshop to you or include it in any of our guided tours when you are visiting the Boulder and Escalante area. 2 – 8 hours.


The Overnighter 


Bivouac Shelter
Bivouac Shelter


No one plans to stay out over night on a day hike, but could you?  Could you make it through the night with the gear in your day pack or even more challenging, with the resources that nature provides?  Workshop Length – 4 hours to 2 days.


Knife Craft


Knife Craft
Knife Craft, A Foundation Skill Photo courtesy of Terry and Marlene Webb


Knife skills are an essential part of life, whether in the kitchen, around the home or farm or on the trail. ” In this class you will discover all aspects of  being safe with a knife, using a knife and maintaining a knife (yes, you will be able to sharpen your knife).  Your knife will become an indispensable tool  that will be an extension of your hand.  Workshop Length – 4 hours to 2 days.


Fire Craft


Making a fire using a “long match”.


Fire is the essence of our experience in nature – the sight of the flickering flames, the sound of wood popping, the aroma of  burning wood and the feeling of the warmth from the fire – fire completes the camping experience.  We start with the ABC’s of fire and then allow students the opportunity to discover the thrill of making fire by rubbing sticks together.  Next, we progress through the technologies for making fire and discover the true nature of fire. Workshop Length 4 hours to 2 Days.


Flat Fabric Camping

(Shelter Craft and Pack Craft)



Could you make yourself comfortable while backpacking and camping with a blanket, a poncho, a half blanket, a “camp cloth”, a silk scarf and some bandanas. This is the traditional gear of many campers prior to the early 1900’s. This eye opening workshop shows the key benefits of flat fabrics: Versatile, Durable, Repairable and Comfortable. And you will learn to use flat fabrics for:


Sleeping bag

Pack system

Outerwear and More…

After the Flat Fabric Camping Workshop, you will be able to take a look at your gear and realize that some of it is not needed and some of it you may even want to exchange for flat fabrics. Workshop Length – 4 to 8 hours.


Dressing for Success

in The Backcountry

~ The Natural Fiber Way ~



Dressing for Success in the Backcountry is a journey into my personal choices of outdoor wear. After 20+ years hiking and backpacking in the desert, I have definitely made some revisions over the years. This workshop answers the question as to why I moved away from contemporary synthetic based outdoor clothing found at modern outfitters and returned to traditional natural fiber outdoor wear.


Campfire Cookery



This workshop comes with a meal. Using traditional campfire implements, including Dutch ovens we explore various amazing methods for preparing meals in a camp setting.


Traditional Woodcraft

Camping Skills


Learning to make Fire by Friction
Friction Fire Encompasses Several Woodcraft Camping Skills. Photo by Terry Webb.


We have taken the six core woodcraft trail skills – rope craft, knife craft, fire craft, shelter craft, pack craft and traditional navigation – and bundled them into this all encompassing workshop.  You will leave this workshop confident in your wood craft skills and confident in your ability to stay happy and comfortable should any of your modern backpacking gear fail.  Workshop length – 3 to 5 Days.


Traditional Navigation


Map and Compass
Map and Compass Navigation Photo courtesy of Marlene and Terry Webb


Are your map and compass skills going to be able to help you stay found (not get lost) or does your head spin at the thought of using a map and compass?  We help you remove the mystique surrounding the map and compass.  They are both quite basic and with practice the anxiety over using them drifts away like a soft summer breeze.  Staying found  will be much easier at the end of this workshop.  Workshop Length – 1 to 3 Days.


Traditional Animal Processing


Softening a sheep hide.
Softening a sheep hide.


Did you know that there are practical uses for every part of an animal and that the meat is not necessarily the most nutritious part of the animal. You will be able to gain more nutrition from the animals you process and be able to make all sorts of cool stuff from what is not used for food. Workshop Length – 3 to 5 days.


Organizing a Workshop


Our workshops are four-hour to five-day immersions into woodcraft camping skills.   Each workshop is hosted by an organization or group.  Read more on hosting a workshop.

Please use our Workshop Contact form if you are interested in hosting a workshop or if you are looking for a workshop in your area.

Explore More:

Day Hikes         Woodcraft Skills – Our Core Curriculum        Contact Us          Staff Stories

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