California Survival School teaches core skills

BREA, Calif.

California Survival School offers core survival classes for expert campers, extreme beginners and everyone in between, including those of us who just want an excuse to spend a day out in the fresh air, learning about how our ancestors used to live out in the wild.

Brothers Dan and Michael Baird specialize in turning outdoor zeroes into wilderness survival heroes.

"We're going to teach you how to create a leaf sleeping bag, we're going to teach you how to make fire using natural materials, we're going to teach you how to find and purify water using primitive techniques," said Dan Baird.

Saturday classes usually take place at the Firestone Scout Reservation in Brea. Students of all ages enjoy the unique outdoor adventure. Sixty percent of the participants are female.

"I learned how to build a shelter if I'm ever in a situation where i didn't have my sleeping bag or tent or I'm lost," said Elizabeth Baird.

Instructor Dan Baird admits that building a natural sleeping bag is not as sexy as making fire, but finding adequate shelter is the No. 1 lesson when caught in an emergency situation.

Traditional friction-fire methods are taught, and it takes patience. Advanced classes can include animal tracking and fabricating stone blades. Or take an extended, multi-week survival trip.

"We'll take people out to the desert, to mountains, to the Grand Canyon. That's one of our favorite trips to do," said Michael Baird.

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