I was 14 when a chance encounter with a book in a camping store near the heart of Antwerp Belgium, kicked of a life filled with adventures. The store, which still exists today, was ‘De Kampeerder’ (The Camper) and that book was the SAS Survival Guide by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman. At that age I wasn’t a fan of reading books yet, but from the very first moment I picked it up, a path in life was chosen. My dad bought that book for me, and I spent nearly every waking moment reading and learning how to be self sufficient in the wild and how to survive anywhere in the world. Fire making, knives, edible plants, traps, fishing, first aid, signaling and much more, it was all in there, it was awesome! I made my first survival kit at the age of 15 and a short time later, after practicing close to home, I ended up dragging my brother and our friends along on so called 'survival trips' deep into Belgium’s most forested regions. Most of these adventures were epic, some not so much. Mistakes were made and lessons were learned, but the drive to explore those forests more, and other environments further afield, only got bigger.
Lifelong friendships were born out of common interests, and this took us to many of Europe’s wild places to hike, climb or canoe. From the beautiful arid interior of Corsica to the gorges of Crete and through the canyons in Spain. From there we went up the mountains in France and Austria, and over the 4000 meter high peaks in Switzerland, and back through the forest of central Europe. Then North to Scandinavia, on winter expeditions to the desolate and snow covered Hardangervidda plateau in Norway, crossing the Arctic Circle twice by pulk and snowshoe in Sweden, and returning to it’s magical forests in summer and fall to canoe its pristine lakes and waterways. Afterwards, over the pond. The Canadian wilderness was calling and the interior of Algonquin Park never disappointed.
A driving force along the way was this hunger for knowledge, to learn more and get a better understanding of various skills, practices and environments. This accumulated in excess of 50 courses and still counting, within many aspects of my life, both on a recreational and professional level. I became a certified survival instructor, US Embassy security officer, certified first aid instructor, provincial park warden, gun dog handler and kennel assistant, hunting guide team leader and took great pleasure guiding canoe trips. At the core of it all, a passion to experience Nature and that sense of freedom, of belonging to wild places and thriving within them.
The school is born out of this mixture, and called to life in an effort to share this passion and to extend a helping hand to those who are a bit insecure or hesitant to take those first steps. Some may feel there is so much to learn before they can really go exploring themselves. Having dedicated most of my life in pursuit of outdoor adventure, I can tell you; we will never know it all. We will forever be students and that’s fine. What we do know is that things seem less daunting once you have committed to taking the first steps, and with a little bit of guidance, you are more than capable to start a fire, put up a tarp and carve your own spoon. You will be able to make informed decisions regarding your safety and create a surprising level of comfort with some basic items in your pack. Should you feel this applies to you, or perhaps want to expand on existing experiences, feel free to reach out and we’ll start your journey, into the wild.
What customers are saying
Peter is amazing. I had been back country camping a few times but I knew I needed more knowledge. Peter not only gave me the skills I needed to be confident, but also taught me how to be safe and how to respect the environment. Highly recommend course and instructor.
Tara - Orangeville, ON, Canada.