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(Re)Learn the Skills of Your Ancestors With The Apprenticeship Program

Primitive Skills • Self-Reliance • Wilderness Survival • Bushcraft

Expand your skillset and deepen your experience through an apprenticeship with Gone Feral and Doug Hill.

For those wishing to work in the field or simply wanting to develop their skills through a long-term, intensive study, we’ve developed the Gone Feral Apprentice Program.  Apprentices hone their skills through experience, pursue a track of independent study, keep a logbook of experience, and receive a certificate upon completing the program.

Besides learning, Apprentices assist with projects at our field school, course prep, harvesting materials, and have the possibility of receiving paid work with Gone Feral or other organizations.

The Apprenticeship Program Details

A Program for Real Life

  • Long-term experiential program
  • Meet one weekend each month
  • Private, guided study between
  • Beginning & ending ‘intensives’
  • Additional opportunities/perks

We’ve designed the Apprenticeship to work with real people, working hard, maybe hoping to make a change in their life or the world. Apprentices begin with a four-day crash course, then meet for one weekend each month, and the program culminates with another four-day intensive experience to put the skills to use.

A long-term experience provides the opportunity to use skills and gather materials across seasons’ change, not possible with a short program.  Between weekends together, private study and practice mean that Apprentices’ time onsite is maximized.

Small Fire

The Journeyman’s Path

In addition to the Common Core, Apprentices choose a path of private study to follow the direction of their goals.  Much of this work is completed between our sessions together, with oversight from Doug, and is the focus of the culminating week outdoors at the end of the year.  For example, one choosing the Survival path has the opportunity to put those skills to use for the week in the montane woods around our Field School while we are nearby to offer support and safety in the event they are needed.

Journeyman Paths include:

  • Survival – survive with minimal gear using what you find on the land
  • Craft – harvest wild materials and make tools, containers, weapons, clothes, and more
  • Plants – edible and medicinal plant lore and use
  • Bushcraft – long-term wilderness living without infrastructure
  • Hunter-Gatherer – the ultimate generalist of the natural world
  • Primitive Skills – further your study of the tools and technology of the Stone Age
  • Education – mastery of skills to transition to teaching
  • Private Choice – Apprentices can design their own journey

Common Core

During our time together, Apprentices will learn and practice core wilderness skills.  These are meant as a foundation to build upon and to establish a common, professional language.  Practice and completion of projects is expected between our sessions together.

The Common Core includes:

  • Primitive Living Skills – Fire, Shelter, Tools & Containers
  • Ecology – Plants, Animals, Tracking
  • Navigation using nature’s signs
  • Bushcraft – living in the woods without infrastructure using the knife, axe, and saw
  • Construction
  • Cooking
  • Survival – theory, physiology, and principles, emergency fire, shelter, water, signaling, food
  • Stewardship – caring for and promoting health of the land

The Logbook

The Gone Feral Apprenticeship is designed around expectations of what a devoted student of outdoor skills should be able to achieve during an intensive study. These are listed as hundreds of benchmarks across dozens of skills-areas. Successful completion means that you have achieved all of the benchmarks required for the Apprenticeship Certificate Program.

Receiving the Certificate is a point of pride and no small feat, however it is completely achievable given sufficient motivation, practice, and the close guidance we provide. Think making more than 100 fires with a bow drill sounds like fun?  That’s just one benchmark.

Participants accepted into the program will receive a printed and bound copy of the logbook upon registration. Within the logbook are all of the required benchmarks as well as plant and animal species journal pages. Over the course of the Apprenticeship, participants will learn and log 100+ species of plants/trees and 40+ species of mammals, birds, fish, and arthropods.

Additional Perks of the Apprenticeship

Besides the learning and experience, we’re happy to extend the following benefits to Apprentices who’ve committed to taking their study deeper.  Apprentices receive:

  • A 40% discount on all other courses hosted by Gone Feral during the length of their Apprenticeship
  • One free half-day private lesson with Doug
  • Private invitations to attend events and harvesting opportunities
  • Free access to our Weekly Workshops during the length of the Apprenticeship

What You’ll Receive

Skills, self-reliance, and experience aren’t quantifiable.  They’re priceless.  But an Apprenticeship with Gone Feral will also get you:

  • A solid education in primitive skills, wilderness living, bushcraft, ecology, and nature awareness
  • Contact with us throughout the month between sessions
  • Community-building through access to a private Facebook group for current and past Apprentices
  • A Certificate of Completion from Gone Feral:  to honor your commitment and our stamp of approval on your skillset and experience

How The Apprenticeship Works

The Apprentice program runs from June to October/November. Apprentices stay at our Field School during sessions, beginning with a 4-day intensive, followed monthly with 2 1/2 day weekends, culminating with another 4-day intensive in the fall. Apprentices also receive free access to our Fire & Ice: Winter Survival course during the winter following their Apprenticeship.

Weekends run from Friday evening to Sunday evening, designed to fit into a traditional work life. The 2017 dates are:

  • June 29-July 2
  • July 14-16 OR July 21-23 (TBD)
  • August 11-13
  • September 1-3
  • September 29-October 1
  • October 26-29
  • February 2018 (Winter Survival Course)

Apprentices will receive a detailed monthly schedule, list of supplies, and logbook upon acceptance and registration.

Apprentices with Baskets

Who the Apprenticeship is For

We’re looking for serious, committed people. If you want to work in the field of primitive skills, bushcraft, outdoor education, or related fields, this may be a good fit. If you’ve always wanted to learn wilderness skills to a depth you can’t imagine, the Apprenticeship could set you on the path.

Gone Feral is growing to the point of needing additional instructors. We also frequently receive requests for recommendations. The group of people we’re willing to stand behind is sadly slight.  We’re hoping to change that – by training up future instructors the right way.

Solid learning, honed through experience. Given appropriate drive, motivation, commitment to mastering the skills, and performance, Apprentices may be invited to teach for Gone Feral or recommended for other outdoor programs.


There is no fee to apply, however, payment (or down payment) as detailed below is expected within two weeks of acceptance into the Apprentice Program, in order to reserve your space.

  • Monthly Payments – $2,699
    Down Payment of $899
    6 Monthly Payments of $300
  • Pay In Full – $2,199
    Save $500 by paying in full upon acceptance!


The Apprenticeship takes place predominantly at Gone Feral’s Field School – North of Ward, Colorado. Local driving directions will be provided upon acceptance and registration. At times, we may travel to other sites or range farther afield as projects dictate or resources come into season.

What To Do Next

Interested in the Gone Feral Apprenticeship Program? Begin the journey by filling out the application. Applicants will be contacted for an interview.

Apply For The Apprentice Program

Apprentices Around a Fire