Wilderness Survival at Siwash Lake

The Siwash wilderness survival experience was pioneered by the son of the owners, who had the rare privilege of growing up as a 'free-range' kid who thrived on adventure in his own expansive backyard. He would take only his rifle, flint and steel, and a small pot for cooking. He'd sleep on fir boughs and roast his food over an open fire—squirrel, duck, wild mint tea, boiled lily root. He very much epitomized the verb to go 'siwash', which means to go into the wild. These days it is still used to describe camping where one takes only the most basic of survival gear along and uses natural shelter—heading out into the woods to explore, traveling swiftly and lightly as a First Nations person would have done years ago.   Learning to forage for food during the Wilderness Survival program at Siwash Lake


You'll build a shelter in the forest using only the natural materials at hand and light a campfire using a bow drill. Then learn about fire ecology, how to track wild animals, and forage for water and food. This hands-on, half day activity is tons of fun for all ages.





In the wake of the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire, which burnt 90% of our surrounding forest, the wilderness survival experience at Siwash takes on new meaning. This is a half day activity that many of our guests report to be the high-light of their trip to the ranch.

Learn all about backwoods basics—what you should do and how to be prepared before you head out into the wilderness. We'll teach you what bare essentials you'll need to have with you and then how to survive in case you ever become lost in the wilds, are threatened by forest fire, or encounter a wild animal up close.