Thailand Jungle Survival Courses

Thailand's History of Outdoor Survival Skills

One of the many things that impress many travelers in Thailand is the ability of the locals to live off of the jungle. Today, most Thais don't have to rely on the jungle for sustenance, though they have retained much of their ability to identify wild edible and medicinal plants.

Wild Edible Plants & Jungle Crafts

In addition to knowing a lot about the plants in the jungle, many Thais still know how to make temporary shelters and many other jungle crafts that would make being lost in the verdant terrain… not so uncomfortable.

Paddle Asia's Thai guides are well-adapted to living off of the land. All of our guides came from simple backgrounds and fairly poor families. I (Dave) combine their natural jungle survival skills with my lifelong love of the outdoors and survival skills to provide you with an opportunity to visit the jungles of Southern Thailand with the bare minimum of tools. Take advantage of our collective skills.

Unlike what tends to be popular on TV survival shows, you will learn how to conserve energy and not take chances. True survival is all about making decisions that affect your longevity and a focus on safety is paramount to this end. You will not jump off of any cliffs, cross raging rivers, or scale cliffs to get a better idea about where you are located. This makes for more interesting TV, but it is not what you do in a true survival situation.

Jungle Survival Courses in Khao Sok National Park

Paddle Asia offers a variety of jungle survival courses in Thailand. One of our jungle survival courses take place in Khao Sok National Park. This course combines jungle survival with wildlife viewing from a comfortable kayak.

As far as picking wild edible plants go, we would not pick any plant that is uncommon or rare.

Rare plants will be pointed out, but not eaten. In other words, we'd only sample plants that are very common and that are capable of growing back rapidly. Luckily for you, there are many plants that fall into this last category. You'll get to eat directly from the jungle.

Many of these plants are actually commonly found in the regular markets of Thailand!

View some of the edible and medicinal plants here.

We do not kill any animals. We will show you how to set up animal traps, but we do not actually use them to capture animals.

Jungle survival courses address the following:

Survival kit items:

  • What to take
  • What not to take
  • Items specific to tropical conditions
  • Click here to see survival kit information

Water, avoiding dehydration is your #1 priority:

  • Learning to find water on land
  • Learning how to find water in vines
  • Finding water in bamboo
  • Conserving water
  • Transporting water

Fire:

  • How to use a flint and steel (flint and magnesium fire starters)
  • How to make a friction fire with bamboo (see YouTube video)
  • The tinder > kindling > Fuel building schemes
  • Types of fires
  • Fires for warmth
  • Fires for cooking
  • Fires for signaling
  • Underground fires

Cooking basics:

  • Making cooking utensils

Strategy:

  • Setting priorities (basic needs)
  • Preparing for the unexpected
  • Weather concerns

Food:

  • Wild edible plant
  • Boiling water in bamboo
  • Fishing with handlines and bamboo poles
  • Hunting weapons
  • Building traps and snares
  • Food preparation

Shelter:

  • Finding suitable site
  • Types of shelters (including natural shelters)
  • Building shelters with only a knife and know-how

Building a shelter.Rope:

  • Making rope from plants
  • How to tie knots

Finding your way back:

  • Reading signs
  • Determining direction
  • Reading weather
  • How to use a compass and map

Moving:

  • Moving solo through the jungle
  • Moving a group of people
  • Planning food and water while traveling
  • Signaling

Testing the bamboo flooring.Making bamboo flooring.Gain the confidence to tackle life's problems as they arise. Regain your self-esteem by proving to yourself that you could survive alone in a tropical jungle by using your mind and your newly-gained 'continued existence' skills.

Our mission with this endeavor is to help you build the confidence to stay calm if you ever find yourself lost. You should be able to analyze your situation and figure out the best course of action.

See a sample itinerary.

Here is a BBC survival show that I did in February 2014.

Read a former student's review of his week of jungle survival training in Khao Sok.

Jungle Survival Destinations

You can choose from Khao Sok National Park whereby kayaking is included in the course. This is a comfortable way for you to see the jungle and experience one of the nicest national parks in South East Asia.

Bushcraft courses are also available for those who are more interested in camping, woodlore and traditional wilderness living skills than just surivival. If you do not want to travel all the way to Khao Sok and still want to see some incredible jungle, check out our budget Phang Nga Province combo trekking/jungle survival trip. This is only an hour north of Phuket and it costs considerably less as transportation costs are much lower for us. The jungle is every bit as good as Khao Sok if not better. The local guides are exceedingly knowlegeable about their piece of paradise. All-in-all, you cannot go wrong visiting Phang Nga Province. Plus, we offer everything from a one-day program to as many days as you wish. Each trip is customized. Bushcraft courses are available in Phang Nga Province too.

Alternatively, if you don't have a lot of time and/or Khao Sok is out of your budget, you can try our Phuket Wilderness Survival Introductory courses.

Would you know what to do if you were shipwrecked or in a plane crash? Check out our coastal survival training course.

You can also choose from smaller national parks or conservation areas, contact us for details.


Please follow our jungle survival group on

Check out and subscribe to our channel with videos on survival skills as well as other videos. This one is about the Thai Jungle Knife, as used on Dual Survival "Bitten" episode of Season 2. Here is one about making a bamboo floor. Here is one about the wild edible plants that are in my yard in Phuket.


Recommended reading: The US Navy Seal Survival Handbook covers a wide range of topics as well as the issues in various climates. This books is well-written and easy to read. There is no shortage of nice color photos.

The first 41 pages covers the types of training that Seals do. They are certainly hardcore, but this is of course not a prerequiste for being able to survive in the jungle. It is interesting.

I contributed a quite a bit to the tropical section of this book.


For lots of information on common sense survival and self-reliance as well as survival supplies, check out my friend Dave Canterbury's Pathfinder School.

Dave has a multitude educational videos on pertaining to survival skills.

Dave also offers a unique magazine called Self Reliance Illustrated.

My friend Cody Lundin is a master at primitive living skills, wilderness living and survival skills. His Aboriginal Living Skills School is a must for all who are interested in training and learning survival techniques to use in the modern world. Cody proves that ancient skills are still applicable.

Cody also believes in sustainable living and his philosophy shines through with his incredible self-reliant home. Cody is the author of two best-sellers: When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes and 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive!

Dave and Cody are the 'stars' of The Discovery Channel's Dual Survival program, one of the best survival shows to ever air on TV. The new series has a guy named Joe who isn't nearly as good.


Highly recommended reading - Deep Survival, Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales. This book deals primarily with the psychology of survival with plenty of real-life stories. It points out certain (often repeated) patterns in many failed survival attempts and how these patterns of failure can be avoided.

Visit the Wilderness Survival Skills website for information about safe wilderness travel, what gear to take, survival techniques and links to survival schools around the planet.

Certification in Paddlesports and First Aid

Dave is a British Canoe Union Level 2 Coach (trained to Level 3) and is the most experienced paddler in all of Southern Thailand.

Dave is an Emergency First Response Instructor and a certified rescue technician through the Rescue 3 International organization. Dave is also a certified Life Guard through the British Canoe Union. View certifications. Paddle Asia guides are EFR certified in CPR, First Aid, and basic life guard training.

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Tel/fax: +66 76 241519
Dave's mobile: 081 8936558
Moo's mobile: 081 7974855

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This page last updated on Friday, August 08, 2014