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Plants for Wilderness Survival

Schedule and location

Saturday, October 24, 2020, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  (SOLD OUT)
Thornhill Shelter

Fees and registration

$30.00 member
$37.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)
BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 or to be waitlisted (Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) 

Course description

Learn the many ways that plants can help you stay alive in the wild. Our modern lives are often disconnected from nature, and many of the old skills and knowledge are on their way to being lost. In this interactive workshop, participants will rediscover how humans have used and relied upon plants for survival for generations. You will learn how to:

  • Find and make tinder from plants
  • Build and start a fire
  • Use plants to gather water
  • Construct a bowl or spoon using tools from nature
  • Build a shelter using natural materials
  • Make cordage or rope
  • Enjoy a bow-drill demonstration, using the power of friction to start a fire

Plants can provide basic survival needs for shelter, warmth, water, and sustenance. Build your outdoors skill set and connect more deeply with nature by discovering the many ways plants can help you survive.


Course number



Ron Nosek

Ron Nosek is a retired attorney who has been intrigued with the ability of native peoples to live in harmony with the so-called “wild” places since childhood. In 1992, Ron learned of Medicine Hawk Wilderness Skills in Milwaukee and began to take classes under the tutelage of Tom & Ellen Hanratty.  He soon became an apprentice, then a full-time instructor, passing on the ancient skills to new generations. Learn more at natedpro.org.

Course details

  • Notes: Held outdoors, rain or shine. Limit 10
  • Prerequisites: No experience necessary, great for beginners!

Arboretum class weather, cancellation and refund policies