Outdoor Skills


The goal of this course is to develop the skills and knowledge needed for you to operate safely and comfortably, unassisted for 72 hours, in most outdoor situations in California as a SAR boots on the ground resource. A secondary goal is to introduce you to the search & rescue processes and procedures as followed in California, and the actions expected of you as a search & rescue "ground pounder" during a SAR operation.


  1. Apply to training program, following the process here

  2. Receive acceptance into the training program from the Training Director (via email).

  3. Pay training fees by October 1st

When & Where

Current Cal-ESAR Candidates and Members: Please log in to the Member Portal for schedule and location details

Skills Emphasized

  • Shelter building and site selection (tarps, rope and stakes provided)

  • Fire building

  • Clothing care & selection

  • Food selection, storage, preparation & transport

  • Elements of a SAR base camp

  • Radio fundamentals

  • Basic navigation techniques

  • Beginning SAR techniques (hasty search and carry-out)

  • Personal sanitation

  • Minimum impact camping

  • Basic knots

  • Rule of 3s and survival priorities

  • Important Plants (Friend and Foe)