The best train with the best...

First and foremost you should know, we're here to get you ready for the real thing. Our training is not based on what you'll find in all the same old survival manuals or YouTube videos. It's based on real world experience, in extreme climates and terrains, globally. This is why 3 branches of the United States Military have chosen us for training, and we hope you and your family (yes we have training for all ages and skill levels) do as well.


OUR Locations

We now have locations across California, from Chico to San Diego. Each location was selected to provide optimum training value and student access. Simply click on the course that interests you for its location, schedule, and overview. (we no longer operate in Tehachapi, Ca)

      *Big Bear/Angelus Oaks, San Bernadino National Forest     *Morovia Canyon Park, CA (Los Angeles County)     *O'NEILL Regional Park (Orange County)    *Chico, Ca (within 2 hours of Sacramento, Tahoe, & Reno, less than 3 from San Francisco)

Click here to check out our Independent Nor Cal Branch

Your expert delivery of lifesaving information will undoubtedly benefit VX-31 and staff for years to come. Again, accept my personal thanks for a job well done.
— Commanding Officer, VX-31, United States Navy

America's Most Elite Cadre Of Survival Instructors

STSC QUalified Instructor List

(updatED Regularly)

Chief Instructor/Founder: Thomas Coyne- experience, training, and qualifications

*6 years of frontline firefighting experience   *Former Firefighting Helicopter Crew Member (HELITACK)  *EMT   *Helicopter Hoist Rescue Team Member   *Helicopter Rappeller   *Search & Rescue Technician    *Fire Crew Squad Leader     *ICS & NIMS Disaster Management Systems   *Confined Space Rescue    *Techinical Ropes Rescue    *Swift Water Rescue Technician    *HAZMAT Operations    *Dunker trained (emergency aircraft underwater egress)    *Member of the helicopter rescue team for the first civilian space shuttle launches (X Prize Launches, 2003)  *Has provided training to; US Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Center Instructors, US Navy Helicopter Search & Rescue & EOD, US Air Force EOD, California Department of Justice, and many more

Lead Instructor: Jerry Saunders- experience, training and qualifications

*11 Years active duty U.S. Marine Corps    *Former Chief Survival Instructor USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center              *USMC Scout Sniper   *Sniper Instructor USMC    *USMC Mountain Leader    *Combat Veteran, Iraq/Afghanistan     *Arctic Survival & Warfare Instructor     *SWAT/SRT Tactics & Long range shooting Instructor    *EMT    *USMC Assault Climber    *Search & Rescue Technician   *Mountaineering Expert   *Ten day STSC field training course and survival expedition alumni   *Firefighter 2 Academy Graduate    *National Park's Ranger and LEO  *Has trained special operations forces and law enforcement from across the globe  

Skills Instructor: Al Quintero

Professional Engineer, Skills Instructor Program Graduate, Wilderness First Responder

Field Instructor: Carl Eather

Professional Lead Ship's Engineer, International Outdoor Adventurer, Survival Expedition Alumni, Field Instructor Program Graduate

Critical Skills Course Instructor: Anderson Hailey

Professional Engineer, Outdoor Event Organizer & Guide, Critical Skills Course Instructor Program Graduate

Critical Skills Course/Wilderness First Aid/Land Nav/Tactical Skills Instructor: Justin Garfield

USMC Veteran, Physical Security Specialist, former combat lifesaver program instructor to the "Peshmerga" Kurds of northern Iraq, Critical Skills Course Instructor Program Alumni, has trained soldiers and law enforcement from around the globe

Primitive Skills & Stone Knapping Instructor: Gary Pickett

Gary Pickett is a nationally respected stone tool maker (knapper) and has been teaching his craft for over 20 years. But what we really love about him is his heart of gold. In his daily life, he is a program coordinator for "New Advances For People With Disabilities" where he works with mentally handicapped youth. He has trained US Air Force, US Navy, & Department of Defense Personnel on our courses, and has been with us since 2010.

Skills Instructor: Denny Salisbury

USMC Veteran, Combat Veteran (Iraq), Awarded The Purple Heart, Skills Instructor Program Graduate, Field Instructor Program Enrollee, Has trained military units and Police Search & Rescue under our auspices.

More coming soon!




  • US Marine Corps: Mountain Warfare Training Center Survival Instructors & Sniper Instructors
  • US Navy: Search & Rescue, EOD
  • US Air Force: EOD 
  • United States Department of Defense
  • History Channel
  • Discovery Channel
  • Craftsman Tools
  • Women In The Outdoors ("WITO" is America's largest women's outdoor organization)
  • Stanford University Vaden Mental Health Services
  • Buzzfeed
  • Ford Motors
  • Regal Cinemas (Regal Entertainment Group)
  • CNN
  • and we hope you are next!