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What do you want to learn today?


Are you looking for a life altering experience?
Would you like to know if you have what it takes to survive??

This 5 day adventure will give you a new perspective on life. You will appreciate the more basic comforts civilization has to offer.  

We will have two days of advanced survival instruction which leads to a 3 day solo survival adventure. 
You will experience some or all of the enemies of survival. 
This experience is very similar to a vision quest. 
Passive survival is the name of the game and advanced techniques will be introduced. 

***All safety aspects are taken into consideration and plans of action have been considered and implemented.

This course is a must for anyone who is willing to test boundaries and push their limits!

Main teaching points include (but not limited to):
Local plants and animal identification and patterns.
Passive food gathering techniques.
Knife and axe sharpening techniques.
Food storage and preparations.
Advanced fire starting.
Enemies of survival.
Smoke generator.
Cleaning and cooking of small game.
Participants projects while on solo include:
Light and maintain a fire
Identify and gather food sources
Create a ground to air signal  
Produce a tool of their choice (ie. fishing rod, axes, fork)
Navigate from drop off point to solo site and back at the end of the exercise.
Identify water sources and demonstrate methods of purification.  
Select a shelter site and build the shelter of their choice with the on hand materials
Set and monitor a small game snare, either a rabbit or squirrel set. Snares maybe closed so as not to catch animals.
*It will be at the instructor’s judgment if you will be placed solo or in pairs.  

5 full days (Monday to Friday)

Cost: $1000.00 (plus applicable taxes)

** Prerequisites:

Basic navigation skills
Emergency First Aid Training (minimum)
Proper equipment and environmental clothing as per Kitlist
**Minimum attendance 8 – Maximum 24


Biography - Dave MacDonald  
President and Lead Instructor at ICSOS

Personal History:

  • Born  in southern Ontario
  • Childhood spent in the outdoors hunting, fishing and exploring the Bay of  Quinte
  • Member of the Army Cadets from the ages of 12 through 18
  • Member of Toronto Scottish Military Regiment at the age of 19
  • Currently residing in Lac Du Bonnet, Manitoba
  • Father of  two boys 


Personal Hobbies:

  • Hunting (archery, black powder and rifle) and fishing
  • Back country canoeing and camping
  • Hiking and mountain biking
  • Dog sledding
  • Scuba diving
  • K-9 Search and Rescue training for tracking, searching and urban disaster response


Professional History:

  • Became a full member of the Canadian Military as a Weapons Technician, land, at the age of 20
  • Served in Quebec City with the military for 6 years
  • Served in Nicosia Cyprus as a United Nations Peacekeeper for 6 months
  • Changed trades within the Canadian Military from a Weapons Technician to a Search and Rescue Technician (SARTech) in 1993
  • In 1993, served as a SARTech in Trenton, Ontario for 6 years with 424 Squadron (transport and rescue) 
  • In 1999, served as a SARTech in Winnipeg, Manitoba for 6 years with 435 Squadron (transport, air to air refueling, and rescue) 
  • In 2005, began instructing at the Canadian Forces School of Survival and Aero medical Training (CFSSAT) as a Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) instructor
  • Retired from military 2010, after 25yrs of service.

Professional Instruction Experience:

  • 3 years instructing with ICSOS Inc.
  • 5 1/2 years basic and advanced survival instructor at CFSSAT
  • Guest instructor at NATO winter survival course in Spatin, Norway, 2006 and 2009
  • Guest survival  instructor for SAR Tech pre-selection course in Jarvis Lake, Alberta
  • Instructor for NATO aircrew winter survival course in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • Guest speaker for Manitoba Hydro’s safety conference spring 2009  
  • Numerous mobile teaching teams (MTT’s) for air crew pre-deployment briefings prior to going over seas  


Professional Certifications:

  • Military Search and Rescue Technician;               
  • Spill Response Management; 
  • Small Craft Vessel Operator; 
  • Ground Search Manager;
  • HPMA(Human Performance in Military Aviation) program coordinator;
  • ACUC Open Water Diver;  
  • NAUI  Advance and Recue Diver;
  • Bronze Medal, Bronze Cross, and National Lifeguard;
  • Wilderness first aid;
  • CPR level C;
  • A.E.D.;
  • Oxygen theory; 
  • Manitoba Hunting Guide
  • Certified Master Dog Trainer. 


Professional Courses, Skills and Errata:

  • High and low  angle rope rescue;
  • Search and Rescue diver;
  • Parachutist (static line and freefall);
  • Jump Master (static line and freefall);
  • Survival Instructor;
  • Escape and Evasion Instructor;
  • Environmental Officer;
  • Helicopter underwater egress;;
  • Junior leaders course;
  • Arctic survival;
  • Advanced SERE;
  • Aero medical training; 
  • Sea survival;
  • Land survival;
  • Ships diver;
  • Winter warfare crse;
  • Fixed wing multi engine experience;        
  • Rotary wing experience;
  • CASARA spotter trng; 
  • Rigging for rescue crse;
  • Mountain and avalanche training and experience;
  • Power point level 1 & 2 crse;
  • Building a risk -smart  organization crse;
  • Defusing hostility crse;
  • Leading diversity crse;
  • Customer service crse;
  • Managing projects for results crse;
  • Instructional techniques crse;
  • 17 years ER,OR,Cor0ner, & ambulance experience in ON, AB ,BC, & MB; 
  • Working on certificate in Adult and Continuing Education with the U of M.
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Mission Statement 

Through education and training, we seek to prevent undue suffering and loss of life when faced with unforeseen wilderness accidents and to reduce the burden on our Search and Rescue resources.

Courses and Services:

The main focus of ICSOS is to provide affordable, current, relevant, and standardized survival training. Our survival training is based on current Canadian Air force doctrine. We teach passive survival techniques that will provide you with the most benefits for the least amount of calories burned. 

Our survival training is a graduated process in that, you must progress through the different levels in order to become proficient in the wilderness. Although our main focus is wilderness survival, we also offer consulting, back country guiding, guest speakers and mobile teaching teams.

Corporate: Courses can be modified to meet your specific training needs and schedule. 

Safety is our number one concern. First aid training is always recommended with the exception of Advanced Wilderness survival, where it is a prerequsite. Through education, progressive training, frequent weather checks, safety briefings, standard operating procedures and emergency plans, we will help keep you as safe as possible while you learn. ...

International Canadian School of Survival
PO Box 1106, Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba , Canada R0E 1A0
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