shelter at ICSOS


Welcome to the International Canadian School of Survival (ICSOS) utube

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.

Environment: All environmental concerns are taken into consideration and plans of action are implemented. We will protect our natural environment by adjusting the training to meet the ever changing conditions. If there are any environmental concerns, they will be addressed during the safety briefing. We will be working with Mother Nature not against her.


Our instructors have national/international survival training expertise in various habitats and environmental conditions. Each of our staff members possesses a minimum of 20 years serving Canada, in various positions as members of the Canadian Forces. These professionals have unique skills in the outdoors and a desire to pass on their knowledge to you.

Check out our instructor biographies and compare our experience levels with other survival training companies and ask yourself:

Who better to teach survival than ICSOS?

Our programs are designed for individuals who work, play, or commute thru and over the Canadian wilderness. Individuals whom would appreciate and benefit from our knowledge come from diverse backgrounds and interests such as:

  • Adventure racers. orienteering teams,and outdoor educators;
  • Kayak, canoe, quad, snow mobile, geo-cashers, back packing & rock climbing enthusiasts/clubs;
  • Hikers, campers skiers, snowboarders and winter sport clubs;
  • Pilots, truckers, divers, guides, trappers, hunters, fishing or wild food foragers;
  • Oil, Gas, Hydro, communications, surveyor, highway, railway, or ice road workers.
  • Coast guard, air ambulance, northern nurses, fire fighters, police, northern teachers, conservation;
  • Biologists, geologists, or search and rescue organizations.

News and updates.

news clip11 Day Wilderness Safety and Survival Seminar

news clipThe Weekend Adventurer Canada

news clipInterview with Dave on the topic of "Home Preparedness"

news clipLegion Magazine - That Others May Live: In The Air With Canada’s Search And Rescue Technicians

news clipTwo men survive night on snowmobile trail

news clipBrett on the water describes his training at ICSOS

video clipCBC News interview with Dave MacDonald

Survivng the odds - A Winnipeg man has been found after he went missing three weeks ago. Dave Macdonald of the International Canadian School of Survival explains what it takes to stay alive in the woods.

video clipCTV News interview with Greg Anderson

Greg Anderson from ICSOS speaks to Karen Rosnick (CTV news) about Winter survival.

Contact ICSOS:


Telephone1-204-461 3797


View Don MacDonald's profile on LinkedIn

© ICSOS is licensed by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship as a Resource Tourism Operator and authorized as an outfitter to conduct Angling, Eco-tourism, and Safety and Survival Training.

Tip - Click on the ICSOS logo to navigate back to the Main page.

What you can expect from us.


Smoke Signal


"Each of our staff members possesses a minimum of 20 years serving Canada, in various positions as members of the Canadian Forces. These professionals have unique skills in the outdoors and a desire to pass on their knowledge to you".


Courses for 2017 !


New courses


This years courses include Wilderness Safety and Survival, Aviation/Aircrew Survival, Hazardous Environment Awareness Training and Cold water immersion.


Who needs this training and why ?


Smoke signals


"Our programs are designed for individuals who work, play and commute thru or over the Canadian wilderness"



"I took your Intro & Basic Survival courses on Dec 1-2, 2012.

 So here I am up in the north.  We take a 44 km stretch of winter road back and forth to our sites.  Well last night I was 30 seconds behind a head on collision between a pickup truck and a semi-trailer. I was first responder, and your course came into play & the training kicked in. I didn't even flinch from the blood!

4 people in the pickup various injuries from a cut up face to a lady that had pain in her back and most likely internal bleeding.  I was able to keep one step ahead that no one else was thinking of.  (Prioritizing) Get the people sitting down, addressing the injuries of 5 people (including the trucker), talking to each one every few minutes for shock, keeping them warm, dressing wounds, building a fire, using a tarp to reflect heat on the worst injuries. Starting the fire, warming water for water bottles, placing signs on the road...

Read the whole story and more testimonials...

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