About Us

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Remember Who We Were.

We are a Texas survival school that offers courses, hunts, and adventures (not just in Texas!) that will reconnect you to your ancestral roots.

How it works...

1. Join our Tribe

Get out to one of our classes! We'll have the campfire ready to share with you and our other students!

2. Learn the Skills

We have training that prepares you for our primitive adventures and hunts. We offer week-long classes that cover everything, or a series of weekend trainings.

3. Adventure and Hunt

Apply to join Phillip and David on adventures into the wilderness, where you'll put your skills to the practice, and get to spend time with David and Phillip!

Meet your instructors

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Phillip Liebel

Phillip Liebel founded Primitive Wilderness Survival six years ago and quickly gained recognition in the field. He is well known for his ability to create primitive weapons, and actually go out and put them to use. Phillip has been featured on History Channel's Alone: The Beast, and has learned from and taught alongside of the best survivalists and homesteaders in the world. You can find Phillip frequently teaching at primitive skills gatherings around the country, such as Wintercount, SkyEarth, and others!

David Holladay

Widely regarded as one of the country's foremost educators in Stone Age living skills, David is a frequent lecturer, author, and consultant on primitive technologies, edible/medicinal plants, and pre-Columbian culture. He served for 18 years as head instructor at the Boulder Outdoor Survival School and was education director of Anasazi, a wilderness program for teens. David has served as a consultant for products such as Cast Away, Survivorman, Man vs. Wild, Road Rules, and numerous others, and was most recently featured on No Man's Land, a History Channel production.

As featured on...

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Upcoming In-Person Class!

Woods Trekker

Join Phillip at our campfire in Graham, TX on Feb 11th and 12th for our intermediate survival course!

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“I have spent a lot of time learning from Phillip. You will not find a more logical and effective teacher. His grasp of not only the techniques, but the history behind their development is amazing. I highly recommend that anyone wanting to learn primitive skills sign up for his courses!"

- Chance Chaffin

Your survival skills are part of your DNA...

Our ancestors all knew how to survive, and for you to be here today, they did.
That knowledge is still inside of you. Let us help you find it...

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The first three days are critical...

The survival "law of threes" states that we can survive three hours without shelter in harsh conditions, and three days without water. Our introductory skills class Essential Wilderness Survival covers everything you need to survive those critical first three days needed to get rescued.

Regardless of the reason you are in the woods, it’s important to know what gear to carry and how to use that gear if you ever find yourself lost or unable to get back to civilization.

In our introductory course, "Essential Wilderness Survival", using minimal gear, we will learn to create shelter, fire and find safe drinking water. The gear and the skills we cover will help you connect to your environment and enjoy the outdoors while feeling confident and comfortable.

  • ​Kit: Don't plan to be unprepared. Learn how to build a minimalist survival kit to get you through cold weather and stormy nights.
  • Fire: Learn how to forage for materials and build a fire to keep yourself warm.
  • ​Shelter: Learn how to build a shelter that will protect you from the elements!
  • ​Water: Learn how to find and disinfect water.
  • Signaling: Learn about signaling techniques you can use to help rescuers locate you.


But what if help isn't near...

Our Woods Trekker course is the second step in your journey to self reliance. This class builds on top of our basic class and we will continue to expand on the skills that you have learned as well as introducing some new skills. In this class we will begin to transition more towards a minimalist approach and we will learn to get many of our resources from the landscape. you will learn some more advanced navigation techniques using a map and compass, learn to identify many wild edible and medicinal plants, learn to make bowdrill from the landscape, and some primitive food procurement methods… all while traveling and exploring the region. This will be a fun class with some new challenges and adventures.

  • ​Wilderness Navigation: Learn how to navigate using a compass and a map. Exploring your surroundings increases your chances of surviving as you find new resources - but it doesn't help if you get lost!
  • ​Wild Edibles and Medicinals: Learn how to identify common wild edibles and medicinals.
  • ​Friction Fires: No kit, no problem. Learn how to create friction fires using only resources from the landscape.
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Survive without gear...

We will be leaving all of our gear behind and surviving using only what we can get from the landscape in our namesake "Primitive Wilderness Survival" course. We will learn to make stone cutting tools and learn some tips and tricks in using them. We will then learn to make shelters from the landscape with no cutting tools or cordage and build fire by friction using materials that are locally available. After taking care of shelter and fire we will learn to disinfect our water using only primitive means and local materials. After this class you will be well on your way to being truly self reliant…. not just gear reliant.

  • ​Stone tools: Learn how to craft stone cutting tools for when you don't have a knife.
  • Primitive Water Disinfection: Learn how to safely disinfect water, even if you don't have as much as a cup to boil it in.
  • ​Primitive Shelters: A little comfort goes a long way. Learn how to use resources from the landscape to build a shelter to keep you safe and warm.

Primal Hunt

Tap into your primal side...

Join us as we set out for a primal hunt with nothing but our official PWS Primal Blade, hand-crafted in Texas by Phillip himself.

  • ​Hunting: Hunt for your food.
  • Primitive Shelters: Building a primitive shelter is one thing. Sleeping in it is another. We'll be traveling light and setting up a base camp using only primitive means.
  • Animal Processing: Learn how to process an animal for food.

Live Wild

From surviving to thriving

Our advanced "Surviving to Thriving" courses teach you how to go from surviving to thriving, so in case the need arises, or even just the desire, you'll know how to make it all on your own.

  • ​Stone tools: Learn how to craft arrow heads and knives from stones with our flint knapping course.
  • ​Clothes making: Our ancestors let nothing go to waste, and the hides of animals were one of their most treasured resources. Learn how to tan animal hides and sew them into clothes.
  • ​Creature Comforts: A little comfort goes a long way. Learn everything from soap making to dental hygiene and advanced shelter building.

These events are happening all throughout the year, at various festivals and gatherings. We also hold classes on these complimentary skills of our own. Check out our calendar to see all the campfires you can share with us!


Put your skills to the test

Ever see cool survival adventures on TV and think "I want to do that!"

Well, now's your chance. Train up with our courses, and then put your skills to the test with a 4-day+ instructor-led survival adventure.

  • ​Exotic Locations: From island survival to trekking the desert.
  • ​Disconnect: Get out in nature and disconnect from the busy modern world.
  • ​Lifetime Friendships: Bonding over the campfire each night, and surviving together, quickly builds long-lasting friendships.
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Our Mission

"My goal is to get people outdoors while ensuring that they stay safe and comfortable. My classes are not structured around fear based ideologies or “Rambo” type mentality. I prefer for my students to get out and form a connection with their environment and the people that moved across these landscapes before our time. I believe that by connecting further with nature that we can learn more about ourselves and grow as humans. Come experience the beauty that the natural world has to offer with me! I hope to share a campfire with you all."

- Phillip Liebel, Founder & Lead Instructor

Check out our calendar!

Find our upcoming training, adventures, and events!

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Stories about us

From around the campfire... 

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"Looking forward to the next one!"

“Phillip Liebel did a great job leading the December 2022 Basic Survival course. I enjoyed the course materials and the camaraderie was top-notch. Phillip set the tone by being respectful of everyone's ability and being modest about his own experiences."  

- Eric Johnson

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“Awesome place!”

“Awesome place if you want to gain some of the skills you forgot while sitting at an office!”  

- Nicolas Nanichito Vargas

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“Vast wealth of knowledge!”

“Met Phillip Liebel at Flintlock 2: The Ozarks. Super cool dude with a vast wealth of knowledge and the ability to convey it to others who may not be so well versed in ancestral skills. Hope to study with him again soon”  

- Mike Simmons


Start your survival journey now

Sign up now to get instant access to our free online essential primitive skills course, and get access to our members area where you can find our intermediate and advanced courses, as well as info and registration for our in-person primitive survival skills training and adventures.

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Our Products

Everything you need to build your kit to hand-crafted tools and blades made by Phillip himself!

PWS Tinder Pouch


PWS T-Shirt


Handmade Net Bottle Carrier


PWS Bushman Axe


PWS Pace beads


Primitive Trapping, Fishing, and Animal Processing (Oct 14-15, 2023)

$135.00 - $400.00

Our Blog

Featured Posts

Hand drill fire with the legendary Dave Holladay!

This hand-drill technique allows you to get fire in really difficult areas that don't have a lot of good resources!

Making a Cherokee arrow, primitively!

Digging up some old videos! In this one I show how to construct a Cherokee arrow using primitive skills!

The Kalahari Bushmen Axe

The single most useful tool ever created! This axe is based off of those used by the bushman of Africa. It can be used as an axe, an adze, a wedge, a knife, a scraper, a hoe and more! Forged by Phillip himself. "I have yet to find a tool that is more efficient or more effective in the woods." - Phillip

A Student’s Journey – BlanketPacks

In this guest post from one of our students, Eric Johnson, Eric reflects on lessons learned from the Essential Primitive Wilderness Survival course, and puts the skills to the test!

Bowdrill fire from the landscape!

In this video I make a quick bowdrill fire from the landscape using what I carry on me during a trail run! I think it’s a great exercise to run into the wilderness, practice skills and run back. You carry minimal gear while you run AND you work on your projects after you’re all ready tired.

Registration for the PWS kids program is now OPEN!

It’s that time again!! Registration for the PWS kids program is now OPEN! We pushed things back a month this year. Class will be starting On Wednesday October 12.

Embracing fear and discomfort

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear”