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Travis Johnson

Travis Johnson SERE Specialist - Wilderness Expert
Travis H. Johnson
Bushcraft Chieftan
SERE Specialist 

Travis Johnson is the Founder and Senior Survival Skills Instructor of Northwest Survival School, and has been perfecting his skills every day for well over 25 years.



  • Travis has worked as a first Responder - SRU (Special Response Unit) for Okanogan County Fire and Rescue in Washington State. 

  • He has been contracted by the USFS and DNR to work on wildfires during the North Cascades forest fire seasons in the early 1990's and has worked on search and rescue missions as well.

  • Every military branch of the government regularly seeks his abilities out - even elite special forces.

Organizations & Certifications 

  • Member of the prestigious Sierra Club  

  • Wilderness Society American

  • The Mountain Guides Association

  • Certified self-defense instructor

  • Certified Wilderness First Aid

  • SERE Specialist

  • Ambassador for the Worldwide Scouting Organization - (Messengers of Peace)

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructor, and

  • is working closely with Shelter Box USA.



He has been an integral part of several radio interviews and other media productions. He is also well-known for being a film-maker and a producer of outdoor films including a new documentary which is currently in production called “There's Only One Wilderness” and he has been staffed on many television series for which he was the Field Producer, Advisor to the Host, and Location scout.

SERE Specialist



He truly teaches what he has lived and he has trained many great survivalists from all over the world. His reputation is top-notch in the industry although he does not like to be called an “master” because he believes that "There really is no master of survival, because there is an endless stream of knowledge to learn from the people and cultures around the world who use survival as a way of life; we never stop learning.”


 “KNOWLEDGE WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE!" He is widely known for this statement.



His love for the outdoors started at a very young age while he found himself continually wandering out into the wilderness near his home. During that time, he discovered that he feared nothing, which in turn encouraged him to learn the ways of the wilderness.


He grew up in Eastern Washington near a small town called  Clayton, Washington which is just northwest of Spokane, Washington. He was surrounded by acres and acres of wilderness and mountains just right outside his childhood home so he was able to simply walk out his door and submerge himself in nature. He would always say that “there was nothing more pleasant than time spent in the wilderness.”

His father was an avid outdoorsman who taught him a lot about the basics of wilderness survival at a young age. Together, they would go gold prospecting and they would spend quite a bit of time out in the wilderness. His mother also contributed in her own special way by taking him to different locations all around the northwest to educate him on the way people lived before modern man came along. As he became a teenager, the passion for the outdoors never faded from him, and by attrition, bringing him closer to becoming a wilderness survivalist at a young age.


At the age of seventeen, Travis worked as an outfitter in the Northern Cascades for several years guiding people deep into the wilderness for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. As survival expert, he has since accumulated over 25+ years of experience guiding individuals, helping build stronger and more cohesive teams, assisting professionals of various industries with his general knowledge of the wild, and was featured in the show "American Tracker."

As a wrangler for the guide company, he would set out into the mountains alone most of the time; many days before the rest of the group, leading anywhere from seven to fifteen pack mules. He would make food for the clients from wild edibles and prepare meat the way the natives would. Part of his job was to also set up camps and guide the clients further into the wilderness to show them where the game they were hunting was located. He would then dress and quarter the animals for the clients. He would also teach the client's survival skills and first aid in case of an accident.


A lot of his survival skills and wilderness knowledge were gained by Native Americans and indigenous peoples from around the globe including his own real-life experiences. His stepfather was a full-blooded Northern Cheyenne Indian from Eastern Montana. He learned from his step-father the ancient ways of the tribe, preparing food, trapping, creating tools, and utilizing nature’s resources to survive. Travis has studied the ways of several different indigenous people from all walks of life and passes this knowledge on to his students.


Later as he got older he found himself in the deserts of Arizona where he lived for a brief amount of time. This is where he was able to develop some special outdoor survival skills from local Native Americans in the southwest. His goal was to learn as much as possible from them. True survivalists who have perfected their ancient skills to survive each day of the year off the land. The natives that Travis would come into contact with from all around the world would give him much respect when they saw that his intentions were clear and his purpose was to inform people of the skills used for thousands of years. By bestowing this knowledge on Travis, they felt confident that he would keep these ancient practices alive, so that many generations may benefit from them.

Travis, as a survival expert, has also lived in the wilds of the Northern Cascades for well over a year on his own; living only off the land in a bush shelter with very little tools at his disposal. He ended up making everything he needed to sustain his life.


"There really is no master of survival, because there is an endless stream of knowledge to learn from the people and cultures around the world who use survival as a way of life; we never stop learning."

- Travis Johnson

Travis in 2020 has been contracted out by a mourning family in hopes of finding their missing Airforce fighter pilot kin who was on a routine training mission on the west coast of Washington over the Olympic National Forest (which spans 14,000 km) during the time of the Vietnam War before he disappeared.

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