Mark J. Wienert is an expert-level instructor in wilderness living and survival training. He teaches adult and teen camps in advanced wilderness survival, bushcraft, fire craft, emergency shelter, useful plants, animal tracking, and nature awareness.
Founder and lead instructor of Lifesong Wilderness Adventures
His students tell it best!
"Lifesong Wilderness Adventures provides such a wonderful experience. Whether participating in refresher courses or new courses, I always feel incredibly empowered and confident afterwards." ~Roberta Kellis
"One of the best experiences of my life was that week I spent in Camp with you guys. I talk about it all the time!" ~ Skip Morton
A Parent's testimonial
"I cannot make enough wonderful comments about Mark and the Lifesong Wilderness Adventures Teen Camp. Mark is a caring person and has made his life career passing on his love for the wilderness to youth and adults.
The camp focuses on wilderness skills, working in teams, and individual confidence. I looked into several camps - many seem to have a militaristic focus - which I did not want for my son. This camp is not that way." ~Dana Harvey, 28-Day Teen Immersion
Mark worked as a survival consultant and co-presenter for Discovery Channels' “Adventure Crazy” TV series hosted by Phil Keoghan of Amazing Race fame.
He joined Phil and crew along with movie director, Peter Famine, director of the hugely popular blockbuster movie Crocodile Dundee. In the desert near Las Vegas, Nevada for the “Show Girls in the Desert” episode.
Man Vs Wild
A Gracious Testimonial from Television Director Wayne Derrick
"Wienert has proven to be one of the best! The only survival expert I've worked with that could deliver!" ~Wayne Derrick Director ~ Man Vs Wild - Sierra Nevada season 1 episode 6
Mark began his professional teaching career in 1994. For 10 years he studied and pursued his passion for nature studies to someday teach wilderness survival to adults and teen groups.
Mark trained under Tom Brown Jr. during the early 1990's through 1998, building his credentials in animal and human tracking and wilderness survival training, becoming a volunteer instructor and peer.
Indigenous Heritage Studies
During this time, Mark also followed his interest in Native American heritage, including studying with renown traditional basket weavers, Dr. Julia Parker, and her daughter Lucy Ann Parker. Julia Parker demonstrated traditional basketry in the Yosemite National Park cultural museum for many years.
To be a Guide
The desire to be a professional guide started early for Mark. During the summer of 1968, he took a temporary job guiding tourists on horseback (and shoveling manure!) in Banff Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada.
At 16, he guided a group of enthusiastic adults from the community of Healdsburg California, where he was enrolled in high school. Using only memory as a map, his group hiked over the coast range across creeks and valleys arriving at the coast in happy spirits.
It took another 24-years of study and experience to start his own business, “Lifesong Wilderness Adventures,” and to realize his dream to guide, teach, and to share the joy in the remarkable journey of nature awareness.
Volunteer with California State Parks
Volunteering as camp host for the California State Parks from 1990 to 1995. Mark spent each February working at the remote and rugged Sinkyone Wilderness State Park along California's Lost Coast.
The Sinkyone is the first indigenous wilderness state park in the state. Named for the Sinkyone Tribe it is a working collaboration of the Inter-Tribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council to stop the cutting of old-growth rain forests and to restore salmonid habitat and coastal fisheries.
Oregon Department of Fish and Game
Mark had the opportunity to volunteer for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and with their Big Water Crew. He completed salmonids surveys by snorkeling and swimming in large and small river systems in western Oregon.
Due to his experience as a volunteer, he was employed for Winter Steelhead Surveys for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. This included hiking and boating along the Nehalem River and its tributaries in the northern part of the state.
Search And Rescue Volunteer
In 2006 Mark joined the Coos County Oregon, Search & Rescue Team. Membership requires a full background check by the Sheriff's Department and yearly certification. He specialized in SAR Man Tracking and Wilderness Survival and his duties included certification of team members. In 2020, he retired as a volunteer SAR member to dedicate more time to teaching.
In modern times, we may feel disconnected from nature. At Lifesong Wilderness Adventures, we bridge this disconnect by learning and teaching the ancient and powerful skills of wilderness survival. I invite you to join me and your fellow students as we explore and discover how to live fully and stay alive in this wondrous world of nature. ~Mark J. Wienert