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OWLS Skills

Outdoorsy Women Learning Survival Skills

Outdoor Skills. By Women. For Women. Colorado’s Premier Women’s-only Outdoor School

Our mission at OWLS Skills is to educate and empower women and other underrepresented demographics in the skills of surviving emergencies in global wilderness environments.

Jessie started this school with the dream of women working together and supporting each other in a safe and challenging way. Women are survivors without training. We simply push on…or we don’t make it. Survival is about a lot more than physical skills, and survival takes many forms depending on the environment.

Humans have been passing down wilderness skills for years, but women were often excluded. This is obvious when we look at most survival schools today. At OWLSSkills, women support and nourish each other to express and grow via training. With the physical skills of making a fire, tying up a shelter, or leading an off-trail hike, come the non-tangible skills of empowerment and confidence. We are stronger together. Come join us in being wilder women.

Jessie Krebs joined the US Air Force as a way to pay for college and to escape her small midwest town. What she got was a sense of competence and a deeper connection to the outdoors. She survived her own childhood trauma through the support of the natural world: the wilderness was a familiar and safe place that held her when people could not be trusted. She went from a shy girl to one of the few female S.E.R.E. (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape) specialists, teaching military members how to stay alive and return home if they were shot down behind enemy lines.

After an honorable discharge, she directed team building courses and then found a home for over a decade working in wilderness therapy. There she learned to listen to her heart and reconnect to the magic moving through all things. While working in wilderness therapy, she went on National Geographic’s “Mygrations” and met Dan Baird, the owner of SERE Training School, where she is the head instructor.

Her passion is helping women feel empowered by teaching them skills that are traditionally considered masculine. Women are survivors in ways that go well beyond the physical world, yet often feeling powerful in the physical realm transfers to emotional and mental strength. Like assuming the “wonder woman” pose when in need of confidence, learning survival skills goes a long way toward bolstering our sense of self efficacy. Her approach comes from the heart and adapts to each client, moving between nurturing and supportive to stern and no-nonsense as needed.

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