BOWS is a queer owned and operated business. We welcome students of all race, nationality, sex, gender, religion, sexual preference, relationship style, age, and ability. Nature is for everyone.

Created, licensed, and copyrighted by Dane Nelson and Black Oak Wilderness School.

Established November 2017

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Camping classes are two nights long starting on a Friday evening and wrapping up on Sunday afternoon. We use two primary sites for camping, each with their own wonderful features, amenities, and unique environments. Basic camping gear is required for all camping classes. If you do not have access to camping gear, please just send us an email and let us know. We will be happy to help you find what you are looking for. There is a complete list of recommended gear on our CAMP PACKING LIST page. Saturday night dinner is provided by BOWS and prepared together in community. Students are asked to pack food for all other meals.

What to expect...

Students can either meet on site or join the BOWS shuttle. The shuttle costs $40 and leaves at 3pm on Fridays from Oakland. It returns to Oakland by 5pm on Sunday. The shuttle does not make special pick ups or drop-offs. There is room for between 3 and 4 students and is reserved by email at


Once on site we get settled into camp, eat, and get a fire started. Around the campfire we discuss the topic of the weekend and how the class will be structured. Remember to get an early-ish start on sleep because we will be up very early on Saturday.


  • Wake up is normally at 7am (if the topic is Tracking or Bird Language we wake up just before dawn)

  • 30 min silent sit (an exercise in awareness and bird language)

  • 1 hr for Breakfast and Coffee

  • Class time until 12pm

  • 1 hr for Lunch

  • Class time until 4pm

  • Break until 5pm

  • Prepare and eat Dinner

  • Campfire revelry 


  • Wake up is normally at 7am (if the topic is Tracking or Bird Language we wake up just before dawn)

  • 30 min silent sit (an exercise in awareness and bird language)

  • 1 hr for Breakfast and Coffee

  • Class time until 12pm

  • 1 hr for Lunch

  • Strike Camp

  • 2pm Goodbyes and Shuttle Home


  • No pets

  • Smoke in designated areas

  • No firearms or explosives

  • No illegal drugs or substances

  • No RVs (tent camping or camper vans only)

  • No generators 

  • No amplified music

  • No under age drinking or smoking

  • Minors are the responsibility of accompanying adult(s)

  • Be kind and respectful to our hosts, other students, and BOWS staff.

  • Be helpful with materials, meals, and camp needs.

  • Keep camp neat and dispose of trash correctly. Pack it in, pack it out.

  • Be aware of your impact on the space and on other people.

  • Consume alcohol responsibly. Don't get drunk.

  • No one leaves until all class materials are packed into a vehicle. (Unless with special permission)



Capar, CA

Located about 3 hours North of Oakland on the Mendocino Coast, Fortunate Farm is is an intergenerational family farm that grows heirloom vegetables, berries and flowers. Our private campsite is located in Northwest corner of the property. At this site we have access to running water in our camp, portable restrooms, and a large barn with a kitchen. The environment is primarily Monterey Pine and a huge variety of edible and medicinal ground foliage. Wild animals include several species of songbird, Corvids, Turkey, Deer, Raccoon, Skunk, and the occasional Mountain Lion. 


Felton, CA

Located about 1.5 hours South of Oakland, The Nest is a nature connection and education center in the Santa Cruz mountains. The Nest has many potential campsites across many acres of Oak grove and Redwood forest. Some further afoot campsites do not have access to running water. In the Center of the property there is a large outdoor kitchen with wood fire pizza oven, composting restrooms, running water, and outdoor showers. There is also a large military style tent with room for 20+ students and a wood burning fireplace for warmth during inclement weather.  Many of the BOWS preferred campsites are walk-in, so pack light if you can. 




Icosa Design/Deka Fabrication

2998 Ford Street

Oakland, CA

Entrance on Derby

  • Wear closed toe, closed heel shoes at all times.
  • Wear tight fitting, non synthetic clothing. 
  • Do not use any equipment until you have been instructed on how to use it.
  • Wear proper BOWS supplied safety gear at all times.
  • Do not leave until the shop has been cleaned and all equipment has been put away
  • Bring a 32oz water bottle and a snack or meal.