The Healing Power of the Wilderness

Jessie Krebs

Lesson time 15:06 min

Jessie shares the unexpected gifts that the wilderness provides when we connect with it.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Discover With Passion and Curiosity • The Wilderness Is for Everyone • Listen to the Quieter Voices • Flourish • Love the Wild Places • Expand Your Comfort Zone


[MUSIC PLAYING] - When I'm at my house, like, the wall looks the same, basically for years and years on end. Eventually, I might want to wash it or change the wallpaper or the color, the paint. But it's very static. It doesn't live and move and change. One of my nephews-- or a few of my nephews, actually-- have autism. And one of them had it to the condition where he really couldn't focus on anything else. And literally the room had to be padded. We would have to sometimes have him in a straitjacket so he didn't hurt himself. This is how bad it was. And then they came out to stay with me on my property. And there was no indoors. A tent was the closest we had. In just a month or so of being out there on the property, and he would start to lift up rocks and engage. And he'd watch. He'd get fascinated by the wind moving the trees. And you could just see him blossoming and growing, until it got to the point, within a couple of months, where normally where he wouldn't pay attention to humans at all, wouldn't look anybody in the eye, barely spoke-- he was about four years old at this point-- it got to the point where some strangers are walking down the street-- some new neighbors that have just moved in, we don't know them yet-- and he literally ran over to them and looked the man in the eye, grabbed him by the hand, and started dragging him over to show him something, right? And something about the dynamic nature of nature, that constantly changing, shifting, and moving, I think inspires in us a sense of that connectivity, and also that sense of our artistic creativity, of look at what the world does, right? There's so much magic happening all around me. And I think that inspires a lot of creativity and beauty around us. [MUSIC PLAYING] Nature's always been my friend. When I was a kid growing up, I had some abuse issues. I grew up with infant and childhood sexual abuse were my earliest memories. And as I got older, I would start to sneak out of the house when I would have nightmares and flashbacks. I didn't want to be in a house that didn't feel safe to me. I wanted to go outside. And I'd go climb a tree. And I'd sometimes fall asleep in the tree-- luckily, never fell out of it-- because that felt safe to me. Up there, I could look down. I could see what was around me. I could see if anybody was coming. And I felt held by the tree. That was my safe zone. I didn't feel judged. I didn't feel like it was intentionally going to try to hurt me in any way. It was just comfortable and safe. So that was my zone. And for a while at SERE, we basically shut that off, right? Anything having to do with wilderness, it's like, tame it, control it. If you see a baby seal, kill it. Maybe Greenpeace will show up and you'll get rescued, right? And it's like, that wasn't where I came from. That isn't where my foundation came from. And so I understood that concept and was learning the hard skills, but I was always hol...

About the Instructor

As a former Air Force SERE (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape) specialist, wilderness survival expert Jessie Krebs spent 30 years preparing people for the unexpected. Now she’s teaching you the mindset and skills to safely explore the outdoors. Learn essential survival techniques—from signaling for help to reading a map, finding water, making shelter, and more—and embark on your next adventure with confidence.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Jessie Krebs

Wilderness survival expert and former Air Force SERE specialist Jessie Krebs teaches you the skills to explore nature safely and confidently.

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