Epic Survival

matt graham coverIf you know who Matt Graham is, you’ll be pleased to know his new book has just been released. If you don’t know who Matt Graham is He was one of the stars of “Dude  You’re Screwed” and “Dual Survival”. Aside from staring on those programs, Matt is a world class athlete,  having run the entire length of the California portion of the Pacific Crest Trail in record time, climbed El Capitan and came in third place running against over 30 horses. Matt is a modern hunter gatherer who has lived a good portion of his life off of the land using primitive skills. He’s run along side the Tarahumara Indians and has worked at BOSS where he’s lead month long hunter … Read More

Foraging for Ginkgo biloba

ginkgoBK120714How to use the nuts and leaves of this “living fossil”

[Nyerges is the author of the new book “Nuts and Berries of California,” available wherever quality books are sold…. www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com]

My latest book, “Nuts and Berries of California,” is mostly about the wild nuts and berries that Native Americans used for subsistence all throughout this large state of ours. But because there are so many introduced plants in our urban areas, I included a short section in the book describing those ornamentals which are also useful for food or medicine. That section is called HIPs, for “horticulturally introduced plants.” I only included those plants in that section which have also survived well on their own, even in the wild.… Read More

Living a Static Life

Is or has your life been static, meaning you have not changed a thing in your life over time? I highly doubt it. Most do not remain the same.

I recall I was with an uncle, who as a young man delivered ice to homes when everyone had an ice box, not a fridge. He was the ice man, at 19, for one year. Flash forward to when he was 75 and ran into a guy he knew way back then. The guy asked my uncle if he was still an iceman. My uncle almost fell over.. “What the hell are you asking me am I still an iceman for? You ^%$)(_+ idjit.” and it went on from there.

What … Read More

“Squatter in Los Angeles” extract


[This is a section of a chapter from my e-book, “Squatter in Los Angeles,” available from Kindle or from me as a pdf (free to Dirttimers — just ask) I can also be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.]

I had no regular job during this period, though I earned $5 each week by writing an outdoor column for the Pasadena Star News. It wasn’t much money, but it seemed to add up when I got a check at the end of each month. It also got my name out there, and I began to get requests to give talks to local groups and to lead … Read More

Mentors… What Does it Mean?

I recently read about a well known survival guy who said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that he had no mentors — he learned it all himself. Really? It would take a long life time to learn all the primitive survival skills on your own and how would one even know about them in the first place. We all have a teacher in some form. Even if you don’t agree with them, it sets your brain to thinking of another way, or an improvement to your mind.

Mentor: Someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced, often younger person. A trusted counselor or guide.Tutor or coach.

For many, a mentor is from a book you read. Even … Read More

Camping in the Old Style — New Edition

“Camping in the Old Style” by David Wescott

At long last, here is the version that should have been the first edition. This version is much more than a second edition, with much added and many color pictures. I spoke with David Wescott and he is happy with this edition. Gibbs Smith, the publisher, got it right with quality paper and clear photos. This is a beautiful book loaded with information about camping in the old style, including many contributions by Steve Watts . Together they have produced an instant classic work, covering the history of camping in the old style—the gear, the food and the clothing. Even if your cup of tea is not into old style and you … Read More

Nicotine-free smoking mixes



[Nyerges is the author of “Guide to Wild Foods,” “Foraging California,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Self-Sufficient Home,” and other books. He leads regular survival and wild food walks. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com.]

Have you ever had to fill out some sort of form, maybe for a job or some sort of poll, and they want to know if you are a smoker? I always check “no.” I am not a smoker, and always sit in the no-smoking sections of restaurants. (Well, I used to anyway, back when you could smoke in restaurants). I have long maintained that the real culprit in commercial cigarettes are the chemicals added to the tobacco … Read More

Christopher’s latest book: Nuts & Berries of California

B051515NutCoverMkt 049OOK REVIEW

NUTS AND BERRIES OF CALIFORNIA: Tips and Recipes for Gatherers. A Falcon Field Guide by Christopher Nyerges, 2015. [Available from Amazon, or the Store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com]

[Photos: Alan Halcon with native palm fruits. Read the Halcon Bannock recipe in the book. Joe Hall shows the HIP section of the book.]

Last year, my “Foraging California” book was released, a full-color guide to the most common and widespread wild foods of California.

This month, a sequel to that book has been released, “Nuts and Berries of California,” another full color guide to just nuts and berries. The foraging of nuts and berries has long been a family tradition, even by those who are just a bit too timid … Read More

Getting to Know the Bitter Horehound

horehound06-11-12 005[Information about the books and classes by Christopher Nyerges can be found at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com]

Many years ago, when I was still in high school and beginning my earnest study of botany, I got a phone call from friend Joe Hall. Joe and I were both interested in wild foods and herbs, and Joe told me that he’d located a patch of horehound. I’d read about horehound, I’d heard about horehound, and it supposedly grew all around us. Yet, I’d never knowingly seen the plant. I hopped on my bicycle and within 30 minutes I met Joe just north of Pasadena’s famous Rose Bowl. He was squatting next to a small inconspicuous plant, and I eagerly got off my bicycle and … Read More

“The Medicine Finally Worked…”

033115EatonAnthonyWildFood 117Spotted Owl of the Ojibway Nation checks out a potted Aloe vera plants

Some experiences with the Remarkable Aloe Vera Plant

Christopher Nyerges
[Nyerges is the former editor of Wilderness Way magazine, and the author of 14 books, including “Guide to Wild Foods,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Foraging California,” and others. He leads regular outdoor field trips to identify edible and medicinal wild plants. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.]

Sometime in late 1978, my mother shared with me an experience she had with the Aloe vera plant. My mother, Marie, was a Registered Nurse who worked at a Pasadena retirement home as the staff nurse. About three months earlier, a housekeeper who … Read More