Beyond the Skills

“Alone” celebrated as one of televisions most highest rated new reality show.

In a world where we are glued to the news during a high speed chase, fighting, accidents, etc., It’s no wonder the show had such a high rating. Week after week, we would sit in front of the television and watch as ten participants, one by one, would tap out, due to their mental demons poking and prodding at their souls. Houses in Vegas were placing odds and taking bets, week after week, on who would tap out next and who would stay.

Various online bushcraft sites and forums were a buzz with the show, but for different reasons than the rest of the viewing audience. These folks … Read More

Fire with the hand drill … in TWO SECONDS!

060515NewMktHalcon 153

[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” and other books. More details on this method of fire-starting can be found in his book. Books available at]

Note to Dirttimers: Most of you are probably already aware of these facts, but some of you might not be aware of the amazing feats of Alan Halcon. Read, enjoy, and share with your children as you put them to bed.]

Today, when we think about what we shouldn’t leave home without, commercial TV has trained us to believe that the travelers checks must not be left behind. Of course, there are also keys, credit cards, cell phone.

But if you were born here 500+ years ago, you’d never leave home … Read More

Recycling newspapers into “logs”





[Nyerges is the author of “Extreme Simplicity,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and other books which provide more detail about this and similar ideas. Go to]

In the genuine wilderness, firewood is everywhere, and abundant. Well, more or less.

Nevertheless, in the event of a natural (or man-made) disaster, firewood for fuel may not be so abundant in the urban areas. I recall hearing stories of German people burning furniture during WWII because there was no other practical way to get heat.

In today’s urban setting, there are many resources that are common, even abundant. One such resource that could be pressed into service in an emergency is newspaper. (Though, come to think of it, … Read More

Protestors Object to Eucalyptus Tree Removal

eucalyptus 0712Are Eucalyptus a desirable species in the California landscape?
According to one researcher: “Eucalyptus … creates the threat of desertification.”

[Nyerges is the author of “Guide to Wild Foods,” which has a chapter on Eucalyptus with a picture of Dude chewing on the leaf lurps. Yum! You can get the book wherever fine books are sold, or from]

Eucalyptus has been in the news the last few weeks because naked protesters are unhappy with U.C. Berkeley’s plan to remove thousands of these Australian natives.

When I was growing up, we had a neighbor with a few eucalyptus trees in their backyard. I remember that nothing else grew in the back, around and under the eucalyptus tree. We boys liked … Read More

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….]

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, 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