Learning about Mushrooms


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Recently, when my “Foraging Oregon” book was released, one person criticized that it did not include mushrooms in the book because “mushrooms are part of foraging.” Obviously, the person didn’t actually read the book, and so he missed my reasons for not including mushrooms in the book. Yes, some mushrooms are easily identified, like chicken of the woods, yet there are many lesser-known related species in the “safe” groups can cause sickness if not processed right.

Mycology was the science that obsessed me the most, before botany, and back in the early ‘70s, mycologists were few and far between. Besides getting every book on the subject, I also joined the Los Angeles Mycological Association, and spent many weekends in fields … Read More

“Survivalist,” “Prepper,” “Bushcraft,” “Minimalist,” etc. — what the hell are we?

Christopher with Catherine at Hollywire TV

Christopher with Catherine at Hollywire TV

Recently, I did a little segment for a show called Hollywire TV and they introduced me as a “prepper.” I did a little segment showing survival skills for L.A. Korean TV recently, and they called me a “survivalist.” Back when Ron Hood was alive, I was occasionally paired off with him in newspaper articles – I was called a “soft survivalist,” and he a “hard survivalist.” I have been called these things and more, such as a bushcrafter, a nature man, a wilderness survival expert or teacher, a re-enactor, someone lost in the past, and many more names and titles, both “good” and “bad.”

As survival skills in general have gotten so popular, partly … Read More

Earthquake Toilet Test


[This is an excerpt from my “Squatter in Los Angeles” book, available from Kindle, or as a pdf from www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com. It has received the highest accolades from Dude, more or less.]

The reason I was living there in Highland Park was because I was attracted to the work of the non-profit, whose stated goal was to research and share all aspects of “survival.” I took on a project of experimenting with the practicality of using an alternate toilet, such as would be necessary in the aftermath of a major Los Angeles earthquake.

We purchased an inexpensive RV toilet from Big 5, and it consisted of a simple 3 gallon plastic bucket which fit into a larger bucket, which had a … Read More

How One Man Uses the 99 Cent store for his First Aid Needs

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[Nyerges, a member of the Dirttime team, is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere” who has been leading survival classes since 1974. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com].

Art Lee, a man with an engineering background from Southern California, found that he could make a better first aid kit by purchasing all the components himself – even purchasing many of the items from the 99 cent store!

He has put together two do-it-yourself kits, one for backpacking and one for home use.

“I made my own because I felt I could get it all cheaper with precisely what I want,” stated Lee. “Too many of the pre-packaged first aid … Read More

Automobile Survival Kit

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One Veteran’s choice of items

[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere” and other books. He has been leading survival classes since 1974. To learn about his books and classes, contact School of Self-Reliance, Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.SchoolofSelf-Relance.com.]

Everyone has an opinion about what constitutes a “survival kit.” Most backpacking stores provide you with a very specific list of what you should have in your personal survival kit, but that list is based upon what they want to sell you, not necessarily what you need. In fact, there is no “final word” on survival kits. The best ones are custom-made to fit your personal needs, in the situations dictated by the weather and your … Read More

The Year of “No Christmas”

121714Ogam&Mush 139[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Self-Sufficient Home,” and other books. His blog can be read at www.ChristopherNyerges.com. He can be contacted via his site, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041]

When Christmas rolls around each year, numerous memories flood in – some good, some not good, some different. I suspect this is the way with everyone. Over the years, a lot has happened during this December time. Here’s one memory from my early years.

When I was around 10, my brothers and I were particularly bad, belligerent, and misbehaving one autumn. My mother gave us several warning and threats and a few “beatings” in her ceaseless attempt to get us to obey. I don’t recall … Read More

Christopher’s latest: Foraging North America

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Hey guys, here is my latest book, just released last week. I know some of you may think that this is just another shameless plug from that book fecundator, and well, you might be right. But I think you’ll like the book!

There is an introductory section which includes photos of Dude McLean’s hands cooking a broth in a cut-out yucca bowl, and Pascal Baudar’s hands making a wild mustard, and Gary Gonzales’ hand showing a miner’s lettuce leaf – lots of hands and few heads! Apparently the publisher likes hands and not heads – but there a few heads in the photos.

“Foraging Edible Wild Plants of North America” is a wild food cookbook, fully illustrated with color photos, … Read More

A Solution to a Common Dirttime Problem


[also a solution to all the gas and hot air in Washington]

An aromatic Central American spice, said to prevent gas and indigestion,
believed to have been used by the ancient Maya

[Nyerges is the author of “Guide to Wild Foods,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Extreme Simplicity,” and other books on plants and self-reliance. See his book at www.ChristopherNyerges.com.]

Anyone who uses beans as a significant part of their diet should know about epazote. And anyone who’s had to share a tent with a fellow Dirttimer will really want to share this herb with your tent-made. (You know who you are!). Epazote is also called Nature’s … Read More

On the Practicality of Foraging for Wild Foods

[Nyerges has been teaching ethno-botany since 1974, and has authored several books on the subject including “Guide to Wild Foods,” “Foraging California,” and others. He can be contacted at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041]


First, check out the link to an article that appeared in several Southern California local papers on November 20. A reporter came to a class of mine, and documented a meal that we made from acorns (acorn pancakes), cactus (cactus and eggs), nettle (soup), and a salad made with 4 wild greens. We also had some dried toyon berries as a sweet dessert.

The paper used this wild meal as a way to tell their readers that there are “natural” alternatives to … Read More

Campfire Reflector Wall Doesn’t Work… Part 2

Last week I wrote an article on the science of why a campfire reflector wall, as shown in the original article, doesn’t work to reflect heat the way we have been led to believe for so many years.

I explained how the Inverse Square Law affects the heat radiation, so there would be no noticeable difference in temperature rise.

I must admit, a lot of the responses I read across various discussion boards and forums was absolutely fun to read. I mean I was getting railed left and right. Lets see some of the more fun ones

  • Have they ever camped?
  • If it’s good enough for the SAS, it’s good enough for me
  • Personally I don’t think it matters what
Read More