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

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]

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]

[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]

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 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


I thought I’d announce my new Kindle book to Dirttime. (Even Dude likes it — see below)

“Squatter in Los Angeles: Life on the Edge” is the true story of my year and a half as a squatter in the Highland Park district of Los Angeles. This book is not intended as a how-to guide, nor is it meant to encourage anyone to break any laws. It happens to be the true story of what I did during a very influential time in my life. I learned how to get more for less, and I realized – just like Thoreau at his pond in the woods – that we can live quite well and fulfilled if we attempt to differentiate … Read More

What is Behind the Appeal of a Feral Woodsman Lifestyle

Besides being a fantasy, the Feral Woodsman life has a strong appeal that is the very essence of man. We go back to the DNA trapped within us, always lurking just below the surface. I feel it is the knife that draws us, tugging at a place from the distant past of being armed in order to eat or for defense. That’s why big blades are so popular, a primal call if you will. From the first stone blades, to the steels, this is an ancient weapon that all of our ancestors were at one with. From there, it was a simple step to an armed spear head, beyond just a sharp point.

If, by chance, you have ever carried … Read More