The Lord of the Flies

[Nyerges has led wilderness and wild food field trips for over 40 years. He is the author of numerous books, including “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Extreme Simplicity,” “Guide to Wild Foods,” and others. Questions about his classes and books can be directed to or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.]

A plane crashes on some remote island, and only the British school children survive. A classic story of survival begins. The boys –after having attended not a single “survival school” — learn to hunt, make shelters, make fire (using Piggy’s spectacles, or eye glasses), and to enjoy themselves. After all, with all the adults gone, there’s no one to enforce rules, so we do what we want, right? Then … Read More

Holiday Blessings to all Dirttimers!


In Winter’s Deep, we all give thanks for what we have, especially in a world where so many are suffering so much (ex: Alleppo). As you celebrate Christmas, or light the first candle of Hanukkah, give thanks for your many blessings of family and friends and yes, material goods too. May we all look forward to 2017 with hope and high aspirations. … Read More

The Kurrajong Tree: golden seeds from down under;postID=7974892117169158986;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=postname03kurrajongpodfuzzseed2016-12-01-kurrajongessalenarrowclass-032

I have been trying different dishes from the kurrajong seeds. Click on the link to my Blog and read all about it, and see more pictures.

08kurrajongcooking-2016-12-14-059Read More

The Roots of Thanksgiving


[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Foraging California,” “Enter the Forest” and other books. He leads courses in the native uses of plants. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or]

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year. It is our uniquely American holiday where the family gathers, shares a meal, and gives thanks for whatever it is we feel thankful for. Yet everyone complains that it’s become too commercialized, some even calling it “turkey day,” and focusing instead on the great deals in the following day’s Black Friday sales. How do we get back to the roots of this holiday?

Growing up, I was as ignorant as the … Read More

Thank you Veterans!

paulanddudearrow2011-09-21-014The Dirttime Team thanks all the Vets out there reading this! You know who you are, and you know what you did. We give you our profound thanks for your participation in the warrior tradition!

Check out the picture — two old Marines: Paul Campbell shows Dude McLean one of his awesome home-made arrows.

We thank all the vets out there, too numerous to mention…….… Read More

Washing Clothes

caption: Downtown Merida, Mexico, seen through the “clothes-drying window” of our apartment.

[Excerpted from Christopher’s book, “Squatter in Los Angeles: Life on the Edge,” available from Kindle, or as a pdf from the Store at]

Washing machines are another of those devices that modern man seems to believe that life could not go on without. Yet for the vast stretch of human life, there were no washing machines. People just washed with hot water and soap and worked the garments by hand. Sometimes smooth rocks were used, sometimes not. In fact, sometimes it was just cold running water in the stream and no soap at all.

When I lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico, I had to walk through a canyon … Read More

Halcon’s article in latest American Survival Guide



Hey, check out Alan’s article in the latest issue of American Survival Guide. I just got it in my mail, though it is dated “December 2016.” Alan wrote about SODIS, solar disinfection of water using plastic bottles, a viable option where fire is not practical. I suggest you get a copy and check it out. It’s on page 22.

Also, you might enjoy the article by one of my early martial arts teachers, Barton Boehm, with whom I studied Seiken. Barton wrote about the use of sticks “A Survival Stick Can Be Your Best Friend,” on page 36. You will enjoy this Jason!… Read More

On Terrorism


Enrique makes a point...

Enrique makes a point…

I thought I would share this with Dirttimers. I wrote this as a result of a query from a “survival magazine” editor asking if I would write about terrorism. He wanted to see an outline first. Here is my outline. I never heard back from the editor….


I would propose the following outline for an article, which would be a beginning level eye-opener for many people. Some will be uncomfortable with this. But I will attempt to provide an overview, as well as specific actions that the reader can take.

Dealing with Terrorism in the urban areas

Know Your Enemy:
Since we are almost certainly talking about Islamic terrorism, the following are good starters:
Get … Read More

Mugwort: A versatile herb with many survival uses

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[Nyerges is the author of “Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and other books. His schedule of outings is available from School of Self-Reliance, P.O. Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041 and can be viewed on-line at]

Mugwort is an aromatic plant with species found all over the world. It is perhaps one of the few herbs widely steeped in lore and mythology. Mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana and other closely-related species) is a multiple use plant, having been used for food, medicine, fire-starting, dreaming, and more.
I have known people who ate the raw mugwort leaves in salad and added to sandwiches, in much the same way as you’d add a pickle or a piece … Read More

In a Grid-Down World

dudeandyuccaBy Dude McLean

“Grid down” is a rational fear. China is perfecting their device to use EMP on Taiwan, and if we interfere, it’s likely to be used on us, or at least the ships we might have in the area. Put that aside for a moment. China has called for the dollar to be replaced by a world currency, again. Given that the vast sum of money the money the U.S. owes China grows by the minute, could they be growing tired of waiting.

The “grid” is very fragile in the first place. We have three grids that are linked—Eastern, Western and Texas (that always struck me as strange). We really have no control of the grid. We are … Read More