Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved the outdoors. My dad was an avid outdoorsman and always taking the family camping, fishing and hunting.
I reckon I must have been about 10 or 12 (circa 80s) when I went to Segovia, Spain and spent a summer there. While my parents wanted to go sight seeing, I was more interested in staying back and playing with my friends. I spent a lot of time in the outdoors with my friends, learning Survival skills, though at the time to me it was just goofing off in the wilderness. Oh how my mom hated me hanging out with them. But try as she may, I didn’t listen and was always running around with my friends. I reckon she had good reason to keep me away from those kids… They were Gypsies! Oh but how I learned some skills. Those Gypsy kids were the ones that taught me how to poison fish with plants, hand fishing, and bird trapping with a substance called “Liga” or birdlime—A sticky substance smeared on branches that would cause the birds to stick when they landed on the branches. This Liga was made from the bark of a tree through a pretty drawn out process. It was during that time I also bought my first survival book, in Spanish, no less. I also very much recall heading to the hills for some wildcrafting with my aunts and Grandmother. My Grandmother was always gathering medicinal herbs and I also learned how to make wood ash soap from my grandmother.
While I got older and had different interests, my passion for the outdoors remained. It must have been maybe in 1995 I met Christopher Nyerges and Dude McLean. We all quickly became friends. Sometime in the late nineties or early two thousands, I began writing for Widerness Way Magagazine, of which Christopher was the editor.
A lot has gone on since that time. I’ve been featured in Ron Hood’s video series (Number 15 of the Woodsmaster series). I currently hold the record at getting a handdrill coal (2 seconds). I’ve written for a couple of other magazines and have ghost written sections of other books and I’ve traveled the country teaching outdoor self reliance
Along with Christopher Nyerges and Dude McLean, I own Dirttime.com. I’ve made a lot of friends because of it. In fact, we have a yearly event that reunites instructors and students for a week long family oriented shindig in the outdoors
I don’t consider myself an expert, never will. I will forever be a perpetual student of the outdoors. I do enjoy sharing my experience and teaching others skills that will help them become more self-reliant and proficient in the outdoors. I run workshops year round, and I am still rewarded every time a student accomplishes their first coal, or sets their first trap.
My discipline is more Wilderness Living, than it is running around in a panic when one gets disoriented. Woodcraft/Bushcraft are the foundation of what I do and it is what I try to instill in my students by helping them grow their woodsmanship skills
One of my favorite quotes from someone anonymous
“This panic stricken craze and sense of fear so prevalent in the survival community is the antithesis of the accomplished woodsman. For it is he or she who looks upon such circumstances as minor annoyances, at best, and more often as opportunities.— anonymous”
I do my best to keep this site going with fresh relevant content, but alas sometimes I get thrown a curve ball and may miss a couple of days.
I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this and for visiting OSR. I hope to see you on the trail!