Christopher Nyerges' Survival Walk

Dec 27, 2008 at Arroyo Seco/Gould Mesa

I try to attend one of Christopher's walks whenever I am in California. It was a beautiful day, a chance to reconnect with old friends, to make new friends, and to learn and share primitive skills.

Christopher has conducted these walks since the 1970s. He does so almost every weekend. To learn more, go to

#1. A view of the mountains from the McDonalds on Altadena Blvd.

#2. The group.

#3. Collecting California buckwheat.

#4. RichardG and Christopher.

#5. Collecting California buckwheat.

#6. California buckwheat. Brown seed pods are easily collected by pulling your hand up the stem.

#7. Christopher shows curly dock.

#8. Gary uses his Cold Steel Bushman to trim hearth boards for bow drill fire making.

#9. Christopher collects mug wort for tinder.

#10. Hemlock. Deadly. Fortunately, it is distinctive in appearance and easy to identify.

#11. Christopher holds watercress.

#12. RichardG asks a question while Christopher collects sour grass (aka oxalis).

#13. The stream was, as always, beautiful.

#14. Another stream shot.

#15. Christopher shows tule, used for basket making and even for canoe making.

#16. Christopher shows a shelter built by another class about five years ago.

#17. Shelters require a lot of work, even when perfect materials are readily available.

#18. A jogger's dog takes a break from running to enjoy a cool swim.

#19. The stream changed course so it doesn't even go under this bridge anymore.

#20. I suppose you can, but why would you want to, since there is no water!

#21. Anthony uses a stone to break up the buckwheat and pick out any stems.

#22. Jim coaches Dan on his first fire by friction.

#23. Taken just seconds before Dan's mug wort tinder bundle bursts into flame.

#24. Tonya mixes the buckwheat half and half with flour.

#25. Water was then added to make the biscuits which were placed over the fire.

#26. The biscuits were very good. Please pass the honey...!

#27. Mmm, mmm good! AlphaMike and Tonya.

#28. Another first fire.

#29. Anthony learns the basics of basketry.

#30. Christopher with Jim R. -- in person and on the cover of Wilderness Way magazine.

Copyright © 2009 by Bill Qualls. Last updated Jan 07, 2009.
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