Ancient Pathways, LLC

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Outdoor Programs in Desert Survival and Bushcraft

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recent Urban Survivor Course in Scottsdale, AZ

Just taught a one-day Urban Survival class at the Scottsdale Gun Club this past weekend. We had a full house of 39 students! Along with many good questions on pre-disaster issues, there were considerable, useful tidbits by several EMTs in the audience.

The class was a blend of lecture, group activities, and individual evacuation planning strategies. The focus was not on looking at each individual disaster type but on how to develop a self-reliant mindset and lifestyle by acquiring the necessary skill sets.

It wasn't hard to find a personal example as we, as a family, had to pull out of our home two weeks prior due to the annual, summer wildfire threat. This one caused by an arsonist on the loose who started 20 fires only 1/4 mile from where we live in the woods.

I led off with this and we delved into other areas listed below

-Planning and preparation as the keystone to self-reliance and a look at successful survivors
-When to stay put at home and when to bug-out
-The 7 critical priorities for surviving a disaster
-Home preparation involving food and water storage, meds, and more
-Evacuation planning for your neighborhood
-Bail out kits and shoulder bags for the office, home, and vehicle
-Water purification methods
-Sanitation and hygiene issues for long-term living
-Roadside survival
-First aid kits and common injuries
-Urban trapping

A question arose on how wilderness survival differs from urban survival. One could argue over the radically different environments and the obvious personal defensive considerations in a long-term urban disaster, but the fact is that the body needs certain things to stay alive. Dehydration, hypothermia, medical and hygiene issues, and caloric intake will rear their heads in both urban and backcountry settings. The body doesn't care where it's at! There are many parallels but the goal is the same: Surviving and extricating yourself from the immediate danger. More on this to come...

Thanks to SGC for hosting the course. They have hosted my 1-day Desert Survival courses in the past and are a pleasure to work with.

The next Urban Survivor, run by our company, will be on October 8 in north Phoenix as well as several others throughout the US in the coming year.

Stay safe,


Ancient Pathways, LLC

About Ancient Pathways

Tony Nester is the author of numerous books and DVDs on survival. His school Ancient Pathways is the primary provider of survival training for the Military Special Operations community and he has served as a consultant for the NTSB, Travel Channel, Backpacker Magazine, and the film Into the Wild. When not on the trail, he lives in a passive-solar, strawbale home in northern Arizona. For information on Tony’s books, gear, or bushcraft courses, visit

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