Desert Survival Walkabout Course
Class Dates: October 10th - 13th,
Class Length: 4 days
Location: Northern Arizona / Southern Utah
Instructor: Tony Nester
from Ancient Pathways
Class Limit - 10
Materials Fee - $0.00
Register: Click Here
The course takes
place in the wilderness near Bluff, Utah and involves practical
survival training, cross-country navigation and plenty of time to
apply your skills.
During the course a variety of natural and
improvised shelters, water procurement devices, survival myths &
misconceptions, outdoor-related injuries, modern and primitive fire
making, carving spoons and bowls, throwing sticks, shelters,
Southwest prehistory, wilderness hazards such as flash floods and
venomous creatures, signaling devices, survival kits, first-aid
issues, primitive traps, and edible plants. Each night, you will
have the chance to sleep in a variety of handmade shelters. Daily
hiking mileage will range from 2-3 miles a day.
Weather varies from 70 to 80 degrees F during
the day and 40 to 50 degrees F at night. Two meals a day are
provided but feel free to bring along any personal snacks (power
bars, jerky, trail mix, etc…). Let us know if you have any dietary
restrictions or food allergies. Our meals on the trail consist of
oats, millet, rice, lentils, carrots, potatoes, and foraged edibles.
course is based in the wilderness near Bluff at an elevation of
4000'-6000’. One of the major factors affecting your enjoyment and
learning during the course will be your degree of physical fitness.
We strongly encourage all of our students to arrive in good
physical condition. Engaging in a physical fitness program prior
to your arrival, will help ensure your success in adapting to the
lifestyle and daily skills we will be working on. Cycling, running,
hiking, swimming, and other aerobic activities are good ways to
How to get to the Class
Students may drive up in their own vehicle to Bluff, Utah (see
below) or they can carpool with us from Flagstaff the day before the
course begins. Please let us know ahead of time so we can arrange
where to meet you. Also, let us know before you arrive, if you will
need us to pick you up in Flagstaff at a hotel. We will plan on
meeting on the first day at 7 AM in Flagstaff and being back in
Flagstaff on the last day by 4 PM.
Flights should arrive in Phoenix or Las Vegas the day before the
course starting date. From Phoenix it is approximately 2.5 hours
driving time to Flagstaff. From Las Vegas it is approximately 5
hours driving time to Flagstaff. From Albuquerque, New Mexico it is
also about 5 hours driving time. The most inexpensive way to get to
Flagstaff is via Greyhound Bus. For schedules and costs, call (800)
231-2222 or the Flagstaff office at (928) 774-4573. An alternative
methods of transportation are Coconino Shuttle Service (888)
440-8929 or Flagstaff Express (800) 563-1980.
Your return flight should be
made after 12 noon the day after the course his completed
Driving to Flagstaff
From Phoenix take I-17 north all the way into Flagstaff. The highway
will merge into Milton St. which eventually becomes Rt. 66. From Las
Vegas, Nevada take Hwy 93 to Kingman, Arizona and then I-40 east to
Flagstaff exit 191. Follow this for 4 miles into town. From
Albuquerque, New Mexico take I-40 west to exit 195 and head north
into town. From Page, Arizona follow Hwy 89 south into Flagstaff.
Driving to Bluff, Utah
If you are driving on your own to Bluff, then plan on meeting us
at the gas station in town (there’s only one!). It is next to the
Recapture Lodge and Kokopelli Inn. Plan on meeting us there around
12 noon as our drive from Flagstaff is roughly 4 hours and across
While there are a wealth of hotels to choose from, many of our
students have been pleased with the following accommodations:
Super 8 Motel (by Greyhound) 602 W. Rt. 66 (928)
Grand Canyon Hostel (downtown)19 S. San Francisco
St. (928) 779-9421
Hotel Monte Vista (downtown) 100 N. San
Francisco (928) 779-6971
Directions for meeting on
the first day: Head to Flagstaff and take I-40 east to Exit 201
(Country Club Drive), turn left after exiting. Proceed to Hwy 89
north (like you are headed to Page, AZ) which will be on your right
side. Shortly after turning, you will see the Flagstaff Mall on your
right. We will meet in the parking lot of SEARS. Plan on being
there at 7 AM on the first day. We will finish around 4 PM in
Flagstaff on the last day.
- survival psychology
- heat-related injuries
- natural and improvised shelters
- water location and procurement
- basic map-reading and navigation
- solar stills, signaling methods
- primitive and modern fire making skills
- edible and poisonous plants
- Flash flood hazards
- dealing with desert hazards such as
snakes and scorpions
Gear List for
The majority of items listed below consists of clothing and can be
found at outdoor stores such as REI. We will provide water
purification items, two meals a day, teaching materials, and a great
time in the backcountry. If you have any questions about the gear
list, feel free to contact our Flagstaff office at 928-526-2552 and
tell them you have questions on about equipment for the October
Clothing- 4 upper body layers-
Please note when selecting clothing that 100% cotton should be
avoided due to its poor insulating value when wet and its
inability to wick moisture away from the body. Rather, select items
made of poly/cotton or nylon/cotton. An example of the layers you
should consider are: a Coolmax or polypro t-shirt, long-sleeve
shirt, wool or fleece sweater, lightweight jacket or windbreaker.
Lower Body Layers- Poly/cotton
blend pants such as BDU’s or military-style fatigues. Please do
not wear jeans or Levi’s. One pair of shorts is also
Socks- Two pair of socks from
fabrics such as wool or heavy polypropylene are best. Avoid cotton
or sports "tube" socks as they don't wick moisture away from the
skin and can cause blisters.
Footwear- 1 pair lightweight boots. These should provide good
ankle support and be broken in.
Brimmed or baseball-style cap-
a must-have item as we are at 4000’ and the sun can be intense.
Wool or fleece hat- for
nighttime when the temperature drops.
Personal Snacks- this is
optional and left up to each person. Some students bring jerky,
Clifbars, trailmix, etc…. Breakfast and dinner are provided but if
you have a high caloric intake then you may wish to bring some extra
Two, 1 Quart Water Bottles-
Nalgenes or Kleen Kanteens are preferred. Even if you bring a
Camelbak, please bring at least a one quart Nalgene or plastic
Leather Work Gloves- the type
you find in the garden or hardware stores are sufficient.
Toiletry Items- Toothbrush,
Medium-size Daypack or Fanny Pack- A nylon pack (2800-3500
cubic inches) for carrying your clothes and water bottles.
Knife- we will have Mora
Knives available for purchase for $20. Otherwise bring a sturdy,
fixed blade knife.
Ultralight Sleeping Bag-
something that is compact and compresses well such as a SnugPack
Merlin or Marmot down bag. This should be rated to 25 to 30 degrees
F. We will be making grass mats so no need for a ground pad.
Sunscreen and sunglasses
Silva or Suunto Baseplate compass-
nothing fancy, just their $12 basic model
LED Headlamp- We use the Black
Diamond Gizmo Headlamp but any quality LED flashlight is fine.
Optional Items- camera, &