The Savvy Survivor

No matches for a fire? Thirsty, but have no water?



Provide for your most critical needs in the wilderness!

This very popular course was featured on KGUN9 news:


  • Shelter- - Temperatures in the Southwest can change rapidly! Learn how to stay warm or cool using improvised shelters from natural materials and modern items such as pocket-sized emergency blanket!

  • FireImpress your Neanderthal friends! Carve out a traditional fire by friction set and use it to start a fire! We’ll also cover modern fire making techniques using magnifying lens & flint and steel

  • Water- Thirsty? Locate desert water sources & make water using transpiration bags & solar stills! Purify questionable water by boiling it in a cactus pad & coal burned containers!

  • Useful Plants- How to gather & prepare wild edible plants, medicines from herbs, and make useful items. A copy of my book, Useful Plants of the Southwest included!

  • Wild Foods- In an emergency, you need energy! Learn simple, but very effective hunting items for catching edible insects, birds, reptiles & small mammals. 

  • Navigation- Get lost proof! Learn accurate navigation using improvised navigation techniques using the sun, the stars, and moon.


Cost: 80 (All materials provided- you just need to bring a knife, snacks, and water)


Public Courses For 2020: 

(Private courses also available for groups of 2-10 people- see Sign Up page)


Sonoran DesertTucson- March 7, March 22, April 4, September 26. October 17

                                           Phoenix- March 28

Red Rock Canyons- Sedona- April 18

Mountains- Flagstaff- June 20


A canteen made from a cactus pad?!
The Savvy Survivor course is packed with clever tricks!
"The one day wilderness survival school is awesome! I CAN MAKE FIRE! Plus Jon is very knowledgeable and easy to be around. Makes learning easy!" Ken


Living Wild! 



Learn how to live in the wilderness!

*Combine this with the Savvy Survivor for an incredible weekend!

  • Hunting- Get some calories! Learn the basic tracks & signs made by local animals and to make snares, deadfall traps, slings, rabbit sticks, atlatls and other hunting items for catching dinner!

  • Fishing- I'll show you how to make nets, hooks, and other traditional fishing kits


  • Tools- Make everything you need! Learn to knap out sharp stone blades from river cobbles, twine plant fibers into rope, make a water bottle, weave a basket, and make other useful tools.

  • Camp cooking- Enjoy a delicious wildcrafted meal using field made cookware- tongs, coal burned containers, and learn how to pit-bake, and cook wild foods over a campfire.


Cost: 100 *All materials provided- you just need to bring snacks, and water for each day.


Public Courses For 2020: 

(Private courses also available for groups of 2-10 people- see Sign Up page)

Sonoran Desert - Tucson- March 8, September 27, October 18  

                                              Phoenix- March 29

Red Rock Canyons- Sedona- April 19

Mountains- Flagstaff- June 21


"I often refer to the course some friends and I took some years ago with you. Such a fun and educational experience! I’d really like to do it again. Highly recommended!" Nate  

Apache Moccasins & Yucca Sandals 

Move naturally through the wilderness!

"I only trust my legs. They're my only friends" - Geronimo


Apache Moccasins- I learned how to make traditional Apache moccasins while living on the White River Apache reservation. For over 10 years I used them on a daily basis- running, climbing, hiking, they certainly are my prefered footwear! They are light, breathable, and carefully engineered for our desert environment!


The thick leather upper portions are taller than typical moccasins to provide protection against desert thorny shrubs and cactus. Even the tough rawhide bottoms are thoughtfully added to withstand the rough desert terrain and it makes them easy to resole when they wear out.


Yucca Sandals- Artifacts of these have been found in ruin sites all over the Southwest. I have been fortunate to have learned the lost art of weaving these, and would love to show you how!

Cost: 150 *There will be an additional amount for the cost of the leather, unless you provide your own.


Public Courses For 2020:

(Private courses also available for groups of 2-5 people- see Sign Up page)

 Tucson- November 7 & 8

How close can you get?


With the right footwear, and stalking skills, it is amazing how quickly you will blend into nature!

© 2019 by Southwest Survival L.L.C.