The “Nothing” Course
(Class limited to 12 students)
June 4-5, 2016
Instructors: Cody Lundin and Mark Dorsten
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What if you were dropped off into the wilderness with absolutely nothing but the clothes on your back? Would you know how to prioritize your needs and have the ability to recognize and perform the skills necessary for survival?
The premise of this course is simple. You, Cody, Mark and the other students in your tribe walk into a wilderness landscape and create a primitive base camp directly from nature using no modern gear what-so-ever - no metal knife, no way to create fire, no sleeping gear, no shelter, no communications or navigation equipment, no modern tools, no food. Even MacGyver would be impressed.
Tandem hand drill, trying for fireThe “Nothing” Course is the epitome of the ALSS school mantra, “the more you know, the less you need”, and lets you blend common sense survival priorities with stone-age technology to improvise and adapt all of your needs directly from the environment at hand. Mother Nature calls the shots for this adventure and we’ll adapt to whatever course curriculum She designs for us. The skills you’ll learn will be those directly related to our needs at the time such as primitive cutting edges and stone tools, cordage from plant fibers, fire by friction, improvised shelter, wild edible plants and insects and who knows what else.
Although this is a challenging course in certain ways, there is no cross-country travel involved like the Desert Drifter. The “Nothing” Course’s main intention is to teach hands-on primitive survival skills in a cooperative group atmosphere within a base camp setting. (minimal hiking required)
"Cody was direct and real, as was the course itself. It pushed me way outside my comfort zone and I found myself surprisingly relieved when the course was over, but at the same time I was instantly appreciative of what I'd just experienced and wanted to go back and challenge myself again. (That might seem counter-intuitive but I think that's how personal growth works - it's uncomfortable in the moment but you realize how significant it is afterwards and seek it out again as a result.)"
Nick Spinelli, “Nothing Course” alum, 2013.