ALSS Guarantee

... His enthusiastic attitude towards imparting knowledge, and his humorous demeanor in demonstrating skills was exemplary and resulted in my taking his weekend course later in Prescott [AZ]. ... I highly recommend Cody as an educator and field-experienced outdoorsman.
Dave Ganci, desert survival trainer for Special Forces, author, 1992

This [Rabbitstick] meeting of the masters and collaborative learning model has offered hundreds of practitioners, including Cody, the opportunity to learn skills at a depth and pace unheard of through any other way... [he] has spread a tradition of excellence and authenticity to the viewing public that can’t be seen anywhere else in today's media.
David Westcott, owner, Backtracks, LLC

"The field trips that Cody has led over the past 12 years have been an unforgettable experience for our students who blossom under his leadership, knowledge, and personality."
Tony Brown, Founder and Director,
Ecosa Institute

"His (Cody's) classes are very popular and almost always have a waiting list of students for enrollment. His class evaluations - completed by all students enrolled in his classes - indicate high organization, enthusiastic instruction, and effective delivery of materials. He is clearly an outstanding teacher."
Robert Bockrath, Division Assistant Dean for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Yavapai College, 2006  

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Survival Skills = Your Life! The Importance of Experience, Credibility, and Integrity in Your Survival Instructor.

by Cody Lundin

I’ve witnessed with increasing frequency people claiming years of survival skills experience – sometimes decades – while offering no proof. The current "survival TV" debacle, where producers and networks with no survival experience shamelessly showcase people with no or dubious survival experience, has further eroded the outdoor industry and caused confusion for people wanting to find credible instructors.

Most people hosting TV survival shows are not real survival instructors. They are simply playing the part of a survival instructor for a scripted TV show, like George Clooney played the part of a physician on his TV show. Networks do not look for experience and credibility, they look for chemistry, how someone looks or acts on camera. When networks knowingly lie to viewers and play off a phony TV survival instructor as real, it can - and has - killed people.

The number of people calling themselves a "survival expert" - although they are unknown to established instructors - has sky rocketed. My sole livelihood is earned from my profession; teaching survival skills - from my field courses, to my books, to my television shows - and has been for many years. Any seasoned professional in any profession should have more than ample proof, via old photos, dated letters, personal recommendations, resumes, etc, proving the experience they claim.
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For better or for worse, the professions of outdoor survival, primitive living skills, urban preparedness, bush crafting, and other self-reliant fields have no formal entity that regulates or acknowledges an instructor's experience. Would-be instructors are on the honor system in how they market themselves to potential clients. Like any other profession, people lie, and those who lie about their background are not uncommon. In the mid 1990’s, I tried to combat this fraud by educating potential students through a "choosing a good instructor" tips list that I mailed with my school brochure. This list now appears on my web site under a link called choosing the right instructor. It also appeared in the back of my first book (page 213), 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive, published in 2003. I update this list when necessary to reflect societal changes and changes in technology like facebook, blog's, pod cast's, you tube, and the television craze surrounding survival skills: all five having been used to spread falsehoods in the field of outdoor survival skills and self-reliance. 
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When you hire a survival skills instructor, you are trusting this person with your life. Your instructors integrity matters. Perhaps no other profession deals more intimately with the extreme variables of human nature under stress and Mother Nature at Her worst. Deciphering this variation challenge in human psychology and environmental extremes demands that you train with a very “field experienced” instructor. Field experience and the art of teaching others life saving skills cannot be obtained through multiple face book posts, writing a book on survival skills, a plethora of you tube videos, a fancy web site, hosting a TV survival show, or having a state or federal government position in disaster management. Field experience cannot be obtained “on-line" and inside. Only years of back country trial and error, teaching, experimenting, and related life choices create a well rounded and seasoned self-reliance instructor. There is no short cut.
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Choose your instructor wisely. Only the fool would hire a physician based upon how many you tube videos or blog posts they’ve made. Whether you take a class, buy a book, read a blog, or watch a video or TV show, research your potential survival instructor as if your life depended on it…because if you find yourself in a real survival scenario, it will. Train smart and live.
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