essential abo
Essential Abo Course Finishing a spoon made from cottonwood bark.Finishing a spoon made from cottonwood bark.





Making a bowl with fire.Making a bowl with fire.






Making a bowl with fire.Finishing up a shelter.


The Essential Abo

(Class limited to 12 students)
June 4-5, 2022
Tuition: $695
Instructors: Cody Lundin and Mark Dorsten
Sign Up Today!

Click here for wait list options if course is labeled "full"

If you were to walk "naked into the wilderness," what skills would you need to know first? Come and find out.....and introduce yourself to living comfortably in the outdoors without relying on modern technology. For 30 years, the Essential Abo adventure has been a foundational class at our school and remains a must have experience for those who walk upright. Learn and experience the very skills that were used by indigenous peoples the world over to shape the beginning of civilization itself! (Note: Maximize your trip to ALSS! The next step in your primitive skills training, The Provident Primitive course, is offered the following weekend!)

Fire from Sticks: create a functional bow-drill fire making set from a wilderness environment, learn about the all powerful tinder bundle, the fire triangle, nature’s fire starters, using fire as a tool, and how to safely extinguish a fire using no water.

Primitive Shelter: building quickie homes from leaves and limbs, where to build, why and how using the five laws of how the human body loses and gains heat to the environment.

Stone Tools: creating simple discoidal and bi-polar stone knives and hand-axes and how to use them for anything from making a shelter, notching a fire-by-friction board or cleaning a fish.

Natural Cordage: create string and rope from dogbane, yucca and deer sinew, learn how to identify and prepare the fiber, do reverse wrap cordage, splice and braid.

washing yucca plant fibers to twist into cordage

Wooden Containers: use fire you’ve made with sticks to create cottonwood eating bowls and bark spoons using the same method indigenous peoples used to make dug-out canoes.

The Essential Abo adventure trains you in the priorities of long term living in the bush. These same priorities can be used to help you more effectively plan, pack and prepare for a 21st century modern back packing adventure. Create and take home lots of handmade primitive gear that has kept people alive in the wilderness for thousands of years! (some cross country hiking required)

Sign Up Today!

"The benefits from the class were so much more than I expected. What ALSS provided was an experience that gave me the self-confidence to face anything in my life that may challenge me. Sure, "the more you know, the less you need", but in that knowledge, there is a security that you will be able to meet your own basic needs, no matter what. With that intrinsic knowledge, you are better prepared to make life choices from a place of power and confidence!"
Erika Hergenreder, CA., “Essential Abo” alum, 2014.