Friday, January 30, 2009

The self-reliant abo-dude

Cody Lundin first came to our attention some time back in the early 90s. Probably at the Sharlot Hall Territorial Days celebration. There was this dude sitting crossed legged by some rather crude-looking camping gear. He was dressed in skins as I recall and barefoot. He had a brochure that talked about Aboriginal Living Skills or some such. We saw him a few more times around town. Always barefoot. (I've nothing against bare feet -- my mother had a hard time keeping shoes on my feet when I was a kid. But I've seen Cody Lundin barefooted at times when I'm struggling to keep my feet warm.)

His courses caught on. At one point, my friend Georgene spent a very rugged nine days in the bush as a student in one of Lundin's back country survival classes. She was very impressed.

Wednesday night, I finally got a chance to hear him tell his story to members of the Professional Writers of Prescott.

A self-reliant childhood as an Army brat. Then drugs. Jail. Rehab. Epiphany in the red rock country where he connected with the outdoors.

In fact, that's his explanation for the bare feet -- a direct connection with the earth. Today, he enjoys nationwide recognition for his survival skills, his no-nonsense approach to teaching those skills to others, plus two outspoken books on the subject of survival -- in the outback and in case civilization breaks down.

Unlike some in the survival training biz, Cody walks the walk. He lives off the grid an hour and a half drive in the high desert northwest of town, in an carefully designed earth home. Road kill? Rats? Insects? Food, when that's all there is. He enjoys shocking the complacent, as you can imagine.

And he brooked little nonsense when it came time to publish his books -- obviously, one who is larger than life can deal with publishers and editors differently than most of us!

Here are his two books (a third may be on its way). And do take some time to visit Cody's web pages. Fascinating reading and video watching.
Linkage: At last, a new blog I've been waiting for is online. LindaG, of The One Acre Wood, has premiered Prescott Past which will feature, along with reminiscences, selections from her husband's wonderful collection of old postcards. I think you'll also find Susie of Arabia interesting; she's an American woman who moved with her husband and son to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. And, if you have plenty of time on your hands, spend some of it at Zero Out of Five, where the schtick is selected answers to exam questions, some quite amazing. Oh yes, I nearly forgot the Chinese rap video the dotter featured today.


TomboCheck said...

Definitely a no-nonsense kind of guy. His book ought to be a required read for anybody that does hiking away from civilization.

Anonymous said...

He's an interesting individual. I enjoyed visiting his site and seeing his videos.

Anonymous said...

I ran into Cody at the old Frys by Casa Sanchez one winter day. He was barefoot in the snow! Plus he cleaned out all the tuna that was on sale, 3 cans for a dollar. Imagine him standing in the checkout line, barefoot, without a cart holding 4 cases of tuna! This dude has cojones.

Granny J said...

tombo -- maybe it should be required reading by all young kids -- and their parents.

steve -- I was glad to finally get the chance to hear him talk. Fascinating.

style -- that's quite a picture you paint. And, yes, he does.

Linda G. said...

Thanks for the link, GJ!
I'm definately going to get these books! I think your idea of Cody Lundin as required reading is a really good one..

Kim said...

I'm so glad you did a post on Cody! When I first came to Prescott for the Ecosa Institute, our introduction and orientation was Cody's survival class. We spent three days out near the Verde River together with nothing but a wool blanket, knife, extra socks, a water container, and two small baggies of sunflower seeds and trail mix. It was an incredible experience. I can definitely say it brought me closer to nature and instilled a much deeper appreciation for it. It was a great bonding experience too. Cody is one tough cookie, but he's got a great heart. He was a lot of fun to hike around with and is so knowledgeable.

Granny J said...

lindag -- I made that remark about required reading because we've all lost almost any contact with knowledge that our grandparents had about coping with the real world.

kim -- what season of the year was that? I'm sure that it was a totally memorable experience.

Anonymous said...

I'm a late arrival to your post.

In the late 70s, I took a backpacking class in college in the fall semester.

The instructor (not Cody, but very similar to him) let us know in the spring he was teaching Survival Skills.

Wow, what an experience. I'm glad I took that class. We were allowed to bring a tube tent, but we had to build a fire bed for sleeping. It worked, took all day, and kept us warm when it was 28 degrees that night.

Then, our instructor concluded the session with Urban Survival skills. Shocked the cr*p out of me, but I learned a great deal. Am applying a good lot of it even still, tho I'm very rusty.

Glad you wrote this post, GJ. I hope it wakes up some people.

~Anon in AV.

Kim said...

Granny J- It was in August. I will try to do a post on my blog sometime about it for you. I don't have any pictures of my own from the trip though, so I'll have to get permission from the photographers.

Granny J said...

anon av -- when it comes to survival skills, I am a total nebish and quite aware of it; I think every household should own Cody's two books & understand what he is saying.

kim -- love to see a post about your experience; I'm sure it was eye-opening (or perhaps mind-blowing!)

Anonymous said...

Hate to break it to you, but the guy is a showboating douchebag and nothing else.

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