Christopher Nyerges

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SCHOOL OF SELF-RELIANCE

2018 SCHEDULE 

NEW WORKSHOP SERIES STARTING IN MARCH

WEEKEND WARRIOR WORKSHOP SERIES

Primitive Survival Skills: First Saturday of each month in March, April, May, and June

WEEKEND ETHNO-BOTANY SERIES

Wild Food and Useful Plants: 3rd Saturday of each month in March, April, May, and June

$65 per workshop

Sign up for the complete 4-part workshop training in advance and pay only $195, a savings of $65.

Your 4th workshop is free!

See the details below

Always RSVP    via email, or call the office at (626) 791-3217or mobile (323) 605-7283

P.O. Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041

>>>LOCATION DETAILS AT BOTTOM ON PAGE<<<

NOTE

Always carry a canteen of water, knife, and a bowl (for salad)

You’re always welcome to bring your own snacks or lunch for our lunch-time classes.

CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

Upon completion of a workshop/class series, a Certificate of Completion will be issued, upon request.

Completing 6 different workshops/class series qualifies an individual to work towards a Self-Reliance Skills Specialist Certification.

Ask us for details.

NEW 4-PART SERIES COMING

When you sign up in advance for the series of 4 classes, one of the classes will be free. (You will still be able to join any of the individual classes of the series.)

 

 

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2018

 2018 MARKS THE 44th YEAR OF CLASSES!!!  (Gosh! Is that possible?!)

 

        





 

CHECK THE SCHEDULE REGULARLY. ADDITIONAL CLASSES ARE FREQUENTLY ADDED. DON’T FORGET THAT WE OFFER PRIVATE INSTRUCTION. ASK US FOR DETAILS.


 
 

2018

















Wednesday, February 21, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

LUNCHTIME TRAPS, SNARES, BOOBY-TRAPS, $30

In wilderness situations, and deep in the woods, people have hunted animals for their survival. If you lack any modern tools, you can still practice this skill by making simple snare and traps, mostly with materials you find in the woods. You will learn how to construct a few of these devices, and see how they work. We will not be actually trapping any animals. Note: In today’s modern world, there is less and less reason to be a carnivore, and more and more reasons to move away from that lifestyle. But we are not judging anyone here. Our goal is to pass along basic skills that have passed the test of time, skills that you never know if and when you will need. Location 2, Hahamongna Watershed Park.



Friday, February 23, 7 p.m.

Five-week SURVIVAL SKILLS, URBAN focus. Pasadena City College.

Call (626) 585-7608 for information and registration. Class topics include uses of wild plants for food and medicine, Storing food and water, purifying and finding water, What to do when the power goes out, shelter in the backyard, tools and weapons, fire starting, shelters, etc. Other urban application will be discussed where appropriate. Taught by Christopher Nyerges.





Saturday, February 24, 10 a.m. - 2p.m.

BASIC LOCKSMITHING, $45.

Learn about the basic principles of locksmithing with instructor (and locksmith) Keith Farrar. You get to practice opening locks (without keys) at different levels of difficulty. You never know when you might need this skill, when a professional locksmith cannot be found. Basic tools are included in the fee for the class. [No, you will not be a professional locksmith after this class, but you will understand the basics, and we'll direct you to sources for further study.) If time, there will be a short plant walk in the area. Hahamongna Watershed Park, Location 2.



SUNDAY, February 25, 12:30 p.m. - 3:30pm

NATURALIST WALK: Mushrooms and Wild Foods, $35.

We will explore an area where we are likely to find various mushrooms at this time of the year, and we’ll also discuss the other flora and history of the area. A casual walk that you should find enlightening. Note: We plan these classes many weeks/months ahead of time, and this is the time of year where mushrooms are typically found. However, we cannot guarantee in advance what mushrooms will be found, or even if any will be found. We can guarantee that you should have a wonderful time, however. Location 2 - Hahamongna Watershed Park.





Thursday, March 1, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30p.m.

PLANT WALK, FOR FOOD & MEDICINE, $30

We’ll go on a short leisurely walk and learn about some of the common edible and medicinal plants now growing. You will also learn about how to make a simple kim-chee to preserve wild foods, as well as an ages-old medicinal remedy. This is Location 6 in the Arroyo Seco, north of the Rose Bowl, Pasadena. Meet at the SW corner of Washington and West. From The Rose Bowl, West is the north-south street on the west side of the Rose Bowl. Drive north on West to the top of the T intersection,& park to the left in the dirt parking. Washing-ton is the east-west street that dissects the golf course; so if you come from the east side of the golf course, drive west on Washington until it ends in the T intersection, and then just drive forward into the dirt parking area. Thomas Guide pg. 565, E1.





 

PSS1

Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

NEW WEEKEND WARRIOR WORKSHOP SERIES, #1, $65.

PRIMITIVE SURVIVAL SKILLS – part of new certificate and certification program.

This is a 4-part series which will occur on the first Saturdays of the month, including today, April 7, May 5, and June 2. Session one begins with the need for a SHELTER, and the basics of creating a shelter that can actually save your life for the night. In this first class of the series, you will learn to plan a shelter, and build a shelter, keeping local circumstances in mind, such as building in a safe location and avoiding hazards. You will build a basic lean-to, body-hollow, learn how to weave a hammock, etc. This is a hands-on activity, which includes discussion. Pricing: $65 per class; if you pay in advance for all 4 classes, you pay $195, meaning, you get the 4th class FREE. Location given with RSVP.















Wednesday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

A WALK TO DISCOVER BOTANY & CLAY, $30

On this lunchtime walk, you will see some of the common chaparral vegetation, and will also get to examine various soils that might be used for making pottery items. We will demonstrate how to test clay soils for suitability. Bring your water, and a bowl, in case we find enough wild greens to make a sample salad. Sierra Madre location. Drive north on Baldwin from the 210 freeway, and when you are one block from the very top, turn right (east) on Mira Monte, and drive two blocks. Park on the street near Mount Wilson Trail, near Lizzy’s Trail Inn.





Saturday, March 10, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

DESERT SURVIVAL SKILLS, $45.

The desert can be absolutely beautiful, or deadly. Let’s learn and apply the skills that allow you to survive in the desert environment. Water, of course, is paramount. You’ll learn how to obtain water when none seems present, how to make a shelter for shade and warmth, how to dress, what to eat, and other useful skills. Location 2, Hahamongna Watershed Park.





Thursday, March 15, 11:30 a.m.

TBA












WUPS1

Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NEW WEEKEND ETHNOBOTANY SERIES, #1, $65 per class.

WILD FOOD AND USEFUL PLANTS– part of new certificate and certification program.

This is a 4-part series which will occur on the third Saturdays of the month, including today, April 21, May 19, and June 16. Session one begins with a plant walkabout, getting to know some of the common local wild food plants (both native and exotic) and useful plants, including plants from which you can make soap and rope. We’ll then cover some basic botany, so you have a sense of context of the types of plant groups, such as entirely safe groups/families, as well as their relationships. You will be instructed in the use of the plant press, how to construct your own DIY plant press, and how to make field records for your own reference. Pricing: $65 per class; if you pay in advance for all 4 classes, you pay $195, meaning, you get the 4th class FREE. Location given with RSVP.








     




Thursday, March 22, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

LEARN POST-DISASTER SKILLS, $30

In this lecture and walk, you will discover the skills that you will need to put into play in the immediate hours and days after a major emergency. The order in which you implement your plan is determined by your physical location, your personal situation, and the details of the disaster. Obviously, this does not replace the need to do disaster planning, and exercises. However, in this class, we will focus on addressing the more immediate needs. Location 2, Hahamongna Watershed Park.





Saturday, March 24, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

FIBRE-CRAFT: The Art of Turning Plant Fibres into Bags, Nets, String, Sandals. $45

The art of working fibre is nearly a lost art. You’ll learn to recognize some of the common plants which yield a useful fibre, and learn how to work them into strings, and nets, and sandals, and more. In the old days of the Southwest, the lives of the people were literally tied together with fibre: for shelter, for clothing (hats, belts, shoes), fishing nets, bags, weaponry, fire-making, brushes, looms for fabric. Join us as we get a hands-on taste of the past. Location given with RSVP.









Thursday, March 29, 11:30 a.m.

TBA





Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

SURVIVAL SKILLS INTENSIVE, $75.

Join us as we travel into the Upper Arroyo of the Angeles National Forest in a riparian and chaparral canyon. You will have lots of hands-on in all the basic skills that are necessary for self-reliance and survival. Learn about uses of wild plants for food, and taste some! You’ll practice primitive fire-making, water finding and purification, shelter, slings and snares, weaving with natural fibres, and more. Upper Arroyo, Location 1. Meet at the west end of Altadena Drive, Altadena, 3 blocks west of Lincoln.





Thursday, April 5, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

LUNCHTIME CLAY WORKSHOP, $30

We’ll cover how to identify workable clay for plates, bowls, etc., and we’ll process some local clay. You will learn all the steps from digging clay to firing clay in this workshop, though we will not actually get to the firing stage. This is an introduction to traditional pottery. However, to master all the nuances of this art, we strongly suggest you enroll in a ceramics class at a local college. Location given with RSVP.





PSS2

Saturday, April 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NEW WEEKEND WARRIOR WORKSHOP SERIES, #2, $65

PRIMITIVE SURVIVAL SKILLS – part of new certificate and certification program.

This is a 4-part series which will occur on the first Saturdays of the month, including today, May 5, and June 2. Session two begins with the necessity for FIRE, and a complete overview of the methods to produce a fire, based on the four principles of fire-making. This class includes learning how to select the woods for two styles of friction fire-methods, creating your own fire kit, and making a fire with at least 6 methods. Pricing: $65 per class; if you pay in advance, you pay $195, meaning, you get the 4th class FREE. Location given with RSVP.





Thursday, April 12, 11:30 a.m.

TBA





Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

MEDICINAL PLANT WALK, $45

When you study the floral wealth of the world, you find that many plants are very efficacious in healing many of our illnesses and symptoms. Just a few generations ago, before everyone got hooked on drugs and hospitals, the knowledge of using wild and garden plants for common medical applications was common and normal. On our walk, we’ll see many of the local herbs used for medicine, and discuss some proven methods for dealing with common illnesses that are both proven and safe. You’ll also learn how to grow some of these medicinal plants in your own backyard and garden, so you don’t need to forage in the wild. Location given with RSVP.











Thursday, April 19, 11:30 a.m.

TBA





WUPS2

Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NEW WEEKEND ETHNOBOTANY SERIES, #2, $65 per class.

WILD FOOD AND USEFUL PLANTS– part of new certificate and certification program.

This is a 4-part series which will occur on the third Saturdays of the month, including today, May 19, and June 16. Session two begins with a plant walkabout, getting to know some of the common local spring edibles and fruit-bearing perennials. We will learn how to identify greens that are used for soups and salads, and we’ll make some wild dishes to enjoy. You will also learn how to preserve wild foods for use throughout the year. Pricing: $65 per class; if you pay in advance, you pay $195, meaning, you get the 4th class FREE. Location given with RSVP.





Thursday, April 26, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

LIFE AT THE WATER’S EDGE: A walk into the past, and the future. $30

We will explore a section of the Arroyo Seco to see how the supply and control of water affects all life – people and wildlife. You’ll see where villages would have been located in the past, how the Arroyo has been tended and “harvested” in the past, and possible plans for sustainability for this valuable resource. This walk will include natural history, some archaeological points, and how the Arroyo will continue to effect everyone living here today. Along the way, we’ll see wildlife supporting riparian, oak woodland, and chaparral habitats, and introduced plants, for food, medicine, and other uses. Location given with RSVP.





Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

SOAPS, ROPES, AND SMOKES, $45.

On this walk, we’ll learn about a few of the non-food uses of plants which were employed in the past by indigenous peoples. Several plants were used for soap and hygiene. Many fibre plants provided the material for nets, clothes, housing, and more. And “smokes” refers both to the plants used for fire-making, as well as those plants that were traditionally used for smoking and pipe-making. We will be demonstrating and participants will be doing hands-on practicing. Location given with RSVP.





PSS3

Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NEW WEEKEND WARRIOR WORKSHOP SERIES, #3, $65

PRIMITIVE SURVIVAL SKILLS – part of new certificate and certification program.

This is a 4-part series which will occur on the first Saturdays of the month, including today, and June 2. Session three begins with a discussion of the sources of WATER in the wilderness, and methods to obtain and purify the water. We will do a walk into the field, to practice a few of these methods. We will also practice some of the makeshift methods of water purification, and learn about makeshift water filters, and distillation. Pricing: $65 per class; if you pay in advance, you pay $195, meaning, you get the 4th class FREE. Location given with RSVP.





Thursday, May 10, 11:30 a.m. – 1:3 0 p.m.

NATIVE FLORA BOTANY WALK, $30.

We will explore a local wild area, with special attention on the native plants, and their histories and uses. You will learn about the various uses of the natives, including food and medicine, and also other utilitarian uses. Bring your camera and notebook. Location given with RSVP.





Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.

TBA





WUPS3

Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NEW WEEKEND ETHNOBOTANY SERIES, #3, $65 per class.

WILD FOOD AND USEFUL PLANTS– part of new certificate and certification program.

This is a 4-part series which will occur on the third Saturdays of the month, including today and June 16. Session three begins with a plant walkabout, where we will walk in a local area with the focus of identifying the useful medicinal plants. We’ll also discuss some of the ideal literature about healing with herbs, and some of the herbs you can grow in your own yard. We will be demonstrating how to make medicinal teas, and other methods. In this third class in this series, the walking will be about a mile, so wear comfortable footwear. You will add to your own field notebook, with your notes on the uses of the plants. Pricing: $65 per class; if you pay in advance, you pay $195, meaning, you get the 4th class FREE. Location given with RSVP.





PSS4

Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NEW WEEKEND WARRIOR WORKSHOP SERIES, #4, $65

PRIMITIVE SURVIVAL SKILLS – part of new certificate and certification program.

This is a 4-part series which will occur on the first Saturdays of the month. Today is part 4 of 4. Session four (of four) focuses on natural FIBRE materials, WEAVING, and fibre-craft. We will have a walk to see some of the useful plants that can actually be used for cordage and weaving, and you will learn (by doing) how to select and prepare the raw plant material for projects. We will make cordage, a net bag, and a brush. The principles of making a backwoods loom will also be included. Pricing: $65 per class; if you pay in advance, you pay $195, meaning, you get the 4th class FREE. Location given with RSVP.





Wednesday, June 6, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

NATIVE FOODS WALK, $30

What’s a native plant? What’s an introduced plant? Does it matter? Let’s explore a local area and learn about the diverse flora, and how many of these were used in the old days by the indigenous people who found everything they needed in the natural world. We’ll walk in a natural area and learn about the plants that grow there, and learn their possible uses. Learn how you can grow your own native foods garden. If possible, we will collect enough for a taste-test salad, so bring a bowl. Location given with RSVP.





Saturday, June 9, 10 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.

CONTRUCTING A QUAIL TRAP, $45

Although we never advocate the killing of animals “for fun,” we do believe that ancient arts of stalking, trapping, and cleaning animals for food is a vital art that could mean the difference between life and death, especially in hard times. Though we will not be trapping any animals at all, we will learn the process of making the quail trap – useful for any birds – from scratch. We will collect and clean the wood, and create the trap, and learn the triggers that are ideal for this device. A few related methods will also be discussed. Location given with RSVP.





Sunday, June 10, Noon.

TBA.





WUPS4

Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NEW WEEKEND ETHNOBOTANY SERIES, #4, $65 per class.

WILD FOOD AND USEFUL PLANTS– part of new certificate and certification program.

This is a 4-part series which will occur on the third Saturdays of the month. Today is part four of four. Session four is a complete lesson on the historical value of the acorn in west coast native societies, along with some nutritional information. You will then go through the entire process of turning the raw acorn into a delicious food. You’ll shell, grind, leach, test, leach some more, and blend with a few other ingredients to make acorn food products. There will be minimal walking today, but still bring your field notebook. Pricing: $65 per class; if you pay in advance, you pay $195, meaning, you get the 4th class FREE. Location given with RSVP.





Wednesday, June 20, 11:30 a.m.—1:30 p.m.

DISCOVER THE MANY USES OF WILLOW, $30

Willow is one of the most common trees all over the world. The wood is flexible, yet strong enough for many uses, including bows, fire kits, shelters, medicine, various tool materials, drills, triggers, etc. We’ll do a walk about and make a few things from the willow wood. Location given with RSVP.





Saturday, June 23, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

EXPLORATION OF YUCCA: NATURE’S HARDWARE STORE, $45.

In the western states, the yucca plant is a remarkable floral wonder, providing various foods, soap, weaving and fibre material, tinder, container material, and even decoration. It’s amazing the depth of provisions that this humble plant can provide. We will explore an area where the yuccas grow, and discover a few of its secrets. We will learn how some of the products made from yucca were made in the past, and how these same techniques can help you today. Location given with RSVP.





Saturday, July 7, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

KNIFE DAY: All the Important Things You Need to Know About Knives: $45.

We’ll review all the knives on the market, and their different designs for different functions. Do you need a knife but don’t know what to choose? You’ll see many examples of what’s out there. You’ll also learn how to properly sharpen a knife. Additionally, what if you don’t have a knife and you’re stuck in the outback? We’ll show several ways to create a functional knife from scraps, or natural materials during our short walk. Location 2, Hahamongna Watershed Park.





Wednesday, July 11, 11:30 – 1:30 p.m.

BOTANY WALK ALONG THE L.A. RIVER, $30

The L.A. River is coming alive, little by little. Still, so many L.A. residents are barely aware that the cement ditch running along the east side of Griffith Park (and to the ocean) was once actually an alder-lined, stone-bottom river where fish lived and wildlife flourished. We’ll explore an area of the river today, and see what was, what is, and what could be. Meeting location given with RSVP.

















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Locations

>>>VIEW MAP HERE<<<


Location 1
Upper Arroyo. West end of Altadena Drive, Alt. 3 blocks west of Lincoln [pg. 535, F4].

Location 2
Hahamongna Watershed Park; entrance at Foothill and Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena. Meet at south end of the upper area (across from La Canada High School), near the outdoor bathrooms. One way to get here is to travel on the 210 Freeway westbound, and exit on Foothill in La Canada. Turn right (east) and take Foothill about a half-mile to its end, which is the entrance of the park.  Enter and drive south until you see the outdoor bathrooms (do not make the left hand turn which goes downhill). [pg. 535, E5].

Location 3
Switzer’s Camp, Angeles National Forest. From the 210 freeway in La Canada, drive up the Angeles Crest Highway 10 miles to Switzers. You will see the large sign on the Highway. Drive down the road and park in the parking lot. Meet near the bridge. NOTE: You will need a Forest Adventure Pass for this location. [pg. 505, H2]

Location 4
Angeles National Forest. From the Angeles Crest Highway and Foothill (or from the 210 freeway), drive 2 miles up the Angeles Crest Highway (above the large new houses) until you see the turnout on your right. You really need to look at your odometer for this one. [535, C1] .

Location 5
Millard Canyon, Altadena. Drive up to Loma Alta by going north on either Fair Oaks (from the east) or Lincoln Ave. (on the west). From Loma Alta in Altadena, go north on Chaney Trail all the way to the campground. [pg. 535, H2]

Location 6
Arroyo Seco, north of the Rose Bowl, Pasadena. Meet at the SW corner of Washington and West. Be sure to look at your map here, for more people seem to get lost finding this location than any other. The Rose Bowl is easy to find – and West is the north-south street on the west side of the Rose Bowl. You can simply drive north on West to the top of the T intersection, and park to your left in the dirt parking. Washington is the east-west street that dissects the golf course; so if you come from the east side of the golf course and the Rose Bowl, drive west on Washington until it ends in the T intersection, and then just drive forward into the dirt parking area. [pg. 565, E1].

Location 7
Cobb Estate, Extreme north end of Lake Ave., Altadena. Exit on Lake Avenue from the 210 freeway and head for the hills. [pg. 536, A3]

Location 8
Casting Ponds, Arroyo Seco.  Entrance to "Lower Arroyo Park" is from Arroyo Blvd, just west of Norwood Drive. Where the 210 meets the 134 freeway in Pasadena, go south on the short extension to the 110.  [If westbound on the 210, you take the 110 south; if eastbound on the 134, stay in the right lane and go south on the unfinished 210 south spur.] Go south on this short extension which ends at California Blvd. Turn right (west) on California, and travel to where it ends, at Arroyo Blvd. Turn right (north) on Arroyo Blvd. and look for the sign on your left for the Lower Arroyo Park. Drive down the road and park. [pg 565, F5].

Location 9
Orcas Park. NE of Hansen Dam, in Lake View Terrace. From the 210, exit Osborne and go east on Foothill to Orcas Ave., then go south into the park. We’ll meet in the southern-most parking area. [pg. 503, A2]

 

Reservations

There are several preferred ways to reserve a spot on an outing

Send us a note specifying for what date, and how many people, along with a check, to School of Self-reliance, Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041. If you mail it "late," just call us and let us know it is in the mail.

Call or email us and let us take a credit card for payment for the outing. Call the office at 626-791-3217. Or email to christopher_nyerges@yahoo.com. If no one is there when you call, just leave your name and number and message and we’ll get back to you.

You can also make a payment via paypal to Christopher_nyerges@yahoo.com. On the paypal comment section, be sure to note what date and class you are paying for, along with how many you're paying for, if more than one. We will get an email letting us know you’ve paid.


 

We will not turn you away if you didn’t do any of the above. We can accept cash or check (or even credit card) at the outing, and give you a receipt, if desired.  

ALSO, we are in constant need of Volunteers at our non-profit facility in Highland Park, doing things like raking, pruning, basic clean-up and gardening.  If you want to do some volunteer work at that site in exchange for coming to outings, just talk to Christopher and arrange it.


DON’T FORGET: You can give a Gift Certificate to a friend or family member to attend a class. Just ask.