SCHOOL OF SELF-RELIANCE
"OTIS' GENERAL STORE"
Remember: "Oink!" means "Hello" in OtisTalk.
Here you'll find books, booklets, and DVDs on survival and self-reliance. Plus, we have fire-making tools, herbs, knives, knife-sharpeners, water purifiers and more. LET US KNOW IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC NEED!
You can call our office at (626) 791-3217, or mobile at (323) 605-7283
Please first check our SPECIALS, and then scroll down to see our other products. Thank you for visiting!
SPECIAL OFFER THROUGH THE END OF MARCH:
Purchase the DVD called "Survival Foods,"where we see Huell Howser interview Christopher and Dolores Nyerges in downtown Los Angeles -- and choose a free copy of Enter the Forest book, OR a magnesium fire starter.
ALSO, any order over $100 will get a free copy of Shiyo Miller's "The Winds Erase Your Footprints,"the true story of life on the Navajo reservation during the Great Depression. (see description below).
$22 DVDClick Here for a sample of the Useful Plants of the U.S. DVD
SURVIVAL FOOD VIDEO
You and your family will enjoy this for years to come!
SURVIVAL SKILLS on the streets of Los Angeles
$22 DVDClick Here for a sample of the Survival Skills DVD
RON HOOD DVDs
Ron Hood shares many of the basic skills in these DVDs
FIRE BY FRICTION
TRAPS AND TRAPPING
Learn how to make arrows, a quick atlatl, a sling, a fastibal (sling variation), a throwing stick, a throwing star, and more. This is the DVD where you'll learn how to make the Vietcong crossbow. We referenced this when we wrote about how to build such a crossbow from scratch in a past issue of Wilderness Way magazine. This is a very useful video, with details that you generally can’t get in books.
Please let us know if you'd like Christopher Nyerges to autograph his books for you
THE SELF-SUFFICIENT HOME -- Going green and saving Money. This is Christopher's latest book, a treasure trove of information for living a simpler life. The book includes interviews from folks who live the life, folks who walk the walk. This book will provide you with more money saving tips, beyond his other popular book, "Extreme simplicity." Subjects include how to plan a home solar electric system, interviews with folks who've done it, collecting rain water, alternate toilets and methane digesters, how to make biodiesel, solar water heaters, permaculture, and more! Fully illustrated, with lots of practical ways for you to take action now.
HOW TO SURVIVE ANYWHERE: Your guide to better living – Your guide to prepare for the next earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, and other disasters A Guide for Urban, Suburban, Rural, and Wilderness Environments.Subjects include Water (finding, purifying, storing), clothing and shelter, health and hygiene, fire, alternate power sources, fibre from nature, food and food storage, wild soaps, first aid, further considerations of "survival," and more.
GUIDE TO WILD FOODS AND USEFUL PLANTS
This is an ideal plant book for beginners and experts to get to know the edible wild flora. Fully illustrated, many original references. Pictorial key to all plants included. You are given keys to identification, and each plant is discussed according to its edible, medicinal, and other practical qualities.
$20. CURRENTLY IN STOCK
ENTER THE FOREST
Based upon Christopher's survival classes in the Angeles National Forest, this book covers animal signs, ecology, primitive fire-making, finding and purifying water, Native American foods, and more. Illustrated. Cover art by Roy Murphy. John Robinson wrote, this book "is destined to become a classic."
Homesteading in the City by Christopher and Dolores Lynn Nyerges. This is the story of Christopher and Dolores Nyerges' "urban homesteading" in Los Angeles. Want to learn how to produce more of your food, generate some of your power, or cook with the sun? Do you desire to make your own compost and learn to create a wildlife sanctuary even in the city? Here is book that tells how we went about this, step by step, on a low budget. The "Economics and Self-Reliance"
TESTING YOUR OUTDOOR SURVIVAL SKILLS by Christopher Nyerges. Chapters on identifying plants, primitive fire-making, food in the wild, navigation by sun and stars, water (finding, purifying, storing), clothing, first aid, weapons (primitive and modern), and more. Designed as the text that Nyerges uses for a semester course, the book is also used to test and improve your own skills and knowledge. This is the classroom textbook which became the foundation for "How to Survive Anywhere." 8 ½ x 11 format, comb-bound, fully illustrated.
URBAN WILDERNESS: A Handbook to Ecological City Living This edition focuses on simple, low-cost ways to "do more with less," even in the city. Think of it as a basic manual of urban survival. (This is a revision of Christopher's 1979 book of the same title.) Sections includes food storage, water storage, alternate power sources, communication section, hygiene (what do you do when there is no toilet?), community and safety issues, emergency preparedness, and more!
WRITING FOR SURVIVAL: A step-by-step guide to getting published without going broke by Christopher Nyerges. This is the textbook that Christopher uses when he teaches writing classes at the local college. It is designed to get you writing and marketing your work. Topics include newspaper writing, magazine writing, book writing, keeping records, cover letters, press releases, marketing tactics, self-publication, and more. 8 ½ x 11 format, 51 pages.
TUNNEL 16. eBook by Christopher Nyerges: Tunnel 16 is a fictional tale about a teen in the foothill community of Altadena, California, who accidentally falls into a tunnel near the Angeles National Forest. He discovers that a race of invisible beings live there. The teen, Rick Jasper, meets his underworld mentor, the holographic ghost of Jack Parsons, who guides Rick in the underworld. The tunnel system is near the famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Pasadena, and JPL security engineer Frank Landry becomes enmeshed in this underworld drama in his effort to improve security at JPL. Though fiction, many real names and real locations are used, and the book includes much of the myth and folklore of the Pasadena area, including Parsons, JPL, tunnels under Los Angeles, L. Ron Hubbard, and more.
Note: You can purchase a .pdf file of this book which we can then email to to you. Cost is only $2.
Til Death Do Us Part? eBook by Christopher Nyerges: The Story of How Dolores and Christopher Dealt with Death. How can we deal with death in an uplifting -- even positive -- way? This book covers some of the lessons about death from the life of Christopher and Dolores Nyerges. Included are lessons about how to support those whose spouses have died, having animal funerals, how to prepare for the inevitability of death, how to 'be with' your loved one when they die, and more. There are sections about dealing with 'ghosts', and the possibility of an afterlife.
Note: You can purchase a .pdf file of this book which we can then email to to you. Cost is only $2.
Note: A percentage of the proceeds from the above book goes to Dolores' favorite charity.
Are you prepared?
$39.95 Click here or the image above to purchase Dr. Prepper's Great Book: MAKING THE BEST of BASICS: Family Preparedness Handbook. This book tells you everything you ever wanted to know about how to prepare meals from your family's food storage supply -- and much more. Over 795,000 copies sold!! Wow! (He's obviously doing something right with this book!)
EARTH PIGMENTS AND PAINTS
This is Paul Campbell's second book, a hard-cover in full color, which covers his quest for the elusive red ochre, descriptions of how pigments were mixed with other substances so they lasted for cenuries, and so much more. Though there is much "how-to" in this book, the variety of rock art depicted is clearly worth the price of the book. There are also old California Indian photos showing body art, as well as face art, bow and arrow art, etc. Every museum and school should have a copy.
Retail is $30, but we sell for $25.
Paul Campbell's book is a dream-come-true for anyone interested in the specific skills used day in and out by California’s pre-mission people. Included is how to make sandals, rope, nets, arrows, bows, hunting skills, plant information, soap plants, and more. Campbell takes you through it all step by step, with lots of photos.
by Larry Dean Olsen. Here is the original book on primitive skills, one that Christopher regarded as his “bible” when growing up. The book includes edible plants, shelters, finding water, making weapons, weaving, flint-knapping, and more. Fully illustrated. 240 pages.
by Tom Elpel. This is the best treatment of botany and taxonomy that we have seen. Learn how to recognize the major plant families, and how to understand some of the basic chemistry of plants. 8 ½ x 11 format, 196 pages.
THE FORAGER'S HARVEST: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants
by Samuel Thayer
This is an excellent book for the beginner and expert alike. Thayer gives you 360 pages with over 200 color photos of top-notch information for how to identify and use wild plants that are growing all around you. He spends the beginning of the book explaining how to harvest and prepare wild foods, and the remainder of the book describes the most common and useful plants, and how to successfully utilize them in your diet. An easy to use book, assisting you in your self-education of this most essential survival skills. A lot of Thayer's personality comes through in this fresh and original book.
“If you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em!”
Peter Gail of Cleveland has written the book that contains everything you’d ever want to know about the common dandelion. His celebration of the dandelion is 151 pages that might surprise you if you’re one of the many gardeners who despise dandelions because they grow in lawns. But it turns out that dandelions are not trash -- they are treasures.
Gail begins by telling us some of dandelions’ long history of food and medicine, showing us that dandelions have more nutritional content with other common wild and cultivated foods. We learn that dandelion is the richest source of Vitamin A and magnesium, in his study, as well as a rich source of most of the tested minerals. It is richer in beta-carotene than carrots.
Despite these incredible health benefits, more people don’t eat dandelion because it’s bitter. So Gail gives us recipes for turning this bitter weed into a tasty dish. He tells us how to use the roots, leaves, flowers, and hearts. There are recipes for some very unlikely dandelion dishes, like dandelion ice cream, and also the standards, such as dandelion wine and coffee. Spiral bound for easy-use.
by Gregory Tilford. This is THE book for those of you who insist on clear simple text and good color photos. Particularly useful since many of the plants are actually found nation-wide. 239 pages
by Ran Knishinsky. Here is the scientific evidence that prickly pear cactus fruits and pads are useful for treating diabetess, cholesterol, and the immune system. Recipes and methods of preparation are also included
THE WINDS ERASE YOUR FOOTPRINTS
This book, written by Shiyo Miller (mother of Dolores Lynn Nyerges), is the true story of a young newly-married couple (one White, one Navajo) who move back to the Navajo reservation. You really feel the daily challenges of what it normally takes to live on the reservation, not to mention that this was during the Depression when work and money were scarce. There is a subtle backdrop of Navajo witchcraft, as well as the colorful scenery of the Southwest. Shiyo started writing this book in the 1940s. Shiyo died in 1983, and due to her daughter's dillegence, the book finally got published in 2002. Illustrated by Chester Kahn, it is 335 pages long.
BOOKLETS by NYERGES
ANIMALS AS ORACULAR MESSENGERS, transcript of a Halloween night lecture by Christopher Nyerges. Includes symbolic interpretation of animals in daily life.
WHOSE CHILD IS THIS?, transcript of a Christmas lecture given to Philosophical Research Society by Christopher Nyerges. An exploration of the many symbols of Christmas (and Hannukah), and their practical meanings. A real eye-opener, especially if you never considered the origin of the diverse symbols we now associate with Christmas.
GUIDE FOR SURVIVAL IN CATASTROPHES. Transcript of a lecture presented by Christopher Nyerges and John Watkins to a Mensa meeting in February 1986. What would it REALLY be like if modern society collapsed? What would you ACTUALLY do to live in strength after such an event? 8 ½ x 11 format, 17 pages.
SURVIVING DROUGHT, ECONOMIC CALAMITY, AND OTHER WOES VIA THINKING. Transcript of a six-hour workshop by Christopher and Dolores Lynn Nyerges, given at Philosophical Research Society. See how we create all our problems. Learn the tools necessary to analyze what you can do better in your own personal life. 8 ½ x 11 format, 17 pages.
SOLAR COOKING. Plans are provided for making two different types of solar cooker from inexpensive materials. After a few hours on a weekend, you can take scrap materials and make a simple device for cooking from the sun.
POOR MARSHALL'S MANUAL: The Individual Economics of Living on $99 per Month
Written in his own hand, Marshall Greenwood tells how he live (circa 1979) on $99 a month. Reads like a modern version of Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac. Full of practical tips and information. 51 pages, spiral bound.
WHAT CAUSES GAS? by Dolores Miller Nyerges
This has been one of our most popular booklets over the years. We recommend it to anyone who is considering buying epazote, or who has problems with indigestion or gas. Includes some unusual information, including When you are eating, How you are eating, Where you are eating, and more. 20 pages.
EZE-LAP DIAMOND KNIFE SHARPENER
A good knife sharpener is a MUST. This one is compact, and fits into a leather case.
COLD STEEL BUSHMAN
This is an awesome one-piece knife capable of incredible punishment, such as splitting logs (for making bows, or hearths for fire-making, etc.). The hollow handle allows you to attach a handle. High carbon steel. Includes a sheath. The blade is 7 inches; the knife is 12 1/4 inches overall.
CANADIAN BELT KNIFE
The Cold Steel Canadian Belt Knife takes inspiration from the Grohman 1950's classic (from which the Herter’s Company made a very popular knock-off). This knife has all the features that made the original an award-winning, international favorite. This version is made out of German 4116 Stainless steel and hollow ground to a razor edge. It will glide through just about any material because its elliptical profile is very efficient at reducing cutting drag.
The Polypropylene handle is equally efficient, fitting snugly in any hand. It's slightly offset in relation to the blade to keep one’s fingers safely out of the way. Light and tough enough to endure hard knocks, it will never break or fall apart in the way a traditional wood handle is prone to do. (Correct, it does not have a full tang.)
This 2-ounce blade comes with a black Cor-Ex sheath. It's light, slim and compact enough to carry on your belt or slung from a cord around your neck. Blade is 4”, overall length is 8 ½”. Economically-priced. $20.
Our neck knife is handcrafted in California by custom knife maker Don Rehmke. This knife features high carbon O-1 Steel and comes with a custom kydex neck sheath.
The knife measures 6-3/8 overall with a 2-7/8 cutting edge* The knife is Blued to help prevent rust, however a light coating of oil is always recommended on non stainless steel knives.
We normally have these in stock. When the knives are not in stock, please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.Click Here for a larger image of the Neck Knife.
This is THE fire-starting tool that everyone should carry, all the time. It is a block of magnesium from which you scrape shavings. Then, using the built-in sparker, you ignite the powdered magnesium. This tool provides thousands of lights. No moving parts, nothing to re-fill or wear .
BOW AND DRILL.
We assemble a primitive kit so you can practice fire-making the Old Way. You receive bow, drill, hearth, socket, and instructions. Everyone should learn how to go into the woods and make a fire using this method. In the meantime, you can practice with our kit until you achieve mastery.
TTHE HAND DRILL
This is the simplest, but hardest, method of primitive fire-starting which was more widely used than any other method. We send you a mulefat hand drill, a baseplate of willow or ash, and instructions. It's best if you practice this with a partner. Once you master this method, everything else is downhill.
STEEL STRIKER -- Gary demonstrates the striker with flint and charcloth.
This is a heavy-duty steel striker for making fire by the “flint-and-steel” method. They’re made by a blacksmith and designed to wrap around your knuckles and hopefully prevent nicks and cuts. Strike flint, quartz, or other sparkable rocks, and let the sparks shower into char cloth or steel wool. Detailed directions for use can be found in Christopher’s How to Survive Anywhere book. If you need assistance, let us know and we’ll include an instruction sheet with the striker.
FLINT & STEEL KIT
Our standard kit includes a “U”-shaped steel, a piece of flint, cotton tinder, and instructions all packed into a tin.
FIRE PISTON WITH O RING: $65
FIRE PISTON WITH STRING FIBRE GASKET: $65
FLORIAN RATCHET CLIPPERS
These are the original ratchet clippers that make it easy to cut wood and branches. They are great in the garden, and in the field. If you have been on Christopher's outings, he is using these all the time to make clean cuts to cut plants for food, or mulefat for hand drills and arrow shafts, or willow for bow drills, etc. etc. etc. If you want a quality pair of clippers for long-term hard use, these are the ones you want. Yes, you can buy cheaper knock-offs, but they won't last like these.
$30, specify traditional yellow, or purple.
$34 with nylon sheath
"You can never have enough mugwort!" Dried mugwort is one of the best materials for getting your primitive fire going. You make a birdnest-shape from the dried leaves, add your ember and blow on it until you get a flame. Native Americans used mugwort cigars in the old days to carry thier ember from camp to camp. It is also used in Chinese acupuncture, called "moxa." You'll get a sandwich bag pouch of the dried leaves.
Epazote (Chenopodium ambrosiodes) has been used in Mexico and Central America for centuries. It has been used for many herbal remedies, as well as a seasoning for bean dishes and other foods. It is most commonly known as an anti-flatulent [nature's Bean-O] when added to beans. Use in your cooked foods, or even add to dog food to prevent gas and indigestion. If you ever had to spend time in a bomb shelter, you'd really want to have some epazote with you.
This is a tobacco-free blend of wild herbs. We use manzanita leaf, mullein, mugwort, sage, passionflower leaf, yerba santa, willow bark, and others.
$12 a bag
TIMBERLINE WATER FILTER. This is a low-cost water filter that is easy to use, and easy to carry. It will purify water from giardia, and othe biological contaminants. The filter element can be replaced so you don't need to purchase an entirely new unit.
IODINE CRYSTALS FOR WATER PURIFICATION. You receive 1/4 tsp. iodine crystals in a glass bottle, with instructions for purifying water. This is the best chemical method of water purification. (Obviously, boiling is best when you can make a fire).