Stalzer/Obele Family Blog

Back in the more or less civilized world

After sleeping almost 12 hours the last night, we are back in our hotel in Prescott.

Max and I spent the last 2 days on a “living the aboriginal way” class in the dessert. On Saturday morning, twelve brave adventurers met as a tribe at the ALSS in the Hope street at Prescott,AZ with Cody Lundin. Cody stars in a TV-show called “Dual Survival”.

Max’s comment on the name Hope street is – “Once you go on a class, you’ll hope you’ll come back”.

The bags were packed on a jeep and off we went to the Arizona dessert. After almost two hours (where the last 30 minutes were over rock and stones) we got to our starting point.


The backpacks came down from the jeep and we filled our bodies to the rim with water and got ready to hit the dessert.


Then we said “good-bye” to civilization


We hiked to the bottom of a valley


First, we needed to decide to “where are we are going to setup our camp”. We formed two teams to look for possible sites and then make a group decision. Cody was making some comments however it was a group decision.


Our basecamp was between two large trees (to provide shade). However it still needed work. Nevertheless, the first task was to fill up the water bottles. I think, I never drank so much water.


We started on building a roof out of Willows, Cattail and other plants we found around the river. (We used willow bark as lashings)


These are some before–after pictures. See the difference?


Once we had shade, we started on the next skill – making fire with friction using a bow-drill.


We started making the bow-drills, making the burn-in hole and preparing all the other things we need like (juniper-bark nests, etc.)


It was getting dark fast, so unfortunately Max and I weren’t able to complete the task. Luckily for us, some other tribe members had some more experience in making fire so we had a fire going for light.


We had a good sleep and the morning sun woke us up.


The next morning we continued with learning more skills. We started of with making some stone knives. You hit stones at a certain angle and the chips (or knives) fly of – at least in theory. I had a couple stones break in my hand and you had to be real careful.


Max tested the sharpness of one of his knives and “Whooosh” had a cut in his finger. So – yes – you can cut things with it Zwinkerndes Smiley (The cut wasn’t too deep… We didn’t have to evac).

Next we did some bowls out of wood. We used fire to burn a depression in some logs. But first, we had to split them.


We had to cut a little depression in the center to….


… to place a hot coal and used a straw to have it burn in the direction we wanted.



Some took the job seriously


After washing it and cleaning it, we had some decent bowls.


These are the results


The next task was making strings. We took leaves from Yucca plants, smashed them, cleaned them, parted them, washed them and then wove strings from the fibers.

Max made a real nice bracelet for himself.


By now it was getting late in the afternoon and we started to prepare for leaving the shelter that was our home for 2 days.

We had to clean out our fire pit by putting in water and removing the coal. It was quite amazing how deep the hot earth was and we still got water to boil.


We took down the roof



picked up all the little bits and pieces we made.


The goal was to make the place look like that there has no-one been.


We packed up our stuff and started to walk back. We still had about 400m height difference to climb on a 2 hour walk in 40°C sun.


But is always time for a picture Zwinkerndes Smiley


“Long march 2013”…


Once we were back up on the plateau, we could look down to the river. The green part of the valley is the place we were.


After a two-hour car trip, we were back in “Hope” street – WE MADE IT !!

Everybody got relaxed and started to joke around


Mark handed out our certificates (YES!) and after some photos we headed back to our hotel to shower, get some food and rest.



Thanks to Cody and Mark who did a really great job on these two days.

I did not mention Mark Dorsten that often but he is a member of the ALSS team and was also part of these two days. We learned a lot from Mark and he took his time to explain to us the basic principles of living “the Abo way” and to survive as a tribe in harsh conditions.

2 Kommentare

  1. Helga:

    Hi guys,
    that looks and sounds like an awesome experience. We are looking forward to hearing a lot of your stories once you are back home.

    @Cody and @Mark:
    Thanks for bringing them back !


  2. Mark:

    It was great training with Max and Thomas in the field this last weekend. Their focus, enthusiasm and excitement for the skills were contagious. It was a sincere pleasure having them on this course. Thomas emailed saying he and Max wished the course were longer. We would love to see the two of you on a longer course the next time you get back to the US!

    Take care and safe travels!

    Mark Dorsten

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