New Mexico Living off the Land Expedition

Trip Overview

This trip will test your physical and mental limits as you find out how indigenous people lived off the land in this rugged mountainous environment!  Expert instructors will initially guide you for the first five days in performing the fundamental tasks that Native Americans mastered, and then you will have to demonstrate these skills on your own for the next five days.  This will include procuring food and water, building adequate shelter, making friction fire, and carrying out other essential tasks.  Upon finishing the expedition, you will have a sense of confidence in your knowledge and ability to utilize natural resources to survive in the wild!

Expedition Details


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Trip Name:                  

New Mexico Living off the Land Expedition


Trip Dates:                   

June 9-18, 2016



10 Days


Experience & Activity Level:            

Previous survival or primitive skills experience helpful

but not required.   Participants should be in good

physical condition and able to cope with high altitude

and inclement weather.


Accommodation  Style:

Tent camping and survival shelters



$2,390 per person



- Gila Wilderness in Southwest New Mexico



This is an adventure in the Gila Wilderness, a high and arid environment in Southwest New Mexicowhere Geronimo survived for years avoiding capture by authorities.  It is also a unique bioregion where distinct ecozones intersect bringing together the plant and animal communities of the southern Rocky Mountains, the Chihuahuan desert, and the northern extreme of the semi-tropics, thus necessitating a variety of survival strategies.


Over the course of ten days, you will learn a array of primitive skills and get the chance to put them into practice with guidance from your expert instructors.  You will traverse over the landscape in rough terrain performing all the necessary tasks in order to demonstrate your ability to utilize natural resources to cope with whatever nature throws at you.


The expedition will be divided into two phases.  Phase one will include spending a few days at a campsite while our team of experts will instruct you in learning the following skills:


- Primitive shelter construction

- Creating friction fire using various primitive methods

- Locating, capturing and purifying water

- Making survival bows, rabbit sticks, and spears

- Learning how to set snares and traps to catch small game

- Preparing food using primitive methods

- Making primitive fishing implements

- Identifying and foraging for edible and medicinal plants

- Making cordage and other useful tools out of local plants

- Observing cloud formations and predicting future weather events

- Navigating across unknown landscapes without a compass/map


After practicing the above skills in camp, you will be sent into the “bush” for several days to perform them as if you were a native living off the land in a real survival situation.  Accordingly, you will have specific tasks that you will need to accomplish and you will be monitored as to how well you perform them.  Our instructors will be on hand to keep an eye on your activities and to keep you on track in the event of any mishaps, difficulties, or unexpected events (drastic changes in weather, etc).


The trip will require that you be in good physical condition and able to withstand the rigors being outside for an extended period of time without the aid of modern conveniences, as well as being able to handle some discomfort like being cold during the night, functioning with minimal food, etc.  Additionally, you will only be allowed to have a few changes of clothes and one small bag, and will not be allowed to bring extra water, supplemental food, etc. (the instructors will maintain emergency rations in the event they are needed).


This will be a once in a lifetime experience where you will learn a tremendous amount about your inner resources, as well as how to cope with nature and the elements in a harsh environment like our ancestors did.  After you finish, you will understand what it was like to live in a world before modern technology and will have a greater appreciation for indigenous cultures and the challenges they faced on a day-to-day basis.