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Walking the Ancient Pathways with Tony Nester

Tony Nester, one of the Nation’s most prolific bushcraft and outdoor survival experts, discussed his wilderness skills company and how it provides information, classes, books, DVDs, and entire courses for the public.

Ancient Pathways is Tony Nester’s wilderness skills company specializing in desert survival and primitive technology. The company was conceived and established in 1989. Tony personally has more than 24 years’ experience teaching outdoor survival and guiding wilderness trips.

The focus of all Ancient Pathways courses is to provide hands-on training in practical survival skills and outdoor safety techniques, and emphasize direct experience with the valuable skills people need to take care of themselves––indeed, thrive––in the wilderness. Tony is also a long-time faculty member of the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park.

Tony has been a Survival Instructor and Outdoor Consultant for:

  • U.S. Military Special Operations Units
  • Private corporations
  • National Weather Service
  • National Transportation & Safety Board (NTSB)
  • Popular Mechanics
  • FAA
  • US Border Patrol
  • Maxim Magazine
  • Army Special Operations
  • US Air Force
  • Travel Channel’s
    Bizarre Foods Show
  • National Geographic
  • Outside Magazine
  • Reader’s Digest
  • FOX News
  • Ojibwa Indian Tribe
  • Backpacker Magazine

Tony has extensive experience working with the media and film industry and has provided survival training for actors Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex) and Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) along with working with Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods.

Tony has been featured in numerous media outlets including on NBC News, the Travel ChannelMaxim Magazine, the New York Times, and the Discovery Channel.

Endorsements from a well-known expert:

“We were safe with Nester.  A survival expert who knows the woods and desert intimately.”  (Jay Stowe, Executive Editor, Outside Magazine)

Tony was a special guest of  Andrew Zimmern on a segment of the Travel Channel’s popular show Bizarre Foods. Tony guided host Andrew Zimmern out for a wild foods trek in the desert.


In addition to extensive experience in wilderness survival, Tony has a BA in Anthropology and is an Emergency Medical Tech (EMT-B).

He is the author of numerous books on outdoor survival through Diamond Creek Press, and writes a popular monthly column for Outside Magazine.

Diamond Creek is Tony’s independently-owned publishing business in Flagstaff AZ, and has released the following Instructional DVD Series and books:


Tony Nester’s Practical
Urban Survival Series
Volumes 1 & 2

Diamond Creek Press is home to pragmatic, field-tested, how-to books on survival and self-reliance. An independently-owned publishing company based in Flagstaff AZ. Owner and author Tony Nester is a full-time survival instructor dedicated to providing reliable information and skills that really work while researching methods for survival and safety in both urban and wilderness settings.


When the Grid Goes Down
Disaster Preparations and Survival Gear
for Making Your Home Self-Reliant

A Survival Book by Tony Nester

Disasters come and go each year. It is through developing a self-reliant mindset, having essential survival gear and a handful of critical skills that you and your family will be able to prevail in an urban crisis.

Jammed with field-tested information from real-world applications, survival instructor Tony Nester covers how to prepare for both short-term survival ranging from 24-72 hours as well as long-term situations resulting from a grid-down emergency or pandemic.


The Modern Hunter-Gatherer

A Practical Guide to Living off the Land
A Survival Book by Tony Nester

This innovative book illustrates, with detailed photos, the essential methods for harvesting, preserving, and cooking small game, fish, edible plants, and how to reduce your dependence on “the system.”

Recapture the excitement of wandering on the land unencumbered while depending on nature’s resources and the skill in your hands.

Bottom of Form

Surviving A Disaster
Evacuation Strategies and Emergency Kits for Staying Alive
A Disaster Survival Book by Tony Nester


The most effective means of surviving a disaster is to have the essential gear and plans in place beforehand and this comes only from developing a mindset of self-reliance.

This book takes you through the mental attitude, scenarios, planning, and gear for overcoming natural and man-made disasters where you are forced to evacuate your home.


Desert Survival
Tips, Tricks, & Skills
An Outdoor Survival Book by Tony Nester

Now Available on DVD

Few books on desert survival have ever contained such detailed examples of the fundamental skills necessary for traveling and hiking in the land of little water.

Containing over 30 photos and a wealth of field-expedient methods related to arid land survival, this book is an excellent outdoor guide for the first-time visitor or veteran desert explorer.


Practical Survival
Tips, Tricks, & Skills
An Outdoor Survival Book by Tony Nester

Filled with photos and field-expedient survival techniques, Practical Survival is the 1st in a series of how-to survival books that will show you the mental attitudes and outdoor wilderness skills necessary to handle an unexpected backcountry emergency.

“Practical Survival is presently being updated and will be out in an expanded edition soon.”



Bushcraft Tips & Tools
An eBook by Tony Nester

Recommendations for basic bushcraft gear and tips for increasing your competency in long-term wilderness living. Packed with practical advice taken from years of teaching field courses and experimentation on extended personal trips, this book covers strategies for enjoying the wilderness with your hands and a few simple tools.

Topics Include: Tarp and Bedroll Types, Bushcraft Blades, Axes and Saws, Firearms & Food Procurement Tools, Region-Specific Gear, Wilderness Ethics, Clothing Recommendations, Trail Food and Cooking Implements.


Bug-Out Gear for Travelers
An eBook by Tony Nester

Most people in the survival or preparedness community spend a great deal of time and expense to outfit themselves with quality bug-out gear for an urban crisis. All of that changes when you board a commercial flight for work or pleasure and the majority of the well-planned kit gets left behind due to travel restrictions.

This book covers the pertinent emergency gear every business traveler or vacationing family should carry to prevail during a disaster. It is specifically designed with current flight and railway restrictions in mind. If you are a traveler, consider preparing a stripped-down version of your bug-out bag with Tony’s suggestions in case you ever have to survive in a disaster-riddled city away from home.



Grand Canyon Survival:
Gear & Garb
An eBook by Tony Nester

The Grand Canyon region is one of the most visited wilderness areas in the world. Many hikers embarking on a day trip or overnight outing are unprepared for the triple-digit temperatures, elevation gains, lack of shade and desert conditions associated with the inner canyon.

Grand Canyon Survival Gear & Garb prepares the hiker for backcountry emergencies that they may find themselves in while venturing beyond the rim. The book explains water and electrolyte requirements, strategies for coping with intense heat, preparing physically before your trip, essential survival gear for both short and long-term canyon explorations and the essential garb every desert traveler should have. Also covered are sections on common survival myths related to obtaining water from cactus and solar stills along with a helpful Q & A chapter for first-time visitors to the Grand Canyon region, written in a straightforward style, enlivened with anecdotes from his own extensive experience as a guide at the Canyon, Tony offers a practical book for both day hiking and overnight backpacking trips.


A Vehicle Survival Kit
You Can Live With
An eBook by Tony Nester

The 7th volume in the Practical Survival Series presents field-tested gear and methods in case you break down in the wilds or on the highway. It provides an extensive look at the essential recovery, survival and emergency items that every traveler should carry.

Accompanied by real-world stories of survival taken from the author’s 23 years of teaching field courses, this experientially-based eBook covers the basic skills that can help you prevail during a roadside emergency.


Survival Gear You Can Live With
An eBook by Tony Nester

A quality survival kit is one of the critical keys in prevailing during a backcountry emergency. Survival instructor Tony Nester shares what essential gear to carry and how to design a tailor-made kit to fit your specific needs.

Drawing upon the past 23 years of teaching field courses, Nester provides a pragmatic look at the key elements that should go into a personal survival kit and the steps to help ensure that you don’t get lost in the first place.