Erik Rasmussen has been interested in the outdoors since he was very young. His naturalist training started at the age of seven at the Riekes Center Nature Awareness Department. Because he went to public school he could not engage in homeschool programs but he attended every summer camp and in school program and camping trip he could.
These programs stoked his love of the outdoors through nature connection. Growing up he learned fire by friction, arrowhead knapping, basketry, bowry, primitive pottery, tracking, bird language, edible and medicinal plants and much more. After he grew out of these programs he started instructing and teaching at the age of thirteen. Throughout his middle school and high school career Erik started assisting lead instructors until he was old enough to facilitate programs of 20+ kids in nature exploration classes. He has taught at many classes in the Western United States.
Wanting to round out his skills as an Outdoorsman Erik attended the University of Utah and received his Bachelors in Parks Recreation and Tourism; emphasizing in Adventure and Outdoor Programs. He also received an Entrepreneurship Certificate. During his time in school Erik continued his practice in survival skills but also gained proficiency in mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, backpacking and other outdoor sports. To finish off his school career Erik interned at EarthWalk Northwest where he assisted with classes and soaked up skills knowledge like a sponge. He keeps his Wilderness First Responder Certificate up to date and continues to educate himself in the ancestral arts.
Today when Erik is not teaching he spends his time taking care of his daughter and wandering Utah's marvelous landscape. His favorite skills are tracking, bird language, basketry and flint knapping. Erik’s passion for reconnecting people to nature has grown strong enough to where he has decided to create a community of people in Utah who are interested in learning how to make healthy tracks to leave for future generations.
Dave Nessia is a specialist in "Primitive Living Skills and Bushcraft".
"Life is for Living", this phrase has been a driving force in Dave's life. He is always searching for a strong connection with the earth, through adventure and outdoor living skills. He lived 15 years of his life without the conveniences of a modern home. Six of these years Dave lived in a cave, then in 2 wickiups, a pithouse, a stone shelter, and finally a Kazakhstan style felted yurt. At one point Dave survived 44 days living with the land in the winter in the deserts of Utah.
He is an avid skier and climber, loves archery, bow making and fly fishing. His exploits have taken him across the country by bicycle and kayaking the Pacific Northwest in a Kayak of his making.
His passion for learning developed into a passion for teaching. Dave has been a survival and wilderness guide for 20 years, 8 of which have been instructing for Boulder Outdoor Survival School. Dave regularly teaches at Primitive Skills Gatherings such as Wintercount and Rabbitstick Rendezvous, teaching Bow making, primitive pottery, flint knapping, hide tanning, archery, sling craft, navigation, astronomy, edible and medicinal plants of North America, wood crafting, as well as primitive and modern fire starting techniques.
His professional experience includes two seasons on History Channel's "Alone". On the show he survived 73 days in Patagonia, and he survived 36 days in Mongolia.
He was also a consultant for Discovery Channels, TV show, "Bushcraft Build Off". Dave currently operates in Salt Lake City Utah.
Spencer Thayne is a lover of all things experiential, when he’s not hiking, rock climbing, or working on primitive skills, he’ll be playing guitar at open mic night, or acting in a local play.
Spencer recently came back from Arizona where he worked as a trail-walker, helping guide and protect youth while teaching them self-sufficiency and how to better communicate with their family. While there he learned a variety of skills such as fire-making, traps, animal processing and more.
Besides his year at Anasazi, Spencer has two years of experience working with clients with developmental disabilities from high function clients to low functioning. He has also 4 years of experience working at Treasure Mountain Scout Camp where he specialized in teaching Pioneering, and Rank Advancements.
Spencer loves helping people come to greater understanding about the world they live in and loves to help foster confidence and excitement in the students he teaches. He is currently teaches in Salt Lake City Utah.
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