Alaska Wilderness Skills

.                                          Klaus             Laura                    Riley                              Ryan

A special thanks to our guest instructors, who make the programs a deep connection to nature. 

AKWSkills Team

Ryan Ford – Anchorage, AK

 Ryan has lived in Alaska since 1997, where he was introduced to the fishing industry in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. His drive for adventure and love for the great outdoors started with family outings exploring the surrounding areas of Yuba City, CA. He has lived in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Alaska taking every opportunity to be outside including adventuring in the woods, mountains, lakes, and rivers of Western United States. While living in Alaska, Ryan has traveled to many of the rural communities through working with UAF, as an Assistant Professor teaching Construction Trades Technology. In 2005, he was introduced to Tom Brown Jr. through field guides and mentors. In 2008, Rick Berry, of The Children of The Earth Foundation, hosted its first wilderness camp for kids in Alaska. Ryan attended with his son Riley. The camp aligned the teachings of Apache Elder, Stalking Wolf, which was first introduced by Tom Brown Jr. Ryan went on to attend more training from Rick Berry’s 4 Elements Earth Education School, John Young’s 8 shields program, and Cyber Tracker. Ryan is applying the skills learned to be one with nature in his own life. He loves to help others work on their edge. Ryan says, “Being still and listening to the silence will fill you with clarity of heart. Being able to overcome our fears takes place in the silence of our mind. This is achieved by walking close with nature.”   

Laura Derungs - Trapper Creek, AK

Living closer to nature, is what originally had Laura settle in the Talkeetna area in 2010.
Working with others through rafting trips, schools, festivals, multi-day campouts & various events, she is thrilled with the opportunity to share primitive living skills with those who also wish to remember their connection with the Earth’s balance.
Laura has studied with Tom Brown Jr. at his Tracker School based on Native teachings, learned Coyote Mentoring with Rick Berry of 4 Elements Earth Education and holds a Bachelor’s in Human Development. She also practices on-going life learning in the areas of wild edible plants, herbal remedies, subsistence living and farming.

Klaus Lerch – Trapper Creek, AK

Klaus has lived in Alaska since 1997 and the “Great Land” had its pull on him since his first time here in 1993. After that, he had a strong desire to make it his permanent home. Klaus is born and raised in Germany and spent his childhood intensively in the woods around his countryside villages.
He traveled and stayed in countries like Scotland, Canada and Norway to get in touch with these wild places, where he feels comfort and ease in the surrounding Nature. Doing his own river rafting adventures keeps him in touch with the wild places and in awe of Alaska’s beauty.
Back in 2003, Klaus participated in survival classes with Tom Brown Jr. Many more followed and the teachings passed on from the Apache Elder, Stalking Wolf through Tom, became his main thriving force to learn and practice the Primitive Wilderness Skills as much as possible in his daily life. Great teachings are absorbed from the special Mentor Teacher Certification and Tracker Evaluation classes in California with Rick Berry’s 4 Elements Earth Education School and the Cyber Tracker community.Klaus says, “Every day, every moment we can make loving choices and to recognize the importance of this awareness to others and nature. Freedom and being at ease with nature, the earth our home, comes with the knowledge and the practice of Primitive Wilderness Skills.”

Riley Ford- Anchorage AK,