our team of instructors leave their ego at the door
The instructors here are some of the most caring and laidback in the industry. We are here to help you succeed at becoming confident in your journey for self reliance.
rebel with a cause
J.J. is the leader of the F.T.F. Motley Crue. The rumor goes he was raised by coyotes. We hired detectives to find out he has over a decade of experience as a SAR-1 for a government funded paramilitary SAR team and that he’s been an instructor for a multitude of agencies and organizations. When we questioned him, he simply held up his hands that read FUEL on one and FIRE on the other.
The core Team
has bang in his blood
At first glance you might think you’re about to be offered a hallucinogen and invited to a drum circle, we assure you this is not the case. Mike hates the smell of patchouli and doesn’t own one Grateful Dead album. Mike spent his youth roaming the Cherokee national forest with his father learning fly fishing, plant id, and one match fires to name a few. Later in life he become more engrossed in self reliance and trained at Campcraft Outdoors to receive his instructor certification. Mike approaches teaching from a laid back place pulling back the curtain to show anyone can achieve by putting in your dirt time.
might not be his real name
Danny has been exploring the backcountry and adventuring the world from a very early age. He originally went to college for outdoor recreation and education. Shortly before graduating he dropped out to get some real world experience. That led to a job as a white water raft guide, backpacking through Central America, and ended up working in Alaska racing sled dogs.
knows every rap song
Mike grew up heavily influenced by his depression era grandparents and the associated “Getting by without/Make it yourself” methodology. Then, joining Boy Scouts at age 11, he began to apply this same thought process to the outdoors. Now at age 50 he has several decades of applying this methodology to skillsets wide and varied.
really likes battle box
Steven has spent the majority of his life working and playing outdoors and feels right at home in the woods. He credits who he is today to his Grandmother for teaching him about the old ways and to his time in the Army. Steven likes to channel his inner MacGyver whenever given the opportunity to find solutions to whatever is thrown his way.
Stop the Bleed
also known as tac santa
Tac Santa spent his youth in the woods and on the water with his grandfather and in an automotive shop with his father. He spent 8 years in the military. Some of his areas of experience include(NBC (level 10,20),small Unit tactics) Spent the last three years teaching skills alongside JJ.Morris and others.
Philip always knew that we had what we needed around us to be healthy. He began his pursuit of health through plant medicine about 10 years ago and it has grown into his passion to help others. He is an apothecarist and mushroom forager and cultivator. He also makes some pretty awesome fermentations.
The Steak Shaman
Scott began learning the ways of the outdoors through the Boy Scouts. While the repertoire of skills he’s learned from the other FTF instructors’ mentorship is formidable, he is best known for the magic he works any time meats are being cooked. When the Steak Shaman is in his office, you don’t want to miss the dinner bell.
not your average blonde
Trent is the Tall Blonde that makes Joe Dirt look good- You might see Trent and think he’s your average Blonde, but that’s not the case. Trent is always thinking of new ideas with ten projects already in the works. When talking to him you might just start up a new idea for him. He grew up in Boy Scouts, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout and decided he needed more of a challenge, thats when he met JJ….
The Redneck with a passion for keeping everyone involved. He maybe silent most of the time taking it all in and retaining as much as possible, but when you get him talking you can tell he is going to be the old timer with the stories. Clifford is constantly evaluating every situation for the teaching and learning opportunities. The natural teacher, Clifford excels in making sure even the youngest participants – or tag alongs take something meaningful away from the experience.
Somebody’s got to keep all these men straight and “Mel of the Mountains” certainly knows how to tan some hides! A Tomboy at heart, she grew up hanging out in her Dad’s shop while keeping a boa constrictor around for company. Curiosity didn’t kill this cat- it fueled her fire… A degree in Electrical Engineering, Hillbilly Blindfolds and radio announcing couldn’t tame her, much less, 16 years of baking celeb’s wedding cakes at her bakery. She couldn’t stay out of the woods though and trapping animals led way to mastering the art of preserving her prey. Now she uses delicious treats to bait us to class and we don’t mind telling you we’re ALL hooked!
Rumor has it Bob’s been collecting radio signals since he was a kid building crystal radios in his bedroom from toilet paper rolls, copper wire, and parts he removed from his parents black and white TV. That interest in communication grew into his involvement in CB radio, emergency communications, HAM radio, and working with public safety to develop emergency communications systems. Boy Scouts got him interested in backpacking, survival, and bushcraft and a few years ago the interests merged into developing off grid communications plans for people not used to using anything other than cell phones. Practicality is his focus. Enabling people to solve communications problems is his ambition. Off grid is just a hurdle to be overcome. “Squirrel Bait” has nothing to do with radio. It just suggests he’s a little bit nuts.
Dustin grew up on a cattle farm and working chicken houses in west Georgia. He learned wood craftsmanship, electrical skills, and home and farm maintenance from his beloved grandfather, Pop. He is a OIF Army veteran where he served as a Blackhawk crew chief with a medevac unit. He also spent several years in the US Navy reserves as a construction mechanic while teaching land navigation and a multitude of other SeaBee Combat Warfare skills. He also trained as a tactical medic with a private firm and has served in both law enforcement /security and as a firefighter
Thats what she said
Tara originally hails from a south Alabama farm where she grew up chasing and being chased by cows, playing in mud puddles, building forts, chinking “cabins”, harvesting from the family garden and tending to the various wildlife she managed to convince her parents to let her take in. She landed in Georgia about 15 years ago and managed to keep her outdoor spirit while she finished graduate school and pursued a career as a mental health therapist. Often described as “adventurous” and sometimes described as “a little crazy,” Tara has continued to celebrate her love of nature through both hiking and camping and through increased focus on bushcraft skills acquisition.
forager The Forager Chick
Anne-Marie is the forager chick at Bella Vista Farm in GA. She is skilled in herbal medicine, wild weeds, mushrooms and natural products made from herbs. Anne-Marie was self-taught in her herbal studies until 2014 when she completed a 10 month hands-on intensive herbal course with Patricia Kyritsi Howell of BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies. She is certified as a Wild Mushroom Forager and Seller as well as an instructor for the Wild Mushroom Safety Course with Mushroom Mountain.
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