An open letter to President Obama from Cody Lundin

I normally don’t share the latest social media on Master Woodsman; we are kind of like the NPR of outdoor skills… generally boring and no commercialism. However, I simply can’t resist this open letter to President Obama from Cody Lundin; a message that I have repeatedly been promoting here as it relates to the importance of context in survival. Therefore, I hope you go to Lundin’s FACEBOOK POST HERE and “Like It.”

For the non-social media folks, here is the post below…



An open letter to President Obama from Cody Lundin:

Dear President Obama,

My heart sank when I learned that you will appear with Bear Grylls on a hyper-scripted television show. Your decision to “learn” survival skills from an actor who plays a survival instructor on TV has further muddied the water for people wanting to learn factual skills to keep themselves and loved ones alive during emergencies. Outdoor survival instruction is a real profession, a profession in which people’s lives depend upon the training given. It is not a joke or a cheap PR stunt.

You have worldwide influence. An opportunity was wasted to educate millions of people to be safer and more prepared in the back country. This same self-reliant mindset and preparedness learned in the outdoors translates directly into our towns and cities. A better prepared, more resilient and stronger citizen is an advantage to us all. This is the intention of authentic survival training.

You had an opportunity to train with a genuine outdoor survival instructor in Alaska; there are several of us nationwide. You chose instead to further perpetuate the dangerous misinformation that networks continue to spew out regarding the outdoor survival skills profession. This misinformation can and has killed people. Your appearance on this show further justifies this misinformation, and makes it that much more difficult for professional survival instructors to do their job and save lives. Tragic and unnecessary.

In closing, when Edward tries to convince you to drink your own piss, instead of the sparkling bottled water in the production cooler off-set… don’t.


About Christian Noble

Chris Noble is the founder of and Woodsmoke Camping Company. A Master Naturalist, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and has worked as a Registered Forester and Certified Burn Manager in several states. Chris is also a Wilderness First Responder and since the late 90’s has been “practicing primitive” skills and taking lessons from numerous Master Woodsmen throughout North America. An advocate for Conservation, teacher of Wilderness Living Skills, and happily married, he enjoys passing what he has learned thus far to others, especially his 2 children, Emerson and Duncan.

8 Responses to An open letter to President Obama from Cody Lundin

    Devin September 6, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

    i would like to start by thanking you mr Lundin it’s inspiring that I for once saw someone who is a primitive skills instructor who actually uses primitive skills instead of things that are written in a military survival book. It takes years to be a master and while I am no master I am a lot closer then the average person. I was “homeless” for almost a decade and some of that was couch surfing but the majority of it I was catching craw dads and squirts the ovation all rabbit or raccoon but you gave me inspiration to take things beyond just surviving and actually hightened it to thriving in. The Pacific Northwest, I traveled to expand my skill set and comfort zone and wound up in the high desert of Oregon and Washington learning to dry fish and salmon from the native people who carried the traditions on today. I went throughout the bitterroot valley and learned some about roots and the four corners area and became a lot more sound with my hand drill technique. I moved into learning flint knapping and some primitive pottery and I feel highly disrespected when I watch shows that are actors who obviously aren’t comfortable enough with the basics of fire making that they have to rely on military issued ferro rods and ridiculously over priced commercialized knives. I was an instructor for a primitive skills school but moved back to the four corners area and am in the process of starting classes myself. I know this may seem to stray a lil from Obama trying to use primitive skills as a pr stunt but I wanted to relate to you and express my thanks for standing up for the things we love that are becoming a overly comercialized and almost made to look like this way of life is easy.

    Mike January 3, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

    Okay, like Grylls or not, the point of the show was to highlight the damage to the environment brought on by climate change. Most of these survival experts have something to sell. I ‘m sorry that Cody felt that he needed to disparage Grylls. Afterall, barefoot and shorts in the wilderness, come on dude.

    George Hedgepeth March 10, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    Well Mike, Mr. Grylls might have obscured his point with silly noise.

    sean November 23, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

    i feel that while bear grylls does do some dangerous stuff, if you can sort out the advice from the crap then you should be ok with following his advice, after all it is only a matter of common sense to not jump off a waterfall when there is a way around, however if there is not a way around then you may find his advice on how to jump down a waterfall useful.

    sean November 24, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    This article has helped me see the issue from a different perspective.
    For that I thank you.

    Joe Mezick February 17, 2017 at 10:58 am #

    I absolutely AGREE with Cody – well written!

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