Callie Russell

Season 7

Age: 31

Hometown: Flathead Valley, MT

Profession: Ancestral Living Skills Instructor

Callie is a scavenger-gatherer who lives nomadically following the seasons and wild food. She is always striving to understand the role humans play in the intricate web of life.

While working as a guide in wilderness therapy, Callie realized that she was the most joyous and peaceful when immersed in nature. She decided to walk away from modern comforts and commited her life to learning skills that would allow her to stay in the wilderness for longer and longer periods of time.

Since 2010, Callie has been living outside under trees, tarps, canvas and caves. Several of those years were spent living nomadically with a herd of pack goats that she raised, which allowed her to be sustained directly from the land.

Living outside has allowed her to become proficient in many ancestral skills. Callie’s focus has been in backcountry animal processing, hide tanning, felting, basket weaving and gathering plants for medicine, food and art. Her most specialized skills, however, are being able to drink copious amounts of goat milk and gaze into the fire for hours on end.

In the fall, Callie skins deer and elk at a wild game processor in order to harvest hides which she then tans and sells through her business, Montannery.

When she is not wandering in the mountains, her time is filled with her many other jobs. Callie tracks mountain lions every winter for a conservation project and works with a hunting guide packing goats in and out of the backcountry. She enjoys empowering others to develop their connection to the wild world and shares her skills with kids at several nature connection schools. She also leads backcountry trips and teaches a variety of workshops.

Callie views this epic journey as a rite of passage. She sees herself as a student and the land as her mentor.

Here are the ten items Callie selected to bring on her survival journey to the Arctic:

1. Ax

2. Saw

3. Knifes

4. Pot

5. Ferro rod

6. Sleeping bag

7. Snare wire

8. Fishing line and hooks

9. Bow and arrows

10. Paracord