EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Imagine living thousands of years ago, when you had to make everything you needed to survive. Clothes, tools, knives, cooking items. Everything.
Outdoor survival expert Donny Dust doesn’t have to imagine that — he lives that lifestyle as often as he can.
Spend a little time with Dust in the outdoors and you are going to learn a thing or two.
During his time serving honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps, Dust learned to live and thrive while embedded with Indigenous peoples throughout the world. Dust said he has spent enough time in harm’s way that he now wants to live in nature’s way.
A modern-day Jeremiah Johnson, Dust is self-taught and happiest when he is living off the land.
“I think the number one reason why I am happiest is the natural environment is just the ultimate truth,” said Dust. “It’s very peaceful. It’s very calming in a lot of ways and also very demanding.“
Dust is a teacher, too. He owns and operates the Paleo Tracks Survival School for those who wish to listen and learn.
Dust showed FOX31 a very special land and a very special place: his own personal cave in Pike National Forest. All of Dust’s tools are made by him, by hand. Just like they were made 10,000 years ago.
“Making fire sets out of willow. Craft arrows, craft bows — it’s kind of my home away from home. More like this is my home,” said Dust.
He doesn’t own the cave: It’s on public property. As a matter of fact, anybody can go into that cave and spend the night. Dust doesn’t live there, but he would if he could.