Occupation: Rock Climbing Guide
Current Residence: Ellensburg, Washington
Relationship Status: In A Relationship (for 5 Years)
Survival Skills: Ethnology of Hunter/Gatherer Cultures, Zoology, Tropical Ecology, Botany
Don is a first-generation American and was born in Oklahoma City's Little Saigon. His parents were refugees of the Vietnam War. The earliest stories he heard were the years of imprisonment his father suffered in a POW camp deep in the jungle and of his family's harrowing escape from Vietnam by boat. These stories of life, death, and overcoming the odds made a deep impression upon a young Don.
In grade school, Don's older brothers introduced him to rock climbing and camping. These activities would provide a constant source of adventure, challenge, and peace that persist to this day. While attending university, he studied ecology and field biology - courses that took him into the great outdoors across both the United States and Central America. During his adventures, he learned firsthand about natural history, botany, and a myriad of natural sciences. The experience taught him how to be observant and open minded despite harsh conditions. After graduation, he hiked the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail. His travels further took him into Vietnam, where he reconnected with his cultural heritage. For weeks, he lived with Vietnam's hill tribes to learn their way of life, learning the importance of teamwork and community. Upon returning to the U.S., he made rock climbing (then just a hobby) a career goal.
Don then moved to the Western mountains to learn mountaineering and how to guide on rock and ice. He currently resides in Washington with his lover, Emily. He also loves video games, pipe tobacco, archery and hunting, and collecting vintage clothing.
Don's interest in primitive skills stems from the realization that knowledge and stories from the world's indigenous peoples are rapidly vanishing, and hopes to preserve and share this knowledge. He has never been to Africa let alone Namibia. He expects it to be extremely difficult to survive.