Russell spent his early years in the backwoods of Yosemite National Park with his father, where he learned advanced survival techniques. He later moved to Texas and helped teach basic survival to the East Texas Civil Air Patrol, an organization that dealt with search and rescue.
By the age of 17 he had found his love of primitive technology, taking weekend survival trips among the pines and oaks of East Texas, practicing primitive snares and traps. He then joined the U.S. Army, where he acquired more knowledge in basic survival. Afterwards, teaching a premier outreach program, he found his calling as a teacher.
Russell has lived throughout the U.S. and has adapted his survival techniques to learn how to survive in each climate. He moved to Connecticut six years ago for the opportunity to hone his skills as an Extreme Winter Survivalist. He has taught Wilderness Survival, Extreme Weather Survival, and Basic Hiking Survival at Northwest Park in Windsor, Connecticut for the last 3 years. He has mastered the wilderness and has moved on to greater challenges such as Urban Survival. He is also in the process of getting a children's survival book published.