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Earth Living Skills - a gathering of Primitive & Traditional Wilderness Skills  RSS feed

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Location: Boulder, Utah
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Earth Living Skills
7-Day Course (May 6-12, 2012)


We invite you to join us at True Nature Wilderness School for a week of primitive living skills, natural crafts and nature awareness.

This 7-day course offers participants a hands-on experience in wilderness living skills such as:
Traditional hide tanning, primitive trapping, foraging of wild edibles, natural cooking techniques, fashioning of stone knives, friction fire methods, hunting with primitive tools, and stalking exercises for hunting of small and large game.
There is no requirement of previous experience with primitive skills in order to apply for this course. We welcome all participants who seek a wilderness excursion, aiming to increase their knowledge of traditional earth living skills.

Earth Skills Course Topics:

☼ Natural Tool-making: Make friction fires by methods of fire plow and hand-drill using wood from bee plant, yucca, sagebrush, cottonwood root, clematis, or sagebrush; use stones to make knives; sew pouches from hides that you tan in the traditional method; use nettle or dogbane fiber to make ropes and cordage; scrape gourd bowls and carve out wooden spoons for dishware

☼ Edible & Medicinal Plants: Ethical gathering and preparation of wild edibles and medicinal plants (infusions, teas, poultices).

☼ Trapping and Hunting: Atlatl demonstration, construction and discussion; small game with primitive traps, deadfalls and snares; setting and placement of traps; stalking exercises; how to flourish in a survival situation.

☼ Nature Awareness: Moving, stalking, sense meditation; learn how to use your senses to notice more, how to have more wildlife encounters, how to move silently through the forest, how to smell flowers, and how to slow down to find a real connection with the natural environment; responsible plant and animal harvesting and care-taking ethics.

☼ Variety of Cooking Skills: Primitive cooking, rock boiling steam pit, cooking directly over coals, clay pot cooking; food processing and game processing; hide processing.

Shelters: Creating warm sleep without a tent and sleeping bag using local materials; Debris beds; Primitive survival shelters; material and location choosing, safe construction principles.

Earth Living Skills - Guides:

Matt Graham
Survival & Traditional Living Skills Instructor

Matt was a climber and began studying primitive skills at age 17 in Yosemite Valley. At 20 he was doing search and rescue as a tracker in Sequoia while running and learning to travel the backcountry with no food or gear. Not owning a car, he travelled all over California and parts of Arizona on foot. At 23, he ran the length of California on the Pacific Crest Trail (1750 miles) in 58 days, a record at the time.

Matt moved to Boulder at age 24 and started guiding and teaching at Boulder Outdoor Survival School, teaching all the hunter/gatherer courses. Primitive hunting and living off the land became his passion. Three years ago, he walked off into the wilderness on the Winter Solstice and returned on the Summer Solstice. Living with the land for 6 months, Matt has been on many primitive walks and led about 50 hunter/gatherer courses ranging 4 to 33 days.

He has been a consultant for “Survivor Man” and many other TV productions, was featured in "Wilderness Way" Magazine, "Trail Runner" Magazine, and is a leader in his field.

Kirsten Rechnitz
Survival & Traditional Living Skills Instructor

Kirsten's passion for earth skills began at age 19 when she was a guide for the outdoor recreation program at Vanderbilt University, where she led climbing, boating and walking trips through the Smoky Mountains. 

At age 22, she began to extensively travel the world, visiting over 25 countries, and observing beauty in the people who use natural materials to sustain their lives.  Upon her return, she continued instructing wilderness trips in North Carolina and Costa Rica, loving the connection that was growing within her to the natural world. 

This led her to Boulder Outdoor Survival School, where she was able to be with people and students who were also wanting to explore the land and make the same connections. 

Working hard to learn primitive skills so that she could become a better teacher, she took a personal journey and walked out into the desert alone for 25 days, honing the skills of friction fire, spear fishing, duff beds, shelter, and working with plant fibers.  Coming to the realization that primitive living is to become her life-long journey, she is now an important part of the team at True Nature Farm.

Course Information:
Course Dates: May 6-12, 2012

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