Books (a few of the must read books in our library)

  • Bowyers Bible- 1-IV
  • Ishmael/My Ishmael-Daniel Quinn
  • Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America-Francois Couplan
  • Flintknapping-John Whittaker
  • Wigwam-Jess Gottlieb
  • Buckskin-The Ancient Art of Braintanning-Edholm/Wilder
  • Native Harvest-Barry Kavasch
  • Wildfire: Firemaking Art- Russell Cutts
  • Feasting Free on Wild Edibles- Bradford Angier
  • Foragers Harvest-Samuel Thayer
  • Edible Wild Plants-Elias/Dykeman
  • Botany in a Day-Tom Elpel
  • Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants-Peterson
  • Medicinal Plants and Herbs-Peterson
  • Newcombs Wildflower Guide-Lawrence Newcomb
  • The Trackers Field Guide-James Lowery
  • Primitive Technology 1 and 2-David Westcott
  • The Party’s Over-Richard Heinberg
  • The Encyclopedia of Country Living-Carla Emory
  • The Forest People-Colin Turnbull
  • **Bulletin of Primitive Technology-Magazine put out by Society of Primitive Technology
  • Deerskins into Buckskins-Matt Richards
  • Mammal Tracks and Sign-Mark Elbroch
  • Fisherman’s Knots And Nets-Taoul Graumant
  • Earthknack-Stone Age Tools for the 21st Century-Blankenship
  • Primitive Living and Survival Skills-John and Geri Mepherson
  • Wilderness Skills-Applied and Advanced-John and Geri McPherson
  • Outdoor Survival Skills-Larry Dean Olsen
  • Wild Harvest-Alysen Knap
  • Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants-Christopher Nyerges
  • It Will Live Forever-Beverly Ortiz
  • **Native American Ethnobotany-Daniel Moerman
  • **Edible Forest Gardening 1 and 2-David Jacke
  • Survival Skills of Native California-Paul Campbell
  • Indian Fishing-Hilary Stewart
  • Survival Skills of the North American Indians-Peter Goodchild
  • ***1491-Charles C. Mann


Our programs focus on re-kindling and applying the practical skills based on ancient knowledge, experiencing the inter-dependency necessary in community living, and nurturing an appreciation for the Earth as a living organism. We do this through intensive hands-on wilderness living skills training, teaching people how to harvest and transform the gifts of nature for everyday needs such as tools, fire, shelter, food…. in a conscientious and sustainable manner, as the ancients did.

The skills:

  • Stone flakes and fire kits
  • wild edible and medicinal plants
  • large animal processing
  • bow and arrow making
  • hunting and trapping methods
  • fishing techniques
  • rawhide
  • hide tanning
  • clothing and moccasin making
  • stone and bone tools
  • horse riding, packing and driving
  • basketry
  • pottery
  • shelters

What we offer:

Four Seasons Prehistoric Project is a small school located in North Central Washington. Our goal is to offer high quality instruction in Stone Age living skills to give people the confidence to live in the wilderness simply yet comfortably.

We are experienced and passionate about not just teaching the skills but making them a part of our daily life. This school is not our job; it’s our way of life. We live simply, wear buckskin clothing, and eat wild foods, happy to live in a sustainable, respectful manner.

We offer small classes limited to 10-15 participants so that people can get the individual attention necessary to learn the skills effectively.

We’ve spent a long time thinking about the sequences of skills taught in our classes so that you can experience how the tools you make are used in their appropriate context. For instance, we will teach you how to make stone tools, then let you use them in a variety of tasks throughout the rest of classes so that you can test their effectiveness when used properly.

We strongly believe that learning primitive living skills is best done by being immersed in a primitive living setting. Therefore, participants stay at a primitive camp where meals are cooked on an open fire, water is carried from the nearby creek, and people tell stories or play music around the campfire as entertainment.

Moreover, we give you time to get acquainted to new tools and materials, letting you gain experience and comfort with things that maybe unfamiliar.


The Living Wild School has operated largely on a donation basis and has been hosted by many appreciated land-owners, trading work on the property or sometimes paying rent.

Most of my students go on to teach these valuable and disappearing skills themselves, many of them coming back to experience the “Projects” year after year.

We have a permanent base in the Twisp River drainage on the beautiful eastern slopes of the North Cascades in Okanogan county, Washington

So come Live Wild and help make the world a better place.

BOSS, the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, is the oldest and largest traditional living skills / survival school in the world. Since 1968, we have offered adventurous souls the chance to learn indigenous skills in an active, hands-on environment. Courses range from 3-28 days in length and take place in the spectacular landscape of Southern Utah.

There was a time just a few generations ago when things were simpler. Food was grown locally. Resources were managed. People understood the cycle of things.

Today, our hyper-technological societies have produced a world in which respect for the earth and resource management are often afterthoughts. We may have gained a sense of power and control but in the process we’ve lost a sacred connection with the natural world. We’ve forgotten that everything is interconnected and living without this awareness is, we believe, both unhealthy and unsustainable.

At BOSS, we believe there is value in the “Old Ways” of walking lightly through the wilderness and we believe that it is accessible to everyone. Our courses hope to reconnect you with it.

The skills we teach at BOSS come from native cultures around the world, cultures that sought harmony with their environment to preserve a sacred wisdom. As a result, BOSS students experience a closeness with the land, its resources and its inhabitants that teaches sustainability and respect. There is power, beauty and balance in the ancient paths we preserve, and we sincerely invite you to join us on the trail. We hope you’ll come to reconnect –– both with nature and with yourself.

I am a one man operation, using almost no electricity, Oscar Wildeworking from my home on the Flathead reservation in Western Montana, this is what I do.The only thing I don’t do is kill every deer who’s skin I use but short of that I am intimately involved with each and every skin. Every skin you receive from me will have been worked from start to finish by me with hand tools, year round, generally outside in, I’ve even gathered all the punky wood for smoking and make a real fire to smoke the skins. I do use nylon to sew holes but I will use sinew stripped and processed by myself if you want it.

My customers include many First Nations Peoples across the United States including whole individual Sovereign First Nations Tribes. My work is sought by those who don’t want farmed out, factory processed or otherwise soulless work, but instead understand the value of buckskin and its important links with the past and the future.

Customer uses for buckskin skins: Ceremonial Garments (Marriage, Burial, Births, Special Occasions), Pipe and Ceremonial Bags, Drum Heads for Native American Church Drums, Meditation Mats, Bead workers Delight!, Cradle Boards, Silent Hunting Clothing, Museum Pieces, and Re-Enactment Participants (Mountain Man).

If you don’t care about what goes into the creation of the buckskin you plan to use then don’t order from me. If you do care, I can’t wait to talk to you.

Primitive and Modern Life Skills Training. Don’t just survive…Thrive!

Earth Knack has been offering primitive skills courses, wilderness treks, and sustainable modern life skills teaching since 1990. The Earth Knack school site is near Crestone, Colorado and the Great National Sand Dunes. Robin Blankenship owns and operates Earth Knack and has been working in the outdoor field since 1978.

The purpose of the Society of Primitive Technology is:

  1. to promote the practice and teaching of aboriginal skills;
  2. to foster communication between teachers and practitioners;
  3. to set standards for authenticity, ethics and quality.

The Bulletin is to serve as a means of accomplishing these goals.

Our programs are based in the Connecticut River Valley bioregion of southern Vermont and western Massachusetts. Through our annual Art of Mentoring workshop and other regional programs, we also help to grow nature-based education and community development throughout the Northeast. Our work has touched the lives of thousands of children and adults since 2000.

We envision a future of vibrant communities inhabiting their bioregions sustainably for the long term. Our mentoring approach builds deep relationships with the natural world, preparing our students to be passionate caretakers of the planet. Our work is rooted in a deep topsoil of teachings and practices, initially gathered by Jon Young and Wilderness Awareness School and further refined by hundreds of organizations around the world. This bundle is based in traditional mentoring practices used by indigenous cultures from around the world. The wisdom of these practices is affirmed by current research in brain development, inquiry-based learning and human development – as well as by the experiences of our global network over the past 30 years.

Our mentoring approach is student-centric, curiosity-driven, and relationship-based. We emphasize:

  1. Deep sensory engagement with the natural world,
  2. Personal curiosity and passion,
  3. Embodied practice of handcrafts and traditional skills,
  4. Healthy and appropriate edge experiences tailored to the unique learning journey of each student.

As instructors, we work to embody these principles and create a culture of continual learning and growth for everyone

Please join us!

Our mission at the Teaching Drum is to facilitate the connection to self, and to the Earth. Learning bush crafts and hunting-foraging skills is an important part of the process, and yet it is not enough. Along with skills, we help you peel back layers of habit and convention so you can reawaken your innate sensory and intuitive abilities. To the extent that you shed the layers that disrupt your communion with the natural world, you will be a fully functioning human, able to speak from the heart and revel in your personal power. We call this Walking in Balance.

Come and find Balance. We would be honored to walk with you.

There are many resources available on this site for free download or purchase, as well as information about the many classes we offer in California. We train novices, experienced outdoorspeople, professional field biologists, rangers, teachers and school groups. We also facilitate vision quests and provide nature-based leadership and personal development training.

Pottery Rabbitstick is the largest and oldest of the contemporary primitive skills gatherings. Winter Count is the only event held during this season of the year. Both are perfect excuses for you to get away and sample a community based on the lessons of the old ways.

Backtracks brings you these innovative gatherings, with dozens of workshops that will be familiar and we also introduce you to many new and varied formats, skills and personalities. Each night is filled with music dance and entertainment. Mid-week features our annual dress up night with masks and buckskin finery.

Rabbitstick and Winter Count are not “period events.” There is no dress code or requirement. Although buckskins are present, they are not daily dress for most of the attendees. But, to get into the swing of things, we encourage you to try out some traditional or home-made dress. Many of the workshops will help you get started.

Backtracks primitive skills conferences have no prerequisite, but will best serve those who know the basics and need additional instruction from those who can teach. However, if you have the desire and interest Rabbitstick and Winter Count will provide you with an unparalleled chance to learn from both journeyman and master teachers.

We uphold an environment that is family oriented and respectful to all. The gathering emphasizes traditional living skills from many different perspectives. It does this without subscribing to any one belief system, way of living, or ideology. You may join in many different social activities: music and dancing, story telling and trading, or, a variety of discussions. Feel free to spend time alone on the beach too! Come with an open mind, share your ways, and be respectful of others. This is a unique and powerful time when we can come together to acknowledge and admire both our similarities and differences.

MAPOM Programs

MAPOM undertakes a diverse array of programs that promote awareness and understanding of the cultural, political and social issues facing the Coast Miwok today, as well as to preserve traditional habitat and skills. Many projects are undertaken in collaboration with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (Coast Miwok) and the National Park Service.

MAPOM programs include:

  • Dissemination of accurate information about Coast Miwok culture past and present.
  • Offer adult classes in traditional California Indian Skills.
  • Publish a newsletter The Acorn with articles of interest.
  • Encourage preservation of old village, manufacturing and gathering sites. If destruction is unavoidable, we promote careful scientific excavation, with ongoing consultation with descendants of local Indians.
  • Oppose “pot hunting” or indiscriminate collecting of archeological artifacts, as well as their private sale or display.
  • Support the Coast Miwok in their tribal restoration, such as geneology research.
  • Build and maintain Kule Loklo, an interpretive Coast Miwok Village at Bear Valley Visitor Center in Point Reyes National Seashore. Co-sponsored by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (Coast Miwok) and the National Park Service.
  • Maintain a garden of native plants at Kule Loklo, plants which were traditionally used by the Coast Miwok.

Workshops range from the impromptu, “Show me how to do that”, to involved week-long projects. Classes include displays, lectures & discussions, demonstrations, and lots of hands-on learning. There is no charge for classes but instructors may charge a fee for materials.

What classes are offered at Echoes depends on which instructors are present and what they want to teach. The schedule with classes and signups is listed on a bulletin board in the main camp. In addition, instructors list the classes they are teaching that day during morning announcements.

In the midst of this, we do have opportunities to come back to our senses and co-create a culture that is grounded in place and that feeds the life within and around us. This is what we hope Firefly will lend itself to.

Let’s slow down and go to the root. Let’s grow, gather, and hunt our food, feed each other, give gifts to trees, neighbors, deer, and groundhogs, and create connection and beauty wherever we find ourselves. Let’s forge scrap steel into knives and use them to carve our spoons and bowls. Let’s learn how to use our sweat, tears and blood to feed and heal the world that feeds and heals us…

We hope that you drink deeply of the skills offered here. We hope that you may look into the forest, and see the gifts that the plants are always offering you, that you might learn to communicate with your fellow humans in a way that brings you together, that you might see the world as a lover, not as a commodity and sewer. We hope too that these skills might awaken within you an ancient way of living that beats deeply within every human heart, a way of giving and receiving gifts that is joyful and symbiotic, that is as natural and as real as the breath circulating between us.

A Firefly at the end of the tunnel: We all have fantastic gifts. May we follow Fredrick Buechner’s words, “Our calling is where the world’s hunger and our deepest gladness meet.”

Eco-Homesteading • Self Sufficiency • Organic Gardening • Wild Food and Medicine • Natural Building Permaculture • Living Off-Grid • Survival Adventures • Primitive Skills • and much more..

We believe that it is possible for humans to live in balance with the web of life. Our goal is to provide people with the education, inspiration, and information necessary to do so. The breadth of skill that our instructors and consultants bring forth is vast; we exist both in the wild and domesticated worlds, marrying innovations from the present day, historical times, and humanity’s deep past in order to present a toolkit for living now as functional human beings. We enhance peoples’ everyday lives by teaching and consulting on skills that we see as intensly relevent as well as deeply fullfilling and enjoyable.

Home is a sense of belonging. When you are home, you are where you belong. You are exactly where you need to be. You can relax because you feel comfortable and safe.

Imagine not feeling safe in your own home. Imagine it crawling with poisonous insects or someone “out to get you.” Is life really like that? Is it a dog-eat-dog world?

Most of us today, deep down, don’t feel safe. We think most mushrooms are deadly, most plants are poisonous, most germs are dangerous, and most people can’t be trusted. Is that true?

Imagine a world full not of enemies but of family and friends. A home like that is not just safe; it’s beloved. It’s “where the heart is,” the place with the people and things you care about. When you care for others, you take care of them – not because you should, but because you want to. You do it because these people and things matter to you.

The word “matter” comes from the Latin word for mother. When you are home, you are among those who care for you. You matter to them as much as they matter to you. When you are supported by friends and family in this way, you have the will and the strength to protect them because you have the courage to do so.

The word “courage” comes from the Latin word for heart. When you feel at home in this world, you can open your heart. Until that happens, you operate not from love but fear. You feel alone in an uncaring world.

When you open your heart, empathy starts. Compassion flows naturally. You are a child of God and you grow up strong, loving, and unafraid. The world is blessed with your presence, and you with it, once again.

For more about coming home to this life, see here.

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

Rachel Carson

I live in a treehouse in the woods in the beautiful mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina with my girlfriend, Kristen. I take great pleasure in household building projects, chopping firewood, wood carving, gardening and learning from nature every day. Spending time in the outdoors has been a huge part of my life and upbringing and continues to be the main inspiration for my life and work.

Living in a smaller market has meant wearing a lot of hats over the years, I’ve had some experience in almost every facet of photography, but have placed a specific emphasis on documentary/journalistic and portrait photography. I have a studio in Asheville, NC and am available for assignments both local and abroad. Clients include New York Times Magazine, Fortune, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, CNN, MSNBC,, Associated Press, Bust Magazine, Huck Magazine (UK), Intro Magazine (Germany), and have exhibited work in multiple galleries in the Asheville area and the Asheville Art Museum.

We are sowing the seeds of a thriving and peaceful culture through responsible stewardship of ourselves and mother earth.

These are some of the ways we live out our Vision for healing and creating a thriving and peaceful culture:

  • by creating a bio-diverse Food Forest
  • by restoring Elders and Women into their integral place in a healthy community
  • by mentoring and teaching the next seven generations and beyond
  • by supporting land-based income opportunities through our cottage industries
  • by tending our personal relationships – with ourselves, others, and the land – on a daily basis
  • by providing a place for our extended community to deepen their connection to land and the
  • by cocreating a strong regional economy

We are guided by the principles of Peace as understood in the story of the Haudenosaunee Peacemaker:

  • The Principle of Peace
  • The Principle of Unity
  • The Principle of the Good Message

We are guided by the ethics of Permaculture:

  • Care for the Earth
  • Care for the People
  • Fair Share/ Redistribution of Wealth

We have chosen to adopt and share a more sustainable lifestyle. We have smartphones and like refrigeration, but also feel strongly that technologies of the past have a great deal to teach us about connection, and about meaningful, purposeful ways of life.

The North American Bushcraft School is a non-profit because we don’t want to make a ton of money, we want to make a difference. We hope that this status makes it easier for you to both afford to spend some time with us, and to feel good about it. If there is one idea we can get across here, we would want it to be that bushcraft is not solely for the macho military crowd. We welcome and encourage everyone to give it a try. Your brain, after all, is your sharpest bushcraft tool. We can’t wait to see you here on the farm in Hedgesville, WV.