Primitive Skills Practice

svgreengoddess
By svgreengoddess on Sun, Jan 27, 2013 - 7:22pm

I participated in an intro to wilderness survival class yesterday, and would like to find folks to practice some things with.  The class covered mainly building a debris hut and making and using a bow fire drill (not sure if that's the correct name for it).  I'm really new to this kind of thing but want to learn more.  I'm also very interested in learning to work with sticks-throwing, sparring, etc. 

I'm also really wanting to go foraging if anyone here knows a good place.  I know a few plants and have a couple of books. 

Anyone here into these things and want to practice?

Thanks Susan

6 Comments

suziegruber's picture
suziegruber
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 3 2008
Posts: 215
Re: Primitive Skills Practice

Hi Susan,

How fun!  I want to let you and everyone know about a cool gathering in Forestville.  It's called the Buckeye Gathering and it's super fine.  It's a great place to learn and practice all kinds of primitive skills.  Check it out at www.buckeyegathering.net.

Cheers,

Suzie

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
Tom Brown
suziegruber wrote:

Hi Susan,

How fun!  I want to let you and everyone know about a cool gathering in Forestville.  It's called the Buckeye Gathering and it's super fine.  It's a great place to learn and practice all kinds of primitive skills.  Check it out at www.buckeyegathering.net.

Cheers,

Suzie

Suzie,

Your curriculum sounds like something out of a Tom Brown class.  I studied with him back in the 80s and learned some of the most useful information I've ever learned. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Brown_(naturalist)

http://www.trackerschool.com/

Don't mind the controversy part of the Wiki article.  I've personally observed and experienced the skills which are termed "questionable".  This type of doubting is not uncommon in those of questionable skills themselves who are often jealous of someone with skill levels and knowledge that is off the charts in comparison to them.  I saw the same thing with my professional mentor.  He did things that others said were impossible ... and made them possible ... probably the wisest person I've ever met.

suziegruber's picture
suziegruber
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 3 2008
Posts: 215
Re: Buckeye Gathering and other options

Hi ao,

First, I want to be clear that I have nothing to do with organizing the Buckeye Gathering.  I have attended it and found it really wonderful.

I am aware of Tom's school and I have read most of his books.  Tom's classes sound great for someone really determined to learn a lot of very valuable skills in a condensed time period.  I would love to have the time to really dive into his offerings. 

For someone into a more intense, very real survival experience, I strongly recommend Boulder Outdoor Survival School.  http://www.boss-inc.com/ .  I have taken 4 of their classes including the 14 day field course.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and it taught me a lot about my true physical limits which are much beyond what I thought.  I know what it means to be hiking 20 miles a day in 95F heat with no food.  It really helps you put our conversation about what we truly need in a very different perspective.  You learn a lot of primitive skills in their courses as well.

The Buckeye Gathering, like other primitive skills gatherings, e.g. Rabbitstick & Wintercount are way more laid back, unstructured and informal.  Basically, a bunch of teachers agree to show up for a week and offer their skills in a variety of areas.  Some classes are quite in depth and others are more casual.  In most cases you can decide day to day what you feel like learning and the offerings at Buckeye are quite diverse.  Both times I went I focused on learning Mayan backstrap weaving because I love textiles and I can now almost weave on my own.  I find it really empowering to be able to create with my hands.  It's also an amazing experience for 500 people to come together and live as a village for a week where there is lots of storytelling, music and skill building and the kids can run around free because they are safe.  Also, the Buckeye Gathering is really, really reasonably priced and the food is amazing and it's right here in Sonoma County.

Cheers,

Suzie

svgreengoddess's picture
svgreengoddess
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 23 2011
Posts: 41
Thanks Suzie, I do know about

Thanks Suzie, I do know about Buckeye and am wanting to go this year!  So much to learn!  Sometimes I really feel this time pressure that the collapse will happen and I'll be totally unprepared skill wise!

I would still like to meet up with anyone here for any primitive skills practice.  I am also hoping to go to this event:

INTRO PALEOTECHNOLOGY
Day Workshop
with Tamara Wilder  March 16, 2013 (Saturday)  Pt Reyes Nat'l Seashore (Kule Loklo), CA

http://www.marin.edu/CommunityEducation/CAIndianStudiesCertProgram.html or
www.MAPOM.org

Susan

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
Practical Survival Skills

svgreengoddess,

This is one of my favorite topics, for a few reasons:
1. You can practice the skills endlessly and always end up either learning or refining technique.
2. They'll directly relate to your ability to survive in "worst case" scenarios.
3. WIth some mastery of these basic skills comes a deeper understanding of the environment and physics.

If you decide to go foraging, remember the basics of testing palatability, and get a good guide!
I typically prefer to grow my greens, because there's just an unbelievable amount of foliage in the PNW where I'm from, but there are still a lot of tasks you can learn and improve on with the skillset you've got.

One of my favorites is improvising everything on a camp. 
Building fire, purifying water and building shelters with scavenged or improvised materials; all are pretty easy to accomplish, and are skills that you'll need if you're ever stranded.

Anyway, looking forward to this conversation.
Cheers,

Aaron

svgreengoddess's picture
svgreengoddess
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 23 2011
Posts: 41
Aaron, thanks for your

Aaron, thanks for your comments!  I think I need to get out of the mindset that I need a big place to practice and experienced folks to learn from (although it would be nice to have both of these), and see what I can work on at home by myself.  Just not sure where to start...

I munched on a few leaves of miner's lettuce (one of the few plants I recognize) while walking on a trail at lunch today. 

Susan

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