Join us on a wild adventure into the heart of the Utah wilderness, carrying little more than the clothes you wear. Learn how to slow down into the heartbeat of the earth, to expand your awareness of the natural world and the gifts it has to offer, to reclaim your native ways of living with the land.
The focus of this course is to let go of some of the stereotypical survival teachings and establish a relationship with the earth through the skills of the Hunter-Gatherer. By treating the earth like our home, we can become more comfortable and let go of the conquering notions that the term “survival” sometimes has associated with it.
In the Wild Walkabout course, you will acquire the tools necessary for being comfortable walking the wilderness with minimal to no gear, while learning the ancient skills we all once had for living off the land. We will be foraging, trapping and hunting our food with the tools the land offers us, and expanding our awareness of the natural world as well as the Wild Within.
We'll spend the first week harvesting materials from the land to build stone age tools and equip ourselves with knowledge of how to take care of our basic needs while living in nature.
For the second week, we'll apply our skills as hunter-gatherer people have done throughout history, walking the backcountry of the beautiful high deserts and slickrock canyons of the Grand Staircase National Monument.
This course offers a hands-on experience in skills such as: Wilderness Survival skills, Primitive living, traditional hide tanning, primitive trapping, foraging of wild edibles, cooking techniques with fire, fashioning of stone knives, friction fire methods, hunting with primitive tools, and stalking exercises for hunting of small and large game. We'll also practice utilizing all of our senses to approach the natural world, and learn how to become more responsible stewards of the earth in the process.
For week 2 of the Wild Walkabout, we will travel between camps every few days, and along the way practice trapping, hunting, foraging, food preparation and processing, selecting favorable campsites, techniques of finding and purifying water, and using natural materials to regulate our core body temperature. The journey will also include a 1 night solo as well as a traditional sweat lodge at the conclusion of our time together.
If you seek a hands-on, real application of stone-age earth living skills and an expansion of your awareness of the natural world and the gifts it has to offer, this wild walkabout is the course for you. Wild Walkabout Course Topics:
☼ Traveling Light: By connecting with our natural surroundings and using the materials around us, we are able to travel unencumbered.
☼ 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; Primitive survival shelters; debris beds, material and location choosing, safe construction principles.
Wild Walkabout 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 Dates: May 6-19, 2012
Requirements: 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, are able to hike 5-10 miles in a day, and are aiming to increase their knowledge of traditional earth living skills and wilderness survival.