We learn through the experience and adventure of new things. All instructors at Coyote Trails School of Nature are trained in the art of living within the wilderness. Together we will learn a grander appreciation of the natural world around us and attain higher levels of self-reliance and confidence in the outdoors.
So what are Primitive Living Skills? These are the skills needed to be able to walk out into the woods, build a shelter, find safe water, create a fire and locate good food. All the things you would need to not just survive but thrive in the woods, or for that matter, anywhere you find yourself. We still need shelter, water, fire and food but today we just turn a knob, walk in the door, flip a switch and open the fridge. However, not so long ago our ancestors had to master these skills and adapt them to whatever terrain they may have traveled across. At Coyote Trails School of Nature we find that by reintroducing these skills we open doors to new ways of learning and opportunities to reconnect with the natural world.
Nature Observation: You’ll be shown how to observe nature on a deeper level and learn the basic philosophy of holding a positive outlook in any given situation. Skills will include silent movement, understanding bird language, the means of camouflage, and the methods for becoming one with your surroundings. You will learn how to immerse yourself in the natural world.
Tracking: You will learn the basics of tracking, including track identification and analysis, track dynamics, animal markings, scrapes and chews, sign tracking, scat identification, the proper use of resource field guides and how to follow an animal’s trail through all substrates.
Wilderness Living – The following wilderness skills will be covered:
- Shelter: techniques for constructing the debris hut, wicki-up, thatching, mud hut, cave dwelling, and pit dwelling.
- Water: finding water using a solar still, sink hole, plants, and various other water gathering methods.
- Fire: making a fire using primitive methods including the bow drill, hand drill, as well as how to build a proper fire.
- Food: finding food from both plants and animals found in North America ranging from desert to mountain terrain. Collecting, preparation, and cooking will be covered, though in the interest of conservation only a sampling of such food will be prepared.
Tools: making stone tools, cordage, bow drills, spears, digging sticks, cooking utensils, bowls, and many more.
Trapping: trapping animals using primitive snares and deadfalls. No animals will be harmed or trapped during the course, but participants will understand how to build and set traps and will practice non-lethal methods for a better understanding of the techniques.
Tanning: the primitive ways of tanning a deer hide; brain tanning, and making rawhide, as well as many useful items that can be made with a hide. Due to safety concerns, no brain will be used in the tanning of hides. Students will gain the knowledge and experience through alternative methods.
Wilderness Ethics: The peace found through wilderness and the caretaker approach to living in balance is discussed as the underlying philosophy surrounding all of the skills taught and learned.