The Primitive Skills Course is designed to build upon skills learned in both the Wilderness Skills and the Bushcraft Skills Courses. It shifts focus entirely to completely primitive skills. This course is considered a “knife only” course. This is a 4-day/3-night course with a heavy focus on using natural materials from the landscape and primitive skills to provide for all your needs in the wild. These skills are not limited to any specific environment; they can be adapted as needed to a number of locations worldwide.
The best way to learn these primitive skills is from a qualified instructor in a controlled setting to ensure student safety while learning and developing these skills. Upon completion of primitive skills, students will have a newfound confidence that they will be able to handle themselves and continue to hone these skills on their own.
Many take to the wilds of their choice for a number of different outdoor recreation activities. Regardless of what took you into the wilderness, your needs while in the wilderness remain the same: Maintaining your body Core Temperature with proper clothing choices, fire, and shelter; Hydration, Calorie Consumption, Rest, First Aid, Navigation, Signal, and the safe and efficient use of tools to facilitate it all. The primitive skills course takes you back to the Stone Age and teaches you how to provide for those needs with nothing but Mother Nature and the clothes on your back.
Primitive Skills Students will learn:
- Fire by Friction (Bow Drill, Hand Drill, Bamboo Fire Saw)
- Primitive Shelters
- Rock Boiling
- Primitive Basketry
- Primitive Pottery
- Additional Primitive Traps
- Primitive Cooking Techniques
- Intro to Hide Preservation
- Primitive Navigation Techniques
- Stone Tools
- Primitive Weapons
Students enrolling in this Primitive Skills Course must have taken and completed both the Wilderness Skills and the Bushcraft Skills Courses. Due to time constraints, cadre will not have time to bring students up to speed for this course if they do not arrive with the skills taught in those two courses.
The Primitive Skills Course is a “Knife Only” course. Students should bring appropriate clothing for the environment and weather (including warming layers and wet weather gear), but no other gear or food will be necessary. The knife will be provided to students for use during the course.
The course uses a “crawl, walk, run” method of instruction. Primitive Skills students will first be taught by cadre, followed by the student being required to demonstrate proficiency on their own. This culminates in being able to then perform these skills under various stressors to ensure proficiency.
This Primitive Skills course is a “field course”. Students should expect to be immersed in a wilderness setting for the duration of the course. Restrooms are primitive and on-site. There is no electricity or running water. Vehicles will be parked in a student parking lot and are not accessible while taking the course. Students will sleep in shelters that they themselves construct and cannot leave the premises to stay at a hotel, sleep in their vehicle, or go to town for food.
Students should expect the potential for cold, wet weather, and primitive field conditions. Cadre and staff will ensure safety at all times during the course. You should arrive in reasonable physical shape with the required equipment list. Expect to walk several kilometers per day (usually no more than 3-5km) carrying your equipment in addition to natural resources that you collect (usually no more than 15-35lbs) that are needed for individual classes. If you have sustained a prior hot- or cold-weather injury (heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, frosting, frostbite, etc.), please let us know as you are more susceptible to a repeat injury. If you have a previous injury or medical condition that may negatively effect your ability to keep up with the group or walk the required distances carrying your gear, please let us know so that we can discuss whether or not it is appropriate for you to attend this particular course.
For safety reasons, students must continue to train and apply themselves to remain in the course. If you do not quit on yourself, we will not quit on you. However, if a student chooses not to continue training, or doesn’t participate in any part of the training, the student will be escorted back to their vehicles immediately and must depart the training venue. There can be no refund or credit given to take the course at a later date. Students may not depart the training area and return at a later time.
Please see our course cancellation policy HERE
Do I need gear?
Yes, but not much. Please see the Packing List link above for details.
Are there prerequisites?
Yes. Students must have successfully completed both Wilderness Skills and Bushcraft Skills.
Do I need to know everything from my previous courses?
It is critical that you know the material from the prerequisite courses! Practice in the margins for the best experience here.