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Course Series Overview

Survival, to Grandfather and to me, is a philosophy unto itself. With years of living close to the earth, without the umbilical cord of society, I understand a certain "oneness" that only knowledge of suvival can bring. When I think of modern man entering the wilderness, I see a scenario much like an astronaut landing on the moon. So also when man enters the woods. He carries with him his backpack full of provisions, a sort of lifeline back to society. Both the man on the moon and the man in the woods are severely dependent on that lifeline; life without it would mean certain death. There is also a further insulation from the earth by heavy clothing and shoes, outer garments and tents; all to "protect" man from the spleindid forces of nature. And their fears of being separated from the lifeline, whether conscious or not, keeps them close to the burdens of life. Survival is more than just and insurance policy. With the practice of survival one begins to relax into the earth, to learn its rhythms, to blend in balance and harmony with all things.

-- The Vision

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Advanced Skills

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Course Prerequisites

Advanced Standard

Course Description

The Advanced Skills Class is a class that is not very easy to describe and the title of the class in no way comes close to adequately defining its scope, depth, or magnitude of skills, teachings, or techniques that are found in the class.  To say that this is an in depth study in the making of primitive tools would also be a gross understatement.  The Vision of this class is similar to the approach of the Advanced Standard class in that I want to get your hands and minds into as many skills as humanly possible so that in fact you can walk into any museum in the world, glance at a primitive artifact, and know without a doubt that you could easily make it.  Yet the class is much more than that for I want to also weave into this grand tapestry of understanding the history, mythology, songs, chants, and often times the ceremony that is the common thread that binds them all together in a deep and spiritual way.  Even more important is the consciousness, the spiritual driving force, which guides and drives the hands of the skill maker, bring them to a higher level of mastery. 


The list of skills learned at the Advanced Skills workshop is extensive including but not limited to; plant dies, advanced bows & arrows, advanced stone tools, atl atl, hunting slings, crucala, advanced fish nets, weaving, advanced basketry, advanced pottery, advanced tanning, primitive clothing & footwear, birch bark canoe, hide kayak, drums, rattles, flutes, jewelry, bead work, quill work, advanced bone working, and extensive assortment of traps (which brings the total to 106 primitive traps learned at the Tracker School), advanced fishing and hunting techniques, advanced fish bows & arrows, advanced fish spears, advanced throwing sticks, food drying and preserving, advanced shelter building, and countless other skills that support and refine the primitive arts. 


As for me, I truly love this class.  Not only do I get to bring in some of the finest Visiting Instructors that are both close friends and masters of the primitive arts but I also get to sit and work skills along with all of you.  The atmosphere of the class is very similar to that of an ancient gathering of long ago, where as we works skills together we get to socialize, tell stories, and just generally have a blast.  Even though the teaching and workshops are intense and expansive there is that laid back quality about the learning process that defines the sense of brother and sisterhood that is common to the Tracker School family of students. In the end you will be preserving the skills that would soon be lost in our modern world, yet not just the physical skill, but the spirit that defines those skills, the spirit that comes from the heart.