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Year Course

Our year – course contains plenty days of inspiration, knowledge and practical experiences.
We offer 11 weekends or midweek courses of 3 days, Monday until Wednesday or Friday until Sunday. Plus two full weeks in which we develop all sorts of crafts. And finally we will go on a two week expedition to live in a Neolithic setting.

You will see and observe nature all year round and learn to work with different kind of tools both modern and ancient. Our instructors have a lot of experience and are skilled to share their knowledge.

We use our own Living by Nature philosophy. We teach you how to be in Nature for longer periods. Our goal is to be confident, self-secure and aware when in Nature. The difference of a survival perspective is that survival has a focus on getting out of nature, as soon as possible, also using modern equipment.

The ultimate goal for every student is to make your own Neolithic equipment including clothing, a travel basket, a blanket and other things you will use in the final expedition.

Locations: To achieve an optimal diversity in environment and climates, the weekends of this course will be situated at different locations throughout Scotland and England. Exact locations for each weekend will be announced at a later stage.

Kick – off day; We start with one day for all the students to get to know each other. For one year you will be a small clan learning together. In this day we will check your equipment and we will tell you how we will arrange the weekends all year round. Things like routine, baking bread every day, responsibility of fire etc.

Living by Nature basics weekend 1 & 2
the first two weekends we will discuss all basic elements of being in Nature.
This includes:

  • knife safety instructions
  • making fire using different techniques
  • 7 stages of fire
  • tinder and where to find it.
  • different kinds of wood.
  • a lot of hikes to learn and recognise different trees and plants.
  • building a shelter
  • skin a deer or a pig and dry the meat.
  • how to purify water
  • different kind of knots
  • natural first aid

 

 

Advanced skills, 3 & 4

With the basic skills now taught we will make a next step into living a natural way. The next 6 days, weekend 3 & 4 we will discuss more advanced subjects:

  • making tar of fatwood and birch
  • natural rope made of different plants,
  • transporting fire
  • working with bone and antler
  • making a leister spear
  • making natural glue
  • working with sinew
  • making a fish basket trap of willow
  • digging up spruce roots
  • making bark containers
  • how to make traps and where to place them
  • working with an axe
  • observing animals

Edible nature and more, 5

This weekend is full of food preserving skills, finding food and how to cook it in a primitive way. Making cans and pots of clay and baking them in a fire.

  • edible plants
  • making a meal of wild plants
  • drying herbs
  • rendered fat
  • making a lamp of fat
  • making soap of ash, wax and fat
  • smoking fish
  • cooking in an earth oven

Preserving, storage and carrying,  6

When going on a hike, you probably want to take stuff along. What if you don’t have a fancy backpack? You will make a travel basket of bended wood and rawhide. A can or pot of clay and felted shoes.

  • Bending branches
  • Working with raw hide
  • making a travel basket
  • working with clay
  • pottery and baking it in fire
  • working with wool
  • felting your own pair of boots
  • how to felt a blanket

Flint napping, 7

Flint napping is an expertise that requires a lot of exercise. We spend a whole weekend in different techniques.

  • Flint structures, where to find it
  • Pressure flake
  • Percussion flake
  • Different tools of flint
  • Making scrapers, arrow heads and knives
  • Other materials such as obsidian, basalt and glass
  • Antler tools, stones and copper

Animal behaviour and tracking, 8

This course we focus on animals and their natural behaviour. We will hike, looking for tracks and signs and learning how to ‘read’ them.

  • Animal behaviour
  • The deer in mating season
  • Practical use of the deer, antler, skin, meat etc.
  • Animal tracks and trails
  • Reading a track
  • Observing nature
  • Getting aware of nature around
  • Sit spot

Buckskin tanning & fish tanning, 9

You will learn to make your own garment out of buckskin. Making buckskin is a wonderful and time consuming process that no modern technology can reproduce. You constantly work with a skin that in every step changes colour and structure. In the end when every step is done with attention you will have a soft piece of buckskin that is ideal for clothing and will feel as your natural 2nd skin.

  • What is buckskin
  • The process from deerskin into buckskin
  • Scraping a skin
  • Oil tanning
  • Rinsing
  • Wringing
  • Stretching
  • Softening
  • Smoke tanning

 

 

Bow and arrow, 10

Living Neolithic style, hunting is a necessity. You simply don’t survive on a vegetarian diet. At least not in western or northern Europe. And although hunting with primitive techniques is forbidden in almost all countries it is the way people used to get their meat and skins. So therefore we spend a weekend in making a bow and arrows.

  • Different kind of bows
  • What wood to use
  • Types of arrows
  • Making arrows
  • How to shoot with a bow

Fishing, 11

Fish was a major part of the human diet. Most cities and civilization have been developed along rivers, lakes and at sea sides.  You will learn all sort of fishing techniques.

  • Fishing line
  • Night fishing
  • Making a hook, bone or antler
  • Making a spear point
  • Using a fish spear
  • Making a fish net
  • Fish traps
  • Cooking fish, smoking fish
  • Different fish, different techniques
  • Fish bait

Crafting weeks

We have two weeks in you can practise all sorts of crafts and finish the tools and things you will need on the final expedition. There is room for extra instruction and practise. Everyone can work on creating his own equipment. Everybody is busy. One person might finish his travel basket while someone else is making a flint knife. Of course you can try new things and do o lot of experimenting.

Expedition

The final expedition we go abroad to a place where we can camp and maybe even hunt. We take very limited amount of food with us and no modern equipment. Together all the students will choose a spot for their camp. You will build a shelter or several smaller ones and make a plan to divide several tasks such as fishing, looking for edible plants, making and preserving fire etc. For two weeks you will be a clan that will live intensely together.
As for the people who already have done so, a very special experience. Tough but magical.

 

 

FAQ

  • Kids
    • They are welcome, parents are supposed to look after their kids. The program is not focussed on kids but they are welcome to participate in their own manner
  • Dogs
    • Dogs are welcome when well their boss and we have a few rules to keep everything ok for dogs and students.
  • Homework
    • In order to make your own equipment you will have to practise skills and sometimes make tools at home. If you don’t have the space you are welcome to use our terrain if not used for other courses.
  • Payment
    • If payment is a problem, contact us for the best solution, we want to offer everyone the possibility to join.
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