Earth Connection is a school of primitive skills and wilderness survival located in Northern Virginia and North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham area) that has been in existence for over a decade. Our hands-on classes are reasonably priced because we don't believe in big price tags for primitive skills. That's just not natural!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Friction Fire Success X 16

On 24 February 2006, Earth Connection (EC) conducted a friction fire class that was one of the largest set of successful fire making we have seen. The EC friction fire class focused only on two methods: hand and bow drill friction fires. We had sixteen potential fire-makers that morning and by the day's close all had achieved the ultimate result of rubbing sticks together; FIRE!

We are proud of our newly educated pyromaniacs and expect them to practice, practice and practice friction fire making with what is in their backyard.

Fire Palooza is coming this summer when we are set to assist our student in learning a whole slew of fire making techniques.

The basic technique for making friction fire involves spinning a drill in a hole on a board. Friction from "rubbing the sticks" together produces heat and carbonizes the wood into a fine powdery char. The char collects in a notch cut into the center of the hole like a pie slice. Once the char heats to ignition temperature it will form a coal and begin to smolder.

This coal is place into a bed of tinder of fine, dry plant fibers and given oxygen by gentle blowing. Eventually, as the volatile gases also ignite, this will cause the tinder to burst into flames . This is much easier to describe than to accomplish. Considerable downward pressure is required.

All sixteen of our students completed the task at hand and made a self sustaining fire. What an accomplishment!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

EC 2007 Class Schedule

What is your favorite class?

We are constantly changing our class curriculum as well as offering the classics. Keep an eye out for more class offerings in the future. Tell us what you would like to learn and we will work it into the schedule. New classes are being created all the time. Look for Land Navigation, Fur Tanning, Pack Basket classes and more in the near future.

Register Here!

Feb 24 -- Fire Making
Mar 10 -- Tracks and Sign
Mar 24-25 -- Wilderness Survival
Apr 21 -- Spring Wild Edible Plants
Apr 22 -- Organic Gardening NEW!
Jun 2-3 -- Primitive Tool Making
July 14 -- Summer Wild Edible Plants
Aug 11 -- Basketry
Sep 8-9 -- Fire Palooza
Sep 22 -- Primitive Cooking
Oct 13 -- Fall Wild Edible Plants
Oct 20-21 -- Hide Tanning
Oct 27-28 -- Hide Tanning Rain Date
Nov 2-4 -- Primitive Skills

New Websites Added to the EC Family

Earth Connection has recently published two new web sites that provide information to our students and all other primitive skills enthusiasts. The content will be growing on each site as the months go by. Please visit them often for new photos, articles and lessons.

This is in the EC tradition...

"The class isn't over when you go home!"

Basic Survival Skills for the To Shin Do Practitioner

Earth Connection recently began a new curriculum called EC Survival Strategy that provides training certification in survival and wilderness skills. We provide this service exclusively to the Chapel Hill Quest Center. The Basic Survival Weekend was held in late January.

Earth Connection through EC Survival Strategy is providing four levels in survival and wilderness skills instruction--Basic (Apprentice), Intermediate (Practitioner), Advanced (Instructor), and Expert (Mentor)--to the students and instructors of the Quest Center. This program will eventually establish Quest Center practitioners and instructors officially certified by Earth Connection's good name.
We are honored to be associated with the traditions that the Chapel Hill Quest Center is promoting.

Earth Connection in Northern Virginia Magazine

February 2007 issue of Northern Virginia Magazine has an article about Earth Connection written by nature writer Matt Kull. There is an awesome photo of Tim and daughter Megan making a fire photographed by Jonathan Timmes. Check out this issue.

We have more news coming!

Earth Connection Joins National Geographic's Wild Chronicles on PBS


Boyd Matson, host of the TV series Wild Chronicles, learns how to construct a wilderness shelter. Wild Chronicles, hosted by Boyd Matson tells the story of our planet, offering rare access to unknown places and in-depth reporting from National Geographic. (Made possible by National Geographic Mission Programs and presented by WLIW New York)

Tim MacWelch and Rick Hueston of Earth Connection join longtime National Geographic Explorer host Boyd Matson and award-winning executive producer Mark Bauman for Wild Chronicles Episodes that highlight essential survival skills. In the first of several survival episodes, Earth Connection teaches Boyd how to make a friction fire.

Friction Fire episode aired Sunday, February 4, on CHANNEL 67 (Maryland Public Television). Episode #215 Titled "Bonobos in the Congo."

We will help Boyd with shelter in the next episode that will probably air in April. There will be more to come... stay tuned.

Wild Chronicles looks at the human relationship with nature, highlighting breakthrough science that offers real hope for the future. Wild Chronicles is presented on public television stations by National Geographic Society Mission Programs—the arm of the Society that supports pioneering research and field expeditions.

Forty-two "Wild Chronicles" episodes are planned for the series during the 2006-07 television season. Segments covering news from nature, adventure and exploration, scientific revelations, and stories from the field include both original reports as well as updates on some exciting recent discoveries. Earth Connection will be involved with more than six episodes during the 2006-7 television season.

Local Stations to view episodes:
  • WETA TV 26, CHANNEL 26 Arlington, VA
  • mpt/Maryland Public Television, CHANNEL 67 Owings Mills, MD
Check your local PBS provider for Wild Chronicles listings:
(Search for Wild Chronicles and read the details of the episode to find the correct episode)