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!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Survive THIS!

Over the March 24-25 weekend, Earth Connection (EC) held its popular Wilderness Survival course that instructed 11 students on a variety of year-round life saving wilderness survival skills using modern gear and some historic & primitive outdoor skills. Tim, Hue and Jamey gathered their knowledge and delivered a two day educational smörgåsbord on how to keep your three pounds of meat (brain) alive when lost in the wilds.

Instruction included survival's rule of fours, tarp shelters, basics of making and utilizing fire, collecting and purifying water, wilderness food, staying found (not getting lost), signaling, and survival kits... to give you just a hint of the topics that were covered.

Sean B. who attended the class gave this testimonial, “Just wanted... to say again how much I enjoyed the class. The info was well presented and you struck just the right balance between serious instruction and hanging out… you guys are like the proverbial heroin dealer; i.e. get’em hooked and keep’em coming back... [BTW,] was stuck on the beltway this morning in a suit and tie looking at the roadside weeds and thinking about cordage!”

Food gathering instruction, always a favorite topic when you are hungry, include collecting and preparing nutritious edible plants, four different traps unique to this course, and survival fishing. We even dined on Jamey's delicious squirrel stew.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Wild Food Plants dot Com

I recently became acquainted with Sunny Johnson, a wild foods’ aficionado in California, who has added Earth Connection as a wild foods instruction resource on her Wild food Plants website. Her vision is that this website will become a clearinghouse of information and resources for wild food plants worldwide. Her current project is organizing a television program on wild foods and sustainable living skills.

The Wild Food Plants website is chocked full of great wild food recipes and earth friendly advice. I'm really enamored with her wild soba noodle recipe. I highly recommend a regular visit to this website! (See the link in our Partners section on the left)

Sunny’s bio is impressive: BS in Dietetics from the College of St. Catherine, MS in Nutrition Education from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and a certificate in Native American Permaculture. Her Master’s work focused on the antioxidant levels of wild food plants. In addition, she is a certified yoga instructor, teaching for over 6 years. She has also filmed, edited, and produced a documentary in 2006 called the Local Food Challenge.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tracking - The Art of Questions!

Tracking is a highly evolved art and science that can encompass all kinds of study subjects from physical sciences to quantum mechanics, from biomechanics (study of motion) to global/micro weather patterns, from animal behavior to human awareness, and from a life born to its final demise. Tracking is the one art that calls to one’s soul to follow that which past by here. It is the Art of Questions!

Earth Connection's Basic Tracking class is designed to give students a basic set of tools to investigate animal tracks and signs. Eight students learned the basics of animal sign, clear print identification, animal gaits and track patterns, and distinguishing track age. We also apply tracking knowledge to survival skills with demonstrations in small animal trapping.

Most students favor the "Dirt Time" assignments (a deliberate study of tracks discovered in the wild) and plaster casting tracks learning that “dirt time” provides the best and quickest learning method and is the primary tool for learning the art of tracking.


Post Note: Blake recently discovered the culprit of all the cat tracks. "[The cat is] approximately 12" from shoulder to butt, black and white, [but unsure whether it was male or female]... it was heading out towards the road, crossing under the fence in the early morning." Blake observed a pitch to the left set of tracks that was consistent with the cat tracks we observed during our class. Blake commented that, "my best guess is that this little cat is going out to the field in the evening to do its hunting and coming back in the early pre-dawn hours."