Participating in Nature Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills (Formerly Thomas J. Elpel's Field Guide to Primitive Living Skills) By Thomas J. Elpel 6th Edition. 2009.
Get in touch with your wild side! Primitive living is a way of learning about nature by participating in it. Instead of merely camping in the wilderness or passing through it, you can become part of the process. You learn about nature by using it to meet your needs for shelter, fire, water, and food. You set aside the trappings of modern culture and step directly into nature with little or nothing, to experience nature on its own terms.
Tom's guide gives you a direct, hands-on experience of the world around you. With this book you have the opportunity to discover the thrill of staying warm and comfortable without even a blanket! Experience the magic of starting a fire by friction. Butcher your own deer and braintan its hide to make warm buckskin clothing. Learn about edible plants of the Rocky Mountain region, plus processing techniques and "primitive gourmet" skills like making wild strawberry ashcake pies or stir-fry cooking without a pan.
This book is the source for in depth coverage of tire sandals, bedroll packs and pack frames, felting with wool, quick bows and bone arrowheads, sinews, hide glue, trapping, fishing by hand, water purification, birch bark canisters, willow baskets, primitive pottery, wooden containers, cordage, twig deer, stalking skills, simple stone knives, flint & steel, bowdrill and handdrill fire-starting.
Participating in Nature includes dozens of innovative skills and an incredible 350 pictures and illustrations plus a thoughtful philosophy. Tom does extensive experiential research. He places an emphasis on publishing new information that is not found in any other source.
This is the 6th Edition of Participating in Nature. Changes from the 5th Edition were primarily in editing and formatting, however, Tom also made updates throughout the book, and added four new pages of material. Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, bleached without chlorine. Everything but the cover was printed with soy based inks. 6th Edition, 2009. 202 pages.
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SUNRISE: Earthskin | The Pony Millsite | Our Place in the World | Positive Impact | Participating in Nature | The Cost of Gold | Finding Home and Making a Stand.
MIND: Nature as Wallpaper | Discoidal Stone Knives | Saving the World | Technology Philosophy | Twined Baskets | Evolving Neural Networks | Primitive Living as Metaphor | Personas and Acting | The Information Age | Split-Willow Deer | Perceptions of Reality.
SHELTER: Goals | The Elements of Shelter: Shingling | Efficiency | The Elements of Shelter: Insulation | Adapting Shelters to the Environment | The Elements of Shelter: Fire | Recouping Your Investment | The Elements of Shelter: Air-Proofing | Impacts & Reclamation | The Earth Lodge | Choosing a Location.
FIRE: Bowdrill Fire-Starting | Bowdrill Technique | Starting Bowdrill Fires with Damp Materials | Survival Bowdrills: Fire from Nothing | Handdrill Fire-Starting | Handdrill Technique | Other Friction Fire-Making Methods | Flint & Steel Fire-Starting | Principles of Fire-Starting | Campfire Logistics and Safety | Splitting Matches | Energy Conservation.
WATER: Birch Bark Canisters | Giardia & Water Purification | Water Conservation | Crapping in the Woods | Fishing by Hand | Making Cordage from Natural Fibers | Twisting Fibers into Cordage | Primitive Fishing Tackle | Skinny Dipping.
COOKING: Tin Cans/Stainless Steel Cans | Cooking without a Pan | Coal-Burned Containers | Making Hollow-Log Drums | Cooking in a Gold Pan | Stir-Fry without a Pan | Ashcakes: Bread of the Modern Abo | Bamboo Spoon/Fork and Chopsticks | Stone Ovens and Steam Pits | Complete Proteins | Primitive Pottery: Harvesting Wild Clay | Adding Temper | Wedging the Clay | Making Pinch Pots | Making Coil Pots | Drying Pottery | Firing Time | Cooking in Clay Pots | Beliefs about Food | Mice and the Hantavirus.
PLANTS: Identification Basics | Common and Latin Names | The Digging Stick | Wild Food Economics | Wild Gardening | Natural Farming | The Ethics of Killing | Worthwhile Plant Food Resources | Edible Lichens | Savory Syrup | Starchy Roots | Fabulous Fruits | Harvesting Seeds | Nutritious Nuts | Mushrooms
ANIMALS: Sneak Stalking and Trust Stalking | Animals and Ecosystem Processes | Global Warming | Desertification and Holistic Management | The Quickie Bow | Flintknapping Thoughts | Bone Arrowheads | Making Arrows | All about Hide Glue | Sinew Preparation | Wildlife Laws | Butchering a Road Kill Deer | Gutting a Deer | Skinning a Deer | Butchering Basics | Primitive Hunting | Deadfall Traps
"I've read MANY books on survival. Enough that I rarely find fresh ideas in a new one I read. But yours is full of things that I haven't read in many other books. Thanks not only for the fresh ideas, but also for the fresh format. The narrative is wonderfully inspirational. I almost feel like I'm out in the field with you. I don't know if we'll ever meet (I hope we do), but if not I feel like I know you through your writings."
--David W. Attala, Alabama
"I have your Participating in Nature book and read about the syrup. I have a big weeping birch in my yard and put 2 half inch taps in it last week and the last few days I have been getting 5 gallons of sap a day! I boiled 5 gallons of sap down to 1/2 pint of some of the best syrup I have ever tasted! I just wanted to say thanks for writing such a great book!"
-- Rob Simonich Simonich Knives
Please Note: The 5th Edition of Participating in Nature was essentially identical to the Lyon's Press edition of the book, Primitive Living, Self-Sufficiency, and Survival Skills.
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