The Mountain Wild-Walkabout follows our Canyon Walkabout and is focused on the high mountain and alpine meadows of Boulder mountain. Join us on an epic adventure into the wild following the deer and elk trails, and acquire the knowledge necessary to feel at home in the mountains, wherever you may go.
The focus of this course is to let go of some of the stereotypical survival teachings and establish a relationship with the earth through the skills of the Hunter-Gatherer. By treating the earth like our home, we can become more comfortable and let go of the conquering notions that the term “survival” sometimes has associated with it.
In the Mountain Wild Walkabout course, you will acquire the tools necessary for being comfortable walking the mountainous wilderness with minimal to no gear, while learning the ancient skills we all once had for living off the land. We will be foraging, trapping and hunting our food with the tools the land offers us, and expanding our awareness of the natural world as well as the Wild Within.
We'll spend the week harvesting materials from the land to build stone age tools and equip ourselves with knowledge of how to take care of our basic needs while living in nature. We'll apply our skills as hunter-gatherer people have done throughout history, walking the backcountry of the beautiful alpine forests and lakes of the Dixie National Forest.
This course offers a hands-on experience in skills such as: Wilderness Survival skills, Primitive living, traditional hide tanning, primitive trapping, foraging of wild edibles, cooking techniques with fire, fashioning of stone knives, friction fire methods, hunting with primitive tools, and stalking exercises for hunting of small and large game. We'll also practice utilizing all of our senses to approach the natural world, and learn how to become more responsible stewards of the earth in the process.
We will travel between camps every few days, and along the way practice trapping, hunting, foraging, food preparation and processing, selecting favorable campsites, techniques of finding and purifying water, and using natural materials to regulate our core body temperature. The journey will also include a 1 night solo as well as a traditional sweat lodge at the conclusion of our time together.
If you seek a hands-on, real application of stone-age earth living skills and an expansion of your awareness of the natural world and the gifts it has to offer, this wild walkabout is the course for you.
Mountain Wild Walkabout Course Topics:
☼ Traveling Light: By connecting with our natural surroundings and using the materials around us, we are able to travel unencumbered.
☼Natural Tool-making: Make friction fires by methods of fire plow and hand-drill using wood from bee plant, yucca, sagebrush, cottonwood root, clematis, or sagebrush; use stones to make knives; sew pouches from hides that you tan in the traditional method; use nettle or dogbane fiber to make ropes and cordage; scrape gourd bowls and carve out wooden spoons for dishware
☼Edible & Medicinal Plants: Ethical gathering and preparation of wild edibles and medicinal plants (infusions, teas, poultices)
☼Trapping and Hunting: Atlatl demonstration, construction and discussion; small game with primitive traps, deadfalls and snares; setting and placement of traps; stalking exercises; how to flourish in a survival situation.
☼Nature Awareness: Moving, stalking, sense meditation; learn how to use your senses to notice more, how to have more wildlife encounters, how to move silently through the forest, how to smell flowers, and how to slow down to find a real connection with the natural environment; responsible plant and animal harvesting and care-taking ethics
☼Variety of Cooking Skills: Primitive cooking, rock boiling steam pit, cooking directly over coals, clay pot cooking; food processing and game processing; hide processing
☼Shelters: Creating warm sleep without a tent and sleeping bag using local materials; Primitive survival shelters; debris beds, material and location choosing, safe construction principles.
Matt Graham Survival & Traditional Living Skills Instructor
Matt was a climber and began studying primitive skills at age 17 in Yosemite Valley. At 20 he was doing search and rescue as a tracker in Sequoia while running and learning to travel the backcountry with no food or gear. Not owning a car, he travelled all over California and parts of Arizona on foot. At 23, he ran the length of California on the Pacific Crest Trail (1750 miles) in 58 days, a record at the time.
Matt moved to Boulder at age 24 and started guiding and teaching at Boulder Outdoor Survival School, teaching all the hunter/gatherer courses. Primitive hunting and living off the land became his passion. Three years ago, he walked off into the wilderness on the Winter Solstice and returned on the Summer Solstice. Living with the land for 6 months, Matt has been on many primitive walks and led about 50 hunter/gatherer courses ranging 4 to 33 days. He has been a consultant for “Survivor Man” and many other TV productions, was featured in "Wilderness Way" Magazine, "Trail Runner" Magazine, and is a leader in his field.
Kirsten Rechnitz Survival & Traditional Living Skills Instructor
Kirsten is a veteran of the wild. For the past ten years, she has led outdoor trips and explored ecosystems in over 30 different countries.
Her work began at Vanderbilt University, where she led trips through the Smoky Mountains while a student of political science and anthropology.
Her academic and outdoors work led her to study the people and cultures throughout the world who use natural materials to sustain their lives.
Kirsten believes the best way to study a people is through hands on experience of living the way they do. Her specialization in desert survival and the traditional living skills of Native Americans has included a month long solo expedition in the desert, where she sustained herself with friction fire, spear fishing, trapping, wild edibles, hunting and natural debris shelters. She has continued to develop her skills in teaching as primitive lifestyles have become not only a lifelong passion but a preferred way of living.