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Survive and Advance
Thomas Elpel thrives on nothing but nature
By Aaron Teasdale for Montana Headwall Magazine. Spring 2013

Montana Headwall Magazine: Survive & Advance article with Thomas Elpel.

      When you pull up to Thomas Elpel's hillside home above the tiny mountain burg of Pony, Mont., you can't help but notice the deer legs scattered in the driveway. Then you see the solar panels, the roaming chickens, and you notice that the house is made of timber and the same stones that are scattered across the nearby foothills. Stepping inside, you duck past a living-room clothesline draped with drying hides and walk across a tile floor inlaid with animal tracks. As he shows you the elevated greenhouse that pumps his home full of passive solar heat, Elpel, who abhors the very notion of waste, tells you that besides a wood cookstove, his home requires zero energy inputs, and that he built it himself using "abundant resources that nobody else wants."

      When Elpel talks about bringing more back from the landfill than he dumps, or feeding his family with the pigeons that roost on his roof and road-killed animals (letting deer rot is "nuts"), he makes no attempt at humor, though many jokes could be made. Elpel is utterly sincere in what he does. In fact, he believes his practices can change the world.

      As a primitive-skills expert, author, entrepreneur and eco-philosopher, Elpel marches to the beat of his own buckskin hand-drum. Though his survival skills equal or exceed those of the more famous survivalists on TV, and though the philosophy behind his practice gives him a depth Bear Grylls and his ilk can only dream of, Elpel flies well below the mainstream radar. He's the Montana outdoorsman's version of those groundbreaking rock bands that inspire countless others but are too far ahead of the curve to sell many records themselves.

The full story was published in the now-defunct
Montana Headwall Magazine

Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Go to Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills

Go to Books and Videos by Thomas J. Elpel
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      Looking for life-changing resources? Check out these books by Thomas J. Elpel:

Green Prosperity: Quit Your Job, Live Your Dreams.
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids

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