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Thomas Elpel with primitive backpack frame.

Primitive Living as Metaphor
      Primitive living is a metaphor we participate in and act out. Life is simplified down to the bare essentials: physical and mental well-being, shelter, warmth, clothing, water, and food. We go on an expedition to meet those needs with little more than our bare hands.

Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.       In our quest we learn to observe, to think, to reach inside ourselves for new resources for dealing with challenging and unfamiliar situations. We build up our personal strengths, and at the same time we interact with and learn about the world around us.

      In a story we can only join a quest in our imaginations. But in primitive living, we physically leave the contemporary world. We journey into the world of Stone Age skills, and we return with knowledge, wisdom, and strength to enrich our lives in contemporary society.

--Thomas J. Elpel, Author
Participating in Nature

Primitive Living / Philosophical Articles by Thomas J. Elpel
Eating with wooden spoon on bark. The New Era of Self-Sufficiency
A Brain in a Box on a Shelf
Cultural Evolution
Quest for Freedom
Primitive Living as Metaphor
Making Grass Ropes
Tire Sandals
The Atlatl and Dart
Artifacts & Ethics
The Art of Nothing
Bear Summer
Nature as Wallpaper
Some Thoughts on Awareness

Thomas J. Elpel in the News
NEW! Natural World
Survive and Advance
Renaissance Man
Wilderness Way Staff Report
Living off the Land
Surviving Wild
Outdoor Classroom
Working with Kids

Other Articles and Items of Interest
Eat Bugs! Visit the Food Insects Newsletter
Making Horsetail Pan Flute
The Quartz Crystal Handdrill
A Friction Fire Inquiry: Bow Drill (752K)
Storytelling: Painting Pictures With Your Tongue
Primitive Living FAQ's
Primitive Skills Links

Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills. Hello,

      Two weeks ago I received your book Participating in Nature. I have already read it 4 times and each time I find something new. This book is a wonderful guide to living the type of life I would like to live. I don't mean that I am interested in living through stoneage technology but I am interested in becoming more knowledgeable about nature and my interaction with it. I find myself hungry for more and thus have ordered two more of your books. I was very happy to discover that your books are more than just "how-to". I find the use of story intertwined with skills puts things in context and makes for a richer learning experience and one that is easy to remember. I am looking forward to reading your next books!

-- Michael M.
living in Japan

authored by
Thomas J. Elpel
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, andthe 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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