Instructors

David Holiday

David Holiday

Stone Age Living Skills

Widely regarded as one of the country’s foremost educators in Stone Age living skills, David is a frequent lecturer, author, and consultant on primitiveclick to read more…

Ben Homer

Ben Homer

Camp Sheriff

Ben Homer is a true Jack of all trades! He loves to create with his hands things of click to read more….

Scott Wright

Scott Wright

Musician/Drum Maker

Scott Wright is an entrepreneur and mentor with SWP Enterprises, LLC. As Co-Founder, Wright is committed to leading visionary click to read more….

Kl Kayenta

Kl Kayenta

Primitive Pottery

My desire to make anasazi pottery started with my interest in primitive and survival skills. I love the fact that click to read more…

Patrick Farneman

Patrick Farneman

Blacksmith

Patrick grew up in the Desert southwest and was click to read more…

Hal Farneman

Hal Farneman

Primitive Fire

Hal has always had a fascination with fire. He made his first friction fire at age 15 when demonstrating Bow Drill Fire techniques for a high school class. He didn’t think he would actually get fire, so when the click to read more…

Jeff O'Driscoll, MD

Jeff O'Driscoll, MD

Medical/Life Safety

Dr. O’Driscoll received his M.D. from the University of Utah School of Medicine. He is
board certified in internal medicine and is a fellow of the American College click to read more…

Hugh Vail

Hugh Vail

Horse Whisperer

I contract out with wellness centers and retreat centers to help individuals find purpose in their suffering through the similarities of equine therapy. I only use wild click to read more…

Lindsey Miller

Lindsey Miller

Kids Camp

Lindsey is a Utah native. She grew up exploring and playing in the mountains near her home.  She enjoys being in nature as much as possible!  She loves spending time with her family, helping and teaching them click to read more…

Daniel Olsen

Daniel Olsen

Bow Maker

Daniel Olsen began his journey into primitive skills in the foothills of central Utah with his grandmother as his guide. click to read more….

Denny Coombs

Denny Coombs

Plant Remedies

I love sharing my knowledge and helping people. I started my pursuit of another path, another way, after my youngest daughter was born. She was born with Spina Bifida. We ran into a problem when she started getting sick, the doctors kept giving her different click to read more…

Mikhail Merkurieff

Mikhail Merkurieff

Indigenous Living Skills

Mikhail Merkurieff is a student of indigenous living skills. Originally from Puerto Rico with family lines going back to Europe and Russia he’s developed a keen fascination and appreciation for culture click to read more…

Tyler Patching

Tyler Patching

Outdoors Enthusiast

I have had a passion for the outdoors since I was just a young boy. I was raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains with my five brothers and two sisters. My father often took our family into the wild click to read more…

Lotta Clark

Lotta Clark

Primitive Bag Making

My name is Lotta Clark and attended my first Rabbitstick in 2001. I was hooked on Primitive Skills! For the next 10 years I was student of all things and learned so much, click to read more…

Erik Rasmussen

Erik Rasmussen

Tracking, Bird Language, Basketry, Flint Knapping

Erik Rasmussen has been interested in the outdoors since he was very young. His naturalist training started at the age of seven.  click to read more…

Tara Jensen

Tara Jensen

Energy Kinesiologist

Tara is an Energy Kinisiologiest. She started her studies in 2013 with Susan McCrossin (Crossinology) in Boulder Colorado. Since then, she has taken classes to learn various methods of Energy Kinesiology, such as click to read more…

Heidi Lamb Castle, MS

Heidi Lamb Castle, MS

Mental Health Counselor

Heidi is a Love Warrior. Her life’s passion is building people up and supporting them through life’s challenges. Grief, loss, and abuse are not strangers to Heidi. Recognizing the synchronicity and beauty in her trials has ignited her desire to help others click to read more…

Jennifer Pate

Jennifer Pate

Food Preservation

Jen is a homemaker in the style of our great grandmothers. Ever since she was a child, she has been a “do-it-herself-er”. At the age of 4 she learned to stitch with a needle and thread and has been adding all kinds of skills and crafts ever since. click to read more…

Rosie Christman

Rosie Christman

Fermenting Foods

A homeschool mother of 8 with a degree in social work, Rosie worked with infants, toddlers, and adult mental health
until she received a promotion and became a full time stay-at-home-mom, which is the hardest, yet most rewarding
work she’s ever done. She loves to mentor youth and adults, help heal hearts and families, and click to read more…

Jeff Sanders

Jeff Sanders

Animal Processing

Jeff started acquiring the knowledge and skill of animal processing with the end goal of providing higher quality meat and nutrition for the table. As with many, this was not a skill that was handed down to him.

He gained his foundational animal click to read more…

Dulcimer Doug Blackhurst

Dulcimer Doug Blackhurst

Dulcimer Kits

Dulcimer Doug Blackhurst, but back in the fall of 2015 I didn’t even know what a dulcimer was. I was at Rabbit Stick for the first time helping my daughter and grandchildren with general camp gear and set-up. click to read more…

Cat Farneman

Cat Farneman

Herbalist

Cat is a well-known herbalist and wild medicine specialist. She has been doing herbal medicine since about 1992 and has been teaching herbal medicine at gatherings since 1997. But she has been using herbs as click to read more…

Mindy Hardy

Mindy Hardy

Herbs and Natural Healing Methods

Mindy Hardy has been studying herbs and natural healing methods for 15 years. She is passionate about learning how to heal in the old ways. Her journey began and click to read more….

Mark & Artimas Bayless

Mark & Artimas Bayless

Artist, Art Educator, Clairvoyant Healer

Artemis is an artist, art educator, clairvoyant healer and a lover of trees, rivers, birds and sky. Artemis has practiced and taught visual art for many years click to read more…

Chase

Chase

Don't Touch My Hat!!!

Chase is a proud husband and father of five kids. His favorite things to do are be with his family and help with homeschooling the five kids. He is lucky to have a wonderful wife who supports him in all his crazy endeavors. He found primitive skills click to read more…

Jean Jones

Jean Jones

Wool Felting

Jean has a passion for everything wool and nature, always looking for new fun projects that lead to some “dreadfully” fun stuff! A horse riding, animal loving, celtic m usic loving radio dj, plant loving, mom and wife in the woods that feels more at home in nature. click to read more…

James Turner

James Turner

brain tanning, friction fire, wool blankets, vintage cast iron identification and bird language

James has spent over 20 years learning and practicing ancient living skills. From an early age he loved the simplicity and peacefulness of spending time in the outdoors. He currently is a click to read more…

Ty Hardy

Ty Hardy

Tweens Group Leader

Ty has been attending primitive skills gatherings since he was 10 years old. His first Project was an atlatl which he still owns and loves to throw. Ty is a kid at heart and Fire to fire 2020 will be his 7th tweens camp. He is the reigning Banana tag champ and looks forward to click to read more…

Brennon Miller

Brennon Miller

Leather Journals

Brennon has always had an adventurous spirit, a love of learning, and a love of the outdoors. He has studied primitive living skills for 15+ years. He loves learning from, and teaching new skills to others. Brennon has been involved teaching youth groups outdoor survival click to read more…

Jack Gibson

Jack Gibson

African Drumming, Blacksmithing, fire Starting, Flintknapping

Jack Gibson has been to many gatherings over the past few years including Wintercount, Between the Rivers, Fire to Fire and Rabbitstick where he has learned skills such as: African drumming, blacksmithing, fire starting, and flintknapping. click to read more…

Paul Wright

Paul Wright

Flint Knapping

Paul Wright has been an avid outdoorsman all his life. Spending most of his life in Southeast Idaho and Bear Lake County he gained an appreciation for all things in Nature and a close relationship to Native American Traditions.  He has click to read more…

Jake Smith

Jake Smith

Primitive and Living History Skills

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Michael Baird

Michael Baird

Primitive Skills

Michael is a primitive skills instructor for California Survival school, a wilderness emt, and a backpacking guide for various therapy programs in the southwest. He has a passion for people and hanging out in the click to read more…

Michael & Rosemary Wells

Michael & Rosemary Wells

Woodworking, Felting, Spinning, Tapping Trees, Making Soap

Mike and Rosemary Wells live on a small farm in Idaho they call The Shepherd’s Whistle where they raise Navajo Churro sheep. They enjoy woodworking, felting, spinning, tapping trees, making soap, building click to read more….

Justin Swensen

Justin Swensen

Moccasin, Capote, Native American Style Flute Making, and Wood Carving

Justin is coming in from Southern Utah where he is the field director at RedCliff Ascent; a wilderness treatment center for troubled youth and struggling young adults. Justin has a degree in human development click to read more…

Dave Van Hook

Dave Van Hook

Soap Making

aka “Dirty Dave”
Cold Process soap making for over 25 years. Hot process soap making and teaching at gatherings since 2013 My background is in project and manufacturing supervision. Started soap making as a hobby in the 90’s for family and friends. Took it real serious click to read more…

"Soapy Su"

"Soapy Su"

Soap Making

My first interest in primitive skills was as a child reading a book on the Lenape Indians of New Jersey, where I grew up.(It always rained on my drying pottery and the bows I made from the privet hedge never shot straight) click to read more…

Sage Petersen

Sage Petersen

Neural mapping

Sage Petersen lives on the road and is a single papa to his son Irie. He grew up barefoot and doing martial arts in the mountains of Colorado.

His fascination with high performance, peace and happiness along with his path of nature click to read more…

Mike Petree

Mike Petree

PrintMaking & SilverSmithing

Mike Petree is a printmaker, silversmith, fly fisherman, West African drumming enthusiast and father of 5. He started printmaking and
click to read more… 

Dakota Shaffer

Dakota Shaffer

Position

I worked as a wilderness therapy guide for many years and was a survival skills instructor. I have a love for history and learning how folks lived in different times. My passion is passing on my outdoor and historical click to read more…

Kandis Larson

Kandis Larson

Position

I have always had a passion for the simpler ways of life.  My first gathering was Rabbit Stick in 1998, I literally fell in love the minute I arrived to camp.  I had no idea that all the things I loved to do growing up was still happening today click to read more…

John Slattery

John Slattery

Herbalist

John is a bioregional herbalist dedicated to helping people develop deep and meaningful relationship with wild plants. John seeks to help people rekindle their connection with the heart, our highest cognitive organ,  click to read more…
Eric & Natalie Earl

Eric & Natalie Earl

Position

Eric and Natalie Earl began attending primitive gatherings in 2017 when their neighbors’ Rob and Jen Pate introduced them to the gatherings. They jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back. They have enjoyed learning many primitive skills and crafts. But their favorite thing of all has been meeting new family  click to read more…

David Holladay

Widely regarded as one of the country’s foremost educators in Stone Age living skills, David is a frequent lecturer, author, and consultant on primitive technologies, edible/medicinal plants, and pre-Columbian culture. He served for 18 years as head instructor at the Boulder Outdoor Survival School and was education director of Anasazi, a wilderness program for teens. David has served as a consultant for products such as Cast Away, Survivorman, Man vs. Wild, Road Rules, and numerous others, and was most recently featured on No Man’s Land, a History Channel production.

Ben Homer

Ben Homer is a true Jack of all trades! He loves to create with his hands things of functional value with an artistic flare. Ben Homer was raised by a mother who walked with Larry Dean Olsen in the late sixties. She gave him his first tastes of primitive skills as a young boy ” younger then ten “. He fell in love with the thought of growing up and disappearing into the woods never to be heard of again. From that young age he has practiced a variety of homesteading skills. Candles, soap, and “the Buffalo ” “the native american shopping mall”, where skills his mother would teach in his school classes. As he grew into a young man he fell in love with building he has spent a lot of time building, he also has skills in steel fab,mechanics, agriculture, commercial bee keeping, production wood works, historical restoration, furniture building, and repurposing old into new …just to name a few! He is also well know for his witty story telling and his lyrical genius. He has a love for animal totems and has taught ” ways to be guided by the animal spirit in nature “. He is a fast learner and picked up many great skills from the elders since he accidentally found Rabbitstick in 2010 … ” he thought he was the only one on the planet “. Since finding his tribe he has spent much time with great elders like David Holiday, Terry Cramer, Lota Clarke, and many others. He has a love for and a great desire to learn all the skills. This year he will be teaching stacker knife handles, and be reading some animal medicine for those who are in need of that. Please bring your tang knife blades or we will have some for sale too! Let’s make something awesome together!

Scott Wright

Scott Wright is an entrepreneur and mentor with SWP Enterprises, LLC. As Co-Founder, Wright is committed to leading visionary thought into the world through educational and mentoring solutions that create meaningful impact by bringing about change to the way people view and interact with the world of today. By focusing on the mind and the heart, Wright creates an experience on powerful, unseen principles that underline the human experience and one’s individual capacity for insight into their own unique talents and capacities.

Mr. Wright is also an active founding partner in The Sunflower Circle (an educational company) dedicated to innovative and engaging conversations creating mindfulness and sacred space in our daily lives by connecting to nature in activities and practices. Regardless of occupation or age, The Sunflower Circle fosters experiences that cultivate purpose and meaning in our lives while dealing with daily stress and anxiety.

As an entrepreneur, Wright has become a respected consultant providing coaching to a number of organizations to facilitate advancement during critical stages of growth and change.

Wright is an accomplished photographer with an active social community of 27K+. Recently, Wright participated in a meaningful global leadership discussion concerning consciousness hosted by the Society of Leadership Fellows, St. George’s House, Windsor Castle.

Mr. Wright holds a BA degree in Marketing from Utah State University and lives with his wife and business partner, LaRae Wright in Bountiful, Utah. At the Fire to Fire gathering, Scott is planning to teach classes on mindfulness, and how to use Nature as your guide in life. The setting for this event is a perfect backdrop to experience Mother Nature in all her beauty. His classes incorporate the use of music, smudging, and being present to find your inner guide. Possible topics include, Sacred Plants, Music, Sunflowers, Nature’s Symbolism, and our connection to all that is. Come join and bring your own vision of how you see the World.

Kl Kayenta

My desire to make anasazi pottery started with my interest in primitive and survival skills. I love the fact that you can go into the wild with nothing and get all you need to survive and even flourish from the earth. The idea that you can go out and dig up some “dirt”, shape it, paint it and fire it all using only materials found in nature is amazing to me.

I love the outdoors and going on adventures, camping and hiking, campfires with friends, running, playing soccer, and wilderness skills. I love the Anasazi culture, and I especially love their pottery. I really enjoy travelling and visiting the many ruins and museums all over the American Southwest.

Patrick Farneman

Patrick grew up in the Desert southwest and was never satisfied with finding arrowheads and pot shreds, he had to learn how to make them. Because of that he has been learning and doing ancestral skills since childhood. He is proficient at many of the old skills, and can claim mastery of a couple.  Patrick is also the Founder and Organizer of Between The River Gathering.   At fire to fire he will be teaching some blacksmithing, maybe some bladesmithing, and European style leatherworking.

 

Hal Farneman

Hal has always had a fascination with fire. He made his first friction fire at age 15 when demonstrating Bow Drill Fire techniques for a high school class. He didn’t think he would actually get fire, so when the flames appeared in the nest he immediately threw it into the waste basket, which, unfortunately, was full of papers. In spite of the resulting fire “drill,” he still got an A for his demonstration. His first hand drill fire was at Wintercount almost 20 years ago. He also entered the first annual (and only) Ernest Thompson Seton bow drill contest at Rabbitstick in about 2004. He entered just to be able to observe the other contestants who were very proficient at fire making. To his great surprise, he won the contest! Hal lives with his wife, Cat, (herbalist) in their off-grid cabin in Spring City, Utah where he gets to practice his fire making skills on a daily basis to keep the wood stove going during the cold months. Over the years he has learned many techniques which he loves to share at every opportunity. At Fire to Fire Hal will be teaching friction fire making techniques, including hand drill, bow drill and flint and steel.

 

Jeff O’Driscoll, MD

Dr. O’Driscoll received his M.D. from the University of Utah School of Medicine. He is
board certified in internal medicine and is a fellow of the American College of
Emergency Physicians. He practiced emergency medicine at a level-one trauma center,
teaching students and residents, for twenty-five years, and served as chairman of the
department for eight years, receiving awards and publishing articles for service quality
in the emergency department.
In the emergency department of a major trauma center, Dr. Jeff O’Driscoll frequently
communicated with souls who hovered between this life and the next. He saw people
leave their bodies at the time of death and communicated with them. Their messages
were always of love and hope. For twenty years, Dr. O’Driscoll refused to speak about
his experiences.
Now, in his award-winning memoir, Not Yet, and in venues across the country, Dr.
O’Driscoll describes the otherworldly communications that began in his childhood,
shortly after the farm accident that took the life of his older brother. Dr. O’Driscoll’s
empowering message honors the divinity in every soul.
In addition to his memoir, Dr. O’Driscoll has published a novel, several articles on
various subjects, and a series of six children’s books. He paints, sculpts, and enjoys
bicycling, including a one-day, 206-mile, bicycle race traversing portions of three states.
Jeff married Sheila more than thirty-three years ago. They have five children and five
grandchildren.

Hugh Vail

I contract out with wellness centers and retreat centers to help individuals find purpose in their suffering through the similarities of equine therapy. I only use wild horses that I adopt from the BLM (only legal gov entity that adopts mustangs).

The core of my curriculum focuses in on developing the 6 Virtues and 24 Character Strengths of Positive Psychology.

When I’m not working with wellness centers/retreats, I do individual and group sessions at my little horse ranch in Draper, Utah.

Lindsey Miller

 Lindsey is a Utah native. She grew up exploring and playing in the mountains near her home.  She enjoys being in nature as much as possible!  She loves spending time with her family, helping and teaching them to have the same love for the outdoors.

Lindsey has worked with high-risk teens and people with disabilities. She loves working in special education, teaching outside “the box” and helping kids reach their full potential.  Lindsey is excited to work with the kids at camp, mostly because she is a big kid herself!

 

Daniel Olsen

Daniel Olsen began his journey into primitive skills in the foothills of central Utah with his grandmother as his guide. She grew up herding sheep in the mountains of Idaho and foraging the hills for most of the food that she and her family ate. She passed this knowledge on to her grandchildren through her example.

Daniel has lived in many different environments including The high deserts of Utah and Nevada, the pacific northwest in Washington and Alaska. Upstate New York, The Desert southwest and the Tropical North East Coast of Australia. In all of these locations the desire to learn the knowledge and skills of the original inhabitants has remained strong. Daniel has been fortunate to find people in all of these locations who were eager to share their knowledge.

Daniel made his first bow in 1995 and fell in love with the process he has made hundreds traditional wood bows since, learning from the examples left behind from the ancient peoples of Europe, asia and North America.

Currently Daniel is the full time Program Director for Starry Garden Montessori School a small Nature based Farm School in Heber City Utah. Where he passes on wilderness living and other skills to the children who attend the school.

Daniel has always felt a strong connection to nature and has been exploring from his childhood inspired by stories of his ancestors, the Native Americans, and the Frontiersmen and Women of the past.

In his free time you can find Daniel roaming and foraging in the mountains and canyons around Heber City and taking pictures for his book, “The Bushcrafter’s Guide to Useful Plants of the Mountain States”

 

Denny Coombs

I love sharing my knowledge and helping people. I started my pursuit of another path, another way, after my youngest daughter was born. She was born with Spina Bifida. We ran into a problem when she started getting sick, the doctors kept giving her different antibiotics, she was becoming resistant to the antibiotics, it came to the point where only 2 IV meds would work. I kept thinking there has to be another way to help her, to fight off the infections/illness. This search lead me to the path of plants. I have taken many classes and courses to learn how to turn the plant into an oil, salve, lotion, tincture, tea, etc. I am able to use the end product to help heal my family.

 

Mikhail Merkurieff

Mikhail Merkurieff is a student of indigenous living skills. Originally from Puerto Rico with family lines going back to Europe and Russia he’s developed a keen fascination and appreciation for culture and the methods people from all over the world have employed to thrive in their environment. He especially seeks out the science behind primitive skills and has created a business by building upon that science to create outdoor gear. He is the owner of Merkwares and the inventor of the Emberlit Stove among other things.

Mikhail is also a VFX artist and animator. In his opinion so many primitive crafts are a wonderful marriage of practicality and beauty. There is art and sublime sophistication in even the simplest stone tool. He feels that these primitive living skills connect the generations of the past to those of the present and future and loves nothing more than to share what he has learned.

Kandis Larson 

I have always had a passion for the simpler ways of life.  My first gathering was Rabbit Stick in 1998, I literally fell in love the minute I arrived to camp.  I had no idea that all the things I loved to do growing up was still happening today for many others.  Over the last 22 years I hardly have missed a year when I didn’t go to at least one if not many gatherings.  The folks I have meet have become my closest friends, and my family. 

 My spare time is spent usually outside either riding my bike, kayaking the river, drawing, or wood working.  I even built my own Tiny Village in the woods in eastern Washington where I currently live. 

My latest adventure has been to start my own art business, teaching workshops, and selling my art. 
I will be teaching Leather working and focusing on belts and bracelets this year. 

Excited to see you all there.

Tyler Patching

I have had a passion for the outdoors since I was just a young boy.  I was raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains with my five brothers and two sisters.  My father often took our family into the wild places of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in search of wild trout, fresh air and solitude. These trips had a profound effect on me.

I choose to fulfill a service mission to Bolivia when I was 19.  This experience opened my eyes and helped me to develop a deeper understanding for the wild places.

I married Emma Willey and graduated from BYU-Hawaii with a degree in International Cultural Studies with and emphasis in anthropology.

After college I earned a pilots license and worked as a fly fishing guide for about 7 years.  For the past 15 years I have been lucky to work with youth in an outdoor setting, training guides, and leading groups of youth and adults for a wilderness program. During that time I gained valuable insight while living outdoor for weeks at a time.

Recently I changed careers. I am now working as an industrial electrician specializing excavating. I have been blessed to work with my close friend Jake Smith through all these years.  We have been attending Rabbit Stick and Winter Count for quite a few years now. I have enjoyed the friendships I have forged at the gatherings, while sharing my passion for outdoor living skills.

I love the outdoors and I particularly love that it is always challenging me to listen, stay humble, and keep learning…

John Slattery

John is a bioregional herbalist dedicated to helping people develop deep and meaningful relationship with wild plants. John seeks to help people rekindle their connection with the heart, our highest cognitive organ, through deeper relationship with the natural world. 
His work has been widely influenced by indigenous plant healers from throughout the Americas, herbalist Michael Moore, and most importantly, the plants and wild places of the Sonoran desert and the broader bioregion of the Southwest US.
Looking back onto the ancient past, we may find a way forward that is truly and uniquely our own, steeped in the wisdom of our ancestors.

 

Lotta Clark

My name is Lotta Clark and attended my first Rabbitstick in 2001. I was hooked on Primitive Skills! For the next 10 years I was  student of all things and learned so much, basketry, felting, herbalism, gourd making, flint knapping, cordage, yougurt making, buckskin making – you name it and i probably have taken a class in it. Around 2011 I started teaching primitive bag making utilising the lower feet of wild animals from the knee down. I discovered that I love teaching and I have plenty of students with amazing bags they have made.
This year I will be teaching yougurt making without electricity and leading a discussion about bees.
I am a native of Sweden and have lived here half my life. I live in Coalville with my husband Kent who provides me with all the buckskin I need! I have bred cairn terriers, corn snakes, ball pythons, I am an EMR, a preschool teacher, a professional nanny and a bee keeper. I love learning new things and meeting new people. Looking forward to be an intructor at Fire to Fire. See you  there!

 

Erik Rasmussen

Erik Rasmussen has been interested in the outdoors since he was very young. His naturalist training started at the age of seven.

His childhood programs stoked his love of the outdoors. Growing up he learned fire by friction, arrowhead knapping, basketry, bowry, primitive pottery, tracking, bird language, edible and medicinal plants and much more. He started teaching when he ws 13 years olf. When he was old enough Erik started to facilitate programs of 20+ kids in nature exploration classes. He has taught at many classes in the Western United States.

Wanting to round out his skills as an Outdoorsman Erik attended the University of Utah and received his Bachelors in Parks Recreation and Tourism; emphasizing in Adventure and Outdoor Programs. He also received an Entrepreneurship Certificate. During his time in school Erik continued his practice in survival skills but also gained proficiency in mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, backpacking and other outdoor sports. To finish off his school career Erik interned at EarthWalk Northwest where he assisted with classes and soaked up skills knowledge like a sponge. He keeps his Wilderness First Responder Certificate up to date and continues to educate himself in the ancestral arts.

Today when Erik is not teaching he spends his time taking care of his daughter and wandering Utah’s marvelous landscape. His favorite skills are tracking, bird language, basketry and flint knapping. Erik’s passion for reconnecting people to nature has grown strong enough to build Making Tracks Earth Education.

Tara Jensen

Tara is an Energy Kinisiologiest.  She started her studies in 2013 with Susan McCrossin (Crossinology) in Boulder Colorado.  Since then, she has taken classes to learn various methods of Energy Kinesiology, such as the work of Ron Wayman (Empowerlife Kinisilogy), Charles Krebs (LEAP), and Hugo Tobar (Neuro Energitic Kinisilogy).  She specializes in emotional resolution and learning disabilities.

 

Energy Kinesiology is a non-invasive, holistic approach to health and well-being. Our body’s innate tendency is to be well and healthy.  Energy Kinesiologists use a biofeedback system called muscle monitoring to discover areas of stress/imbalance in the body, as well as the in the mind and energy systems, and identifies ways to bring you back to a healthy balance.

Practitioners do not treat or diagnose, but rather combine the muscle monitoring with various modalities to reduce stress and pain.  In this way, it opens the door to optimum health and well-being.

Heidi Lamb Castle, MS

Heidi is a Love Warrior. Her life’s
passion is building people up and
supporting them through life’s
challenges. Grief, loss, and abuse are
not strangers to Heidi. Recognizing the
synchronicity and beauty in her trials
has ignited her desire to help others
with their own healing, and self
compassion.
She will guide you through intention
setting and heart healing meditation
using sacred sound medicine, cacao
ceremony, drumming, and yoga nidra.
An outdoor and ancestral skills
enthusiast, Heidi brings a childlike
curiosity to all she does. She is a
lifelong learner. Heidi teaches at the University of Minnesota in Education and Natural
Resources. She is a mental health counselor and loves teaching yoga in her spare time.
Heidi currently lives in North Dakota. Her hobbies include writing poetry, blogging, spoon
carving, basketry, homeschooling, mushroom foraging, and travel.

Jennifer Pate

Jen is a homemaker in the style of our great grandmothers. Ever since she was a child, she has been a “do-it-herself-er”. At the age of 4 she learned to stitch with a needle and thread and has been adding all kinds of skills and crafts ever since. Jen especially enjoys reading just about anything and everything, learning and experimenting with old time skills and creating beautiful things. She is particularly drawn to skills and ideas that increase self-sufficiency and decrease dependence on “the system”. Her repertoire of knowledge and experience includes (but is not limited to): natural yeast bread making, cheesemaking, yogurt making, fermented foods-pickles, beets, beans, salsa, carrots, kefir – water and milk, soap making, spinning, knitting, crocheting, sewing and quilting, basket weaving, basket twining, nutrition, herbs, essential oils and alternative remedies. She has been running her own machine quilting business for the last 17 years, having custom quilted over 5000 quilts. She is mother to 7 and has homeschooled all or part of them for the last 10 years. She also enjoys music. She is a licensed Simply Music piano teacher, has toyed with guitar and mountain dulcimer and is gaining proficiency at the violin along with her daughters. She loves learning new things and connecting with awesome people.

Rosie Christman

A homeschool mother of 8 with a degree in social work, Rosie worked with infants, toddlers, and adult mental health
until she received a promotion and became a full time stay-at-home-mom, which is the hardest, yet most rewarding
work she’s ever done. She loves to mentor youth and adults, help heal hearts and families, and use her gifts and
talents to bless others and further the Lord’s work here on earth. She comes from a yours-mine-and-ours family with
14 kids. She has lived in poverty-stricken Bolivia, helping people learn to read, garden, build adobe huts, and
embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a family, they have raised pigs, dairy goats, chickens, Guinea hens, rabbits,
turkeys, sheep, an orphaned cow, dogs, and cats. They also have raised all sorts of crops for personal use and also
to sell at farmer’s markets. They love hunting and processing their own meat, canning food, making cheese,
fermenting foods, making home-made vinegar, and more! They have a business called the Homestead Institute
where they teach people to be self-reliant, improve their emotional and physical health, and live off the land. She
loves people, life, and learning and her love for the Lord motivates her in all she does.

Dakota Shaffer

I worked as a wilderness therapy guide for many years and was a survival skills instructor. I have a love for history and learning how folks lived in different times. My passion is passing on my outdoor and historical knowledge. I fell in love with the fur trapping era of American history and the ingenuity the mountain men showed. They crafted what they needed out of what they had, and that included their coats! Called Capotes, these ” blanket coats were extremely useful in battling the harsh cold of the western frontier. Swing buy and I would love to teach you how to make one of these beautiful pieces for yourself!

Jeff Sanders ~ Traditional Animal Processing

Jeff started acquiring the knowledge and skill of animal processing with the end goal of providing higher quality meat and nutrition for the table.  As with many, this was not a skill that was handed down to him. 

He gained his foundational animal processing skills during his twelve years at Boulder Outdoor Survival School, where he was a head instructor as well as the Program Director.    Following his sense that knowledge and skill are infinite, every animal provides inspiration for new ideas and he continually strives to discover methods that improve his process.

After his tenure at BOSS, he started sharing his animal processing experiences at gatherings, privately organized events and backcountry adventures that he conducts through Desert DAWN. Over the last 19 years he has shared his animal processing experiences with hundreds of people who are eager to regain the knowledge that has become obscured within the last century.

Dulcimer Doug Blackhurst

Dulcimer Doug Blackhurst, but back in the fall of 2015 I didn’t even know what a dulcimer was. I was at Rabbit Stick for the first time helping my daughter and grandchildren with general camp gear and set-up. At the end of the week I had built a Rocky Mountain Dulcimer from a kit purchased from Ray and Sherry Jacobs. Not being very musical I could barely play it, much less sing along with it.

Sock of socks, before leaving for home Ray and Sherry asked me to carry on their legacy of building dulcimer kits at Winter Count and Rabbit Stick gatherings. Wow, was I surprised and humbled to be honored with such a charge, and I am so thankful I said yes!

I have since learned the power of this instrument. It has been the key to opening up my inner Beetoven and revealing musical gifts I didn’t know existed in my 66 year old body and mind. I have now built over 100 dulcimer kits and met so many wonderful people, I am truly a blessed man.

Eric & Natalie Earl

Eric and Natalie Earl began attending primitive gatherings in 2017 when their neighbors’ Rob and Jen Pate introduced them to the gatherings. They jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back. They have enjoyed learning many primitive skills and crafts. But their favorite thing of all has been meeting new family along the way.

Eric enjoys learning new ways to be self-sufficient, woodworking, tinkering in his shop, and building new things that come to his amazing mind. Thanks to the gatherings, Eric has discovered that he can actually play instruments when he didn’t think he could. He has began collecting drums, flutes, tongue drums, and other sound therapy music instruments, by doing so has helped him to find new ways to relax and connect with himself and others. If anyone crosses Eric’s path that is in need he jumps at the chance to help them out.

Natalie enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and finding a new instrument to learn to play. She also has found her love for dreads and has convinced many others that this is the best way to have your hair. She also enjoys learning new skills and creating new projects in a variety of ways. She is constatntly moving from one thing to the next as she shows excitement in the new project she is working on. Natalie loves being a part of kids camp and to see the excitement in their eyes as they learn a new skill or begin a new craft.

Cat Farneman

Cat is a well-known herbalist and wild medicine specialist. She has been doing herbal medicine since about 1992 and has been teaching herbal medicine at gatherings since 1997. But she has been using herbs as medicine most of her life. Cat collects wild medicinal plants from all over the west and has a trading network with many people, plus she grows many of the plants she uses. She will help you learn to find the herbs your body needs and how to make medicinal products that can help you find balance in your health journey. Cat and her husband, Hal, have been married for 50 years. They have two sons and 9 grandchildren. Cat and Hal currently live in the mountains of Central Utah in the tiny town of Spring City.

Mindy Hardy

Mindy Hardy has been studying herbs and natural healing methods for 15 years.  She is passionate about learning how to heal in the old ways.  Her journey began and continues with studying and apprenticing with Cat and Hal Farneman.  She has  earned her Home Herbalist Certification through Dr. Christopher’s school of Healing Arts, and she is also a certified emotional release facilitator.   Mindy and her husband, Shad, have 3 children who they have homeschooled for the last 15 years.  Herbs have been a tremendous blessing to their family because they are able to avoid illness, heal injuries and avoid going to the doctor’s office as much as possible.  It’s been an amazing journey!  The Hardy’s have enjoyed attending Primitive Skills Gatherings for the last 10 years and look forward to adding Fire to Fire to their annual Gathering schedule.

Mark & Artimas Bayless

Artemis is an artist, art educator, clairvoyant healer and a lover of trees, rivers, birds and sky. Artemis has practiced and taught visual art for many years and enjoys sharing her love of drawing and painting in nature, far away from traditional classrooms. She has practiced intuitive healing techniques for over 15 years and is an accomplished clairvoyant with many hard-won skills and knowledge gems to share in that field. Artemis will be teaching Nature Drawing from Observation, Basic Grounding and Protection Techniques for Working With Energy, and holding private healing sessions.

Mark is a product of the West.  He grew up in San Diego
where he fostered a great love for the ocean and all things in nature.
Hiking in the hills east of San Diego and the desert further to the east
honed his great appreciation for the desert southwest which has continued
to this day.  

Several years ago, Mark became a member of the Primitive Skills community
through his involvement with the Anasazi Foundation and his association with
the people there.  Becoming a member of this ‘tribe’ changed and transformed his life. 

 Mark is an artist/sculptor (markkempbayless.com) and an environmental consultant.  He lives with his wife, Artemis, their son, Abe and their wonder dog, Taika in the foothills of west Cave Creek, Arizona.  Hiking on the trails just off their property is an ongoing activity with the family.

 At Rabbit Stick, Winter Count and at the Elements gatherings, Mark has taught stone pendant making, soapstone carving, petroglyph pecking and pictograph painting (grinding stones into powder on a metate with a mano, processing the powder into paint, making paint brushes from yucca, then painting on thin sandstone).

At Fire to Fire, Mark will be teaching stone pendant making, soapstone carving and knife throwing (yep, throwing sharp pointy things through the air and sticking them into a target).

Chase

“Don’t touch my hat!!!”
Chase is a proud husband and father of five kids. His favorite things to do are be with his family and help with homeschooling the five kids. He is lucky to have a wonderful wife who supports him in all his crazy endeavors.  He found primitive skills gatherings and was hooked. He loves to take his kids camping and teach them about the creations we have been given. He believes the gatherings are an important part to his kids development. He is most famous for his bag of tricks he keeps with him and the stories of the day paul bunyan came to his house or the famous hot sauce story! But his favorite story book he brings to the gatherings is called “Don’t touch my hat!”.  He is often referred to in camp as the guy with the brown campaign hat and the kids love to try to sneak up on him so they can hear him say “Don’t touch my hat!” in his best cowboy voice. If you see him around say hi!

Jean Jones

Jean has a passion for everything wool and nature, always looking for new fun projects that lead to some “dreadfully” fun stuff! A horse riding, animal loving, celtic m usic loving radio dj, plant loving, mom and wife in the woods that feels more at home in nature.

James Turner

James has spent over 20 years learning and practicing ancient living skills. From an early age he loved the simplicity and peacefulness of spending time in the outdoors. He currently is a Jr. High history teacher in Spokane, WA. He holds a Master’s degree in Outdoor Education and has a passion to connect young and old with the never ending adventure that follows those individuals that seek a relationship with nature. He has worked as a backpacking guide in Yosemite N.P., taught survival skills at various events and programs and has been invited to lecture at different venues on topics ranging from primitive skills to the history of the fur trade. He is a top ranked Atlatl thrower and some of his other specialties include brain tanning, friction fire, wool blankets, vintage cast iron identification and bird language. 

Ty Hardy

Ty has been attending primitive skills gatherings since he was 10 years old. His first Project was an atlatl which he still owns and loves to throw. Ty is a kid at heart and Fire to fire 2020 will be his 7th tweens camp. He is the reigning Banana tag champ and looks forward to encouraging the tweens to learn skills and have fun!

 

Brennon Miller

Brennon has always had an adventurous spirit, a love of learning, and a love of the outdoors. He has studied primitive living skills for 15+ years. He loves learning from, and teaching new skills to others. Brennon has been involved teaching youth groups outdoor survival skills in many different capacities. Learning to not only to survive but to thrive and enjoy the outdoors is one of his favorite passions in life!

 

Jack Gibson

 Jack Gibson has been to many gatherings over the past few years including Wintercount, Between the Rivers, Fire to Fire and Rabbitstick where he has learned skills such as: African drumming, blacksmithing, fire starting,  and flintknapping.

He has attended Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall Washington, where he learned Native American scouting and nature awareness. He has been homeschooled his whole life which he loves because it gives him the freedom to attend gatherings and also the time to work on his primitive skills.

He has always been an extrovert and loves making new friends. “ My favorite thing about the gatherings is the loads of people you meet. Without knowing who they are, you jump into a class with a person you just met and over the course of a couple of hours you make a good friend.”

 

Paul Wright

Paul Wright has been an avid outdoorsman all his life.  Spending most of his life in Southeast Idaho and Bear Lake County he gained an appreciation for all things in Nature and a close relationship to Native American Traditions.

He has experienced much in life, as an avid hunter and outdoorsman.  He was a hunting guide and worked in taxidermy for several years.

Due in his interest in History and Culture he was the President of the Upper Snake River Valley historical society and served on the board for 5 years.

His interest in the art of Flint Knapping began when he met Dave Wescott and started attending the Rabbit Stick gatherings in 1995.  Since then he has honed his skills and freely shared his experience with those around him.  His work can be found all over the west in stores and homes.

He has an affinity for working with Stones, as he would say “I like to play with Rocks” and has produces some beautiful work with Fire Opals from the mine in Spencer, Idaho.  He has developed the skill of wire wrapping stones and jewelry, as well as setting his stones in silver and gold for rings, earrings, pendants, etc.

His magnetic personality and jovial persona draw others to him in a very natural way. He has the “gift of gab” as some would say, and is a great person to get to know around a fire.  He and his brother Scott open their camp to anyone to join in an evening of conversation and music as part of connecting to each other, and inviting others to join.  He is affectionately know as “Pauli Lama” because of his clear way of seeing and expressing himself.

Jake Smith

My name is Jake Smith. The first job I ever had was helping my father run survival programs for local kids who were in high school. I have been in love with the wilderness ever since. I worked every summer in the deserts of Southern Utah. I then served a mission for my church for two years on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. I learned to speak Spanish and Mayan and learned many primitive skills from those people. I came home and began working for The Journey, a company that uses work, wilderness and therapy to change young teenagers lives. I became the Field Director for the outdoor component of the programs and then we started The Journey Wilderness program. I eventually became the Executive Director and helped train many staff and worked with many clients. I earned my degree in emergency management from Utah Valley University. I am a Wilderness EMT and love teaching Wilderness First Responder classes. I am a member of a Utah search and rescue team, but my ultimate pride and joy is my family. I have four amazing kids and a wife who supports and loves me. I have a passion for learning and teaching primitive and living history skills. I feel the better a person is trained the safer they are.

 

Michael Baird

Michael is a primitive skills instructor for California Survival school, a wilderness emt, and a backpacking guide for various therapy programs in the southwest. He has a passion for people and hanging out in the desert in his big hat.

 

Michael & Rosemary Wells

Mike and Rosemary Wells live on a small farm in Idaho they call The Shepherd’s Whistle where they raise Navajo Churro sheep. They enjoy woodworking, felting, spinning, tapping trees, making soap, building tiny off the grid structures and learning all they can about living the simple life. They are willing to share all they have learned and love learning from others as well. Fire to Fire is a great place to make this happen.

Michael Wells is an all around handy-man who has built homes from start to finish on his own. He and Rosemary travel in a bus they have refurbished to become a mobile home using his instruction and skills. Mike has been working with wood since he could hold a board over 50 years ago. He teaches woodworking skills using a simple log to create a stool. Mike employs basic hand tools to split the wood and fit the legs using mortise and tenon techniques from thousands of years ago. Mike enjoys watching his students build upon the skills he teaches them to produce a stool matching their vision of style and function.

Rosemary Wells has been primitive felting for over 15 years and teaching it for over 12. After a day of mental health counseling she enjoys creating with warm soapy water and soft wool. She took felting from four different teachers to perfect her craft making hats, bags, vests, rugs and other felted objects from the wool of the sheep she and her husband raise on their little farm in Idaho. Rosemary has felted with wolf, buffalo, rabbit, human hair and a variety of sheep, but prefers the wool of the Navajo Churros she breeds especially for the felting quality of their fiber. She teaches using basic layout techniques that will allow the student to progress to more difficult projects as they continue to practice felting. She loves watching new students discover their the beauty within as they create beautiful things with their hands.

 

Justin Swensen

Justin is coming in from Southern Utah where he is the field director at RedCliff Ascent; a wilderness treatment center for troubled youth and struggling young adults. Justin has a degree in human development and art. He is versed in a variety of primitive skills and backcountry travel. He has taught moccasin, capote, Native American style flute making, and wood carving classes for many years. Justin was introduced to woodworking and woodcarving by his grandfather at a young age. He later studied caricature and wood spirit carving under Susan Hedrix and has been carving wooden spoons for twenty years.

 

Dave Van Hook

aka “Dirty Dave”
Soap Maker

Cold Process soap making for over 25 years. Hot process soap making and teaching at gatherings since 2013  My background is in project and manufacturing supervision.  Started soap making as a hobby in the 90’s for family and friends. Took it real serious when diagnosed with lymphoma in 08. As what We put on our bodies is as important as what we put in it. Live in the Phoenix Valley raised in central Illinois and raised my kids in Northern Illinois. My first gathering was Winter Count 9 months after a Bone Marrow transplant. I attribute much of my recovery from a Bone Marrow Transplant to the culture and community of Primitive Skills Gatherings.

 

Soapy Su

My first interest in primitive skills was as a child reading a book on the Lenape Indians of New Jersey, where I grew up.(It always rained on my drying pottery and the bows I made from the privet hedge never shot straight) still I continued to try and expand my skills which only increased after attending Wintercount in 2002.

I was a wilderness leader for summer backpacking expedition programs throughout the Southwest, integrating primitive skill basics in all my courses. In winter, I was a teacher of the deaf where I set up and managed the outdoor ed programs, and brought hands-on skills and demonstrations into the classroom to supplement student’s comprehension of history.

After retiring, Dave, an accomplished soap-maker, and I have taught soap-making at multiple gatherings as well as at home, thus the name given to me: SoapySu

 

Sage Petersen

Sage Petersen lives on the road and is a single papa to his son Irie. He grew up barefoot and doing martial arts in the mountains of Colorado.

His fascination with high performance, peace and happiness along with his path of nature connection, fatherhood and movement guided him to the magic of the nervous system.

His work is about tapping into the vitality born naturally inside of each of us. His method called Neural Mapping brings quality information to the nervous system through the body to release stress, anxiety and fear and to liberate potential.

Neural mapping is a playful, purposeful, powerful combination of intentional primal movement, martial arts and nature connection designed to be easily integrated into daily life.

Mike Petree

Mike Petree is a printmaker, silversmith, fly fisherman, West African drumming enthusiast and father of 5. He started printmaking and silversmithing in high school and has carried his love for these mediums ever since. He and his wife, Bekkah, own a small coffee shop and art gallery in Bicknell, Utah where Mike sells printmaking and silversmithing.