Pump Drills

In preparation for summer teaching I recently spent some time making a couple new pump drills for demonstrations and hands-on activities.  While some modern tools were used in the production, these are entirely hand-made with no purchased parts or plans.  As I have only made two of these previously I spent a little time perusing […]

Read More Pump Drills

Making a bow-drill fire

I was lucky to learn this method as a young Scout and have stayed proficient over the many years since.  To become truly skilled at this, I went through a period of making a coal every day with either this method or by hand drill.  I spent a couple days and nights out in the […]

Read More Making a bow-drill fire

Not a House but a Home

What more do you need? Really? I love these simple homes. I suspect we, as a species, have spent much of our past in shelter little different than this. As an archaeologist, I can say that we actually discover relatively few “houses” on what are otherwise clear archaeological sites.  A dwelling like the lavvu above […]

Read More Not a House but a Home

Primitive Fishing

My fishing kit is coming together and I added another hook and leader last night. The left hook and gorge are made from deer cannon bone (metacarpal) and the right is whitetail deer antler.  The antler hooks are proving to be tougher and less likely to snap under tension.  The leaders here are yucca and […]

Read More Primitive Fishing

Learning by Replication

I study the technology of prehistory.  Because of this, I believe strongly in the benefits of experiential archaeology.  It gives perspective on a very deep level.  We can walk in the shoes of our ancestors, so to speak.  I say experiential here not experimental and I’m glad to hear this word coming into the dialog […]

Read More Learning by Replication

Raised With Wilderness Skills

Don’t leave the kids out of the things you find important… Nota bene! The following ramble was written at three in the morning and may contain sentiment, ramblings, and a bit of opinion. I don’t want this to sound preachy.  What was intended as a few childhood pictures from primitive technology events ran away with […]

Read More Raised With Wilderness Skills

Ghillies (simple shoes) again

Here’s a simple shoe design that was made by our ancestors before there were shoe shops or Zappos.  Much of the Europe population, both male and female wore a variation of this for many millenia, right up into the early 20th century.  They are commonly associated with their Celtic cousins in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland […]

Read More Ghillies (simple shoes) again