The ability to make fire from the forest without any need of tools from home has given me a heightened feeling of freedom and self sufficiency that is difficult to express. I may in the future to through a lengthy how-to on the process. Until then please watch and glean what you can from this video.
This year at the Maine Primitive Gathering I only took a few pictures. The Gathering has come to be so important to me, a chance to see so many special people and feel part of a community that shares a common interest. My time there this year was abbreviated so I was not able to connect with as many of those special people as I wanted to.
The images here do not begin to do justice to the scope and dynamic nature of the Gathering. I was too busy enjoying myself to take pictures that might express this better. Dozens of instructors taught workshops about archery, bow and arrow making, friction fire of all types, tracking, survival skills, health and healing, and many other primitive and wilderness skills. Many families attended, I saw a lot of little babies on their mothers hips and kids running everywhere. What follows are a few examples of what went on.
Some oldtimers and whippersnappers Mike, Al, Nick, Red and Bob, all experts in one field or another, there to share the knowledge.
One of many workshops.
Garlic Hawkers Rich, Gabby and Maple
Some of the boys hanging out around the fire.
A fire workshop on group friction fire. Here they are teaming up on a giant hand drill.
Someone saw me looking around for my daughter and our friends and asked “Looking for your tribe?” and I thought, yeah I am, my tribe within a tribe. In this place I am a member of the the Gathering Tribe, the Fire Clan, the Deneen, Andy, Gabby, Jace, Evan, Dena, Maple Tribe (my “extended” family) and the Long Time Instructor Society.
Pardon my sentimental words. To be part of something meaningful is a great feeling and a tough thing to explain.
In the last week or so I got a coal from White Ash on White Ash bowdrill and several handrill coals with Horseweed on Basswood. The Horseweed is great, the best I have experience with the possible exeption of Yucca and Mule-fat but has the added bonus of growing around here.
My co-instructor Chris and I harvested a dozen or so Horseweed plants from along a railway this week as well. They are drying now.