There aren’t too many places left on this planet where people life a more simple life, subsisting mainly on what the land provides. I recently came across a documentary about a village in central Siberia called “Happy People – A Year in the Taiga” where this is true to some degree: ancient traps exist next to snowmobiles.
Some of you may know it already – the english version is now available on the internet (just click on the picture below to watch it)
The russian original is a four part documentary with much more footage (though without translation) and can be found here:
Speaking of documentaries of “modern” examples of traditional lifestyles, there is a documentary called “Cree Hunters of Mistassini” that shows several Cree families back in the 70’s that moved into the bush for their winter hunting and trapping. Highly recommended.
There are, of course, a number of other documentaries about that subject (though many of them are not available for free on the internet like the two mentioned above).
“Year of the Caribou” is another one I can definitely recommend. It shows a family who moved into a remote part of interior Alaska to live off the land (the DVD is available for sale online).
I´m getting things ready to head out into the woods. For probably most of this coming summer I´ll be immersed in the woods with a small group of people. That also means that I won´t be posting here, since there will be no computers available. If you´re interested in reading about the immersion, there´ll be a blog about it at
which will be updated sporadically with writings, pictures or sound recordings thanks to some people who will transcribe and post the material for us primitives.
The lakes around here still have a layer of ice, soon they will look like this…
It´s been great sharing here, and I´ll probably continue doing so once I get back from the immersion in the fall.
Enjoy the spring/summer!
this is my first post here. Torjus and I have known each other for a number of years, and I recently asked him what he thought about me contributing to his blog…so this is why you see me writing here. We both share a passion for a living simply, primitively, without many of the accouterments of modern society. (Yes I know we both use the internet 😉 ).
Torjus´ website is of high quality in my opinion, and I´m honored to be a contributer here.
A little bit about myself:
My name is Thomas. I grew up in Germany and have been living in various places (wild and not so wild) and communities in Europe and the US for the past ten years or so. A few years ago, I did the Wilderness Guide Program at the Teaching Drum Outdoor School in Wisconsin, USA which was both shattering some illusions I had about “living primitively” while at the same time feeding my passion to continue pursuing such a lifestyle. Since then I´ve met and lived with a number of people who share similar interests, Torjus being one of them. Even though we currently live in different places – right now I reside in the Northwoods of Wisconsin – I really appreciate how we can learn from and inspire each other, exchanging our growing knowledge skills and craft projects. In our fast-paced, technological world, we seem to loose more and more connection with the natural world that sustains us, and the skills to live in a balanced relationship with it.
This is where my reason for writing comes in: I´d like to keep those skills alive, by practising, living them, and continue to learn by sharing with others who have a similar desire.
My posts will probably be pretty irregular as I frequently find myself spending time in the woods and like to be immersed without modern technology during those periods.
Looking forward to the sharing here,
Last year Patrick McGlinchey (Backwoods Survival School) and I ran a survival course in my home valley in Telemark, Norway. We arrange one this year too in the end of September.
A list of some of what was covered last year:
- Bowdrill fire with natural cordage
- Trout fishing with bare hands
- Skinning and butchering, small game and moose
- Fish spears and spearing
- Making nets
- Moose ear pouches
- Basic flintknapping
- Skin boat (coracle)
- Seine netting
I can not guarantee that the exact same subjects will be taught this year. BUT I would go as far as saying that I guarantee that we catch trout and if it turns out like last year, we’ll catch loads of them! I think we caught about 500 brown trout then.
Photos by a participant last year can be found here.
If you think this sounds exciting, feel free to contact Patrick through this link.