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Virtual Instructor — Your Online Learning Center
What Do You Want To Learn Today?
Part of our mission at Practical Primitive is to provide skills teaching that is Attainable, Affordable, and Accessible to everyone. To that end we are continually working hard to bring you high-quality instruction in a virtual environment.
We hope you'll enjoy what we have to offer, and learn something new along the way!
Interactive Online Webinar Series
Attend our Interactive Online Webinar Workshops on
a variety of different skills & subjects. Webinars take place
on weekday evenings and last around 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the
number of questions asked by participants. Whether you attend the LIVE & INTERACTIVE broadcast or
watch the RECORDED version, you'll have access to the recording for a
minimum of 30 days! All you need is a stable, high-speed internet connection
that is capable of watching streaming video without "buffering". No
special software or plug-ins are required and you won't have to download
anything; just input your password and go!
A great new way for you to learn — we look forward to "seeing" you there!
(Not familiar with Webinars & Webcasts? Check out our FAQs below!)
Upcoming LIVE Webinar Events
Watch for new LIVE Webcast Events on the schedule soon!
Watch any previously recorded webinar via our Webinar Hub. Just click on the "Past Meetings" tab and REGISTER for the recording you want to watch! (All registrations come with a MINIMUM 30-Day Access!)
Emergency Preparedness 3: The House Kit — Shelter-in-Place or Evacuate
(Originally Broadcast Wednesday February 6, 2013)
Our previous Emergency Preparedness webinars have taught you how to know what realistic emergencies you should be prepared to face, and what to put in your main mobile emergency kit, your "GO" Bag.
In this, the final segment of our 3-part series, we will be focusing on The House Kit. This is your "Grab & Go" kit that stays in your home and contains everything you need to be safe and prepared in a sudden or protracted "Shelter in Place" emergency scenario, but is contained and transportable enough that it can be quickly packed into your vehicle should Evacuation become necessary.
We will be going into specific detail about the items that should be in EVERY House Kit, as well as what items are not necessary, what myths you can ignore, and why you DON'T need to spend a ton of money on MREs, or anything else!
This webcast will take you step-by-step through what you need to do be prepared without spending a lot on unnecessary "stuff", and without having your "preps" take over your life.
Every home and every family should be prepared in advance to face an emergency — it's the most responsible thing to do! So sign up now to join us on Wednesday February 6, 2013 for the LIVE Interactive Broadcast. Next time a "Sandy" or "Snowtober" is in the forecast you won't have to run around scared, because you will already Be Prepared!
Watch the Recording ON DEMAND! $25 (Minimum 30-Day Unlimited Access)
Emergency Preparedness, Session 2: The "GO" Bag
(Originally broadcast December 28, 2011)
Our previous EP Session (What Am I Preparing For???)
discussed how to discover exactly what types of likely emergency scenarios
you are actually preparing for, and gave a brief overview of the different
Emergency Kits you should have prepared.
This evening we will focus on your main mobile kit, The GO Bag. Many people will tell you that you should have a GO Bag prepared, but they don't tell you what you should have in it!
That is what this evening's session will focus on. We will take a detailed look at the specific "just in case" items that should be kept inside, discuss why every item is important and the many ways in which each one can be used.
There is no need to spend big bucks putting your GO Bag together. In fact, you'll probably be surprised how easy it is and how many items you already have around you home. Just remember, there is no one-size-fits-all GO Bag, and each adult, child and pet in your home should have their own.
You never know where you might be when an emergency occurs which is why, whether you want to stay lost or get found, just like the name implies, this kit should go with you, everywhere you GO.
Watch Recording (Minimum 30-Day Unlimited Access to Recording: $20)
Purchase the DVD (Edited recording of webinar, including all questions and additional photos & information: $19.95)
Shelter Building Principles
(Originally Broadcast November 17, 2011)
The ability to build a shelter is one of the most important skills for
anyone who spends time outdoors to learn. More people die of exposure
than anything else and your shelter IS your defense! Sadly, while there
are many hundreds of YouTube videos and webpages and classes devoted
to building debris huts, there is a great deal of very poor information
out there being passed along by people who don't have a true understanding
of the incredibly important Principles behind what they are attempting
to do and no ability to adapt the one shelter they know to any other
environment than in the woods with lots of leaves on the ground.
This webcast will be a discussion of those essential Shelter Building Principles that need to be followed to create a shelter that will keep you warm (or cool), dry and safe in any environment at any time of year, whether or not you have an abundance of leaf debris.
And yes, we will be talking about DOORS!
30 Day Unlimited Access to Recording: $25
Watch Recording (Minimum 30 Day Unlimited Access to Recording: $20)
Order the DVD (Edited recording of webinar, including all questions and additional photos & information: $19.95)
Emergency Preparedness, Session 1: What Am I Preparing For???
(Originally Broadcast August 31, 2011)
There is an old adage that says "Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail".
But unless you know what you're planning for, "failure" is still a very real possibility!
The first in our three-part Emergency Preparedness series, this webinar will focus on helping you make a realistic assessment of the most likely emergency scenarios for your particular area, and how you and your loved ones can be best prepared should one or more of those situations arise. We will also discuss topics such as the Top 5 things you should ALWAYS have on hand, determining the probable government and local emergency services that may (or may not) be available, deciding when to leave and when to stay, and how to encourage neighbors and friends to be prepared, not scared.
There is no excuse not to be prepared — So let's all get started learning
exactly WHAT to be ready for!
Watch Recording (Minimum 30 Day Unlimited Access to Recording: $25)
Principles of Natural Camouflage: The Science of Invisibility
(Originally broadcast July 27, 2011)
All too often the concept of Natural Camouflage is presented as little
more than covering yourself with mud and ash, and basically just "getting
True Natural Camouflage is an Art, and is applied in very specific ways for very specific reasons! During this 90 minute webinar you will learn:
- The Principles of "Dead Space"
- How to "disappear" and remain unnoticed
- How we percieve our environment
- The 9 "S-entials" of camouflage
- When, where and how to move on the landscape
- The application of natural camouflage materials
- And much more!
Watch Recording (Minimum 30 Day Unlimited Access to Recording: $20)
Purchase the DVD (Edited recording of webinar, including all questions and additional photos & information: $19.95)
Buy the Companion Book (Full-color, contains all slides from the original webcast as well as Eddie's own notes: $17.95)
(PDF e-book version also available: $12.95)
What is a Webinar?
A Webinar is an interactive online workshop that will allow you to learn from Practical Primitive right in your own home! You can attend the LIVE broadcast at the scheduled time, meaning that you will be able to ask Eddie questions and make comments in real time as the workshop is going on, or you can watch a previously RECORDED version at a time that is convenient to you. Either way, you will have access to the recording for 30 days and can re-watch it as often as you like during that time.
How do I sign up to be a part of the LIVE broadcast & will
I be able to ask questions?
Click on the "Sign Up to Attend Live" button below the Webinar you want to attend. You will be taken to a Registration page where you will need to fill out a bit of information, then redirected to the payment site.
One of the great things about attending the LIVE event is the real-time "chat" window at the bottom of the screen that allows you to ask questions or make comments at any time during the broadcast. There will also be a full "Question Period" at the end of each webinar.
How do I watch a RECORDED broadcast?
The day following a live event we will post a direct link to the registration page for the recorded version under that webinar's description.
If you wish to check out all of our past webinars, click on the "View Past Recordings" link on the right of this page to be taken to our Webinar Hub. Click on the "Past Meetings" tab to choose from any of our previous online workshops. "Register" for the webinar you wish to view, and you'll have access to that recording for a full 30 days! Once you have paid for either the LIVE or RECORDED version of a Webinar you will be able to access the recording as many times as you wish for 30 days. Simply click the link you recieved in your Registration e-mail or on the "View Past Recordings" button on the right of this page, click the appropriate "View Recording" button and watch away!
Why do you charge less for the LIVE version?
To encourage you to come! We want people to be there, asking questions and interacting with us during that LIVE event — it will make the whole experience more fun for eveyone!
Virtual Instrucion Videos
NOTE: These videos are connected to the YouTube website using "Active
If your computer automatically blocks this, it is safe to run the needed scripts and allow the Active Content to play.
Slings have been used for tens of thousands of years as weapons in both hunting and warfare. They are lightweight, easy to carry, and when it comes to harvesting small animals (like rabbits) slings are an ideal choice due to their speed, silence and accuracy.
This sling design was shown to us by our good friend Doug Meyer, and we love it for it's easy design and the fact that all it takes is a single strand of cordage to put the whole thing together. The sling in the video is designed to throw golf-ball-sized projectiles, but you can easily adjust the size of the pouch up or down by changing the width of the string folds.
Easy to make and fun to throw, this is a "can't miss"
sling design — provided you practice your accuracy of course!
Carving a Perfect Bowdrill Notch
Whether you are doing bowdrill or hand drill, taking that extra bit of time to carve a perfect notch can mean the difference between quick and easy success, and a long struggling effort that leaves you exhausted and is just as likely to end in failure as anything else.
In this video Eddie takes you through a simple step-by-step process to easily and safely carve a properly sized notch into your bowdrill fireboard. By following these instructions you will learn how to make each and every notch you carve virtually identical and virtually perfect. The perfect size, the perfect shape, the perfect place on your board — the Perfect Bowdrill Notch every time!
— Popsicle Stick Drill #1:
One of the most difficult aspects of flintknaping to teach (and to learn) is just how hard to hit the rock. Eddie struggled for years with how best to get this concept across to new knappers, and it used to be a matter of hitting a whole lot of rock until the student "got the feel" of things. No longer!
Thanks to an "a-ha" moment while trying to teach Julie how to knap a few years ago, the popsicle stick drill was born. Through the use of cheap and readily available popsicle sticks, leaning the proper force needed for flintknapping is now a much less frustrating — and much less expensive! — process.
For several years now we have been using this technique
to teach Proper Strike in our Flintknapping workshops and
have seen students make amazing improvements to their abilities in a
very short time. Whether you use this exercise as a learning tool or
as a way to warm up before you start hitting on rock, try it. You WILL
see an improvement in both your strike and your accuracy!
Flintknapping — Popsicle Stick Drill #2:
Striking your rock too far into the piece, or "overstrike", is one of the most common reasons for breakage in flintknapping. Many new knappers don't realize exactly how small a section of billet should actually hit the rock — it's just the very tip!
Building on the accuracy you are developing through Popsicle Stick Drill #1, this second exercise will help you learn to use only the very tip of the billet when striking your piece, and dramatically reduce your instance of breakage due to overstrike.
Students who have attended our 9
Step Knapping workshops and participated in our Secrets
in the Stone Intensive Skills Program will be familiar
with this drill, and those who have continued to make this exercise
a part of the skills practice will tell you what an amazing difference
it makes! So grab some popsicle sticks and give it a try!
Bowdrill Fire — Proper Form
When it comes to making friction fire with a Bowdrill set, proper form can make the difference between a long and tiring struggle to "power through" to a coal, or easy and effortless success in a minute or less.
Once you understand the principles of proper form, you will discover just how simple and reliable bowdrill can be, no matter what types of wood make up your kit. It is the use of these techniques, along with carefully carved kits, that allows us to teach bowdrill to almost anyone in less than 30 minutes.
Combine the information provided in this video with our step-by-step photos and instructions on How to Carve a Perfect Notch and you'll go a long way toward improving your speed, efficiency and reliability with bowdrill fire.
Flintknapping: Arrow Points from Bottle Bottoms
While not all of us are fortunate enought to live near good sources of flintknapping rock, there is one thing we can always find plenty of: glass bottles!
Glass is a fantastic and inexpensive material to knap, as it flakes (almost) exactly like obsidian and can be found in almost every dumpster and recylcing can around.
This video takes you step-by-step through the full process of turning a glass bottle bottom into a finished arrow point. The entire reduction process is detailed so you won't miss a thing. Now get out there and raid your recyclables, and give it a try!
For in-person instruction on making arrow points from bottle bottoms and other materials, be sure to check out our Arrow Points: From Bottle Bottoms & Beyond workshop.
(Now a "Special Bonus Feature" on our 9 Step Knapping: Flintknaping Made Easy DVD!)
Shooting the Longbow
This past June three students came to our 1 day Shooting
the Longbow workshop without any significant previous experience
shooting a bow. When they arrived, their major goal was to be able
to hit the target consistently by the end of the workshop.
There's an old saying, "If you don't know knots, tie lots!" Luckily, for those of you who would like to learn, there are a few basic knots that will cover almost every situation.
Since knots can be difficult to learn via written instructions, we shot this video as a companion piece to our August 2009 Skill of the Month.
The Timber Hitch, also known as a Bowyer's knot, is extremely versatile, and a great knot to secure a line or begin a lashing. We use it tie on on bow drill cords, tie on bow strings, tie up a hammock, and of course it can be used to drag big logs, which is where it got it's name.
(Interested in having free, step-by-step instructions
for a new skills project come to your inbox?
During a Stalking & Natural Camouflage workshop we held down in Texas our friend Michel (who happens to be a professional film maker) brough his camera along and shot some very cool footage. This is a brief compilation of some of that footage that he put together for us.
There is at least one person "cammoed up" in every shot but the last one. How many can you spot?
Flintknapping: Improving Your Strike Accuracy
If you want to begin to increase your skill level in Flintknapping, one of the most important things you must do is work on your Strike Accuracy. As Eddie always says in the 9 Step Knapping workshop, the rock will do exactly what it's supposed to do every single time. And if you hit it where you intend to, it will do what you want it to do too!
This video contains a simple exercise that will, with practice, greatly improve the accuracy of your flintknapping strikes. Eddie is using a copper bopper billet, but you can use traditional tools such as antler to the same effect.
Matt Neary — Archery Pimp
July 2008: Our first 2-day Archery Fundamentals workshop. A New Yorker, a Jersey Boy, a Colorado mountain man and an Amazon Chick from Oz gathered to learn the art of shooting a bow.
By noon on the second day folks who had never done more than hold a bow in their lives were shooting pie plates out of the air!
Julie happened to have the little Kodak EasyShare camera on hand and snagged a couple of video snippets of our Brooklyn boy, Matt, as he shot his first (but definitely not last!) aerials.
(Sorry for the poor video quality on this one, but it was all we had at the time, and Ryan dancing in the background was just too great not to put on YouTube!)
In April 2008 we traveled to the Catskills to visit our good friend's, the Wrights. While hiking up near the top of their mountain our dog Hugo found a muddy puddle to drink from, and an idea took hold. Eddie & Mark found some digging sticks and proceeded to dig out a hole about the size of a basketball. The water came pouring in, and our mountin-top seep was born.
The following day we returned with some proper tools, enlarged the hole and lined it with some of the flat stones that are everywhere up there. After scooping out all of the water a few times to get rid of the mud and other flotsam, the water ran as clear and as sweet as any you've ever tasted.
Just as we were finishing up a great Eagle flew overhead — the first eagle Julie had ever seen in the wild. We christened the place Eagle Spring, and it has become a rest stop and water haven for all the animals (2-legged & 4-legged) that live there.
(Want to try this yourself? Here are step-by-step photos & instructions on How to Dig A Seep.)
Building a Log Cabin Fire Structure
Often overlooked, the log cabin fire is an excellent structure to build under almost any circumstance. More stable and easier to construct than a teepee fire, the log cabin will provide you with plenty of heat, lots of light, and a great bed of coals.
And it's easy! Just remember that you always want about twice as much of the "small stuff" and tinder as you think you'll need.
(Follow these step-by-step photos & instructions on How to Build a Log Cabin Fire Structure.)
Bow Drill Fire with Night Vision Eyes
Using our night-vision video camera, we filmed Eddie
spinning up a bowdrill coal on a very dark, moonless Spring night. So
dark that he could not even see when his notch was full, or if a coal
Watch as the coal comes alive, becoming visible via the Night Vision several seconds before it can be seen with the naked eye. Very Cool!!
(Special thanks to Seth for putting this video together for us.)