Ontario Trackers club

June 2000 Meeting

A Primitive Skills weekend at Kathy & David's
(Photos by David Browne)



    A few folks arrived Friday evening, but most arrived Saturday morning and afternoon.  The group was greatly enhanced by the presence of 9 folks from the Sierra Club, who came to learn some primitive skills.  As a group we decided to focus on fire-making (bow drill), cordage, debris hut construction (we actually made one), throwing sticks, movement (stalking, fox walking, etc.), plant identification and tracking.
    Saturday evening we had a sweat lodge.  Sunday we did some tracking, but most of us were too tired out from the sweat lodge to do much of anything.   Some of us did research on plants and trees.
    All in all, it was an excellent, busy weekend, with lots of activities.   In all, there were 28 people at this meeting!!

I found it to be an interesting and eye-opening experience.  Tracking was something I had not yet been exposed to and I was glad I had the opportunity to learn some survival skills!  I also learned some activities that may be fun for the kids.  I felt welcomed and had a great time!  Thank you for having us!
Jen Baker

    Whenever I'm in a car and we get lost (which seems to happen a lot), I say "we're not lost, we're on an adventure!".  And little did I know that the day we got lost heading to our first trackers meeting would be one big adventure.
    Building a debris hut would be our first goal and it amazed me how well it turned out, and there was no need for interior decorating to boot!!
    Nonetheless, you can't have a debris hut without your very own handcrafted grass (welcome) mat.  The awesome smell of freshly cut grass alone would attract lots of new friends.
    And no down-to-earth abode would be complete without some cedar bark rope, I mean, the possibilities are endless!!  Finally, we all know how important a warm fire is for all of those accessories e.g. food, warmth, safety, etc.  This was thee best part of the day for me, starting fires always brings back fond childhood memories....
    But, on a less serious note, the whole day really was amazing.  It was a wonderful feeling to work with people who care about our natural environment in a team atmosphere to accomplish any number of goals.  There was no shortage of energy and laughter as the day went on.  I will especially remember the patience and encouragement of seasoned trackers when helping us less experienced outdoor enthusiasts in starting our very own fire. 
    On behalf of all the Children's Summer Outings leaders who attended the meeting I would like to thank Mike for inviting us to this adventure, to Kathy and David for graciously welcoming us into their home, and to everyone who made the day special for us all. 
    With many thanks, 
    Ingrid Sikorcin
    Children's Summer Outings

P.S..  In case anyone was wondering, Cheryl and I recovered nicely from our near concussions during the fox walk circle...for this one, you really had to be there!!    Cheers!!

Debris hut construction

The ribs


Finished debris hut (except there's only a thin layer of debris on it)
Note the branches on top to help keep the debris from blowing away.

Debris hut door close-up
Emerging after a satisfying sleep in her new home!
(Well, ok, not really - she's just testing it out!)

Grass mats

Chris showing off the grass mat he made
(this is the crazy guy who ran around the house in the winter in the snow with no....oh never mind!)

Primitive Firemaking - Bowdrill

Teamwork with the bow drill


Working at getting fire for the first time
She's got a coal!  Now the delicate part: getting it out of the notch without disintegrating it!
Blowing the coal into a flame - his first bowdrill fire!!

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