Imagine exploring a wild and scenic Montana river! A huge and majestic moose might be just around the next bend! Beavers, elk, deer, eagles, bears, wolves and other wildlife live here along the Jefferson River in SW Montana. The trout fishing is word class, too!
Welcome to River Camp! The land is operated by our good friend, Tom Elpel, whom Chris has known for almost 30 years. Here Tom runs a Hunter-Gatherer Immersion program where students learn to be a part of nature by living it.
Sleep in a 34 foot earthlodge, one of several wickiups, a grass hut or tipi. Gather cattails and other wild plants for a pit bake dinner and make your own plant medicines. Learn a wide variety of skills from pottery to parfleche to fire making! And then fall asleep each night to a crackling campfire and the hooting of great horned owls.
This magical experience is a week that you’ll never forget! Come immerse yourself in the wilds of Montana!
***This event is limited to 20 participants.
Introductions and tour of the area with Tom Elpel
Make a grass rope and join the Tug-of-War!
Swim in the pond, go fishing and explore your home for the week
Dinner (Receive Gourd and Spoon Blank)
Burning and carving to make a spoon
Morning stalking / bird language
Plant walk and gather materials for fire-making kits
Coiled and Pinch-pot Pottery
Canoeing Instruction (on the pond)
Travel to Tom’s permaculture homestead and tiny castle!
Gather and begin processing of natural earth pigment
Botany Card Game intro to plant medicines
Plant Identification / Foraging Walk
Medicine Making from local plants
Permaculture Homestead Tour
Free Day! Choose your own adventure:
Float Trip on the Jefferson River (no cost/unguided)
Complete fire kits and other projects
Fires for many uses – Learn about the 5 basic types of campfires
Outdoor cooking methods with a special wild meats and plants pit bake.
Introduction to parfleche (rawhide containers) and primitive pigments
Complete parfleche and pigments project
Complete other projects
Enjoy our last full day (hiking, canoeing, fishing, tracking, weave a basket, new projects and more)
Closing Circle and gratitude for an incredible week!
Break Down Camp/Departure
*Each student leaves with a gourd bowl, wooden spoon, pottery drinking cup, 2 jars of medicine, an earth pigment decorated Parfleche carrying case and memories of this trip-of-a-lifetime.
Parfleche decorated with natural earth pigments.
About your instructors:
Chris Morasky is a wildlife biologist with over 35 years experience teaching ancient skills and nature connection and is considered one of the top Stone Age skills experts in North America. He lived in a tipi for 6 years, homesteaded along the most remote mail route in the lower 48 states and led totally Stone Age expeditions into the wilderness of Idaho and Oregon. His teachers include Lakota, Shoshone, Arapaho, Crow, Blackfeet and Serri tribesmen, many wilderness skills experts and life itself. Chris’ workshops focus on awakening instincts, ancient skills and deep nature connection as doorways to understand more fully who we are, why we’re here and where we’re headed.
Thomas J. Elpel is the founder of Green University® LLC and Outdoor Wilderness Living School, LLC (OWLS), as well as HOPS Press, LLC and the Jefferson River Canoe Trail. He has authored seven books and produced seven videos on topics ranging from wilderness survival and botany to stone masonry, sustainable construction, and green economics.
As a child, Tom was mentored by his grandmother, Josie Jewett. Together they explored the hills and meadows near Virginia City, Montana, collecting herbs, looking for arrowheads and watching wildlife. Grandma Josie helped Tom to learn about native plants and their uses, igniting a passion for nature that has inspired him ever since.
Tom’s first serious exposure to wilderness survival skills began at the age of 16, when he went on a 26-day, 250-mile walkabout in the desert canyons of southern Utah with Boulder Outdoor Survival School. The following year he and Grandma Josie went together to Tom Brown’s Tracker School in New Jersey. From there Tom spent thousands of hours practicing, developing, and teaching survival skills in his “backyard" in the Rocky Mountains.
Tom’s basic philosophy is that wilderness survival skills are useful to connect with nature, yet you shouldn’t run away from the problems of modern society. Instead, we need to apply the lessons of living close to nature to the challenge of solving our worldly problems.