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Cooking in a clay pot NJ'11

TRUE SURVIVAL: The World of the Hunter-Gatherer

The Practical Primitive Original Intensive Skills Program

» Delve deeply into the skills and resources needed to survive and to thrive in the Hunter-Gatherer lifestyle of our ancestors.

» Learn in a holistic manner, leaving the randomness of individual skills behind.

» Acquire a fuller understanding of the Power of the Tribe and the importance of Community.

» Discover how you can become a part of the world around your, rather than living apart from the Earth and all her gifts.

» Test what you are learning each month, as you live the Hunter-Gatherer lifestyle, and in a week-long Survival Outing that is the culmination of the program.


"If you want to take your skills from the field guide to the field, to move from knowledgeable about skills to being highly-skilled, World of the Hunter-Gatherer is one of the best paths to take!"
      — Nate S. (2009 Tribe, TX)

The Application Period for the 2018 Tribe is NOW OPEN!

Check out some of our Favorite Photos of Past Hunter-Gatherer Tribes!

About The World of the Hunter-Gatherer

Be one of the small, select group of our FINAL New Jersey Hunter-Gatherer Tribe! Coming in 2018!

2018 Hunter-Gatherers will:
» Get together for one 3-day weekend each month from March - August (Dates to be announced.)
» Attend ANY additional 1, 2 or 3 day Practical Primitive workshop during your program at no additional cost.
» Schedule up to 6 four-hour one-on-one Mentoring sessions to improve your Hunter-Gatherer skills at no additional cost.
» Put it all together during a week-long Survival Outing to test what you have learned.

This program includes well-over 200 hours of intense, hands-on small-group instruction. If you were to try and take each of these program elements individually it would cost you at least $5600 and you would still not have gained the true Tribe experience. The World of the Hunter-Gatherer brings all of these elements together at a greatly reduced price, for a select group of dedicated individuals who are ready to go all-in and learn to turn the basics of Survival, into the ancient art of SurThriveAl.

Upcoming Session:     March – August, 2018
Location:                   Practical Primitive, Great Meadows, NJ
Tuition:                     $3800 ($500 deposit due upon acceptance.)
Application Deadline:  January 31, 2018
Apply:  Apply Online or Print & Mail your Application.

This is the FINAL TIME we will offering The World of the Hunter-Gatherer in New Jersey!
If you have spent the last decade thinking you want to do this program "one day",
this is your last chance to apply, so don't delay!

Igniting a tinder bundle

"My confidence grew as the program went on. I realized I COULD learn this stuff, and that one did not need to be special to figure it out! Eddie makes things so easy to understand that even a cave man like myself can do it. The class was a blast. The instruction was excellent. The experence was awesom. I wish the class never ended."
      — Eric S. (2010 Tribe, NJ)

Over the course of these six months you will recieve over 250 hours of hands-on instruction & practice in many more skills than there is space to list here, but below are just a few of the highlights to give you an idea. As a 2018 Hunter-Gatherer you will:

Setting a snare

"I didn't read about clay from a chalkboard. I collected it from the ground, processed it, formed it
into tools and bowls and fired it in my friend's backyard... When I was able to get fire with a
hand drill on my first day I know he had a gift as a teacher."
      — David B. (2008 Tribe, NJ)

Scraping a hide

Back in 2007 Eddie Starnater conceived a whole new method of teaching Primitive Skills — taking a small group of highly motivated and dedicated students, and teaching them the skills necessary to survive and thrive in the manner of a Hunter-Gatherer. By distilling down his many decades of practice and experience Eddie began teaching these necessary skills in a holistic manner, rather than piece-mealed out one at a time.

More than a simple immersion into primitive skills and survival, this specially designed six-month curriculum provides structure and greater understanding to learning the ways of the Hunter-Gatherer; each skill has been specifically chosen and each project deliberately assigned to teach many lessons and allow your knowledge and abilities to increase exponentially.

Over their six months, each Tribe members discover the manner in which skills overlap and intertwine and how, by understanding the fundamental tenets of one skill, knowledge and skill expand and multiply by leaps and bounds. Then, after completing six months of intense learning and practice you and your Tribe members will head out on a week-long Survival Outing where you will discover what you really know vs. what you only think you know. The ultimate practical experience to help you understand how not just how much you have learned, but how much there still is to learn!

During the past ten years many other schools have tried to copy this idea and implement their own Hunter-Gatherer type programs, but none have been able to replicate the original. The depth, breadth and scope of skill that Eddie has garnered in his 40+ years of hunting, tracking, trapping and practicing all aspects Hunter-Gatherer life can not be duplicated by others with less experience and fewer years.

Survival Outing Shelter

As a Tribe member you will gain a thorough and hands-on understanding of the Hunter-Gatherer's most important skills, and gain an internal and visceral understanding of the connections between the skills and of how, by learning to work within the community of the Tribe, you and your fellow Hunter-Gatherers will, together, become more than the sum of your parts.

Our focus will be on building a solid ability in and fundamental understanding of each skill. By coming to know a skill from the ground up you will discover how to transfer your existing knowledge in one skill to an entirely new subject. A new way of looking at the world will begin to emerge, and you will see how easy it can become to pull knowledge and pieces from many different areas and to bring them together into a whole new skill to excel at something you have never even tried before; a new and dynamic way of learning and understanding your connection with our Ancestors and with the whole of Creation.

The World of the Hunter-Gatherer is not for everyone. You must be dedicated, passionate, curious, and ready to put your all into 6 months of discovering how to turn "Survival" into "Sur-thrival", just the way our Hunter-Gatherer ancestors did. If you are ready to make the wilderness your playground and become a true part of the natural world that surrounds you, join us for this one-of-a-kind program where you will receive intense and personalized instruction that simply can not be matched, all in an environment that is positive, fun and enjoyable, where we share each others successes and learn from each others failures. Eddie & Julie break down the skills in a way that make them accesible to everyone, and the Hunter-Gatherer program will take you places you have, up until now, only dreamed of being able to go.

Birch bark shelter

"Practical Primitive's Hunter-Gatherer program gave me the confidence
(that I could not find in any other primitive skills school) to know that, if need be,
I could walk out my front door, march into the bush, and never have to look back."
      — Nick K., aka "Big Nick" (2009 Tribe, NJ)

On Becoming a Hunter-Gatherer

Coal-burning spoon

For most of human history our ancestors lived as Hunter-Gatherers, existing within the natural boundaries, patterns and balance of the earth. More than the skill and knowledge of that time has been lost to our modern selves; our very connection with the natural world around us has been severed, leaving many people feeling as though they are missing something very important in their lives. It is this connection that you will rebuild in The World of the Hunter-Gatherer.

Throughout the program you will approach the skills of our ancestors in a different way than you would just taking classes. Each skill is woven into the next so that very soon you will see how basketry relates to shelter building, which relates to water, which relates to plants, which relates to traps, which relates to tracking, which relates to flintknapping, and so on and so on and so on. A large portion of this program focuses on becoming more familiar with the plant kingdom and our dependence on it, and by the end of your time you will intimately know a minimum of forty different plants (but probably many, many more) and be able to prepare and use each one in multiple edible, medicinal and utilitarian ways.

Survival Outing supplies

By building this type of holistic knowledge base in our ancient skills you will be better prepared to face any challenge you may encounter, in any eco-system in the world. You will go deep into the principles that lie beneath each skill so that very soon you will come to realize that you don't need to know every design for every trap ever thought of — you will instinctively know how to to create the one you need for this situation, in this place, with these materials.

"This is the smallest notebook on my shelf but I don't know how many times I will actually even look at it because I "own" the knowledge of these skills now, in my head and my hands and my heart.
And for that I can never thank you enough."
      — Tracy E. (2010 Tribe, NJ)

Scott carrying his pack basket & fire bag TX'09 Frank leaving the Outing

Throughout the course of this program you will be continuously testing yourself against what you have learned. Each weekend will be spent living and working in the Hunter-Gatherer camp that you and your Tribe-mates create. You will learn how to build and maintain a shelter, because you will be staying in it! You will discover how to make and fire clay pots, and how to cook in them, because you will be doing it! You will understand the importance of practicing your traps, because you will be setting them for food! This continual building and re-building of your knowledge and skills in a primitive enviroment will help you to look honestly at yourself and your skills to see where they have permeated your being and where you are still in need of further practice. It is through this six-month, hands-on, intensive and immersive experience that you will discover how to allow the ancient legacy of the Hunter-Gatherer to become a part of you.

If you are prepared to work hard, get your hands dirty, try, fail, try again, and discover the absolute joy that comes with finding your true place and purpose within the bounds of Creation, then this program is for you.

"It may seem like a small thing, but through woodwork, stonework, pottery, netting, twining, basketry, bonework,
and all the myriad skills developed in order to produce quality items for daily survival,
you enter a new world of ability AND awareness.
You also become bolder in taking on difficult or complex craft projects because you can understand
how to get there from where you are!"
      — Jon T. (2009 Tribe, TX)

For more information check out our Hunter-Gatherer program FAQs

Dirty hands Apor with his throwing stick


"I consider the time I spent with the Hunter-Gatherer program
to be the best money and time I've ever spent on
survival skills. I had learned everything in "theory"
before working with Eddie.
After those six month I had actually gotten my hands dirty."
      — David B. (2008 Tribe, NJ)



TX'09 Survival Shelter   Dinner on the Outing   Inside the shelter

If you are thinking of taking this course, please understand that my H-G course ended 8 months ago and I am nowhere near finished unpacking and exploring all of the lessons that this course had to offer.
I highly reccomend this course to anyone, period. But if you are concerned with enhancing your skill at the survival arts, or have an interest in primitive culture, this is a can't miss situation for you!"
— Jon T. (2009 Tribe, TX)


A $500 deposit is due upon acceptance into the program, with the balance payable via one of the following options:

Option 1: A single payment in the full balance amount of $3300 on or before the first day of the program.
Option 2: Three payments of $1100, due at the March, April & May weekends.
Option 3:
Five payments of $665, due at the March - July weekends (includes $25 fee for the processing of multiple payments.)
Option 3: Use PayPal Credit to recieve 6 months interest-free financing.

Proposed Weekends:
Here are the currently proposed weekends for the 2018 program. We still have flexibility with these dates so if you would be unable to make one of the weekends below please indicate it on your application so alternative dates can be examined. The final schedule will be agreed upon by all Tribe members.
March 9-11
April 6-8
May 4-6
June 8-10
July 6-8
August 3-5
Survival Outing: August 18-24

Setting deadfall trapHunter-Gatherer New Jersey
Program Length:        6 Months
Upcoming Session:     March – August, 2018
Location:                   Practical Primitive, Great Meadows, NJ
Tuition:                     $3800 ($500 deposit due upon acceptance.)
Application Deadline:  January 31, 2018
Apply:  Apply Online or Print & Mail your Application.


Applications must be filled out in their entirety and received by

If you have any questions about the program feel free to give us a call,
or send an e-mail to


Printable Application Form

If you would prefer to mail in your application you may download a printable copy here. (This is a PDF file. Acrobat Reader is required.) Simply click on the "Print" icon at the top left of the form, or on Save to save a copy to your computer for printing at a later time.
Please mail your completed application to:

Intensive Skills Studies Program
Practical Primitive
14 Sussex Lane
Great Meadows, NJ 07838

(To apply online click here.)

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