Traditional Arts, Primitive & Survival Skills, Simple Living Skills Gathering

September 30th - October 4th, 2020

Join us in Northwest Wisconsin!!

THREE TREES EARTHWAYS GATHERING brings together the intertwining knowledge from three trees of knowledge : Traditional Arts, Primitive & Survival Skills, and Simple Living Skills. Join us for hands on workshops from passionate skilled instructors, all on Leisure Lake, at the Washburn County Youth Camp near Trego, Wi.


Sam Thayer

Wild Edibles Expert and Author

Amy Schmidt - Gathering Director

HISTORYs Alone The Beast Cast

Primitive Technology and Survival Skills Specialist. From life in wigwams, tipis, log homes, etc Amy is always adapting to life and her wonderful family. She has had a passion for simple primitive life for 20 years and considers herself a forever student of the natural world. After spending 9 months training and living in primitive conditions she had been for ever changed. This gathering is her brain child but has been inspired by all the extremely talented and passionate people she has been blessed to meet and teach along side . She is excited to bring to all these people together here in the midwest for this fall gathering!

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Sam Larson

Survival Expert and Winner of Season 5 ALONE

Larry Roberts

Special Presenter / ALONE Survival Expert

For as long as he can remember, Larry has enjoyed the outdoors and the solitude it provides. Growing up, Larry enjoyed hunting, fishing, backpacking and anything else that would allow him to spend time in the woods. After marrying his high school sweetheart at the age of 18, Larry soon switched his focus to starting a family and raising his two kids. Now that his son and daughter have left home, he has refocused his life to the outdoors with a new emphasis on survival and primitive skills. Over the last few years, Larry has taken and taught many survival classes, written articles for a self-reliance magazine, and has uploaded over two hundred YouTube videos. Larry’s videos show case both primitive as well as modern fire, shelter, and water purification. Larry has tested his survival skills as a participant on History’s Alone show Season 2 and Season 5. On Vancouver Island and in Mongolia he put his skills to the test, self documented his adventure, and combined has 105 days of self documented solo survival experience.

Tavis Lynch

Certified Mushroom Expert

Bio: Tavis is an amateur mycologist from northwest Wisconsin. He has been studying and identifying mushrooms for nearly 40 years and teaches several mycology classes throughout the state. He has been a commercial mushroom forager and cultivator fir many years and is the author of the book, “Mushroom Cultivation.” He leads dozens of public and private forays each year and is a certified mushroom expert by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

George Hedgepeth

Briar Patch Outdoors

I have taught ancestral skills since 1990. I first started out at the Center for American Archaeology in Kampsville Illinois teaching identification of useful plants based on the species we were finding in samples form various prehistoric sites in the lower Illinois River valley. I worked on several types of replicated prehistoric structures as well. Also, I started my education in stone under Dr. Toby Morrow and Tim Dillard; both manufacturing and use.

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Gigi Stafne

Professional Herbalist MH, MH, ND

Gigi Stafne is an activist, educator, clinician and writer within ecological, health justice and natural medicine fields. She's been Director of Green Wisdom School of Natural & Botanical Medicine in the Upper Midwest United States and Ontario, Canada for 33 years, and former long time Executive Director of Herbalists Without Borders International, addressing issues of health and social justice globally. Plus, a whole 'lotta other plant and natural medicine adventures and explorations in-between! She practices a lifelong passion for the plants, people and this precious planet. Join invites you to join one or more of her sessions.

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Blake Southard

North Winds Wilderness School

I am Blake Southard: I am the program director and head instructor at North Winds Wilderness School. I was formerly the Program Director at Future Necessities. My vision is to help anyone who wants an increased sense of self reliability, or anyone who wants to get closer to nature achieve their goals. We work with adults and children. We have several options for class size and length, we also prepare custom classes and programs for your group. I specialize in awareness training, Friction fire making, Primitive Hunting, Fishing, and trapping. I teach: Fire making, Shelter building, Foraging edible plants, Survival kit making, Brain tanning, Natural camouflage and stalking, Rewilding Philosophy, and prehistoric arts.

Tim Ewert

Black Ash Baskets, Traditional Bows

Gregg Southard

North Winds Wilderness School

Gregg works very hard to help people connect to the land and to their own wildness by immersing them in plant studies. Gregg Specializes in: Foraging for edible plants, and plant medicine, as well as Hide tanning and outdoor cooking. His passion for plants is very visible as well as his dedication to getting people back outside.

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Scott Oeth

Bull Moose Patrol - River Canoeing

Scott Oeth is an avid outdoorsman who has particular interest in traditional winter and canoe camping techniques of the north woods. Scott is a Registered Maine Guide, an Eagle Scout, and a Minnesota Master Naturalist. As co-owner of Bull Moose Patrol, Scott teaches outdoor skills, guides wilderness trips, and blogs about his adventures.

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Darrik Walker

Brain Tanning

Ben Piersma


Ben’s full time job is testing, researching, and selling tools and outdoor goods for life in the north woods. He uses hand tools like axes, hand-saws, and knives daily for fishing, hunting, foraging, self reliance, and bushcraft. Ben has designed several production knives as well as outdoor gear and is consulted on design by different manufacturers. Ben is a expert with a camp axe and has produced "Safe and Efficient Camp Axe Use" DVD as a teaching aid. Ben has spent most of his training with Mors Kochanski, and Karamat instructors Kelly Harlton and Dragan Uzelac with the focus on survival and bushcraft in the boreal forest. Ben lives in the woods of northern Michigan and runs , a bushcraft and survival supply company.

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Victor Ahearne


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Andrew Minnick

Owner Authentic Primitive Living

Steve Gorg

Knots and Wild Rice Processing

Ricci Williams

Worktrade Coordinator

Registration Information

Registration for this event includes 4 nights accommodations in either our group cabins or space for your tent in our group camping areas, 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners, and participation in workshops and presentations.


2020 Pricing Table


Event Participant Adult (ages 13 and older)


Event Participant Youth ( ages 9-12)


Daily Event Day Pass Adult (No meals)



Registration Options


Event Starts today!


2019 was amazing because of our outstanding instructors! If you would like to join our 2020 instructing crew please fill out this application form. We cannot consider your application if it is not fully completed. All instructors will be asked to do a minimum of 10 hours of instructing or volunteering in lieu of paying for registration.

2019 Gathering Gallery

2019 Classes

Class Schedue (Updated 9/27/19)

Class Schedue (Updated 9/27/19)

This is the class schedule for 2019. This is however still subject to change do to weather and our instructors!

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General Schedule

General Schedule

See the general format for this event!

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Primitive and Survival Skills

Birch Bark Containers - Ferdy Goode

Combining natural materials from the forest including cedar bark and wood, birchbark and spruce roots; simple tools are used to create a Native Style Bark Container! Material fee $40

Birch-bark canoes 101 - Ferdy Goode

An Introduction to the birchbark canoe

Native Style Traditional Snowshoes 101 - Ferdy Goode

An introduction to Native style snowshoes

Black Ash Gathering Baskets -Tim Ewert

Join Tim as he shares his knowledge of black ash basketry. From prepping the natural materials to a final beautiful basket, Tim will guide you through making your own black ash gathering basket. Material fee $25 Class size 5 (will be run multiple times to allow more folks to learn from Tim!

Stone Pendant Necklace - North Winds Wilderness School

There is significant evidence to support the idea that when humans started decorating themselves, was around the same time that spoken language, and sense of self came into our lives. Archaeological evidence from Blombos cave puts this around 90,000 years ago. In this workshop we will discuss the history of human decoration, and we will work with soapstone, and both stone age and modern tools to create our own beads and pendants.... $5.00 Material Fee This is a 4 hour workshop( 2 sessions)

Brain Tanning - Derrik Walker

Derrik will be demonstrating all the steps involved in tanning deer hides in a traditional way.

Flint Tip Arrows - Andrew Minnick

FLINT TIP ARROWS Andrew will take his expertise in knapping to show primitive arrow making with flint tips. Participants will be able to make and take their own arrows!

Raw hide Containers - Amy Schmidt

Learn the principles of working with raw hide to form usable containers and vessels. Folks will make a small vessel during class. Class limit 10. Please bring extra scissors. Material fee $5

Processing Wild Rice - Steve Gorg

Chippewa River Canoe Tour - Scott Oeth

Chippewa River Canoe Tour Scott from Bull Moose Patrol will lead a short canoe cruise on the historic Chippewa River. Here's a chance to practice your technique, and enjoy the local waterways. This event is weather dependent. It may be moved to a flatwater lake location, or cancelled all together if water levels, wind, and temperatures are not suitable for an on-water paddle. Limit 10 participants.


Tim has many many years of experience to share with you as he will be holding an open Bow Making Demo session which will show you how to make a traditonal bow, its string, and arrows!

Saami style Coffee Bag - North Winds Wilderness School

The famous Saami style coffee bag is so widely used for a good reason. It is not only very attractive and easy to make, but it is very versatile. I use them for my fire kit, I use them for coffee, I use them for fishing kits, and several other things as well. In this 3 hour workshop, you will make your own deer hide Saami style Coffee Bag, and you will also bring home a pattern and a list of ingredients to make more on your own. You will learn the basics of leather craft, as well as sewing, and pattern use.

Simple Living Skills

Atlatl Darts - Victor Adhearne

Come make an atlatl dart to go with your new survival atlatl! Class size 15

Throwing the Atlatl - Victor Adhearne

Learn how to use your newly made atlatl and dart. Full explanation of physics and the importance of developing proper form. Class size 15

Bush Guns - George Hedgepeth

Bush Guns: This will be an in-depth look at selecting fire arms for long term use in all environments, from the arctic to tropical jungles. A rubric will be developed to allow each student to fit a gun to their needs, whatever the conditions they will be experiencing. Classic authors like Calvin Rutstrum, Finn Aagard, Horace Kephart, and Townsend Whelen will be consulted for their experiences.

Flint Knapping Demos -George Hedgepeth

Flint Knapping Demonstration: George will demo the production and use of several types of tools from stone. There was bushcraft before there were Moras and Silky saws!

Survival Atlatl - Victor Adhearne

Learn to make a survival atlatl from the local trees. Learn how to pick the correct branch, harvest it, and carve it. Class size 15

Meat Foraging- George Hedgepeth

Meat Foraging: Somewhere between picking berries and hunting moose is the realm of meat foraging, the art of putting protein in the pot from all sorts of non-conventional sources. Crickets, frogs, mice, and other small meat things will be thoroughly explored.

Selection and Management of Backwoods Sharps - George Hedgepeth

Selection and Management of Backwoods Sharps. How to pick bush tools that will work for you, keep them in prime condition, and use them efficiently. This is aimed more at beginners, but all are welcome. We will be making a sharpening system to take home in this class. Class size 20. Material fee $3.00

Stalking and Natural Camouflage - North Winds Wilderness School

Stalking and Natural Camouflage: Moving silently in a natural environment. Blending in with your background. There are so many reasons to move silently in the bush. Learning to move with the wind, stepping between sticks and blades of grass. These are the ways that you get closer to wildlife. You become a part of the background. When you are a part of the baseline animals will stop noticing you, and you can get closer than ever. Whether this is for hunting, photography, or just to be a part of it all. In this workshop we will get dirty, we will crawl and stalk, and hide. We will work with clay and mud to create a natural camouflage that will far surpass anything that you can buy in the store. You will learn walking postures that are in alignment with nature, You will learn how to blend with the background using natural horizon lines, and shadows. You will also learn how to see what might be hidden by reversing the ideas of hiding. This class is very fun, very hands on, and very in the dirt. Class size 10.

Simple First Aid Herbs - Thursday 10/3/19 ONLY!! Gigi Stafne

Along the meandering medicine trail, discover what is close on hand to help your body with common ailments and injuries.

Abo Flint Knapping - Andrew MInnick

ABO FLINT KNAPPING Learn the ancient ways of chipping stone knives, projectile points with stone, bone, antler, and wood. Hammerstone, soft percussion, indirect percussion, and pressure flaking techniques, with antler will be explored in depth, as well as tips and tricks in maximizing results with natural tools. Andrew has been knapping exclusively with primitive tools for over five years, and enjoys replicating and experimenting with stone tools in the field. Class size 8.

Bucksaw Build - Ben Piersma

Bucksaw Build: Learn how to build a 24" bucksaw with basic materials to help process your firewood needs.

Flint Tip Arrows - Andrew Minnick

FLINT TIP ARROWS Andrew will take his expertise in knapping to show primitive arrow making with flint tips. Participants will be able to make and take their own arrows!

Safe Camp Axe Use - Ben Piersma

Safe camp axe use : Learn the 4S's of axe safety and how to fell, buck, limb and split fuel for your fire.

Wilderness Camp Setup

Wilderness camp set up: Learn how to set up a quick lean to tarp, build a raised super comfortable bough bed, and build a pot suspension system for cooking over a fire.

Rabbit Pelt tanning -Amy Schmidt

Learn how to take a raw fur and turn it into a beautifully soft, usable material. This class utilizes domestic hides and will discuss wild rabbit uses.

Knots to Know - Steve Gorg

Psychology of Survival - Sam Larson

Hear from Sam based on his experience on the History Channel Show ALONE, as he survived by himself for 55 days in British Columbia, and 60 days in Northern Mongolia.

How to Teach Bow Drill - Sam Larson

How to teach the skill of making fire by bow drill method effectively to students of all ages and groups of all sizes, learn the tricks to be a success instructor, and pick up some tips and tricks to add to your personal success!

Primitive Trapping and Snares - Sam Larson

Learn primitive trapping and snaring techniques that Sam has used during his survival experiences.


Soap making -Tammy Michielson

Beginning Soapmaking - Let's turn water, lye, and a few oils into some hardworking and beautiful bars of soap. Nothing beats handmade and who doesn't want to know what they are putting on their body! Trust me, once you see how easy the process is, you will be making your own soap from now on.

Cheese Making - Rachel Mifsud

1) Mozzarella: In this class you will learn how to make fresh mozzarella. We will also begin some quick cultured cheeses that we will continue to process throughout the weekend. (Day 2) Goat cheese: In this class we will make goat cheese as well as continue to process the cultured cheeses started on day one. (Day 3) Cultured cheeses: In this class will discuss the process of making cultured cheeses. We will talk about different types of cultures and the different methods for producing different types of cheeses. We will also finish up the cultured cheeses started on day one.

Off Grid Food Preservation - Rachel Mifsud

Off-grid Food Preservation: We will discuss different ways of preserving fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, meats, and dairy products without the use of a refrigerator, freezer, dehydrator, or dehumidifier.

Camp Fire Cooking

Campfire cooking: Campfire cooking doesn't mean you need to be limited to hot dogs on a stick and foil packets. And roasting the perfect marshmallow doesn't need to be a game of chance. This class will teach you to control your cooking fire so that you can do everything from making the perfect s'more to deep frying fish to baking a pizza. Bring a marshmallow stick!

Pine Barrens Edibles and Ecology - Sam Thayer

Pine Barrens edibles and ecology: The Great Lakes Region is home to the most extensive pine barrens in North America, with a small section located near Bruce. Learn what pine barrens are, how they form, and about the unique plant community they support, including a variety of shrubs and trees producing edible nuts and fruits, as well as edible and useful herbs.

Foraging the Floodplains - Sam Thayer

Pine Barrens edibles and ecology: The Great Lakes Region is home to the most extensive pine barrens in North America, with a small section located near Bruce. Learn what pine barrens are, how they form, and about the unique plant community they support, including a variety of shrubs and trees producing edible nuts and fruits, as well as edible and useful herbs. Foraging the Floodplain: Learn about the diverse array of wild food plants characteristic of river floodplains as we hike along the Chippewa River.

Wild Fiber Plants - Sam Thayer

Wild Fiber Plants: We will discuss the major types of plant fibers found in our region--tree barks, bast fibers of herbaceous plants, and roots. We will discuss more than 20 native fiber plants for all sorts of uses, including coarse bindings and lashing, twine, rope, and high-strength uses like thread, nets, and bowstrings. We'll talk about harvest methods and timing, fiber removal from stalks, processing methods like braking, retting, and carding, and cordage making. We'll identify several species in the field and get to harvest fiber and make some reverse-wrap cordage.

Apotheca - Thursday 10/3 ONLY! Gigi Stafne

Your Personal medicines are closer than you think! Along trails, woods, wetlands, the botanical staples of your northwoods apotheca!

Eco-Herbalism and Ethical Wild Crafting - Thursday 10/3/19 ONLY Gigi Stafne

Herbalism and foraging are more popular than ever! First do no harm; a principle for personal health and ecological health. Walk lightly in all practices. Be guardians to plants at risk.

Wilderness Inspiration - Thursday 10/3/19 ONLY Gigi Stafne

Nature inspiring journaling based in botanicals. Bring your journal, sketchbook, and open hands and heart!

Candle Making - Tammy Michielson

Candle Making - Our candle process utlizes lead free wicks, phthalate-free fragrances and fun. We will be making three fall scented candles for you to take home. Bring your energy and let's do an easy project that you can enjoy in the months to come.

Wild Mushroom Identification Walk - Tavis Lynch

Join Tavis on a identification walk looking for fall wild mushrooms!

Mushroom Cultivation Seminar - Tavis Lynch

Learn to manage every inch of your space to its highest value. Grow a mushroom! In the garden, in the backyard, in the bathroom, anywhere you have space, you can fill it with healthy, delicious mushrooms. Learn the basics of mushroom cultivation and walk away with the skills to use your space more wisely. Class limit 40

Alternative Building Techniques Discussion/Demo - Amy Schmidt

From living in tipis and wigwams to building log homes, join Amy to learn different primitive and not so primitive building techniques for your next cabin or home.


Growing trees for food is an ancient practice that it's easy, sustainable, and rewarding. Learn the basic steps of growing food trees the traditional way: without pesticides or herbicides. Well cover planning what to grow in different soils and climates, transplanting and Care, pruning, fruit thinning, training, mulching, mowing, propagation, fencing, pest control, disease management, ground cover, managing soil fertility. Visit our Orchard - where we grow 50 Apple varieties, 20 native Woody species, and more than two dozen edible Ground Covers - to see these principles and practice!


Scott from Bull Moose Patrol will discuss and demonstrate classic canoeing skills. Canoe poling, paddling solo in the traditional style, the "Canadian," and "North Woods" strokes. These techniques offer great enjoyment, as well as opening vast waterways for your exploration!

Wilderness First Aid : Cold Weather Injuries - Scott Oeth


What are the sleeping accommodations?

Trails End Youth Camp has RUSTIC group cabins. This means bunk beds with sanitary mattresses. These cabins are unheated, so bring necessary bedding to be warm!!

What food is provided?

Each Participant is provided with 4 breakfasts and 4 dinners. On Sunday there is one meal, breakfast/brunch. The meals will be delicious and hearty made from organic, local, and foraged foods.
On arrival day, Wednesday, we will be having a potluck for dinner, so please bring a small dish to pass!
It's a great way to meet and greet participants and instructors!

Are there kids activities?

At this point there are a few set kids activities. Kids 9 and up can participate side by side with parents/guardians during classes. Kids younger than that are welcome and encouraged to come, but should be supervised. This event has innate hazards, such as moving water, fires, and sharp objects. 

Is alcohol allowed?

This is a drug and alcohol free event. 

Are pets allowed?

We love animals but they can be very distracting! Trails End Youth Camp has policies of no pets in cabins and leashed at all times. Again, no UNLEASHED DOGS anywhere on our grounds. QUIET, LEASHED dogs and service dogs are welcome. So we will be leaving our pooch at home (since there's no way for her to be quiet and leashed) please consider finding other arrangements for your animals.

Can I have camp fires?

Yes but only in our designated fire pits. You are welcome to cook on the fires or bring your own propane stove for meals.

Do classes have a material fee?

Yes, some classes will have a material fee to cover costs for instructors. 

Are the classes listed on website guaranteed to happen?

To the best of our ability we will try our to keep our information current. The instructors and classes are however subject to the availability of people. If there is someone listed as an instructor they have confirmed to be part of the gathering, with exceptions of emergencies.



T - Shirt

Order your 2019 Gathering T- Shirt


Fleece Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt

Order your 2019 Gathering Sweatshirt! Pick up at the gathering!