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

Bens Backwoods.com

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 Bensbackwoods.com , 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