Hi Jim,

I just wanted to thank you again for a fantastic experience last week. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and perspective. Thank you for talking me through my first newborn flame. The day was empowering, humbling, and peaceful. I’ll do my best to make the time to stay overnight next time.

See you soon!All the best,-Rich

Hi Jim,  Been too busy to attend outings but not too busy to practice primitive ember making.   Before now I’ve had little success handdrilling without another person to heat up the wood,  maybe one or two successful attempts by myself.   This has caused me to spend much more time Bowdrilling,  which I have gotten down,  and produce quick,  large embers repeatedly and reliably.   I have been real pleased with Tree Tobacco fireboards and Mulefat drills for Bowdrilling.   Today I decided to Handdrill only and not give up without a thorough and unrelenting effort. I acheived two nice embers in a row,  rather quickly and easily,  I might add,  with the Handdrill/Thumbstring.   I’m telling you because you are one of the few people who can honestly share my joy.   I don’t know if you noticed how discouraged I have been while failing over and over at one man handdrilling.   I hold the skill of primitive fire making in very high regard,  as Fire is the key to the universe and all creation and,  all life forms.   Before fire, NOTHING Existed.   I feel that harnessing fire is at the root of Man’s development and security.  I have given much thought to why I am so driven to produce an ember in this way.   In the moments in which an Ember is formed through Natural Means and my sincere effort, I beleive that I feel a connection to the Raw Energy of the Universe.   During that brief time I feel Connected to all things and I feel the Energy of the Universe Wafting Through My Soul.  A satisfying, Thrilling and, in the end, Very Peaceful Experience.  What a rewarding experience for me to feel success in this pursuit! Thanks for helping me along the way Jim.       AL



Hi Jim,Nicolette and Gabby had an unbelievable time today! They can’t stop talking about it. They learned so much and had a lot of fun. What an experience! Thank you so much!Look forward to your next one.Enjoy your camping.

Best regards,




Hey Jim,

I have to say, the time I spent there with you and your class was beautiful. You are such a good teacher. I really appreciated and admired the way you approached your passing of knowledge. You emphasized from the beginning how you related to all of your (our) plant and animal brothers and sisters from a position of love and respect. That love and respect was just bursting from within you, and I found it to be an absolutely lovely way to talk with a bunch of city slickers about how to relate to any outdoor experience. Whether or not one is gathering plants, hunting animals for sustenance, or just out for a day hike.


From an empirical standpoint I learned a lot about our local plants. I’ve spent so much time up in Utahlearning about the environment up there all the while knowing next to nothing about what the land has to offer right here in SoCal.


I truly look forward to the next opportunity to spend some time with you, learn and experience our local natural surroundings.


I may be going up to Utah the middle of December to spend a few days with the tribe up there on my way to Colorado. I will be sure to pass on my regards on your behalf.


Take care. Be well. I hope you enjoy a nice holiday season.






Please pass my gratitude on to Jim. That Saturday Spent at Sycamore Canyon was so informative and enlightening. I am still re-reading notes, referring to my pictures and going out to the hills to make this new information mine. I have been given much raw material to process, this is good. I have had some more success making fire at home, (in my living room!) including with the use of my first bow drill. My wife and daughter have learned to do it also. The plant knowledge I gained that day greatly enhanced my previous level and I feel much more familiar with my natural surroundings and the things that live there. The Aboriginal Skills hike was everything I hoped for, a truly rewarding experience, made possible by a sincere and genuine woodsman. Looking forward to learning more from Jim and others like him.