Primitive Skills Basics: An Intro Course to Reconnecting with the Land

Primitive Skills Basics: An Intro Course to Reconnecting with the Land

** A My World Registry Exclusive Experience **

A perfect gift for Bachelor/Bachelorette parties, Girls/Boys groups, Family group celebrations.

- The experience lasts about 2-hrs and it's a flat fee of $50 for up to 4 participants.
- Additional participants can join the group for an extra $12.50/person.
- Maximum people in one class is 12.
- The minimum age required to attend is 12 years old.

Paleo Path intro video (Ryan's YouTube channel):

Friction Fire:


This is a fun and empowering introductory class to learn first-hand about the hunter-gatherer technologies that humans depended on for over 10,000 years in Central Texas.

You will be immersed in a native terrain exploration and search for materials, followed by live demonstrations and a chance to practice yourself:

We will take a walk towards the creek and discover an area that has been historically used by native hunter-gatherers and find the exact type of rocks they used to search for, learn to get flakes off of then and learn how to refine them further and shaped them into a tool.

We will find and learn which naturally growing plants are suitable for making cordage, take a few leaves/strands and learn the history of the chosen material. A hands on demonstration will follow on how to transform the material into an actual tool. We will then learn to combine it with the previous stone tool.

This is probably the oldest technique to start a fire and often the most difficult. We can use the previously learned cordage to help create friction fire. Besides proper technique, you must choose the right wood for the fire-board and spindle. We will grind particles from both surfaces of the spindle and its indentation in the fire-board, which must heat to 800 degrees F before a glowing coal forms. This must then be transferred to tinder and ­gently blown to life.

With these 3 core skills, one can do just about anything in nature: working with the land, for the land — respecting its ecological, cultural and historical value.


We will meet at McKinney Falls State Park (admission fee of $5 not included), which has over 700 acres of natural area with hunter-gatherer history dating back 10,000 years.


Closed-toes shoes, comfortable clothing, sunhat, water, – mosquito repellent and sunscreens provided but feel free to bring your own.


Ryan's class is unique in that no tools, experience or equipment are required. We are not so removed from our Hunter-Gatherer past and we can reconnect to this ancient pathway of knowledge at any time -- working with the land, for the land.


Ryan's Primitive Skills experiences can be appreciated by anyone who enjoys or is interested in the outdoors and perhaps also has an interest in science; someone who maybe has no experience but wants to know how to fish primitively with a spear or hand-woven line; perhaps a geologist who wants to see sedimentary rock implemented in a Paleolithic context; or a person simply looking to expand their horizons with knife-making or friction fire skills. In any case, something can be gathered from Ryan's classes that will bring you closer to the land which has nurtured our species, here in the Americas, for thousands of years.


This is an at-your-own-risk experience. Please inform us of any known allergies you suffer from when purchasing this experience.


In addition to this introductory class, Ryan offers:

* A weekend-long more in depth experience: Reconnecting with the Land: Primitive Earth Skills (happening on a Saturday and Sunday for 4-5 hrs each day, at McKinney Roughs in Bastrop county)

* Skill-specific 2-4hrs workshops for your choice of:
- primitive fishing equipment
- bow making
- trapping
- water procurement + purifying water
- native edible plants
- primitive tool making in general
- primitive fire making
- shelter building
- general skills for survival



From $50 /4 ppl (max. 12 ppl)

2 Hrs (approx.)
Austin, TX and surroundings Map it
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Primitive Skills Basics: An Intro Course to Reconnecting with the Land

About Experience Provider

Ryan Cooper

A man who so gracefully blends practical, natural and soulful skills who also carries a big, generous heart, makes for a soulful and life-changing mentor without a doubt.

Ryan Cooper is an artist, a naturalist, a creator and a teacher. A wide, warm smile meets you with the quickly followed humor and facts. Ryan’s back to roots teachings come from his childhood, when he was first exposed to a life immersed around nature. He first learned what’s now commonly known as “primitive skills” by growing up on a street called Moccasin Bend in a Native American community called Lake Thunderbird. He lived near a lake and made bows, hunted, fished, searched for fossils... Made his first bow at 10 years old from Yaupon Holly, Ilex vomitoria. Not all his peers were into it, but Ryan was fascinated by studying the world around him, led by his natural curiosity and a very influential older friend. Later on, he always excelled in science throughout school. And years later while in the Army, he served in an Airborne Infantry unit for four years and learned how to survive in the wild as a Paratrooper/Scout, sometimes up to a month at a time with no contact to the outside world.

Fast forward to college. At ACC (Austin Community College) and UT Austin (Texas), Ryan was called to study and master art and design. This widened his area of expertise and allowed him to participate in highly enriching artistic projects, one of which was featured in The Guardian (UK). From there, Ryan branched into commercial graphic design and he created signature album covers for local bands and had several art gallery showings.

In the present days, Ryan has changed gears a bit to focus on what is most important and natural to him. Something which brings him an even greater feeling of satisfaction than selling a painting or handling a freshly-pressed vinyl record with his art on it: Teaching kids about nature and passing on Earth science and primitive skills knowledge to adults and kids. Ryan’s been an Environmental Educator at the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department for 4 years now. He teaches Earth Science to Title 1 AISD students in the 5th graders. Before Coronavirus related changes, Ryan took 30 students every week and taught them earth science, integrating primitive skills into his lessons.