“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” – Matthew 6: 26
This simple bible verse has fueled my interest in ancient skills. Simply put, this verse shares a wonderful truth with the world: God has created the world, cares for all his creation, and will provide you with everything you need to persevere in this life. For over 100,000 years people lived as an embodiment of this principle neither sowing nor reaping. Nomadic hunters roamed the land believing their needs would be met if they invested the energy.
We know little about the lives of people in pre-history, but we can assume they were widely diverse across the globe. As you study pockets Paleo people, you do seem to notice a few reoccurring tendencies. The recognition a higher power existed and influenced the world, and the concept their lives were a small part of a bigger mystery called life seem prevalent across the world.
Another interesting aspect of Paleo people’s lives, is the fact their lives left a small impression on the world. Ancient people lived for thousands of generations and left the landscape nearly unchanged in that time. It is not to say people didn’t impact their environments and didn’t utilize the world to their advantage. The reality is they had an impact on their environment, animal populations, and possibly even accelerated the extinction of different species. It is a modern misunderstanding to view these people as static and content to watch the world roll by, hoping for enough blessings to make it though the next day.
In fact, these people were actively living in the world, both realizing a higher power was in control, but applying their own energies toward their survival searching for the gifts. They used stones, animals, plants, and anything else the land and God provided. Compared to our modern lives though, the impact of these people is hard to discern. Though their existence makes up the lion share of history, finding evidence of this fact is difficult at best. In contrast, we are arguably living in a time where our “tracks” are the most discernible.
Soft Tracks outdoors is not a blog dedicated to a return to the Stone Age. In fact my interests lie beyond skills of the stone age to included 19th century mountain man skills, 18th century longhunter skills, modern outdoor pursuits, bushcraft in general, and other skills where at the core is reliance upon the natural bounty. I believe practicing these skills creates an understanding of the treasure naturally available, and changes the perspective of people who practice them. It’s not about everyone regressing, as much as it is about keeping our ancient knowledge alive in the world. At some point it may once again be called upon or answer the curious questions of the next generation.
Primitive skills for some also reenforce the realization that God will care for you and will provide you with all you need. I don’t believe primitive skills are the only route to this destination however. I know it helps me and could possibly help others as well. Some experience God on a Sunday worship, and others may realize his glory on a Friday night deer hunt.
Please follow us as we rediscover ancient skills, celebrate the bounty of the hunt, experience typical human experiences in history, deepen our faith, and learn to live a life of soft tracks.