Discovery Channel veteran leads Cantonment survivalism class
The Stone Age will come to life this weekend at an educational survivalism event in Cantonment.
Anthropologist Justin Cook is hosting a “Primitive Living Skills” class this Saturday at Pensacola Permaculture where he’ll provide demonstrations on the art of “Bushcraft” and “Earth Skills,” i.e. living off the land and survivalism.
“Stone age” techniques to form tools will form rope fibers, baskets, pottery, flint napping and traps as nature will produce the tools of camping and backpacking.
“You can expect to see sticks and stones become lethal weapons before your very eyes as well as the mechanics behind that,” Cook said. “On a higher, more overarching note, you can expect a sense of connection.”
Cook said his passion stemmed from his youth in a family of outdoorsmen, eventually leading him to a role on Discovery Channel’s “Men Women Wild” survivalism show in 2015 in which he survived 21 frozen days at Senja Island in Norway.
He acknowledges it’s a unique passion to pursue the study of “obsolete” technologies, but said even fewer people have experienced the connection of creating tools for life through nature.
“By seeing these crafts come together, whether it’s a lump of mud becoming a pot or a simple rock turning into a lethal tool to defend or provide for yourself, it’s a sense of connection to your ancestors,” Cook said. “I don’t care what continent, ethnicity or genetic diversity you have, if you go back far enough, your ancestors lived in the Stone Age.”
Cook said he does feel it’s important to act as a “torch bearer” for the information he’s gathered through the years, particularly considering the scattered nature of the community. He said few organizations exist for the community in the Panhandle, with the nearest likely being Georgia Bushcraft in Athens.
Class size is limited and can be reserved via the Primitive Living Skills Facebook page. Snacks and drinks provided and ticket prices begin at $10 and include a $65 family plan.
“It’s always fascinated me to no end how literally with nothing but what nature provides, these people made quite a nice life for themselves,” Cook said. “That knowledge is largely lost because, even though there are people practicing bits and pieces of it across the world, combining all of those pieces helps me get a more clear picture of what those ‘primitive’ people endured.”
Eric J. Wallace can be reached at email@example.com or 850-525-5087.