Interviewer: What impressed you most about Tom when you first met him?
Steve: After I talked to Tom and his instructors one thing that stuck out
about him more than any other teacher or person at other schools was that he had
the philosophy of blending with nature instead of fighting it.
Interviewer: what are some of your special interests?
Steve: My biggest interest is in wild edible and medicinal plants -
that's what I put most of my time into - and also the different Indian and
Neanderthal skills - as well as making various tools.
Interviewer: What type of tools?
Steve: From all natural materials like stone, bone, animal claws, teeth - to
make tools and jewelry.
Interviewer: Please describe some tools you've made.
Steve: One particularly interesting tool I made was a beaver tooth knife
- I used the whole jaw as the handle and just left the incisor as the knife
blade; buckskin medicine bags for hanging around the neck; also a dog jaw knife,
the lower jaws of the dog were used as the handle and a metal blade was inserted
into it, and bound up with rawhide.
Interviewer: What tips would you give a person who has had a basic class from
Tom, as far as working on improving their skills?
Steve: Basically the same thing Tom usually tells them - that if they
want to get better at it, they've got to go out and take at least weekend trips,
and try using the different skills, one at a time, leaving certain things
behind, like their tent, using a leaf hut, and work into it slowly, rather than
trying to do it all at once. They could get easily discouraged if they left
everything behind, then they might not make out too well.
Interviewer: What about tips for those particularly interested in plants?
Steve: I think they should start at home, using their Peterson's Field
Guide and start by adding some wild edibles that they're sure of the
identification of, and the uses of. Try them at home first, like a couple times
a week supplement their meals with them, and then when they got familiar with
them, then they can try them out in the woods.
Editor’s Note: women -
Steve is also single!