With the right training there is no wilderness, only home.

Maine Primitive Skills School

About MPSS
Main Courses
Course Schedule

With the right training there is no wilderness, only home.

Maine Primitive Skills School

About MPSS
Main Courses
Course Schedule

Sharing ancient skills and wisdom for a modern context since 1989

At MPSS we strive to reconnect people with the earth through nature literacy and hands-on learning, and we believe that deep nature connection is essential for everyone. We offer a variety of programs to fit a wide range of needs, with a passionate and skilled crew of instructors who can meet you wherever you’re at.

We offer shorter day & weekend- long courses, our longer flagship 8, 16 & 24 week immersion programs, and lots in between. We attract folks from near and far who are looking to gain confidence through hands-on skills within a welcoming community and learning environment. We hope to have you for one of our upcoming courses!

“Being an apprentice at the MPSS plugs you into a community; I think that’s what really sets it apart from some of the other schools out there. The minute you step in, you’re a part of a community of people who care about you, where you’re going, and where your growth is… There are experts around every corner here, and there is always something to be learned.”

Mike DiMauro, 2010 Apprentice

“The eclectic genius of Mike and his staff is like a blend of Grizzly Adams, Carl Sagan, Robin Williams, and the entire Nat Geo training/ educational staff… I chose this particular school because of its apparent philosophy of surviving and thriving with the land… the ‘wilderness’ can be a symbolic partner. Despite the twelve hour car trip, it will remain one of the most impactful experiences in my lifetime.”

Jefferson Jones, 2022 Earth Living 5-Day Course

“Everything that is happening here is just unbelievable. There is such depth in the wisdom and understanding of earth teachings, culture, and community. This place is a stepping stone towards making a dream that you envision into a reality… there’s that much attention to the details. You learn an incredible amount here that would equal years and years of research, except you get to participate first hand.”

Paul Metchikoff, 2016 Apprentice

“If you want connection to the earth, if you want real survival skills, if you want to find more meaning and a deeper sense of purpose in your life, or search out your path and learn within an energetic community of students and teachers, come to the Maine Primitive Skills School. It will change your life.”

Lily Kapiloff, 2012 Apprentice

“Every second was a learning and growing experience. MPSS is not average or ‘by the book’; you will walk away a completely different person. I know I did! Not only did I gain more knowledge, courage and appreciation for the world around me, but I left with a new family that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. I learned so much more than I could even process in one weekend… I will definitely be going back for more classes and hope to see you there!”

Amy Rosebrock, Earth Living Weekend Course

“It’s a place to feel comfortable. It’s a place to heal. It’s a place of a vast and still breathing collection of forgotten knowledge and skill, if one has the tenacity to find it out for their own self. It’s a place where we learn, and learn well. This is the movement of spirit I see MPSS is fully participating in. Weird and wild people dedicated to always learning better how to abide by a flow of nature greater than our own self.”

Jason Wright, 2013 Apprentice

Sharing ancient skills and wisdom for a modern context since 1989

At MPSS we strive to reconnect people with the earth through nature literacy and hands-on learning, and we believe that deep nature connection is essential for everyone. We offer a variety of programs to fit a wide range of needs, with a passionate and skilled crew of instructors who can meet you wherever you’re at.

We offer shorter day & weekend- long courses, our longer flagship 8, 16 & 24 week immersion programs, and lots in between. We attract folks from near and far who are looking to gain confidence through hands-on skills within a welcoming community and learning environment. We hope to have you for one of our upcoming courses!

“Being an apprentice at the MPSS plugs you into a community; I think that’s what really sets it apart from some of the other schools out there. The minute you step in, you’re a part of a community of people who care about you, where you’re going, and where your growth is… There are experts around every corner here, and there is always something to be learned.”

Mike DiMauro, 2010 Apprentice

“The eclectic genius of Mike and his staff is like a blend of Grizzly Adams, Carl Sagan, Robin Williams, and the entire Nat Geo training/ educational staff… I chose this particular school because of its apparent philosophy of surviving and thriving with the land… the ‘wilderness’ can be a symbolic partner. Despite the twelve hour car trip, it will remain one of the most impactful experiences in my lifetime.”

Jefferson Jones, 2022 Earth Living 5-Day Course

“Everything that is happening here is just unbelievable. There is such depth in the wisdom and understanding of earth teachings, culture, and community. This place is a stepping stone towards making a dream that you envision into a reality… there’s that much attention to the details. You learn an incredible amount here that would equal years and years of research, except you get to participate first hand.”

Paul Metchikoff, 2016 Apprentice

“If you want connection to the earth, if you want real survival skills, if you want to find more meaning and a deeper sense of purpose in your life, or search out your path and learn within an energetic community of students and teachers, come to the Maine Primitive Skills School. It will change your life.”

Lily Kapiloff, 2012 Apprentice

“Every second was a learning and growing experience. MPSS is not average or ‘by the book’; you will walk away a completely different person. I know I did! Not only did I gain more knowledge, courage and appreciation for the world around me, but I left with a new family that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. I learned so much more than I could even process in one weekend… I will definitely be going back for more classes and hope to see you there!”

Amy Rosebrock, Earth Living Weekend Course

“It’s a place to feel comfortable. It’s a place to heal. It’s a place of a vast and still breathing collection of forgotten knowledge and skill, if one has the tenacity to find it out for their own self. It’s a place where we learn, and learn well. This is the movement of spirit I see MPSS is fully participating in. Weird and wild people dedicated to always learning better how to abide by a flow of nature greater than our own self.”

Jason Wright, 2013 Apprentice

Earth Living Weekend Courses

Our Earth Living Weekends are a great option for folks who seek more peace of mind and confidence in the outdoors. Our experienced instructors will guide you through learning a variety of primitive skills such as: debris shelter building, friction fire (bow drill), natural cordage, locating water, coal burned containers, and basic edible & medicinal plants. We focus on the skills needed to survive with few/no tools in New England’s especially rugged & rewarding landscapes.

Foraging Weekend Courses

Our Wild Plant Weekends are much more than a standard plant walk; instead of just talking about a handful of plants, we share the full suite of skills involved in confidently wildcrafting your own food and medicine, to include: field identification, basic botany, correct usage, preparation & processing, responsible stewardship, and local ecology are all covered in detail for 20-30 in-season plants, with participants creating a wide variety of wild foods & medicines for themselves.

Earth Living 5-Day Courses

If we ran just one course, it would be our 5-Day Earth Living. This is our most comprehensive program (aside from our immersion) covering the wide range of primitive skills that are needed to thrive, without any aids, in the northeastern forests. Dive deeper into the basics covered in the weekend course, with the addition of skills such as: Coal burned bowls/ bark water containers, intermediate bow drill use, advanced debris shelters, and practical sensory awareness.

Immersion Programs

Want to dive deep into primitive skills with a dedicated group of like-minded people, experienced instructors, and a welcoming community? We offer two Immersion Programs to fit a wide range of schedules and lifestyles:

Residential Immersion

The Residential Immersion is for those who want the most from their experience, living off the grid in a small community while practicing and learning earthskills. Options range from 8, 16 and 24 weeks long, depending on how long you want to study.

Learn More

Non-Residential Immersion

Our Non-Residential Immersion is ideal for those who want to dedicate time towards learning primitive skills & be a part of our community at MPSS without having to uproot their established lives. Come for any course in a 2 year period, as well as our seasonal community events.

Learn More

Immersion Programs

Want to dive deep into primitive skills with a dedicated group of like-minded people, experienced instructors, and a welcoming community? We offer two Immersion Programs to fit a wide range of schedules and lifestyles:

Residential Immersion

The Residential Immersion is for those who want the most from their experience, living off the grid in a small community while practicing and learning earthskills. Options range from 8, 16 and 24 weeks long, depending on how long you want to study.

Learn More

Non-Residential Immersion

Our Non-Residential Immersion is ideal for those who want to dedicate time towards learning primitive skills & be a part of our community at MPSS without having to uproot their established lives. Come for any course in a 2 year period, as well as our seasonal community events.

Learn More

Want more information? Interested in joining us for one of our courses?

 Check out our Campus Info & What To Bring pages.