Year Course 2025 English Spoken Netherlands

we are delighted to announce that due to the overwhelming interest and demand, we will soon be offering our renowned year-long program in English, right here in the Netherlands!

This decision comes in response to the enthusiastic feedback we’ve received from various countries, including: Belgium  Germany  Sweden  Denmark France  Finland  Norway

We are currently assessing the level of interest to make this program a reality. Stay tuned for further updates and let us know if you’re interested by emailing us at info@livingbynature.nl

Our year-long program has been a cornerstone of our offerings for the past 14 years, and we are excited to extend this opportunity to a wider, international audience. For more details about our existing program, and to get a glimpse of what to expect, check out the English translation and the course currently available in the UK. We’re eager to bring this enriching experience to the Netherlands in English!

Stay connected with us for the latest updates and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or expressions of interest. We look forward to embarking on this new journey with you!

More  Info on the Course

Living by Nature prides itself on delivering courses our Instructors wished they could have done themselves….had they existed! But they didn’t, and so we pooled our expertise, international experience, passion, and specialists’ skills and created the Year Course. The Year Course has been, and remains, our most popular course. It consists of a whole year of immersing yourself in ancient knowledge, practical Nature skills, forgotten hand crafts, time-told legends, tried and tested survival skills, ancestral wisdom and in-depth Nature immersion. For 11 months you will be able to immerse yourself fully into the teachings of traditional wilderness living-skills and bushcraft. Every month you’ll receive three full-packed days of practical and mental tuition in one of our wilderness woodland locations. During the whole of the year, you’ll experience all the weather and seasons. This makes everything you learn ‘real’ and applicable. Imagine 33 days of complete immersion in everything you want to know about life in and with Nature! In addition, there is a focussed craft week where you can choose to master a specialist subject. And finally, to round off this amazing year, a two-week expedition into the wilderness! All together there are 51 days in Nature filled with lessons, new skills and discovery. Are you taking on our adventure?

You will receive a complete package of skills and knowledge which contains really everything! You’ll get to know Nature during all seasons and learn to work with different kinds of tools. You will learn about fire, pottery, tinder, wood, trees, glue, leather tanning, food, animal tracks and much more. Although learning the skills is one thing, you will also naturally grow to be part of a ‘tribe’ with your fellow students. In the evenings we often continue working on our projects while sitting around the campfire.  This is the time your Instructor might tell a traditional story or discuss mental and philosophical aspects of survival and traditional life. This is wisdom and knowledge that is often overlooked and forgotten. And finally, when all is made, learned and done, you are invited to go on a two weeklong ‘back-in-time expedition’ in which all the skills and hand-made items are going to be used for real. This is the method we use. It is a combination of bushcraft, survival, primitive techniques and our own philosophy. It enables you to stay in Nature for longer periods of time.

Our instructors have years of experience of ‘living by nature’. We are convinced that in order to teach other people something, your own knowledge and skills must be much higher than the level at which you teach. After completing your Year Course you will have so much knowledge and experience that “Living by Nature” will be in your blood also, and you will have surpassed the ‘basic skills’ by far.

For many of the subjects we are going to cover, more is needed than just hearing the theory and doing something once. Every month you will be asked to complete some homework, either to finish a project that we have started, or to prepare something for the following weekend. It takes a lot of training and practice to really master the skills. You have to invest time, and when you do, it infuses your life with self-confidence, and the freedom to call all of Nature your home. Life in Nature requires experience. Practice makes art. That is why this course takes a year; to deeply imbue and consolidate your skills and knowledge.

Are you now curious about what the training entails? Below is a list of skills and activities pertaining to specific weekends. The list is basic. You will be taught many additional aspects, particularly concerning ancestral knowledge, traditional ways of ‘being’, in-depth philosophies and ways of ‘connecting’ to Nature. We call these ‘the mental tools’. At Living by Nature, we believe that true Nature skills need to be embraced with your hands as well as in your mind.

 

Living by Nature basics weekend 1 & 2
the first two weekends we will discuss all basic elements of being in Nature.
This includes:

  • knife safety instructions
  • making fire using different techniques
  • 7 stages of fire
  • tinder and where to find it.
  • different kinds of wood.
  • a lot of hikes to learn and recognise different trees and plants.
  • building a shelter
  • skin a deer or a pig and dry the meat.
  • how to purify water
  • different kind of knots
  • natural first aid


 

Advanced skills, 3 & 4

With the basic skills now taught we will make a next step into living a natural way. The next 6 days, weekend 3 & 4 we will discuss more advanced subjects:

  • making tar of fatwood and birch
  • natural rope made of different plants,
  • transporting fire
  • working with bone and antler
  • making a leister spear
  • making natural glue
  • working with sinew
  • making a fish basket trap of willow
  • digging up spruce roots
  • making bark containers
  • how to make traps and where to place them
  • working with an axe
  • observing animals

Edible nature and more, 5

This weekend is full of food preserving skills, finding food and how to cook it in a primitive way. Making cans and pots of clay and baking them in a fire.

  • edible plants
  • making a meal of wild plants
  • drying herbs
  • rendered fat
  • making a lamp of fat
  • making soap of ash, wax and fat
  • smoking fish
  • cooking in an earth oven

Preserving, storage and carrying,  6

When going on a hike, you probably want to take stuff along. What if you don’t have a fancy backpack? You will make a travel basket of bended wood and rawhide. A can or pot of clay and felted shoes.

  • Bending branches
  • Working with raw hide
  • making a travel basket
  • working with clay
  • pottery and baking it in fire
  • working with wool
  • felting your own pair of boots
  • how to felt a blanket

Flint napping, 7

Flint napping is an expertise that requires a lot of exercise. We spend a whole weekend in different techniques.

  • Flint structures, where to find it
  • Pressure flake
  • Percussion flake
  • Different tools of flint
  • Making scrapers, arrow heads and knives
  • Other materials such as obsidian, basalt and glass
  • Antler tools, stones and copper

Animal behaviour and tracking, 8

This course we focus on animals and their natural behaviour. We will hike, looking for tracks and signs and learning how to ‘read’ them.

  • Animal behaviour
  • The deer in mating season
  • Practical use of the deer, antler, skin, meat etc.
  • Animal tracks and trails
  • Reading a track
  • Observing nature
  • Getting aware of nature around
  • Sit spot

Buckskin tanning & fish tanning, 9

You will learn to make your own garment out of buckskin. Making buckskin is a wonderful and time consuming process that no modern technology can reproduce. You constantly work with a skin that in every step changes colour and structure. In the end when every step is done with attention you will have a soft piece of buckskin that is ideal for clothing and will feel as your natural 2nd skin.

  • What is buckskin
  • The process from deerskin into buckskin
  • Scraping a skin
  • Oil tanning
  • Rinsing
  • Wringing
  • Stretching
  • Softening
  • Smoke tanning


Fishing, 10

Fish was a major part of the human diet. Most cities and civilization have been developed along rivers, lakes and at sea sides.  You will learn all sort of fishing techniques.

  • Fishing line
  • Night fishing
  • Making a hook, bone or antler
  • Making a spear point
  • Using a fish spear
  • Making a fish net
  • Fish traps
  • Cooking fish, smoking fish
  • Different fish, different techniques
  • Fish bait

 

Crafting days

We have 4 extra crafting days often before or after one of the weekends which turns this into a full week of courses you can practise all sorts of crafts and finish the tools and things you will need on the final expedition. There is room for extra instruction and practise. Everyone can work on creating his own equipment.

 

Expedition

The final expedition we go abroad to a place where we can camp and maybe even hunt. We take very limited amount of food with us and no modern equipment. Together all the students will choose a spot for their camp. You will build a shelter or several smaller ones and make a plan to divide several tasks such as fishing, looking for edible plants, making and preserving fire etc. For two weeks you will be a clan that will live intensely together.
As for the people who already have done so, a very special experience. Tough but magical.

The Expedition is optional, but an integral, and much looked forward to,  part of the Course. For the Expedition we will take you deep into the beauty and bounty of the Swedish Wilderness. The Expedition offers you a chance to travel back in time with your ‘Tribe’ and really experience what life was like as a Hunter/Gatherer. You will live as your ancestors did, hunting and gathering, fishing, making  shelter, picking berries and mushrooms, making and keeping fire.  You can only take, wear and use the things you have made yourself. In your beautiful handmade clothing, with your travel basket on your back, and your flint knife by your side, you will gather all you need from Nature during these next few weeks. It is an experience with depth and reality like no other. The whole Year Course leads in preparation towards this moment and you are well prepared for this totally unique and challenging opportunity to live as close to Nature as possible!

Note the Expedition is 2025 this is becouse of the prepping for the students

Year Course 2025 English Spoken Netherlands

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Ervaring van de deelnemers

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“Great Instructors, Great setting, great trainings / Big thanks Thijmen and the Crew / you guys rock!”

- Guy Gelaude

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“Knowledge, Location, Enthusiastic, Inspiring”

- Jos van Hal

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“veel geleerd afgelopen weekend. een echte aanrader....dank voor ieder die hier een bijdrage aan gelevert heeft”

- Casper Mutsaers