All posts by Pithole Hermit

Primitive Knowledge

I have decided to begin a new series. Primitive Knowledge. As I look around I believe things could get very “primitive”, very quickly.

If I am wrong and everything is just peachy then these things are good to know any way.

If you have read any of my writings or watched the videos you know I am already very much into a semi-primitive lifestyle. I live in my cabin or my camper. I have learned to identify and use wild edible plants. I hunt and fish for meat. I have well water or spring water. I am not on the electric grid. All my power is either solar or a gasoline/propane generator for electricity, propane for heating, cooking and refrigeration. Also firewood for heat. I am well stocked on food and other essentials.

However, you may notice that much of what I listed still must be obtained from a store. My goal here is to bring back some ancient ways that do not require any outside contact.

I don’t want this to be just another prepper series. Although much of it will be things some preppers have been doing for a long time. But I have noticed that many preppers are only stocking up for hard times. They are not preparing for a long time of no help being on the way.

For example, I did a search for how to make laundry detergent. The vast majority of the information I found start by explaining how great is it to make your own laundry soap. Then they proceed to tell you the ingredients you need to buy to combine together to make soap. This usually include borax, sodium carbonate, and bars of soap. Do you see the problem here? You aren’t making your own laundry detergent. You are just buying ready made laundry detergent ingredients and combining them together. I want to cover how to actually leach hardwood ash, render fat and combine them to make soap from the very basics. Then this soap can be used for laundry as is if it is liquid or grated to make laundry powder.

So I will be either writing and photographing my steps of actually living primitively or else filming the procedures. Some of the things I have known since I was a kid. Some I will need to research.

And yes, the irony of using a video camera and cellular internet connection to live primitively is not lost on me. But that’s the way it is. I also experiment with programming drone swarms and android apps so a little video is okay too. And really almost nobody is actually reading or watching this anyway. But for those few who are smart enough to care I hope I can provide useful information. For both of us. This is mostly for myself and to make sure my daughter knows how to survive.

Freedom – No Grids To Be Seen

Finally. Yesterday I closed the sale of my house. No more mowing. No more upkeep. No more utilities. No more property taxes. On that house.

I bought it in 2000. Raised my daughter there. I haven’t lived there for years but have had to maintain it.

Now my only regular bills are vehicle license, inspection, insurance and registration. And the much lower property taxes for my land.

No electric bills, No gas bills, No water, sewage and trash bills.

Zero debt! In fact I’ve been debt free for years. Here’s the obligatory, if late, shout out to Dave Ramsey. “I’m Debt Free!!!”

And most of all. NO MORE TRIPS TO TOWN!!!

I really feel free.

I’ve been waiting months for the sale to complete before I go on an extended camping trip. I plan on leaving Monday. Just in time for September and cool weather.

Scary Tales – An Idea I Might Do

I am thinking about doing some videos of myself by a campfire in the forest at night telling some original scary tales. This is just an idea. Something to do for Autumn and Halloween, my favorite time of the year.

So if any of you have an original story you would like me to tell on video, send them to I’m not looking to pay for stories. Just freely submitted without copyrights tied in.

Or I already have a few stories written and will just write a few more.

Or maybe I’ll just forget about it. We’ll see.

Day 7 – Bigleaf, Large-leaved, BIG-LEAved Aster

It is cold. The weather keeps getting worse instead of better. 38 degrees today. Down to 34 tonight with a chance of snow.

Today’s new plant is the Bigleaf Aster. Also called the Large-leaved Aster, Big-leaved Aster or many more. You get the idea. An Aster with big leaves.

This plant grows in big blankets around the forest floor.

It is not a delicious plant in my opinion. But also not terrible. More of a good survival plant than a daily vegetable. It is very easy to gather. Easy to gather means less calories expended which could mean life or death in a survival situation.

It can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach. The flowers that come out later are also edible. The plant is said to be very nutritious.

Flowering Bigleaf Aster

The roots are not necessarily edible but have been used by the Iroquois and Ojibwa for medicinal uses.

The top of the leaves are smooth while the bottom and stems are fuzzy. At this time of the year they can be confused with Bitter Dock, which is also edible. Later they look much different. Seeing them side by side shows they are quite different. The video displays the features a little better.