Over the past 30+ years, the field has continued to grow, adding over 3-dozen Rabbitstick-like events across the US, Canada and as far away as Europe and Israel. Starting shortly after the revival of Rabbitstick as a national event in 1988, many regional gatherings, such as Rivercane Rendezvous in the southeast, grew in the wake of local interest. This region has been fertile ground for many of the new skills events. The west has seen amazing growth as well (see links below).
Backtracks has always been a supporter of this growth and has encouraged organizers to stay in touch and help each other along the way. We hope to maintain that tradition by providing a place for you to connect with events near you.
Founded in 1978 by Larry Olsen, Rabbit Stick Rendezvous was the first get-together in the country to address the field of primitive wilderness living and survival techniques. Dick
Jamison took it over from 1980 -1983 and renamed it Woodsmoke. In 1988, Larry gave permission to David Wescott to revive the oldgathering. It had a new, broader focus to address growth in the fields of experimental and experiential archaeology, and acquired an international reputation - it became Rabbitstick.
In 2012 the Jamisons granted permission for us to use the name of their gathering, and Backtracks hosted Woodsmoke here in Idaho. The new Woodsmoke was the first event of its kind to focus on the growing field of traditional camping and woodcraft skills - the foundations of the modern bushcraft movement
In 1989, a group of people met to form the Society of Primitive Technology - introducing a new term to the field - primitive technology - hoping to unite the growing fields of traditional, aboriginal, wilderness, and primitive living skills. The Bulletin of Primitive Technology was created and published for 25 years, ending with a tribute to the many skills gatherings we see today.
For a bit more Rabbitstick history, download a copy of the Rabbitstick 20th Anniversary Yearbook.
The Bulletin of Primitive Technoloy - primitive.org
Backtracks, LLC - btprimitives.com
Winter Count - wintercountcamp.com
Here are a couple of fairly complete lists of annual events and dates from around the country -
Your hosts - Joshua and Kirsten - Winter Count,
Paula and David - Rabbitstick.
David Wescott, Richard Jamison and
Larry Dean Olsen, ca 1990.