In this episode we interview Luke McLaughlin, the founder and head instructor of Holistic Survival School.
Luke has spent hours upon hours surviving out in nature, even competing three times in the Discovery Channel show, Naked and Afraid. Prior to moving to Asheville and starting Holistic Survival School, he worked as a Wilderness Therapy instructor for teens in Utah, living most of the year outdoors in tarp structures.
One glance at a photo of Luke, long-haired and bare-chested, and you might have the impression that he’s some kind of lone caveman, a modern-day Tarzan. But, as you’ll see in this episode, that’s not exactly the full picture.
Luke is committed to helping other people not only learn “earth-based skills” like building a fire from sticks, but also remembering and relearning what it means to be human again.
Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- How Luke became interested in learning and teaching primitive skills
- The story of Luke’s journey from teaching ninth-grade biology to appearing on Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid
- Luke’s mission for holistic survival school and how it goes beyond simply learning primitive skills
- Why Luke feels that knowing how to build a fire is less important than personal growth and trauma release
- Tools and resources for those seeking to learn more about primitive skills!
We hope you enjoy this episode with Luke!
Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with Zach Greenwald of Strength Ratio.
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About Luke McLaughlin
Luke is a naturalist, teacher, rewilder, mentor, survivalist, and founder of Holistic Survival School. His mission in life is to master and teach ancestral and indigenous living skills in order to help people find their balance and connection to the Natural World.
Prior to founding Holistic Survival School, Luke worked as a primitive wilderness therapy instructor in the West Desert of Utah. He also appeared on Discovery’s Channels Naked and Afraid three times, where he survived in the wild for 21-40 days.
About Holistic Survival School
Based just outside of Asheville in Wearverville, NC, Holistic Survival School (HoSS) is an educational primitive skills program that facilitates deep, Nature connection. By facilitating these connections to self, community and Nature, HoSS strives to change the hearts of people by re-establishing their lost connection with the Natural World.
Other Notes from this Episode
Naked and Afraid is a Discovery Channel reality TV show here two strangers, typically a man and a woman, work to survive together in the wilderness, completely naked. Luke appeared on the show three times.
Wilderness Therapy is a form of therapy that combines experiential education, individual and group therapy in a wilderness setting.
Outback Therapeutic Expeditions is a Wilderness Therapy program for teens based in Utah. Luke was an instructor here for a few years.
Earthskills Rendevous is one of the largest primitive skills gathering in the country (based in South Carolina). They offer two gatherings: River Cane Rendevous in the spring and Falling Cane Rendevous in the fall.
Seneca was a Roman stoic philosopher.
John Young – South African Writer
The Croods is a Dream Works animated movie about a pre-historic cave family that sets out explore a new landscape.
Braiding Sweetgrass (Affiliate Link) by Robin Wall Kimmerer is a book about plants and botany as seen through Native American traditions and Western scientific traditions.
Music by Commonwealth Choir
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