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Theresa Kamper

Bushcraft Survival Australia presents
Dr Theresa Emmerich Kamper

A Bushcraft Survival Australia exclusive course

Bushcraft Survival Australia is excited to announce that we will be hosting Dr Theresa Emmerich Kamper from the UK to run 3 specialist traditional living skills courses at both our Coffs Coast and Victorian venues in August 2023.

These three separate courses will be joined together to make up a 7 day course. Even though these three courses may be booked separately (if necessary), first preference will be given to people wanting to do all three together. Maximum numbers for this 7 day course will be 12 students.

This opportunity is only available to people who have already completed the Bushcraft Survival Australia Fundamental Module 1 & 2 courses.

Dr Theresa Emmerich Kamper

Theresa has been tanning skins using traditional technologies for over twenty five years. She holds a Master of Arts in Experimental Archaeology and a PhD dealing with the ‘Microscopic Analysis of Prehistoric Tanning Technologies’ from the University of Exeter.​

Theresa’s expertise is in the following areas:

  • Prehistoric tannage technologies
  • Animal processing
  • Using primary by products such as bone, sinew, internal organs, fur, horn and antler

​Theresa has taught various groups ranging from bush crafters to University students for over ten years, drawing on her extensive personal experience to provide a broad understanding of the processes of:

  • ​Fat tanning
  • Vegetable tanning
  • Alum tawing
  • Rawhide production
  • Animal processing

Instruction includes a diverse range of information, from skin morphology to helpful hints in dealing with the numerous and frustrating problems often encountered when first learning to tan, and often long after.

In addition to her main area of expertise in tanning technologies and animal processing, Theresa also teaches and demonstrates a wide range of traditional living skills including:

  • Patterning and clothing construction
  • Use of plant and animal fibres
  • Constructing and using traditional hunting tools
  • Basic flint knapping, stone tool construction and use
  • Shelter construction and use
  • Friction fire lighting
  • Basketry
  • Clay processing, pottery manufacture and firing

View Theresa’s full bio on her website.

Using The Whole Animal (3 day course)

Have you ever wondered what happens to the parts of an animal which don’t make it onto your grocery store shelves? This course covers some options for using those parts. This course will introduce you to what parts of an animal are useful for what products and how to preserve those parts until they can be used. We will cover all basic butchery for both food and utilitarian items, as well as those parts not often seen as useful.

Multiple levels of technologies from stone to steel will be covered. Some examples of what will be covered in the course are as follows:

Organs: Removing, sorting and cleaning the edible organs as well as the utilitarian ones such as: brains for tanning the skin, the bladder for water bags and intestines for thread.

Skin: Removing the skin, de-fleshing and preserving the skin for later and the making of hide glue

Meat: Removing the meat, what cuts are best suited to different uses. How to debone, make roasts, jerky and soup meat. Basic meat preservation.

Fat: How to render fat to preserve it.

Bones: How to separate joints, bones as food, how to make tools from bones such as: skin processing tools, awls and needles, fishhooks, harpoon and arrow points, and jewellery.

Sinew: How to remove, clean and preserve both backstrap and leg sinew and how to later process it for fibre for sewing, bowstrings, hafting, bow backing etc.

Hooves: How to process the hooves for decorative items or for hoof glue.

Skin Tanning (3 day course)

Before the advent of modern tanning agents, humans were turning raw skin into usable leather products using very basic techniques and materials. Learn to produce incredibly soft, strong and durable leather from raw animal skin using one of human kind’s earliest tanning technologies! Utilizing materials readily available in the surrounding environment we will walk through the steps of this transformation. Come learn the progression of this process from raw skin to beautiful, usable, finished leather!

Over 3 full days this course will focus on tanning deer skins with a variety of fat tanning which uses Lecithin and oil* as the dressing agent. Whilst not for the squeamish the end product is worth the work! The class will cover removing the meat and fat (de-fleshing), removing the outer grain layer (de-graining), alkalining for ground substance removal, applying the tanning agents (dressing), softening and smoking the skins.

In addition to enthusiastic instruction I provide comfortable, easy to use tools and detailed handouts covering the tanning process, as well as ethnographic anecdotes and a list of helpful literature for those who wish to further their own knowledge of tanning.

So, please join me for a course sure to contain plenty of memorable moments, lots of practical information and, provided that you put in the work, one that will see you heading home with a beautiful, unique and usable piece of traditionally tanned leather!

Flint Knapping (1 day course)

Tools of bone, wood, horn and stone have shaped our evolution for millions of years. For 99% of human history, we have fashioned tools so effective they allowed our species to circumnavigate the earth and thrive in some of the harshest environments in existence.

This short course will focus on tools made from knappable stone, shaped by striking them to remove flakes rather than grinding to slowly wear away material, another common technique. You will gain an understanding of flint as a material, basic flake mechanics and how to apply this to any stone with a conical fracture pattern. This understanding of the physics behind knapping will lift the veil of mystic this skill is often associated with.

The course will introduce you to direct percussion, indirect percussion and pressure flaking as ways of shaping tools and will cover the concepts of bi-facing and blade core production for producing more formal tool types such as chopping tools, projectile points and cutting tools. However, the focus of the course will be on producing controlled flakes which can be turned into usable tools for use in the initial stage of outdoor living situations or survival situations.

Producing tools for cutting, chopping, scraping and hunting is not as hard as you may think… it just takes a bit of knowledge and practice!

Refer to the relevant course information above for information about what each course will cover.

This opportunity is only available to people who have already completed the Bushcraft Survival Australia Fundamental Module 1 & 2 courses.


This course is run entirely outdoors from an expedition style base camp, and you will either be sleeping in your own camping equipment that you will bring (see clothing and equipment list) or in the emergency shelter you will build yourself.


This course is run entirely outdoors in a field environment. A screened trench latrine and gravity fed canvas bush shower in a secluded private spot, along with strict camp hygiene measures will give a natural wilderness expedition feel to your experience as well as teaching you essential outdoor toilet etiquette and how to leave no trace. You will be taught how to wash with limited water and stay clean in the bush. Our measures are low-impact and environmentally friendly.


On this mixed course, breakfast, lunch, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, biscuits, a fruit bowl and fresh water will be provided at the base camp.

Three of the evening meals during the week we will cook together using the animals we process while the other three you will be required to bring and cook yourself. We suggest you make up your own simple lightweight “ration” packs. Please see our YouTube episode on Making Your Own 24 Hour Ration Packs.

Whilst we do cater for most dietary needs within reason – vegetarian, vegan, gluten free etc, and considering the nature of this course, we do not cater for ultra fussy eaters which adds extra time to cooking meals when cooking over an open fire. If you have any out of the ordinary dietary requirements we suggest you bring your own food.

You will need to bring:

  • Something to sleep in, on and under (sleeping bag, groundsheet, tarp/hootchie/hammock, mozzie net etc)
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Belt kit (knife, ferro rod and saw)
  • 1 pair of leather/pigskin gloves (for flint knapping)
  • 1 pairs of tight fitting fabric gloves with plastic palms (for tanning)
  • 1 pair of clear safety glasses
  • 3 simple “ration pack” type meals to cook yourself in your cups/canteen or nesting cup (see Food section)
  • Cutlery set

We have small cooking pots, nesting cups, water bottles, ground sheets, hootchies, knives and ferro rods to lend if you do not have your own. Refer to the BSA Module 1 Kit List if in doubt.

Make sure your Morakniv knife is sharp before you arrive!

Bushcraft and survival training is closely intertwined with nature, the sun, stars, natural resources and the weather. There is no electricity. Therefore modern 40 hour week timetables you are used to need to be adapted.

Lessons will be taught both day and night and at unusual hours to accommodate nature, natural daylight hours and traditional cooking times using fire and natural resources. Some lessons and activities will take longer than others and some are sun and weather dependent so you need to remain flexible as things don’t always go to plan.

Traditional cooking using fire takes time so we will generally cook at night so we can maximize daylight hours for other tasks and activities so evening mealtimes might be later than you may be used to. There are a lots of skills to be learnt on this course so expect long days and later nights than you may be used to.

This course held in an expedition style camp, entirely outdoors. You will need a reasonable level of health and fitness to maximise your participation and enjoyment of the course. In the weeks leading up to your course we recommend you do several walks over uneven terrain to ensure your boots and backpack containing your gear (approximately 10-15kg) fit correctly.

There are late nights, early mornings and you will be on your feet a lot of the time.

Please be aware this is not a wellness retreat!

View frequently asked questions on our dedicated FAQ page.

If your question is not answered on the FAQ page, please contact us.


This is a 7 day course which is made up of 3 different courses which build on from one another. Even though these courses may be booked separately (if necessary), first preference will be given to those that book all 3 courses together (7 days).

3 Day Use the Whole Animal Course $590
3 Day Skin Tanning Course $590
1 Day Flint Knapping Course $220

7 Day Combined Traditional Living Skills Course $1280

If you would like to book on one of the individual courses only, please contact us and you will be advised when a space is available.

Other information

Number of places: 12
Course start time: 9.00am on Day 1
Course finish time: 5.00pm on Day 7

Upon making your booking you will receive a link to the participant consent form (which must be filled out and returned immediately), along with other documentation about what to bring and where to go.

Cancellation policy

  • Cancellations made within 6 weeks of a course start date will be refunded less 10%
  • Cancellations made within 2 weeks of a course start date will be refunded less 25%
  • Cancellations made less than 48 hours before a course commences will be refunded less 50%

Extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis

This opportunity is only available to people who have already completed the Bushcraft Survival Australia Fundamental Module 1 & 2 courses.

BSA PRESENTS: Dr Theresa Emmerich Kamper

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