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Thijmen Apswoude
Living by Nature

Thijmen Apswoude

Nature is the dominant theme in Thijmen’s life. It has been for as long as he can remember. When he was still a young boy, his father used to take him out on a regular basis to watch the wildlife, tend to bees and to find an altogether sense of serenity in nature. During his father’s twelve-year absence, Thijmen tended to find exactly that in forests everywhere.

Thijmen grew up amongst hunters, nature lovers, bee keepers en many other nature oriented enthusiasts. At the tender age of seventeen, Thijmen moved out being already well groomed to meet nature’s tough demands. It was at this age with an already high basis he started developing his know-how of nature by his own initiative. He stocked up on nature themed books, went out to forests with friends and acquaintances and experimented with all kinds of building shelter, crafting cordage, foraging for food and gaining an overall experience of living in the wild. He not only went by the modern equipment for surviving in such environments, but indulged in learning and adapting the ancient ways of survival. It is then he first coined the term ‘bushcraft’ among friends. Little did anyone know that soon hereafter, at the age of 18, Thijmen would not only be scurrying amongst trees and bushes for pure fun. He would transform his passion into something that has become more than learning. It has become teaching.

His knowledge of living by nature has become so abundant; he’s applied himself to showing others the craft and benefits of the ways of old. The ways that still apply today. Surviving alone or with a single companion for over five weeks, with no other equipment than a knife, has taught him many things. Not in the least that he found his place.

It isn’t where walls of brick and stone keep out the conditions that weary most other people. It is those places where you feel small and one with nature. Where he doesn’t feel like a citizen but a human being. “If you’ve never done it before, it’s hard to imagine,” he says, “I became conscious.” Over the past ten years he has seen many European/Canadian landscapes and designed courses for each different environment and scenario. Has has developed several courses for bushcraft schools in Europe and has been a guest instructor for companies and founded his own school: Living by Nature, which nowadays is one of the most outstanding schools in primitive and native skills.

Last year (2019) has been full of education with over 300 days of teaching with collegues and for other schools. His CV is ‘one of a kind’ in bushcraft and entrepeneurship.

His speciality is crossing bridges and creating possibilities. He brings together academic and practical education, militaria’s and citizens and creates courses from a day to over a year! And even a full year program for aspirant instructors in teaching bushcraft skills.

His team now is about 20 people including several instructors, a graphical designer, accountant and people with a PhD degree creating a range of possibilities. Most important are the quality of the lessons. So gear is no item in our courses.

He’s adamant about everything he’s doing in nature and for the company. He intends to let people get acquainted with ‘the bushcraft experience’ and to realize what it’s like to forego many ways of modern civilization. “People ask me frequently how I started in the bushcraft world and what makes me a ‘bushcrafter’,” he says, “I reply by saying I was raised that way.”

Besides all this knowledge and expertise it Thijmen is also a very genuinely and fun guy to be with, he has a good taste of humour and he will surprise you with a funny joke or either something big he just happened to organise in a minute, like a 7 course dinner on a bushcraft event.

Never a dull moment with Thijmen around.

Position: Owner and head instructor Living by Nature
2021-05-04 Fish Hooks
2021-05-05 Halibut Hooks

Sessions by Thijmen Apswoude

4 May 2021 - Masterclass
5 May 2021 - Masterclass
25. Feb 2019.
26. Feb 2019.