Primal: A Conversation with Nate Summers and Jon Young

​TV survival shows and survival schools are more popular than ever; Paleo diets are proving to be more than just a passing trend; and free-range parenting is gaining steady momentum. So in an age when living in a modern society often equates to comfort and ease, why is it that we are so interested in these primal aspects of being human when they are no longer really necessary? Why are we still so fascinated with making fire or stone tools in this social media-driven digital age? Why are we urging our children to run back out into the wild?

Primal by Nate Summers

Join Jon Young, 8 Shield Institute founder and Nate Summers, author of Primal: Why We Long to Be Wild and Free, as they discuss our core human desire to be wild and free and take a deep dive into our ancestral longings.

In their discussion, they explore Nate's new book and our natural human desire—the primal desire—to fulfill our original design. Through the sharing and telling of anecdotes and stories from around the world and from over 20 years of exploring these themes, the two of them of talk about everything from bird language to practicing wild movement to how we can rewild our food and diet.  Ultimately, they take a deep look at how humans have—and continue to—pursue “survival” situations to fulfill their deep, soulful longings.

Listen to the Conversation:

About Nate Summers

Nate Summers, author of Primal

Nate Summers, author of Primal: Why We Long to be Wild and Free, has been a survival skills instructor for over 20 years with a background in anthropology, Asian studies, and natural medicine. He taught and directed at the Wilderness Awareness School for over 15 years, and  has served as faculty for the Desert Institute of Healing Arts, the Asian Institute of Medical Studies, and as adjunct faculty for Prescott College.

Nate's passions include ethnobotany, natural mentoring, hunter-gatherer childhoods, natural movement, herbal medicine, internal martial arts, mentoring, and leadership. Nate holds a Master's degree from NIAOM (Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), and B.A.s in both anthropology and Asian studies from the University of Illinois. Learn more about Nate's work at

About ​Jon Young

Jon Young

Photo by Charles Purvis

Jon was mentored since boyhood in the arts of tracking and wilderness awareness by the renowned survival expert Tom Brown, Jr. Through his years of outdoor adventures, Jon learned to read the language of nature and to know the woods like the back of his hand.

Jon went on to found a network of wilderness schools that have inspired thousands of people of all ages around the world to explore the outdoors, based on the 8 Shields mentoring model in his book, Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature. Jon was awarded the 2016 Champion of Environmental Education Award for his work.

8 Shields

Our north star is to re-awaken the attributes of deep nature connection in people and in turn help heal the widespread disconnection and loss of culture worldwide.