Going backpacking at 6 months old strapped to her father’s back, it’s natural to say Karie Lee has a life-time of experiences in the outdoors. Growing up in a small town, playing in the woods and making shelters, she dreamed of someday walking off into the mountains with just a knife to survive. As adulthood took over, she found herself in a meaningless livelihood in Seattle. She eventually escaped the turmoil of the corporate world, and moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, USA.
Now you can find her happily teaching wilderness and primitive living skills at gatherings around the country. She is the Founder of Sacred Cedars Wilderness School where she and other fine instructors share their wisdom of the woods. You can join her on week-long immersion expeditions into the wilderness, where you can unplug from the mundane world and plug into nature’s landscape of magical wonder. Learning to attune your senses, craft with buckskin, make cool stuff from natural materials, fish and forage for your dinner meals, are just a few things that may touch your soul in this life-changing experience.
Karie also delves into the world of Energy Medicine work and supplements treatments for suffering patients with hand-foraged, wild-crafted herbal remedies and flower essences. A passionate champion for healthy food, she also makes time to work for a pesticide research scientist, collecting data to be analysed and published in scientific journals on pesticide toxicity and the impact of the foods you eat.
Karie’s home of 22 years, is a 30 foot (9 meters) off-grid yurt deep in the woods, where she weaves primitive skills into her daily life. She is surrounded and supported by the natural world around her: water comes from the sky; warmth from the trees; food and medicine from the plants and wildlife; all “waste” is composted and returned to the forest to be recycled. She even built a gravity-fed, fire-heated bathhouse containing a shower and sauna.
For fun, Karie Lee likes to go on wilderness adventures. One of her favourites was spending 3 months kayaking in Alaska’s Inside Passage in a 21 foot (6.4 meters) hand-built wooden kayak. She and her partner-at-the-time paddled 500 miles (800km). They harvested salmon, berries, and beach asparagus along the way, had close encounters with humpback and minke whales, and were chased by sea lions.
Many years later, she solo-ventured up to the peaks of the Bitterroot Mountains in Idaho on a 6 week quest to live using the primitive gear she hand made. She was inspired to write a book called ‘The Art of Sacred Living’, and filmed herself practicing this art. The bio picture above was taken from a clip where she is demonstrating our connection to fire. She hopes that the book will be published by the time of the GBS.
In this rustic backdrop, when she’s not out adventuring or teaching, she enjoys a myriad of crafting projects like tanning hides, buckskin sewing and beading, primitive pottery, basketry, and felting. You may also come across her out backpacking, kayaking, snowboarding, or practicing her squirrel shot (otherwise known as archery).