About Winter Count (FEBRUARY 18-24, 2024) Registration opens November 1.
Winter Count is a primitive skills gathering that has been taking place every February since 1995 in the stunning Sonoran desert of southern Arizona. Founded by Dave and Paula Wescott, Winter Count is one of the preeminent gatherings of its kind. Instructors and students spend one week together sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge of skills such as fire making, archery, basketry, hide tanning, pottery, flintknapping, and much more. Winter Count is known for the high quality of its instructors and small class sizes.
Winter Count is a "conference" style event that was started for instructors and people in the field of primitive living skills, experimental archeology and survival skills to come together, spend time with their peers sharing knowledge, offering their skills and having a good time. Instructors at Winter Count are not paid but instead receive compensation from networking we facilitate during the year, sharing what they have learned, and giving them a place to have a week off from their normal schedules. You will also have the opportunity to buy their wares, products, books, etc.
The next event will take place FEBRUARY 19-25, 2023. Five hundred people, including students, instructors, and camp staff, camp together, share meals, teach, learn, tell stories, and play music around the campfire. Many of the folks who come to this gathering have been attending for many years, bringing their kids to what has become for them a "family reunion."
We are a diverse group of people from many experiences, opinions, family backgrounds, and levels of expertise who come together to share what it is that makes us excited about life. You may find yourself around people that don't share your political, spiritual or life views.
Winter Count is held about a 30 minute drive east of Florence, AZ. Whether you have been to Winter Count before or not, you will want to read ALL the materials we send so you can be fully prepared for the week.
The site (elevation 2600 ft) has a beautiful view of the Superstition Mountains, stunning night skies and no neighbors. Due to dense desert vegetation, we will ask you to park in designated areas and not park in areas where vegetation is growing. We get kinda persnickety about this. Also, Check-in happens at the gate and check-in hours are restricted so make sure you are aware when you will or will not be able to enter camp. See the Camp Schedule for entry times.
Local flora ranges from palo verde and ironwood to saguaro and barrel cactus. The adage that "Everything in the desert sticks, pricks, bites, and stings" is more fact than fiction. Catclaw, mesquite, jumping cholla, and other pricklies are regular residents. Animal life ranges from toads to javalinas, deer to tortoises, fox, bobcat, and much more.
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