Meet our incredible instructors who bring a wealth of expertise and passion to The GatherThing, ensuring an immersive and educational experience for all attendees.

Wanda Priday

Owner of Gemini Survival School – Blacksburg VA

Came up in a family that gardened and canned, raised chickens, hogs, cows, hunted, fished, trapped, and foraged for everyday provisions is the base she continues to grow from.

Traveled the outback studying indigenous cultures.

Author of Survival Tips, Tricks and Traps she co-wrote with her late husband William Priday.

Paul Christopher

Paul grew up in the woods with parents who taught him to build stuff, grow his own food in the garden, how to preserve food through canning.

Paul said he was 21 years old before he knew there was canned tuna in the store, we canned our own fish.”

Paul is now homesteading on 5 acres with a limited budget. “We figure out ways to build and do things we need with very little money in it.”

Becky Christopher

I have been involved in the outdoors in different ways for the last 22 years. From performing Search and Rescue with the Rescue Squad I worked for. To my involvement with my husband Paul Christopher and myself in the process of starting a Bushcraft/ Homestead school on our land we recently purchased. I have 32 years background in the medical field, with the last 22 of those being in Emergency Services. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge of medical along with the outdoor setting and combining the 2 together for a First Aid Class.

Adam Frye

Owner of Mountain King Survival, a fan favorite of Discovery Channel’s “100 days wild” and innovator of outdoor off grid gear. Adam is a military veteran and spent time in combat zones the world over. He is constantly thinking about ways to make life easier in off grid situations, and prepping for that “really bad situation”.

Joe Flowers

Owner of Bushcraft Global, Joe is an avid outdoorsman and instructor. Following his love for the outdoors, Joe Graduated NC State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology and a Minor in Entomology. Joe ventures all around the world searching for animals, and learning primitive and survival skills.

Joe learned under Steve Watts and the Aboriginal Studies program, he was introduced to many of the most respected survival instructors such as Mors Kochanski.

Kris “Hook” Hoogstraat

Kris has been active in the outdoors is whole life, as his Dad would take him camping and fishing as a youngster.

He is a volunteer leader for the Boy Scouts of America, a fur trapper, deer hunter and avid fisherman.

In 2021 Kris began his YouTube career. Hooks Outdoors began putting videos out. This is still going to this day. The channel is set to grow much more in the year 2023.

Heather Swartz

Owner of Swartz Foods in Broadview Heights Ohio.

Heather is an experienced food manufacturer with a demonstrated history of working in the food & beverages industry.

She brings many years of food service experience and loves being able to share that knowledge with others.

She teaches classes regularly in person and online in the areas of food preservation specifically canning and freeze drying.

Dakota of the Woods

I’ve been in the woods hunting fishing and camping  for sustainment since I was 10. In previous years I’ve done numerous  canoe guides as well as throughike the AT. I’ve taught class’s most of my life instructing new scout parents on how to be not only  adequate but reliable in the outdoors to supplement thier children while on thier campouts and adventures. 

The outdoors  is home to me and I am usually more effective there than most modern folk are today. I’d love to share my knowledge  and also collect a Ton of it  for the other instructors and attendees alike. 

John Galloway

John Galloway has roots in several parts of the U.S. having grown up with missionary parents. From Northern California to North Carolina, John has collected several talents in wilderness and homesteading skills inherited from his father and also native to all regions where he was raised. After graduating high school, John spent 10 years of service with the USMC and spent several years abroad with indigenous villages in the Phillippines only adding to wilderness skillsets with jungle survival. Upon discharge he was hired by the Fayetteville (NC) Fire Department and served as a medic, Rescue Technician, HazMat Technician and retired in 2016 as a Captain. John decided to turn his passion for homesteading into a full-time job, but also began teaching firearms training including his true love, long range precision. John transitioned into also teaching wilderness skills to this day, sharing God’s creation and the peace the wild can bring.

Blackie Thomas

A southern woodsman and expert on black powder revolvers and historic woodsmanship. Blackie also enjoys Woodcraft & Lore and camping in the old style.

Momma Wendy

Momma Wendy has been teaching for a couple decades now, including children, arts, crafts, primitive skills, homesteading, herbal medicines and food preservation topics. Her goal is to speed up the learning curve so everyone has the opportunity to become self sufficient and thrive no matter what the rest of the world decides to do.

Rachol Logan

Born and raised in Papua New Guinea, I’ve developed a deep connection to nature through bush exploration and traditional practices like foraging and fishing. After moving to the US, I’ve dedicated myself to honoring my upbringing by living closely with the land. I’m passionate about weaving baskets, tanning hides, carving, and crafting with materials sourced sustainably. Currently, my husband and I are building a permaculture farm where we grow vegetables, raise animals, and produce essentials like soap and flour. I’m excited to share my knowledge and eager to learn from others.

Jess Shankle

Co Owner of Shankle Homestead Leather Works & Owner of Beauty in the Weeds.

Jess is a License Massage Therapist, motivational speaker, homesteader, homeschooling Mama of 5. Growing up moving around, Jess was inspired to do things a little more old school for her own family. She is self taught in baking, cooking, natural remedies, canning and animal husbandry. She and her husband currently sustain a homestead with chickens, dairy goats, and meat goats.

The GatherThing 2024 Tickets available now

September 5-8th 2024 | Hinton, WV