There is a man in Australia who goes out into the bushland of Far North Queensland to live out his caveman fantasies. The practice is called primitive technology, which he describes as “a hobby where you make things in the wild completely from scratch using no modern tools or materials.” Lest the vagueness of “things” mislead you into thinking he’s building tire swings and humble tree forts, just play his videos and know that my dude is building functional weapons and livable huts, chronicled in his wordless, tightly edited, hypnotic tutorials.
Though he operates using some modern knowledge—dropping fire-heated stones into water to boil away pathogens, for example—he does not use modern technology. You will see neither hammer nor nail here. Even the tools (an axe, a kiln, a drill) must be built from scratch (wood and stone, bricks of creek mud, strands of tree bark fiber). The most satisfying aspect of this project is watching his ingenuity iterate on itself: mud is used to build a kiln, which is used to fire clay, which are used to tile a roof. “Primitive” begins to sound like a misnomer; this guy is out here in the wild making ceramic tiles.
For this anonymous shirtless man who claims to “live in a modern home and eat modern food,” this hobby is a means of satisfying his curiosity about the ancient world and staying fit, but for his millions of viewers it’s a means of visual meditation and anxiety relief. As far as procrastination material, watching these videos is as gratifying as it gets, maybe because they offer the spiritual opposite of procrastination: thoughtful and methodical progress from beginning to end, a sense of completion. Instead of ending up with a browser stuffed with half-read, stress-inducing tabs, just listen to ambient birdsong and watch mud on the ground turn into a home, lit with resin lamps, complete with a flat sleeping area warmed by a fire underneath the floor. By the end you might feel rested, deceptively attuned to nature—from the comfort of your sofa and computer screen—and convinced of the potency of steady, patient labor. Those inspired to try this themselves should consult his blog for thorough breakdowns of the timeframe of each project and the specific techniques and tools used.
If you need further convincing, just watch him build a bow and arrow powerful enough to hunt (only for show, since, as he notes, hunting is heavily restricted in Australia to conserve wildlife):
Or see him devise these two drills, which involves chiseling clean through a disk of stone:
To support these projects, donate to his Patreon page.