HOPS Press, LLC
Books, Videos, and Games by Thomas J. Elpel
Cultivating a Positive, Interactive Relationship with Nature
Our culture teaches us that we are separate from nature. We spend our lives in houses surrounded by manicured lawns, living in towns or cities where recreational activities are based on human-centered sports. Nature is something we see in a park or watch on television.
Those of us in the field of environmental education preach a different message, telling people that "all life is interconnected" and "we really are part of nature." But in the next breath we tell them to stay on the trails and to practice "no-trace" camping. We tell them to look at nature and photograph it, but not to touch it. We tell them our modern way of life is destroying nature, and that we need to stop mucking up the planet. We tell them we are part of nature--the bad part!
At HOPS Press, LLC we advocate a positive interactive relationship with the natural world. We want people to get involved in nature, to be a part of the process on many levels. Our game Wildlife Web is a "dynamic ecology strategy game," providing the opportunity to role-play different species to hunt or forage for food, find a mate, have offspring, and raise them to maturity. Players learn wildlife ecology and bird language through fun and games!
Through Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills and the Art of Nothing Wilderness Survival Video Series on DVD, you can experience an intimate connection with nature as you rediscover the skills our ancestors used to survive for tens of thousands of years. Instead of merely camping in the wilderness or passing through it, you become part of the process as you learn about nature by using it to meet your needs for shelter, fire, water and food. Learn to set aside the trappings of modern culture and step directly into nature with little or nothing, to experience nature on its own terms. Our Classroom in the Woods DVD demonstrates how we can begin reconnecting kids with nature.
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat enables the reader to bring the nature connection home. From wild edibles of the mountains to those found in your own backyard, Foraging the Mountain West is a guide to harvesting and celebrating nature's abundance. Reach out and explore the world with your taste buds. Discover new delights you will never find at the store. Connect with nature on a deeper level by meeting, greeting, and eating the plants, fungi, and creatures that share the neighborhood. Become a little more self-sufficient, and a lot more aware.
With Tom's book Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification, you can connect with the entire diversity of plants and flowers all around you in a way you may have never imagined. Instead of seeing the green world as little more than pretty wallpaper, you will learn to know the individual plants, wildflowers, and weeds as if they have been your life-long friends. Our book Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids Ages 9 to 99 utilizes the same patterns method of identifying plants as Botany in a Day, but in a metaphorical story form where children of all ages can join young Shanleya on her journey to learn the plant traditions of her people. Read the book and play the Patterns in Plants Card Game to integrate plant identification skills at an intuitive, body level.
In Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction you learn how to make your home part of nature, as well as how to make nature part of your home. Learn the secrets to building low-cost, high-efficiency homes with stone masonry, log-building and strawbale construction methods. With this book and Tom's Slipform Stone Masonry DVD and Build Your Own Masonry Fireplace DVD you can successfully build your quality, earth-friendly Dream home on a budget, even when the "experts" say it isn't cost effective.
In Green Prosperity: Quit Your Job, Live Your Dreams, you learn to see the economy as an ecosystem where money is a token that represents calories of energy. Learn the basic rules of this economic ecosystem and you will be empowered to achieve your desired quality of life, while making the world a better place to be. Help convert an economy that harms planetary biodiversity into an economy that helps restore it.
Tom's most far-reaching book, Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit,
investigates the link between technology and thought, showing how hunter-gatherer, agricultural, industrial, and informational societies define reality in predictable ways. In essence, production technology dictates how we perceive cause and effect, how we solve problems, and how we approach parenting and governing. Roadmap to Reality changes your perspective of history and world events, and it changes you, enabling you to let go of preconceived notions about the nature of reality to discover a more holistic, more satisfying life experience.
And finally, we come full circle with Tom's double award-winning adventure book, Five Months on the Missouri River: Paddling a Dugout Canoe. As a recent empty nester, Tom embarked on an epic journey to honor this transitional phase in life. First he partnered with Churchill Clark, the great, great, great, great grandson of Captain William Clark, to carve a dugout canoe from a 10,000 lb. Douglas fir tree. Then Tom enlisted a crew and led a five-month "Missouri River Corps of Rediscovery" to paddle and explore the 2,341-mile Missouri River portion of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail from Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri. Order today, and come along for the adventure!
Download our current HOPS Press, LLC Catalog (pdf)
Shanleya's Quest Botany Adventure Series
About Thomas J. Elpel
Tom's Personal Website
Articles by Tom
Articles about Tom
Books & Videos by Thomas J. Elpel