Frank and Karen Sherwood founded Earthwalk Northwest in 1995.  Both served as head instructors at Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School on the East Coast for over 15 years. While there, they not only taught primitive living skills to thousands of students, but also developed and taught additional programs which they now continue through Earthwalk Northwest.

Frank grew up hunting and fishing in the Northwest. He has a recreational leadership degree and specializes in teaching bow making, traditional tanning, and wilderness survival courses to a diversity of students, including military, law enforcement agencies, the Boy Scouts, and children. To keep current with his own level of expertise, Frank has studied with some of the leading primitive technologists in this country including Steve Allely, Errett Callahan, Jack Cresson, Jim Hamm, Dan Stueber, and Charles Worsham. Frank’s mastery of skills, and his ability to help others master skills of their own, makes him a unique and effective professional.


Karen is a Northwest native who grew up studying the flora of the Pacific Northwest. While studying at the University of Washington, she was hired by Tom Brown Jr. to develop and expand the wild foods curriculum for the Tracker School. Karen gained a strong understanding of traditional uses of wild plants while teaching there. Since returning home to the Northwest, she continues to teach ethnobotany programs through Earthwalk Northwest and other organizations such as the Department of Ecology, Washington Outdoor Women, King County Parks and The Earth Mentoring Institute. In addition to her botany background, Karen also spent many years in search and rescue, fine tuning her wilderness survival skills. To balance her expertise, she also teaches utilitarian uses of plants, including cordage and natural plant dyes. Her professionalism and credibility are enhanced by a special gift for helping students become confident and comfortable with harvesting and using plants. Her current passion is teaching about the vast and wondrous uses of seaweeds, as well as traditional Northwest basketry.

I feel that Frank and Karen’s classes are a tremendous compliment to the Tracker Classes. They fill a huge need and in my experience, they are the best out there. I cannot recommend these classes enough to my students.
— Tom Brown, Tracker School