John Plant, an Australian in his mid-30s, started Primitive Channel in May 2015. With 5.4 million subscribers and more than 359 million views, the project generates enough in ad revenue to fund Plant’s frugal existence in far north Queensland. He also has a blog to further explain his work.
Plant said he’s now doing videos full time because they supply “more money than mowing.”
Plant’s obsession with subsisting off of nature started at age 11 when he would make small huts by a creek behind his house using only things he could find in the wild. He honed his skills and by age 18 could kindle a fire with sticks and leaves.
“People are naturally wired to be interested in this sort of activity because in the past those who weren’t probably died out or didn’t pass on their genes,” he said. “This hobby also keeps me fairly fit and active, which is good for health.”
While he embraces the Stone Age, Plant lives a relatively normal and modern life off camera.
“When I’m not in the wild I spend most of my time on the internet researching primitive technology” among other subjects, Plant said. “I don’t live in the wild. This is just an interest, though I camp out in the huts some times.”