If you want to learn what true self reliance is...on the most basic of levels...then you should be looking primarily to the indigenous people of the land where you live. Those people's knew and know how to make use of the resources provided by nature. While there are still some of these cultures existing in remote areas...that have continued their way of life as it has been for thousands of years...many of the indigenous people's have assimilated into the dominating population and have lost their knowledge with each successive generation. Thankfully......there are those that still preserve these "bushcraft"..."primitive living"..."Earth" skills.
Here is information on the Buckeye Gathering. It's a week long camping trip that I will be attending that will teach a myriad of these skills! The price is beyond reasonable...and it promises to be an incredible education and ton's of fun! It is a family friendly event with a kids camp. There will even be a fair where people will trade handmade goods. Read from the link for all the details. I hope to see you there!