January 2008

This spring's Earth Skills Semester Program will be somewhat different from those we've run in the past.  Because it will be the first one we're running at our new base camp in Masardis, Maine, we'll be making and building a lot of camp projects throughout the course.  We'll also be building numerous bush structures to [...]

After speaking with several people I've decided to not restrict our online network just to alumni, but rather to open it to friends as well. So if you're interested, you can register here or go to http://jackmtn.ning.com. You can post photos, videos, a blog, and more, as well as network with other likeminded individuals about [...]

New Base In Masardis

It's official. Yesterday we closed on our new property in Masardis, Maine. It's an amazing area in the middle of Aroostook County, and our land borders the Aroostook river. Everyone here is excited about it, and we've got big plans for both the land and the future of Jack Mountain. But there is a lot [...]

I noticed a grain split on the toe of one of my snowshoes yesterday, so to repair it I wrapped some string around it using a whip to hold it tight. The only string I had handy was hot pink, so I spent the afternoon wearing the amazing technicolor snowshoe. I saw a bunch of [...]

"In the woods you must expect to pay a certain price in discomfort for a very real and very deep pleasure.  Wet, heat, cold, hunger, thirst, difficult travel, insects, hard beds, aching muscles--all these at one time or another will be your portion.  If you are of the class that cannot have a good time [...]

I don't care about the opinion of gurus, celebrities or famous people. I think that people's devotion to them is a disease. I've heard it referred to as celebrititus. Because someone is famous doesn't mean they're skilled in the bush, or as a bushcraft instructor, or good at anything else. I've met a few famous [...]

I saw a documentary yesterday called America's Stone Age Explorers which examined the evidence behind the various theories on the peopling of the Americas. It is the first bit I've seen in the mainstream media to challenge the Clovis first theory - the one we were all taught in school about the land bridge at [...]

To help people keep in touch with friends they met during their course with us, facilitate trip planning, story-telling, and just general networking, we've put together an alumni network site. With regard to trip planning, I know of one canoe trip taking place this spring in Wisconsin where there's an invitation to our alumni. So [...]

Even thought the days are still short and the snow is piled deep over the garden, it won't be long before it's time to start seedlings in preparation for the growing season. I'm putting in several fruit trees this year, as well as expanding the number of edible perennials we grow. GALA is putting together [...]

Odd Track On Dirt Road

I saw this track on the dirt road the other day when it was above freezing. I had to think about it for a bit before I realized what it was. Any ideas?  It's the imprint of ice creepers, things people put on the bottom of their boots to grip ice, so they don't slip [...]

Another in our series of notable quotations. I first came across Richard Nelson's books while living in Alaska. This quotation is interesting from the perspective of anthropology, as well as for learning the skills of another culture which is common in bushcraft. Different cultures don't just do some things differently - often they see and [...]

Half an inch of rain is falling around here today.  Everything is already damp from all the snow that has melted over the past several days, and now with this soaking rain the resulting conditions are some of the most difficult for fire-lighting.  You need dry wood to light a fire.  The problem is finding [...]

We're hiring college students to work as campus representatives. Interested? Call or email us. How It Works: We mail them some posters and they put them up where they think interested people might see them. The campus representative (CR) keeps a log of where they put the posters and emails it to us. The CR [...]

There are a lot of bushcraft sites and blogs these days, and I think it's great.  People are making all sorts of stuff out of local materials and working with their hands to solve problems.  A downside of making lots of items but not using them is that they don't know if the things they [...]

We've gotten about 2 feet of snow over the last four days.  It ended late last night, so the better part of the morning will be spend digging out, then packing down some trails with snowshoes.  Snow depths of over two feet necessitate a snowshoe that gives adequate flotation.  This is determined by the moisture [...]

 


 

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Note: Anything that appears to be an error in spelling or grammar is actually the author’s clever use of the vernacular, and as such is not an error, but rather a carefully placed literary device that demonstrates his writing prowess.

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