April 2008

I'm featured along with Survivorman Les Stroud in an article titled "Getting Out Alive; Survival experts show pilots what to do when the propeller stops spinning" by Marc C. Lee. Although written for pilots who find themselves alone after ditching their airplane, it's a good primer for most survival situations. You can read the article [...]

Open Source Education

I've been diligently at work writing up my ideas and plans for the Jack Mountain Bushcraft University, and have been getting feedback from our alumni about the process. The general plan is to take the academic components we've developed over ten semester programs and put them online for anyone, anywhere, to use. We're putting together [...]

It was a busy day yesterday. We baked some potatoes in the sun oven, baked some sourdough biscuits in the reflector oven, waterlined and shellaced a canoe, made fish spears, caught a bunch of fish with them, built a tripod for smoking them, filleted them and smoked them as the sun sank over the horizon. [...]

New Dutch Oven

I do a lot of dutch oven cooking, but I don't like the legs on them because I usually either hang it from a tripod or support it with fire irons. But I love the lids on the camp ovens because they have the lip that will hold coals. So I've been thinking about sawing [...]

I've taken a wide variety of wilderness medical courses around the northeast. In 2000, I took a winter medicine and rescue course at the AMC center in Pinkham Notch at the base of Mount Washington. It was a two-day course, and on many nights they have slide show presentations for the people staying there. The [...]

Last summer I guided a trip to northern Quebec where we spent a week with Cree guides David Bosum and Lawrence Capissit. They were born in the bush and have spent their lives living off of the country there. One day one of guys on the trip was asking David some questions about winter trips. [...]

This morning I saw five bald eagles over Rust Pond.  They come through each year as the ice starts to go out.  It's a big deal because for the rest of the year I never see them around here.  I think they move further north.  There is a certain way they fly that is unique, [...]

Yesterday afternoon everybody carved a bucksaw frame. It's a great project in that it teaches safe and precise knife skills. We build them with no nails or wooden pegs, so that friction is all that holds it together. To accomplish this the carving and fitting needs to be close to exact. If someone does a [...]

Living Outdoors

Yesterday afternoon the temperature was near 60 degrees (F), a big change from a week ago. Each morning I hear more birds singing, and the trees are getting ready to bud. Spring is almost here. One aspect of our programs that we don't talk much about is the fact that students live outdoors in shelters [...]

After pressing a specimen of Lycopodium, we spent most of yesterday morning on navigation.  We introduced the compass, then built a compass from the sun which we maintained all day.  We rounded out the morning by making hand-spun rope, then having everyone make their own rope using a rope-spinner. The afternoon began with a sharpening [...]

"Having done is worth more than having read, having watched, or knowing how." I was thinking about experiential learning yesterday when the line above came to me. I think it will be our slogan for 2008. We live in the era where information is everywhere. But we should never confuse familiarity with understanding or experience. [...]

Today we start week 2 of our spring bushcraft semester course.  The weather is warming up nicely, but there is still a lot of snow on the ground.  We scraped a few deer hides over the weekend, and in the next day or so we'll have all of them scraped and hung up to dry.  [...]

In the current (April, 2008) issue of AMC Outdoors magazine, there's a great little article by Christopher Collier about canoe poling titled Pole Position where I'm quoted several times. There's also mention of Don Merchant and Pole And Paddle Canoe. Read the article here.

Yesterday we rebuilt the sauna, and today we'll start scraping deer hides so as to make buckskin.  Below is one of my favorite quotes from Sigurd Olson. The bush is a complex of many joys -- companionship on the trail, the thrills of exploration, the impact of silence, vastness, and infinity, the good feeling of [...]

 


 

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Typos, Etc.
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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