September 2009

The new stainless steel water bottles are all the rage these days, and while fashionable trends aren’t something I tend to engage in, there are real benefits to them over their plastic predcessors.  The most important benefit is that you can boil water right in them, eliminating the need for carrying a separate pot when [...]

Wanted: A mentor who can help me create a way to provide scholarships for low-income youth. Goal: To set up a scholarship fund, foundation, or non-profit wing of Jack Mountain in order to provide remote canoe trips and bushcraft courses for low income rural middle and high school boys. Need: Help figuring out the process [...]

Drawing on the philosophies of bushcraft we’ve developed over a decade of field courses, the traditions of Maine Guides that go back generations, the Cree concept of miyupimaatisiium (translated as “being alive well”) and the Scandinavian idea of friluftsliv (translated as “open air life”), the following seven elements comprise the components of our programs. 1. [...]

Eating acorns is a hot topic these days as I’ve gotten several questions about it.  If you haven’t read it, check out this page for a great essay written by my friend Dan Fisher.  He explains how he does it, and i chime it at the end with a short blurb. To answer some recently-posed [...]


If you’re a regular reader or visitor to our site, you may have noticed the small “site by Aroocom” text at the bottom of each page.  No, we haven’t outsourced our site to a Siberian media conglomerate.  Since I’m on an 8-month sabbatical from teaching extended bushcraft courses, I’ve decided to offer my web consulting [...]

There’s a difference between outdoor leadership and management.  Management is when you ensure people carry out predetermined tasks leading to a defined outcome.  Managers aren’t looking for innovation.  They’re there to ensure things get done according to a preexisting plan.  When we’re cooking a group dinner over a campfire in a remote location, we often [...]

We’ve been fielding a lot of questions about our yearlong program lately.  Several people over the weekend wanted to know if students live on-site for the entire year.  The answer is no, they don’t.  The program is organized around three intensives: the fall semester, the winter program, and the spring expedition.  For graduates, there is [...]

We’ve updated the information on our Yearlong Bushcraft Immersion Program for 2010.  Changes include the addition of a 2-week winter survival and travel course and that the course will begin with the fall semester instead of the spring.  Although our costs will go up with adding the winter course, we’re keeping the tuition the same. [...]

I hear from people regularly who are interested in making a move to the country and want to know how much land they need.  This question has also been the impetus for many discussions around the fire.  There is no right answer, as everything depends on the land and what you want to do with [...]

During a recent course we spent some time trout fishing.  When we were paddling across a remote lake I offered some of my lures to be trolled.  As I handed one of my treasured lures to a course participant, I told him the history of the lure, that I had bought it in 1981, that [...]

People stealing other’s content (text, photos, etc.) is common on the web, although that doesn’t make it alright or any less disrespectful.  Some large companies send threatening letters from lawyers to add a consequence for this act.  Our policy is to identify the site, say that it’s both uncool and illegal, and give them an [...]

I first read this story in the mid 1990’s.  It reminds me of a line from Edmund Ware Smith’s “The One-Eyed Poacher And The Maine Woods”, where he writes that the woodsmen in his stories “have their own idea of wealth, and it’s got nothing to do with money.” “A Micmac Looks At The Ways [...]

I’ve updated our blog with some new software, one result of which is that you can once again leave comments.  I’ve had them turned off for a few years, and updating the software and reactivating them is finally off the to-do list.

I spent Saturday canoeing the San Marcos river with my son and a friend.  The section we paddled was a narrow, gentle river  that wound its way past high sandstone banks, through cattle farms, and past some big houses.  There were enormous cypress trees, herons, red-tailed hawks and a bunch of turtles who were enjoying [...]
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