Part of our fleet of homemade toboggans and sleds. Loading up and hitting the trail.
The modern world we live in is a thin veneer stretched over the raw circumstance of our human condition. Countless interconnected pieces give us things like central heating, the internet, smartphones, tax forms, and countless other modern realities. Despite its many benefits, the veneer insulates us from the experience of life our forefathers knew. While [...]
Two quick stories. One. Last week I went to see a movie with my dad at a classic old fashioned and equally rural theater in northern Wisconsin. The day was a mix of heavy wet snow, sleet and temperatures probably near thirty, this is all vital info, trust me. When we sat down there looked [...]
A bunch of years back I gave a presentation on sustainability in outdoor education at the Wilderness Educators Association conference (Read our paper here: https://www.outdoored.com/articles/asap-20-sustainable-possible). Our small group was proposing a model to help improve and correct some of the environmental problems inherent with most modern outdoor pursuits (think burning white gas for camp stoves) while also harpooning [...]
This society finds defining the world around us irresistible. We gave names to the trees, the animals, the weather and the winds. We have developed scientific principles in order to understand the inner workings of the natural world, to give structure to the systems operating around us and to explain all those events [...]
Pre-contact routes of travel in New Brunswick and northern Maine. Our field school is near the "A" in the word "Maliseets". This map, combined with the map in the book "Indian Canoe Routes Of Maine" gives a rough idea of the many canoe/snowshoe routes through the region. More on the old trails of New Brunswick [...]
Old photo of my youngest and another use for a pack basket. The kid is six years older now and that basket has been retired.
Lucky dog posing in front of the Jack Mountain Expedition Tent. The more I use this tent, the more I like it.
Honing a knife on a ceramic coffee cup. Coffee + sharpening on a Sunday morning.
A roaring fire chasing away the chill.
Enjoying the warmth of the expedition tent and stove at the end of a long day.
Everybody who’s been active in the outdoors for any length of time knows that as a knife ages, it stops being functional. This is true for both individual knives as well as knife designs. Only NEW knives and knife designs are useful, and only they can save your life in the inevitable “survival situations” we [...]
It is amazing how many blogs, web sites and discussion forums are committed to outdoor knives. A cursory jaunt through the web will quickly inundate the reader in barrows of gigabytes covering every weekend warrior’s 2 cents on knife construction, design, material, use and even a slew of experts piping in to pitch their new [...]
I laced up my skates for the first time in five years today and hit the ice with my youngest’s first grade class. It felt great to be at the rink and brought back a lot of powerful memories. Even if I never stepped into a hockey rink again, it will always be a big [...]
Delicious 'shore lunch' cooked by Derek Faria today. Open fire food just tastes better.
The second of 2 videos about gear for the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. If you’re going on the trip, pay attention.
Doughnuts draining on a bed of fir boughs.
As winter winds on and the snow piles up outside the windows of my small cabin, it is easy to appreciate the wonder of the natural world. There is the ruffed grouse that scurries around the perimeter of my clearing, hiding in the shadows of the cedar and fir trees. A red squirrel has taken [...]
Here’s the first in a series of videos shot specifically for those joining us on the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition this winter. You can get links to the gear mentioned at: http://www.jackmtn.com/gear.html#footwear Do not bring boots without removable liners!
Walking at sunset, spied the clouds reflecting on the ice.
Shave horse workshop a big success. Six finished horses and a few cheap laughs.
There’s something about me you may not know that might change how you perceive me. I’m not a flusher. I poop in a bucket, and when I’m done I cover it with sawdust. When the bucket gets full I dump it on a compost pile along with other organic inputs (kitchen, yard, etc.), then cover [...]
A goal I’ve set for myself this year is to be mindful and grateful for what I’ve done and what I’ve got. My plan for doing so is to avoid hedonic adaptation. I first heard of this term in the book A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art Of Stoic Joy (great read, [...]
“I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” I’ve heard this idea communicated in many ways over the years, am tired of hearing it, and am weary of it being used as an excuse to bring too much stuff on the trail. Countless times over my 17 year career [...]
I was talking to a person from the west coast over the holidays. When they found out our field school was in Maine, they said we were “back east.” I was forced to correct them and said; “no, we’re not back east. We’re down east. In Maine.” Then, after deciding to have a bit of [...]
This blog has never been about getting more readers or trying to be popular. It’s not about knives, gear reviews, how-to articles, survival tv shows or lists of “essential gear”. I don’t jump on board with the trends in the outdoor industry; I’m about the traditions. But there’s nothing wrong with people trying to grow [...]
Healthy Homemade Snack For Life In Bitter Cold Winter has just started to arrive here in northern New England, but it will be in full force soon. I have the good fortune of a busy winter schedule including spending four weeks guiding snowshoe expeditions (2 x 2-week trips) from late January through early March. That’s a [...]