Jack Mountain Bushcraft Blog

Welcome to the Jack Mountain Bushcraft Blog. I’ve been blogging since 2006, writing about bushcraft, education, expedition leadership and the woods life. You can view the archives by category or by date under the Archives tab in the menu at the top of the page.


Baby Beaver

I went to pick up the new outhouse for the riverside camp yesterday afternoon. On the way back, I saw a beaver sitting next to a ditch on the side of the road. We stopped and it walked into the water, then swam away into the woods up the stream. One of the guys spotted [...]

Poling a canoe is a difficult thing to learn. It’s even more difficult to teach. We have a series of exercises and situations we run people through, but it takes some time before the lessons sink in and people start to get it. When it finally happens, the “a-ha” moment is visible. They stop fighting [...]

Peter Frost was a 2004 Wilderness Bushcraft Semester student at the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School. This amazing story really happened and illustrates the usefulness of getting out every day, if only for a little while. Tracking A Fisher This morning we were very fortunate. The conditions were ideal for tracking. Early last night, an inch [...]

I’m writing this on Sunday morning, May 5th, in the Guide Shack. It’s a clear blue sky outside and batteries of our off-grid solar power system were fully charged at 8 am. We’re one week into the spring Wilderness Bushcraft Semester course, and spring is just starting to get some momentum. The birdsong is loud [...]

You haven’t been hearing from us much lately. Now, with the spring Wilderness Bushcraft Semester just over a week away, I’ll explain why. I’ve been busy migrating our student workbooks and our assessment system from paper to digital. This means that starting this spring, students on the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester can document everything from their [...]

We’re excited to announce the official partnership between the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School and the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI). After a lot of legwork, we’re partnering up to offer direct credit for UMPI students, and to offer transfer credits to students from other universities. The paperwork has been signed, the approval agency [...]

Last week School Of The Forest partnered with the New Hampton School for their yearly “Project week”. New Hampton students pitch a lot of different potential ideas for the week, and then participate in whichever is selected. I had a great time running this program, and because New Hampton is a boarding school, getting to [...]

I just returned from a fantastic week on the land with my Cree friends David and Anna Bosum. I mention them by name, but there were many other people who worked and visited with us during the week. It’s such a unique experience, to be welcomed into their culture and learn about their life in [...]

I’m headed out for our winter term, which means 3 weeks in the woods for our Winter Woodsman course and the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. Then I’ve got just a few days before leaving for northern Quebec to spend a week on the land with my old friends David and Anna Bosum. February is my favorite [...]

Although we’ll be adding to it (because no website is ever done, they’re always in process), we’ve got the skeleton of the 2019-2020 Yearlong Immersion Program (YIP) on the web. We’ve got a lot of details to add, but the dates, tuition and general idea for the program is on the YIP page. In a [...]

Having business liability insurance is one thing that sets the professionals apart from the hobbyists. Nowhere is this more true than in the bushcraft/survival/outdoor space. If you’re charging money for your programs or trips, you should carry a business liability policy. We get a lot of questions regarding where to find affordable insurance for bushcraft [...]

2019 Winter Programs Full

Our upcoming winter programs, The Winter Woodsman Course, The Boreal Snowshoe Expedition and our trip to northern Quebec for the Winter Living With Cree Hunters trip are all currently full. We’re no longer accepting registrations, but if you’re interested contact us to be placed on a waiting list.

Riverside Classroom

Gina Beach is a former teacher, current world traveler (by bicycle) and all-around impressive and accomplished young woman. I had the good fortune of having her in the fall, 2018 Wilderness Bushcraft Semester course. She publishes a great blog and the Saturn Returns podcast, and she’s been posting podcast interviews she conducted with other people [...]

Big crafting projects are important on our courses at Jack Mountain and School Of The Forest. Not only do students get to make a completely functional piece of kit that they’ll actively use during the course, but they start to understand something about what it means to live an outdoor life.  On a recent semester, [...]

Hanging a pot over an open fire is a great way to cook outdoors. Over the years we’ve experimented with a wide variety of pot suspension systems and have arrived at four criteria by which to judge them. As we’re often cooking for and with groups of ten or more people, it’s important to note [...]

I’ve been rereading some of Bill Riviere’s books lately and am reminded of why I hold his work in such high esteem. A registered Maine guide who worked on the Maine border patrol during World War 2, he was also a prolific writer. Here’s his take on throwing knives from Backcountry Camping: On TV and [...]

The Brushfire Rendezvous is on the calendar for Friday, October 11 to Sunday, October 13. I don’t have any details yet, but will be working them out. After talking to a few friends, we figured that 100,000 people was too many, so we’ll probably limit it to 40 or so. We’ll be running an introduction [...]

We’ve been discussing the possibility of having a small 3-day rendezvous based around bushcraft and traditional wilderness skills at the field school since 2010. But despite a lot of talk, we’ve never hosted the event. A few weeks ago I was talking with some friends about it again, and after an hour discussing the possibilities, [...]

I’m renewing my Maine Guide license this fall, and the rules have changed. Included in the process now is a digital fingerprinting and background check. I heard a rumor from a game warden that the process is a response to people with criminal sex-offender backgrounds taking young people in the woods. While I don’t like [...]

We had several storms over the past few days at the field school, resulting in the loss of one of our canoes. With temperatures below freezing and winds gusting to 50 miles per hour, several canoes were blown off of the racks, and one hull was broken. In the photo above, you can see the [...]

We just wrapped-up the Autumn Woodsman course after a great week of bushcraft and camaraderie. The Autumn Woodsman was new this year as a cold-weather, no-snow weeklong course. We had a great group, achieved all of our intended learning outcomes and also had a bunch of laughs doing it. Participants spent the night in individual [...]

There’s a certain image that’s been created of the “bushcrafter” or “outdoor expert”. It usually involves a perception of this way of life as something difficult or nearly impossible to obtain for most people. It’s been cultivated by years of “survival” television and “man against nature” films, books and other media. Some of my favorite authors [...]

There are two new alumni sections on the Jack Mountain website: alumni programs and alumni appreciation. In the alumni programs section (under the Courses tab) is information on the Year 2 Program for alumni. It’s on the schedule for 2019 and consists of a 2-week canoe trip on the Allagash and the 2-week Primitive Wilderness [...]

In 2019 we’re changing the dates for the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester courses that have been on the web for a few months. After lots of discussions in the guide shack about how to provide the best courses with the fewest drawbacks, we’re shifting a few things around. The spring semester will run from April 28 [...]

 


 

JMBS Programs & Sites
· Field School – Professional Training, Semester & Expedition Programs. Masardis, Maine.
· Folk School – Lodge-Based & Short Programs. Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
· Classic Wilderness Guiding – Canoe, Snowshoe & Sea Kayak Trips
· School Of The Forest – Teen & Youth Programs
· BushcraftSchool.com – JMBS Online Learning Academy
· Jack Mountain Outfitters – Gear For The Professional Woodsman
· JMB Web Portal – Guide To All Our Programs & Sites

JMBS Master Calendar
All scheduled programs.
· JMBS Master Calendar
 
Typos, Etc.
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 demonstrating prodigious artistic prowess.

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