Jack Mountain Bushcraft Blog

Welcome to the Jack Mountain Bushcraft Blog. Since 2006 we’ve been blogging 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.

Frostbite symposium logo

This January (2023) I’m headed to Alberta to speak at the Frostbite Winter Camping Symposium. The event is a celebration of living and traveling outdoors in the north during the winter, with lots of instructional programs and experienced people. As hot tent camping and traditional winter travel skills have exploded in popularity in recent years, [...]

After a 2 year hiatus due to covid, we’re back to running winter programs in 2023 and couldn’t be more excited about it. Since there was no way to social distance inside of a hot tent, the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition (BSE), a program we started running way back in 2003, took a two-year break. I [...]

Mora #106 with a leather sheath

For about 20 years I have recommended the Mora Classic #2 for courses. After using a different knife for the past four years I think it’s time to update my recommendation to be inline with what I use on a daily basis; The Morakniv Wood Carving Knife 106. The Mora 106 is a smaller carving [...]

I’m in Austin, Texas, until the New Year. I’m here a month or two each year, as my kids are in school here. Last winter I met Chris Hyde, the founder the Natureversity Outdoor School here in Austin. This morning we sat down and recorded an episode (21) for the Natureversity Podcast. Here’s a link [...]

File this under alumni doing awesome things. Pat Wilson was a student on the spring semester and stayed on to work with me this summer. He started talking about doing a big canoe trip before winter, and got it in his head to canoe the length of the Mississippi river. After lots of planning and [...]

2023 Calendar Changes

I just posted our schedule for 2023. There are a few changes compared to recent years. First, we won’t be offering a Wilderness Guide Training Semester. Instead, we’ll be offering the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester (WBS) twice. They have been the same course all along, but we’re going to eliminate any confusion by changing the name [...]

Today we begin our summer term at the field school with the Summer Woodsman course, followed next week with the Canoe Expedition Skills course. After a short break for the 4th of July, we move into the 4-week Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester. It’s a busy summer schedule. But it doesn’t feel much like summer in [...]

On May 11, 2022, our fly fishing director Paul Sveum published an article in the Orvis News titled “5 Bushcraft Tips For Anglers.” I really enjoyed reading it, as will you if you click through (link). I always enjoy Paul’s writing style, and it’s great to see him getting recognition for both his fishing and [...]

The field school is quiet, the parking lot is empty, the course is completed. Our 54th long-term, professional training program wrapped up on Friday. As has always been the case, I spend the first day or two at the end of a course wondering what to do with myself. I’m writing this on a Sunday [...]

Today is halfway day on the spring, 2022 Wilderness Guide Training Semester. The significance of the day is that we’re exactly halfway to the finish line on our 9-week semester. I haven’t been posting much media this course, but to get you up to speed we started in deep snow and a deep freeze, had [...]

Duties: Gardening, Chicken Wrangling, Homesteading, Informal Teaching, Media Dates: May 22 – August 27, 2022 (14 Weeks). Longer duration possible Hours Per Week: 10 Compensation: $15 per hour = $150/week, We are wanting to create an incentivised economic model, something like a farm stand where staff and students pay cash for the items grown. This [...]

Its close to the end of February and our 2022 programs are just about full. I just updated our master calendar with the current number of open spots in each of our scheduled programs through the fall. So if you want one of these spots, don’t delay! Below is a list of courses and how [...]

Paul Sveum With His Wooden Canoe

Here is part two, numbers 6-10 of the 1o things I wish I had known before going down the fly fishing rabbit hole. But before we get to the list, allow me a short literary ramble… Checkers and Chess are the undisputed #1 and #2 all-time top selling and most popular board games in recent [...]

Full disclosure: I started this blog post about the 10 things I wish I had read before going head first down the fly fishing rabbit hole, but much like the sport itself, things instantly got out of hand.  My whole goal was/is to give you a succinct and easy to undertaad primer into fly fishing [...]

I was reading recently a blog posted by a fly shop owner out west who was, well, I think trying to make us all feel better about ourselves.  He said “Don’t feel bad if your Instagram feed is filled with 26” brown trout, sweeping vistas from Patagonia estancias or flawlessly tied flies.  Those represent someone’s [...]

After considering a variety of options, the route and plan is set for the 4-week Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester for summer, 2022. The course will start with a week at the field school where we’ll learn all about canoes, paddling, poling, making fire, cooking over a fire, thermal cookers, axe safety, making rope, knots, trip [...]

The Winter Woodsman and the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition, as well as the northern Quebec snowshoe trip with the Cree have been cancelled for 2022 due to Covid. Part of our job is to always keep an eye on the safety of the group and the individuals in it. It is impossible to socially distance in [...]

This year marks 20 years that I have held a license as a Registered Master Maine Guide. I am licensed in the hunting, fishing, recreation and sea kayaking specialized categories. A few years ago I had plans to get a tidewater fishing guide license in order to get them all, but it’s on the back [...]

In 2020 we bought a house adjacent to the field school. It allowed us to have an office and some inside storage in the included outbuildings. The office was a fantastic upgrade. I love the off-grid lifestyle, but running a business off-grid was always a challenge. In 2022 we are planning to update the loft [...]

A number of years ago I crossed paths with Ezra Smith on a canoe course. He went on to build a wood canvas canoe, then traveled in that canoe the length of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. I was guiding a trip on the Allagash when, on the last leg of his journey, he walked [...]

I love to see sign of the animals on the land, like this beaver-chewed ash tree along the river. Such signs tell me the ecosystem is healthy. But is health an objective thing, or culturally defined? In our modern, western world, health is often associated with the body. It is the worship of the appearance [...]

Thanksgiving Cranberries

Out for a walk on the land today, enjoying some solo time and the luxury of wandering with a camera. We’re supposed to get a storm over the next few days, and something tells me the snow will stick until April or May, so this was my last fall day to enjoy the weather and [...]

Three Days Before Dying

I originally posted this in 2016. A lot of people have lost loved ones recently. I don’t have any sage words to say about how to deal with the loss. Do the best you can, and if it isn’t enough talk to someone. ————————————– During our courses I talk a lot about the time I [...]

“No matter what anyone says, men in the cities spend their lives and win their bread fighting other men. In primitive places they fight nature and are drawn to other men by the common battle. The difference in character and viewpoints between a hunter and a salesman is as fundamental and irreconcilable as though they [...]

Nature Reliance Media graphic

I was recently a guest on the Nature Reliance Media Podcast with Craig Caudill. We had a great conversation about a wide variety of outdoor-related topics including my time in Alaska, the North Maine Woods, how expeditions are where stupid ideas go to die, and more. Here’s the link to the podcast: Nature Reliance Media [...]

After having to cancel our trip last year, We’re heading back to Oujé-Bougoumou in northern Quebec in March 2022, where we’ll spend a week in the bush experiencing Cree culture with our guides David and Anna Bosum in their ancestral homeland, Eeyou Istchee. This will be our 9th trip north, and as always we’re looking [...]

JMBS Master Calendar
All scheduled programs.
· JMBS Master Calendar
JMBS Sites
· Field School – Professional Training, Semester & Expedition Programs. Masardis, Maine.
· Classic Wilderness Guiding – Canoe, Snowshoe & Sea Kayak Trips
· School Of The Forest – Teen & Youth Programs
· JMB Web Portal – Guide To All Our Programs & Sites

Private Community Network & Online Courses. Free to join.
· BushcraftSchool.com
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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