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We’ve finalized the dates for our canoeing and bushcraft trip to northern Quebec with Cree guide David Bosum. We’ll meet in Ouje Bougoumou on the afternoon/evening of Saturday, August 9th, and start our trip the morning of the 10th. We’ll be back the night of the 16th and leave on the 17th. There will be [...]

This spring’s Earth Skills Semester Program will be somewhat different from those we’ve run in the past.  Because it will be the first one we’re running at our new base camp in Masardis, Maine, we’ll be making and building a lot of camp projects throughout the course.  We’ll also be building numerous bush structures to [...]

After speaking with several people I’ve decided to not restrict our online network just to alumni, but rather to open it to friends as well. So if you’re interested, you can register here or go to http://jackmtn.ning.com. You can post photos, videos, a blog, and more, as well as network with other likeminded individuals about [...]

New Base In Masardis

It’s official. Yesterday we closed on our new property in Masardis, Maine. It’s an amazing area in the middle of Aroostook County, and our land borders the Aroostook river. Everyone here is excited about it, and we’ve got big plans for both the land and the future of Jack Mountain. But there is a lot [...]

I noticed a grain split on the toe of one of my snowshoes yesterday, so to repair it I wrapped some string around it using a whip to hold it tight. The only string I had handy was hot pink, so I spent the afternoon wearing the amazing technicolor snowshoe. I saw a bunch of [...]

“In the woods you must expect to pay a certain price in discomfort for a very real and very deep pleasure.  Wet, heat, cold, hunger, thirst, difficult travel, insects, hard beds, aching muscles–all these at one time or another will be your portion.  If you are of the class that cannot have a good time [...]

I don’t care about the opinion of gurus, celebrities or famous people. I think that people’s devotion to them is a disease. I’ve heard it referred to as celebrititus. Because someone is famous doesn’t mean they’re skilled in the bush, or as a bushcraft instructor, or good at anything else. I’ve met a few famous [...]

I saw a documentary yesterday called America’s Stone Age Explorers which examined the evidence behind the various theories on the peopling of the Americas. It is the first bit I’ve seen in the mainstream media to challenge the Clovis first theory – the one we were all taught in school about the land bridge at [...]

To help people keep in touch with friends they met during their course with us, facilitate trip planning, story-telling, and just general networking, we’ve put together an alumni network site. With regard to trip planning, I know of one canoe trip taking place this spring in Wisconsin where there’s an invitation to our alumni. So [...]

Even thought the days are still short and the snow is piled deep over the garden, it won’t be long before it’s time to start seedlings in preparation for the growing season. I’m putting in several fruit trees this year, as well as expanding the number of edible perennials we grow. GALA is putting together [...]

Odd Track On Dirt Road

I saw this track on the dirt road the other day when it was above freezing. I had to think about it for a bit before I realized what it was. Any ideas?  It’s the imprint of ice creepers, things people put on the bottom of their boots to grip ice, so they don’t slip [...]

Following the advice of a longtime friend who knows more about these topics than I do, I’m changing the blog’s title to: MDG : The Jack Mountain Bushcraft Blog The reason for the change lies in his explanation of search engines and how they work.  The look and content of the MDG will remain the [...]

Another in our series of notable quotations. I first came across Richard Nelson’s books while living in Alaska. This quotation is interesting from the perspective of anthropology, as well as for learning the skills of another culture which is common in bushcraft. Different cultures don’t just do some things differently – often they see and [...]

Half an inch of rain is falling around here today.  Everything is already damp from all the snow that has melted over the past several days, and now with this soaking rain the resulting conditions are some of the most difficult for fire-lighting.  You need dry wood to light a fire.  The problem is finding [...]

We’re hiring college students to work as campus representatives. Interested? Call or email us. How It Works: We mail them some posters and they put them up where they think interested people might see them. The campus representative (CR) keeps a log of where they put the posters and emails it to us. The CR [...]

There are a lot of bushcraft sites and blogs these days, and I think it’s great.  People are making all sorts of stuff out of local materials and working with their hands to solve problems.  A downside of making lots of items but not using them is that they don’t know if the things they [...]

We’ve gotten about 2 feet of snow over the last four days.  It ended late last night, so the better part of the morning will be spend digging out, then packing down some trails with snowshoes.  Snow depths of over two feet necessitate a snowshoe that gives adequate flotation.  This is determined by the moisture [...]

I just got back from 12 days on the road visiting relatives, and I’m out the door again tonight to help teach the Maine Wilderness Guides Organization winter guide training course. It runs today (Wednesday) through Saturday and takes place at Mahoosuc Guide Service and in the surrounding mountains. It’s been a busy month.

Yesterday we got our first snowstorm of the year – 10 inches of dry powder. Tomorrow I’m going out tracking in the morning, looking to see who’s been moving since the snow fell. Tracking in fresh snow is one of the joys of living in the north. Shoveling it is one of the curses. We’ve [...]

Back After A Rest

After the semester ended and the two workshops with Mors Kochanski, I took a few days to catch up on some much-needed rest.  But we were back at it yesterday with a winemaking workshop instructed by my good friend Shayne White.  He covered necessary equipment and techniques for making wine inexpensively at home, and even [...]

It’s the last full day or our semester course, and we’ve been fortunate to have Mors Kochanski visiting with us and sharing his insights into the work everyone has done. Beyond the obvious benefits gleaned from him sharing his knowledge and experience, his humor around the campfire is always a treat. We’ve also been shooting [...]

To finish their pack baskets, folks have decided to make custom leather harnesses out of bark tanned leather. We didn’t tan it ourselves, but students are sizing it and using copper rivets to fasten the strip ends together. We had discussed using the braintanned hides everyone now has, but the thicker, full-grain leather is more [...]

As part of our ongoing series of sustainability workshops, we’ve scheduled a winemaking workshop for Sunday, November 11. My old friend Shayne White will be here walking us through the process of making your own wine at home with simple ingredients, as well as talking about the equipment you need to get started. There’s also [...]

This is the last weekend of this fall’s Earth Skills Semester Program, so it wasn’t much of a break. Everyone is busy working on projects, from scraping a moose hide to weaving pack baskets to tillering bows, as well as putting together our video from week nine. It will remain busy right up through Friday, [...]

A friend of mine shot a moose a few days ago and he’s giving us the hide to tan. I’m meeting him this morning at the town docks as he lives on the other side of Lake Winnepesaukee. The temperature is in the 30’s (just above freezing in Celcius) so I bet it will be [...]

Yesterday everyone sized their pounded ash strips and carved their skids, so today we’ll start weaving the baskets.  Actually weaving the basket doesn’t take as long as getting and preparing the materials, so we should have some baskets near finished by this afternoon.  They’ll have to dry overnight and be tightened, but the bulk of [...]

We had a great weekend at the wilderness first aid course sponsored by the Maine Wilderness Guides Organization. The course took place at Mahoosuc Guide Service, and we all stayed in their new Mahoosuc Mountain Lodge. A wilderness first aid or wilderness first responder course is a great complement to the bushcraft and guide training [...]

 


 

Web Sites
· JMB Field School – Long-Term Immersion: Semester & Expedition Programs. GI Bill & College Credit.
· Classic Wilderness Guiding – Canoe, Snowshoe & Sea Kayak Trips
· JMB Folk School – Lodge-Based Programs & Short Courses
· School Of The Forest – Teen & Youth Programs
· BushcraftSchool.com – Online & Distance Learning
· JMBS Master Calendar – All Scheduled Programs

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 demonstrating prodigious artistic prowess.

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