Jack Mountain Bushcraft Blog

Welcome to the Jack Mountain Bushcraft Blog. These are the most recent posts. You can also view our archives by category (Categories) or by date (Archives) under Archives tab in the menu at the top of the page.


Our latest video, Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal 12: Earth Skills Semester Program Week 5, is live on our video page. It’s also on our Youtube channel and will be on our Blip.tv channel in a few days.  This week’s video chronicles our hiking trip in the White Mountains and gets you current on our projects.  [...]

Our minimal-gear hike in the White Mountains was fun and a great learning experience.  We covered a decent amount of ground, with the students carrying everything they needed on homemade pack frames and using their homemade rope as pack straps.  They built their shelters as we went, and experienced what it’s like to travel with [...]

Off On A Walkabout

This morning we’re off to the White Mountains for a walkabout, or limited gear hike.  We’ll be there for several nights.  The point of the exercise is for the students to put into action the skills they have learned thus far, as well as to explore some new and beautiful country.  We’ve planned several routes, [...]

Braintanning Music Video

Some of our students made a music video on braintanning last week to share with their friends and family. I had no role in the production, or editing.  It looks like they were having fun to me. See it on youtube. Enjoy.

We had a great day poling on the upper Saco river yesterday. We were joined by writer/photographer Christopher Percy Collier, who was working on a magazine story about canoe poling. From the put-in we poled upstream for several mies. It was slow going as the river was running at 175 cubic feet per second, which [...]

We spent the entire day yesterday exploring the woods and looking for plants and mushrooms to identify and collect, as well as tracks to cast and scat to examine.  Our travels led us a few miles into the woods, around an old beaver pond, along a stream, and through a variety of habitats.  We found [...]

Our semester students all passed their hunter safety tests, so each of them can now legally purchase a hunting license. We encourage all of our students to take a state-sponsored hunter’s safety course, which is a basic firearms course in addition to the content on hunting. We also recommend that they take a bowhunter safety [...]

This is turning into the season of the porcupine for me.  While we were on the edge of a swamp looking at some of the semester students’ shelters yesterday I heard a commotion of crow calls.  I looked in their direction, and while I didn’t see them or what had gotten them so riled up, [...]

This Sunday we’ll be continuing our series of sustainability workshops with one on sourdough baking. The workshop starts at 2 pm. If you’re planning on attending, be sure to bring a container or plastic bag so you can bring home some of our sourdough starter. Our sustainability workshops are free, but there is a suggested [...]

End of Week 3, ESSP

Another busy week (week 3 of 10) is near completed in the Earth Skills Semester Program.  Early in the week we havested a tree for bow staves.  We felled it with an axe, sectioned it with a crosscut saw, split it with wedges, and debarked it using draw knives.  Yesterday we started scraping deer hides [...]

New Video, New Video Page

Our new video featuring the second week of the Earth Skills Semester Program is live on our new video page. You can also see it on youtube. Yesterday we had torrential rains which slowed us down a bit, but last night I picked up a bunch of frozen deer hides which we’ll be tanning as [...]

Pepe the Porcupine

Pepe the porcupine has been sleeping on our stone oven.  It seems as if he thinks it’s a cave and a good place to den.  Yesterday morning someone watched him come out of the oven and have his morning stretch.

The video from our recent canoe and bushcraft trip in northern Quebec is live on youtube. We’ll be adding the video to our website soon, but for the time being you can see all of our videos on our youtube channel.

Yesterday the ESSP students carved axe handles under the tutelage of Don Merchant of Pole and Paddle Canoe. Starting with pieces of white ash and using draw knives, spoke shaves, and rasps, they shaped the blanks and carved the eye to just fit the axe head. It was a long, hot day in the sun, [...]

We had a busy first day of the fall semester building shelters and going over our routines. We shot some time-lapse video of building a shelter as a group, but we haven’t watched it yet to see if it was any good. It was a long, hot day in the sun but we got all [...]

After weeks of preparation, today we start the tenth semester course that we’ve run. I’ll write a summary at the end of the day to keep our readers informed as to what we do. And we’ve got a video intern, so expect to see a bunch of footage of the course available on the web [...]

Photos from our recent canoe trip in Quebec, including this one of David Bosum cleaning the night’s catch and getting it ready to smoke, are now in our photo gallery. The video we shot on the trip will be available soon.

I’m back from Quebec after a great trip.  It was a long drive – 635 miles and 14 hours – but well worth it.  I’ll write up the trip soon, but I wanted to report on the yellow jackets that made a ground nest in our garden.  In the rush to get packed and on [...]

Off To Quebec

The van is packed and we’re set to roll out of here at 5 am for the long drive to Oujé-Bougoumou. After a long week of working on and around our new cook house, I’m ready for some time in the bush. I’ll blog about the trip when we get back.

I’ve noticed some of the leaves of our strawberries have had their edges nibbled, and last night I met the culprit.  I was working in the barn just before dark yesterday when I noticed one of the young porcupines (one of this year’s babies) in the field eating clover.  I watched him for a few [...]

Duane Hanson gave me a copy of Lindsay’s Technical Books catalog when I was up at his place in June. It’s a great resource for obscure how-to books on a variety of subjects such as blacksmithing, building, crafting and science. From the cover of the catalog; “Exeptional technical books for experimenters, inventors, tinkerers, mad scientists, [...]

The Fall 2007 Earth Skills Semester Program will mark the tenth semester course that we’ve run.  It’s been neat to watch what started as an idea turn into reality and develop from there.  And the fact that this semester filled early has been a strong validation that we’re on the right track.  So thanks for [...]

My good friend Steve Marshall was quoted in a New York Times article recently. He’s a rafting guide on the Shubenacadie River in Nova Scotia, where they run the tide as it rushes into the river. I’ve never been, but it sounds like a wild ride. Steve and I spent several weeks together this summer [...]

This Sunday we’re offering the second in our series of sustainability workshops – a plant walk of the local woods focusing on common edible and medicinal plants. We’ll also look at some of the poisonous plants of the area, and talk about creating a collection of plant pressings and how to take your knowledge of [...]

Busy Week In Review

The last week has been busy around here.  We built our new cook shack (with the roof still to be completed), ran a full Summer Survival Weekend Course, and ran a private 2-day survival workshop.  Today will be the first day I’ve had a chance to write (and take a deep breath and sit still [...]

I told the people in our sustainability workshop yesterday that I’d post a link to an article on lasagna gardening so they could have a reference for what we did. It’s from Mother Earth News and located here.

The first in our series of sustainability workshops took place yesterday, and despite strong thunderstorms that caused us to start a little late it was a great success. We built a raised lasagna garden bed on a section of ground where the limited amount of soil was compacted, and talked about a few related skills [...]

Internship Assessment Idea

I do a lot of reading and came across something on how old-time farm internships worked in the book “The New Organic Grower” by Elliot Coleman, on page 5; “The student received room and board but was expected to pay the farmer a monthly fee for the first three months. After three months, if the [...]

We completed the Earth Skills Summer Program, and it was a great success. We covered a lot of material, had a lot of fun, and only had to endure one knife cut which took place the first day. Like all extended courses, there were low points, like the bow that broke during floor tillering and [...]

It’s been a busy two weeks with the Earth Skills Summer Program.  We’ve focused intensively on bushcraft and nature studies, and this morning we’re doing a segment on wood canvas canoe building.  We’ll examine the process, look at molds and how they’re built, then pull a hull that’s been planked off of a mold and [...]

We’re putting together a series of community-oriented workshops on sustainable living, self-reliance and sense of place to begin this summer and run year-round. Although all the details haven’t been worked out, it will be based around low-cost, low-tech things people can do such as composting, gardening, food storage and emergency preparedness, as well as developing [...]

We took a family paddle around Rust Pond today and much to my consternation I saw numerous docks built with pressure treated lumber. Pressure treated lumber is infused with preservatives and chemicals that can leach into the water. The state of NH has a document on the web about pressure treated lumber use for docks. [...]

We’re in the midst of a heat wave here in New Hampshire, with the high temperatures today and tomorrow adding up to over 180 degrees (F). My friends in Canada are always telling me their temperatures in Celcius, but they might well be trying to teach me to conjugate verbs in Mandarin Chinese – I [...]

We’ve been busy from sun-up to sun-down with the Earth Skills Summer Program, so I haven’t been blogging or posting photos.  But since I have a minute this morning, here’s some of what we’ve been up to.  We started last week with an immersion into bushcraft starting wtih firemaking and the related skills.  We’ve identified [...]

 


 

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

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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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