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At the end of week 6 of the spring semester I recorded the second podcast with Christopher Russell. We talked about the progression of the course, the instructor and guide's dilemma, the 2 journeys (outward and inward) that everyone is on, and told a few stories along the way. You can read more about Christopher, [...]

There are a lot things referred to as survival skills these days that have nothing to do with survival. Survival is keeping your body alive. It’s pretty simple, but not easy. Over the short-term, defined by how long you can fast and go without food (longer than a month), you need to maintain your body [...]

On Wednesday, July 6th from 5-7 pm we’re offering our popular campfire cooking workshop in Wolfeboro, NH, in partnership with GALA as part of our Self Reliance Workshop Series. This time around we’re adding a special treat; we’ll be joined by instructor Derek Faria of The Woodsman School. Derek’s an old friend and Registered Maine [...]

Silently Observing

At dusk tonight I stood for half an hour watching and listening to four ruffed grouse feeding, talking and jumping around at the top of an aspen tree. Being silent and observing not only aids my knowledge and understanding of the natural world, but also my enjoyment of it. Empathy. Kinship. Belong to it.

Years ago I found a copy of the book Cooking Without Fuel that described a common appliance of 1900 that functioned much like a modern cooler. The idea was that you cook food until it boils, then put it in an insulated container which will maintain the heat and allow it to continue to cook, [...]

Being a lifelong learner, I’m of the belief that wherever you’re at, there is always room for improvement. Leading up to our 35th long-term course this spring, I’ve been seeking out additional training in order to become a better instructor. It's been an immensely enjoyable experience. In early March I spent a weekend at Amherst Archery [...]

Combining The Northern Forest Canoe Route, The Appalachian Trail And The International Appalachian Trail Into An Epic Journey   The Idea There is a romance and simplicity in journeys that start at your door. In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins didn’t take a bus to a plane to another bus to a cab to start his [...]

I'm excited to announce the recipient of our Wilderness Bushcraft Semester scholarship for the spring, 2016 semester; Christopher Russell! You're going to be hearing a lot about him over the coming months, but for now let me introduce you to his blog, PrimitiveAddictions.com,  and Facebook fan page. We have another scholarship opportunity for the fall [...]

I was just made aware that part of the term "survival situation" has been trademarked. I personally won't miss it and am glad to see it go.   Term “Survival Situation” To Be Replaced With “LTO - Life Threatening Occurrence” Since the recent registration of the trademark “The Situation” by Michael Sorrentino, the outdoor community [...]

Since returning home from the second Boreal Snowshoe Expedition, I’ve been immersed in the tedious and delicate process of a major overhaul of our web site. This entailed a lot of backend work, as well as creating several new sites. While there is still a lot of work to be done, the major overhauls are [...]

During our courses I talk a lot about the time I spent in Alaska. It set me firmly on the path that I’m still on.  I often get asked about why I came back, and while I’ve told parts of the story a bunch of times, I’ve never told it completely.  My mother recently came [...]

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 [...]

BeWildered by the Wild

    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 [...]

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 [...]

Yup, Another Knife Blog

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 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 [...]

I’m at the field school for the next week running the Winter Woodsman course. One of the things that we cover during the week is making a few different deadfall traps. I’ve searched for forty years for that perfectly rectangular rock that’s depicted in deadfall line drawings in survival books. I’m convinced it doesn’t exist. [...]

I just returned from performing in my son’s puppet show. He’s involved with a group that has a talent show every December. We go every year, and it’s always fantastic. I’m amazed at the maturity level of the kids involved. And the courage. There was a little girl who was going to sing a song. [...]

Part of our new lodge-based workshop series, spend a long weekend learning traditional northern forest skills while staying on-site in our modern, comfortable lodge.  The course content draws on the curriculum for our Winter Woodsman course. Topics include snowshoes and snowshoeing, fire lighting, axe use, knife use, knots, ice safety, ice fishing, animal tracking and more.  Group size is limited to 4 people; [...]

 


 

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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 that demonstrates his writing prowess.

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