Spent the day in the woods with the dog, marking trails and visiting some of my favorite spots including Sandy Beach and the Fairy Bridge over Perry Brook. For the trail map I’ve been working on for over a year, click this link.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Vlog
The Jack Mountain Bushcraft Vlog is about living the life. Topics include outings, opinions & updates. For instructional and how-to videos head over to our online learning academy at BushcraftSchool.com.
We host these videos on our site because we care about privacy, both yours and ours. We don’t track you. It’s a longer road to success doing it this way and fewer people will see our videos, but we think the tradeoff is worth it.
We’ve had a lot of interest in our March, 2019 trip to northern Quebec where we’ll live with our Cree friends David and Anna Bosum. We’ll be immersed in Cree culture for a week, learning about how they live. This video is an update on the trip, as well as a recommended reading list. For [...]
Choosing tools for winter programs with the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School in Maine and points north. In the video we look at criteria for choosing a useful axe, knife and saw for the winter trail based on year of experience guiding snowshoe trips. Specific gear looked at includes: Axes from Pole & Paddle Canoe Axe [...]
Members of the fall Wilderness Bushcraft Semester cooling off in the lake on a recent trip. Underwater basket weaving is something that people who know nothing about basketry or working with your hands often joke about, mistakenly thinking they’re being clever. The reality is that basket making is hard work, and a worthwhile craft to [...]
Check out our new 18-foot yurt-dome; the Jack Vegas Casino & Ballroom located at fabulous Moose Vegas. We’ll be outfitting it with a woodstove and lots of casino-style games in the near future.
Grand Pitch, on the East Branch of the Penobscot river, is not an easy place to get to. In our world where almost everything is accessible via automobile, I think it’s great that there are still places you need to sweat and bleed a little to get to.
Allagash Falls, 2 different viewpoints. It’s a special place, not reachable by road. Shot on the recent Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester.
On Eagle Lake at the Smith Brook campsite, Allagash Wilderness Waterway. We saw this bull moose who was not the slightest bit interested in us. Smith Brook is the site of the 1976 Allagash alien abduction, the focus of this book.
Our first night on the water of the 2018 Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester, camped on Telos Lake on the Allagash. I had the camera on autofocus, so you weren’t able to see the high peaks of Baxter State Park in the distance.
Shot on the Bonaventure River, this was our morning ritual for the trip. Man did we have a blast on that trip. Featured in the video is me, Frank, Kelly, Dragan and Christopher with the intro. Thanks to Blake for filming. Jack Mountain Bushcraft Vlog Episode 96.
To keep things simple, I’m changing how we catalog our videos. After a quick count of the videos we’ve put out over the years, I determined that we had done 94 of them, making this episode 95. On a muggy July morning on the dock, I discuss my old hat, my new hat, and edits [...]
I went for a sunset kayak paddle with my son on Rust Pond, where I grew up and home to our folk school. After a long spring at the field school it’s great to be home.
A few clips from our recent trip on the Bonaventure River in Quebec.
This morning I went to the fish hatchery in Caribou and picked up some young brook trout, brought them back to the field school, and put them in the pond. I have many fond memories of fishing small trout ponds as a kid. Now we can provide that same experience to the kids who come [...]
Keeping your body clean is important. This video is all about the ways in which to do so with no infrastructure. Something I neglected to mention in the video is that the Pump-Up Solar Shower is also a great piece of kit for trips to the ocean in order to rinse off at the end [...]
Making simple mocotaugans (crooked knives) in the campfire. It doesn’t take a bunch of infrastructure to make a functional knife. I used to believe it did, but now have 20 years of making simple knives in the campfire under my belt. Vise grips and a hammer are necessary, as is a new file to cut [...]
We woke up to a beaver sunning itself on the pond ice. It spent the whole day hanging around before swimming down the stream after dark.
Todays post, and all of our other posts, are brought to you by 2 solar panels that provide all of our off-grid electricity. Warm and sunny today and the snow has started to melt.
Systems are what make camp run smoothly. When running a course off-grid there often aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. As a result we’ve developed systems that use minimal time for maximum results. Nowhere is this more important than with food. Convenience foods aren’t an option in camp. If you wait [...]
Day four of the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. We’re working on permanent shelters. This morning we’re peeling the bark on the base logs. We’re doing a lot of axe work, clearing a quarter acre. And we’re still on snowshoes.
Day 3 of the WBS. Because there’s so much snow, we’re having to improvise. Two of our instructors are staying in a canvas tent set up under the pavilion, as shown in the video.
Day 2 of the spring, 2018 Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. Day 1 of our new vlog. Still lots of snow on the ground here.
From the spring, 2015, Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, a hike up Deboullie Mountain in the North Maine Woods; a beautiful and remote spot.
Raymond Reitze is a Registered Master Maine Guide and a mentor of mine. This recent video from Seedlight Pictures captures his philosophy of living as part of the natural world. It’s 18:36 long. Here is a link to the video on Vimeo.
We recommend an 8-inch, 2 quart dutch oven for the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, and for any other field school program. Ideally, it will have a flanged lid but no legs. If yours has legs, no big deal as these make it easier to cook in the field. But it also makes it more difficult to [...]
That water is cold! Loved this clip – like an old-school silent film.
A walk around a remote camp on the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition.
Life on our dirt road is exceptionally beautiful today after yesterday’s snow storm. Photo: Lucky the wonder pooch in the woods across the road.
Episode 30 of our podcast featured Sam Larson. It’s the first episode we’ve recorded remotely (ie. not in the same room), as well as the first episode where we’ve recorded video, as seen above. If you’re looking for just the audio, go here. Sam Larson is the founder and owner of Woodsong Wilderness Outfitters, was [...]
From a past Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. A participant fixed a broken axe handle in the field by wrapping it with saplings and lashing it together. It worked great. In the background is a canvas tent that was lived in for the winter. It’s not one of our expedition tents. In the photo below are my [...]
This fantastic video was shot on a JMBS alumi trip and assembled by Paul Sveum. If watching this doesn’t make you want to do an epic winter trip, you’re on the wrong website.
Update about appropriate pot systems for the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. We’ve solved the problem of lids for the 2 quart stainless pails. As a result, we recommend bringing two of these to field school programs. From the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester Gear List: • Cook pot with a bail handle Will be used for cooking food [...]
Short video of poling a canoe in fast water, shot during the spring Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. The expedition canoe skills we teach are a long way from a short paddle on the pond. Professor Ben Spencer was coaching from the bow in this shot. The water was fast and deeper than it looked; challenging conditions [...]
I was recently in touch with Thomas Clayton from Wander & Roam Media. Ten years ago he came out the field school and shot this video. We’re talking about collaborating on another project in the future. This video is the favorite Jack Mountain video of a few people I’ve heard from, and this version is [...]
Older video of a hand drill coal being made with a closeup on the fireboard. This is from 2007 (and rocking that 240p resolution), but demonstrates that with the right materials and a some experience, getting a friction fire coal doesn’t need to take a lot of time or energy. Remember that it is very [...]
https://vimeo.com/209919188 A show and tell of three options for personal pots for the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, as well as the 8″ dutch oven we recommend. There are lots of other options that will work, these are just the most common. Links to where you can purchase them are on our Wilderness Bushcraft Semester gear list.
The second of 2 videos about gear for the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. If you’re going on the trip, pay attention.
Here’s the first in a series of videos shot specifically for those joining us on the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition this winter. You can get links to the gear mentioned at: http://www.jackmtn.com/gear.html#footwear Do not bring boots without removable liners!
I took a ride across town and sat down with Derek Faria at The Woodsman School in his new tent to talk about educational philosophy and the importance of getting out and doing it. During the talk I mention our educational philosophy and the seven elements of our programs, with a focus on the Self [...]
Video about the new Jack Mountain Winter Expedition Tent. I left three things out of the video. First, the height of the center pole is right around 8 feet, making the dimensions 8’6″ wide by 11’6″ long by 8′ tall at the peak. Second, the material is 10.10 oz cotton. Third, if you’re interested you [...]
Video 9 in the 2014 WCES (Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester) series. Join us as we run the Telos Cut. Running Telos Cut We finished our trip down the Allagash in the last video. After taking out in Allagash Village, we had a big lunch at Rock’s Diner in Fort Kent, then went back to the [...]
Video 8 in the WCES (Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester) series. Join us as we swim below Allagash falls and paddle the lower river. At Allagash Falls
Video 7 in the WCES (Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester) series. Join us as we paddle into Round Pond, and Tim does a walk-through of our campsite. At Round Pond
Video 6 in the WCES (Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester) series. Join us as we line canoes down Long Lake dam, an old logging dam. It’s unsafe to run because of metal spikes that move each year when the ice goes out, so we tie up lining bridles and line it, or lower canoes over the [...]
Video 5 in the WCES (Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester) series. Join us as we pole Chase Rapids, the most challenging water on the Allagash. Poling Chase Rapids
Video 4 in the WCES (Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester) series. Join the guys out on Eagle Lake looking for fish. Looking For Fish
Video 3 in the WCES (Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester) series, shot during the aftermath of the big storm. Also some introductions a few days later on a beautiful day with views of the mountains. After The Storm And Introductions
Shot on the first day of our 2014 Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester, on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway at Chamberlain Lake. We spent the afternoon paddling with a tailwind and were right on the tail end of a big storm system. Storm On Chamberlain Lake
Last summer, during the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester, we shot a lot of video. It’s taken some time, but now we’re ready to post that video. Instead of spending a lot of time editing it into a long video no one will watch, I’m going to post it as a series of short clips. I [...]
While he’ll never hear me say it, Paul Sveum is a wealth of knowledge and a great instructor. Our friend Derek Faria from The Woodsman School shot and edited this video of Paul teaching a bannock 101 class at the Snow Walker’s Rendezvous. Solid information from a man who has made a lot of bannock [...]
Check out our group winter shelter complete with vestibule, raised bed and wood stove, and learn the four things that every shelter needs to accomplish. Group Dome Shelter Fall 2014
Join the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester on a flatwater canoe trip in Aroostook County, Maine. See us canoeing, cooking and baking on the fire, demonstrating the secret ninja technique of using a wooden sword to knock arrows out of the air, and the most epic rope swing north of Knowles Corner. Up In The County
Demonstrating wet weather fire by sectioning, splitting and contact splitting with an axe, then using a knife to carve feathers. Finally lighting with one match. First video shot during the fall, 2014 semester, and the first by our video guy, Heath Spielberg. Wet Weather Fire
A series of videos shot on the 2014 Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. It was a stellar team out for two beautiful weeks. We had an amazing time. Boreal Snowshoe Expedition Intro Making Bannock Winter Cooking Rig Splitting Wood On Snowshoes On The Trail With Jerell Yukon’s Campsite Tour
Shot during the 2013 Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester, one of the participants was adept at walking on a slackline and wanted to cross Munsungun stream where the old Oxbow Road bridge is washed out. It wasn’t a warm day. He wasn’t excited about the silly commentary. If you watch until the end, he made it [...]
Sourdough biscuits in the reflector oven filmed during the 2013 Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester on a remote river in northern Maine. Topher and Dave were guide team partners for this dinner and literally steal the show. And no, we weren’t having any fun on that trip.
Solar power does a lot of work for us at the field school. In this video Paul Sveum shows three of the main ways we use the sun: to cook food, heat water and generate electricity.
Shot a while back during the fall 2012 Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, join the guys as they’re cutting up moose, talking about forcing a patina on a new blade and the delicate process of making homemade wine.
Wall tents are great portable homes. In this video Paul Sveum shows how he builds a platform and knee wall to make living in one that much more comfortable.
The next workshop in the Self Reliance Workshop Series is on lighting fires using a bow drill. It takes place May 14th in Ossipee, New Hampshire. You can sign up or get more information on the GALA website.
I just returned from our 14-day Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. It was a fantastic trip with the best weather I’ve ever had when out for more than a week in the winter. Constant cold, clear skies, and one big snowstorm. Most importantly, there was no thaw, that bit of winter weather I dislike the most when [...]
During the June, 2013 Woodsman course we were at the river picking fiddleheads for supper when a yearling and mother moose walked into the field. We were quiet and still, and the wind was blowing toward us, so they kept coming right at us.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 40, the 15th and final in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. In this episode, join us as we swim the rapids, pack up camp, and visit with the Old Man of Allagash Falls, a stone face [...]
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 39, the 14th in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. In this episode, injury! One of the members of the crew gets a puncture wound in their shin. This episode finishes with a visit from Dr. Nick [...]
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 38, the 13th in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. Join us as Nick explains the benefits of the Onmipod-2500, the ultimate outdoor cooking rig.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 37, the 12th in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. In this episode some of the crew make a reflector oven sourdough pizza.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 36, the 11th in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. Join us as we put in on the Allagash headwater lakes for the second leg of our journey, visit with Tim in the middle of the lake [...]
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 35, the 10th in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. Join us at the headwater pool of the Aroostook River where Whiskey Jack traverses camp and has a discussion with Tim about fishing the pool.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 34, the 9th in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. Join us in the canoe as we travel down a quickwater section of the river, then visit with Big Fish as he talks about his hammock camping [...]
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 33, the 8th in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. Join us in camp catching native brook trout, then cooking those trout along with a bunch of other stuff over the campfire.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 32, the 7th in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. In this episode we carry boats and gear around Munsungan Falls, then take a look at the falls and talk about how it was a favorite fishing [...]
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 31, the 6th in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. Join us in camp at Munsungan Lake for an introduction the group, campfire cooking and a discussion about the history of the region.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 30, the 5th in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. Join us as we pole downriver, cross Munsungan Lake, and set up camp.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 29, the 4rd in a 15 part video series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. Check out our poling practice session, watch Bart fall in twice, and hear Shawn expound on the importance of treating a friction fire coal gingerly as you [...]
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 28, the 3rd in a 15 part series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course in the North Maine Woods. Learn about the knifing J paddling stroke as we paddle down Chase Pond in order to get to the outlet stream to practice poling.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal episode 27, the 2nd in a 15 part series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course. Get a canoe poling lesson and learn about reflector oven sourdough biscuits.
The 1st in a 15 part series shot on our May, 2012 bushcraft canoe expedition course. Join us as we travel to the put in for our Aroostook river trip on Chase Pond, deep in the North Maine Woods and learn about safely launching canoes.
One of the morning sessions at Woodsmoke was focused on defining bushcraft. There was a lively discussion as to whether it should be done at all, and if so, how to do it in a manner that would not exclusionary. After about an hour of discussion, we shot this video to explain the ideas to [...]
Sustainable cooking as demonstrated by Whiskey Jack. Rice cooked in a sun oven, then fried over a twig-fueled rocket stove.
Video on building a semi-permanent, group-sized dome shelter in the woods of northern Maine to be used as a lodge, wet-weather instruction area, heated space during cold weather, and as a dance club in the evenings.
A canoeing video of poling up and snubbing down the Big Machias River during the June, 2011 Riverman Course. The camera gets a little shakey in the middle, but even with this is shows that with a pole and some experience a person can travel upstream through a rip faster than they can walk on [...]
Shot during the Journeyman course last summer, this video features a Dutch oven chicken dinner expertly described by Whiskey Jack. Here he utters his famous line, “That doesn’t look any good!”, for the first time on film.
A short video shot at a remote campsite in the north Maine Woods, 43 river miles upstream from town. We were here in July, 2011 on our Journeyman Course, and enjoyed the gentle rhythms of the campfire and the flowing river.
My friend Dick butchered a road kill moose, saving the good meat and giving it to the person who totalled their car as a result of the impact. I took a chunk of the “spoiled” meat. I had been seeing this weasel around for a few days and I wanted to see him up close. [...]
Part 2 (of 2) of our Philosophy Of Bushcraft Video. Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal – Episode 20. For a higher resolution version that combines parts 1 and 2, check it out at blip.tv.
Philosophy Of Bushcraft – Part 1. Jack Mountain Bushcraft Journal Episode 19. For a higher resolution version that combines part 1 and 2, go to our blip.tv channel.