Coal burning a burl to make a wooden bowl. The slow way to make a container.
Photos And Updates From The Field
Bending crooked knives, heated in a small rocket stove. No forge, simple knife making.
Cutting the bevel on a crooked knife in progress. Making simple knives during week 2 of the WB semester.
Bow drill fire lighting this morning. Newly-carved sets and challenging cold and damp conditions.
Great weekend in New Brunswick with my old friend Jeff Butler from Northwoods Survival. Good talks. Inspiring.
Field school rocket stoves. Snow is melting in open spots. Still deep in the bush, but not for long.
Open fire lunch on the snow. Bannock, soup, coffee and tea.
Our 30th bushcraft semester course begins today. And yes, there's a story behind this photo.
Ice is going out on the Aroostook. 7 foot snow drifts on the road. We'll be walking in for a while.
Canoe, Pack Basket, Axe. Traditional Maine Guide tools.
Dome Thatched With Fir Boughs. Built a few years back during a fall semester.
Wall Tents At The Field School. One week until the spring semester begins, getting excited.
Morning Paddle. These days will be here soon. Ice is melting!
Snow is melting and I'm thinking dangerous thoughts. Is this the year we canoe the Mosie river?
Breakfast In Camp. Eggs and sourdough biscuits.
End Of The Carry. End of the carry around Munsungun Falls in the north Maine woods.
Canoe Tarp Shelter. Traditional gear on a north Maine woods river trip.
Twenty Footer Rigged To Carry. Paddles lashed in to help distribute the weight of the boat when it's on my shoulders.
Morning Paddle. Mist and bright sunshine.
Mist and bright sunlight at Round Pond on the Allagash.
Beautiful lines of a 20' wood canvas canoe.
A double stack of dutch ovens, sourdough biscuits in the reflector oven, kettles of coffee and water and the clear blue sky for a roof. This is living.
Waterfall at the north end of Baxter State Park in Maine. Hot summer day, and the water was freezing. It never warms up. We all got ice cream headaches as a result of swimming, but so refreshing after a long hike.
Canoes and Katahdin, Epic Maine photo shot by Sam Racioppi during the fall Wilderness Bushcraft Semester.
Twilight At The Waters' Edge. Inch of snow today, but spring is right around the corner.
Canoe reflection. I love these shots when the water is like glass, reflecting back the world above it.
Grouse In The Alders. Shot at the field school. Grouse are often hanging around, but somehow they know to not hang around during hunting season!
Katahdin In The Morning. Loading canoes with Katahdin in the background on a beautiful fall morning.
Morning In Camp. Coffee, oats and sourdough biscuits.
Flat Water Paddling Practice. First day of spring, excited about getting out on the liquid water.
Winter Won't Quit! Still tons of snow on the ground and we've had crazy wind for the past few days. Really, really looking forward to some warmer weather. Pic is from the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition, taken on a cold and windy day.
Two Different Sleds. In the foreground, a 3-strake wooden toboggan. In the background, a sled with runners. They perform differently and are built for different conditions.
Sawing Up Firewood. We cut a lot of firewood during the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. Love the wide angle gopro shots.
Long Walk To The Water Hole. Filling pails to cook dinner.
Life Under Canvas. Living the good life on the trail.
Cranberry dutch oven cake. Snow day, kids have cabin fever so I put them to work in the kitchen.
Hauling toboggans after the lunch stop on a perfect winter day.
The Backlit Axeman. Heading out for a load of firewood on the Boreal Snowshoe Expeditions.
Never get tired of this view. And I never take my good fortune for granted.
Snow sculpted by the wind.
Quickie Snow Shelter. Dug in 5 minutes with a snowshoe in wind-packed snow. It was well below zero degrees F, which is when snow shelters are at their best. Note the stylish, relaxed pose, making it look extra-inviting.
Meanwhile our crack team of trackers have been scouring the remote corners of the north woods searching for sign of the elusive samsquantch.
Tending the cooking fire on the BSE. I love the way the flames look in this photo.
Broken Axe Handle. He had just hung that old Emerson & Stevens head before the trip. Must have been some bad wood.
Axe Safety? This technique was not covered during the axe safety lecture, but what could go wrong?
Quick look around our 8-sided tent on the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition.
After some shovel work, I'm declaring the dutch oven cooking season open! Tired of waiting.
Tent Bound. Cozy in the tent while the wind howls outside on the 2015 Boreal Snowshoe Expedition.
Snowshoeing Through The Birches. A beautiful birch glade in Quebec.
Tom by the tent at the winter carnival. Tent and stove from the incomparable Don Kevilus at Four Dog Stove.
Cooking birds next to the wood stove in Quebec.
We'll be a the winter carnival all afternoon. Stop by the tent and say hi! Town of Wolfeboro – Wolfeboro Winter Carnival! Wolfeboro Winter Carnival!
New Toboggans. We made a bunch of them for the trip. It really helped to spread out the load of gear and food when everyone had a ten-foot sled.
Walking out to the water hole.
Peaceful Winter Camp. Tom Belluscio shot this one, and when we looked at the trip pictures everyone loved it.
Endless Winter. It was ten below with a gusty wind when the boys decided to have a little fun and take a 'tasteful nude' photo. There was even talk of a men of Jack Mountain calendar. This photo reminds me that winter expeditions aren't just a lot of work, they're a lot of fun.
Congratulations to Maine's newest registered guide, Nikki Calhoun!
Congratulations to Maine's newest registered guide, Fil Salonek!
Winter Expedition Kit. From the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition, wooden toboggan, snowshoes, axe, ice chisel, wood stove, wall tent, folding saw.
2015 Boreal Snowshoe Expedition Team
Amazing photos shot on our recent trip to Quebec by Nick Gallop. Nick Gallop Photography http://photos.nickgallop.com/#!/index/G0000oDbqMaxEi9k Nick Gallop Photography – Documentary wilderness and outdoor photography. Commercial photographer.
Bacon bannock. It was as good as it looks. We ate well on the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition.
Camp 2, nestled among the hemlocks and balsam fir. Home from the expedition, unpacking today.
Boreal Snowshoe Expedition last day, tent bound because of a howling wind. Back to the world tomorrow. Great trip.
Back in cell coverage. Day 12 of the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition, 2 days to go. Group is comfortable and happy. Great trip!
Photos aren't posting, on the ragged edge of cell coverage. Will post them when we get back.
Camp 3, tents snuggled under large spruces and hemlocks. No break in the cold, and windy.
Content. A warm stove, big pile of wood and cozy, dry tent. Living well on the trail in northern Maine.
Warm in a tent tonight. The stove is hot, gear is dry and the laughs are many.
On the trail, Boreal snowshoe Expedition 2015.
Sleeping under the stars at -18F. Bad day of driving. Boreal Snowshoe Expedition night 1. Warm sleeping bag = good.
Chiseling a series of holes in order to set a fish net under the ice. Notice the net being stretched on the left.
Tips on staying warm during Maine winters from the Bangor Daily News, with a few quotes by yours truly. Ways to stay warm in Maine’s snowy outdoors As the temperature drops and snow piles up, many people hide indoors. And it’s no surprise. The frozen Maine wilderness can be a harsh and unforgiving place. But [...]
On the snowshoe trail in northern Quebec. Surrounded by snow covered black spruce, it was stunningly cold, harsh and beautiful.
Tim on the ice.
Our tent camp in northern Quebec, nestled among the black spruce on the shore of a lake.
On the trail in Quebec. Snowshoes, spruce and fur.
Back in NH from a week in northern Quebec. Amazing experience. Pic of the truck thermometer showing -40.
On the road to northern Quebec!
Cold wind whipping across frozen lake Winnepesaukee.
Dog with porcupine quill beard. Not going to be a fun afternoon.
Derek checking a pot of hemlock tea. Winter survival weekend course, January 2015.
Lucky dog pouncing during a twilight walk on the pond. Looks like a chupacabra.
Trip planning, even for day trips, should start with reading Paul Petzoldt on expedition behavior (ch. 10).
The Guppy, Tim Cole's paddle, on display at Freem's bar in Ashland, Maine. End of a long, cold week.
Fishing and ice safety on the lake during the winter woodsman course. Skunked! No fish, but we'll be back.
Checking out the vent hole on an active beaver lodge during the winter woodsman course.
Axe class, winter woodsman. -20 tonight, -50 with the wind chill. BRRRR! Having fun despite the cold.
Weaving a pair of snowshoes in the guide shack. Cozy inside, -10 outside.
Enjoying an evening in the guide shack before the Winter Woodsman course. New wood stove.
A variation of the promontory peg that hails from Siberia and was made famous by the documentary Happy People, the Koolyomka is an interesting deadfall and a fun one to carve in camp. This was carved during downtime on the 2014 Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester.
7 gallons of Ankle Breaker apple wine done bubbling just in time for new years. Taste-testing tonight. All good.
Shopping for a new canoe paddle blank. Seeing a few beauties, a lot of chaff.
Stunning twilight on the pond. Still and beautiful. Ice still not in. Short but beautiful days.
It's important to remember that the things done on Dude You're Screwed are done to win a game. In a real survival situation, don't take chances. For more info on actual survival situations, check out this podcast: Principles Of Wilderness Survival Podcast | JMB Podcast 03 Learn the principles of wilderness survival without the hype. [...]
The final episode of season 2 from Dude You're Screwed featuring yours truly. It was a lot of fun to make.
Babbling brook we encountered on our tracking hike. Beautiful clear water.
Brook trout over the fire, sourdough biscuits in the reflector oven.
Getting excited for upcoming winter programs. Just have to make it through the holidays with sanity intact. Not a sure thing.
Rainy morning, headwaters of the Aroostook River.
Christmas play, both kids are in it. Forty minutes to showtime, kids are cool as ice, no jitters.
Went for a walk in the hills with Tom Belluscio and our dogs earlier this week, just before the storm hit. This photo shows Tom with Lake Winnipesaukee in the background. We’re fortunate to live in a beautiful place. There is also a huge variety of conservation land plots nearby. We’re going to explore many [...]
Slick website? Check. Impressive-sounding resume? Check. Made up success and fraud? Check. Reputation checks should go beyond Google if you're looking to hire a guide. Former associates question claims of man behind adventure company at centre of B.C. rights complaint | National Post ‘He thinks he’s a cross between James Bond and a soldier of [...]
Ice in on the pond this morning. We'll see if it makes it through the storm tomorrow.
Ice storms, power outages, not concerned. My sawdust toilet doesn't need water or electricity. #selfrelianthome
Unsupported remote winter trips result in feeling a freedom that's hard to define, but strongly felt.
Even though it doesn't benefit me and I have to shovel the stairs, I still love a snow day. No school!
Pond of clear ice makes me think pond hockey. Wish I had my skates, stick and a team right now.
Surviving Cold Water Immersion. Great resource by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail on the facts around what cold water immersion does to the body. www.northernforestcanoetrail.org/media/Preparing%20for%20and%20Survivng%20Cold%20Water.pdf
Out sledding with the kids at the Xmas parade and a beautiful sunset over the lake.
Putting together the media kit for this winter's snowshoe trips. One box that fits on a toboggan.
Dirty bird in the 14 deep, pumpkin pie in the 12. It's a dutch oven Thanksgiving !
What does your road look like this morning?
Beauty after the storm. Happy Thanksgiving!
Originally shared by +MRC Custom Leather Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Stay home, spend time with family. Skip black friday and wait for small business Saturday! Support small business :)
Out in the new snow. Never too early to get ready for a winter expedition.
Snow is starting. Looking across the pond through a sea of snowflakes
Family walks are the best walks.
Pics from our recent campfire cooking class. Cooking in the dark never tasted so good! Campfire Cooking: NH Monthly Self Reliance Workshops Series View the album on Flickr.
Latest design from Pole And Paddle Canoe: Battery powered broad hatchet.
Unstructured play in the woods is a tonic for all ages. Out with the boys and the dog.
Fermented foods yes, giardia no. Kraut and kimchee put up this morning.
Favorite traveling sourdough container once its empty. Gallon plastic mayo jar.
Best part about traveling is coming home. Look who was waiting for me when I came in the door.
On the morning show in Denver this AM: Discovery Channel’s “Dude, You’re Screwed” Jake, Terry, John and Tim tell us all about the second season of the Discovery Channel’s “Dude, You’re Screwed.”
Number 3, the photo by Nick Gallop, was shot near the field school in one of our canoes. 39 Reasons Living In Maine Ruins You For Life Ayuh.
Two days in Denver. The mountains are stunning, just like I remember them.
First time in many years I'm reading a print newspaper with morning coffee. Feels like I went back in time.
Kids around campfire. Shelters done. What its all about. School Of The Forest.
What woodpecker made this hole? Tom teaching at the School Of The Forest.
School Of The Forest, stopping for lunch on a ridge near the folk school.
I've said this before, it's cool to be written up in the media, but when your friends and colleagues say it, it means that much more. The incomparable fellow Maine Guide Tom Jamrog wrote a flattering bit about me and Lou Falank at Snow Walkers on his blog. Tom is a big reason why you [...]
Neat article on how constellations change over time. We're not seeing the same constellations as our ancestors. The Constellations Won’t Always Look That Way Over time, stars change their position in the sky. A new app shows you how the patterns we recognize today have shifted.
Another reason to wear and use natural fibers: keep micro-plastics out of the ocean. Your clothes are polluting the ocean every time you do laundry An estimated 1,900 microfibers can get rinsed out of a single piece of synthetic clothing each time it’s washed, and these microplastic fibers might be the biggest contributors to ocean [...]
Had a blast at the Snow Walkers' Rendezvous. Now thinking about all kinds of remote winter expeditions. Winter isn't long enough. For planning purposes anyway.
Daughter, dog and ducks on a walk around the pond on a beautiful fall afternoon.
Variety of tent styles at the Snow Walkers' Rendezvous.
Snow Walkers' Rendezvous, in the tent with Derek and Paul. Living the good life under canvas.
Making a grip of sourdough pancakes this morning. Indoor kitchens are great!
Chest-deep in the lake for 20 minutes taking the dock out today. Cold water is serious business, really tired afterward.
Winter survival and preparedness article by Jonathan Olivier, in which we're quoted heavily. Prepare for Winter Emergencies with These Simple Survival Practices Fire was my saving grace as a kid, camping in the dead of winter with a few friends on our breaks from school. We would often only sleep a few hour…
Every time I vote I think about the American revolution. I wish current generations valued democracy like they did in 1776.
At the town docks for the Halloween parade and the lake looks beautiful.
Guide Shack At Sunset
Empty parking lot: our 28th long-term immersion program is officially completed.
Pounding A Huge Piece Of Ash
Morning on the Aroostook River. Prettiest river in Maine.
Basketry final project, various styles.
First snow flurries of the year this morning. Beautiful cool afternoon.
Flint and steel fire lighting today. Last week of the semester.
Smoking hides to finish the braintanning process.
Calling in the mother ship? Too much time in the woods? Both?
Roast hog, dutch oven cakes, sourdough bread: living like kings!
Roasting a pig in camp today. Going to be an epic supper.
Morning project: finishing a pack basket mold.
Finished hand axe from a leaf spring. No forge used, heated in rocket stove.
On the Moose Throne, wielding the Sceptre Of Power, meteing out wisdom.
Putting a rim on a newly made pack basket.
Lucky the wonder dog taking a break from her busy camp schedule to nap in the sun.
Making a simple axe head with the big rocket stove as a heat source. Forge is still drying out.
Lynx near camp just now. Grainy photo because its cropped and zoomed in.
Hard frost overnight. Everything is coated in ice this AM; my daughter would say it looks like fairyland.
Sanding a new canoe paddle made with simple hand tools.
Pulling hides this Saturday morning. Making braintan for mukluks.
Still eating greens but getting the rest of the garden ready for winter.
Pounding brown ash for baskets this morning. Not an intellectual exercise.
Pack baskets progressing nicely. Hides in the background also coming along.
New handmade axe sheath with adjustable cord lock tensioner. Innovation in the field.
Scraping deer hides to start the braintanning process.
Chicken breast grilled directly on the coals. A great way to cook meat using no implements. Great campfire lunch.
Grilled chicken in a raquette on the fire.
Pin cherry homemade wine. Sampling a bit of the recent vintage. Fantastic.
Rebuilding the field school forge: packing clay mix around tuyere.
Weaving half-round baskets out of willow, red osier dogwood and spruce roots.
Harvesting wild apples today. A fruit picker is an amazing piece of kit for getting the high ones.
People are coming back from solos. Just heard from one guy who had a hugely positive experience.
Looking east toward New Brunswick from the field school on a beautiful fall afternoon.
Wall tents in late afternoon sunlight.
Carving A Pack Basket Mold
Instructors hanging out. Everyone out on solos, quiet camp, beautiful fall day.
Artisan sourdough bread, reflector oven style.
Smoke house security guard, keeping the meat safe.
The Fat Of The Land. Ruffed grouse and wild apples.
Snow Walkers' Rendezvous – new web site and registration form. Registration is open. Snow Walkers’ Rendezvous 2014 | Wilderness Canoe Symposium 2014 Snow Walkers’ Rendezvous November 7-9, 2014, Hulbert Outdoor Center, Fairlee, Vermont, USA. 1995 found a group of Traditional Northern Winter Travelers gathering at the Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee, Vermont. Their idea was [...]
Opening day of ruffed grouse season. First bird of the year.
Lost a bet with another participant and had to fell a tree while wearing a dress.
Stove in the foreground, raised bed for 8, dogs under bed. Shelter done, warm and cozy.
Bough bed on the raised platfom, group shelter.
Covering the dome with a parachute. Notice the guy standing on the roof.
Building a group shelter today for the coming cold weather.
Fly casting practice, unseasonably warm day. We’ll be swimming later.
Dutch oven sourdough doughnuts cooked on a rocket stove. It rarely gets better than this.
Found a baby turtle. Thought it was a kid’s toy at first. Here he’s sitting on my hand.
Stunning sunset over the pond. Never gets old.
How Maine Axes Were Made In 1965. Documentary shot at Emerson & Stevens in Oakland.
Arctic Manual by Vilhjalmur Stefansson as free download. This is a must have book for those interested in native life in the polar north. Thanks to Alan Halcon and his fantastic blog (if you're not reading it you're missing out) for the links. Arctic Manual…. Free E-Book – outdoor self reliance Non-professionals go to school [...]
Winter is just around the corner. Looking forward to hitting the trail.
First video shot this semester by our video guy, Heath Spielberg.
Leaving on a 3-day walkabout with homemade gear. Outfitter shop not needed.