March 2011

Dusk at forty below in northern Quebec The old loggers who spent their lives in the woods wore suspenders to keep their pants up in cold weather. They were practical people, and as such there was a reason they did so. Tight clothing was always avoided, as it is uncomfortable and doesn’t insulate nearly as [...]

Most of the winter footwear on the market is heavy and doesn’t keep your feet warm. Pac boots, for example, seem to always leak in wet conditions and trap moisture and become cold in frigid conditions. Most of the big companies market their footwear by insisting that it is both waterproof and breathable (for some [...]

We’ve got a new Facebook page. In the past I was maintaining a personal profile as well as a Jack Mountain Bushcraft page. Our new page combines these, and as such there’s no need for the other two, so the’re gone. Visit us there at:

The Best Axe

There is no shortage of advice on the weight an axe head should be and how long (and what shape) the handle should be. Today I wanted to inject a my opinion into the discussion, as well as describe my favorite axes. An axe with a longer handle is safer than one with a shorter [...]

Is This Hard To Read?

This blog is supposed to be black text on a white background.  If you’re reading this and it’s anything else, such as black text on an olive green background, would you please leave a comment or send me an email and say what you’re seeing?  Also, please include the operating system and browser you use. [...]

Choosing An Axe

The axe is the most versatile and useful tool to have with you in the forest. It can help you build a first-class shelter, put up a sizable pile of firewood, drive tent pegs, split logs, etc., etc., etc. As with all tools, when looking for an axe you should try and get the best [...]

Wilderness Living Skills

If you’re going to teach a course on wilderness living skills, you should have lived in the wilderness for at least a short period of time. The term is too often embraced by those who want to sell skills classes, but have no experience actually living outdoors with no infrastructure. Let the buyer beware. Reality [...]

Old Books And Ebooks

Throughout my life I’ve chased down old, obscure books on a variety of topics relevant to bushcraft. Often it was like detective work, finding references to something rare then tracking them down with the help of librarians and book dealers. When the internet came along it changed all that, making it easy to research and [...]

I got a call from Dave Wescott the other day. Dave is the organizer of the Rabbitstick and Wintercount primitive skills rendezvous, the author of Camping In The Old Style and the former owner of the Boulder Outdoor Survival School. We spoke a year ago about his plan to put together a symposium and rendezvous [...]

We’ve got a new photo gallery on the web, and I’ve been looking through old pictures for a few days and posting them.  In a few months I plan to have all of our archived photos posted.  It’s powered by the newest version of Gallery, the same software that ran our old photo gallery, which [...]

One of the new aspects we’re building into our Journeyman Certification Course are skill and craft benchmarks. It’s great to learn how to make new things. But, to attain even a basic skill level with them, they have to be completed a number of times. For example, on some of our courses students learn how [...]

The Teen Bushcraft And Survival Course is for young men ages 13-17 and designed as an introduction to a wide variety of bushcraft and survival skills. We spend the week camping at the field school and along the Aroostook River, practicing the skills of outdoor living until they become second nature. Syllabus: Sunday, July 3rd [...]
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