It’s week 3 of the fall Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, and for episode 77 of the podcast we spoke with students on the course. We learned about their first impressions of life in the woods, discussed the trapping class we took as a group and the role that trapping plays in studying mammals, and checked in [...]
It’s week three of the semester, and students have started their first big project; making canoe paddles. This project is usually the first big test of patience for students during the semester. Up till now, they’ve built up a sense of working wood with small projects like netting needles, carving bowdrill sets, etc. Those are [...]
Tracking mammals is the topic for episode 76 of the JMB Podcast. We discuss how we approach teaching tracking, the three types of tracking (clear print, pattern, sign), the three tasks of the tracker (locate, identify, interpret), and why jumping to conclusions is bad, but jumping to exclusions is good. Also covered is why bother [...]
It’s still August but the nights are getting cool. When the night air is cooler than the river water we get dramatic morning mists. I shot this on the morning of August 23, 2019, as the sun was just peeking over Squapan Ridge and the river valley was full of mist. I stood there for [...]
When made well, a grass mattress is portable luxury. Unlike thin sleeping pads, grass mattresses can easily be made to rival a modern mattress in thickness and comfort. They can also easily be transported, unlike bough beds. And they can be made from a variety of materials including grass, weeds, cattails, reeds, and more. They [...]
We’ve been back in camp for a little over a week now for the fall semester. Since I’ve been here, and gotten settled in I’ve watched the wildlife on the property settle right in with us. Living with the land isn’t just about what we take and use from it, it’s also about getting to [...]
During the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester students document their journey into the world of learning to live close to the land. There are a variety of workbooks they create, as well as a daily logbook of the experience. All of this is kept in a google docs folder, and their progress is marked by a checklist. [...]
Episode 75 starts with a government conspiracy (to us, anyway) regarding whether the whoopie pie is the official state dessert or just the state treat of Maine, then we discuss how a hornet’s nest has stopped us from being able to print anything at the field school for a few days. Next we discuss the [...]
It’s that time of year in northern Maine where the bushes are loaded with ripe fruit. Wherever you look there are cherries, berries and apples weighing down the branches on which they grow. For the next six weeks, the season of bounty in the county, we’ll be feasting on wild foods, learning about them as [...]
There are three jobs that go with running a school: presenting information, having students do something useful with that information, and assessing the student to see where they are on the continuum of experience. However, most outdoor schools are simply venues for information to be presented. Information is not the same as education. In fact, [...]
I’ve worked hard for and waited a long time to be about to say this. We’re all set up with the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Credits for courses, financial aid & more. Read more on the UMPI website or on the Jack Mountain website.
On a recent overnight on trail for the 2019 “Riverman” program, I got to thinking about how great food always tastes in the bush, and mentally waxing philosophical about why that is. There are obvious factors, like working physically hard all day and building up and appetite, or that it’s just a pavlovian effect [...]
The new Jack Mountain Bushcraft School online course platform and networking site is now live. Visit us at BushcraftSchool.com to meet like-minded people, learn a new skill, get a feel for how we do things or reconnect with people from your course.