November 2023

lining canoes on the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester

Recorded on November 20, 2023. We just wrapped up the field school season, and in this episode I look back and reflect on the experiments we ran during 2023. I discuss the Expedition Instructor (XI) as a continuous 6-month, residential program, moving the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester back to May and the high waters of [...]

cover photo of The Humanure Handbook

Maybe the rest of the world is catching on. Here’s a link to an article about the use of human urine as fertilizer to contribute to food security: From the article, :”Urine contains nitrogen and phosphorus, two essential nutrients for plant growth. Urine can thus serve as an almost cost-free and locally available nutrient [...]

Unloading on a remote beach

Many of our alunmi have become Registered Maine Guides. A guide license is necessary in Maine to receive any form of payment for your services in the field. It is a state license which is granted at the end of a testing process. In recent years students on long courses have tried to get all [...]

usda hardiness zone map

The USDA recently updated it’s hardiness zone map with data from the last few years, and northern Maine is getting warmer. On the older maps, Masardis was zone 3B. On the updated map, we’re zone 4A. It’s an indicator of changing times. It also opens us up to a wider variety of perennials we can [...]

Float plane and one of our red Esquif canoes on a nearby lake

From the spring. We went up to our local lake for some paddling and Maine IFW was stocking remote trout ponds by float plane. They would load the young trout from a stock truck into the floats of the plane, then it would fly off and dump them in the ponds. Since I was a [...]

Lighting a woodstove in a shelter on a snowy day

It has been cold and snowy in Aroostook County this week for the Autumn Woodsman course. We’re past the halfway mark on the course, and thus far we have covered a lot of ground, including axemanship, fire making and management, fire by friction, navigation, hot tents and stoves, woodstove lighting and management, and a bunch [...]

Ready To Carry

wood canvas canoe, ready to carry

My wood canvas canoe, rigged up and ready for the carry around Allagash Falls. Notice this canoe has a center thwart, not a carved yoke. Notice how the paddles are tied to the thwarts so that when it is carried, the weight of the boat is distributed by the paddle blades onto the shoulders as [...]

a small shelter next to a long fire, no sleeping bag

A small shelter next to a long fire, spending the night with no sleeping bag in the cold. The details all matter: The size of the fire, the quality of the fuel, the width of the bed, the distance from the edge of the fire to the back of the shelter, the overhead volume of [...]

image of night fires in front of shelters for no sleeping bag exercise

One of the shelters students spend the night in on the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester is one with no insulation, just a fire to keep warm. This image is from that night a few weeks ago. It is a great learning experience with regard to the use of fire to keep warm, the science involved with [...]
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