Jack Mountain Bushcraft Video

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.
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JMB Vlog 207 Cover

We’re making canoe poles this week to replace the old and broken ones. As it is with many projects that start with raw materials from the forest, identifying, harvesting and processing the blank is hugely important. You have to find the right species of tree (spruce) growing in the right way in order to make [...]

JMB Vlog 206 Cover

We’re into the middle of the summer 2024 Wilderness Bushcraft Semester and people are getting deep into the projects on the course. The morning we filmed this everyone was working independently, so I figured I’d walk around and document the different things that were going on. #FullTangLifestyle

JMB Vlog 205 cover

We took advantage of the recent rains to get out onto a small stream we can usually only canoe during the high waters of early spring. It is the same stream we ran for JMB Vlog 182, Poling A Low Water Stream, and is a great local run. This time we had lots of water [...]

JMB Vlog 204 cover

JMB Vlog 104 is an update to JMB Vlog 201, where we were starting canoe paddles. At this point all of the students have finished their paddles, and we’re varnishing them. We do this to seal them so they don’t absorb water. Everyone did a great job on this project, and we’re excited to get [...]

JMB Vlog 203 cover

Life at the field school is hard during the heat of the summer. The bugs are bad and other critters are getting into things. We’ve recently had a raccoon that wants to get into the trash, so we’re putting it away at night and making sure all food is locked down. This morning one of [...]

JMB Vlog 192 cover

Week one of the summer, 2024 Wilderness Bushcraft Semester and we’ve got a heatwave sitting over us. With the heat index over 100 degrees F, we’ve moved class down to the river to intersperse coursework with dips in the river to keep us cool. #FullTangLifestyle

JMB Vlog 183 cover photo

Red-winged blackbirds were out in big numbers on a recent trip. In Maine they sing “Kong-ka-ree”. In western Canada they sing “Ko-kan-ee”. I think it’s because they are working for Kokanee, also known as big beer. #FullTangLifestyle

cover photo for JMB Vlog 178

New video series of an early May, 2024 canoe trip in Aroostook County, Maine. This was May 1st and the ice had just gone out (three days prior) on this pond. 40 miles to go. I’ll be posting this in short segments. Hope you enjoy! #FullTangLifestyle

Photo of the access road to the JMB field school

In 2022 I picked up a fat tire ebike to get around the field school. Here’s a short video showing my daily commute from our HQ to the Guide Shack. The bike is an Aventon Aventure and I’ve been really happy with it.

Image of two dutch ovens cooking on a campfire

On the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester we cooked a campfire dinner using the outdoor kitchen at the Guide Shack. Dutch oven chicken, Dutch oven pork, grilled pork chops, lentils in the thermal cooker and rice on a rocket stove. It turned out great.

JMB Vlog 157 - Tater Raisin' Van

Our new ride, the Tater Raisin’ Van. Just a few days out from the start of the spring season, have spent a lot of hours on the road lately getting this thing back to the county. Named after the one and only Dick Curless of Fort Fairfield, Maine. Read about Dick Curless Listen to Tater [...]

Image from video

Shot on April 26, 2023, opening up the road into camp and the first drive in of the year. The snow is still deep in spots, and I had to move a few trees, but I was able to drive into the field school. And just in time, as people will be arriving in a [...]

If you’re coming to the field school in winter, park at 1041 Garfield road. Don’t try to drive down Smith Farm Road to the field school because you will get stuck in the snow. We haul your gear in via snowmobile, you walk in (just less than a mile) on snowshoes on the snowmobile trail. [...]

An excerpt from our latest video on the cook kit I carry with me canoeing, snowshoeing and car camping. The entire thing fits in a 30 litre blue barrel and allows me to cook for small groups of up to 4. When guiding a larger group, I switch it out for a larger wooden wannigan. [...]

DIY Pump-Up Solar Shower

An excerpt from our latest video on the pump-up solar shower I’ve been using for ten years. A simple and great piece of kit to make a warm daily shower simple and easy. For the whole video and links to the pieces needed to assemble it, go to our private online community at BushcraftSchool.com.

Just a few scenes from a trip during the spring semester. We camped by a beautiful rapid and made the kitchen right next to the water. No story, just another beautiful place near the field school in northern Maine.

It’s been a few years since we’ve built one of these on a course. A coracle is a simple boat that can be built with brush and a tarp. Back in the day they were known as bull boats, because instead of a tarp they were made with the skin of a bull. They go [...]

First vlog in a few months. We’re into the third week of the fall Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, and have been out on the river teaching the finer points of life in a canoe. And when we’re on the water, the safety shorts are hard at work keeping everyone safe.

Jack Mountain Bushcraft Vlog 137 | Advanced Canoe Poling

Nearing the end of week 7 of the semester, we’re out working on advanced canoe poling maneuvers on the Big Machias River near Ashland, Maine. These are difficult techniques to master, and no one in history has done so without getting humbled by the river at some point. #fulltanglifestyle

Different trees are flowering at different times, especially at this time of year. We use that to locate trees such as apple trees whose fruit won’t be available for a few months. By noting where the trees are by the flowers, which is easy this time of year, we can come back when the fruit [...]

Out looking for trout on Aroostook County logging roads. Bring a stream thermometer, especially in the early spring. If you’re interested in learning more about fly fishing, check out our 3-day introduction to fly fishing course coming up May 27-30. The guy fishing in the clip at the end of the video is Registered Master [...]

We were out on Squapan Lake recently to practice canoe paddling strokes and to see if we could get the trout to bite. A state fish stocking truck full of brook trout was at the boat launch when we arrived, and several float planes were taking fish to remote ponds in the North Maine Woods. [...]

Join us on a day trip poling canoes on the Blackwater River during week 4 of the spring, 2021 Wilderness Guide Training Semester. We do this trip every year when the water is high in early spring as it’s a great place to lean to pole a canoe in quick water. And it’s beautiful and [...]

At the JMB Field School we’ve got slightly more than 3000 feet of frontage on the Aroostook River. The Aroostook is a beautiful, clean, clear water river that flows northeast from the headwater lakes to the border with Canada, crossing the border at Fort Fairfield before flowing into the St. John River and turning south [...]

At least we didn’t have any fun while cooking this chicken and sourdough biscuit dinner! Cooking a bird or a beaver this way was the impetus for the original swivel pot chain. Before it went on the fire I trussed the chicken, a fancy way to say I tied it with twine to hold it [...]

Our first day on the Aroostook River during the spring, 2021 Wilderness Guide Training Semester. Island Rips is on the back side of Samsquanch Island, right across from the field school. At the right water level, which we’ve got right now, it’s great place to practice poling canoes in quick water. Introducing Marge The Barge, [...]

This minidocumentary walks through the 2020-2021 Friluftsliv Forest Program students’ experience as they prepare for, and participate in their “halfway point” culminating exercise. Students on the FFP take part in a winter overnight, with only a fire and shelter they’ve built to stay warm. This experience shows the students how far they’ve come over the [...]

Beach Morning Photo

This video was shot a few years ago (notice the slow introduction), and features Paul Sveum demonstrating how to sanitize water (ie. make it safe to drink) when you have no pot. You need to boil it, which is why a pot is such a valuable item to carry, but you should have a backup [...]

Video by Bosum Media & Photography of our March, 2020 trip to northern Quebec. We’ve been running trips with our friends David and Anna Bosum, through their cultural tourism business Nuuhchimi Wiinuu, for 20 years. The experiences there have all been amazing. But don’t take my word for it, watch the video.

The first lesson from our new Household Handcrafts course, available for free at BushcraftSchool.com. This lesson teaches how to make a folded paper or bark drinking cup. The point of the course is to learn some crafting techniques using common household items.

Home Haircut | JMBV 114

If you’re stuck home with your kids, eventually someone will need a haircut. I’ve been cutting my own for a long time and it’s no big deal. When I don’t cut my own hair, I have a Hollywood stylist do it. It costs $850 each time, but it’s worth it. I figure it’s just the [...]

In order to clear up misconceptions, we’re shooting a series of videos about the gear needed for life at the field school. First off is the cooking gear video below. We’ll be adding a video cooking course to demonstrate using the items of gear soon. You should refer back to the gear list for links. [...]

Tim Beal of the Downeast Primitive Skills youtube channel shot this video on our recent trip on the St. Croix. We had an amazing time; great guys, great food, great water level, great weather (except for the bomb-cyclone day) and a lot of great laughs. Hope you enjoy it!

Episode 111 of the Jack Mountain Bushcraft Vlog joins the spring, 2019 Wilderness Bushcraft Semester course for the first day we’re out poling on the Aroostook river at the field school. You can check out our waterfront area that we call Canoe Beach and see the initial attempts at poling in fast, deep water.

Episode 108 of the JMB Vlog is a series of scenes shot on our recent trip to northern Quebec. Chiseling holes in the ice to set a fish net, splitting wood, lashing a moose hide into a frame and cooking geese by the wood stove. It was a great trip, with lots of learning and [...]

Shot on location in northern Quebec, episode 107 of the Jack Mountain Bushcraft Vlog features Sam Larson and I discussing the merits of our video policy, selfie first, safety last. Please note that this is satire, but does represent how much fun we had on the trip.

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 [...]

snubbing down a sluiceway

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 [...]

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.

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.

wood canvas canoe on a maine river

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 [...]

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 [...]

JMB Vlog 4-23-18

No Filter

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.

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 [...]

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.

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!

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 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 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

Want To Go On A Journey?

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 [...]

Bannock 101 Class Video

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 [...]

Group Dome Shelter 2014

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

Wet Weather Fire Video

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.

Butchering Moose

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.

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 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 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 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 [...]

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 [...]

Weasel Eating Moose

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. [...]

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