Jack Mountain Bushcraft Logo Bushcraft And Sustainability Field School
Bushcraft, Guide Training
& Wilderness Expedition School

Established 1999
- Ago Puteus Foris -
winter bushcraft and survival Registered Master Maine Guide


Bushcraft And Sustainability Field School

Masardis, Maine


If you're looking for information on how to get here go to the Travel Information Page.


About The Field School

Our Bushcraft And Sustainability Field School is located on 41 acres in Masardis, Maine on the banks of the Aroostook River. Masardis is in Aroostook County, the northernmost county in Maine and larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Known as "The County", it's an area where the moose and black bears outnumber the people. Surrounded by Canada on three sides, it's a boreal forest biome characterized by thick woods and northern plant species.

Our camp is rustic. Drinking water comes from a hand pump and we've got no electricity other than what's generated on-site. With a campsite on the river and and one in the woods, it's a perfect place for those seeking an authentic north woods experience.

Directly across the only paved road on our side of the river is the North Maine Woods, a large (3.5 million acre), uninhabited working forest. It's about 90 miles due west through working forest to the Canadian border. In that space there is no pavement, no towns, and no permanent residents.

The Aroostook River is the main artery of the area, and gives us water access to it's headwater lakes, St. Croix Stream, the Blackwater River, the Big Machias River, Munsungan Stream, Millinocket Stream, Mooseleuk Stream and Squapan Lake and stream. The Aroostook crosses into New Brunswick and joins the St. John River, which empties into the Atlantic at St. John, New Brunswick.

We're a short drive from the Allagash, St. John and Penobscot (East and West Branch) Rivers. We can also get there by water, but the route is challenging.

The next town downstream is Ashland, Maine, known as the gateway to the North Maine Woods. Ashland is home to a diner and a grocery store. The nearest large town is Presque Isle, about an hour's drive, where there is lots of shopping as well as airline and bus service.

For more information on Masardis, read the info page from the Presque Isle Area Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on the North Maine Woods, check out their website at northmainewoods.org. You can download a map of the region, either in full size (27x34, 7MB) or single sheet (8x10, 5.4MB) format from their map page.


Sustainability And Homesteading Demonstration Site

Our field school is a sustainability and homesteading demonstration site. The goal is to showcase the technologies and skills that make a life without modern conveniences such as running water or electricity accessible to people, and to show that such a life doesn't need to be a struggle, but can instead be elegant in its simplicity.


Simple Rural Technology

In addition to being the base for our programs, our bushcraft and sustainability field school is also where we experiment with different technologies in order to achieve a simple, comfortable, rural life. It's a demonstration site, but not in the sense that we create alternative ways of doing things and then revert back to the common way when nobody's watching. Instead it's an experiment in living simply and providing for our own needs with simple technologies and minimal off-site inputs. As there is no electricity or running water, we improvise. Below are some of the projects we've completed, are working on, and are planning for the future.

Shower
sunshower, bucket shower

Sauna
Solar powered for day use, woodstove for night or cloudy day use.

Shelters
domes (4 and 8 sided), cones, a-frames. Materials (except cover) gathered on-site.

Beds
bough beds, grass mattresses, rope beds. Gathered and made on-site.

Sewage
humanure composting system, greywater on plants

Composting
Vermiculture with some food scraps to produce worms for fishing, garden, etc.

Electricity
Off-grid solar pv system, muscle-generated

Heat
Passive solar, wood stove, rocket stove mass heater. Using fresnel lens to heat a pile of rocks and transferring them into a shelter (like the coal pans under a bed)

Water
Carry from stream or river, collection from roof, collection from tarps, hand pump well to be drilled.

Water Storage
Series of pools dug in stream, trash cans for rain water.

Hot Water
Solar showers, solar in black pipe, fresnel lens

Water Purification

Boiling on fire, solar with fresnel lens

Refrigeration
Evaporative coolers (cotton, clay, etc.), spring box

Cooking
Campfire, cook stove, fresnel lens

Ovens
Solar ovens, fireless cooker, bean hole

Laundry
hand washing, solar clothes dryer (clothes line)

Greenhouse, Row Covers
hoophouses made of saplings gathered on-site

Solar Dehydrator

Smoker
For use with fish, game and hides

Furniture
Chairs, tables, etc. made from sticks and poles gathered on-site.

 

 

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