Tim Smith

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At the town docks for the Halloween parade and thd lake looks beautiful.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Newfound Celebrity

Howe Brook In Autumn

This past week saw several interesting developments for me as my sphere of influence has seemingly broadened. Yes, the tv show for which I'm part of the cast debuted it's second season. It's called Dude You're Screwed and I'll be in an episode on Christmas eve. More on that later. This isn't about that. For […] Read More

Categories: General

Guide Shack At Sunset

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Guide Shack At Sunset   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

A Snowshoe Primer

Hanging Pot With Snowshoes

I was a boy when I received my first pair of snowshoes, a wood-framed, rawhide-laced (the rawhide was traditionally made from moose hide and known as babiche, pronounced "bab-ishe") pair made in Maine that took me on countless boyhood journeys through the winter woods. Since then, I've snowshoed all over Maine, New Hampshire, New Brunswick, […] Read More

Categories: Gear, General

Empty parking lot: our 28th long-term immersion program is officially completed […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Pounding A Huge Piece Of Ash   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Morning on the Aroostook River. Prettiest river in Maine.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Basketry final project, various styles.   […] Read More

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First snow flurries of the year this morning. Beautiful cool afternoon.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Flint and steel fire lighting today. Last week of the semester.   […] Read More

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Smoking hides to finish the braintanning process.   […] Read More

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Calling in the mother ship? Too much time in the woods? Both?   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Roast hog, dutch oven cakes, sourdough bread: living like kings!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Roasting a pig in camp today. Going to be an epic supper.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Morning project: finishing a pack basket mold.   […] Read More

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Finished hand axe from a leaf spring. No forge used, heated in rocket stove.   […] Read More

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On the Moose Throne, wielding the Sceptre Of Power, meteing out wisdom.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Putting a rim on a newly made pack basket.   […] Read More

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Lucky the wonder dog taking a break from her busy camp schedule to nap in the sun.   […] Read More

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Making a simple axe head with the big rocket stove as a heat source. Forge is still drying out.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Lynx near camp just now

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Lynx near camp just now. Grainy photo because its cropped and zoomed in.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Hard frost overnight

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Hard frost overnight. Everything is coated in ice this AM; my daughter would say it looks like fairyland.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Sanding a new canoe paddle made with simple hand tools.   […] Read More

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Pulling hides this Saturday morning. Making braintan for mukluks.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Still eating greens but getting the rest of the garden ready for winter.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Pounding brown ash for baskets this morning. Not an intellectual exercise.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Pack baskets progressing nicely. Hides in the background also coming along.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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New handmade axe sheath with adjustable cord lock tensioner. Innovation in the field.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Scraping deer hides to start the braintanning process.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Chicken breast grilled directly on the coals. A great way to cook meat using no implements. Great campfire lunch.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Grilled chicken in a raquette on the fire.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Pin cherry homemade wine

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Pin cherry homemade wine. Sampling a bit of the recent vintage. Fantastic.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Rebuilding the field school forge: packing clay mix around tuyere.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Weaving half-round baskets out of willow, red osier dogwood and spruce roots.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Harvesting wild apples today. A fruit picker is an amazing piece of kit for getting the high ones.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Group Dome Shelter 2014

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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 […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

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People are coming back from solos. Just heard from one guy who had a hugely positive experience.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Looking east toward New Brunswick from the field school on a beautiful fall afternoon.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Wall tents in late afternoon sunlight.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Carving A Pack Basket Mold   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Instructors hanging out

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Instructors hanging out. Everyone out on solos, quiet camp, beautiful fall day.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Artisan sourdough bread, reflector oven style.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Smoke house security guard, keeping the meat safe.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

The Fat Of The Land

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The Fat Of The Land. Ruffed grouse and wild apples.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Snow Walkers' Rendezvous - new web site and registration form. Registration is open. Snow Walkers' Rendezvous 2014 | Wilderness Canoe Symposium 2014 Snow Walkers' Rendezvous November 7-9, 2014, Hulbert Outdoor Center, Fairlee, Vermont, USA. 1995 found a group of Traditional Northern Winter Travelers gathering at the Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee, Vermont. Their idea was […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Opening day of ruffed grouse season. First bird of the year.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Lost a bet with another participant and had to fell a tree while wearing a dress.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Stove in the foreground, raised bed for 8, dogs under bed. Shelter done, warm and cozy.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Bough bed on the raised platfom, group shelter.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Covering the dome with a parachute. Notice the guy standing on the roof.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Building a group shelter today for the coming cold weather.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Fly casting practice, unseasonably warm day. We’ll be swimming later.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Dutch oven sourdough doughnuts cooked on a rocket stove. It rarely gets better than this.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Found a baby turtle

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Found a baby turtle. Thought it was a kid’s toy at first. Here he’s sitting on my hand.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Escape or Embrace

Wet-Snow Weather Fire

During the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester we do two-night solos where participants head into the forest alone with very minimal kit. For many people it isn't easy to unplug from the modern world and be alone with themselves. We can get so distracted with life, the internet and everything that our minds are almost never where […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

Makin' Snowshoes

What: New and coming to the folk school November 10-14, we're taking a bunch of make your own gear projects specific to winter and combining them into a weeklong class called The Winter Craftsman. The focus for 2014 will be making your own plastic trail toboggan and sewing your own braintan mukluks. Other options will […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

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Stunning sunset over the pond. Never gets old.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

How Maine Axes Were Made In 1965. Documentary shot at Emerson & Stevens in Oakland […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Dick Proenneke Letter

Wedge Tent With Fire

In 1996 I was living in a 12-foot trailer in Sterling, Alaska, behind a friend of mine's house. He told me about a guy who was a friend of his friend that lived in a small cabin he built across Cook Inlet in Lake Clark National Park. He also said that some of his journals […] Read More

Categories: General

The Mornin' Joe

The Frozen 48 is a winter survival challenge where participants head into the boreal forest of northern Maine for 48 hours with minimal gear. It's not easy. Many people have done a night in the winter woods without a tent or sleeping bag. It's the second night that gets you. That's where training, skill and […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, Courses, General

Arctic Manual by Vilhjalmur Stefansson as free download. This is a must have book for those interested in native life in the polar north. Thanks to Alan Halcon and his fantastic blog (if you're not reading it you're missing out) for the links. Arctic Manual.... Free E-Book - outdoor self reliance Non-professionals go to school […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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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 […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

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Winter is just around the corner. Looking forward to hitting the trail.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Wet Weather Fire Video

Campfire Cooking

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 […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

First video shot this semester by our video guy, Heath Spielberg […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Leaving on a 3-day walkabout with homemade gear. Outfitter shop not needed.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Merganser in the dutch oven

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Merganser in the dutch oven. Harvested today. We heard it wasn’t good, but it turned out great!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Feather stick fire-for-coffee exercise in camp this morning.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Fish in a freshly-carved deadfall trap.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Poling practice, lunch break

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Poling practice, lunch break. Beautiful day on the Aroostook River!  […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Congrats to Maine’s newest registered guide, Tom Belluscio […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Log drive remnants

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Log drive remnants. Rings for attaching boom chains on the Aroostook.  […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Removing stubborn wood from the eye of an old Snow & Neally 2.5 lb axe head. Slow going.  […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Amazing northern lights show in camp tonight. Always neat to be with people seeing them for the first time […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Grass for a blanket, first frost tonight. Farewell bugs, see you in the spring!  […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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My view this morning: camped on Squapan lake with the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester.  […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Paddles today

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Paddles today. Had a dutch oven dinner. Now to the river for a swim. Great time of year.  […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Cooking his first dutch oven dinner. Pork shoulder. Like a boss!  […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Jack Mountain on weather.com.  I'm not sure how meteorology can be a lifesaving skill, but it's still pretty cool. 10 Lifesaving Skills You Could Learn at Survival Camp - weather.com Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, and preparing for different disaster scenarios is no different. Here's what you can learn from the experts. View […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Making paddles at the field school: 28th JMBS semester course is underway.  […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Although the nights are just starting to get cool we’ve been thinking about snow and ice and planning our winter schedule. Below is a preview of the programs we’re offering.Winter Bushcraft, Survival And Expedition Program 2015 PreviewOur winter bushcraft, survival, guide training and expedition programs scheduled for 2015 in Maine, Quebec and New Hampshire […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Winter Sunset

Although the nights are just starting to get cool we've been thinking about snow and ice and planning our winter schedule. Below is a preview of the programs we're offering. Additionally, we'll be offering the Winter Craftsman course in November where you can make your own mukluks and toboggan, bend and lace snowshoes, and more. […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

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Crew at Grand Pitch, East Branch of the Penobscot, Maine.  […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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It's more work getting to camp after dark, but the tradeoff is being out during beautiful sunsets such as this one. The lake was like glass as we paddled several miles across Telos to Telos Landing. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Notice the inverted canoe used as a lunch table and the green food pack sitting in shallow water to keep the contents cool. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Lining Webster Stream

A tragedy was narrowly avoided on our recent paddling trip down Webster Stream during the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester. Near the end of the stream there is a half-mile carry around an unrunnable falls known as Grand Pitch. The take out is about 25 yards upstream of the horizon line for the falls, which means […] Read More

Categories: General, Trip Journals

Kids Cooking With Fire

The beautiful weather of mid-August has arrived! My two week summer break between the end of the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester and the beginning of the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester beginning August 24th has been filled with family time, but also a few folk school programs. Last Thursday, as part of the self reliance workshop series […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

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Cooking dinner on the East Branch of the Penobscot.  Tripod with a galley pole.  How we cooked all our meals during our month on the river.  No stoves. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Morning Poling Round Pond

The 2014 Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester was an amazing month on the river. Everyone spent the month in a solo boat, but they were our 18 and 16 foot Prospecters, not small boats designed for solo use. Everyone also used a paddle that they had carved and a pole that they had made. These were […] Read More

Categories: General, Trip Journals

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The half-mile carry around the Hulling Machine rapid on the East Branch of the Penobscot.  We did all of our carries in three trips. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Tim Cole and Tim Smith at Allagash falls on the recent Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester, just before jumping in and swimming the rapid just below the falls. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

2 quart stainless pail for $9 plus a $0.50 pot lid from the thrift store is my new favorite personal pot, and part of my group cook kit. Amazon.com : ProSelect Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Pail, 6-Inch, 2-Quart : Pet Bowls : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : ProSelect Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Pail, 6-Inch, 2-Quart : […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Lining canoes over the remains of Long Lake dam on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester 2014. Notice how the rope is pulling from under the boat - that's the secret to lining. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Baxter State Park, Maine. Part of our 4-week canoe expedition. Missing the team already - it's amazing how tight you become after 4 weeks in the bush.  That's yours truly. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Man Fire Food visits the Jack Mountain field school to cook bushcraft style.  Check it out on the cooking channel on August 5th at 8pm EST. Man Fire Food : Cooking Channel Man Fire Food features the inventive ways Americans cook with fire. From small campfires to creative... View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Boreal Snowshoe Expedition seen through the lens of one of the participants. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Boreal Snowshoe Expedition 2014 Crew

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 […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

Poling Up The Stream

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 […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

Reflector Oven Pizza

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 […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

July 2014 News

Deer In Camp

Photo: Deer in camp. Highlights: June began with the final few weeks of the spring Wilderness Bushcraft Semester and finished with the Woodsman course. During June we also had our new student cabin and library delivered, making the field school master plan nearly complete. As spring rolled into summer the gardens started producing fresh greens. […] Read More

Categories: General, News

Ice From The River

Solar power does a lot of work for us at the field school. In this video Paul Sveum shows three of the main ways we use the sun: to cook food, heat water and generate electricity […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

Butchering Moose

Young 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 […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

More than half the people claiming to have PhD's have fake ones.  Classic. The Economics of Fake Degrees This article originally appeared in Inside Higher Ed. It’s surprising how many house pets hold advanced degrees. Last year a dog received his MBA from the American University of London, a non-accredited distance-learning institution. It feels as if […] Read More

Categories: Updates

New JMBS office manager will provide better communication, even when our instructors are off the grid. New Jack Mountain Bushcraft School Office Manager Our registration process and pre-course communications are about to get a whole lot smoother. Our instructors are often away from phone and internet contac View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

New Office Manager

Lashing Shelter Corner

Our registration process and pre-course communications are about to get a whole lot smoother. Our instructors are often away from phone and internet contact for long periods while on expeditions, so to make things work better we're hiring a dedicated office support person. No longer will anyone have to wait for weeks before getting a […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

"What The Mountains Tell Me." Poem written by an impressive ten year old boy who attends the School Of The Forest kids program. What The Mountains Tell Me Kids need outlets in nature and time spent unplugged. When they do, great things happen. Things like this. What The Mountains Tell Me Every day I go […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Old Cabin

Kids need outlets in nature and time spent unplugged. When they do, great things happen. Things like this. What The Mountains Tell Me Every day I go on a hill To watch the mountains calm and still They tell me stories of climbers climbing them with pride Or little kids like you and me Dreaming […] Read More

Categories: General, Quotations

Jerell Friesen's article on living in the winter bush for 38 days eating nothing but pemmican on the JMB blog. 38 Days Of Pemmican – Ketosis In The Winter Bush This guest post is by Jerell Friesen, pictured in the photo above adjusting an improvised snowshoe during the 38 days described in the post. You […] Read More

Categories: Updates

38 Days Of Pemmican

Improvised Snowshoes

This guest post is by Jerell Friesen, pictured in the photo above adjusting an improvised snowshoe during the 38 days described in the post. You can download a pdf with graphics by clicking here. What I Did: During the 38 day period between February 2nd and March 8th 2013 I dedicated myself to a two […] Read More

Categories: Food, General, Guest Posts

by Fred GeorgekishI've been looking for this book for ten years after seeing it once. No luck. If you've got it, and would let me photocopy it, I'd gladly pay postage and treat it with the utmost care: Iiyiyuu Miichiwaahp-h =: Traditional architecture of the Wemindji Cree: Fred Georgekish: 9780969986201: Amazon.com: Books Iiyiyuu Miichiwaahp-h =: […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Ordered a second copy of 'Making The Attikamek Snowshoe' for the field school library.  If you're interested in snowshoes and native culture, it's a must read. Making The  Attikamek Snowshoe ;176 pages, 255 photos The art  of making the elegant ''square-toe'' snowshoe of the Attikamek  Indians ; the complete process including frame construction, plain and […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Wet-Snow Weather Fire

Note: This is the first in a series of guest posts by our senior instructor Paul Sveum. There was a TV commercial I saw last winter while I was out in Montana that I thought of today as we are set to begin our 2014 Spring Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. The scene opened with a happy […] Read More

Categories: General, Guest Posts

Our new 10'x20' cabin, to be a library and student study area, is complete.  Insulated and finished inside.  Will be delivered in a few days.  View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Wall Tent, Field Corner

Wall tents are great portable homes. In this video Paul Sveum shows how he builds a platform and knee wall to make living in one that much more comfortable […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

June 2014 News

Rocket Stoves At Dusk

Photo: Rocket stoves at dusk. Highlights: These are the long, busy days of June. We had a great month and now the wild edibles are really beginning to pop and the fishing is getting good. We've got a bunch of garden beds in this year, as well as a variety of fruit trees. The field […] Read More

Categories: General, News

Moose In Moose Vegas

Recorded in the Guide Shack at the field school, join Tim Smith, Paul Sveum and Shawn Sprague as they talk about the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School certifications. Learn what they are, why they exist, where they came from and what they can do for you. iTunes Link | Play, Download Or Subscribe In iTunes Stitcher […] Read More

Categories: General, Podcast

The Survival Show I Want To See: I keep waiting for a high-stakes, high-drama tv survival show starring puppets that's also a musical. Now THAT would be something. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Teaching assistant positions: new format and requirements.  Adding a research component.  Teaching Assistant Internships - Jack Mountain Bushcraft School Teaching assistant positions are open to graduates of our Earth skills programs and are a good option for those looking to learn advanced bushcraft and teaching skills. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Time is flying by! TV crew here today and tomorrow filming a cooking show.  It's going to be a lot of fun! View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

May 2014 News

Remote Cabin In Winter

Photo: Snow at the field school in late April. Highlights: Since April 20 and until June 21 we're busy with the spring Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. It's been a great course so far, but not without it's weather-imposed challenges. When we started the snowpack on our road was waist deep! But things have warmed up and […] Read More

Categories: General, News

Three weeks of the spring bushcraft semester finished.  Time is flying and the weather is getting nice!#jmblog Three Weeks Of The Spring Wilderness Bushcraft Semester Finished We’re three weeks into the spring semester. It was a challenging start, with our road being covered with several feet of snow and us unable to drive in for […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Building A Quad Pod

We're three weeks into the spring semester. It was a challenging start, with our road being covered with several feet of snow and us unable to drive in for the first two weeks. It meant a lot of trips hauling gear in on sleds for the 3/4 of a mile to the paved road. Also, […] Read More

Categories: General, Long-Term Programs

In the guide shack, listening to the rain on the roof, reading a book by headlamp about a downeast fishing guide. Day two of the spring semester done. Looking forward to the end of the snow and the road opening up. All good so far.  View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

In between scrubbing buckets and going to the dump today, I learned I was famous and have a NY Times filmography page.  Now I need to get some of those star-shaped sunglasses. Embedded Link Tim Smith - Filmography - Movies & TV - NYTimes.com View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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http://www.jackmtn.com/simplog/26th-bushcraft-semester-course-begins-this-weekend/Photo taken during the School Of The Forest.#jmblog View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Bridge And Snow

This weekend we begin our 26th semester program. Today I'm packing up the truck and canoe trailer. Tonight I'll be watching my kids perform in a play, and tomorrow I'll be heading to the field school. It will be a challenging beginning to the course because the dirt road in from the pavement is still […] Read More

Categories: General, Long-Term Programs

This is about 5 years old, shot at the field school. The area where we're cutting trees is now all a field. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Also some new snow and ice. Spring is coming. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Get a sneak peak at www.schooloftheforest.com View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Just bought a round for the bar #unionhockey View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Tinder Bundle Blowing

The next workshop in the Self Reliance Workshop Series is on lighting fires using a bow drill. It takes place May 14th in Ossipee, New Hampshire. You can sign up or get more information on the GALA website […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

May 14th, Ossipee, NH.  Friction fire workshop, part of our ongoing self reliance workshop series.https://galacommunity.org/archives/3087 View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Fly Fishing Workshop Tonight.  I'm packing up my gear and headed out to our fly fishing workshop in an hour.  It's part of our monthly self reliance workshop series we're running with GALA.  We'll be going over gear, knots, casting and as much about fish habits and bugs as time will allow.  These workshops are […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Fishing Below Allagash Falls

I'm packing up my gear and headed out to our fly fishing workshop in an hour.  It's part of our monthly self reliance workshop series we're running with GALA.  We'll be going over gear, knots, casting and as much about fish habits and bugs as time will allow. So far this workshop series has been […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

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http://www.jackmtn.com/simplog/wild-food-intensive-and-solo-courses-cancelled/#jmblog View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Can't wait to read Randy Spencer's new book.  A fantastic writer, I loved his first book, all about guiding in Grand Lake Stream, Maine. Wide and Deep: Tales and Recollections from a Master Maine Fishing Guide: Randy Spencer: 9781628736397: Amazon.com: Books Wide and Deep: Tales and Recollections from a Master Maine Fishing Guide [Randy Spencer] […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Cook Fire

Our summer calendar for 2014 is much different than in years past due to moving the 4-week Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester from May to July-August. Because of this move, I'll be out on the river during the period we usually run several week-long summer programs. As a result, the summer programs have been scaled back. […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

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Online Store Fail.  Hats will start shipping today.  My apologies for taking so long.http://www.jackmtn.com/simplog/online-store-fail/#jmblog View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Wolfeboro bay and town docks on March 28th, from the Upper Deck bar.  I stepped out onto the patio during a break in the NCAA hockey tournament. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Online Store Fail

Eroded Riverbank

For a year in the mid-2000's we ran a small online store. It was never our desire to make the Cabela's brothers nervous, but selling a few items that were of use to our students seemed like a good idea at the time. It worked out well, but there was one issue that made us […] Read More

Categories: General

Expedition travel insurance.  Great post with a list of resources to check for quotes. Expedition Travel Insurance Expedition travel insurance is a topic about which I have been receiving a lot of emails recently. People struggling to get cover for trips of a long duration, particularly cycling tours, but also ... View this post on […] Read More

Categories: Updates


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First sign of open water View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

John King, Snow And Neally Axes

This is the winter that won't give up.  Although the weather has warmed in the past week, we're still under its thumb.  There's an ice storm forecast for tonight, with freezing rain continuing until mid-morning on Saturday.  Because of this I'm cancelling the Bushcraft Fundamentals class scheduled for tomorrow. If you haven't already gotten a […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

  #jmblog My Greatest Hockey Shift Ever. On Paper. Right after I finished high school I played in a summer hockey league at Hockey Town, USA on Route 1 north of Boston. If you’re familiar with the area, it’ View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Frozen NH Lake After A Thaw

Right after I finished high school I played in a summer hockey league at Hockey Town, USA on Route 1 north of Boston. If you're familiar with the area, it's in Saugus just down the hill from the Hilltop Steakhouse's giant cactus. On my team, the Cossacks, there was only one other guy my age, […] Read More

Categories: General

Chiseling A Water Hole

We've got two last-minute open spots for the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester starting April 20th and running through June 21st. After repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact a person who had registered for the upcoming semester, and someone dropping out of the course, I've opened those spots up. So although we've been full for several months, if […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

We're expanding our canoe fleet to 12 boats this spring, adding new 16 and 18-foot Prospectors from Nova Craft. #jmblog #canoe Expanding Our Canoe Fleet The Jack Mountain Bushcraft School is expanding its canoe fleet to 12 boats this spring, adding new 16 and 18 foot Prospectors from Nova Craft Canoe. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Snubbing On Smoothwater

Royalex, the tough and forgiving plastic material that has become a standard with canoe manufacturers everywhere, is no more. They stopped making it a year ago, and the canoes for sale now are the final ones that will be available. There will be Royalex boats available used for the foreseeable future because it's so tough […] Read More

Categories: Gear, General

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Sunset on a chickee in the Everglades.  It was camp for the night.  Just after the sun set, the mosquitoes came out.  The sound was deafening until a few hours after sunset.  It picked up again at dawn.  I would not venture into the Everglades without bug netting.  View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Mud Season

With the exception of a few short stints in school I've spent my entire life living on private roads. Before you think I'm getting uppidy, I need to explain that there are two different types of private road. In fancy and affluent places such as Palm Beach or the Hamptons, a private road means pavement […] Read More

Categories: General

April 2014 News

Sunset on a chickee in the Everglades.

Photo: Sunset on a chickee in the Everglades. Camp for the night. Highlights: Upon returning from the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition in mid-February, I immediately started packing for the trip south. My departure was delayed by several snow storms, but I made it to Florida and my wife, kids and I had family vacation, after which […] Read More

Categories: General, News

Closing down shop for the day.  Headed to town to watch NCAA hockey tournament at the bar.  View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Croix river (ME/NB, not MN).  Been there many times.  Amazing to see the logs going downriver.  Thanks to Bull Moose Patrol for the find - facebook.com/BullMoosePatrol View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Out of print for several years  but a great primer for hot tent winter camping, this book is available again from the authors.  Available Again!!!!!!!! - North Woods Ways | Facebook After three long years of being unavailable the Snow Walker's Companion is back in circulation. (With luck this will inspire the scalpers on Amazon […] Read More

Categories: Updates

I'm sorry I missed this one.  Looks awesome, and great job in the video, Paul.  There will be more Jack Mountain Bushcraft School alumni trips in the future. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates


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Photos from the trail. View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Boreal Snowshoe Expedition 2014 Crew

Boreal Snowshoe ExpeditionReshared post from +ryan holt View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

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Cook pot reflector oven.  We didn't bring a reflector oven on the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition, but we baked bannock every day.  There are a variety of ways to bake without an oven, such as using a cook pot as an oven as this photo demonstrates.  In my cook kit, the pie pans just fit inside […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Twilight At The Water Hole

I'm cancelling the School Of The Forest class, scheduled for Saturday, March 15th. Even though the most recent storm didn't drop the predicted ten inches of snow, there's still too much of it to run an effective class. The combination of nowhere to park (because of snow), inability to get to the outhouses without snowshoes, […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, Courses, General

50 days of pemmican-only diet for 2 consecutive snowshoe expeditions.  Just spent 2 weeks with Jerrel Friesen.  He's doing a diet experiment this winter of 50 consecutive days eating pemmican as he snowshoes across Maine and Minnesota.  More info, and his recipe, at: Embedded Link Pemmican Preparing for 50 days of Pemmican by Jarell Friesen […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Pulling Toboggans

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 […] Read More

Categories: General, Trip Journals, Videos

See how we did it for 14 days in sub-zero temperatures.  View this post on Google+ […] Read More

Categories: Updates

February 2014 News

Porky In A Hemlock

Highlights: We're starting February with the School Of The Forest on the first of the month. When the class is over, we're loading up the truck with sleds, tents, stoves and other gear and heading to the county for the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. We'll be in the woods for 2 weeks. When the course ends, […] Read More

Categories: General, News

Convertible Wedge Tent

We're running the February School Of The Forest class on Saturday, February first. We've added the class handouts to the SOTF page. Click on course date from the yellow box on the left to download a pdf about that day. For the February first class, you can also get the information sheet by clicking this […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, Courses, General

On A Frozen Lake

In this podcast I'm joined by Robbie and Yukon to talk about our upcoming Boreal Snowshoe Expedition, their plans to continue on to Minnesota for another snowshoe expedition, trip preparations, whether we'll have cable tv in the bush, and if so, what size tv we'll have. During the podcast we mention the video these two […] Read More

Categories: General, Podcast

DownEast Magazine cover

In the February, 2014 issue of DownEast Magazine there's a big article on the military veterans that attended the fall, 2013 Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. The article focuses on their transition from active duty to civilian life. There's a bunch of stuff on Jack Mountain, such as the quotation below, but the focus is squarely on […] Read More

Categories: General, In The Media

Winter Camp, Northern Maine

It's no secret that I love the winter. When the mercury drops and the snow falls, most people leave the forests, not to return again until spring unless taken there by a gas-powered contrivance of some sort. It makes even a few acres of woodlot feel like a vast wilderness when the wind is howling […] Read More

Categories: General, Quotations

hat_jmbs

In 2004 we had a few (fewer than 40) oilskin baseball caps made up. They've since become highly sought after collector's items. I hadn't thought about getting any more made, but was contacted this summer by the wife of an old friend, who was also one of the few to have an original hat. She […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, Gear, General

What would you do after a 2-week, northern Maine snowshoe expedition? If you answered head directly to Minnesota to go on another multi-week snowshoe expedition, you think just like the guys doing our yearlong immersion program. Boundary Waters Winter Expedition What would you do after a 2-week, northern Maine snowshoe expedition? If you answered head […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Snowshoes And Sky

What would you do after a 2-week, northern Maine snowshoe expedition? If you answered head directly to Minnesota to go on another multi-week snowshoe expedition, you think just like the guys doing our yearlong immersion program. Paul Sveum, one of our instructors, is leading a trip across Minnesota's Boundary Waters immediately following our trip in […] Read More

Categories: General

Waterhole On Winter Expedition

Just ten days until our 2-week Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. We'll be taking to the woods of Aroostook County, Maine and traveling by snowshoe and hauling our gear on toboggans along the frozen waterways. Home will be several woodstove-outfitted canvas tents. This year we'll be joined for a few days by guest instructor and my old […] Read More

Categories: General, Long-Term Programs

Rain In Quebec

Eleven years ago I bought a rain jacket from Tentsmiths. They call it a Watchcoat and it's made out of oiled cotton. I've always hated nylon rain gear because of it's noise, and this one is quiet. I wear it with a wide-brimmed rain hat, and have used it hard every year I've had it. […] Read More

Categories: Gear, General

Three Canoes Poling

Our 4-week canoe expedition this summer will be very physically challenging. I've got six months to train for it, and I need to accomplish two things. First, I need to get stronger. I need to add muscle to my upper body, with an emphasis on my shoulders; they're what gets sore after a week of […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

Small Hoop House

As of today, the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester running from April 20 to June 21 of this year is full. We could still have some cancellations, so if you want to be on the waiting list for the spring course let us know. The fall course is about half full, meaning there are 5 open spots […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Milestones

Sunset Through Hemlock Boughs

2014 marks a few milestones for me. It's the ten year mark for me blogging. In 2004 my friend Shayne told me about blogging and even set up a blog for me on my site. It took me a while to wrap my head around it, but I used that blog for two years before […] Read More

Categories: General

Loaded Wood Canoe

I wrote a while back that I was changing the format of the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester, our four-week Maine canoe expedition. I've felt for a long time that there needed to be more of a challenge involved. This year, there will be plenty of challenge. The Route We'll be making a giant (about 270 […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General, Long-Term Programs

New Jack Mountain Forum

Five Brook Trout

Beginning in 2014 we're moving from email to a forum-based communication system for enrolled students. Email has become unreliable for us due to the volume of it that we receive, messages not being received due to filters, etc. Communication regarding future courses will take place on the forum. You'll have to register to view anything […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Draw Knife On Self Bow

This year we're partnering with GALA ( a local non-profit) to offer a monthly workshop series on self-reliance. Workshops run the second Wednesday of every month and are $15. More information is our Self Reliance Workshop page. The upcoming workshops are: 1/8 - Traditional Winter Gear, Snowshoes And Snowshoeing 2/12 - Soap Making 101 3/12 […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, Courses, General, In The Media

Bluff Camp, Relaxing Fire

There are two main ways that people cook over a fire: suspend a pot from above or prop it up from below. Of course there are other ways, but these two are by far the most common. Of these, I prefer to hang a pot from above when cooking over an open fire because it […] Read More

Categories: Gear, General

Snowshoe Pot Hanger

I've been working on putting together a new site for the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School where we can keep up with what community members are up to. We encourage our students to publish their logbooks, photos, etc., but up to this point haven't had an easy way to keep up with one another. This is […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Bowmaking In The Snow

Is this the year you're going to pitch it all and go live in the forest? Leave the corporate rat race and the city life behind and head for the quiet of the bush? I hear from people regularly who want to quit their job, sell their house and go live in the woods for […] Read More

Categories: General

January 2014 News

Morning Glare After Snow Storm

Highlights: January is named for the Roman god Janus, often portrayed with two faces; one looking back in contemplation, one looking forward in anticipation. It's a month where I spend a lot of time in the office planning the details of the coming year, and also looking back at what worked and what needs to […] Read More

Categories: General, News

Hanging Pot With Snowshoes

We ran our first School Of The Forest kids program this past Saturday during a bitter cold snap and with ten inches of fresh, powdery snow on the ground. The day was a mixture of bushcraft, nature lore and games, and even though we were constantly checking to make sure everyone was warm enough and […] Read More

Categories: General

Snubbing On The Big Machias

Yesterday I was part of a conversation led by a man who runs a small academic program for homeschoolers. He was talking about the modern fascination with being able to measure learning when he mentioned that problem solving is not as important as problem finding. This got me thinking. Modern education puts a high value […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

Chicken On Fire

Self-Reliace Deficit Disorder (SRDD) - A disease.  Symptoms include having the inability to provide for any basic needs with materials from immediate surroundings, needing significant infrastructure to accomplish everyday tasks, and a generalized can't-do attitude. I made up this term last week when writing about our upcoming kids program and people started talking about it, […] Read More

Categories: General

Woods Road Signs

I'm not much of a television guy. Part of this is having two young kids, so when the tv is on there's usually a dancing purple dinosaur or some other annoying cartoon character or puppet singing songs that make me temporarily envy the deaf. As a family we cut the cord a while ago and […] Read More

Categories: General

December 2013 News

White Campion

Highlights: After a busy season at the field school, returning home to the folk school is wonderful experience. Being surrounded by modern conveniences, electricity; I revel in it for a few days, then, like most modern people, I start to take it for granted. When something is everywhere, is it even possible to appreciate it? […] Read More

Categories: General, News

Snubbing On Smoothwater

Nature has become wallpaper in outdoor education; a backdrop for human-focused activities. But it doesn't need to be. When it's only scenery, it's not easy to get people to engage. From personal experience I know that the natural world is a different place to someone who is seeking food, raw materials for crafts, materials for […] Read More

Categories: General, Podcast

Bows In The Barn

We're adding a new, monthly kids program starting in January.  It's called The School Of The Forest, and is designed for kids ages 8 and older.  It will take place at the folk school in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on Saturday per month.  The first date will be January 4th.  You can read more about it […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

The Hunter’s Silence

Quiet Moment At Remote Camp

Humans are social animals. Put two of us together and we'll talk and talk, even if there's nothing useful to say. I believe a small part of this is human nature. We're social animals, and verbal communication is a foundational principle of how we organize in groups. But I think the vast majority of this […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

November 2013 News

Break On The Lake

Highlights: Finished up our 24th semester course at the end of October, then presented on the role of nature in outdoor education at the Snow Walker's Rendezvous in a short talk titled "Beyond Wallpaper." Also taught two workshops. Have had a lot of office time planning new programs for 2014, including a monthly kids program […] Read More

Categories: General, News

2014 Calendar Is Live

Big Lake Twilight

Our 2014 calendar is live on our site. We've added a few new folk school programs including the School Of The Forest, a monthly kids program, and the New Hampshire self reliance workshop series, a monthly adult program for which we've partnered with a local non-profit. We've also taken our weeklong winter bushcraft and survival […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

North Maine Woods Pond

Early November is a great time to be in northern New England. Everyone I've ever asked agrees that it's beautiful, but to me it also means that our fall Wilderness Bushcraft Semester course is complete, the bugs are gone until spring, and I get to spend some time at home. But that doesn't mean I'll […] Read More

Categories: General

Touch Me Not

There is a difference between knowing something for yourself versus having read it or heard it. That difference is characterized by experience and results, not faith and information. During the early weeks of the fall Wilderness Bushcraft Semester we do a lot of work with plants. As we traverse the landscape of Aroostook County, we […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

Two Canoes

Over the weekend we began our 24th semester course. We've got a big group, a new cooking pavilion, an expanded fleet of canoes (new 20' Old Town XL Tripper) and a fresh coat of spar varnish on the paddles. There's been talk of purchasing a giant neon sign in order for Moose Vegas (our student […] Read More

Categories: General, Long-Term Programs

Working Bucksaw

There are a few things we're always looking for, so we're putting together a wish list page asking people for donations. For most people these are junk, and we'd like to save them from the landfill and do something useful with them. If you've got them lying around and are planning a trip near Masardis, […] Read More

Categories: General

August 2013 News

Moonrise

Highlights: No newsletter last month due to a busy schedule including 3 straight weeks of visiting inlaws. Had a great family course, as well as some solid family time in July. We had our first student at the field school from Peru - always amazed at the reach of the internet. We've also added two […] Read More

Categories: General, News

Axe Sheath Quality

If you carry an axe, a sturdy sheath is a must. It protects both you and the axe. Many of the sheaths that come with new axes are flimsy and won't hold up, so either make one or get one. Don Merchant at Pole And Paddle Canoe makes them out of thick leather. Don't let […] Read More

Categories: Gear, General

Poling Up The Stream

I'll be announcing some changes to our programs over the next few days, the first of which is the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester. I've been talking with alumni and thinking about how it is different from the the canoe instruction and experience during the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. The main question I've been asking is if […] Read More

Categories: General, Long-Term Programs

Cooking At Camp

We've received several calls regarding questions about food and meals on field school courses recently. Our goal is to have no surprises for people when they arrive, but there is a lot of information to digest and while we're working to simplify it, it isn't always the easiest to find. I'm posting this information to […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General