Tim Smith

Snow all day, rain tonight, but we're warm and dry. Challenging conditions for travel, so we'll base camp until the weather changes […] Read More

Categories: Updates

254ebe2f-7258-41c8-9323-bbaeb6ad0391imgmax608

Cozy camp next to a frozen lake. Great trip so far. Smiles all around.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

daff7c50-3b8c-45cb-91f4-0d9451412059imgmax608

Part of our fleet of homemade toboggans and sleds. Loading up and hitting the trail.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Chiseling-Holes-For-A-Net.jpgimgmax608

The modern world we live in is a thin veneer stretched over the raw circumstance of our human condition. Countless interconnected pieces give us things like central heating, the internet, smartphones, tax forms, and countless other modern realities. Despite its many benefits, the veneer insulates us from the experience of life our forefathers knew. While […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

GanongMap12.jpgimgmax608

Pre-contact routes of travel in New Brunswick and northern Maine. Our field school is near the "A" in the word "Maliseets". This map, combined with the map in the book "Indian Canoe Routes Of Maine" gives a rough idea of the many canoe/snowshoe routes through the region. More on the old trails of New Brunswick […] Read More

Categories: Updates

kidinbasket.jpgimgmax608

Old photo of my youngest and another use for a pack basket. The kid is six years older now and that basket has been retired.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

da00bc4c-8228-4e5a-83c4-9a313c3bc94eimgmax608

Lucky dog posing in front of the Jack Mountain Expedition Tent. The more I use this tent, the more I like it.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

cbd6a696-a02b-44da-83ab-c9ddb2df96e1imgmax608

Honing a knife on a ceramic coffee cup. Coffee + sharpening on a Sunday morning.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

7c5bce39-15ca-4566-9ad7-0e854e777804imgmax608

A roaring fire chasing away the chill.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

5b0f8364-2f16-4db6-8b56-24e6fcadaa6eimgmax608

Enjoying the warmth of the expedition tent and stove at the end of a long day.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Birch Knife Sheath

Everybody who’s been active in the outdoors for any length of time knows that as a knife ages, it stops being functional. This is true for both individual knives as well as knife designs. Only NEW knives and knife designs are useful, and only they can save your life in the inevitable “survival situations” we […] Read More

Categories: General, Satire

Twilight At The Water Hole

I laced up my skates for the first time in five years today and hit the ice with my youngest’s first grade class. It felt great to be at the rink and brought back a lot of powerful memories. Even if I never stepped into a hockey rink again, it will always be a big […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

003e3231-c597-4a08-85b0-50b8361331dfimgmax608

Delicious 'shore lunch' cooked by Derek Faria today. Open fire food just tastes better.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Backlit-Axeman.jpgimgmax608

The second of 2 videos about gear for the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition. If you're going on the trip, pay attention […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

8e62ecc0-bcbd-496f-849a-29e4cc5ac907imgmax608

Doughnuts draining on a bed of fir boughs.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Snowshoes And Sky

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 […] Read More

Categories: General, Videos

e05aeb97-8eba-4547-b4d3-de9d2dcae5b7imgmax608

Walking at sunset, spied the clouds reflecting on the ice.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

ff081c49-fd2a-4fe4-ac78-cf3f03ecd106imgmax608

Shave horse workshop a big success. Six finished horses and a few cheap laughs.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Composter, Not A Flusher

3f4b543f-8347-4ea4-9758-00dcb91e62e3imgmax608

There’s something about me you may not know that might change how you perceive me. I'm not a flusher. I poop in a bucket, and when I’m done I cover it with sawdust. When the bucket gets full I dump it on a compost pile along with other organic inputs (kitchen, yard, etc.), then cover […] Read More

Categories: General, Sustainability

Avoid Hedonic Adaptation

Tending-The-Cook-Fire.jpgimgmax608

A goal I’ve set for myself this year is to be mindful and grateful for what I’ve done and what I've got. My plan for doing so is to avoid hedonic adaptation. I first heard of this term in the book A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art Of Stoic Joy (great read, […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

Canoe-Tarp-Shelter.jpgimgmax608

“I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” I’ve heard this idea communicated in many ways over the years, am tired of hearing it, and am weary of it being used as an excuse to bring too much stuff on the trail. Countless times over my 17 year career […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General

Down East, Not Back East

Poling-By-The-Beach.jpgimgmax608

I was talking to a person from the west coast over the holidays. When they found out our field school was in Maine, they said we were “back east.” I was forced to correct them and said; “no, we’re not back east. We’re down east. In Maine.” Then, after deciding to have a bit of […] Read More

Categories: General

What This Blog Is About

Loaded Wood Canoe

This blog has never been about getting more readers or trying to be popular. It’s not about knives, gear reviews, how-to articles, survival tv shows or lists of “essential gear”. I don’t jump on board with the trends in the outdoor industry; I’m about the traditions. But there’s nothing wrong with people trying to grow […] Read More

Categories: General

Hauling-After-Lunch.jpgimgmax608

Healthy Homemade Snack For Life In Bitter Cold Winter has just started to arrive here in northern New England, but it will be in full force soon. I have the good fortune of a busy winter schedule including spending four weeks guiding snowshoe expeditions (2 x 2-week trips) from late January through early March. That’s a […] Read More

Categories: Food, General

Caverly Mountain

I sat down with Derek Faria from The Woodsman School for one of his videos and we had a discussion about the self component of outdoor living and learning. We touched on the importance of getting out and doing it. During the talk I mention our educational philosophy and the seven elements of our programs, […] Read More

Categories: General, Podcast

Snubbing On The Big Machias

I took a ride across town and sat down with Derek Faria at The Woodsman School in his new tent to talk about educational philosophy and the importance of getting out and doing it. During the talk I mention our educational philosophy and the seven elements of our programs, with a focus on the Self […] Read More

Categories: Educational Philosophy, General, Videos

3f2aa1f7-20bc-478e-802c-7f26046c0f14imgmax608

Grave of a Revolutionary War soldier, deep in the woods and a mile from any road, and every veterans day someone puts a flag on it. #respect   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Bows In The Barn

1/6/16: Build Your Own Shave Horse Short courses, useful skills. For a small investment in time and money, become more self-reliant.   For the first Self-Reliance Workshop of 2016, taking place January 6th, we'll be offering a build-your-own shave horse class. Also known as a draw shave, it's a bench vise where pressure from your feet […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

G1PotMeals

I’ve never had trouble making big dutch oven meals. At the field school I routinely cook for 10-20 people, and after years of doing so I’m usually pretty pleased with how things turn out. Scaling things down, to the point where I’m dutch oven cooking for 1 or 2 adults, is something I haven’t done […] Read More

Categories: Book and Video Reviews, Food, General

Review of our campfire cooking class by Anne from Mom Can You Make, a NH food blog: GALA Campfire Cooking Workshop | On November 4th, my good friend Rosalie and I went to a campfire cooking workshop put on by GALA. Have any of my NH friends heard of GALA? Well they are just an […] Read More

Categories: Updates

e45121ee-a673-4f80-acd5-6e7e7db9d0dbimgmax608

Aroostook twilight at the field school.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

d6eda578-57c7-4629-9981-b8554877c683imgmax608

Plotting a course on the map with a Sher-Wood straight edge.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

413118b3-59f4-42f7-85c1-d46c0cc4f18cimgmax608

Best part about going away is coming home to family. Mine makes me feel like the richest man in the world.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

b543aab9-7ff2-41d9-91b5-826b9f347286imgmax608

What if you don't have an ice chisel? Cutting a water hole in the ice with an axe.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

8e8684e4-bb59-4552-a872-a80e45fcff74imgmax608

Checking the ice with a chisel. The water here is only 2 feet deep, but ice safety is no joke.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

3c8446ee-ffb3-409b-a697-45a3ae8058c7imgmax608

Building a runnered sled for around camp, old skis for runners.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

8667d7ce-7e25-41d7-926f-32f897e3a8d7imgmax608

Successful night in front of a fire with no sleeping bag.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Simple snowshoe binding

2cd250a3-9bc5-43e0-a020-4227fabd10a6imgmax608

Simple snowshoe binding. Walked 2000+ miles with these.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

0f960c55-69a0-42ba-b1e0-8f196e710b10imgmax608

Shelter/sauna with raised bough beds on the Winter Woodsman course.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

459cedbc-7daa-47ee-b123-42a69a751ebfimgmax608

Hauling firewood on the money sled.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

4dc2ff02-540f-4bca-91ce-ca4d110bdce2imgmax608

Coffee and doughnuts on the fire this morning, winter woodsman course.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

0a355a0f-ea7e-4bf9-be12-a30cc4040c91imgmax608

Hiking the trails at the field school.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

5668742a-7477-4a71-9e93-f4e66b8c86b9imgmax608

Aroostook river at the field school.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Koolyomka Deadfall

I’m at the field school for the next week running the Winter Woodsman course. One of the things that we cover during the week is making a few different deadfall traps. I’ve searched for forty years for that perfectly rectangular rock that’s depicted in deadfall line drawings in survival books. I’m convinced it doesn’t exist. […] Read More

Categories: General, Quotations

denverdys

I just returned from performing in my son’s puppet show. He’s involved with a group that has a talent show every December. We go every year, and it’s always fantastic. I’m amazed at the maturity level of the kids involved. And the courage. There was a little girl who was going to sing a song. […] Read More

Categories: General

The Mornin' Joe

Part of our new lodge-based workshop series, spend a long weekend learning traditional northern forest skills while staying on-site in our modern, comfortable lodge.  The course content draws on the curriculum for our Winter Woodsman course. Topics include snowshoes and snowshoeing, fire lighting, axe use, knife use, knots, ice safety, ice fishing, animal tracking and more.  Group size is limited to 4 people; […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Braintanning Course Wrap-Up

6e3645ae-6ac7-4c2a-a91e-c70e727d838fimgmax608

This past weekend our group fleshed and scraped a lot of deer hides. We also brained a bunch, and started pulling them, but were overtaken by dark before we got any soft. Brain tanning courses are all about time management. We’re trying to squeeze a bunch of stuff into a short period of time. We […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

29b93195-e94b-40ce-a870-963d5f61f49aimgmax608

Braintan workshop day 2: 6 hides scraped and dressed, 3 fleshed and salted, pulling all afternoon, 3 tired guys.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Bread Ovens Of Quebec

I'm interested in homemade, wood fired ovens, as well as community baking. I've read a few books on these topics, and one that I always wanted to get a copy of was called The Bread Ovens Of Quebec. I've looked for a reasonably-priced copy for years with no luck. But I just learned that the […] Read More

Categories: Book and Video Reviews, General

6e3645ae-6ac7-4c2a-a91e-c70e727d838fimgmax608

Braintanning this AM: fleshing a deer hide in the rain.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

6bf13750-a566-43cd-97f0-c4bed7ced143imgmax608

After a recent post announcing upcoming lodge-based courses, a few of our readers contacted me wanting more information. Before I could provide it, I had to publish the new site about our camp for rent in New Hampshire where the courses will be based. I got it online today. More information on the lodge-based courses is coming […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

45bda4df-0829-4e5b-971e-a63cb375e70fimgmax608

Boys, dog and I hiked to the bridge and had hot chocolate to celebrate black Friday.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

dc8e73ea-d960-4a8b-a8bc-01434beea2e9imgmax608

Dutch oven turkey on the bottom, apple cake on top, and lot's to be thankful for.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

f4a0a796-8380-4e11-be01-010bdbc92a4aimgmax608

I just got an interesting call from a guy that has me scratching my head. I’m posting the gist of it, but obviously will mention no names (so don't ask). On our website we have a popular recommended gear page that I probably haven’t changed in more than 12 years. The caller had followed one […] Read More

Categories: General

0a65e545-293e-485b-9547-e05089147209imgmax608

Saw my friend who butchers deer today, left with 9 hides. Braintan class this weekend, plus a few for me.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

522e64b9-77bc-4b8a-a824-ebf720b3d443imgmax608

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 […] Read More

Categories: Gear, General, Videos

5c43bedb-d074-4098-9256-751bd021544fimgmax608

Gloomy day, stunning sunset over Rust Pond.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Tending-The-Cook-Fire.jpgimgmax608

December 6-12 we’re running our Winter Woodsman course, followed immediately by the Frozen 48 Winter Survival Challenge. The Winter Woodsman is our introduction to winter. We cover the particulars of living out in the winter, from clothing and tools to fire and shelter, as well as cover the traditional gear and techniques that make living […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

3e80cd4e-3dea-4a4c-b72f-63018946fd5aimgmax608

Next weekend we’re running a course on braintanning, where we’ll take raw (ie. bloody, and stinky) deer hides, and through a process that’s older than civilization, turn them into beautiful, chamois-like braintan buckskin. If you want to learn it, there are still open spots. I want to share how we keep people safe from Lyme […] Read More

Categories: Courses, General

Draw Knife On Self Bow

Beginning in January, we’re offering something new at our folk school in New Hampshire; lodge-based programs. They combine our popular bushcraft and outdoor skills programs with housing in our modern, comfortable lodge. These programs are limited in size and allow people to participate in our bushcraft programs without having to live outdoors. We’re still offering […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

522e64b9-77bc-4b8a-a824-ebf720b3d443imgmax608

First look at the new Jack Mountain Expedition tent made by Tentsmiths. Details coming soon.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

ad26d572-08cd-4950-b2b0-a53a373ff6cbimgmax608

White pine burl at The Woodsman School. Stopped into see Derek Faria and spent a rainy afternoon in front of a fire.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

John King, Snow And Neally Axes

Saturday, 11/21 from 9:30AM-4PM On our expeditions fire is a necessity; it warms us and cooks our food. We’re often faced with extremely difficult firelighting challenges. These must be overcome for the success of the expedition. What participants of the this one-day workshop will take away are the skills and confidence that they can get […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Winter-Trail-Outfit.jpgimgmax608

This weekend I’ll be venturing west of the Connecticut River to attend the Snow Walkers Rendezvous in Vermont. It’s a fantastic event, and one that should be on your calendar if you’re in the northeast and interested in winter camping and expeditions. Here are seven reasons why you should attend:   The Gear. Traditional canvas […] Read More

Categories: General

14196cef-237b-44ce-9ef0-6cb880d263c9imgmax608

Mist on lake Winni this morning, water like glass.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

9ead1318-674c-4af0-a98c-6901bb582176imgmax608

Rust Pond, named after Henry Rust. Here's the cellar hole of his house built in 1773.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Wall-Tents-At-The-Field-School.jpgimgmax608

Most of the people who participate in our semester program are not from Maine, and the way of life near the field school is rural and often significantly different than where they’re from. This past fall, during week two of the course, some of the guys were talking about how religious the area was. I […] Read More

Categories: General

6ae5d3dd-02e7-4a8a-bc0a-5e7a07d5b5edimgmax608

Son and I taking advantage of warm fall weather. This view became the Jack Mountain logo.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Poison Ivy

We’ve had a lot of content plagiarized from our website over the years. As a result we created a “name and shame” plagiarism policy, where we publicly call-out the people who do it. And this morning I learned that it had been done by someone I know. Not cool. Compare our course assessment page with […] Read More

Categories: General, Rants

203ed009-da01-44a4-9d4f-c9241b4adcd4imgmax608

Calm before the storm; cooked for 22 people tonight at the campfire cooking workshop. Good times and good food.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

ed3d5760-b9cd-4f0e-8849-fa1d0ce27494imgmax608

After a lengthy hiatus the JMB podcast is back. In this episode I talk with Derek Faria and Shawn Donnely from The Woodsman School. We're friends and neighbors and discuss what they've been up to, their new website, becoming a Registered Maine Guide, and have a few cheap laughs. a Links from this episode: The […] Read More

Categories: General, Podcast

8449b972-1383-4276-bfa8-2544829e0d60imgmax608

Sublime twilight on Rust Pond. Still water reflects blue sky, makes me reflective too.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Cooking-Dinner-In-Camp.jpgimgmax608

Tomorrow night's campfire cooking class is full, but if you're in the area and want to come we could probably squeeze in one more.  We'll be covering a variety of topics applicable to the woods cook, including: Building a tripod Gear - wannigans, pots, frying pans Grilling meat in a raquette Dutch oven cooking with […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

030151ba-7761-493e-9ace-410943b0e3d0imgmax608

Long-term bushcraft program number 32 successfully completed. Home with family in NH.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

3ec5e65a-d174-41d7-b604-e838489bc4d8imgmax608

Full house on the cook stove. Cook shack is a luxury during cold weather.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

54527417-e540-467a-a54c-9a36a92de2a5imgmax608

Brown ash basketry in camp today. Some pack baskets, some smaller baskets. #poundedash   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

4f27d91f-7b94-4af1-96f4-0025935a8563imgmax608

1st aid/CPR in camp this AM. It's a requirement to become a registered Maine guide.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

efbdc904-8880-4d8c-bf65-b7086218751aimgmax608

Pounding brown ash for basket splints. Lots of 'pounding ash' jokes flying around camp right now.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

de3b60c8-0332-46ff-8cb9-090acbeae956imgmax608

Splitting a brown ash log with wooden wedges, to be pounded into pack basket splints.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

0c2f8b0d-9683-4c03-93db-2ab11cca6f76imgmax608

Felling a large brown ash for pack basket splints.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

8bf6a233-fb09-4a93-91d7-4cf8593c9c92imgmax608

Putting wood in the stove. Cook shack at the JMB field school.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Atlatl practice

87545ce7-8377-4add-b460-ae8342f21936imgmax608

Atlatl practice. The original big game hunting tool.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Katahdin-And-Canoe-Poling.jpgimgmax608

Jack Mountain Bushcraft School instructor and Maine Guide Paul Sveum poling his 18' EM White wood canvas boat on a lower West Branch of the Penobscot deadwater at twilight.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Poling-By-The-Beach.jpgimgmax608

From our recent trip to Baxter and Debsconeag. Later afternoon sun with Mount Katahdin in the background. And the work horse of our canoe fleet, the 18' Prospector from Nova Craft Canoe. After beating up on them for 14 years, I can say with some authority it's simply an awesome boat.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Moose season

16822c16-2ca4-480a-a93d-95ef622e115eimgmax608

Moose season. Scraping moose hides in the rain at 7AM.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

3e80cd4e-3dea-4a4c-b72f-63018946fd5aimgmax608

Softening braintanned deer hides in camp today.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

2358ecb7-44ff-4f1c-99d7-69a08f430d05imgmax608

After a week on the trail we're starting the braintanning process today. End of week 5 of the WBS, time is flying by.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

4f3e777a-ac96-4c0f-8610-1c538c4f996fimgmax608

Spring water bubbling up under a big spruce tree. Cold and pure.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

10-litre-thermette3

Put this under the heading "gear I've wanted for years." After reading my friend Oblio13's post in 2008, I've wanted a large Thermette boiler that would handle a few gallons at a time. I've had a 2 quart model for 15 years, but it just isn't enough water for camp chores. If you've never heard […] Read More

Categories: Gear, General

a6873793-3dec-468d-bd78-1a865498244eimgmax608

Crystal clear waters of Rust Pond. I never want to live where the water isn't amazing. Spoiled.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

IMG_6649

“We are now reveling in the indescribable freshness of the Antarctic that seems to permeate one's being, and which must be responsible for that longing to go again which assails each returned explorer...”  Ernest Shackleton on his Nimrod expedition to Antarctica This year the Jack Mountain Alumni Winter Expedition, assailed by the memories of the […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Congratulations to the newest Registered Maine Guide, Benjamin Spencer […] Read More

Categories: Updates

0b8dcd23-d010-4d8b-b1bb-ec9349817b54imgmax608

Firing up the smoker this afternoon. Big fancy dinner tonight.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

9ff8c32f-4c3f-4ce6-83f7-fca511768e7bimgmax608

Custom made Guide Canteen for Fil Salonek's Allagash-AT expedition. Alumni services, trail support.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Hand drill fire lighting

92d5a67b-098d-4914-8f02-2139cb6f38eeimgmax608

Hand drill fire lighting. Old School.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

9-11

9-11. Listenened to The radio news this AM. They were reading names, they read 5, including the guy I knew who was on the plane on 9/11/01 […] Read More

Categories: Updates

77994e6e-e1cf-4080-b1ec-82a5baa7fddcimgmax608

Took a ride to check out a new course location. Quoddy Head lighthouse, easternmost point in the USA.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Morning-In-Camp.jpgimgmax608

We’re creating a scholarship for college outdoor education students to make our immersion programs more affordable.  Beginning with the spring, 2016 Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, we’re offering a $5100 scholarship. There are some rules and a specific application process, all of which you can read about at: Bushcraft Leadership Scholarship […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Solos are over

7d507bd9-cc29-4d82-9608-15320cf3ab6dimgmax608

Solos are over. Welcoming everyone back to camp with a dutch oven triple stack. 17", 16" and 14" deep.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

77d8af1a-b1fe-4950-bd2c-798273633f77imgmax608

Low-tech gravity fed solar water heater. Elevated barrel and coil of black pipe. Used for washing dishes and people.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

46ef1829-d1b5-4d12-a7da-efbf41758456imgmax608

Shaving a canoe paddle blade down with a draw knife. Finishing paddles today, headed out paddling tomorrow.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Five Brook Trout

We’ve updated the requirements for our Journeyman Guide And Bushcraft Instructor certification for the current semester. Some of the additions include an expanded section on knots and their applications, formal trip planning, and a 4-day water fast. You can get more information on the Journeyman certification on our site (link). You can also download the requirements […] Read More

Categories: General, Long-Term Programs

18f04930-36cd-46c9-8b4a-cfe068ec2c4dimgmax608

Primitive rope making with hand spinners this morning. Low-tech and it just works.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

The Woods Cook - Outdoor Cooking With A Professional Guide  | JackMtn.com

My new book, The Woods Cook: Outdoor Cooking With A Professional Guide, is now available from Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. As a guide I’ve been leading trips and cooking over an open fire professionally since the late 1990’s. This book details the approach, methods and recipes that have helped me be be successful […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Bushcraft Tool Kit

1aa7c58b-b0a5-4a81-a835-c5898f4aa87fimgmax608

Bushcraft Tool Kit.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

48c4f773-2cfa-4508-876c-88aa91d2874bimgmax608

Newly made crooked knife starting work on a canoe paddle.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Winter-Trail-Outfit.jpgimgmax608

We’re adding a second Boreal Snowshoe Expedition session in 2016.  It’s our winter bushcraft immersion; a twelve day traditional northern winter wilderness living and travel expedition.  We’re on the trail living on snowshoes, hauling our gear on toboggans, staying in woodstove-outfitted canvas tents and learning to be at home and comfortable in the bitter cold. […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

Flatwater poling today

73eefd29-c958-4bf6-9a02-12f9724ce285imgmax608

Flatwater poling today. Traditional skills and gear make you more resilient on the water.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

bending.jpgimgmax608

Bending crooked knife blades in camp today. Photo by Paul Sveum.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

4fbf38c5-4bf4-4930-8a37-d0d99a7809cbimgmax608

New addition to the field school: weight lifting/pull-up station. Made from lumber.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Dutch oven lunch, then canoe poling class on a perfect August day […] Read More

Categories: Updates

cf6bef08-d294-4315-9c50-1fb5afa821beimgmax608

Week 1, Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, everyone makes their own rope.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

8e4dcdb4-d515-43a9-96a1-4bdc6a1542a9imgmax608

Paul harvesting overhead cherries using a Blickey Stick. There's a mountain of ripe wild food around here right now.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Using axes in the woods

afb2c2f6-80e0-4d7c-93c4-ea2b16239281imgmax608

Using axes in the woods. Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, fall 2015, day 2.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

098373b9-9274-4348-9193-0c7c10c1478dimgmax608

Maine Wilderness Guides Organization life member certificate finally arrived. Its official.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

0f2377c5-36de-4559-a15d-e34c15b909f7imgmax608

Talking axes on day 1 of our 32nd long term program. Great start to the course. Photo by Paul Sveum.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Rollin27-Right-Along.jpgimgmax608

Paddling in the North Maine Woods. This is what freedom looks like.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

And-That27s-Close-Enough.jpgimgmax608

Moose and calf on the Allagash. Summer is just about over. Our 32nd immersion course starts this weekend.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Lining-Long-Lake-Dam-2015.jpgimgmax608

Lining Long Lake dam wearing really short shorts.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

9615428f-d116-45d5-8372-3c879d43ff97imgmax608

Best view in NH? On Rattlesnake Island on lake Winnepesaukee with an old friend. Perfect evening.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

993b4837-84e3-43a6-b0ce-530efa55ff55imgmax608

Watching and listening to a thunderstorm approach. A grand spectacle. Thunder rumbling from horizon to horizon.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Aroostook-Headwaters.jpgimgmax608

Paddling at the headwaters of the Aroostook. From this spring.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Little Allagash Falls

Little-Allagash-Falls.jpgimgmax608

Little Allagash Falls. Allagash stream below the falls has a few rapids and several ledge drops, and we ran them all.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Upper-Little-Allagash-Falls-Rest-Stop.jpgimgmax608

After the Ice Caves, enjoying the current in the pools above the larger drop at Little Allagash Falls. This is roughly halfway between Allagash Lake and Chamberlain Lake.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Exploring-The-Ice-Caves-At-Allagash-Lake.jpgimgmax608

Exploring the Ice Caves at Allagash Lake on our recent trip. A few of the guys got 100 yards in. These are pretty remote, no roads anywhere near them, but one one of the old canoe routes.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Canoeing-Upper-East-Branch.jpgimgmax608

Just upstream of Stair Falls on the upper East Branch of the Penobscot. Over the three miles downstream from here the river drops over four named falls and a series of rapids. The mountain scenery on this trip is the best in Maine.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Gravel-Beach2C-Allagash-Wilderness-Waterway.jpgimgmax608

Gravel Beach on Chamberlain Lake, Allagash Wilderness Waterway. We spent a day windbound here on our recent trip.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Boyband-Album-Cover-Photo-Victorious.jpgimgmax608

Allagash Falls - boyband album cover, 2 of 2. Displaying their more playful side.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Boyband-Album-Cover-Photo-Subdued.jpgimgmax608

Allagash Falls - boyband album cover photo. This is 1 of 2 and shows their sensitive side.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

ed3d5760-b9cd-4f0e-8849-fa1d0ce27494imgmax608

Congratulatins to Maine's newest registered guide, Thomas Letchworth!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Chamberlain-Lake-Cairns.jpgimgmax608

Chamberlain Lake Cairns. Someone had built these two cairns on the shore of Chamberlain lake, and I got in touch with my inner artist at sundown for this shot. I thought it looked interesting.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Webster-Lake-Morning.jpgimgmax608

Just before sunrise on Webster Lake on our second trip of the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester. A stunning corner of Baxter State Park.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Hardest part of any long-term program is saying goodbye at the end. You become family. It's the worst for me. #team […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Back from the river

ff75f1c0-d40d-4c64-959e-28626810d3a6imgmax608

Back from the river. EPIC trip. Hate whats coming next. Allready miss these guys.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

fac578e3-ab59-4f28-9f72-b57ecf4be4bfimgmax608

Going off the grid and on the river. Be back in four weeks.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

c922c4f5-54c3-49cc-b210-a1d321cb4281imgmax608

My friend Charlie's motorcycle with moose antlers mounted. Welcome to Ashland, Maine.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Meal and trip planning for 4 week canoe expedition tonight. Packing tomorrow, put in on Tuesday. Great group, going to be an awesome trip […] Read More

Categories: Updates

868871a8-2700-4ac8-9db1-826413879dffimgmax608

Lakeside foraging on ripe juneberries (Amelanchier genus). It doesn't get much better than this.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

7e27a3ed-f1f3-4326-925e-dcc7d4080f7dimgmax608

Stunning pack basket I was given on Sunday. Thanks to Derek Faria of The Woodsman School. You're a true class act.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

990f63e2-9f35-424c-b75d-0714e0560c74imgmax608

Motorcycle with axe and pack basket lashed on, headed south from the field school.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

b44b7387-082d-4ea6-94f5-9906783401ffimgmax608

Spending the day with family in the Ossipee mountains. Great views of the NH lakes region. At Castle In The Clouds   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

4eac6153-1075-4c09-ad3d-f1b97a618ad4imgmax608

Great fly fishing class tonight. Thanks to Sumner Brook Fish Farm for hosting. Tight loops!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

New wannigan

2ac6aaba-c044-4292-96f3-9438b357d0fdimgmax608

New wannigan. Instead of just varnish, this one is first getting fiberglass cloth and West System epoxy. Super strong   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

f7027be6-ef89-4525-9b13-bd795016a356imgmax608

This afternoon's fly fishing workshop is full. If the lightning is bad, we'll reschedule. If its just rain, its on.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

2b7364df-f9da-4c11-b670-9d003bac5d3bimgmax608

Just watched this guy swim across the pond. Don't know the species, but a great swimmer!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

a93e8026-4ce2-4857-bdb8-679aec556173imgmax608

Rainy day, but first one in ten weeks I'm not running a course. Getting excited about the canoe expedition.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

b8a0d458-17ef-4476-a39e-17bfa2174003imgmax608

Finishing a pack basket. One of many projects being completed this afternoon, the last one on the Woodsman course.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

fd1a85f2-1d7d-451c-925f-33ef63d24032imgmax608

Making a burn bowl by the campfire. Super-productive week on the Woodsman course.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

7f95abf4-f83b-4e5b-bd47-6b13219a8c63imgmax608

Fire by friction with a bow drill. One of the technologies that got us where we are as a species.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

52ac056a-efb5-47cc-966a-f9606e0cd44dimgmax608

15 minutes later, some dirt and a piece of angle iron cut in half, and the new rocket stove is cooking lunch.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

631d1d22-368a-4c90-bbfd-d701c5c2ec80imgmax608

Making a new rocket stove for our outdoor kitchen. Metal can, stove pipe, hammer and cold chisel.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

c49a2472-693f-4945-abd7-74bd82eeec51imgmax608

Making rope with hand spinners. Back to the basics.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

b49f1718-8a68-4fe5-bb10-acb24b71dc43imgmax608

Building saw frames and getting ready for the rain, JMBS Woodsman Course.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Untitled

[…] Read More

Categories: Updates

dec1891e-812b-4f69-95a3-bec9fda5fa87imgmax608

Woodsman course, tents in the field. Off to a busy start with the four axe majors and carving bow drills.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

fa29339e-5dc9-4044-b500-b219e2846bbdimgmax608

Primitive tool kit as final project. Stick a fork in our 30th long-term immersion program, it's done.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

2aeebf67-baa0-4303-a653-477440f1dc37imgmax608

Crossbow as a final project. Wilderness Bushcraft Semester # 30, nine weeks almost over.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

ecc22c13-522f-44f2-a24a-682193e4a4c9imgmax608

Two epic days canoeing the Big Machias river and Pratt Stream. Big water & tons of wildlife.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

69b5bcb3-2369-4f71-9075-36d72dca5cceimgmax608

Pulling braintan buckskin on a cable. This is where the magic transformation happens: from slimy hide to buckskin.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

4a461100-0af8-4063-bf3f-e6135f46a75bimgmax608

Beginning the braintanning process today: fleshing and scraping deer hides. Will eventually become mukluks.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

b129b6b2-0ae7-4342-83fb-8cb8fdc9785aimgmax608

Full rain buckets, 2nd day of rain. Always amazed at the human response to weather. Can quickly crush group morale.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

60199b61-f196-4817-918d-d0cdee7b09c5imgmax608

Pouring rain and 49 degrees. June in northern Maine.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Out enjoying the 2

6c8d17b7-f58f-47a9-a613-f44119af3cb4imgmax608

Out enjoying the 2.3 miles of new trails at the field school. Aroostook river on the left.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

989f7ae1-dbe4-4dca-bf1b-1f34fa65a50fimgmax608

Finishing a pack basket. Wilderness Bushcraft Semester week 7 is full of big craft projects   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

4fa46ec3-c4a6-4a62-910c-0510579c595cimgmax608

Shave horse, spoke shave, wood becoming a canoe paddle. Hand tools and going slow.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

46128fdd-7723-4633-957c-d2dd467c8e69imgmax608

First-time paddle maker, turned out beautiful.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

152a91ec-6b0e-4d3c-9a1a-a5f6d3d62039imgmax608

Wilderness Bushcraft Semester week 7: nets, hammocks, paddles and pack baskets.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

5 large ice creams

d363e94a-2764-4c7a-ace9-d9539710515dimgmax608

5 large ice creams. i saw it live. True story.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

239f224c-5728-4106-b639-d2a9905bc940imgmax608

Only the chosen one can wield The Spoon Of Destiny!   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

44efd290-f3a7-4a6b-b770-ce6bc0edfd37imgmax608

There's a new sherriff in town. Iron Spoon challenge met. This is large ice cream number 5.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

e1275dbd-7abd-4856-9f28-b25b5c67e917imgmax608

Making a spoon from rebar in order to take on the Iron Spoon Challenge: 4 large ice creams from the Quik Stop 2.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

38f9b862-0736-4526-bdfc-ac4efaca5e3bimgmax608

May 23, snowing hard and fast in Masardis. Glad I waited on putting in the garden.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

0890eb94-3315-4557-abf7-71e02141ed4dimgmax608

Making grass mattresses. Good sleeps on the grass-o-pedic.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

And a whole bunch of live moose, bald eagles and a whole family of otters […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Saw two more dead moose on our trip. One was in the river […] Read More

Categories: Updates

a6be342e-0d49-4f63-84dd-8066abe48de2imgmax608

Back, a week on the river. Awesome time. 60 miles from the headwaters to the field school. Photo from a woods road.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

bfd7af12-c50d-4a5b-a0dc-8c3e5ebf4285imgmax608

Paddle making: using draw knives to shape the blanks. Hand tools, process not product.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

4586acb7-4398-4a86-8bba-835f15ce5842imgmax608

Beginning the canoe paddle-making process: tracing a blade onto a paddle blank.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Life Returns

b863ab80-9599-4e40-8aa8-1f7441634da2imgmax608

Life Returns. Every year when green returns after a long winter I'm completely amazed.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

After a long build up, my son and I are sitting down to watch the movie Troll 2, the worst movie (supposedly) ever made […] Read More

Categories: Updates

10be2428-7afd-4b91-9066-e5708b111f91imgmax608

Land navigation exercise this morning: map, compass and barehand.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

5ee7b660-7c0f-42e4-a820-cd6d9d22a606imgmax608

Making rope for canoe lining bridles. Poling the Blackwater River this afternoon.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Life-Under-OPEN-Skies-Cover-Tony-Nester

Tony Nester is one of my favorite writers on bushcraft and survival skills. I enjoy his easy writing style, and an fascinated and entertained by his descriptions of the southwest. This morning, May 5th here in northern Maine, I woke up early and sat with Life Under Open Skies with my morning coffee. I was […] Read More

Categories: Book and Video Reviews, General

f4e95fe5-f2c7-4fcb-b1f9-f92d381f0790imgmax608

After a long day paddling, cooking a triple stack of dutch ovens for supper. Sourdough, spicy chicken, custard.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

82c09de8-4e2d-47c6-8239-68405dfe2631imgmax608

First day on the water for 2015. Beautiful sunny day, still some ice.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

64576d3e-d043-4fa4-add1-5baf964a6f9cimgmax608

Beautiful day, had my first outdoor shower of the year. Feeling clean! Solar hot water, hoist a bucket.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

b448d4b9-21b0-4aac-b16d-d8d651eefdf0imgmax608

Windy and rainy lately, so we made a windbreak/raincoat for dutch oven cooking out of blocks and a barrel lid.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

67928685-761a-47d1-b2ba-b3de9fe4db49imgmax608

Found a dead moose halfway up the mountain. He hadn't been dead long.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

99073b57-d44b-4318-8e87-c02780991f74imgmax608

Great hike up Deboulie mountain in the north Maine woods Saturday. Still some pockets of deep snow.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

cc4b6c44-b81b-4f00-98e1-b0390010232eimgmax608

Finished crooked knife. Heated in an open fire, shaped with a file.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Making buck saws

1f9e9755-9c1e-4144-8deb-5b42e6bcfcbeimgmax608

Making buck saws. Carry the blade, make the rest in the forest.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

b5077c27-e910-4dd1-b24f-7bfd976c2e9bimgmax608

Coal burning a burl to make a wooden bowl. The slow way to make a container.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

f2b8e74a-5e57-4345-a888-c7dcbbce3cbaimgmax608

Bending crooked knives, heated in a small rocket stove. No forge, simple knife making.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

2b1e8b6c-0f88-442f-8844-92a326ae9bd7imgmax608

Cutting the bevel on a crooked knife in progress. Making simple knives during week 2 of the WB semester.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

Tinder Bundle Blowing

The 2015 Woodsman course is full and registration is closed.  We’ve received numerous inquiries, so we’re opening another week long course in August.  There’s been a two year gap since we’ve ran the Bushman Course, a primitive skills and primitive survival intensive, but we’ve got it on the calendar for August 8-15.  If you’re looking […] Read More

Categories: Announcements, General

05b48736-b0bc-41d8-9900-e114655d6267imgmax608

Bow drill fire lighting this morning. Newly-carved sets and challenging cold and damp conditions.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

8c9631b6-b89b-42e5-8c0d-53d117ff5fedimgmax608

Great weekend in New Brunswick with my old friend Jeff Butler from Northwoods Survival. Good talks. Inspiring.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

24f6e738-83e8-452e-bd89-4183d1392f84imgmax608

Field school rocket stoves. Snow is melting in open spots. Still deep in the bush, but not for long.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

168814dc-6053-46a8-a736-43c4db322c16imgmax608

Open fire lunch on the snow. Bannock, soup, coffee and tea.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates

d7f93e06-6d37-4de9-a2ab-17935a0ed77eimgmax608

Our 30th bushcraft semester course begins today. And yes, there's a story behind this photo.   […] Read More

Categories: Updates