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hobo

Balloons & Bindles… on the road with…

The American Hobo by Steven M. Watts 2013  “They were road kids, and with every word they uttered the lure of The Road laid hold of me more imperiously…And it all spelled Adventure.” – Jack London Definitions (from The Golden Age—1870’s-1920’s) Hobo: migratory worker (“travels and works”) Tramp: migratory non-worker (‘travels but doesn’t work”) Bum: […]

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Main fire at Rabbitstick from a few years ago.

Things to do in 2015!

Outside the obvious, such as camping (duh!), below is a chronological list of organized events in 2015. Also see this LINK  for some great training opportunities.   Kamp Kephart ’15 – The Academy of Classic Camping Dates: multiple in 2015, see ‘here’ link below Location: Kamphaven at the Schiele Museum. Gastonia, North Carolina Website:  Details and PDF registration are HERE […]

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COS Logo

Join The Classic Camping Revival!

Be sure to pick up your copy of the latest edition of the American Frontiersman magazine available on newsstands now. In this issue, Watts and Wescott spend some time explaining the renewed interest in camping in the classic style and those involved – especially the Acorn Patrol – learn more about them on pinterest. Camping In […]

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KK15a

Kamp Kephart 2015

See below for the Kamp Kephart 2015 class schedule taught by Steve Watts at the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia, NC. Space is limited so sign up quick!  To download the registration form in PDF, click here >>—> Kamp Kephart 15.   Just look at everything offered. I want to do all of it. […]

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Pocket Tool Basics by Steven M. Watts

Don’t Leave Camp With Out These A day hike, a day hunt or the exploratory search for new trout waters… these are the away-from-camp situations in which the hiker most typically winds up lost, or at least “a might confused”. A few basic tools will help you get back to camp on your own, or […]

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HoofPrintSeton

The Great Stag

WE all know him well; his existence is established now as surely as that of the sea-serpent or the big fish that got off the hook — even better, for many of us have seen him in broad daylight and had a fair open view of his noble form. And what a creature he is, […]

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Horace Kephart

Topping It Off In The Classic Style

Hat, Scarf and Vest: Waist-up Essentials For The Traditional Outdoorsman by Steve Watts The Hat Campfire conversations can venture off into dangerous territory when the topic turns to the choice of the “ideal” hat for camp and trail. All have an opinion, and most consider theirs to be divinely inspired. The choice of headgear is often […]

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primus

Camp Stove VS Camp Fire

Camp Stove versus Camp Fire (“Primus” versus “Primal”) Steven M. Watts A Short Cynical History In the early days of the twentieth century, portable camp stoves–fueled by kerosene (liquid paraffin), gasoline or alcohol—began to appear in the inventories of campers, explorers and military campaigners. These ingenious devices were perfect for above-tree-line-mountaineering, long sea voyages and […]

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bedsidecamp

Bedside Kit

A Bedside Kit Steven M. Watts A few basic tools and supplies (within easy reach by the camper’s bedside) help to make the mid-night and morning hours run smoothly. A knife and axe…the camper’s constant companions. A supply of fuel…for maintaining the night fire and for the morning restart. Matches…in a waterproof container. A light […]

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Special Report: The Dangerous Side of Survival TV

Special Report: The Dangerous Side of Survival TV

An excerpt from TV GUIDE’s Special Report: The Dangerous Side of Survival TV by David Peisner… On the wall of a tiny wood cabin outside Prescott, Arizona, hangs a large poster of Cody Lundin staring intensely with a thin half-smile.  Below him is a quote: “Learn survival skills from an expert.” Lundin was one of […]

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A place for everything and in its place.

The Law of Order

The Law of Order by Steven M. Watts “…only a slob and a chump goes dirty and has a sloppy-looking camp.  The real old time veteran and sourdough is a model of neatness and order.”  –Daniel Carter Beard Your camp is a very small world—whether it be a simple lean-to with the most Spartan of […]

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Bull Moose Patrol on the Winter Camping Symposium Oct. 23 thru 26

by SCOTT OETH Almost overnight, it seems the seasons are quickly changing in the northwoods, which means we’re rolling into our favorite camping seasons–Fall and Winter!  I am an avid Winter camper and while my wife Linda loves sleeping out on the crisp Autumn nights, she’s still…um…warming up to the idea of sub-zero bivouacs! So […]

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KnapIn-2

North Columbia Knap-In 10/9 thru 10/11

  What is a Knap-In?????? A Knap-In is a gathering of flint knappers – people who make arrowheads, spear points, knife blades and such from suitable stone, glass or other material.  There is more offered than just breaking rocks; there are other primitive skills demonstrated and there are often compettitions in various primitive sports such as archery, atl atl […]

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The Liebster Award

Ross Gilmore has a very popular blog, Wood Trekker, of which we have had listed in our Blog Roll since our inception.  He recently tagged Master Woodsman for the The Liebster Award.  Thank you Ross.  Per Ross’ take on the award: The award is bestowed by bloggers on other bloggers and intended to allow people to learn […]

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david wescott

Burn This Page!

  “ A series of 0s and 1s won’t keep you warm.  A youtube video won’t boil up a billy.  But, you can download this page, print it out, stash it away in a good dry place in your kit and save it for a rainy day.  Carefully shredded and loosely gathered it can serve […]

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The Father of Survival Shows ~ Survival in the Bush

The Father of Survival Shows ~ Survival in the Bush

Filmed in 1954, Robert Anderson, an National Film Board of Canada producer, and Angus Baptiste, a Native guide, allow themselves to be marooned in the bush with only an axe and their wits as means of survival. They eat off the land, build their own birchbark canoe and make their way out.  Other great documentaries […]

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The author and his Whelen Lean-To.  (Photo:  David Wescott)

Origins of the Whelen Lean-To by Thomas Ray

Simply stating that Colonel Townsend Whelen (1877-1961) was just an outdoorsman is like saying that Babe Ruth was just a baseball player. According to the dust jacket flap of On Your Own in the Wilderness (Whelen and Angier), 1958, Whelen wrote his first outdoor magazine article in 1901 and afterward, his work appeared in outdoor […]

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Wilderness & Nature Quotes

When we started this site, for a while we were sending daily quotes via Twitter (@MasterWoodsmen).  Unfortunately, most quotes wouldn’t fit in a tweet.  All that being said, the quotes we had prepared are now all in a dedicated page under RESOURCES in the toolbar.  We will continue to update quotes there moving forward.  For […]

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The Woods Life

The Woods Life

A couple years ago, David Wescott turned me on to a great blog about woodcraft and traditional camping, The Woods Life.  They have been in our Blog Roll under Online Resources ever since. It is long overdue we point out some of the great articles over there.  And, as I have been studying Sleeping Bags lately, […]

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kephartad3ax

Horace Kephart: Notes On Hatchets And Handles (additional text by Steve Watts)

“The first camp I ever made was built exactly after the ‘Nessmuk’ pattern, shanty-tent, camp-fire with butternut back-logs, and all.  My only implement besides knives, was a double-bitted hatchet just like his, of surgical instrument steel, only eighteen ounces.  I was alone.  I stayed in that camp five weeks in October and November; and I […]

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"Vortex" fire lay with chestnut logs.

Traditional Skills for the Modern Outdoorsman by Thomas Ray

Disclaimer: Although most of us here mix modern and traditional skills all the time, this article is aimed mainly at the individual with little or no knowledge regarding the use of traditional skills in conjunction with modern gear in the outdoors. Hopefully it will be helpful to those outdoor persons who happen across this site […]

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Between the Rivers 2nd Annual Gathering!

May 27th – 31st, 2014 – Ancestral Skills for Self-Sufficiency Bridges To The Past are pleased to announce that registration is now open for their spring gathering in Northeast Washington State.  Last year was a great time, and this year, they are ready to do it again!  Instructors are checking in with their planned classes and […]

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Whelen camping in his Hunter's Lean-to.

In Praise Of The Whelen Lean-To by Steven M. Watts

 I know of no better tent for one or two men, doing their own camp work, except for bad mosquito country, or at temperatures lower than 20 below. – Townsend Whelen In 1901 a young Spanish American War veteran walked out of the Canadian bush.  He was 24 years old, over six feet tall, with a 44 inch […]

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One Billet Boil Up!

One Billet Boil Up!

If you are wondering what this post is about, check out the Challenge in THIS article. Challenge is still OPEN if you want to participate by the way. A little more history on the water boil competition can found in Ernest Thompson Seton’s, The Book of Woodcraft. From the chapter on Games for the Camp. WATER-BOILING CONTEST Given […]

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kephart

Kamp Kephart 2014

Organized through The Schiele Museum in Gastonia, NC, Kamp Kephart is a workshop series of Classic Camping Skills taught by Steve Watts.  As our good friend Steve says, “…without the context, it’s just arts & crafts.” Let me tell you, not only do you learn and apply the skills in Kamp Kephart, you get an entertaining […]

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