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Horace Kephart

Horace Kephart Days; May 20 & 21

Horace Kephart Days 2016 Friday, May 20th (1 to 5 p.m.) Visit with a group of outers in a 1920s demonstration camp. Here, in the woodsmoke, Kephart’s camping and woodcraft skills come to life in their proper setting, the Backcountry Farm of the Schiele Museum in Gastonia, NC. Saturday, May 21st (10 am to 4 […]

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Steven M Watts

Steve Watts Remembrance April 10th

Sunday, April 10th from 1 to 5 pm. Schiele Museum of Natural History 1500 East Garrison Boulevard Gastonia, NC 28054

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canoe_canvas

Bushcraft: The Case for Canvas

GET OVER YOUR GORE-TEX March 02, 2016 By Darren Bush In 1969, chemist Bill Gore took some polytetrafluoroethylene, heated it and stretched it, creating a membrane that had 14 million microscopic holes per square inch. The holes were large enough to let water molecules escape, but too small to let liquid water through. Waterproof breathable […]

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Real and Sham Survival/Bushcraft

I suppose it is the real demand for bushcraft and survival information that leads to its counterfeit, otherwise the counterfeit would stand a poor show. The growing demand for survival/bushcraft within the past few years has called forth a very large crop of TV Shows, YouTubers, Bloggers, & Books; good, bad, and indifferent — shows […]

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Camping in the Old Style; Oct. 10, 2015

Classic Camping celebrates the Golden Age of Camping in America (1880s – 1920s). This was a time when camping meant sleeping under canvas and cooking over an open fire. It was a time when the most innovative urges of the Industrial Revolution were featured front and center against the backdrop of a vanishing frontier… a […]

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Where Have All the Axes Gone?

Thank you Tony Nester for sharing this (surprising) article from The Atlantic… Where Have All the Axes Gone? The treasured woodchopper’s talisman is a guide to an almost-lost way of life, an Object Lesson. Last year was, by some accounts, the year of the lumbersexual—big beard, big plaid, big boots. Although not measured by time […]

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Steve to Flame

Camp-Fire Club of America Hallowed Ground

Steve Watts and I were the fortunate guests of Shawn Orbanic and Camp-Fire Club of America (CFC) for their June Outing these last four days. On this hallowed ground where the likes of Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard, Warren Miller, Gifford Pinchot and many other Master Woodsmen of yesterday walked, we enjoyed the best […]

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Horace Kephart

Horace Kephart Days – May 15th and 16th (and a special book update!)

This is a DO NOT MISS Horace Kephart Days at the Schiele Museum of Natural History May 15th and 16th (details below). A great opportunity to spend time with not only the Kephart Family and Steve Watts, but David Wescott will be in attendance signing the new edition of Camping in the Old Style; now available for […]

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FlintstoneChair

Leave No Trace killed Woodcraft… almost

You are likely familiar with Leave No Trace (LNT), if not the organization, at least the concept it promotes in that there are set of principles to enjoy the outdoors responsibly while minimizing environmental impacts. Interestingly, the organization is very strict when it comes to the use of the copyrighted term, it’s logo, and their Seven […]

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Tumpline Drawing

A Bedroll Sling/Tumpline for…

Tramping In The Old Style  by Steven M. Watts 2014 “Tramping” in the literature of the Classic Camping era refers to “pedestrian camping” or “camping afoot”… what would one day come to be known as “backpacking.” The references to shoulder slings or tumplines for packing bedrolls are almost non-existent in the writings of the Classic Camping […]

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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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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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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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kephart

Kephart Days: Americana At Its Finest

Just like apple pie and baseball, camping was purely American. We look back with a refreshing sense of nostalgia somehow hoping to hear echoes from the past.  Voices from men like Beard, Seton, and White. But it’s Kephart that speaks clearly on this day.  For it’s him that we celebrate at Horace Kephart Days. Classic […]

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kephart

Horace Kephart Days Celebration October 10th & 11th, 2014

This year’s Horace Kephart Days Celebration will be held October 10th and 11th at the Cradle of Forestry in the Pisqah National Forest (western North Carolina). Keep checking the website, HoraceKephart – An American Legend and their FaceBook page for updates. This will be a great opportunity to join Steve Watts and the Acorn Classic Camping Demonstration team from the Schiele Museum too.  Hope to see you […]

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Dan Beard in a parade.  Photo: CFCA

Camp-Fire Club of America Outings

Last year I wrote an article which included an excerpt from the book, On Your Own in the Wilderness by Townsend Whelen and Bradford Angier. In that article was a quote mentioning the Camp-Fire Club of America (CFCA). I, and my friends who study and appreciate Classic Camping, have seen mention of the CFCA in text […]

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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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Some of the author's Flint and Steel Kits.

Punkwood

When the realization set in to all the things punkwood offers with fire, and how available it is in the woods, I did the quintessential face-palm. This also happens frequently when I read the classics from Kephart, Jaegar, Beard, Seton, et. al. and see those simple and cool solutions that I didn’t take advantage of in […]

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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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