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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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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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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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They Just Don't Make'em Like They Used To...

They Just Don’t Make’em Like They Used To…

Since the late 1700’s Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has sold fine English-made woolen products in North America.  HBC’s point blankets being the standard by which all wool blankets are measured. Published in 2002, Harold Tichenor’s book, The Blanket; An Illustrated History of the Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket, chronicled much of its history.  Unfortunately, the book is out of […]

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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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On Your Own in the Wilderness (and Challenge)

The best way to describe the book, On Your Own in the Wilderness is that of a modern-classic.  Written by Colonel Townsend Whelen and Bradford Angier in 1958, you can really feel Whelen’s influence from the days of Classic Camping.  Although Whelen, famous for the Whelen Lean-To (future article here) and contributions to shooting ballistics, had […]

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Hiking With The Budda - Gypsy Jack's Camping Journal

Hiking With The Budda – Gypsy Jack’s Camping Journal

Hiking With The Buddha (1918) From: Gypsy Jack’s Camping Journal I first met the Buddha on a lonesome trail north of Taos. He smelled of wood smoke and jasmine. His pack overflowed with fresh fruit, deer antlers, Indian silks, and a bundle of twisted sticks. He wore a Chinese hat, no shirt, khaki pants and […]

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The cover of the new special edition by Great Smoky Mountains Association

Camping and Woodcraft republished!

Earlier this year, early Spring actually, I was working in Knoxville, TN.  As is usually the case, I prefer the scenic route…  On my way back home to north Georgia, I stopped in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitor Center in Gatlinburg, TN to ask if Parson Branch Road was open.  FYI, Parson Branch […]

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Camp Toco, Kephart's fixed camp in the Smokies.

Horace Kephart Days Celebration – October 11, 12, 13

This year’s Horace Kephart Days Celebration will be held October 11, 12, & 13 in the Pisqah National Forest (western North Carolina). Activities start with a day hike on Friday.   On Saturday, join Steve Watts and the Classic Campers from the Schiele Museum for classic camping demonstrations and more!!!  Keep checking back at HoraceKephart.com for location and activity updates.  Hope to […]

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The basic kit takes many forms, depending on the time period (primitive, historic or contemporary).

Packing for the Cherokee Campaign...Davidson's Fort...on the North Carolina Frontier

Steve Watts Opens his Wilderness Survival Kit(s) for Lost in the Woods (2 of 2)

This is part two of an interview done by the blog, Lost in the Woods.  Part One is HERE. By Liz Childers | Published December 9, 2011 In addition to directing the Aboriginal Studies Program at Schiele Museum of Natural History, Steve Watts is a member of the International Society of Primitive Technology. Their biannual publication is a great way to […]

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My first trapper cabin, 14 years old.  (Photo: Merritt R Wentz)

The Jumping Off Place: The Relationship of Outdoor Skills and Camping to the Concept of Wilderness by Tom Ray

Recently I have been thinking about the connections among outdoor skills, camping and the concept of “wilderness.”  What are these connections and what do they mean for those of us that enjoy practicing a wide variety of outdoor skills (for lack of a better catch-all term), including Bushcraft, Woodsmanship, Woodcraft, or whatever they may be […]

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KilimanjaroJack

Gypsy Jack’s Camping Journal – Earnest Hemingway

Who is Earnest Hemingway? He liked to open cans…and shoot hyenas for no reason.  Yep, Hemingway was a hand full if there ever was one. I met him in Philip Percival’s camp just west of the Ngong Hills.  We got along well enough I suppose, but four days turned out to be just about enough.  […]

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Traditional Pocket Knife Types: (top) Trapper, (left to right) Congress, Canoe, Scout/Camper, Barlow, Peanut, Stockman, Muskrat

Classic Camping Knives by Steven M. Watts

“A knifeless man is a lifeless man” – Nordic proverb Steven M. Watts, 2013 Most campers and woodsmen in the first quarter of the the twentieth century carried both pocket knives and sheath knives — a wise continuation of frontier practices from a century or more before. Sheath knives performed the “heavier” woodworking, skinning/butchering, and […]

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Close-up from one of the applications in the video.

The Pot Hook Notch

Timing is everything so they say… I just started reading Mors Kochanski’s new eBook from Karamat, Basic Safe Travel and Boreal Survival Handbook.  A pleasure unto itself.  But that got multiplied this past weekend doing knifecraft with my good friend Steve Watts. Talking knives, Steve entwined his encyclopedic knowledge of primitive skills, Nordic tradition, the American […]

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Join the Kneel Diamond Fan Club

Sweet Caroline… Bohm, Bohm, Bohmmmm…. Good times never seemed so good… Wait, that’s Neil Diamond.  I am talking about KNEEL Diamond! Wish I could remember the name of the fellow that taught me this trick.  I am almost certain he was on the BOSS staff. Very simply, to increase the oxygen to your campfire, make […]

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Steve Watts: Classic Camping

Introduction to Classic Camping with Steve Watts

This is a great video for anybody that may be interested in the “Classic” style of camping.   A big thank you to Steve Watts, author and living history teacher, for your time and generosity. To learn more about the Classic Camping revival or Steve Watts, visit our Classic Camping page.      

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david wescott

Camp Life by Steven M. Watts

“Here I am camped by a rushing river between forest-clad hills. It is close on ten in the morning. I turned out at five, and yet those five hours have been full of work for me, albeit it was no more than little camp jobs. The fire had to be lit, coffee and scones to […]

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stewartedwardwhite

Stewart Edward White Quote

“I do not claim that my way is the only way, nor am I rash enough to claim it is the best way.  But it is my way, and if any one will follow it, he will be as comfortable and as well suited as I am, which is at least better than going it […]

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