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Firebox with cup

Battle of Stoves Follow-up on Firebox Nano

This is a follow-up to Chuck’s great article, Battle of the Stoves, of which he really likes the Folding Firebox Nano Ultralight. I have to say I like it as well, but especially after doing my own little comparison to the Vargo Hexagon Wood Burning Stove and a discovery with the U.S. Canteen Cup. I […]

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Battle of the Stoves

In my opinion, there is nothing better than cooking outside in the backcountry. Nothing goes better with a good cup of coffee, sitting next to a flowing creek, listening to the sound of nature, and soaking in the majesty that is God’s country than a meal cooked afield. Cooking afield always tastes better no matter […]

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Solo Stove (a review)

We were contacted by Solo Stoves and asked to do an honest review on their Solo Stove Lite and the Pot that they sell for the stove. Being that I have cooked in the outdoors for decades, I was very excited to test out new gear. I am always looking for great made gear at […]

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Hands starting to cup the fragile flame of a split paper match.

Homage to the Split Paper Match

Early on in a 7-day class taught by Cody Lundin, myself and two other fellas learned for the first time how to split a paper match. My initial thought was this is a “just in case” solution should a resource become limited, i.e., two fires from one match. Little did we know there was much more to […]

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Flint and Steel

by Michael May Mankind has possessed the ability to control fire for many thousands of years, and in this time we have developed a number of clever ways in which to start fires. To begin with, the most widely spread methods of fire making were friction-based. That is to say, the heat created by rubbing […]

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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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Speed Matters

Be Quick My Friends

A front from the far north was coming with several inches of snow. The camp-fire’s glow felt good under the parachute-shelter as afternoon temperatures started to sink here in Alberta, Canada. I was a happy man, the guest of my good friends, Randy and Lori Breeuwsma. Another good friend, Joe Flowers, and several of the […]

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setonfrombuffalowind

Two kinds of fires…

Please consider this my humble attempt at a supplement to Steve Watts’ excellent article on the Camp Stove vs. Camp Fire.  In that article, Steve quotes Ernest Thompson Seton in favor of the campfire. Here is a great story about (and pictures of) Seton educating men (and boys) on fire in the traditional way. From the Fire-Craft chapter […]

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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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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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Photo:  Brandon Jacobs

1 degree; Wilderness Fire Starting Considerations

NEXT TO KNOWING HOW TO DRESS WELL, FIRE IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BUSH SKILLS THERE ARE, BECAUSE IT IS ONE OF THE FEW MEANS AVAILABLE TO MAKE UP MOST GREAT DEFICIENCIES. Master Woodsman Mors Kochanski’s excellent quote above sums it up.  Next to knowing how to dress well (reducing heat loss), fire is […]

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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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Front view of debris shelter before being stuffed with leaves and door.

Suggested Outdoor Skills To Learn First…

When it comes to Outdoor Living Skills, I’ve heard it asked many times over the years… “what should I learn first?” It needs to be stated at the beginning of this article that our society is more fast paced than ever. And while the extraordinary amount of information that is so readily available is fantastic, […]

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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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The Super Shelter

There has been a lot of interest in The Super Shelter with recent YouTube videos and articles from others. While you may pick up a tip or trick here and there from YouTube and posts (this article included), getting instruction in the field and doing it yourself are going to be your best teachers. To add […]

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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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Mors Kochanski on Pots

Mors Kochanski on Pots

The video below came out from Karamat Wilderness Ways on YouTube today.  In 12 short minutes, Mors Kochanski reviewed several pots covering benefits, uses and more… Would have loved to hear more about the Roman Legionnaires.  Mors is a huge student of history adding pieces of lost knowledge he finds to his instruction.  A true blessing […]

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Firebombs ready for use.

‘Firebomb’ Firestarters

Firebombs, at least the ones I make, are not bombs.  They have a similar shape to a stick of dynamite, so I guess that’s how they got the name.  Nonetheless, they do make an excellent firestarter in the home and the woods. I actually started making these many years ago as gifts to friends for their fireplaces […]

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primitive survival skills

Firewood Quality

I am not the original author of the national firewood quality data you will see below. I archived it for myself several years ago, long before the idea of this website. My apologies for not providing the proper credit. Whether it’s your fireplace, woodstove, or campfire, having some knowledge of wood properties and how a […]

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Here is a picture of the structure Tim Smith built at Woodsmoke 2012.  (click to englarge)

Cooking Quad Pod

I first saw this cooking quad pod made by my friend Tim Smith of Jack Mountain Bushcraft School last summer at Woodsmoke.  So I made one this past winter for a family campout and it worked great!  As Fall will be here before you know it, posting this now in case you will be camping with a crew […]

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From the 1888 report on Fire-Making Apparatus.

Fire-making apparatus – Report from 1888

My friend Dusty Rumley and I went on a hike the other day along the Etowah River near Canton, Georgia.  The purpose… none, which was great.  Very relaxing.  Ahhhh…. These were Dusty’s woods and he knew them well.  One of several things he pointed out to me was this pestle (picture below) in a boulder […]

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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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That Fresnel Lens in Your Survival Kit

Today’s common Fresnel lens, and the one a Woodsman should carry, is a super-thin business card sized piece of plastic.  Based on the 1822 lens design by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, it was originally intended for lighthouses, hence it’s larger aperture, shorter focal length and much thinner design compared to conventional lenses. For a lighthouse, […]

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Tinder Bundle made from the inner bark of Tulip Tree (Yellow Poplar).  Click on photo to enlarge.

The Tinder Bundle

  For fire and its continuation (chain reaction) three components need to come together: heat, fuel and oxygen.  So many folks into Outdoor Living Skills focus on the ignition or heat source.  While obviously a critical component, the other two-thirds are equally important… So let’s put ugly on the table.  Can’t tell you how many […]

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