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Readymade Woods Whistles

While enjoying some much needed alone time this past weekend in the Chattahoochee National Forest, I was cutting through a stretch of woods with tulip tree, white pine, hickory, and oak. As I usually do, I picked up a large acorn cap for a whistle. Even though it’s been decades since my mother taught me […]

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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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Rules of Survival

This article contains my current thoughts and perspective on survival rules and more. As this is a life or death topic, I take it very seriously. That being said, what follows may or may not be the right approach for you, i.e., I am not trying to be evangelical in what I have written, I am […]

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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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Kummerfeldt_book

“Survival is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid!”

The title is a quote from the book, Surviving a Wilderness Emergency, by Peter Kummerfeldt. His book being slap full of practical no nonsense knowledge of what to do if get yourself into trouble in the backcountry makes it one of my favorites. I have several of his quotes listed in my list of Great Survival […]

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Kit fever…

Steve Watts turned me on to this Finnish blog, Perkele’s. As I am booking flights today to attend my first SHOT SHOW next month, the timing couldn’t be better. Posts like this from the heart are good for keeping you grounded when it comes to gear… Again today i got to thinking about this never […]

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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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Knowledge vs. Common Sense for Wilderness Living Skills and Survival

I recently had the privilege of spending a week with one of the Godfathers of Survival, Mors Kochanski. While Mors’ resume includes 40+ years as an outdoor educator, researcher, author, and scholar, which unto itself is impressive, it simply does not do Kochanski justice. When it comes to Wilderness Living Skills and Survival, simply put, […]

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Why Carry A Knife (and Fire-starter and Cordage)

There are very few things in this world outside of breathing, eating, etc. that I feel I need to do. Of those few, one of them is carrying a knife. I know I am not the only one, many of you reading this feel just like me. Perhaps it’s in our DNA. Personally, this desire of having […]

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Seton_Rabbits

Edible Wild Plants for Survival, (Not) So Fast!

One of the Survival 101 maxims is “Learn my top edible wild plants for survival!” Equipping yourself with this knowledge is empowering according to most instructors, whether it is a fight for survival or a recreational walk through the woods. Whichever experience is being sold, it comes down to being self-reliant. Therefore, many put learning […]

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Emergency Management_HVA

Emergency Management – Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (2 of 8)

Danger Will Robinson!  Danger!!! So where do we get on the on-ramp to the road of Emergency Management? How do we know what our weaknesses are? Are we prepared for what comes our way? Do we have the right stuff? How much stuff do I need? What events should our families be practicing? If any […]

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Emergency Management (1 of 8)

News alert! There is a deadly virus that is bringing people back to life!!! The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us!!! What do we do? We throw our hands up in the air and run around in circle screaming!!!!! No wait I have “prepped” for this; I have food stored, ammo stashes, fuel and water stockpiled. […]

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Blade Show 2014

I believe this is my 11th Blade Show in the last 14 years.  Those first years I attended, I was really into knives, a huge fan of the late Rob Simonich (nicest guy ever, I still carry a Bitter Root everyday).  Nowadays, I am really there just as much for the social aspect, maybe even more. […]

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Bottom soles of a pair of my huaraches.  Note the wear towards the front and not the heel.  I have always walked in these, not run.

Huaraches

I had a question on my personal YouTube channel about acclimating your feet to huaraches. So I am here to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you are not familiar with Huaraches, they are the (tire) sandals of the Taramurhara Indians of northern Mexico. It’s also worth noting other cultures from around […]

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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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1+ Year Review: Seek Outside BCS Back Country Shelter

I’ll be reviewing the Seek Outside Backcountry Shelter or BCS as it is commonly referred to.  This is the 1+ year review and what a couple years it’s been.  I think in order to give the most complete review of something, it has to be very heavily used and really put through the wringer as […]

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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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George Michaud's kit "on the table."  Pistol, Large Custom Fixed Blade, Leather Pouch all on a leather belt so its with him always when trapping.

George Michaud’s Survival Kit by Brandon Jacobs

It’s no secret that spending any amount of time in the woods requires some gear, whether it’s for an intended task or just there in case of an emergency. George’s time in the outdoors is no exception. Running a trapline in the Teton Mountains requires a certain amount of gear to spend any length of […]

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Squirrel Leaf Nest

Primitive Survival Skills in the 21st Century by Mark Warren (3 of 6)

If you missed Part 1 & 2, start right HERE. A Place to Rest My Cold, Cold Body ~ self-made shelter ~ The earth giveth. And the earth taketh away – especially when it comes to body heat. The cold ground saps a mammal of its precious warmth. When you need to stay overnight in […]

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Utili-key is a great firesteel scraper.  Click to enlarge.

Swiss+Tech Utili-Key for EDC Firesteel Scraper (video update)

I have been carrying the Swiss Tech Utili-key for at least six years on my key ring.  It has a serrated knife edge, plain knife edge, eyeglass flat screwdriver, larger flat screw driver, bottle opener and phillips screwdriver engineered to the size of key.  Very handy to say the least. And when I say I […]

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Training applied in the field.  Magnesium scraped into the bill of a hat then put into a tinder bundle for fire as the sun is setting.  All we had was our knives and the one mag bar with striking insert to create a heat source suitable for a Northern Arizona Winter night that went down to the mid-teens..

My Survival Kit

MasterWoodsman.com® is a resource of information with a focus on skills, not gear.  In keeping with that premise, I want to share with you not just what I carry in my survival kit, but more importantly, the rationale behind what I carry and how I would use it. Therefore, let me also present to you […]

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My favorite pot, a 10cm Zebra I use for boiling water and cooking..

Collecting & Treating Water in the Backcountry

I made the video below 3 years ago.   Since that time, and for many years prior, nothing has changed for me in how I collect and treat water in the backcountry for biological pathogens.  And when I say collect, it is more than just dipping my bottle or pot in a creek, there is […]

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Approximately 6 ounces collected from two hours of full sun on an 80 degree day with 60% humidity in the North Georgia Mountains on the Summer Solstice.

Your Guide To Survival Using A Trash Bag

When it comes to survival in the wilderness, a trash bag in your emergency kit could be a lifesaver for you and your family. This article is your guide to survival for it’s use as an environmental layer to your clothing and much more! “Your clothing is the most important survival tool you have. Dress properly […]

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