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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My son Duncan and I took a holiday to Canada this summer. The last half of our trip was full of adventure in Jasper, Banff, and Yoho National Parks. We visited Jasper Lake, Medicine Lake, Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake, Lake Louise, took a dip in Banff Upper Hot Springs, drove the Icefields Parkway, and were […]
If you’ve had training in Wilderness Medicine, you likely learned how to do a SOAP Note for assessing a patient’s condition; this note being critical information for you as well as the higher standard of care of a physician once the patient reaches civilization. For those that have not had medical training yet, SOAP is an acronym for […]
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 […]
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 […]
Nice article about Mors Kochanski at the blog Outdoor Readiness… Venerable bushcraft instructor Mors Kochanski is one of the most experienced outdoor skills instructors in North America. His specialty is northern forests, the boreal, all seasons. Kochanski bridged primitive and historical methods and skills (actual skills, not just descriptions of skills) into the 21st Century […]
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 […]
I normally don’t share the latest social media on Master Woodsman; we are kind of like the NPR of outdoor skills… generally boring and no commercialism. However, I simply can’t resist this open letter to President Obama from Cody Lundin; a message that I have repeatedly been promoting here as it relates to the importance of […]
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 […]
I was lying on my bamboo bed in the cool of the early morning jungle dawn. I was using a damp cotton bed sheet as a blanket, and my reeking pack as a pillow. It was very uncomfortable. The humidity and my wet clothing were conspiring to make comfortable sleep impossible. It had been raining […]
Several weeks ago I taught another tree and plant identification class. As is usually the case, the majority of students were very interested in edible wild plants, most considering it a priority. After discussing ALL the different aspects one could learn about trees, and more importantly, why, edibility dropped lower on everyone’s list, especially for […]
Survival, Wilderness Living Skills, Bushcraft Mors Kochanski’s enthusiasm for wilderness recreation, his extensive knowledge of the field, and his desire to learn everything there is to know about the wilderness has made him one of the foremost authorities on wilderness skills in the world. And it’s no wonder, he has been an outdoor educator and survival […]
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 […]
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 […]
The main purpose of Master Woodsman is to Promote Outdoor Living Skills. Within that broad statement should be a discussion on skill level and the skill level of those that teach or even share knowledge. That is what this article is… a catalyst for thought and discussion, NOT a decree from me or anyone else associated […]
Several species of birds, and even squirrels, make for great early warning systems in the woods (and home) if you know how to listen and watch. Like a pebble thrown into a pool of still water with ever extending concentric rings, a disturbance in the forest does the same thing, only it is the birds […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
According to the CDC, from 1999 to 2011, a total of 16,911 deaths in the United States, an average of 1,301 per year, were associated with exposure to excessive natural cold. The highest yearly total of hypothermia-related deaths (1,536) was in 2010 and the lowest (1,058) in 2006. Approximately 67% of hypothermia-related deaths were among […]
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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