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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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American Persimmon

The word persimmon usually conjurers up one of two reactions when brought up.  The most common result is that of the serious pucker factor when tricked into biting into a green fruit.  But to those that know, the memory of a sweet, succulent fruit comes to mind. Diospyros virginiana, or commonly known as the American […]

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Bull Moose Patrol on the Winter Camping Symposium Oct. 23 thru 26

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 […]

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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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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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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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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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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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Bowmaking with Joe Dabill

Bowmaking with Joe Dabill

I had the privilege of taking Joe Dabill’s Bowmaking course at Rabbitstick 2013.  It was a great opportunity for an absolute beginner like myself to actually go through the steps under Joe’s guidance. We talked at length about Ishi and other influences, wood types, personal preferences, arrow making and more.  It was great to see […]

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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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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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An Axe Lesson and August Classes from Jack Mountain Bushcraft School

I was just checking out Tim Smith’s blog and saw he had some classes in New Hampshire this August.  Even though I will be traveling through the northeast later this month for work, I will unfortunately miss the opportunity.  If you live close by, you should definitely checkout Jack Mountain Bushcraft School. Here is their […]

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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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Faking it? Bear Grylls in Born Survivor

The Bushcraft Movement: what is it and why should you care?

Google News globally searches key words of interest for me.  For over a year now one of those words has been ‘bushcraft.’  Every couple of days or so there is a new article mentioning Bushcraft.  All but two of a 100+ news articles have been from the UK.  And each of those have been about […]

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Knife Sharpening Board

Knife Sharpening and Care by Tom Ray

Knife Sharpening and Care by Tom Ray Knife sharpening is sometimes thought of as an elusive skill. Actually, once the basic principles are understood, almost anyone can accomplish it.  First of all, it is important to understand that in order to get a long-lasting edge that is shaving sharp, a burr or wire edge must […]

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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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Camping On A Budget

Camping Gear On A Budget: The Do’s and Don’ts

Camping gear costs thousands of dollars for products, that if used enough, are going to fail when you least expect it. Let the hedgerow campers spend all that money on survival gear they don’t need. You’re here because you are camping on a budget. I know.  I’ve had no money and the desire to do […]

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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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Very good shelter building videos

I was cruising youtube one day for a specific demonstration and I almost didn’t find it anywhere.  Although I had this shelter option available to me in a few books including the SAS, this 7 part video series from a gentleman across the pond is a very well laid out construction from start to finish.  […]

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Schematic of the Harlton Hacienda

The Harlton Hacienda (Supershelter) By Kyle R. Ver Steeg II, M.D.

I recently took a winter course with Mors Kochanski at Karamat Wilderness Ways.  We covered many different shelter types, but one in particular caught my attention. One of the things that Mors Kochanski has done with wilderness shelters is to update them with modern materials.  A piece of plastic, a piece of nylon and a […]

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siberian elm samaras

USING THE SIBERIAN ELM FOR BUSHCRAFT

To most it’s a weed tree. Considered useless and unwanted. To me, it’s a part of the heartland now.  A permanent fixture across wind breaks and homesteads as well as in the cities and for Bushcraft.  It was after the dust bowl that started in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, that these trees were widely planted […]

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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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