Hat, Scarf and Vest: Waist-up Essentials For The Traditional Outdoorsman by Steve Watts The Hat Campfire conversations can venture off into dangerous territory when the topic turns to the choice of the “ideal” hat for camp and trail. All have an opinion, and most consider theirs to be divinely inspired. The choice of headgear is often […]
Tag Archives | classic camping
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 […]
A Bedside Kit Steven M. Watts A few basic tools and supplies (within easy reach by the camper’s bedside) help to make the mid-night and morning hours run smoothly. A knife and axe…the camper’s constant companions. A supply of fuel…for maintaining the night fire and for the morning restart. Matches…in a waterproof container. A light […]
The Law of Order by Steven M. Watts “…only a slob and a chump goes dirty and has a sloppy-looking camp. The real old time veteran and sourdough is a model of neatness and order.” –Daniel Carter Beard Your camp is a very small world—whether it be a simple lean-to with the most Spartan of […]
Just like apple pie and baseball, camping was purely American. We look back with a refreshing sense of nostalgia somehow hoping to hear echoes from the past. Voices from men like Beard, Seton, and White. But it’s Kephart that speaks clearly on this day. For it’s him that we celebrate at Horace Kephart Days. Classic […]
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 […]
Simply stating that Colonel Townsend Whelen (1877-1961) was just an outdoorsman is like saying that Babe Ruth was just a baseball player. According to the dust jacket flap of On Your Own in the Wilderness (Whelen and Angier), 1958, Whelen wrote his first outdoor magazine article in 1901 and afterward, his work appeared in outdoor […]
“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 […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
Master Woodsman™ is a blog. Why is that important to you? Well, it’s fed by woodsmen for woodsmen. Some pretty darn good ones too! We write about the stuff you want to read. The great outdoors and everything in it. From the golden age of camping and living historical reenactments to modern wilderness survival and […]
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.
“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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