Archive | August, 2013

The cover of the new special edition by Great Smoky Mountains Association

Camping and Woodcraft republished!

Earlier this year, early Spring actually, I was working in Knoxville, TN.  As is usually the case, I prefer the scenic route…  On my way back home to north Georgia, I stopped in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitor Center in Gatlinburg, TN to ask if Parson Branch Road was open.  FYI, Parson Branch […]

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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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Start'em young.  Note the book.


I have always loved trees.  From the time I was seven years old, I knew I wanted to be a Forest Ranger or something along those lines.  Ultimately, I became a Forester.  Many of my childhood memories escape me, but for whatever reason I remember specific trees and their location vividly.  Is that engrained in […]

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Dale's Patches

P.A.C.K. One Update

If you haven’t already, go check out Joe Flowers with the owner of Mule Team Canvas Company as they go over the P.A.C.K. One.  Not sure what a P.A.C.K. One is?  The acronym stands for Personally Accessorized Canvas Knapsack. This is probably the best Canvas pack you’re gonna see at the sub fifty dollar price […]

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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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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 for location and activity updates.  Hope to […]

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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® 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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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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The basic kit takes many forms, depending on the time period (primitive, historic or contemporary).

Packing for the Cherokee Campaign...Davidson's Fort...on the North Carolina Frontier

Steve Watts Opens his Wilderness Survival Kit(s) for Lost in the Woods (2 of 2)

This is part two of an interview done by the blog, Lost in the Woods.  Part One is HERE. By Liz Childers | Published December 9, 2011 In addition to directing the Aboriginal Studies Program at Schiele Museum of Natural History, Steve Watts is a member of the International Society of Primitive Technology. Their biannual publication is a great way to […]

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Steve Watts talks primitive camping skills with Lost in the Woods (1 of 2)

This article originally appeared in the blog, Lost in the Woods, and is a perfect fit for this site as we explore the different facets of Outdoor Living Skills.  Part Two will be coming with an added picture from Steve that did not appear in the original article.  Thanks Steve!   By Liz Childers | Published December 7, 2011 […]

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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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Light pollution.  (Photo: NASA)

Light Pollution

I savor the opportunities of a beautiful night sky simply because they have become so rare. While aesthetically pleasing, they are also healthier for the environment and people. This is especially true for women according to numerous studies, HERE is a link to one example. Just getting away from unnatural light for a short time […]

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Joe Knowles, the first outdoor survival reality start.  (Photo: Boston Magazine)

Naked Joe, the first outdoor reality star

One hundred years ago, Joe Knowles stripped down to his jockstrap, said goodbye to civilization, and marched off into the woods to prove his survival skills. He was the reality star of his day. For eight weeks, rapt readers followed his adventures in the Boston Post, for whom he was filing stories on birch bark. […]

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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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Nalgene Pillid top view.  (Photo: Nalgene)

Nalgene Pillid

As most Master Woodsman readers use a 1 liter type water bottle, passing along this new product, the Nalgene Pillid. Pretty clever… Nalgene Pillid (Photo: Nalgene) If you read my article on Collecting & Treating Water in the Backcountry, you know I duct tape the individually wrapped Micropur tabs to my water bottle for a convenient […]

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