About Christian Noble

Chris Noble is the founder of MasterWoodsman.com and Woodsmoke Camping Company. A Master Naturalist, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and has worked as a Registered Forester and Certified Burn Manager in several states. Chris is also a Wilderness First Responder and since the late 90’s has been “practicing primitive” skills and taking lessons from numerous Master Woodsmen throughout North America. An advocate for Conservation, teacher of Wilderness Living Skills, and happily married, he enjoys passing what he has learned thus far to others, especially his 2 children, Emerson and Duncan.

Author Archive | Christian Noble

Close-up of the modified toggle for the Paiute Deadfall.  Click to englarge.

Modified Paiute Deadfall

Because it is such a quick trigger mechanism, you will find significant information on the Paiute Deadfall in ‘survival’ books and on the web.  At Rabbitstick this year I saw a modification that was new to me.  This mod makes it easier to set and I see no loss in speed.  Here is how you do […]

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Mors Kochanski on Pots

Mors Kochanski on Pots

The video below came out from Karamat Wilderness Ways on YouTube today.  In 12 short minutes, Mors Kochanski reviewed several pots covering benefits, uses and more… Would have loved to hear more about the Roman Legionnaires.  Mors is a huge student of history adding pieces of lost knowledge he finds to his instruction.  A true blessing […]

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Winter; An Ecological Handbook (book review)

Winter; An Ecological Handbook (book review)

With cool temperatures descending upon us and winter around the corner, I have a book suggestion for you.  Winter; An Ecological Handbook by Dr. James Halfpenny and Roy Ozanne. In a nutshell, the book is an overview about the current knowledge of winter.  Think college text on ecology – you’ve been warned. However, for the […]

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Crater Lake.  Photo:  Christian Noble

The Woodsman “Zone”

We are all familiar with the term “The Zone”, usually as it relates to sports. Also known as The Flow in western society, it is a well documented psychological event in which many positive things can happen (more on that later). For athletes, or anyone doing menial labor for that matter, the Zone is usually the synthesis […]

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Firebombs ready for use.

‘Firebomb’ Firestarters

Firebombs, at least the ones I make, are not bombs.  They have a similar shape to a stick of dynamite, so I guess that’s how they got the name.  Nonetheless, they do make an excellent firestarter in the home and the woods. I actually started making these many years ago as gifts to friends for their fireplaces […]

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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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Two years later the branch has healed over from where I harvested the inner bark in the video.  Do it ethically and with some forethought to minimize impact.

Trees You Should Know…

Willow Haven Outdoor has a great article posted on their website, 6 Trees Every Survivalist Should Know & Why. Here is their list, you’ll have to go their site for the why: White birch (paper birch) American Basswood White Pine White Oak Sugar Maple Willow Tree To supplement Creek Stewart’s article, here is a video […]

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Survivorman’s Secrets of Survival – a couple observations and a tangent on priorities

Survivorman’s Secrets of Survival T.V. show by Les Stroud caught my attention yesterday when I saw several bloggers posting about the first episode, Fire.  Why it caught my attention is several fold.  One, I have the deepest and utmost respect for this sacred element and know what it means for a woodsman.  And two, with Les […]

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(Photo: Boston Globe)

New England sees a return of forest, wildlife

  Across New England, areas like the Swift River Valley (above, left, in the 1880s and in 2010) in Petersham have seen their forests, once cut down and cleared for farmland, replenished in the 21st century. From the aspect of green infrastructure in particular, I was delighted to see this article from the Boston Globe; New England […]

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Jack Jugarie from The Human Race (Photo: Halls Creek Tourism, link in article)

The Human Race

The Human Race video below popped up on an internet forum earlier this week.  Many years ago I had seen this documentary about three gentlemen with different backgrounds making a 300+ mile race by foot across the Australian Outback with what they can carry.  Specifically, a German Survivalist in his early 60’s, an American marathon […]

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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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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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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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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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David Wescott (right) giving a lesson on Blanket Tech with Steve Watts.  Rabbitstick 2011.


It is that time of year again — when I start thinking about travel to Rabbitstick.  The event is held  September 15 – 21, 2013 in Rexburg, ID… so a flight into Jackson Hole, WY (90 miles) or Salt Lake City, UT (240 miles) is in my near future. If you are not familiar with the […]

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Dual Survival / ALSS Auction for Fallen Firefighter Families!

Sorry I didn’t see this sooner!  Cody Lundin is holding an auction to raise money for the families of the 19 fallen firefighters who died battling the Yarnell Hill fire. Link is HERE!  Auction closes 7/22/13 at 6 p.m. Arizona time.

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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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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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