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Kamp Kephart 2014

Organized through The Schiele Museum in Gastonia, NC, Kamp Kephart is a workshop series of Classic Camping Skills taught by Steve Watts.  As our good friend Steve says, “…without the context, it’s just arts & crafts.” Let me tell you, not only do you learn and apply the skills in Kamp Kephart, you get an entertaining […]

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Primitive Survival Skills in the 21st Century by Mark Warren (6 of 6)

Primitive Survival Skills in the 21st Century by Mark Warren (6 of 6)

PRIMITIVE SURVIVAL SKILLS 6 In case you missed Parts 1 thru 5: Primitive Survival Skills 1 Primitive Survival Skills 2 Primitive Survival Skills 3 Primitive Survival Skills 4 Primitive Survival Skills 5 Purity ~ your second-most immediate need in a survival situation ~ Can you name the three physical intakes – in their order of […]

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Harvesting the inner bark of White Pine for food and/or medicine of which participants got a sample.

Primitive Survival Skills in the 21st Century by Mark Warren (5 of 6)

If you missed Parts 1 thru 4, start right HERE. The Lost Instinct of Knowing What to Eat ~ edibles in the wild ~ Have you ever heard that old adage: watch what the animals eat and you’ll know what to eat, too? Well, forget it. It’s simply not true. The fact is that there was […]

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Hiking With The Budda - Gypsy Jack's Camping Journal

Hiking With The Budda – Gypsy Jack’s Camping Journal

Hiking With The Buddha (1918) From: Gypsy Jack’s Camping Journal I first met the Buddha on a lonesome trail north of Taos. He smelled of wood smoke and jasmine. His pack overflowed with fresh fruit, deer antlers, Indian silks, and a bundle of twisted sticks. He wore a Chinese hat, no shirt, khaki pants and […]

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Primitive Survival Skills in the 21st Century by Mark Warren (4 of 6)

If you missed Part 1, 2, or 3 start right HERE. A Light in the Forest ~ seeking the company of Fire ~ On the list of what to do in an emergency wilderness survival situation, building a fire is often assigned a low priority by survival experts. Here in the Southern Appalachians, two factors have […]

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Richard Bell teaching knots.

Primitive Skills Day at Chattahoochee Nature Center by Richard Bell

As a volunteer Naturalist at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell Georgia, I often incorporate a bit of primitive skills and knowledge into my interpretive hikes. When we walk along the river boardwalk trail, I may point out how the indigenous Cherokee or Creek would have used Black Willow as a headache remedy and materials […]

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Photo 3 - cairn

Instinctive Navigation: Keeping the ‘Dead’ out of Dead Reckoning by Patrick Farneman

As a child it amazed me the way my father could navigate in the woods.  It also amazed me that he could go the whole day without having to go to the bathroom, but that is another story!  We could head out on a trip, whether for a few hours or a few days, with […]

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North Columbia Knap-In October 10th – 12th

What’s a Knap-In? A Knap-In is a gathering of flintknappers – people who make arrowheads, spear points, knife blades and such from suitable stone, glass or other material. There is more offered than just breaking rocks; there are other primitive skills demonstrated and there are often competitions in various primitive sports such as archery, atl […]

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April 2013 in Smoky Mountain National Park.  Stream along Parson Branch Road which was once covered in shade by Hemlocks now gets full sun raising the temperature in this microclimate.

Primitive Survival Skills in the 21st Century by Mark Warren (2 of 6)

Hemlock, Gift Giver of the Standing People If you missed part 1, it’s right here 😉 The gifts of the forest are legion. Today those gifts are thought of as arcane anecdotes to a fast and furious culture disconnected from its environment. Just five centuries ago, the lore of plant foods and medicines and craft […]

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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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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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primitive survival skills

Primitive Survival Skills in the 21st Century by Mark Warren

The physicality of satisfying our essential needs today is virtually effortless – like strolling through the aisles of a grocery store or turning a knob to heat an oven. So why turn back history and roam forest and field to dig up edible roots? Why twirl a stick in your hands to near exhaustion in […]

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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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Mark Warren

Survival Foods in the Forest: the quest for protein by Mark Warren

Very few people actually plan a strategy for survival foods and survival when lost in a wilderness for a substantial length of time. As research has shown, however, a little survival training can go a long way when one is truly confronted with life-threatening circumstances. These days, it is worlds easier to simply stroll down […]

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Gypsy Jack’s Camping Journal – Earnest Hemingway

Who is Earnest Hemingway? He liked to open cans…and shoot hyenas for no reason.  Yep, Hemingway was a hand full if there ever was one. I met him in Philip Percival’s camp just west of the Ngong Hills.  We got along well enough I suppose, but four days turned out to be just about enough.  […]

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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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Traditional Pocket Knife Types: (top) Trapper, (left to right) Congress, Canoe, Scout/Camper, Barlow, Peanut, Stockman, Muskrat

Classic Camping Knives by Steven M. Watts

“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 […]

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Tricked by a Weasel by Peter Frost

Editor’s Note:  If you haven’t read “Tracking a Fisher,” please read that article first and this is part two. The following essay is the sequel to the fisher story. It is an account of how the fisher turned into the bear, and how old habits can play tricks on the mind. After petting the fisher […]

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Tracking a Fisher by Peter Frost

This morning we were very fortunate. The conditions were ideal for tracking. Early last night, an inch of dry, light snow sifted down through the trees and covered the forest floor. Underneath this fine layer, nothing of the previous winter snows remained except for a hard-packed crust. This allows one to move through the woods […]

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Fridtjof Nansen – Gypsy Jack’s Camping Journal

Fridtjof Nansen “I’ve known some tough hombres in my time.  I’ve seen cowpunchers ride, rope and brand all day–day after day—living all the while on beans, biscuits and prunes.  Then each night, throw down a thin bedroll on the thin cover of the hard, herd- trampled ground– and there sleep the sleep of babes.  I’ve […]

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Jack Mountain Bushcraft School Bibliography by Tim Smith

Naturalist John Muir said, “Books are but stepping stones to show you where other minds have been.” When it comes to outdoor living skills, books are a great way to take advantage of a Master Woodsman’s experience and see “where their mind has been.” We have worked hard to put together an extensive bibliography at Master […]

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Traditional Camping And The Environmental Ethic: Trail Food For Thought by Steven M. Watts

By Steven M. Watts 2004 All human activity results in environmental impact. Every step and every breath leaves a trace of our passing. The modern camper/backpacker/outdoor enthusiast relies on gear manufactured in the far-flung corners of the globe. It is then delivered by train, plane, ship or truck—powered by gasoline, diesel or jet fuel. He […]

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Charlie Chaplin – Gypsy Jack’s Camping Journal

Charlie Chaplin “Charlie is a rich, famous, arrogant, borderline genius…I like him anyway.  We first met in 1914.  His star was just then breaking on the far horizon.   I got introduced to him in a beachside diner by an old Montana horse wrangler pal of mine who was working in the moving picture business at […]

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Tim Smith

Adaptation – No Sleeping Bag Winter Trip by Tim Smith, Registered Master Maine Guide

February 2002. I had been up late packing food and gear for our 10-day snowshoe trip in the mountains along the Maine and Quebec border, and after driving four hours to the trail head I was feeling tired and groggy despite 2 cups of coffee. The temperature had warmed throughout the morning, rising to near […]

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