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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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Between the Rivers 2nd Annual Gathering!

May 27th – 31st, 2014 – Ancestral Skills for Self-Sufficiency Bridges To The Past are pleased to announce that registration is now open for their spring gathering in Northeast Washington State.  Last year was a great time, and this year, they are ready to do it again!  Instructors are checking in with their planned classes and […]

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Google Crisis Map

Google Crisis Map

I have been viewing Google Crisis Maps for several years now as it is a powerful tool bringing information from many agency resources into one map virtually real-time. Check out the video below for a brief explanation… While the video is informative, it really doesn’t do this solution justice. The light bulb to share went […]

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The Survivors; JMBS Article

Great read about the goings on at Jack Mountain Bushcraft School. In Aroostook County, a ragtag troop of recent veterans converges on a wilderness school for nine weeks. Sergeant Freddie Orcutt spent his last night as an enlisted man alone on a small island in the crook of V-shaped Scopan Lake. The first frost had […]

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1+ Year Review: Seek Outside BCS Back Country Shelter

I’ll be reviewing the Seek Outside Backcountry Shelter or BCS as it is commonly referred to.  This is the 1+ year review and what a couple years it’s been.  I think in order to give the most complete review of something, it has to be very heavily used and really put through the wringer as […]

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The Super Shelter

There has been a lot of interest in The Super Shelter with recent YouTube videos and articles from others. While you may pick up a tip or trick here and there from YouTube and posts (this article included), getting instruction in the field and doing it yourself are going to be your best teachers. To add […]

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Whelen camping in his Hunter's Lean-to.

In Praise Of The Whelen Lean-To by Steven M. Watts

 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 […]

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They Just Don't Make'em Like They Used To...

They Just Don’t Make’em Like They Used To…

Since the late 1700’s Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has sold fine English-made woolen products in North America.  HBC’s point blankets being the standard by which all wool blankets are measured. Published in 2002, Harold Tichenor’s book, The Blanket; An Illustrated History of the Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket, chronicled much of its history.  Unfortunately, the book is out of […]

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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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Weather Wisdom

“In God we trust, everyone else bring data” As humans in our current society, our lives are very much data driven, everything backed up by science. There was a time however, when man had to rely purely on observation and what today we call folklore. Well that folklore is based on something, and it can be […]

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In The News ~ Early December 2013

  Dude, You’re Screwed is a new Discovery T.V. show starting this Sunday, December 8th at 10 eastern.  One of the cast, Tom “Tomahawk” Moore, has shared his knowledge and travels on some popular internet forums over the years, so you may already be familiar with Moore.   Chad and I first met Tom in […]

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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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Lotus Belle Tent

Lotus Belle Tent

Don’t consider this article anything more than an FYI…   As it looks like a cross between the traditional Yurt and Bell Tent, the Lotus Belle caught my eye in a New Zealand article on camping. I do like that it is made from 12 oz. treated canvas, add a stove it can be a ‘hot-tented,’ […]

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On Your Own in the Wilderness (and Challenge)

The best way to describe the book, On Your Own in the Wilderness is that of a modern-classic.  Written by Colonel Townsend Whelen and Bradford Angier in 1958, you can really feel Whelen’s influence from the days of Classic Camping.  Although Whelen, famous for the Whelen Lean-To (future article here) and contributions to shooting ballistics, had […]

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2014 Events

We just updated our EVENTS page for 2014 as best we can at this time.  Please provide us with any updates and/or suggestions at info at masterwoodsman dot com.  Keep checking back too, we will update regularly. It is worth mentioning, WINTERCOUNT is the only event in the early part of the year.   I […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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