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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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George Michaud's kit "on the table."  Pistol, Large Custom Fixed Blade, Leather Pouch all on a leather belt so its with him always when trapping.

George Michaud’s Survival Kit by Brandon Jacobs

It’s no secret that spending any amount of time in the woods requires some gear, whether it’s for an intended task or just there in case of an emergency. George’s time in the outdoors is no exception. Running a trapline in the Teton Mountains requires a certain amount of gear to spend any length of […]

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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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How To Make a Classic Camping Style Knife Sheath

If you have an hour and would like to know how to build a BSA style clone sheath, this video is for you.  This isn’t as much a how-to as it is a follow along.  I break down each step taken to get the end result along with some of my thoughts on leathercraft and […]

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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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Kansas' Biannual Gathering

Land of OZ 2013 Fall Gathering

October 11th – 13th 2013 KINGMAN LAKE 883-979 State Lake Rd Kingman, KS 67068 Food:  Everybody chips in.  It’s always something fantastic.  There may be a deer kill due to the early season and subsequent butchering.  Tasty venison!  We’ll reach out to Rusty the Chef too! Skill Building:  Every single event all the way back […]

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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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Permaculture can fix this!


But… It will also work on a small scale, say, your yard or land.  Own less than an acre?  No problemo.  This will work on the most basic of individual holdings to the Worldwide pandemic of desertification. Here’s the problem: Nobody really cares!  Heh, I bet you could care less what happens in some butt […]

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Back To Eden Gardening Method

Back To Eden Gardening Method

The Back To Eden Gardening Method is a very basic one that only requires the composting component and wood chips.   *Note:  If you are offended by religion, turn away now.  This video is not for you.  The author reinforces simple compost gardening with Scripture from The Bible.  🙂 BACK TO EDEN shares the story of […]

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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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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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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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