Northern Forest Bushcraft

Post image for An Emergency Winter Survival Shelter For The Forest

When snow falls in the forest, you have multiple shelter designs to choose from. One of the classic northern forest shelters is a lean-to with a raised bed and a large long-log fire in front to keep you warm through the coldest of nights. I’ve written about this shelter design before along with my experience […] Read more >>

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Post image for How To Generate Water In The Frozen North

Because they’re frozen, extreme cold environments are practically deserts. In this video and the associated article I share a couple of really effective methods of generating water in a frozen environment. Unless you have a specialist tool to cut through ice, getting at the water underneath the ice is extremely difficult. There is plenty of water present though, in the form of snow and the key to accessing it is… Read more >>

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Post image for Northern Forest Fire Lighting Fundamentals: Pulling It All Together

Over the past few years I have created a number of tutorial articles and videos on fire techniques relevant to the north woods or northern forest in winter. Here I pull together all of these threads into one coherent resource along with some new material and answers to FAQs… Read more >>

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Post image for Favourite Films: Cree Hunters Of Mistassini

This is an anthropological documentary about a band of Cree hunters from Mistassini, Quebec who travel to live and hunt on their traditional hunting grounds. It’s a sympathetic film made during a time when these people’s traditional lands were under threat from hydro-electric development and the associated infrastructure. It puts across the Cree point of view about their traditional way of life and philosophy. For the student of northern forest bushcraft, this is a treasure-trove of techniques, skills and knowledge. In almost every scene there is… Read more >>

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Post image for The Stagger Inn: Portrait Of A Wilderness Cabin

Wilderness cabins, huts, hytte, cottages, bothies – whatever your name for these footholds in the wilds – are intriguing places. They tell you something of their owners and users. They can also inform you about the environment in which they are placed. In the north woods, a well outfitted cabin indicates how cold it gets […] Read more >>

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Post image for Bloodvein River Trip – My Personal Gear

People are always interested in other people’s gear. It’s certainly an area I’m asked a lot of questions about. As I get older, I’m less and less interested in outdoor clothing and equipment for any reason other than function and reliability. That said, I understand it can be instructive to compare and contrast with the […] Read more >>

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Post image for Six Men, Three Boats and The Bloodvein: Canoeing A Wilderness River

Rory, our pilot – about one third the age of the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver he was flying – took the plane into a banked turn as we descended towards Artery Lake. About 31 minutes earlier we had taken off from Red Lake. Malcolm was the other passenger. Just behind him, to the rear of […] Read more >>

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Post image for Arctic Lean-To Revisited

Lean-to shelters have become one of the touchstones of bushcraft, particularly northern forest bushcraft. They are often held up as superb survival shelter – in combination with a long log fire – ideal for surviving cold conditions with limited or no sleeping equipment. This combination is indeed very effective in keeping you warm through the […] Read more >>

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Post image for Choosing And Using A Snow Shovel For Winter Camping And Travel

If you ask people to draw up a list of the equipment they think important to take with them on a winter journey or on a winter camping trip, particularly in the northern forest, they might state an axe for felling dead standing wood for firewood. They might also state a saw for sawing up that firewood into manageable lengths but… Read more >>

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Post image for Hestra Bivak Meets Lovikka: My Quest For Perfect Winter Handwear

In cold environments, a very good set of mittens is essential. A truly good set of mittens is hard to find, though. There’s a lot of tat on the market. Plus mittens that are ideal for one type of environment or activity are not necessarily ideal for another. For a long time I was looking […] Read more >>

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