Lessons From Applying The North American Winter Camping Style In The Scandinavian Boreal Forest

Lessons From Applying The North American Winter Camping Style In The Scandinavian Boreal Forest

Lessons From Applying The North American Winter Camping Style In the Scandinavian Boreal Forest was the snappy title of a presentation I gave on the main stage at the 2019 Global Bushcraft Symposium (GBS) in Alberta, Canada.

The main theme of the symposium was “skills in context”, and I wanted to make a presentation that tapped into this core messaging, as well as providing an example of some of the global exchange of ideas and techniques we are seeing across bushcraft specifically and wilderness skills more generally.

Also, I’d been asked to make a keynote presentation at the symposium (which you can watch here) and I wanted to make two quite different but complimentary presentations.

On one level this presentation is about my winter camping experiences in northern Sweden and what my buddies and I learned from these experiences; practical take-aways if you will.

There are also some lessons in meta learning. There is a model for learning new environment specific skills here, as well as demonstrating the value of building relevant experience in durable layers.

There is a message of honouring and learning from those who have gone before you, and crediting their help (another emergent theme of the GBS). Plus I touch on how you represent your experiences to the wider world (something I examine in more depth in my keynote) and consider when one should turn personal experience into teaching or guiding.

I have edited my slides into the presentation and they are clearer to see than if you were at the presentation. I should also thank Randy Breeuwsma of Karamat Wilderness Ways and Tyler White of TJack Survival for additional video footage of my time on stage.

Please enjoy this presentation, which also includes a Q&A session towards the end…

You can view my presentation slides here on SlideShare.

Links and References

Bruce Zawalsky – Boreal Wilderness Institute
André-François Bourbeau’s 2019 GBS Keynote
Snowtekker Tents
Black River Sleds
Faber Snow Shoes
Country Ways Snowshoes
Tegsnas Skis
Madshus SkisFrontier Bushcraft Bloodvein River Trip

Books Referenced In The Presentation

Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog

A Winter Camping Trip in the Northern Forest

Winter Magic: Return To The Northern Forest

Fjelltur: A Norwegian Adventure

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

Way Out North: A Boreal Forest Foray

PK Podcast 042: Mors Kochanski, Northern Bushcraft Legend

4 thoughts on “Lessons From Applying The North American Winter Camping Style In The Scandinavian Boreal Forest

  1. Hi!! As always extremely inspiering.. But what is your thought on skis vs snow shoes traveling in the boreal forest in the winter. I have heard something that the snow is dryer in north-Amerika. That’s why the different traditions.. I just love skis…

    Swede on skis

    P.S looking fordward to more stuff from you and some great winter days..

  2. Many thanks Paul for the great presentation! Again I learned a lot about camping in the boreal at winter. Nice to see that even the experts in bushcraft do a lot of research, reading and testing before they head into such an adventure.

  3. Took me a few months before I watched this. Solid presentation as always, Paul. Great! A couple of personal questions, if you’re obliging.

    You seem really interested in the boreal. Why is that? What drew you to it? I’d be curious to see how this passion arose.

    You imply it’s not really for you, but I’m wondering if you’d consider being an expedition leader? Not over mountains, but perhaps something like this – winter camping into a boreal forest? I think you’d be great.

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