Saturday, January 19, 2008

John McPherson

I have long dreamed of going into the wilderness with nothing and seeing what kind of life could be made and the progression of necessary skills that would be made evident in such a situation. I have recently come across a book written by John McPherson and his wife. The whole premise is going into the woods naked and making a life for yourself. The couple have not just written a book on the theory but the actual doing of skills with how-to information and pictures along the way. Whether it's taking 3 days to chop down a cottonwood tree with stone tools they made to be able to make a dug-out canoe, or the wife showing how to gut and part out a deer using a sharp sliver made by flint-knapping. I am really impressed that these authors actually have experience in what they relate. I rented this book from the library and the only negative thing I have to say about it is that it was stolen! Someone entered our cars while parked in our driveway and stole lots of things and the book was among them! The book is called "Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness" A necessary read for true primitive skills practitioners! Good luck!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


On Friday and Saturday I was able to go camping with the youth of my church. The temperature was in the mid thirties and we had a light drizzle every so often. I didn't attempt to practice any outdoor skills using primitive techniques, because I was in charge of the whole event and knew going into this that time would not be on my side. I was the first to the site and had to shovel some paths and start the fire as well as set up a tent for me to stay in. The boys stayed in a large canvas military tent which was on the site ready to go. Before anyone arrived I was able to get away and take a walk across the frozen lake and I explored along the lakes perimeter. I found an old attempt at a log cabin. Nature brings all things back to her and the cabin was already starting to return to the earth that the cabin logs had grown from. It is always interesting to contemplate who had been there and had desired to dwell and how time and nature had other plans.
I had a great time with my brother who came out, and we snowboarded and sledded with the youth among the trees on a large hill overlooking the campsite. I noticed the hill behind where we would start our runs and could see the snow and leaves all torn up from deer. I saw a few turkey tracks and plenty of squirrels who had taken advantage of the above freezing days to gather and forage. I was glad simply to be outdoors and to be able to contemplate my life. I go back to school tomorrow and in doing so will find limited opportunity to be outdoors, which is understandable but saddens me. The good news is that nature will always receive us when we do return home.