For Email Newsletters you can trust

Course Catalog

Course Catalog

Subsistence Shore Fishing in Western Washington: Lakes, Rivers & Saltwater Piers

This article is based on the Conservation College subsistence fishing curriculum developed by Master Fisherman, Lead Instructor & Wild Chef Charlie Borrowman. Join us at our next fishing workshop, usually scheduled in mid June.

Wolf Camp summer participant with sole caught on high-low rig.

Many people view fishing as a recreational past time, but at the Conservation College, we are a bit more pragmatic. It’s a subsistence activity for us. We train ourselves and others to follow laws and traditions to fish local rivers, foothill lakes, and the Salish Sea. Target animals include trout including steelhead, salmon, bass, surf . . . → Read More: Subsistence Shore Fishing in Western Washington: Lakes, Rivers & Saltwater Piers

OJT at the Teaching Nature – Professional Training for Outdoor Educators

My OJT Experience by Ben Kleiber

Teachers training week at Wolf Camp and the Conservation College is full of preparing for classes and rapid-fire teaching full of information. It can be stressful at times but ends up being the most valuable week of the summer.

Working with all ages for a week gives an entirely different sense of how to teach and interact with kids than almost any other experience. Being with the kids for upwards of six hours a day and teaching them entirely new skills also allows all the Wolf Camp instructors to improve their teaching skills . . . → Read More: OJT at the Teaching Nature – Professional Training for Outdoor Educators

How to Pit Cook in the Outdoors

Unsurprisingly, many people have never even heard of pit cooking. Getting our food that close to dirt is enough to make anyone uncomfortable, and with the invention of indoor ovens, pit cooking has become widely ignored in our culture. Lately though, there has been a resurgence of similar outdoor cooking trends, including La Caja China BBQ Box | Cajun Pig Roasts.

While that’s a recent and great beach party innovation, another similar example is one of the few remaining traditions surviving the modernized world: the traditional luau Kahlua pig as shown in the video above. These traditional Hawaiian festivities . . . → Read More: How to Pit Cook in the Outdoors

How to Make an Appalachian Potato Basket

Basketry is a fascinating and ancient traditional craft that dates back to the earliest humans. Our ancestors created and developed the basket as a method for transporting food, water, children, and other materials. I love the history behind basket making — it’s kind of like the invention of the wheel. Our ancestors figured out how to use the natural materials of their environment to create a system for transporting the ‘stuff’ that was essential for their survival.

Without a doubt, these first baskets were simple and without frills. However, over time, the tradition of basketry has created a variety . . . → Read More: How to Make an Appalachian Potato Basket

Nikki van Schyndel “Becoming Wild” Book Review

Book Review by Patrick Wiley

When I received an unexpected email detailing the upcoming release of Nikki van Schyndel’s Becoming Wild, I was ecstatic. I had heard about the book seven years prior, but it had practically become an urban legend. Drawing upon my own experience and occasional lack of follow through, I had long ago concluded that the book was probably just a dream Nikki held that would never come to fruition. As is often the case, Nikki proved me wrong. Nearly a decade after the initial birthing of an idea, Nikki’s book has arrived. The . . . → Read More: Nikki van Schyndel “Becoming Wild” Book Review

Traditional Parfleche & Hide Tanning to Make Buckskin Leather

How to Make Traditional Parfleche & Tan Hides for Buckskin Leather

1. Gut & Skin Hide removing as much fat as possible, but not puncturing hide with knife. In fact, just make your initial cuts and PULL IT off. There is a youtube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WzioyMC4qg that shows HOW TO GUT pretty well, but skip to this youtube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLlU3l7YkTo for HOW TO SKIN a deer. Also look at the related recommended youtube videos that appear alongside these since people are always uploading new and better ones as time goes by. If you can’t work with the . . . → Read More: Traditional Parfleche & Hide Tanning to Make Buckskin Leather

Traditional Big Game Bow & Arrow Making Instructions

A. Harvest the Wood Quickie Bow: Start with a relatively straight section of sapling or branch that is as free as possible from knots and side branches, and without any twist. You want this straight section to be 1-2 meters long and about 3-6 centimeters in diameter. Remember to cut carefully so not to create cracks or splits in the wood.* Big Game Bow: In the pacific northwest, find healthy stand of Pacific Yew, Vine Maple or Sitka Spruce. Harvest with a gardener’s eye. Here’s a good “moderate bow” video especially Material Selection & Preparation, with great overview starting . . . → Read More: Traditional Big Game Bow & Arrow Making Instructions

Bow Drill Fire Making Kits – Directions, Tips, Tricks, Pitfalls & Advice

Making traditional fire by friction, or “rubbing two sticks together” is real, and it’s more than a fun project: it’s also the most reliable way to start a fire once you learn how. How can an ancient way of starting fire be the most reliable if it is difficult? Well, it’s only difficult if you haven’t learned how. Once you learn, then it becomes the most reliable method because the coal you create is durable in cold, rainy, and windy conditions. Further, you can’t “run out” of fire lighting material if you know how to make traditional fire by . . . → Read More: Bow Drill Fire Making Kits – Directions, Tips, Tricks, Pitfalls & Advice

The Best Way To Make A Fire: Bed, Pillow & Blanket plus Criss-Cross Construction

Guardian of the Fire by Joanna Powell Colbert

I almost made my own fire-making video, but then I saw this great video by Peter Kummerfeldt who does a superb job explaining the best way to make a fire at Outdoor Survival-Chapter 9-Fire. The only thing missing from his explanation is that fire needs shelter. In fact, fire has the following 4 requirements:

Fuel Air Shelter Ignition, which Peter describes as “heat” in his video. The second and third sections of my article below emphasize the need that fire has for shelter, something few people realize. First, watch Peter’s great fire-making video:

The Bed, Pillow & . . . → Read More: The Best Way To Make A Fire: Bed, Pillow & Blanket plus Criss-Cross Construction

How to Cook Over a Campfire

It’s hard to think of anything that embodies the spirit of the great outdoors more than a good old-fashioned campfire under the stars. They provide us with warmth, light, and a great social atmosphere. There’s something deeply human about huddling around a raging fire with friends and family that brings us all closer together. Great food is one of the other few things in this world with the same power to rally us together and lift our spirits. Put them together and you have a guaranteed recipe for success. With a few basic tips, cooking over a . . . → Read More: How to Cook Over a Campfire

Top Native Plants To Learn for Herbal Medicine: Part 1 of 2

Rachel Edwards with Yarrow

The following plants which are native to the Pacific Northwest either 1) are scientifically proven to effectively treat health issues, or 2) I have personally tested to work. However, many of them should only be used under the care and advice of a naturopathic physician. Please seek medical advice and never rely on internet advice to treat problems.

Plant Properties You Need To Learn from Botany in a Day

This article is designed to help the beginner cut out the chaff, and start studying the plants that will give a solid foundation of knowledge. But it’s not . . . → Read More: Top Native Plants To Learn for Herbal Medicine: Part 1 of 2

Good-Bye Debris Hut, Hello to the Best Emergency Wilderness Survival Sheltering System: The Wolf College BIVOUAC BED & EAGLE’S NEST plus bivy bag recommendations

Since the founding of the Boy Scouts and to the era of modern of survival schools, the “debris hut” has enjoyed great popularity. Unfortunately, the debris hut is not a practical design for emergency shelter.

To build a debris hut, you need 1) plenty of time, which no one in a survival situation has, 2) a mind sharp enough to employ woodcraft knowledge, which almost no one in a survival situation has, 3) an able body, which most people in survival situations do not have because of injury, deydration, hypothermia, etc., and 4) abundant wood and debris, which . . . → Read More: Good-Bye Debris Hut, Hello to the Best Emergency Wilderness Survival Sheltering System: The Wolf College BIVOUAC BED & EAGLE’S NEST plus bivy bag recommendations

First Monthly Outdoor Skills Newsletter publishes March 4th, 2013

Sign up for our First Tuesday of the Month Outdoor Skills Newsletter

The newsletter contains deals and information not available anywhere else! Examples include:

– Where to find current hot wildlife spots and more – Previews of program ideas and upcoming skills videos – Mini skills newsletter workshops from our workshop hand-outs – Special program discount offers for things like helping us design a newsletter cover:)