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Home > Magazine > Woodcraft
Free Camping! --Dispersed Camping in Michigan
September 23, 2013 - Hopefully most other states have Dispersed Camping as well. I'm pretty sure that it's legal on all Federal Forest land. If you're tired of paying RV-like rates to pitch your tent just head to state or federal lands that are more than a mile away from an established campground and camp as you please for free for up to two we...  > Read Article

Autumn Mushrooms: a bold new season
August 18, 2013 - Like many Michiganders I've long been a fan of Morel mushrooms. They're the most confident and easily ID'ed mushroom -- and one of the tastiest -- so that's what most locals pick. Spring is for mushrooms. Well, autumn is a huge mushroom season as well, only the choice species of this time are less well known. Still, I've been s...  > Read Article

Winter Thrill: The Drama of Tracks
January 28, 2013 - I just had the best winter thrill! Not enuf snow for trail skiing, but it's been cold so I went and skied the frozen river. It's PERFECT! (Open areas of running water and all -- the flow is pretty to see -- the shallow water is very clear. It's solid a few feet away. If you're afraid of your local river: explore it. The more ...  > Read Article

New Encyclopedia of Outdoor Hook'n'Bullet Skills
June 28, 2012 - It's been, what, decades since a book came along telling us how to do all the various hook'n'bullet sports. What would that have been back then? I'm thinking that only the McClane's books would've done the trick -- and then you'd need both the Hunting and the Fishing encyclopedias. I'm probably overlooking some worthies -- so lem...  > Read Article | Go to Website

Vintage Survival Skills Video, Courtesy of the Military
January 28, 2012 - "Tastes like chicken!" Here's a link to a YT video that seems kind of cute from this distance. I wonder how many times these skills were used in the war. I'd think only a few. I suppose parts of the training came in handy. It seems that reality would likely be a bit less tidy. Read Article | Go to Website

Get Cold to Stay Warm
January 20, 2012 - How to stay warm this time of year? It can be tough. But there seems to be a knack to it. The main feature of the knack, as far as I've learned it, is that the first 15 minutes can be real cold and painful ... and that's OK. The key being: don't give up! Don't think "I'm not cut out for this," or that you're dressed wrong. If...  > Read Article

Wild Food...
September 22, 2011 - I have a hard time passing up things like... A local old guy who was a major vintner died. Now I see his old overgrown, weedy vines along the road -- chock full of ripe grapes now. Makes me wanna pick 'em SO BAD. They go to waste each year now, I'm pretty sure. I'm the same about roadside apple trees: all those apples, I wa...  > Read Article

The Ethics of Mushroom Picking
May 15, 2011 - I hadn't appreciated the ethics of mushroom picking until now. I knew vague things about picking with a mesh bag so that spores can drop. But, really, it sounds like we need to leave a few, plus little and old ones, and also leave as much stem as possible. Buffs also do transplanting -- stashing good 'shrooms in likely spots. ...  > Read Article | Go to Website

OYB on the cover of Backwoodsman!
April 25, 2011 - The synergy rolls on! The OYB message of all-one-world-outdoor-sport has recently appeared in: Messing About in Boats, Silent Sports and Canoe History. Now it has been two issues in a row of Backwoodsman! (Last month had 2 OYB stories, in fact: the crayfish report and a big letter about outdoor-themed wall displays.) Coming ...  > Read Article | Go to Website

Backwoodsman: Guess Who is on the Cover Next Issue?
March 04, 2011 - Les Stroud is on the cover this month. But *I* get to hog the cover on the next issue! : ) Yee-haw! They're running my canoe poling and SUP paddling piece with pics inside. Our neighbor boy Ben took the cover pic (at my direction) and our lad Henry was paddling stern to control the camera canoe -- so they'll both get the...  > Read Article | Go to Website

Celestial Navigation is Still Cool
August 27, 2010 - You don't have to know how to use a sextant anymore to get places on the wide open sea, but I still think it'd be neat to know how to use one of those things, or at least to know how it works. Years ago I acquired a big old wood sailboat and was set to fulfill my dream of sailing the seas. I did get to do a bunch of sailing and...  > Read Article

Heroes of Primitive Skills, Michigan-Style
March 29, 2010 - I'm sure there are plenty of great primitive skills instructors everywhere, but my hunch is that we're lucky here in Michigan to have the people we do. I've just been impressed whenever I encounter them. Their calling is a noble one. Kids and people's lives are surely changed. Helpful contact with the Wild and with the Her...  > Read Article

OYB as an Outdoor Rec Program?
February 01, 2010 - The MMBA Show was interesting. I like throwing a booth a few times a year -- gets me outta the house. I got an Inspiration at this show. I'm starting to think that books aren't where it's at. Books were helpful to me as a kid, and have been hugely helpful to me throughout my whole life, but in general the peoples don't seem into...  > Read Article

Ruminations on Postmodernism and Outdoor Sport
January 15, 2010 - I've long had a hunch that aspects of the outdoor life reflect the cutting edge in social issues and in underground media, but I couldn't connect it all up. I'm still lost, but I think there's a there there. I recently bumped into three books that seemed to suggest this as well. They provoked me into trying to sort this out f...  > Read Article

Jack-of-All Contests: Total Outdoorsman, Quadrathlon & Co.
October 28, 2009 - I like the Jack of All Trades concept. And specialized sports seems to work against this. There are a few competitions out there that seem designed to measure the Versatility Quotient better than others do. These kinds of contests have been around for 100+ years. They were held at the old Mountain Man Rendezvous. The earlie...  > Read Article

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