Posts tagged ‘Primitive Skills’

July 8, 2012

Dances with Mosquitoes

Alaskan Mosquitoes, in abundance.

Often when folks find out I’m into primitive living in places like the Northwoods of Wisconsin or the Interior of Alaska, one of the first questions they ask me is “How do you deal with mosquitoes?” Or “What’s the best natural mosquito repellent?”

For a long time I was unsure how to answer, there didn’t seem to be one simple replacement for DEET. But it finally dawned on me.

August 26, 2011

The hearth outside my cabin.

“A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald but if he has fire, women will like him.”  –Mae West

I sure hope that’s true.  Especially the “fire making up for going bald” part.

Anyway, as I mentioned in a previous post, I once participated in a year-long primitive skills immersion in the Northwoods of Wisconsin with some mighty-fine folks.  However, when we went into the forest to make camp, we kinda over-did the building of our first hearth.

July 14, 2011

Birch Syrup from a Magic Forest

“There is always music amongst the trees…but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.”  ~Minnie Aumonier

It’s a little late in the year for this post, but I’m afraid I wasn’t writing yet when the sap started to flow in the birches.  So I’m about to take you back in time.  It’s easy to do, after all, since time, like words, exist in our imagination.

So imagine a grove of calm white birch trees: bright, open, and inviting. A friend of mine who grew up in East Germany during the cold war once told me that, in the Russian fairy tales she heard as a child, birch groves were always good and full of magic.

July 7, 2011

My #1 primitive survival tool: the rock in my pocket.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”  ~Meister Eckhart

“Gratitude is the best attitude.”  ~Author Unknown

A few years ago, I visited North America’s largest lake while attending the Lake Superior Traditional Ways Gathering on the Bad-River Indian Reservation.  Walking along the shore, I picked up a small smooth stone and put it in my pocket.

That stone has been with me ever since.  It is my number one survival tool — the most important tool I carry.  Even more important to me than the pocketknife that usually sits next to it.

June 22, 2011

The bias I share with Tyler Durden.

I’d like to start this journal off on the right foot, so I’d like to be honest about one of the fundamental biases I’ll be writing from.

That bias is: “Life is good.”

I know, I know, I read that on a baseball cap the other day…stereotypical pop-culture b.s.. How simplistic. How unimaginative. How dull. And I’ll respond with: “Yeah, that’s true.” It is simplistic and dull, for sure. But trust me, the baseball cap isn’t where I got the idea. And, as Daniel Quinn once said: “The real secrets in life are the ones you can publish on billboards and they still remain secret.”

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