Outdoor Skills

About Our 1-Day Courses

Hours – Hours for each program are specified in the course descriptions. If no hours are posted, plan to start at 9 am and finish at 4 pm.

Lunch – We take a half-hour break in the middle of the day for lunch. Unless other arrangements have been made, lunch is not provided so you should plan on bringing one.

What To Bring – Dress to spend the day outside and bring some extra layers just in case.

Kids – These workshops are kid-friendly, although the content of some of them (such as navigation) is not. Call for more information on this. Kids 12 and under are free when they come with an adult. Young adults 12-16 are half price.

Private Groups And Locations – These workshops are logistically simple to run in various places, and are a good fit for private groups. We have a page detailing private workshops where you can find more information.


Workshops

Essential Wilderness Survival

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you needed to survive an unplanned stay in the forest or the city where you had to rely on yourself, there are two things to consider: what you need to do and what you need to know. This course cuts through a lot of the misinformation about survival. The first thing we cover is defining what survival is and is not. Then we cover what you need to know in order to not perish. Lastly, we cover what you need to do, with a hands-on component covering core skills. Along the way we’ll look at survival kits and different tools that can help you come home safe. Course runs from 9 am to 4 pm.


Bushcraft Fundamentals

Bushcraft is the active component of our interaction with the natural world. In this course we’ll cover knife use and safety, firelighting by primitive and modern means, the identification of some common edible plants, the selection of quality tools and how to save money on them, making cordage out of plant fibers, making rope using primitive spinners as well as a modern rope spinner, and lastly we’ll display a bunch of useful, simple crafts you can make with materials from the forest. Course runs from 9 am to 4 pm. More Info.


Wild Food Walk – Wild Foods and Herbs of Northern New England

Have you ever wondered which wild plants are edible? How about which ones are nutritious and taste good? If so you should attend our edible and medicinal plant walk and learn about edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful plants from around northern New England and the surrounding states and provinces. You’ll also learn an inexpensive and functional method of pressing plants, and the process of creating your own field guide through a combination of plant pressings (or photographs) and background study.


Land Navigation Course

This course begins with a review of map a compass navigation, followed by an examination of the more subtle arts of barehand navigation, or navigation without any manufactured tools, using the sun, moon, stars, wind, and more to find our way. Along the way, we will debunk several myths of barehand navigation and put our skills to the test with specially designed orienteering exercises.


Axemanship, Knife Use And Bucksaw Construction

The safe, powerful and effective use of the axe has become an exceedingly rare skill seldom practiced these days. But the axe remains the most useful tool you can carry with you in the bush. In this course you’ll learn about choosing a good axe, how to care for it, and how to safely and powerfully perform the four most common tasks: felling, limbing, sectioning and splitting. During the second part of the course we’ll spend time on knife safety and carving. During third part of the workshop you’ll learn to make a bucksaw frame using just a saw blade, your knife, and materials from the forest. Participants should bring their own axe and knife. We’ll have one axe available for group use. Course runs from 9 am to 4 pm.


Fire Without Matches

Come and learn how to make fire by both the friction and percussion methods. Students will craft their own fire apparatus, then put it to use. We will learn such topics as the bow drill, hand drill, fire plough the flint and steel, and the fire piston.


The Sustainable And Self-Reliant Home

What do you do when the power goes out? What if you needed to rely on what you’ve got in your house for an extended period of time? In this course you’ll be introduced to the technologies and techniques that allow us to live comfortably at our field school with no running water or electricity. Topics will include long-term food storage, critter-proof food containers, composting toilets, solar ovens, open-fire cooking, volcano boilers (Thermette and Kelley Kettle), water purification, simple electrical backup systems and generators and muscle-generated electricity. Course runs from 9 am to 12 pm.


Mammal Tracking Workshop

Learn the basics of tracking mammals, print identification, gait patterns, sign tracking, making plaster track casts, and learn to read the landscape with the tracker’s eye.

The animals of the forest are wary of man and use their finely tuned senses to avoid us. By spending a lot of time sitting still and watching they can be seen, but their tracks betray their secrecy and show us who has been around and what they’ve been doing without us having to sit still for hours at a time.

Learn to identify the common tracks in the forest on this 1-day outing. You’ll learn how different animals move, what motivates them, and how to identify their tracks by size, shape, pattern and habitat. You’ll also learn how to pour plaster track casts in the snow, where good places are to look for tracks and some general winter outdoor skills.

We’ll be spending the day in the woods moving through several different habitats. You’ll need to dress warmly, and if there is a lot of snow you should bring snowshoes in order to get around.


Canoe Poling And Paddling

An introduction to the traditional canoe arts of poling and paddling.

Our Sites
· JMB Field School – Long-Term Immersion: Semester & Expedition Programs
· JMB Trips – Classic Wilderness Guiding By Canoe & Snowshoe
· JMB Folk School – Short Courses, Crafts & Lodge-Based Programs
· School Of The Forest – Teen & Youth Programs
· JM Outfitters – Gear From The World’s Smallest Outfitter

Our Blog
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· JMB Blog
 

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