Visit us on Facebook

Photos, Project Reports and Event Updates

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Teachers At Woodsmoke

Woodsmoke Teaching Staff

Tim Smith of Jack Mountain Bushcraft School

Tim Smith has been a long-time leader in bringing the field of "bushcraft" to the US. He has made the effort to connect with the international market and regularly works with groups and individuals who make their way to his operation in Maine. Tim has been a student of the craft for a long time. He has mastered many of the skills and continues to give credit to his mentors and makes room for them to teach with him. Tim will be with us at Woodsmoke this year, so if you have been a fan of what you've seen on his website and YouTube, then make sure you mark July 8-14 on your calendar, and plan to be at Woodsmoke as well.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Teachers At Woodsmoke

Woodsmoke Teaching Staff

Mors teaching how to build a lean-to - Part 1

Mors Kochanski - Master Bushman
As most bushcrafters have figured out, Mors Kochanski is the source for much of what is currently taught in the field. Mors is the quintisential master teacher. We have worked in cooperation with Mors for well over 20 years, and feel fortunate to have him consent to be our Keynote Speaker at Woodsmoke.

Don Kevilus says that anyone interested in bushcraft "needs to be Kochanskied." Mors is such a rich resource that you never seem to empty his fountain of knowledge. If you do nothing else in your life, plan to spend time in the field with Mors.

Teachers At Woodsmoke

Woodsmoke Teaching Staff
We are getting confirmations back from this years teaching staff every day now. We will let you know who will be on hand to teach as the months progress. Invitations have been sent to leaders in the classic camping and bushcraft fields. If you visit our site, you can see our staff directory for our primitive skills gatherings. Backtracks has the reputation of attracting the best teachers available.

Don Kevilus - Four Dog Stoves

To begin with, we want to introduce Don Kevilus, the mad scientist of wood burning stoves. Don is the owner of Four Dog Stove Co. and recognized as a leader in wood stove technology in both tent stove and bushcooker designs. Including being an expert in the art and science of stove heating and cooking, Don is a master teacher. He will be showing us his latest and greatest stove designs as well as conducting a wood stove-making workshop as part of the University of Woodcraft series. Sign up now and plan to attend one of Don's master classes at Woodsmoke.

Check out this article written by Steve Watts and layed-out by David Wescott in last month's issue (Sept/Oct 2011) of Backwoodsman magazine. This is a preview of what the new book series will look like. It's also a pretty good foundation on where our fascination with classic skills comes from. Bushcrafters can use it to establish a context for the many skills they practice that have a uniquely American frontier heritage.

A photo from ca.1990: Left - David Wescott, center - Dick Jamison, right - Larry Dean Olsen. The genealogy of skills traditions is an important thing to remember.

A Genealogy of Skills Traditions

In 1988, Larry Dean Olsen (author of Outdoor Survival Skills and founder of the Woodsmoke Journal in the late 70s) gave us permission to use the Rabbit Stick name to reinvent this unique teaching and learning experience. Rabbit Stick Rendezvous had been discontinued after the 1978 event, so our reissue of the new event as Rabbitstick after 20 years marked the reintroduction of an important part of the contemporary primitive skills movement. 2012 marks our 25th year of hosting this nationally recognized gathering (For information visit us at

In 1979, Dick and Linda Jamison (authors and creators of the acclaimed Woodsmoke books and video series) took over as hosts and called their event the Woodsmoke Rendezvous. In 1982 the name was changed to the Woodsmoke Primitive Living Conference, and was discontinued shortly after that. Last year, we approached the Jamison’s asking permission to use the Woodsmoke name for our newest skills gathering. They not only granted permission, but promised that if health issues would allow, they would join us at the new gathering.

We are aware that there has been a Woodsmoke mountain man rendezvous conducted in the intervening years, but we decided that the genealogy of passing on a name, and the traditions that we want to preserve, make our event unique enough that resurrecting the Woodsmoke name is important to this new effort. 2012 will mark 30 years since a Woodsmoke gathering has been held. Make sure you don’t miss this important anniversary event July 8-14, 2012.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Join the Classic Camping Crew

Stay in touch with us and learn about upcoming events where you can learn and use your classic camping skills. The next event will be held in conjunction with the Kephart Days celebration in Bryson CIty, NC. Steve Watts will be the camp organizer.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

- It’s Official –

New Dates For Woodsmoke Kick-off

• We’re rescheduling the kick-off dates for the First Annual Woodsmoke Classic Camping and Bushcraft Rendezvous. The new dates will be July 8-14, 2012.

The Classic Camping Re-encampment dedicated to Stewart Edward White will be held July 7-8, 2012 – the Saturday and Sunday prior to the opening of the event.

We apologize to those who had their hearts set on the event starting this year. We know you have been making plans for this August, and this is a real disappointment to those who have been chomping at the bit to be here. But, we have decided that it’s better to postpone and build even more excitement than to come out with a half-baked event that turns out to be a disappointment rather than contributing to a renaissance of our classic woodcraft traditions.

Here’s How It Will Work

July 6 Classic Camp set-up.

July 7-8 Teton Basin Re-Encampment – Dedicated to Stewart Edward White - A demonstration camp open to the public that will represent the Golden Age of Camping. This will be a 1920s re-encampment complete with canvas, cast iron, lanterns and brass, old cars, wagons and lots of classic woodcraft demonstrations. Join us in traditional dress and camping gear, and go Camping In The Old Style. (Note- Participants must apply to be a demonstrator and re-enactor. Those chosen will receive a reduced rate for the rendezvous. The classic camp will be the center of the event for the entire week).

July 8 Woodsmoke Welcome event Sunday evening. This will be an open hearth dinner and Keynote Address by Mors Kochanski.

July 9-11 The First International Classic Camping and Bushcraft Symposium These two fields have a common ground – our classic woodcraft traditions. Monday thru Wednesday will focus on the presentation of papers, discussions, program models, as well as Bushcraft 101 – hands-on short courses on a variety of neat bushcraft skills and tricks. (Consider this a Call for Presenters to apply).

July 12-14 The University of Woodcraft – an in-depth exploration of the secrets of Campcraft, Trailcraft, Woodcraft, and Woodslore. You will choose one from over a dozen topics, and work with a mentor for 3 days to create a finished project. Courses will have limited capacities (10-12) and will fill on a first-come-first-served basis. A materials charge, for projects requiring it, will be in addition to the main rendezvous price.

University of Woodcraft Courses - Choose 1 of the 12 courses offered.

Woodcraft – Scandinavian Stacked Handle Knives and Sheaths

Understanding Wood – Spoons, Kuksa’s, Crafting Tools

Brain-Tanning Deer Hides

Woodslore - Tracking, Trapping, Processing Game

Plant Lore – Edible, Medicinal, Constructive

Navigation – Prehistoric, Historic, Modern methods

Campcraft - Wood Stove Making

Camp Clothing – Capotes, Mittens, Hats

Open Hearth Camp Cooking

Trailcraft - Trapper Nelson Pack making- Frames and bags

Canoe Equipment – Paddle carving, wannigans, tumps

Dirtbagger’s Deluxe – Scratch Kit making

If you have suggestions for the event, or University of Woodcraft classes you would like to see us offer, please contact us. The cost for the week will be $275 until March 1. After that it goes up to $325 and on June 1 it goes up to $350. This includes camping, Symposium workshop materials, 2 meals each day, and an amazing week of camaradrie and learning.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

COS is back in print!
Go to and get your copy today!