Trust the Sun—Natural Navigation

I’m often admonished by others, survival instructors included, towards my dismissal of a compass for navigation and also the fact I say a map is more important than a compass for navigation. I even jest at survival manuals that teach how to find cardinal directions by the shadow stick method— place a stick in the ground and place a stone or marker at the tip of the shadow cast by the stick and continue to do so every fifteen methods to determine an approximate East West line. Another is the watch shadow method—By pointing the hour hand at the sun, way between the hour hand and 12 o’clock is South, or North, depending if you roll counterclockwise or clockwise in your estimation. Sound Confusing? Don’t worry you don’t need it. These tips are nothing more than fodder to fill the pages of books, but frankly not needed. The fact is, these are relatively new creations, yet navigators have been navigating without these techniques for centuries.

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Promoting Outdoor Living Skills

For a long time, I’ve been abhorrent to credentialing survival instructors, partly because I was just so opposed to a governing agency telling me what to do. But over the last few months I’ve seen an increase, or at least become aware, in information that really is questionable as it pertains to survival. For this reason, my opinion has changed.

All too often many a would be wilderness survival instructors have cobbled together some bushcraft skills together and called them survival. Sadly, their marketing prowess have mislead the unknowing into believing this often misleading information. Rarely has anyone ever captured the true essence of survival, that is to mitigate a life threatening emergency as fast as possible in the easiest fashion possible. Instead, would be instructors attempt to dazzle you with tools and techniques that are void of sound principles.

It appears our friends over at have also been thinking the same thing and they have written a rather thoughtful article on the very subject. What’s equally interesting are the exchange of comments at the end of the article.

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Barbecue Apple Crisp

I’m absolutely blown away by people’s outdoor cooking creativity and this time is no different.

Though I haven’t tried it yet myself, the genius is in its simplicity and the results appear mouthwatering.



Here is the recipe that is being featured in The Hinton Voice this week. It is still incredibly surreal seeing my recipes in print! I absolutely love the first Thursday of every month! :)

Now that its quite nice outside in the mornings, I have started reading my paper on the deck with a cup of coffee – it’s a few moments of Zen before my crazy day begins.

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70 Days in Alaska Living Off the Land

Many of us dream about one day just checking out and heading into the hills to live a life of the mountain man. Others often live with the nagging question “I wonder if I could really stay out there for an extended amount of time and live by my wits?” Most will never get to realize their dream, while others will drop out before they start. But there is one person who had this dream and finally one day was able to realize it, putting himself to the ultimate test—heading into the Alaskan Wilderness with no food and foraging, hunting and fishing his way through 70 days.

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Chicken with Honey Beer Sauce


I believe it was early 2010 sometime and I was on business at JFTB (Joint Forces Training Base) Los Alamitos. After a long day in the field, a group of us went to the pub on base for a much needed drink and meal. The pub is a little unique in that it has an outside patio with gas grills set up where one can grill up their own food, have a drink, and watch the military aircraft come and go.

I decided to grill up some chicken, knowing well my chicken grilling skills always seemed to leave the chicken on the dry side. But hey, I was hungry and chicken is what I was craving. When I ordered up a breast to toss on the grill, the bar maiden asked if I would like it marinated for about 20 minutes first. “Why not”. I watched her as she proceeded to pour out a healthy dose of teriyaki sauce in a shallow bowl, followed by Guinness straight from the tap. To this she immersed the chicken breast and set it aside.
To this day I can not forget how juicy and tender that chicken was after I pulled it off the grill. Sure, I seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper and some other things once on the grill, but the sweetness of the teriyaki and beer really made a difference.

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Happy People… Extended Episodes

Last year I wrote an article about the documentary “Happy People, a Year in the Taiga“. The documentary follows Siberian trappers as they make a life in the Taiga. Sometime back, the documentary was broken down into four separate one

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The Dangerous Side of Survival TV

Here is an eye opening account of what many of us already knew. Cody Lundin Pretty much dismantles the Survival TV business brick by Brick.

It’s a fairly long Story, but well worth the read, covering all the shows, not just Dual survival. It does talk of all the shenanigans the producers pulled and attempted to pull on the Cody and his cohost, however.


On the wall of a tiny wood cabin outside Prescott, Arizona, hangs a large poster of Cody Lundin staring intensely with a thin half-smile. Below him is a quote: “Learn survival skills from an expert.” Lundin was one of the stars of the Discovery Channel series Dual Survivalfor three and a half of the show’s first four seasons, until he departed abruptly late last year. He has been a survival instructor, running his Aboriginal Living Skills School, since the early ’90s. This cabin is ostensibly the school’s store, though there’s little for sale beyond some knives, a few magnesium fire-starters, and small tubes of AfterBite.

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Diving Sparrow Kephart— REVIEW


Most folks don’t know who Horace Kephart is, but to a lot of us he embodies what traditional camping is—a time when leather and canvas were synonymous with camping.

Horace Kephart, undoubtedly, romanticized camping with his book, “Camping and Woodcraft”, written in such prose as to spark the imagination of any young person in the field of camping.

Kephart, to many, is considered the dean of camping and as such has created a cult following of sorts.

I can’t deny he hasn’t affected me as well and as an homage I wanted a way to pay back the inspiration that was Kephart.

Every October there is a set of dates put aside for the commemoration of Kephart, known as Kephart days.

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How to Make Your Own Bacon

Hardly anything can compare with the sweet sound of bacon sizzling over an open campfire on a cool crisp morning as you quietly gaze over an open mist covered lake, as you sip on a hot cup of coffee.

Let’s face it, bacon is so awesome we even have a national bacon lover’s month. But what is even more awesome is making your own bacon.

Here’s an easy recipe that will have you licking your chops after you cook them up.

The recipe below is from Michael Ruhlman, with process modifications based on the guidance of our local charcuterie expert,

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Decoding California Trapping Law

Though California has major restrictions for many things, trapping being one of them, it is still possible to pursue it here, legally. In fact, trapping licenses can be gotten after taking a test and paying a fee to the DFG. The big thing for any budding trapper, here in California, is decoding the laws.

I’ve gone through the manual many times and have arranged important parts in an order that makes sense, as it relates to they methods of take and the animals.

To begin, throughout the manual one will find reference to fur bearing animals, so lets figure out which animals are considered fur bearing

According to the manual Fur Bearing mammals are the falling:

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