The myriad jingle-jangle gadgets of some of our modern outdoorsmen would make our ancestral buckskin men turn in their graves. Their packs were light and their equipment meager, for these adventurous and picturesque wilderness men depended upon their skill and ingenuity in woodcraft rather than upon a lot of "things."

Let us, then, conjure up those wilderness men of the past, both red and white. Let us ask them to sit with us in council around the campfire. And in the shifting ghostlike wreaths of the smoke we may catch glimpses of them in fringed buckskins with tomahawk and long rifle.

Ellsworth Jaeger, Wildwood Wisdom, p. 1 (1992 reprint of 1945 edition)

Two Decades of Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day and I’m the first one up. I’m sitting here reflecting on years gone by, and it’s dawning on me that Father’s Day has slowly and subtly changed for me over the years. So if you don’t mind walking with me down memory lane for a few minutes …

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How to Use a Nite Ize Figure 9 Rope Tightener & Figure 9 Carabiner

I love knots. I practice knots just for fun. Sitting around a campfire or conversation circle, some folks will whittle. Others will knit. I tie knots. Which is why I’m surprised that I love Nite Ize Figure 9s as much as I do. I guess I have to admit that, in the situations they’re designed for, Figure 9s can not only replace knots, they’re vastly simpler. Here’s how to use them.

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A Rope Kit for Backpacking

You could say that rope is the backbone of a campsite. It goes into everything from tents and shelters to cooking tripods and furniture. One of the best ideas I’ve seen in a long time is a “rope kit” — an organized collection of pre-cut ropes. Here’s how to put one together.

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In Praise of Wood Hiking Sticks

The wooden staff has been keeping travelers company ever since that first soul got an itch to wander. Largely replaced by trekking poles today, there is still a place for a sturdy, wood hiking stick.

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Mora Model 511/546: The Perfect Knife for Boy Scouts

Mora knives have earned a reputation as cheap but outstanding blades. Two of them, Mora models 511 and 546, make the perfect knife for teaching boy scouts and young outdoorsmen good knife skills. Pick up a 511/546 and you’ll discover a sturdy, safe knife that fits younger hands well. It fits a scout budget even better.

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Mora Knife Models Explained and Compared

So you want to buy a Mora knife. The problem is, you visited a web store and found dozens of models. To make matters worse, it was hard to see any difference at all between them. In this article, we explain the differences between the most popular Mora knives.

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How to Choose and Buy Your First Knife

If you’ve ever stood in front of a knife display case, you can appreciate how widely knives vary and how perplexing it can be to figure out what knife will fit you best. In this article, we’ll touch on the high points of knife selection for first-time buyers. Continue reading »

Using Petroleum Jelly Cotton Balls as a Fire Starter

When it comes to starting fires in the wild, I can’t think of any option as cheap, light-weight, and fool-proof as homemade petroleum jelly cotton balls. Petroleum jelly cotton balls almost guarantee me a fire, even in adverse conditions. In this report, I describe how I make and use them.

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