Articles

Wilderness Survival Kit

Whether you’re planning a day hike in a local state park or a week-long adventure in the wilderness, always plan for the unexpected. A wilderness survival kit is a great idea. It’s all too easy to find yourself in a survival situation due to something as simple as slipping on wet rocks or a muddy […]

Posted in Survival SkillsTagged , ,
Boy at Sit Spot

Sit Spot Practices for Kids

Animals are living secret lives all around us all the time. As we become more aware of nature, we can become connected to them as fascinating beings we share the world with. Though it may seem obvious, these animals are individuals with their own temperaments, territories, styles, and sometimes families. To some extent, we can […]

Posted in Core Routines, MentoringTagged , , , ,

Spinning Tales of the Sun, Moon and Stars

The mysteries of the universe have long tantalized mankind, from the peoples of the earliest days of recorded history to the 21st century where space travel, underwater exploration, and even Google Earth have opened new and exciting vistas to us. Throughout these days, years, decades, and centuries, humans sought to explain the universe, whether through […]

Posted in StorytellingTagged , ,

Foraging Survival Foods

Ever wondered what kinds of survival foods you could eat if you were caught in a survival situation? When I first came to Washington, all I could see was a wall of green plants. I knew nothing about what I could and could not eat if I were to get lost in the woods. That […]

Posted in Survival Skills, Wild Food and MedicineTagged , , ,
Fire making is a core survival skill

5 Basic Survival Skills

Survival techniques are plentiful, but there are five basic survival skills that everyone who ventures into the outdoors should understand, and be fully aware of their potential need and use. This is just a brief outline, not a full explanation of all the requirements and items required in each category. One of the most important […]

Posted in Survival SkillsTagged , , ,

How to Make a Survival Water Filter

Is it safe to drink this water? I ask myself that question often and most of the time the answer is no. There often is the risk that bacteria, chemicals, and pathogens, specifically Giardia, are in the water. Rainwater or dew that is resting on non-poisonous plants such as moss is safe to drink as […]

Posted in Survival SkillsTagged , , , ,

How to Make a Bow and Arrow Part 1

I remember the first time I tried to make a bow and arrow. There was a wind storm and many branches were down from the large black oak trees in my backyard. I picked up a stick and ran to get some string from the house. Then I looked for a shorter, straight branch.I took […]

Posted in Primitive ToolsTagged , , , ,
bee on a clover

Insect Sting Treatment and Remedies

Sometimes the smallest thing can be the biggest problem. One of these tiny problems comes in the form of insects—specifically stings. Even if you are not severely allergic to bee or insect stings, it can still be an annoyance with some people experiencing swelling and itching of the site. Whether you are at home in […]

Posted in Survival Skills, Wildlife and TrackingTagged , , , , ,
song sparrow

Bird Behavior: Bird Language Basics

Listening to birds and watching bird behavior allows us to become aware of animal activity, to sneak up on wildlife or unsuspecting friends, and to enhance our senses. In my year at Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake Outdoor School, in Duvall, Washington, I explored the school’s teachings about birds, bird watching, and awareness. Here I’ll share […]

Posted in Birds & Bird LanguageTagged , , , , , ,
water hemlock

Water Hemlock: Deadly Plants

Water Hemlock and its close relations are the most poisonous deadly plants in North America. All parts are deadly poisonous. Even a small mouthful of Water Hemlock can kill an adult. Therefore it stands to reason that ingesting even a little bit of Water Hemlock juice will make a person seriously ill. It’s best to […]

Posted in Survival SkillsTagged , , ,
sense of smell

What’s that Smell?

When someone speaks this phrase they are often indicating that something stinks and they don’t know where it’s coming from. Perfume, fabric softener, and all the strangeness of the cleaning products aisle also come to mind. Our sense of smell is literally attacked by modern fragrances. It’s no wonder that Kamana 2 students, when beginning […]

Posted in Core RoutinesTagged , , ,
west shield

West Shield – Celebration

Welcome to the WEST! This is where the sun sets as we gather around the dinner table in the evening. This the time of Fall harvest, gathering the fruits of the year. As mentors we are tasked with gathering the stories of our students. It is in this shield that we help to weave those […]

Posted in 8 ShieldsTagged , , , ,
carved wooden spoons

Wooden Spoon Carving – Suggested Materials

If you’ve attended one of our spoon-making workshops, here are some recommended resources and tools to continue your carving journey! Books Knives and Wood Carving by Tony Deis Swedish Carving Techniques by Willie Sundqvist Spoon: A Guide to Spoon Carving and the New Wood Culture by Barn the Spoon Knives Morakniv Carving Knife 120 – […]

Posted in Wild CraftingTagged , ,
Fire

Winter Break – Reflections From the Fall Quarter

It was time to gather our small, newly formed community for our final day of the Fall Quarter. We sat shoulder to shoulder in Malalo, one of our outdoor classrooms, as a fire burned high and bright in the center of our group. I was proud of that fire because I took part in creating […]

Posted in Anake StoriesTagged , ,
Tracking at the Oregon Sand Dunes

Water is a Tracker’s Best Friend

I pulled my nose a bit closer to the bone dry, deeply fissured clay and squinted slightly in an attempt to get a better look at the tracks that lay before me as the sun reflected off the clay into my eyes. Jonah Evans, a veteran wildlife tracker and biologist with the Texas Parks and […]

Posted in Wildlife and TrackingTagged , ,
urban cemetery sit spot

An Urban Story of Sitting

I love my neighborhood. It is so full of life—eclectic, eccentric, seedy, edgy, quirky, resilient, creative, beautiful life. Until two years ago, I would have said that all this abundance was predominantly of the human variety. Now, of course, I know differently, as I am greeted by display after stunning display of the bounty that […]

Posted in Core Routines, KamanaTagged , , ,
boy tending a fire

Truly Grateful for the Gift of Nature

One of the greatest gifts in life- especially in our increasingly wired society- is to have a deep connection to nature.  In a world that’s always changing, nature is our one constant. We can rely on the sense of well-being that comes from basking in the sunshine, the awe that comes from absorbing the sheer […]

Posted in Stories of Gratitude, Youth Program StoriesTagged ,
sparrow diving

Why I Buy Sunflower Seeds

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you run and run but never seem to get anywhere? I woke up from a nap the other day with my heart pounding and sweat beading on my forehead. I hadn’t been running in my dream—I had been flapping. I dreamt I was a migrating bird. […]

Posted in Birds & Bird LanguageTagged , , , , ,