If I’m just out for the night enjoying the out doors, it’ll be categorized here.

In the Tent with Brent

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

To connect with my viewers has always been one of my chief endeavors. In this, the next video in my Winter Expedition Series, I had the privilege of spending some time outdoors with my friend Brent. A friend I made because of Outdoor Adventurecraft!

In the video interview we explore Brent’s personal outdoor passions and talk about what draws him to the outdoors. We get to goof around and have a little fun too. In addition the article that follows is very special this time out because it was written by Brent himself! He took the time to reflect on that weekend and share his experience with us all here at Outdoor Adventurecraft!

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The following article was contributed by Brent York.

Making New Friends.

Friendships aren’t just born, they’re cultivated. They start with common interests, and eventually lead to shared experiences that last a lifetime. So when I got the invite to come out and join Russel and Joel in the hot tent for my first winter camp, I knew I had to take it.

I met Russel through a Facebook post in a New Brunswick bushcraft group that he runs. He invited local bushcrafters to meet at the Jubilee Buffet restaurant for lunch. Normally, I’m nervous and shy around new people. I tend to keep to a tight knit group of friends that I’ve had for years, but I figured why not see what this is all about; after all I’d never met anyone from NB that seemed even remotely interested in bushcraft.

We met for lunch, hit it off, and had a great chat. We decided a repeat was in order and even though we both ate waaaay too much Chinese food, a repeating bushcraft get together at the Jubilee was born.

Two goons out to lunch

“The guy in the middle is really stone-d!” – Russel

T-Shirt Giveaway winner

“Brent was also the random winner of one of my giveaways. The funny thing was we had met online through the bushcraft community and been out to lunch before I even knew he had won the giveaway!” – Russel

My First Winter Camp.

Up until this point I’d never gone winter camping. I have camped plenty of times in the summer, fall and spring, but had avoided the winter. I felt I didn’t have the knowledge, and as I’d mentioned previously, I’d never met anyone that had. Eventually this came up in a discussion during one of our lunches at the Jubilee. Russel seemed surprised that I’d never winter camped and had proposed perhaps we get out sometime during the winter.

Talk turned to a huge trapping and camping weekend that he had been working on and that he’d been very excited for. This became the subject of several of our lunches to come and I was delighted to hear it was coming along nicely.

Then Russel asked me if I wanted to come out during that production for Friday night…

I was excited by the prospect, but also a little nervous. Would this “fair weather” camping softie be able to hack a winter camp? In the end excitement won out, and I agreed. I really wanted to get some snow-shoe time in because I’d just got new snow shoes and I hadn’t snowshoe’d since I was a child. That and the chance to get some woods therapy in a season when I normally stare out the window depressed due to a lack of woods therapy. Hell yes. I’m in!

Winter Tent Setup

“Our home away from home that weekend” – Russel

Arriving At the Scene.

The day finally arrived. I grabbed my pack, my dry bag full of food both for myself and the guys, my cot, my sleeping bag, a sled and my snow-shoes and poles. I was ready to rock. Or, so I thought! I loaded up the sled, pushed it up over the snowbank at the side of the road, stepped up onto the bank… and post-holed! After a little struggling I got out of the snow and put on my snowshoes and began what I figured was going to be a leisurely snow-shoe.

How wrong I was. In reality, I had packed a great deal of food/gear, and it was raining. The snow shoeing was going OK, but the sled was the best I could get on short notice, and really wasn’t good for towing. I also learned just how out of shape I am. I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I thought I was for what laid ahead. But if there’s one quality my wife will tell you I have, it’s that I’m stubborn to a fault. So I put my head down and hashed it out, taking breaks where needed.

I snowshoe’d for what seemed like an hour. Up hills, down hills, using my GPS on my phone to navigate. It was raining, and it was getting dark. Suddenly I heard voices. I called out from the trees to let them know I was in the area, and finally dragged my sorry frame and sled into camp. A humbling experience to be sure. Much different than the pack hikes I was used to in summer! It certainly showed me just how much room I have to improve.

It took me longer to get there than Russel expected, but I wasn’t the only one slightly behind. I got there and they were still setting up the canvas tent. Eventually they got it together and we lit up a lantern, hung it, and set up all our gear. We strung a line to hang our wet clothes on, and then lit a roaring fire in Russel’s home-built camp stove. It worked like a champ, the tent heated up quickly and gear started to dry out. Ahhh… comfort 🙂

It was time for a surprise. I opened the dry bag and pulled out all manner of things for us to have for supper. I quickly chopped up some onions and mushrooms to fry up, along with some home-made Italian sausages. We discussed the various things I like to cook (check that… I love to cook), and we ate our food and from that moment on I was bestowed the nickname, “Cookie”.

We spent the rest of the night having a good time telling jokes and stories, and playing some cards. You just can’t get any better outdoor therapy than that!

Brent York

“The man with a lot of sausage” – Russel

Contemplating my mess

“The tent was a bit disorganized that first day” – Russel

Ammo Can Stove

“My ammo can stove, with Joel’s G-Stove water tank sitting atop” – Russel

The next morning.

After waking up the next morning we cooked breakfast (bacon and eggs with some garlic and chive butter), made some coffee and got to work making the, “In the Tent with Brent” video that can be seen above. While the video is an interview with Russel asking about my outdoor background and what makes me tick, the best part of it is where Russel and I were able to give back to the Outdoor Adventurecraft community!

You see, a few short weeks before I had been in the US on a trip to California. I had acquired three, “Light My Fire” ferrocerium rod fire starters to surprise Russ with as a give away for part of his big trip. At the time, I had no idea I’d be part of the trip, but I wanted to give back to the community. In the end it turned out I was able to experience my first winter camp, spend some time outside of the Jubilee with my new friends, and to be able to be part of the giveaway!

Firesteel Giveaway

“Let’s finally give these bad boys away! Pretty sure this will be the third time I’ve tried this!” – Russel


If there’s one moral to this whole story, it’s don’t be afraid to meet new people and embrace new experiences. If you’re local or in town, come to the bushcraft lunch meetup that we have once a month! You just might make some great friends, maybe learn something, and have some laughs. One thing I can guarantee is you’ll eat waaaaay too much chinese food.  Who knows, you might even end up getting some woods therapy with new friends.

Hope to see you there.

— Cookie (Brent)

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Midnight Chainsaw Campout – Hardcore Adventurecraft

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

It’s cold and it’s dark, you need fire! What you wouldn’t give for a chainsaw and some matches?! Sure it’s nice to take your time… if and when you’ve got it. I love a painstakingly handcrafted artisan fire just as much as the next guy in line at Starbucks, but when you live in one of the coldest and snowiest places on Earth, sometimes you just want fire and you want it now!

It might not be modern Bushcraft aesthetic, it’s obviously not survival, we were only an hour away from the truck… so what is it? It’s Adventurecraft baby!!!!! Come join me, Joel, and Joel’s chainsaw for some heavy duty bush time deep in the dark cold Canadian wilderness. It was awesome!!!

Sometimes you wanna play bowdrill and sometimes you just wanna play chainsaw!

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A Late Night Arrival.

Big boys with full time jobs don’t really get to do much other than work during the weekdays. So when Friday comes around, just packing up, traveling and trekking out to a remote camp site can push you pretty far into the night. Never the less adventure demands action! Sally forth!

Chainsaw Camping - Late Night Arrival

We didn’t get out to our site till very very late.

Chainsaw Equals Fast Fire!

Like I said in the above video description, “It’s cold and it’s dark, you need fire! What you wouldn’t give for a chainsaw and some matches?!” Add to that the fact that it’s already the middle of the night! Could I have made a more hard fought primitive fire in this circumstance? For example, could I have chopped all the wood by hand and started the fire with flint and steel? Yes, yes I could have. However because I’m out this evening for the less noble cause of relaxing and drinking beer, I choose a faster route to the same goal.

Chainsaws equal faster fires. Fact.

Chainsaw Campout - Joel Replaces Chain on His Saw

It’s best to change your blade regularly. Joel gives us one important tip about installing your chain… don’t install backwards!

Chainsaw Campout - Cutting a Fallen Dead Spruce

There is always plenty of dead wood around for use for small trips like this. There is no need to harvest living wood.

“I Thought You Were Into Bushcraft?”

So let’s not beat around the bushcraft… I mean bush, chainsaws aren’t officially bushcraft sanctioned. I’ll give you that, chainsaws are not bushcraft. However, I feel that modern bushcraft seems to be more of an idealized aesthetic, a style, than an actual strict practice of thriving in a wilderness environment. It seems that style is king and almost commercially branded at this point. So many companies selling “Bushcraft”. If you don’t fit the mold someone will surely point out, “Well that’s not Bushcraft!”

However I do not prescribe to any particular aesthetic. I do what I want. If I want to play bushcraft with a knife and a few sticks I play bushcraft with a knife and a few sticks. If I want to saw up a couple of trees and have a roaring fire, it doesn’t mean I don’t practice bushcraft. I just practice it when and how I want.

Don’t misunderstand me however, I love bushcraft. I love the practice of wilderness self sufficiency, and the skill set that goes with it, but don’t tell me how to craft my bushes.

I feel like I am rambling, however I’ll allow it. I am, after all, the guy who won’t stop typing.

Chainsaw Campout - Preparing Kindling

To baton or not to baton.. who gives a crap?! Get ‘er lit!

“But In A Survival Situation!”

If this was a survival situation would you look at the chainsaw and then an axe and choose to use more time and energy on the axe? No of course not. This wasn’t a survival situation though was it? So it’s up to you or me to decide what we see fit. You can choose either option based on your current supplies, needs or even desires. It’s up to you. In the end it’s your time in the woods, spend it how you please.

Speaking of survival situations, how boned would I have been if I had have burned the scales off my knife?! Would not have been ideal that’s for sure.

Chainsaw Campout - Don't Burn Your Knife

When I was making kindling, I pounded my Camillus Bushcrafter down into the fire lay. I’m glad I noticed it before it was damaged. Don’t burn your tools!

Time To Bounce.

Everything good has to end sometime. We were up pretty late carrying on and making merry around the fire. I havn’t got a clue what time we even went to bed. Morning came, as it does, and we packed up and made ready to head out. It was a great night, a great adventure!

Chainsaw Campout - Packing Up

These little pleasure trips have got to end sometime. Plus it’s dang cold out there, and unless you plan of cutting more wood, you may as well bounce.

Chainsaw Campout - Don't Burn Your Boot

So… being distracted while telling a story with your feet near the fire is a bad idea. All it took was seconds and my $300 dollar Scarpa’s were on fire.

Chainsaw Campout - Left Over Firewood

We found some nice standing dead cedar during the night. This wood was well seasoned and dried. It served us well and there was even leftovers for next time. Thank you tree!

The moral of the story? It’s your time in the woods… do your own thing. Stay safe!

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Getaway Weekend @ The Cabin

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

Life at the cabin at its’ best… Lots of snow and a full wood box! Don’t forget the beer and gruel! A great weekend at the cabin with friends and family. Why not come join us? Get your wet boots off and get yer’ feet up. Grab some slop and listen to the stories. Welcome to the cabin!

At it’s core the content for this video has some examples of easy to prepare camp meals made from extremely basic canned ingredients available in any convenience store. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be tasty. Everything tastes better at the camp with warm fire and good friends!

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Making The Trek.

One of the not so relaxing parts of a relaxing weekend is always the load in! Trekking up the hill laden with gear is a chore to be sure. It’s worth it though. Once you get a nice fire lit and crack that first beer it’s paradise! Especially if you are spending time with good friends and family.

Joel's Gear Skid

Joel is pretty hard core when it comes to the backcountry! He made this sweet gear tote from odds n’ ends. He carried most of our stuff up. BEAST MODE!!!!

My buddy Joel was out hiking around Mount Carleton that same weekend. We met at the camp. He had his homemade trail tote with him. The harness is made from the belt out of a tool pouch, the poles are fiberglass chimney sweep poles and the tote itself is a deep kids toboggan. Really well built and genius design. I thought he had purchased it. I asked him where he got such a sweet setup, to which he informed me he had just made it himself. Very cool!

Arriving at the Cabin

Our beast of burden, AKA Joel, lol, pulls into the cabin dooryard. Don’t think I wasn’t pack laden too, I was! I always over pack. Somebody has gotta carry the beer!

Loaded down myself with gear and supplies, the trip is difficult but well worth it. I actually like that it’s a little hard to get to. Makes it so much more rewarding!

Cabin Time With Friends.

Obviously a warm cabin atmosphere is made even warmer by the company of friendly faces and happy chatter. My son Chris and nephew Avery were up. Joel obviously, our pack donkey was there as well as Aaron. Much laughter and smack talk was par for the course.

Relaxing with friends

One of the best parts of getting up to the cabin is time with friends. Just chilling out, a few beers, and talking about nothin till the am! Love it!

Cooking Up Some Cabin Grub.

After all the trekking and laughter, you gotta feed the troops! A hodgepodge of beans, wieners and alpha-getti was on the menu. I also did up a batch of “Expanded Ham”, a silly made up fancy recipe for roasting up a a can of ham on a stick. A cabin specialty!!!

Back in Cabin Life : Episode 3 – “Cabin Cookin'”, I outline my theory for camp gruel or as some call it hodgepodge. Simply put, you take what you or others may have brought and throw it all in the pot. Good themes are things like beans, chili and meat based soups or stew. I usually try to add as many meats as I can get my hands on. It all depends on how well I’ve prepared. My gruel can range anywhere from bacon, steak and sausage miracles of the culinary arts, to bean and cocktail wiener discount slop! But it’s all good at the camp! The fire, friends and the fresh air fix everything!

Beans N' Wieners

A typical Hodgepodge of Beans n Wieners and other things. Anything goes!

When it come to “Expanded Ham”, the idea is to get the meat spread out well on the stick or skewer so that it can dry roast all in around the delicious fingers of ham! It’s a great one to have in your recipe book. You dirty zero dishes and it works just as well over an open fire as it does over the stove.

Expanded Ham

“Expanded Ham” is a made up name I gave to fancy up the simple task of sticking a canned ham on a skewer! It may not be fancy French cuisine but its amazing at the camp!!!!!

The real secret to good food has always been the company and atmosphere. I’d rather eat slop in the house of Kings than eat delicacies with the swine!

Get Out There!

Maybe you don’t have an old shack in the woods, doesn’t matter… Grab some buds and some lawn chairs and go get a bonfire going! Have a few brews, cook up some slop, enjoy that adventurous atmosphere! Carpe Diem!!! That wasn’t too cliche was it?! Who cares, get going!

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Bush Camping & Knot Instruction

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

In part one of the video, Jesse my brother in law and I head out for a night in the bush. We cook up some grub, have a drink, relax and get plenty of smoke in our eyes. It was a great night! Come along and join us!

In the second part of the video I get down to business demonstrating the Double Fisherman’s Bend, the Prusik Knot and the Lark’s Head Knot. If you would like to skip straight to the knot portion of the video you can scroll to 9:09 in the video and get right to it. It’s up to you, but you’ll miss a great night in the bush.

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A Chance to Get Away from it All!

It’s nice to escape, even if just for a while! I had an opportunity to get away for the night to do some bush camping, so I took it! It was totally worth it, what a great night! I also took the opportunity to show you fine folks a few more knots.

Join me for a night out in the bush. I promise you will enjoy! Welcome back to Outdoor Adventurecraft.

Hiking In

Being in the Boreal Forest in Canada, our woods truly can be referred to as bush. Thick undergrowth and dense softwood can make travel difficult at time.

Semi-Permanent Shelter

After a little hike in we arrive at my semi-permanent shelter.

Rub a Dub Dub, let’s Cook up some Grub!

You guy’s n gal’s know I love my gruel. This night was no exception. Some deer steak and maple beans were the main course of the evening. I fried up the steak in olive oil and Montreal steak spice, then cut it up into the maple beans. It was heavenly but as Jesse noted, had the appearance of dog chow! Hey, it’s not always about what it looks like, it’s all about how it tastes!

Deer Steak

After fighting with wet wood and finally getting a decent bed of coals, we cook up some grub, deer steak and maple beans! Delicious!

Eating Deer Steak and Beans

Eating our dog food…er… I mean beans and steak! It did however look a tad like dog food, good thing it tasted amazing.

Waking Up is Hard to do!

With a full belly and a little whisky in us, dealing with the smoke burning our eyes out didn’t even seem that bad. It was still nice to eventually get to bed, and climb into the embrace of a gently rocking hammock. We shot out of bed the next morning at the crack of dawn! No not really, it was 9:30 before we got up. Life is hard in the bush.

Hammocks among fir

We stayed up pretty late despite the smoke burning the eyes out of our heads, so these comfy hammocks were very welcome.

Flint and Steel

Got another opportunity to practice my primitive fire making skills.

Purifying Water

I set my shelter about 150 feet back from a small river. It’s nice to have water close by.

To the Business at Hand…

So after waking up… slowly… and getting some breakfast and a hot beverage, I set about the instructional portion of the trip. I had after all come out here to create new content for my YouTube channel. It can’t be all fun and games, can it? So I set about showing a few more knots that could be useful for setting up a tarp on a ridge line. Basic stuff I know, but fundamentals are important.

If you’d like to see how to set up a good taut ridge line before you set up a tarp on it, check my article here…

Demonstrated in this session are the Double Fisherman’s Bend, the Prusik Knot, and the Lark’s Head. Together with a good taut ridge, these knots are ideal for helping set up a tarp.

Double Fisherman's Bend

To make a loop for use in the Prusik Knot, the double Fisherman’s bend works well.

Prusik Knot

The Prusik Knot has been a long time favorite of mine for rigging tarps among other things.

Lark's Head

Here we see the Lark’s Head form after creating it.

Lark's Head Use

The Lark’s Head can be used to hold a button rock or toggle in place in a tarp for easy set up of shelter.

All in all it was a productive and relaxing night escape. Good food, good drink, and good times… what more could you ask for?  See you next time.

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Good Grief, Let’s eat!

Making a delicious meal while camping doesn’t have to be complicated. Maybe you have lots of different ingredients or maybe just a few. What really matters is sticking to a theme. For me it’s lots of smokey themes, brown sugar and BBQ flavors. Tender meats, sausages, stews, chili, and beans all are welcome fare.

When making camp meals be adventurous, no one will hold it against you. Remember, the candle light makes everything taste better.

When it comes to my camp gruel, the more variety the better! I love lots of different meats and beans. Sometimes to stretch it out, to feed more people, I will use cheap cans of tomato, vegetable, or beef n’ barley stew to expand the mix. That way the main flavors still are predominant and the filler doesn’t speak too loud. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You’d be surprised with the varieties you can come up with. Most of all have fun!

In this video we cook up some grub, cabin style! Come join us. Lots of meat and beans and chili! It was a nice night with lots of food and family. No one went to bed hungry, and we just woke up and kept right on cooking!

You like meat? Who doesn’t?! Personally I’m all about cooking over hardwood coals, and I’m a sucker for Montreal Steak spice! Just make sure with chicken and pork you cook it well done. Beef… Just wave it over the fire and it’s ready! But seriously, the only way to ruin a good steak is to over cook it… In my humble opinion.

Remember sometimes it’s the company we keep, not the food, that can make a meal.

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Skills Development… an ongoing process!

Join me as I spend the night out with expert survivalist Wayne Russell from Kullcraven Bushcraft. Wayne shares skills such as how to properly construct a long fire, tips on shelter building, how to dig a gypsy well, and innovative ways to quickly purify water.

Come with us as we enjoy some good food, good times and some lovely scenery. New Brunswick is such a beautiful place.

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SSS… Simulated Survival Situation

I set out to test my know how and choices of EDC items against a simulated survival situation, that of being a lost fisherman. Although I knew the area and had brought back up supplies and a radio, I challenged myself to use only the items in my everyday carry loadout.

This was a very real challenge with very limits tools and items. I was also faced with changes in weather that turned this into something completely unexpected. The weather while forecasted to be 14C dipped down to 5C through the night. Cold. It turned into a real fight to stay warm!

This video features an entire nights survival in the Canadian Boreal forest. Please be patient with the swarms of black flies and mosquitoes plaguing my microphone! Sorry! LOL

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Local Facebook Group Meetup

We set out with the goal to meet and share experience… we went away as friends. Our first meetup as members of the New Brunswick Bushcraft and Outdoor Living group on Facebook was a huge success!

We were privileged to have Wayne Russel of Kullcraven Bushcraft with us. He gave us many, many demos and tips. This man is a born teacher. Included was a primitive fire demonstration with a bow drill made on site with green spruce wood.

Mike Holland from Resourceful Redneck was on site with gear to play with and field test. Thanks Mike!

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