Camping & Woodcraft
The Camping & Woodcraft course at The Pathfinder School is focused on instructing participants to camp successfully utilizing modern gear coupled with camping techniques and strategies from the 19th and early 20th centuries (1880's-1930's) so they may become more competent at the skills of campcraft, woodcraft and cooking which will lead them to becoming more self reliant in the long term. This class is designed to serve as a course between Basic Survival and Pioneer.
- Standard 10 Piece Survival Kit
- Cutting tools to include Carbon Steel Knife, an Axe and a Folding Saw
- Combustion Device (Ferro Rod)
- Container (Stainless Steel Bottle/Canteen with nesting cup)
- Cordage (100ft #36 Bankline)
- Cover (1 Emergency Survival Blanket, Minimum 8x10 Waterproof Canvas or Oilskin Tarp)
- Compass with Sighting Mirror
- Cloth (3' x 3' 100% cotton material with Sail needle)
- Candling Device (Headlamp with Spare Batteries)
- Cargo (Roll of Gorilla Tape)
- Combination Tool (Multi Tool)
- Plastic Drop Cloth at least 12' x 12' in size
- Wool Blanket (Two Twin Size or 1 Queen Size)
- Two 55 gallon Drum Liners (2+ Mil thickness, thicker the better!)
- Bush Pot or similar style Bucket with Bail
- 8” Steel Skillet and #10 or #12 Dutch Oven
- 1 Surplus wool blanket and sweat shirt for blanket shirt project
- Journal and Pencils
- Leather Gloves
- Snacks, Drink Mixes
- Personal Medication and Hygiene Items
Student Arrival & Check In
Initial Safety Brief
Team Assignments (2 Man Teams, 3 Teams per Instructor)
Day 1 (Friday)
Discuss what woods are best utilized for fire starting, shelter poles, cooking utensils, and cooking fires.
- Pine: Source of Fatwood for fire starting, good wood for quickly heating a fire
- Birch: Source of Paper-like bark for fire starting
- Poplar: Good General Purpose wood for poles, utensils and cooking
- Oak: Excellent hard wood for tool handles and parts, poles and heating
Deliverable: Students should collect 1 Tripod per 2 man team, Fatwood and/or Birch Bark for fire starting and several smaller poles to be used in Camp Kitchen and cooking spit construction. And students must collect a small green Y branch and piece of wood for a spatula.
Canvas Tents, Tarps and Configurations
- Demonstrate Styles of Canvas/ Oilskin Tarps and Tents
- Demonstrate 3 Tarp Configurations
- Discuss Heating Tents and Tarps with Stoves
- Dangers associated with improvised stoves
Camp Comfort & Sleeping
- Discuss importance of rest in wilderness environment
- Demonstrate Wrapping Up in a wool blanket
- Discuss Sleep Systems and Ground Pads
- Demonstrate creating a Browse Bag mattress
Deliverable: Students break to set up their weather appropriate canvas shelter with browse mattress; 2 man teams should camp next to one another to share fires and cooking duties.
Fire Lays and Cooking
Demonstrate Fire lays for:
- Long Fire
- Thermal Ballast (Reflector Wall)
- Key Hole
- Swedish Stove (Split Log(s) on end to cook)
Demonstrate building of:
- Toggles for Various camp vessels
- Canterbury Kitchen System
- Cooking Spit
Deliverable: Students will break to their camp sites to create key hole fire lays, construct tripods, cooking spits and Canterbury Kitchen Systems.
Demonstrate making of:
- Ash Cakes
- Spit Roast
Deliverable: Students must create a sustainable fire in their fire lay utilizing collected fatwood and/or birch bark with ferro rod for evening cooking fire. Each team must then cook one ash cake per person and cook their 1lb roast on a spit over said fire.
Day 2 Saturday
Camp Breakfast & Cast Iron
Discuss and Demonstrate:
- Seasoning Cast Iron over Fire
- Cleaning and Field Maintenance of Cast Iron
- Heating Principles using coals and stacking of ovens for less fuel waste
- Making Cowboy Coffee
- Traditional Apple Bread Pudding in Bush Pot
- 1 Small Apple, cored
- Water and Flour to create a dough
- Season with cinnamon, salt, sugar, brown sugar as desired
- Wrap in Bandanna and Boil in Pot 45-60 minutes
Deliverable: Each Team must create an apple pudding per person and coffee for Breakfast
As Puddings are cooking Discuss-
- Forks (Y branch)
Deliverable: Students shall then carve a spatula
Clothing & Equipment Repairs:
- Sewing and Essential Stitches
- Use of the Sail Needle for Canvas Repair
- Breaking down of bankline for fine equipment repair
- Creating gear from blankets (hats, bags, socks, mittens, etc)
- Making Simple Wool Blanket Shirt
Deliverable: Students create a wool blanket shirt
Tool Repair and Maintenance
- Discuss proper restoration techniques for older axes and tools
- Discuss proper maintenance of axes, saws and knives (rust prevention, etc)
- Discuss and demonstrate proper hanging of an axe
Cast Iron Lunch
Instructor will demonstrate the processing of a raccoon for stew and breaking down of a deer leg for spit roast. Raccoon will be cooked in dutch oven. Students will receive a small roast per team along with carrots, onions, potatoes and appropriate seasoning along with a portion of beans so they may cook their own stew per team.
Instructor will then demonstrate hanging of a bean pot for the evening meal which will be hung from a toggle to slow cook for the evening meal.
Deliverable: Student Teams create stew in their dutch ovens and prepare and hang their bean pots.
Making the Rope Bed
Discuss and demonstrate the techniques required for creating a rope bed.
- Processing of logs
- Notches and Lashings
- Rope and Knots
Teams are taken into woods to collect material for the rope bed, discuss tree selection, felling and delimbing of trees.
Deliverable: Teams create a functional rope bed
Instructor will discuss and demonstrate creation of a spoon using only their axe and knife.
Deliverable: Students will carve a spoon
Cast Iron Dinner
Finishing off the Beans that have been cooking since lunch, instructor will then discuss and demonstrate the making of corn bread, fry bread and cobbler.
Deliverable: Students will create corn and fry breads along with a cobbler to accompany their beans for dinner.
Day 3 Sunday
Utilizing of Ash and Charcoal
- Discuss Ash and Charcoal for Hygiene
- Anti Fungal Properties (under arms and on feet)
- Charcoal as an abrasive cleaner (teeth, hands and pots)
- Ash for the creation of Lye Soap
- Demonstrate the creation of Lye Soap
Deliverable: Students will create a small batch of lye soap
Due to property insurance restrictions: There will be no camping on the school property prior to the start of the class or after the classes concludes. There are NO FREE Youths with this class.
Location of Training: Pathfinder School - Jackson, Ohio:
You will meet the first day of class at 8am at the Exxon Gas Station at 7575 St. Rte 327 Wellston, OH 45692 (740) 384-4767. An instructor from the Pathfinder School will be there to meet you. From there you will be lead to the school property.
Once you purchase a class at The Pathfinder School or for the Pathfinder Gathering you have up to 14 days of the event or class to cancel and receive a refund. Any cancellations past that threshold will NOT be eligible for a refund. A cancellation due to an emergency will be handled on a case by case basis and will only be eligible for store credit.
*IF The Pathfinder School needs to cancel a class all students signed up will need to contact the school and notify us if you wish to have a refund or store credit.
NOTICE: The Pathfinder School is not responsible for travel expenses or airline ticket expense if a class is cancelled.