This is often the very first wilderness skill we learn, from our grandfather, or a scout master, or in my case a fishing guide on Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories. In what seemed like one swift motion, he reached down for some moss, lit a match in his cupped hands, took two strides forward while collecting a few more twigs, and set down in a cleft of the rocks a small bundle that was already smoking with fire. Two minutes later we were warming around a great fire, the tea pot bubbling.
Posted on September 06 2018, by Scott Gilmore
Posted on August 30 2018, by Scott Gilmore
One of the most compelling books I read when I was younger, was Robert Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". I'll be honest, the philosophical debate which fills the book left me even more befuddled than usual. Nonetheless, I was consumed by the beautiful writing, and the captivating way the narrator describes working on his CB77 Super Hawk as he and his son make their way to California. And, oddly enough, as soon as I was done, I found myself a leather tool roll like his. I have it still, and it's almost identical to the one we use here at the lodge.
Posted on August 23 2018, by Dave Vail
Gladys travels light. When she takes a guest fly-fishing on the Pineroot River, she only brings the essentials: a couple of rods, tackle, creels, lunch in a Wanderer pack, and her favourite wool blanket with its leather carrier. In fact, Gladys brings her blanket carrier along when she is hiking, picking blue berries, tailgating at the football game, or sitting by the campfire wrapped up warm and watching the stars. Gladys picked out this specific blanket and carrier for the lodge shop because of its solid construction and classic looks. The carrier is handmade in Oregon with the finest leather from Hermann Oak, a St. Louis, Missouri tannery.
Posted on August 16 2018, by Gladys Breckenridge
Easily, by a country mile, our favourite artist at the lodge is Philip R. Goodwin. You can find prints of his paintings in all the guest rooms and there's an especially good one framed above the fireplace in the map room. In the 1920s and 1930s, Goodwin was a famed painter of wilderness adventure. He painted wildlife, the Old American West, and various other topics. But his specialty was colourful depictions of men in the outdoors, hunting or trekking.
Posted on August 09 2018, by Nick Taggart
Posted on July 31 2018, by Gladys Breckenridge
Every summer, without fail, one of us cranks our back portaging a canoe. Lifting it right is easy, and will save you unnecessary pain.
These six easy to remember steps will make it much easier for you to pick up and carry your canoe.
Posted on July 31 2018, by Nick Taggart
|It feels like the tough and iconic canvas Duluth Pack has been around as long as canoes. But it was actually invented by a French Canadian cobbler named Camille Poirier from Montreal. In 1870, Poirier migrated from Montreal to Duluth Minnesota and set up shop in the booming frontier town. At that time, it was the “jumping off place” the last stop on the rail line before pioneers headed off into the bush.|
Posted on July 22 2018, by Gladys Breckenridge
Posted on July 19 2018, by Gladys Breckenridge
Posted on July 18 2018, by Nick Taggart
Posted on July 12 2018, by Nick Taggart
Posted on July 08 2018, by Nick Taggart
Posted on July 06 2018, by Dave Vail
Posted on July 05 2018, by Dave Vail
Posted on July 04 2018, by Dave Vail
Posted on July 03 2018, by Dave Vail
Posted on July 02 2018, by Dave Vail
Posted on June 30 2018, by Gladys Breckenridge
Posted on June 29 2018, by Nick Taggart
Posted on June 28 2018, by Dave Vail
Posted on March 08 2018, by Nick Taggart
Posted on March 01 2018, by Nick Taggart
Posted on February 22 2018, by Nick Taggart
Posted on September 25 2017, by Scott Gilmore
Posted on January 08 2017, by Gladys Breckenridge
In 1985 I was visiting England with my parents, who took me to the grand Victoria and Albert Museum in London. That year they had an exhibit entitled “The 100 most beautiful products in the world”. There were the items you would expect suspects, like a Rolex and the Porche 911.
But in one small display case was a product so simple and elegant it made me stop in my tracks - because I owned one! It was an Opinel No. 8.
Posted on March 28 2016, by Gladys Breckenridge
There is no denying the Wolfpine Lake has attracted some strange characters over the years. There was old man Graeber himself, the outlaw Marcus "Mad Dog" Carney, and of course Bart Noble, the railroad baron who founded our lodge. But the oddest figure of all, was arguably Tobias "Red Light" Nussbaum. He arrived in Graeber's Landing penniless, with nothing but the clothes on his back, magnificent mutton chops, and a thick German accent. Rumour was he had deserted from the Prussian Army of Kaiser Wilhelm, wanted for beating his commanding officer with a giant bratwurst.
Posted on March 26 2016, by Nick Taggart
Teddy Roosevelt is considered one of America's most fascinating characters: statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer. From his South America expedition to his charge up San Juan Hill, Teddy was larger than life and held court everywhere he went. Which makes Frederick Russell Turnham that much more incredible. He has been described as "one of the only people who could turn....Theodore Roosevelt into a listener." And for good reason. Turnham was a scout, prospector, and adventurer who managed to lead an even more colourful life than his Presidential friend.
Posted on March 22 2016, by Gladys Breckenridge
The Swedes are good at many things. Meatballs. Abba. Affordably priced flat-pack furniture. 1970s soft porn. And, enjoying the winter. We've talked about building a campfire before. And building one in the winter may seem daunting, but it follows the same rules. (Like pick up tinder as you go.)
This short video by "The Man in the Fjällräven Shirt", does an excellent job of explaining in Swedish (with subtitles) how to build a roaring fire in the snow.
Posted on March 18 2016, by Nick Taggart
Posted on March 16 2016, by Scott Gilmore
Posted on March 12 2016, by Gladys Breckenridge
It's raining today, so I spent most of the afternoon in the lodge library. There is a surprising variety of books, both high brow and low. The railroad baron Bartholomew Noble, who build the lodge, had a wide range of tastes. And after him, decades of guests and staff filled the shelves with every type of book you could imagine. There is one shelf in particular, I find very amusing. It is a fine collection of the trashiest pulp fiction novels I have ever seen
Posted on March 10 2016, by Nick Taggart
The theory is simple, you need a stout cross beam or ridge pole. Tie it between two trees, or place each end in the crotch of strong branches. On that, you place dead fall at a 45 degree angle. Cover with boughs of fir or pine, et voila. This video is a great tutorial. Take two minutes. It's one of the more valuable survival skills you can possess.
Posted on March 08 2016, by Nick Taggart
Posted on February 18 2016, by Scott Gilmore
Posted on February 17 2016, by Nick Taggart
Posted on January 19 2016, by Gladys Breckenridge
We’d like to introduce a new member of the Burnt Point team, Skoki. She’s a 12 week old Brittany. Scott adopted her over the holidays. The plan is to turn her into a proper gun dog who can point grouse when we paddle up the Pineroot on our annual hunting trip. So far, she can’t point, retrieve, heel, come, lay down, or stay. But she can sit. And she can leave surprises for us in the back hall by the kitchen.
Posted on January 15 2016, by Scott Gilmore
Posted on January 14 2016, by Nick Taggart
Posted on December 18 2015, by Nick Taggart
Posted on December 07 2015, by Edward Rees
When working in the North West Frontier Province I bought an old 985cc 1942 BSA G14 for a song. But, like all young men, I have a habit of learning hard lessons the difficult way.
Posted on November 27 2015, by Gladys Breckenridge
Posted on November 25 2015, by Scott Gilmore
Last Friday we cut off work mid afternoon, went down to the canoe shop, grabbed a beer out of the fridge, and sat down by the wood stove while Whitney turned up his music and told us some tall tales.
Then Rees walked in, wearing a pair of leather Woodsman Suspenders, and a belt. Whitney pulled the needle off the gramophone, Taggart spit his beer out, and Gladys burst out in laughter. This immediately sparked a debate about which is better, suspenders or belts? And why would Rees ever think he could wear both at the same time?
Here's how the arguement broke down.