As unabashed bibliophiles, we like to read on our forays into the wilderness, but not be burdened with heavy texts. Likewise, to sit around the campfire, or in the cabin on a rainy day and to consult some old books for projects, inspiration or consolation is a cherished pleasure. Among these texts are old almanacs, diaries, old herbal pamphlets, little tracts from old hunters, trappers, and woodsman. We have taken to collecting these over the years, the older the better. These interests and inspirations converge into this occasional series of writings of woodlore and bushcraft, from an elder member of our guild.
We have edited some of the backwoods wisdom, quotes and essays with some beautiful artworks, recipes, essential craft projects and primitive pre-Industrial revolution means of survivalism that are in keeping with the Magus worldview. The series will have everything from trapping lore and lures, mountain man life, to book reviews, items of historical interest, and beautiful aspects of our heritage and ancestral knowledge and wisdom. It is a celebration of life, the woods, of a neglected aspect of Western culture, of Americana and a spirit of our people that was independent from the vast systems and just sought their freedom in the forests.
We do not like to bring electronic devices, or as we said hefty books, etc. to the camps, hikes, and expeditions. So we created this little series of insights from past masters, some of our own thoughts, and the broad outlines of techniques and crafts from old guides and classic resources that can give one infinite amount of inspiration and skills to practice in the form of projects. These all stack and aggregate to create a master woodsman and survivalist. We seek to present this series as part of our ancestral studies, into the sacred tradition of sojourning into the wilderness that all our ancestors have longed and yearned for in the constant theme of return to nature.
It is the animating spirit of the Northern folk soul, and a ritual act, consciously or not, to so many that only feel at peace in the woods and mountains. In our personal journey for self-mastery, the exoteric skills of the woodsman are essential. These little guides might provoke some deeper level of craft and aspirations towards our definition of Master. This is the kind of thing to read by the campfire, in the cabin, and contemplate some of the old timer’s wisdom, craft inspirations, recipes, philosophy and principles of Woodsrunner, freetrappers, buckskinners, longhunters, mountainsteaders,
As we carve out a life in the mountains, going deeper into the wilderness, we practice and cultivate these skills. We blend our worldview of the Traditional past and practical needs to survive in these modern times. We seek to presence the old warrior and hero ethic, the sacred hunter and shaman, the trapper, cour de bois, the guides, the longhunter, the muzzleloader, the mountain man, the pioneer, the tramper, the hobos, the gentleman anglers, the rural folk, the hermits, the backwoods saints. We honor their craft, their techniques, their aesthetic not as mere nostalgia, but as supreme methods of autonomy, survival, and self-reliance.
We love so many of the great books old and modern on the great outdoors, but so many are dedicated to short term excursions, survival and camping. This is also a document of our associates and our own withdrawal to mountain homesteads for complete self-reliance. One aspect of this work is to document our inspirations from literature to ancestral to early Americana with the singular agenda of permanent living within these ways. So in our mountain cabin, our mountainstead of forests and farm, we document our process and distill what we consider the most vital or interesting information. Just as Strategic Permaculture is for the kindred domain, permaculture homestead, this is for the forest cabin and deep mountain forest life which we build our rural family, community and guild. As we create the farms and move to the next phase of the lone trapper/hunter woodcrafter we simply want to make some marks on the path to any that might want to follow these ways.
“For brick and mortar breed filth and crime, With a pulse of evil that throbs and beats; And men are withered before their prime By the curse paved in with the lanes and streets.
And lungs are poisoned and shoulders bowed, In the smothering reek of mill and mine; And death stalks in on the struggling crowd— But he shuns the shadow of oak and pine.”
68 pages, heavily illustrated.