Articles

bird forages on winter berries

Welcome to Winter

I hated Winter. Growing up in Minnesota, where they scoff at snow days and the windchill freezes the inside of your nostrils, I couldn’t wait to move to a warmer climate. At the age of 20, I left my mittens behind and headed for Southern California, spending a few years amongst the palm trees. But […]

Posted in 8 Shields, Core Routines, KamanaTagged , , ,

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 […]

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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 The Immersion at Wilderness Awareness School, in Duvall, Washington, I explored the school’s teachings about birds, bird watching, and awareness. […]

Posted in Birds & Bird LanguageTagged , , , , , ,

Why Listen to the Birds

A little birdie told me something scary was right outside my window. He didn’t say it in words, of course, or at least not in English. But it was clear from that robin’s incessant Cheep! Cheep! CHEEP! – so shrill, so unlike his cheerful melodic song – that danger was afoot. A sparrow’s harsh CHIRP […]

Posted in Birds & Bird LanguageTagged , ,

Camo & Pearls

Better late than never! That is how I describe the day I finally registered for The Immersion at Wilderness Awareness School. Occasionally, I think about choices I might have made differently had I graduated from this life-changing program decades earlier, but I heed the advice of Galway Kinnell in his poem, Wait: “Distrust everything if […]

Posted in Anake Stories, Stories of GratitudeTagged , , ,
Brayden

Help For a Dream

We chose to raise our son Brayden in Duvall specifically so we could make Wilderness Awareness School a significant part of his life. I wanted him to grow up with these beautiful people and with all that the school provides. WAS is an essential part of his education and childhood. Your help through donations builds […]

Posted in Stories of Gratitude, Youth Program Stories
throwing cattails to the wind

Overcoming ‘Stuck’

“I had become stuck, and now that I’m taking part in The Immersion at Wilderness Awareness School, so much gunk has been removed.” – Sam, a 2019 The Immersion at Wilderness Awareness School Student We talk with many folks who turn to The Immersion at Wilderness Awareness School for a big transformation in life. These […]

Posted in Anake StoriesTagged
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 , , , ,
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 , ,
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 , , , , ,
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 , , ,
Wilderness Awareness School