What are Gait Studies? Gait refers  to the movement pattern the animal is using and the corresponding gait pattern is left for trackers to interpret. In human terms, walk, jog, run, sprint, sit, stand, kneel, etc, etc. Think of an action an animal can take and where its feet need to go, in what order, in order to do that movement. The pattern of tracks left behind is what we read to determine what the animal was doing.

The Origins Program is a journey over nine months where we practice and build a variety of traditional skills, with the goal of going on a weeklong trip into the woods and utilizing them.  The rules for the final trip are simple; no metal, no glass, no paper, and no plastic.

Tracking in the snow is cheating right? It can feel that way when much of the year you can struggle to find any clear prints to identify, any gait patterns to decipher, or trails to follow. You learn pretty quickly to look in track traps along wet areas, in protected dusty areas, and hopefully start to read tracks in harder substrates like leaves and grass.

I love stone tools, and what started with an obsession with making pretty arrows heads has turned into a life long journey to understand how to make and use effective tools that can be used to meet my wilderness living needs.

The Cold Realities of Hypothermia...A few Tips For Staying Safe in the Winter- The harsh truth: If your body cannot maintain its core temperature it sucks heat from your extremities to your core until your organs shut down and you fall asleep...and don't wake up. It takes lives in my home state Vermont almost every year.

A Vermonter's Tips for Getting Outside in the Winter---Winter Solstice in one week! On that day the sun will deliver a whopping 8 hours and 51 minutes of daylight to us here in Vermont, which is not enough. Soon, El Nino will leave us, temps will drop far below zero, and the ground will disappear under snow until April....
Its time to settle into a cozy warm house, tuck into your favorite winter beverage, turn on Netflix and hope the winter is not too long, too cold, and that the cabin fever does not turn your household into gibbering lunatics.....Or, you can get up, get dressed, and get outside!

Or some basic tips...No, really, after 15 years of making, using, and teaching bow drill I have not tired of it's awesome simple magic. Lighting a fire from pieces of wood you carved yourself is a truly remarkable experience for anyone who is conscious and has a soul.

Over the years I have worked to start incorporating more stone tool use into my skills projects. This can be challenging and a little nerve wracking because some of the tools take days of hard work to make, and putting them to the test can certainly result in critical failures. It was with this in mind that I decided to put my stone tools to the test cutting and shaping a medium soap stone bowl.

The question that a lot of people always want to ask but don't when it comes to trailing: Is this real? Can a you or I really learn to follow a trail, track by track, without the aid of sand or snow or mud? It is common in myths, books, and movies to see incredible feats of tracking and several hyped up and popularized trackers make wild claims of skill with little to no verification, so it leaves a question, is the art of trailing real or just something humans wish they could do? Do you have to be a wilderness god or raised by indigenous people to really be able to trail?

Roots is putting down Roots!
Brad has purchased a home and land in the town of Corinth, VT, and it is here that Roots will be relocating. The land has over a half a mile of river frontage and several streams, a beautiful varied forest, rambling topography, and plenty of wildlife. We have no doubt that it will make an epic location for the Roots School.