About Karamat Wilderness Ways
Karamat is Randy and Lori Breeuwsma. The both of us have always loved the outdoors and camping and spending time out-of-doors was something we did all the time.
Karamat started out as a hobby but in order for us to tell you about Karamat we have to go back to when our kids were young and involved in the scouting movement. Randy was volunteering as a scout leader and had volunteered to help with the BMX trail the youth were using at one of the jamborees. Mors Kochanski happened to be there and so Randy sat in on one of his talks. He was very intrigued with Mors and found out that Mors taught courses in modern survival and wilderness living. Randy took both winter and summer courses and then Mors told him about Rabbitstick and also the gathering in BC where he learned to tan hides. I went along and took classes in everything that was offered. I also did a summer course with Mors and learned everything I could about natural crafting, especially birch bark. We got to know Mors very well and Randy started helping out Mors with his courses. One day Mors said he just couldn’t get enough students and was going to quit offering his own courses. Randy said that maybe we could try taking over the courses and just hire Mors to come in and teach. It was a win, win situation and we are now into our 21st year.
So when this happened the hobby became Karamat Wilderness Ways, the company. Around this time we were commissioned by the Museum of Alberta (now the Royal Alberta Museum) to build a braintanned deer hide teepee liner to go into the teepee they were going to put into the new aboriginal gallery they were creating. We did that and they were so impressed with our work that they hired us to do the moose hide teepee as well. We also did about 13 other replicas for them. We have to say that we are very proud of this accomplishment. We did a lot of tanning of hides and also making rawhide out of several different animal skins. Drum making was also one of the classes we have taught over the years.
We started publishing the pocket books for Mors and then Randy and Mors decided that plants would be a good thing to put into a video. This project became 8 different videos (now in DVD format) and we have also put all the DVD’s into digital format on Vimeo that can be rented or purchased. YouTube has become a major part of Karamat trying to document all of Mors’ knowledge for people to enjoy and learn from. We have also published several more books and DVD’s documenting Mors extensive knowledge in the Outdoor Education field.
We always get asked what Karamat means, where did it come from. Randy is very fond of the Tamarack tree and if you drop the c and write it backwards, it becomes Karamat. We didn’t realize at the time that Karamat is a Hindi word meaning Miracle or in Islam Mysticism meaning “the ability to perform supernatural wonders”. Who knew but there it is.
Anyway, there is a bit about Karamat Wilderness Ways the hobby that became a company. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us along the way.