2017 Fall Bushcraft River Expedition Course
Date: Oct 2 – 7, 2017
Cost: $1050 CDN (includes tax) approximately $800 USD
Bushcraft Skills, River Paddling, Hunting, Fishing, Traditional Camping
Inspired by the Fur Traders and Voyageurs of Canada’s wild rivers, and paired with wilderness living skills passed down by legendary survival instructor – Mors Kochanski.
Description: Join our certified instructors for a week-long bushcraft and paddling skills course on the Athabasca River. Combine essential river canoeing skills with traditional bushcraft skills to elevate your outdoor knowledge and experience to an exciting new level. Experience Canada’s wilderness the way it was meant to be experienced – in a loaded canoe, hunting, fishing, and camping as we travel downriver learning and practicing timeless woodsman skills.
- Paddle a traditional fur trade river while learning numerous paddling strokes and maneuvers that increase your river paddling competency and skill. Become knowledgeable on loading and outfitting a canoe for river tripping and increase your awareness of river hazards and potential problems you may experience on paddling trips.
- Utilize bushcraft skills and equipment such as Roycraft pack frames, wool blankets, canvas and modern tarp shelters, knifes, axes, saws, and ropework. Experiment with various ways to pitch camp along the riverbank and at our backwoods camp on Cartright Sny.
- Being that its hunting season, students will be able to be part of the harvesting of waterfowl, gamebirds, and some small animals. Fishing for pike, walleye, and whitefish will also be part of our activities and students with appropriate hunting and fishing licenses will be able to help provide food for the group. Non-residents will be able to assist in field dressing and preparing harvested animals and cooking meals over the fire.
Day One – We will meet up and immediately begin planning, organizing equipment and going over the week. From there, we will move to local lake for the flat water component of the course. Here, we will ensure that all participants are up to speed on necessary paddling strokes and maneuvers that will be required on the river. Instructors will asses if we head to the river on day one or continue to work on paddling skills and preparation for the trip. Overnight camping will be at the rivers edge.
Day Two – We will put into the Athabasca River at the Blue Ridge Bridge and begin paddling in river current and work on ferry’s, crossing eddy lines, reading water, and river signals. As confidence increases, we will begin to look for good locations for fishing and hunting as we move downstream. We will select an appropriate spot to overnight along the river and work on camp site selection, set-up, and food preparation.
Day Three – After a hearty breakfast, we will continue downstream while working on river paddling skills/maneuvers, hunting and fishing along the way. By late afternoon, we will arrive at our stopping point and begin the hike into our backwoods camp at Cartright Sny. Here, we will set up camp for a few days of bushcraft skills, hunting, fishing and feasting.
Day Four and Five – From our base camp we will head out on various walks and engage in hunting, fishing, plant ID, gathering materials, and Boreal Forest Bushcrafting.
Day Six – To wrap up the week we will hike out of camp and rejoin with our canoes for the remaining scenic 4 hour paddle down river to complete the trip with a visit to historic Fort Assiniboine.
- Canoe Strokes: forward, reverse, check, sweeps, pry, high brace, low brace, stern pry, lake J, cross bow draw and blended strokes.
- Canoe Maneuvers: front and back ferry’s, running pry, eddy turns, peel outs, attainments, MITH, carving, and more.
- Outfitting a canoe for wilderness travel. Reading river currents. River Signals and rescue.
- Bushcraft Skills: fire lighting, axe, knife, and saw safety and use, ropework, roycraft pack frame, setting up shelters, super shelter, campfire cooking, and more.
- Hunting and Fishing: harvesting, field dressing, and cooking waterfowl, gamebirds, fish and snowshoe hare.
- Forest Study: boreal forest ecology, plant uses, wood, stone, feather, and bone.
For more information or to sign up for this course please visit the Nature Alive Website.