· Dates: 8/16-8/22
· Max. Size: 15
· Tuition: $1050
Off-Grid Systems & Skills For Living Well With No Infrastructure
The Future Will Be Decentralized
I don’t know what will happen in the future. I don’t believe anyone does. But there are a few trends that I believe are headed our way as climate change accelerates. Systems will break down. Not all at once, but over time. The future will be decentralized. Whereas now we rely on others to take care of our needs (electricity, water, sewage, heat, etc.), in the near future many people will be on their own to provide for their loved ones for at least part of the time.
The truth is, these events already happen. Summer blackouts when the power grid goes down, winter snowstorms when the power goes down, etc. Having no backup plan to the ease of modern life is not only foolish, it’s dangerous.
Ask yourself a question: Do you have the knowledge and skills needed to take care of your loved ones when the grid goes down? How much time have you invested in learning to be self-reliant, just in case the need ever arises? Now ask yourself how much do you pay for insurance, knowing that the value of money is questionable in a grid-down situation? This course is an opportunity to invest in yourself. If insurance is an investment that makes sense for an uncertain future, surely so does investing a week to develop knowledge and skill that can keep you and your family safe.
These are not things you should learn to become prepared for an unknown future; These are things you should learn to be an educated person.
We teach people to live well on the land using a few simple tools and traditional skills. We’ve been doing so in our 21 years of running semester-length bushcraft courses. One definition of bushcraft that I like to use is life without infrastructure. We are not doomers, and don’t think the end of the world is coming. However, we do believe that knowledge and skill will keep you safe, and are the antidote to fear. The more you know, the more you are part of the solution. The less you know, the more you are part of the problem.
Recalibrate your baseline by learning about the following topics:
Off-Grid Solar Energy: Simple systems, portable systems, panels, batteries, low-tech water heaters, solar ovens.
Water: The difference between sanitizing and purifying water, wells and pumps, simple hot water systems, ponds.
Food: Living without refrigeration, living out of a cooler, fermenting (sauerkraut, wine, sourdough, etc.) and drying foods. Cooking on an open fire, pot suspension systems, making and using rocket stoves, thermal cookers, and more.
Foraging & Wild Foods: Wild plant identification and use for food, the forest farm concept: surrounding yourself with resources and the knowledge to use them.
Gardening: Some perennials you can grow that take minimum effort for maximum return, starting and maintaining a garden.
Fire: Building fire with modern and primitive materials, fire management for cooking and warmth, wood stoves, cook stoves, etc.
Sanitation: The simple humanure composting system we’ve used since 1995 to compost what comes out of our bodies daily. Bathing and keeping your body clean, laundry solutions.
Shelter: Improvised shelter design and construction, living in tents, living in cabins.
Tools: Maintaining hand tools. Choosing and using the axe, hand saw, knife and scythe to make a life on the land.
Other Homestead Skills: Making and using rope instead of metal fasteners, useful knots, useful handcrafts.
Who This Course Is For
People who want to learn to be more self-reliant, are interested in purchasing some remote land and want to develop the skills needed to live there, and people who are interested in learning to decrease the impact their lifestyle has on the planet by doing things themselves.
This is a basic course. You won’t become a master at the skills included (axemanship, for example), but it will give you a blueprint for mastering them.
What This Course Is Not
This is not a doom-fest. We are not paranoid, paramilitary, religious, or any of the other stereotypes sometimes associated with self-reliance training. We are outdoor educators who spend 7 months each year off the grid, and have developed systems to make this easier and more fun. During this course we’re sharing those systems in a lighthearted manner. This course will not teach you how to get out of the city in a grid-down situation. It will teach you how to live peacefully with the land in a remote location.
To get the most out of this week, we recommend people read the following books before arriving in Masardis.
Travel Information and Directions: Travel information is located here. After you register you will receive local driving directions to our site.
Arrival and Departure: Plan to arrive on sunday afternoon, between 4 and 6. We’ll have dinner, a group introduction and a tour of the grounds starting at 6. The course is over on Saturday at 8 AM.
Accommodations: Bring a tent, tarp, or other shelter. It will be your home for the week. For summer programs please consider bringing a bug net if you don’t have noseeum netting on your tent. There are also cabins available through Blackwater Outfitters, located five minutes away. They can be reached at: 207-540-4101.
Meals: For information on food and meals, visit our Food and meals page.
Cancellation and Refund Policies: Please visit our School Policies page for information on all of our policies.
What is included with the tuition: Included in the tuition are all camping fees, group meals, instruction, and group gear.
What is not included with the tuition: Not included with the tuition are personal gear, items from town and any foods other than those specified.
Course Insurance: Adventure travel and wilderness education are not inexpensive, and anything can happen when we’re in the bush. We recommend that all participants have medical insurance. We also recommend you protect your investment with travel insurance for trips and tuition insurance for courses.
Tobacco: Smoking is not permitted in or near any buildings. All cigarette butts are to be placed into the metal can provided.
Vehicles and Parking: We’re located .6 miles down a gravel road. During the winter and spring the road can be impassable for 2-wheel drive vehicles, and sometimes for any vehicles other than snow machines.
Telephone: We don’t have a phone or electricity. If you need to be in constant phone contact please consider bringing a cell phone, and if you need to charge a phone (or other electronic device), please look into getting a charger or bringing extra batteries.
Other: Please don’t bring any pets, alcohol or illegal drugs.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
We reserve the right to include or omit any of the course topics listed due to class interest, availability of materials, inclement weather, or other factor that makes them impractical or unsafe.