About - PA Wilderness Skills

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About PA Wilderness Skills

It all started with a YouTube channel. I wanted to do something no one else was doing. I also wanted to create my videos as beginner videos. My hope was/is to target people that might not get into the woods much or at all.

The first set of videos dealt with learning basic bushcraft skills using an inexpensive Old Hickory Knife. I did a series of 10 videos showing that you didn't need to spend a lot to do a lot. I think the series is still the most indepth use of an Old Hickory out there. Some of the topics I covered were: Batoning, Notches, Fire Making, Char Making, Ferro Rod, Flint & Steel, Tinder Bundle for fire starting, Fuzz Sticks, and I even made and used a Bow Drill Fire Set to start a fire.

Now that I'm done with the Old Hickory series, I'm working on some basic survival and bushcraft videos. I'm still trying to film them in a way so that beginners can pick up the knowledge to go out and practice the skills.

Recently, I have started teaching a one-day survival class. This first class is aimed at trail runners and others who don't necessarily want to carry a lot of equipment while in the woods. The main focus of the class is surviving the night with only minimal gear. You can check out the course description here

In the future, in conjunction with the class we offer, I hope to record a series of videos aimed at preparing trail runners for an unexpected night in the woods and another series for day hikers heading out for a trip to the woods.

About Me

I grew up next to the woods and spent almost every evening after school messing around in them. I spent a little time in scouts growing up, but the real thing that gave me my addiction to learning survival skills was an elective I took in 9th grade. We learned about survival and tried out what we learned. I remember trying to get a fire going on the front lawn in front of our junior high building and taking a day trip in the middle of winter to try our skills out.

After high school, I didn't do much practicing or learning about survival/primitive skills. In fact, I didn't really even think about it much at all anymore; other interests had taken their place. The only time I came close was when I went camping or hiking, but by then it had become all about the gear and gadgets.

A couple of years ago, when survival TV was just starting, I saw an episode of a show called Man vs. Wild. While it was entertaining, it just didn't seem real or focused on real survival skills. Then, I saw a show called SurvivorMan starring Les Stroud. Now that was the real deal! Alone in the wilderness with very limited modern equipment! I was hooked on gaining survival/primitive skills again. After SurvivorMan, there was Dual Survival starring Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin. That show was just fuel for the survival fire I had found again. A flood of survival shows followed, but none captured the realness of knowing survival skills like SurvivorMan and Dual Survival did for me. That didn't mean I didn't watch the others just to get a fix, though.

After that, I watched every episode of every survival show I could find and a ton of YouTube videos on the subject. Then in 2014, I found out that Dave Canterbury from Dual Survival had an outdoor school where he taught survival skills, and it was only in Ohio! I attended two classes at Dave's Pathfinder School, basic and intermediate. I learned a lot from those classes, especially the first one. While I felt pretty confident in my outdoor skills before the class, the basic class showed me ways to do the things I already knew how to do but ten times better and easier.

Since then, I've started my own YouTube channel with a decent following. I do a few demonstrations for local youth organizations, including a primitive fire demo at a youth outdoor expo every year. I also talk to youth groups like 4-H and scouts about safety and being prepared when heading into the woods.

I'm a firm believer that you should never stop learning. Since my first survival classes at the Pathfinder School, I've taken classes with Randall's Adventure & Training and I've recently been given a great opportunity to be an instructor alongside Creek Stewart at Escape the Woods. I'm always looking to learn new things and pass on what I've learned. Learning and teaching are two things I love, and I don't plan on stopping either anytime soon!