011 Native American Flutes with Charlie Mato-Toyela

Great episode with Charlie from over at Blue Bear Flutes!

I discovered Charlie while lost on Youtube distracting myself from actually doing my taxes like I was supposed to be…… He has some great videos that explains and demystifies flute making in a way that makes me feel confident that I could make one (how well it would play is a different question entirely).

In this episode we dive down a few rabbit holes related to flute making and craft in general….. You’ll get an overview on flute making, plus a good chat discussing craft and making in general as well as some of Charlie’s philosophies!

Resources Mentioned

bluebearflutes.com — Charlie’s website

Blue Bear Flutes Facebook

Blue Bear Flutes Instagram

Blue Bear Flutes Youtube Channel — specific videos mentioned are below

The Art of Native American Flute Making by Charlie Mato-Toyela

010 Fingerweaving Basics and History with Kris Daman


Great conversation this week with Kris Daman! We discuss the basic weave and process involved in getting started fingerweaving, as well as the history around it, what it is best used for, and how it was involved in the early tourist trade.

If you’re interested in reenactment, muzzleloading, traditional living skills, and some of the history in the great lakes area you’ll enjoy this episode for sure!

We discuss:

  • Materials used (historical and modern)
  • Estimating yarn length needed
  • Getting set up
  • Doing a basic weave
  • A few notes on different patterns
  • And finishing up your strap

Resources Mentioned

Kris’ Instagram account

Kris’ Facebook page

Braddock’s Sash Youtube video

Carol James’ Youtube Channel

JaggerSpun yarn that Kris likes to use


Finger Weaving: Indian Braiding by Alta Turner

Finger Weaving Basics by Gerald Findley

The Assomption Sash by Marius Barbeau

Twined Bags: an Historic Finger-weaving Craft of the Native Americans by Monica Moore

Fingerweaving Untangled by Carol James

Sprang Unsprung by Carol James

Trading Identities by Ruth Phillips

Patterns of Power by Ruth Phillips

The Book of Buckskinning series by William Scurlock

2019 Reading List

I talked about my reading and learning on the podcast a few episodes ago and said that I would post my reading list for 2019. I believe that the books (or any content for that matter) someone is reading or owns can tell you quite a bit about them. Here you’ll see both what I read for fun as well as what I read to learn…. And often they are one and the same. I would say that this is a complete list, but alas, I had a computer malfunction last fall that wiped out the document I was keeping track in. These are ones that I have emailed library receipts from or distinctly remember reading– there are probably a few I missed.


Before jumping into the actual reading list I would like to make special mention of a couple of my favorites from the year.

First off, I highly recommend that you all read The Nature Fix by Florence Williams, while I’ve always personally believed in (and noticed in my own life) the benefit of being immersed in nature — and the corresponding issues caused by living in modern cities– it was nice to actually see some of what science says about that. Philosophy wise, another couple I really jived with were Deep Work and Digital Minimalism both by Cal Newport.

As far as instructional “how-to” books, David Asher’s The Art of Natural Cheesemaking was my favorite read of the year (I actually went through it twice)– now I just need to spend more time in the kitchen putting what I learned to use! I highly recommend the book, plan on owning it in the near future, and hope to eventually have him as a guest on the podcast.

I separated the book list into two segments, those I read and those I listened to as an audio book. . . not that it really matters to you, that was simply for my own convenience in keeping track of things. All told, I listened to 29 audio books and read 35 print books for a total of 64 books that I finished in 2019 (I didn’t include any books that I only partially read). Of those books only 4 were non-fiction, and I designated them with an * in front of the title.

2019 Books in Review

Physical Books:

  • Building Wooden Snowshoes and Snowshoe Furniture– Gil Gilpatrick
  • The Morning Miracle– Hal Elrod
  • Absinthe and Flamethrowers: Projects and Ruminations on the Art of Living Dangerously– William Gurstelle
  • *Brian’s Winter– Gary Paulson
  • The Five-Hour Workday– Stephan Aarstol
  • The Art of Natural Cheesemaking: Using Traditional, Non-industrial Methods and Raw Ingredients to make the World’s Best Cheeses– David Asher
  • The One Thing– Gary Keller
  • Spruce Root Basketry of the Haida and Tlingit– Sharon Busby
  • Digital Minimalism– Cal Newport
  • The Man-eaters of Tsavo and other East African Adventures– John Henry Patterson
  • Primitive Pottery– Hal Reigger
  • The Natural House: A Complete Guide to Healthy, Energy-efficient, Natural Homes– Daniel Chiras
  • North American Bows, Arrows, and Quivers: and Illustrated History– Otis T. Mason
  • Wildwood Wisdom– Ellsworth Jaeger
  • The Natural Way of Farming: The Theory and Practice of Green Philosophy– Masanobu Fukuoka
  • Jungle Lore– Jim Corbett
  • Man-Eaters of Kumaon– Jim Corbett
  • The Temple Tiger– Jim Corbett
  • The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use– J.N. Liles
  • Secrets of Eskimo Skin Sewing– Edna Wilder
  • Shop Class as Soulcraft– Matthew Crawford
  • Indian Fishing– Hilary Stewart
  • Cedar: Tree of Life to the Northwest Coast Indians– Hilary Stewart
  • Participating in Nature– Thomas J. Elpel
  • Deep Work– Cal Newport
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity– David Allen
  • The 4-Hour Workweek– Timothy Ferriss
  • The Longevity Diet– Valter Longo
  • *Jonathan Livingston Seagull– Richard Bach
  • Wild Dyer– Abigail Boothe
  • The Search– Tom Brown Jr.
  • Father Water, Mother Woods– Gary Paulson
  • Meat Smoking & Smokehouse Design– Stanley, Adam and Robert Marianski
  • Duck, Duck, Goose: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Waterfowl, both Farmed and Wild– Hank Shaw

Audio Books:

  • Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance– Alex Hutchinson
  • Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.– Ron Chernow
  • *Origin– Dan Brown
  • The More of Less– Joshua Becker
  • Midnight in Chernobyl: the Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster– Adam Higginbotham
  • Coyote America – Dan Flores
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea – Barbara Demick
  • The Death and Life of the Great Lakes– Dan Egan
  • Skeletons on the Zahara: a True Story of Survival – Dean King
  • The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival– John Vaillant
  • In a Sunburned Country– Bill Bryson
  • The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot– Robert Macfarlane
  • The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt– Darrin Lunde
  • The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors– Dan Jones
  • Tribe: on Homecoming and Belonging– Sebastian Junger
  • The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings– Lars Brownworth
  • The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and more Creative– Florence Williams
  • Desert Solitaire– Edward Abbey
  • Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World’s Most Famous Human Fossils—Lydia Pyne
  • Good to Great—Jim Collins
  • Atlas of a Lost World– Craig Childs
  • Leonardo da Vinci– Walter Isaacson
  • The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic– and How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World—Steven Johnson
  • Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates– Brian Kilmeade
  • The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps—Michael Blanding
  • Born to Win– Zig Ziglar
  • Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded– Simon Winchester
  • *The Nightingale– Kristin Hannah

How about you? Any books you’ve read over the last year that you would recommend?

009 Traditional Winter Camping with Kielyn Marrone

What do you do in the winter? Do you get out and enjoy nature throughout the year or do you stay indoors and hibernate for the cold and snowy season?

As we get partway through winter I’d love to challenge you to do the former. I know winter is starting to feel long for some of you at this point, but we still have another few months of it so we might as well be outdoors and active!

This week Kielyn Marrone joins us to talk about traditional winter camping and travel as it was done in the northern forests — woven snowshoes, canvas tents, wool clothing, and hauling it all on toboggans!

Kielyn and her husband Dave operate Lure of the North, a company that leads traditional style winter expeditions in Canada. They have extensive experience being outdoors and active during the winter and I love how they choose to strike a balance between traditional and modern equipment.

Listen in as we discuss equipment, what it’s like to do an expedition like this, making your own gear and the competency that gives you, using terrain appropriate technology, staying warm and dry while outdoors for extended periods, beaver fat soap, and their philosophy on choosing the equipment they use.

Resources Mentioned

Laurentian University — outdoor adventure leadership program that Kielyn & Dave attended

Winter Camping Symposium

Snowtrekker Tents

lureofthenorth.com — Kielyn and Dave’s website, check out their expeditions!

LOTN patterns (for mittens, moccasins/mukluks, etc)

LOTN kits (mittens, moccasins, snowshoes, etc)

LOTN Instagram

LOTN Facebook

LOTN Youtube


The Snowwalker’s Companion by Garrett and Alexandra Conover (the updated edition is called The Winter Wilderness Companion)

Building Wooden Snowshoes and Snowshoe Furniture by Gil Gilpatrick

008 Getting Started in Wildlife Tracking with Casey McFarland

Wildlife tracking is one of those skills that is a simple and basic concept, simply follow the tracks left in the dirt right?

Alas, it is those simple concepts that are often most difficult and complicated to really master! Tracking it is no exception, it is far more nuanced and takes some serious focused practice in the field to become really proficient (like most traditional skills that are the focus of this podcast). . .

Casey McFarland, current president of Cyber Tracker North America, joins me for this episode to discuss tracking and some of his experience in a broad overview– I plan on doing much more specific tracking related episodes in the future, but this serves as a perfect introduction for anyone not already interested.

We discuss: getting started, where some of the best places to find tracks are, why you should be interested in tracking, the connection with place and nature that it will lead to, the Cyber Tracker organization and their evaluations process, and much more.

Thanks for listening! Join us next week as we discuss traditional winter camping and being out enjoying this season!

Resources Mentioned:

trackercertification.com — Cyber Tracker North America


Art of Tracking Podcast

Wilderness Awareness School

Tracker School

Animals Don’t Cover Their Tracks Facebook Group

Laughing Coyote Project



Mammal Tracks and Sign (2nd Edition) by Mark Elbroch

Tracking and the Art of Seeing— Paul Rezendez

Peterson Field Guide to Tracks by Olaus Murie

The Peterson Reference Guide to the Behavior of North American Mammals by Mark Elbroch & Kurt Rinehart

Bird Feathers: A Guide to North American Species by S. David Scott & Casey McFarland

Peterson Field Guide to Bird Nests of North America — Coming Fall 2020