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Michael James


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I can answer wilderness survival and primitive skills questions. I am familliar with modern gear for wilderness survival as well as primitive approaches. Topics I can share thoroughly are developing a survival attitude, making stone tools, long and short term shelter building, fire making off the landscape, gathering and purifying water (as well as the biological and chemical concerns), wild edible, medicinal, and utilitarian plants, tracking, animal behavior, awareness, foraging and primitive hunting, aidless navigation and orienteering, flint knapping, bow making, atl-atl, stalking and movement, nature educaton, community building, and personal development through nature immersion. I cannot answer questions about survival at sea, polar region survival, politics, or mechanical, medical, or social survival issues.

Experience in the area

I have been a student of survival since 1980. This passion has evolved in to a full time profession. In 1989 I founded and continue to run New Englands most successful wilderness survival and primitive skills school. We have a staff of over twenty instructors, volunteers, and interns. As a professional survival and primitive skills educator, we go on staff full survival trips lasting between 5-10 days at least twice a year (our new staff members are permitted a knife). Our community has adopted the native culture approach to learning, teaching, and interacting with ones environment. In short, being a caretaker of the landscape with an understanding that if you find yourself suffering in nature, it is your awareness or skill level that is the issue.


Maine Primitive Skills School New England Environmental Educators Association Maine Environmental Educators Association


Ancestral Plants- A Primitive Skills Guide to Important Edible, Medicinal, and Useful Plants of the Northeast MAMLE Journal (Maine Association of Middle Level Educators)


Graduate, B.S. Environmental Education United States Marine Corps JWS (Jungle Warfare Survival School) Winter Warfare and Survival (Fort Pickle Meadows) SERE Maine Primitive Skills School (22years)

Past/Present Clients

U.S. Military Unity College Bowdoin College Colby College Boy Scouts of America 4H Maine Conservation Camp State of Maine

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Vinod08/20/15101010Thanks so much

Recent Answers from Michael James

2015-08-13 Shell pants:

Cotton, while comfortable, retains moisture and can facilitate hypothermia. The ideal shell is a breathable barrier agains rain and wind. They are usually an outer garment used in conjunction with a wicking

2012-12-14 waterproff backpack:

It looks like a decent bag for what it is.  The price is reasonable and it appears to be made with resilience to water in mind.  There is a compromise in that emphasis with regard to being able to adjust

2012-04-17 developing a survival attitude:

A survival attitude is nothing less than ones adopted "reality" of a situation.  It is born primarily of choice and awareness.  Many institutions focus on training to increase the "options" or choices


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