Wilderness Survival / Primitive Skills/Expert Profile

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Michael James Douglas


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I can answer questions about wilderness survival, primitive skills, bushcraft, mentoring, outdoor education, nature, awareness and tracking. The subsets of these skill areas are vast and include Shelter Building, dressing for the out of doors, fiber arts, wild crafting, making cordage from plants, trees, and animal parts, flint knapping and stone tools, bone tool making, crafting and using hunting tools from the landscape, tracking, trailing, track interpretation, edible, medicinal, and utilitarian plants, trees, and shrubs, primitive pottery, fermentation, fungi for food and medicine, identifying hazards, movement, camouflage, and concealment, making baskets and containers, water gathering and purification, using bird language to read the landscape for survival needs and the movement/location of other living things on the landscape, primitive/modern navigation, fire making off the landscape, fire by friction, ice lenses, and approaches to survival atttude.

Experience in the area

Student of Survival and Primitive Skills since 1980. Founded The Maine Primitive Skills School. Have been sharing and learning skills professionally since August 4, 1989. Studied with Tom Brown jr., Charles Worsham, Paul Rezendes, Jon Young, Mark Elbroch, Arnie Neptune, Ray Rietze, and all of the students, volunteers, interns, instructors, and staff at The Maine Primitive Skills School and the schools that have been started by its community. We go on full survival outings at least twice a year to build community and develop our skill sets. New instructors are allowed to bring a metal knife. These trips usually last between 5 and 10 days. We have also been weaving in permaculture and sustainable land management concepts at our main campus.


New England Environmental Educators Alliance Maine Environmental Educators Alliance


MAMLE-Middle Association of Middle Level Education Ancestral Plants-A Primitive Skills Guide to Important Edible, Medicinal, and Udeful Plants of the Northeast.


B.S. University of Maine, College of Education, Environmental Education USMC-Numerous military Survival Schools (SERE, JWS, Cold Weather) Tracker School (16 courses from 1989-2003) Kamana (Wilderness Awareness School) Paul Resendez (numerous Tracking Workshops)

Awards and Honors

Vigil Honor-BSA-1984 Primitive Skills in the Modern Classroom-1992 Volunteers of America Star Award-2002

Past/Present Clients

U.S. Military Unity College Bowdoin College Colby College Scouting Maine Conservation School 4H

Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Catalin09/08/15101010Thanks for the answer. I had no .....
rain05/02/15101010Thanks so much for your input.
Anne02/08/14101010Great answer!
Forrest Christy04/24/13101010Helpful idea. Just what I was looking .....
Mike12/20/11101010Thanks, Michael, for a very knowledgeable answer .....

Recent Answers from Michael James Douglas

2015-08-30 Mushroom identification:

Hey Catalin,  This is the first time I have to say "I don't know".  It is far too dangerous to guess on mushrooms, even shelf fungus. I highly recommend a local mycologist who can see the fungus in person

2014-02-04 managing heat:

If your clothing material is hydrophobic, meaning the fabric does not absorb moisture, such as polypropylene, silk, or marino wool, than I would leave them on and increase my pace to burn calories at a

2013-04-28 Prepping a Skeptic:

Family is hard to reach, primarily because we are so close to them.  My kids have trouble sharing how to program the dvd player with me, but I could learn it from an instructor.  Another piece is that

2013-04-19 Plant Knowledge:

Good Morning Christy.  The book that fits your needs exactly would be "Ancestral Plants" by Arthur Haines.  It is the first in a three volume series. While volume one is the only one in print so far, each

2012-11-12 survival tips:

We run a school here in Maine and also have an apprenticeship program.  Our staff botanist, Arthur Haines, is working on two more volumes of "Ancestral Plants".  I wrote the foreward and shared experiences


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