Friday, December 3, 2010

Nothing just happens.  You always have to strive.     
 - Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor 2007 L B & C

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A great Christmas Present -

Imagine how long the latest gadget or plastic toy will last whoever you buy gifts for.  Now imagine that same person spending 5 days swimming in cool mountain forest, learning teamwork and peer teaching skills in small committed groups, and exploring the rugged mountains of western NC.  For $350 you can purchase a one week spot in any of our summer OR winter Scout Camp basic programs.  Visit the contact page for payment instructions.  Winter Photography/Survival deadline for registration is December 12th, let me know ASAP if you are considering attending. :D

Invest in your future

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Class optional with senior belt or adult present. Thank you all veterans of the United States of America.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nightvision study at LOTSWild

http://yamabushi.us/skills/nvs.htm

The above link will take you through a sample course element at Land of the Sky Wilderness School.  In the essay we cover natural night vision development, skills and drills, foods and moods, and move on to NVS systems and care.  Rollover images round out the overview with a few questions and applications for review.  Get out there and
SEE THE NIGHT

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hart's Square

The nation's greatest living history festival has once again come and gone.  What a beautiful day, perfect weather, great friends and good food.  Thanks to the Hart family for making it possible, Dr. Hart in particular! I loved seeing and meeting all ya'll over in the primitive village throughout the day - send me an email, get in touch!

No need to wait until next year!

Topics presented this year included; fire types, fire by friction, tinder making, basic knots, cordage creation with Poplar bark, and Last resort knife techniques for the mountaineer.

Hope to see you all soon,
Spencer

Friday, October 8, 2010

Welcome ASHH!

LOTSWild welcomes students of the Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism this weekend for a mountain wilderness living skills workshop.  Syllabus available on request, see contact page.
http://www.herbsheal.com/

Monday, September 27, 2010

Martial Arts Class in Arden/South Asheville

Tang Soo Do and Budo Taijutsu/ninjutsu
starting October 4th, south asheville at Hahn's Gymnastics
call or text 828-280-0847 for more info

Price; $65/mo for one style, $80 for both

Uniform; FREE if you sign up in October, $35 after

Registration; FREE in October $15 after

Times; Mon/Wed possibly Friday if requested, 6-7, and 7-8 pm.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Survival from the ninjutsu perspective

Sean and Spencer team up for a survival basics course on October 16th, 2010.  Held at Craigfields Farm / Kasumi Yama Dojo this workshop will look at the elements and how they relate to foundational outdoor skills sets.  For example Air may deal with temperature regulation, cold weather first aid, staying warm - Earth deals with shelter, primitive construction, hiding,  Fire - starting your fire in any weather at any time with any materials, Water - acquiring and purifying water, catching rain, etc.

Check back for a pre-registration link and discount, more information available soon, or visit http://www.ashevilleninjas.com/

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

FIRE-105

Fire class this weekend at LOTSWild base camp; you will learn about no trace fires, smokeless fire making, wet weather, fire in ice, cooking, fuels, carving technique, fire by friction, lenses, charcloth, flint and steel, flashlight batteries and lenses to make fire, balloons to make fire (and condoms), various types of lays and 'types' for several applications such as cooking vs heat vs long term vs signalling, etc.   $40 for DAY LONG class and maybe even a swim!  Bring your own lunch, see contact page to register.

Here's a video of a fire by friction in FIVE seconds, to coal -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVeBk4QnhIU
do it this weekend with Spencer Two Dogs LIVE and in person :P

Monday, September 13, 2010

Perseverence

"As to the toughness of individual coyotes, I'm reminded of individual animals that I've watched or taken.
One was a three-legged coyote that lived in the area around my house.  The right front leg of that coyote was completely gone, right at the shoulder.  Whether a wolf got it or the animal was attacked by another coyote, whether it was trapped or its leg was lost in a car collision, I don't really know.
During the summer, when I'd see that coyote and its hair was short, I could see where the tip of the bone was sticking out of the shoulder about two inches, covered over with skin or callous or something.  In winter, long hair would cover the spot.
This three leged coyote traveled through our country for quite a while.  One day, I was watching that coyote and another four legged coyote hunt rock chucks-marmots-together.  The three legged coyote was the decoy.  It kept the attention of the chucks.  The four legged coyote would then sneak in and make the kill.  They were hunting as a team.  And when the kill was made, the four legged coyote ran off and the three legged coyote joined him.  The fed on the rock chuck together."
                     -Laubach, Griswold, Henckel The Coyote Hunter, 2000

Monday, August 23, 2010

Carya Ovata

also known as Shagbark Hickory!
Our mountains are full of em.  Well, right now, if you go check around, you may find a healthy number of green and brown scented nuts in the forest.  These delightful treats not only mean good wood for a handle is nearby, great firewood lurks next to you, salt is stored in twigs for emergency just above, but that you have a healthy, protein rich, fat inclusive snack right at your feet.  Look up the hickory if you don't know it already and get out there!  We may not have the chestnut anymore, and those Oaks can be a little bitter, but the hickory nut is sweet and pleasant.  Get em now while you can.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

a few of the things you will learn at course BOW-110

Solo Bowhunting Comprehensive; three days of awesome personal instruction and time alone in the wilds of southern Appalachia.  Class limited to 10 students, space is already limited, see schedule for more info.

Here are a FEW of the things we will cover -
In addition to practicing on our shoot and move archery range we will study
history, selecting the right bow, arrow selection, primitive arrow construction, tactics, sensory inversion, quartering stalk, ambush, memory exercises, tracking, leapfrogging, terrain appraisal, satellite imagery resources, modern gadgets, topographic interpretation, game resource location, weather effect on deer movement and senses, stalking techniques, scent control, simple camo, 3D camo, tree stand vs. stalk hunt vs. still hunt, ethics and philosophy, anatomy, targeting, preservation of food sources including drying, smoking, freezing, state and federal game laws, licensing, legal bow weights, and more.

This class is not offered in this format any other time of the year, sign up by emailing lotswilderness@gmail.com or calling 828-280-0847 for details.  Dates on schedule page.
Just to get you started, here's a great video of solo bowhunting just off of base camp last year; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A9dy2Acj-g

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

By the Numbers

AWESOME website numbers for LOTSWild;


The www.yamabushi.us website was started in 2006, since then we have received 1,044,561 server requests, accessed by 73,000 distinct hosts worldwide. Daily hits are averaging 5,000-7,000 with a spike on July 4th at over 12,000!


The youtube channel has had 58,878 videos watched, 460...0 actual channel views, and currently has 151 subscribers. That means someone has selected one of our custom vids on martial arts/wilderness skills/sailing over 58,000 times! And I don't even discuss makeup or have car crash footage on there :P


What's it mean? Well...as word spreads so does the opportunity to get folks in the mud, the grass, the water, the trees, and the Sun. The more they do that, the more they appreciate our world, the less likely they are to let it die around them, and the more capable they are during times of need for themselves and those around them. Thank you for playing a part.

Spencer

old MDK footage

here's a neat look at old tang soo do footage from the 1960's.  GM Blackburn earned his belt, 1st dan, in 1968 while stationed in Korea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xC4WtV1uaY0&feature=related

Sunday, August 8, 2010

a song for you

for all the planets that float close, and yet do not collide....for you who find solace in loneliness from time to time, tides which rise but do not breach the berm, a song I wrote - for you
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPvS2SG2LE4&feature=channel

high quality single or complete album available in Lotswild store

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Up on the Mountain

Rattlesnakes are coming out.  Big ones.  Dark timber rattlers.
Coyotes are quiet this week round here.  Gardens are coming in, creeks are low.  The moon rises late, after 11pm for advanced campers doing a ridge crossing after dark - what an adventure!  I'm working on the photos now. 

Turtle Island was tops this year.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Highland Scout Camp Photo gallery - too rad

See what you could be learning/doing this summer!  It's not too late to sign up for week 4 (July 12th), or Sail Camp.  Take hold of your future and invest in sustainable, positive living, close to the Earth and grounded in solid skills.

http://yamabushi.us/SC2010main.htm

Pictures include; tipi, teambuilding, tool use, spring water acquisition, knife safety, ant larvae - rainbows, deadfall traps, appalachian historical tools, wood splitting, knots theory/application, wet weather navigation, applied knots/shelters, fire skills, edible mushrooms, primitive shelters, stalking, edible and medicinal plants, mushrooms, group photo, lunch! tang soo do/martial arts belt test for LOTS students
lashings, mantrapping introduction, river safety, swimming, beautiful closing day photo

shurikenjutsu CQB, groundfighting, knife sharpening, forging the forge, Trip to the river, cold water immersion, yellow root, medicinal plants, sling, fireXfriction wood score, homemade pizza! Stalking technique, silent movement, stairs, rooftop, tipi night life, internal martial... arts with J. McGee, knots,spring water, wolf track, group photo (hiding), deer forage/tracks, mating caterpillars, ant lion, on top of the world, Wild edibles, scavenged lenses, spearfishing, flint/steel fires and charcloth making, taijutsu, memory drills of the ninja, shelters that work and what in the world is that, beautiful nature photos, edible trees (June) - Crayfish ramen noodles, fire cooking, group stalk, waterfalls, irie meditation positive, wild medicines tea, finish the forge / first fire, shooting range

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Go Abby!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena(in this case, the woman), whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and com...es short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” T Roosevelt




“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived.” - Thoreau
 
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/12/rescued-teen-sailor-wants-second-attempt-solo-record/?test=latestnews#content

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Camp Deadlines

Your chance to learn and grow and be a part of North Carolina's best wilderness educational experience is fast disappearing.  Make an investment in yourself and family by learning to read the mountains, to eat, be warm, find what you need, and disappear!  See the schedule page and contact us for available dates, some dates may be closed.  Thanks!

LOL - attack someone in front of a ninja school = bad idea

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/ninjas-rescue-student-from-thugs/story-e6frf7l6-1225868928257

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

go out and eat those black locust blossoms!

Go TJ! Hiking from Mex to Canada

Awesome pictures, updates, stories.....watch TJ and gf as they navigate ice chutes, barren deserts, high mountain passes, and grizzly bears.

http://www.pct10.com/

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Using modern Technology to hone weather prediction skill

Being able to predict incoming weather is an important part of any outdoor living study. Accurate forecasting means not only safety but reduce calories expended putting up tools, covering unfinished shelters, insulating objects, etc. Here's something you can do to build that skill from the comfort of a modern home with TV or internet capability.
There are certain things to look for. In Boy Scouts we used to learn what clouds represented different weather phenomenon, and everyone has heard the old saying, "Red sky at night sailors delight - red sky in morning, sailors warning." Well, at least I have, but then again I'm a sailor. More than once have I put an unsuspecting student on alert by pointing out some irrelevant, or well concealed hint in the forest about weather. By the time he figures out it was a joke he'll be able to predict the weather himself! HA! There are many folk tales of similar wisdom passed down, just as there are natural objects that flux and change with weather. Pine cones, leaves, bird behavior, animals in general, wind, blur forming around stars, moon rings, and more. However, putting these things to work accurately, as a beginner, can be frustrating and perhaps dangerous. Try this instead.
Take a look at your regional weather map. Study it and learn to read it as you would any other map. Learn about the fronts, depressions, high pressure zones, and how each affects incoming 'weather'. Then go outside. Don't even try to make connections just simply observe. Do this as often as possible. In the mountains listening to the actual forecast is about as good as rolling dice with a different weather event on each side, but the maps are great. Pay special attention when a storm is approaching. Watch the skies when clearing is in your local future. Watch the birds, your dog, any older animals you have (maybe you!), watch the trees, and listen with your heart to what the mountains/nature around you are speaking anytime certain weather events approach.



Over time you will start sounding like my grandpa; "Well, looks like a rain comin in directly." Or you may even start scurrying around like a squirrel pulling tarps, throwing things in cars, and sticking the lawn mower out of the weather, calling out with great anxiety, "We only have about 10 minutes before she opens up!" HAHA! Or perhaps you can lay down at night, comfy on the soft grass of a highland meadow while everyone else is busy staking a tent and say, "Naa. The stars don't call for rain tonight." That's my kind of astrology.
___________________________________
For hands on practice at reading weather sign in nature sign up for a scout camp this summer - dates and details on SCHEDULE page!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

support local Boy Scouts of America

BSA has been ordered to pay $18.5 million for damages associated with an incident between a scout leader and a boy in the early 1980's.  While no incident of abusing a child, in any form, is acceptable, punishing the entire organization and setting the precedent for future heavy claims suits damages one of our nation's greatest tools for young boys and men. 

As is seen often within any organization where adults work with children, including public schools, it is difficult to impossible to screen every threat out of the system.  It is equally difficult to prevent incidents when Boy Scouts are sued for addressing gender/orientation issues with adults who work with boys.  In short, Boy Scouts of America remain under attack from within the political sphere due to the moral direction of the association as a whole.  Drive on boys!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Solar Workshop

Solar Power on a Budget / Spring Plants
Saturday 1May2010, 9:30am - 3:30pm
I will be going through basic solar systems with students; PV array, wiring, batteries, charge controllers, and inverters (various types), as well as Li-Ion batteries for appliances and converting items to rechargeable systems.
In the afternoon we will take a walk identifying Spring edibles, hazards, and preparation techniques.  Plants will be common at all of S. Appalachia.
Cost, $35 for whole class.
Bring your own lunch.
Directions upon varification of attendance!  More details on Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stalkin in. Nice north wind to cover sound in dry woods. What a great turkey season so far. Tom dead ahead 70 yards.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring plants to find

Facebook members suggested the following for study this early spring as wild edibles; I have certainly been getting to as many as I can this year, what a beautiful Spring in southern Appalachia.

Blueberry parts, sochan, young poke salad, ramps, spring lettuce, chickweed, dandelion, violets, branch lettuce / creases, mustards, cress, rock tripe, burdock, and thistles, usnea, Basswood shoots! (fav)

Join us on Facebook by looking for Land of the Sky Wilderness!

Great Strides 2010

LOTS Wilderness supports team Nadia Denise in the great strides 2010 walk for cystic fibrosis.  Please consider joining the walk or donating any amount of money - $5 fine!

http://www.cff.org/Great_Strides/dsp_DonationPage.cfm?walkid=6363&idUser=287867

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bloodroot flowers up on the mountain this morning. What will be next? Whats coming up first where you are? Phone text update!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Good Medicine Way, pt. 1

"Do you really think that You can be satisfied with your life if you spend the most important hours of the next Forty Years away from your family, your home, and your personal self? Do you really believe that the benefits gained from selling your time to others are worth more than that time itself? Do you have to earn money so that yu can pay others to do for you those things which you haven't the time to do yourself because you are busy earning money?
Decide Now that you want to have more time to experience the many natural aspects of true life. Set your mind to it. Save your money and buy a piece of land somewhere where the only thing between the Earth and Universe is You. Grow some crops. Raise some chickens and goats. Go to town occasionally for your supplies. Stop wondering about the ingredients of a bowl of soup -- produce the ingrediants yourself. Stop worrying about the tase of water -- obtain that water yourself. Stop wondering what's inside the walls of your house -- put up those walls yourself.
You owe it to your Life and the Life of your family to consider the alternatives to acting as a cog in the world of machanization. Don't let the intricacies of mechanical wonders amaze you into accepting them blindly as substitutes for processes of Life over which you should have direct knowledge..."

Adolf Hungry Wolf, 1970

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Ur-ine Trouble", using your body's fluid for medical intervention

haha, that was funny, I really crack myself up.
Ok, anyway. Because you might need this information sometime I'll share it short and, well, I wouldn't call it sweet. haha, ha, ok...well then.
First off I am not into the whole urine-therapy thing wherein people drink what their body is trying to get rid of, ok? Maybe you, but not me. Secondly this article is intended for folks who would use any information at their own risk in a situation requiring -outside the box- thinking for care and treatment of themselves or another.
My first encounter with the glorious 'gold' was in Jamaica. I had been swimming off of the cliffs in westside Negril. The waves would rise and fall on the cliffs and you had to time the reach just right to grab the ladder which hung precariously on the side of the rock. Well, the wave dropped out from beneath me and I landed hard on a patch of sea urchin, or as the rastas call them, "Sea Spike".



DOH. OUCH. 5 or more writhing shards of blue in my big toe. Man it was a bummer. Apparently they keep secreting a poison and moving slightly in your skin. This Rastaman was like, "You have to pee on it mon", and preceded to drop his drawers. I was like , "Um, no thanks", but he was really serious and was about to grace me with his homegrown medicine (the liquid kind), so I decided I'd at least use my own but thanked him for the 'kind' offer.

LOL
I soaked the pricked area in a cup of my own urine; it helped to cause the spikes to retreat and get out of my foot and lessened infection according to the locals.
I thought about his for a long time, and later heard about using horse pee in wartime to treat soldier injuries and help prevent infection.
I suppose it's the acids, or ammonia, or something, but I have over the years used it in the following ways, in addition to Sea Spikes wounds.
One, athletes foot or foot rot. When living in the woods I had a couple rounds of nasty foot stuff, one time a chunk of my skin turned black and fell off, between my toes. It left a smelly hole and worried me a bit. I peed on it. Everytime I peed I worked that golden shower into the area, let it sit about 10 minutes, then scrubbed with whatever other cleaning agents I had (not ignoring hot soap and water when possible). I have found urine to be quicker than any over the counter foot fungus treatment when used in this fashion.
In addition, and you can try this if you are new to the fun - little cuts on fingers, hangnails, infected bug bites etc. Just pick your comfort level, lol, and BE SURE to wash your hands you know, for other people lol, but pee on it! Or let it sit in a cup of pee for a minute or so, then wash off with cleaning agents (soap, herbs, water, etc), and do a scientific comparison.
You may find that one of nature's greatest healing tools is right at your finger tips.
HAHAHh hahaha ha lol. ok, well, at least for guys anyway.
Let me know how it goes. Haha, I mean, the treatment.
LOL
off to laugh maniacally, alone, in some forest on a mountain!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What's in Store?

Check out the store!  2 new albums by Spencer available for listening or downloading; if you like this website/blog you'll love the music.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Benefits of Invisibility

People find out that I teach ninjutsu and they often ask, "Can you show me how to be invisible?" The answer, of course, is yes! The person will then likely delve into a host of questions about camo paint, outfits, sneaky movement, and scent control. The hardest part to teach, however, is the most important aspect - stillness. Eustace once found me hiding in the woods between base camp and the parking lot. Later he remarked, "Not moving is the most important part of staying hidden." I have thought on this at length and have come to observe this to be true in the natural world. Jon Young talks about the mythical Buck whose antlers are covered with green moss and growth from his weeks of still living during the late season. The rattlesnake can become little more than a rock as he seeks his prey, hours at a time if necessary. A person can sit next to a trail and watch people pass all day, unaware, without even wearing green and brown - if they are still. Stilling the body, however, is only a first step. Stilling the mind is a bit more challenging. But the neat trick is that if we make our body still, the mind soon follows, and a still mind becomes quite invisible in the forest. As you apply this on your own strange things begin to happen. Birds will land nearby, squirrels and critters will run across your feet. Little birds will chirp just over your shoulder and the forest seems to come alive around you! A great happiness fills your heart and a love for the Earth seems to permeate your being. In the world of today when we are overloaded with cell phone calls, texts, Facebook, TV, quick food, and a thousand things to be done in a day, being 'invisible' might be just what the doctor ordered. Many diseases known and unknown are caused by stress; praciticing invisibility is an interactive meditation with the natural world. When we get to the point where the body has calmed, and the mind is still, then perhaps, something really neat happens in our spirit. So you see it becomes so much more than a person dressed in green, covered in paint, carrying a blowgun! It becomes a person who is serene, in love with their world, happy for the gift of life, alert to the miracles all around them, and thankful to the Creator for this wonderful Earth. Maybe that's why real ninjas are always smiling!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Watch for migrating geese. Good stuff. I made this field update from my phone!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

(Jon Young) Wilderness Awareness School's update letter, cool stuff!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Outreach

Spencer will be discussing the essence of tracking for regional Boy Scout gathering, March 13th, South Carolina.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

KukiShin Ryu Bojutsu, as taught by Judan Moti Nativ.
Freefighting practice empty hand and with jo.
Preparation for March 27th belt test/promotion!