A Day with Pinock Smith

On January 15, 2011, I had the distinct pleasure of spending the day with Pinock Smith, a master builder, known for his traditional canoe-building methods.

I first heard of Pinock in the second season of Ray Mears’ Bushcraft, where he and Ray built an authentic birchbark canoe in a week. They worked on screen again in Northern Wilderness, to build a set of snowshoes. They are both great shows, but nothing can come close to meeting and talking with someone who has that knowledge, and being able to ask the questions that are important to you.

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Balance leave-no-trace extremes

Perhaps not something that everybody likes to hear, but I, for one, found myself nodding along with many of the points in Don Tryon’s Leave-A-Trace editorial page.

He makes the point for a common-sense approach to camping, and takes issue with the extremes that some enthusiasts have gone through to erase our existence on the land. I agree with much of the spirit of leave-no-trace in preserving the land for future enjoyment, but, like Don, I find some practitioners take it too far.

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