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Course Descriptions for Frostbite! 2023

Hand Drill in the Boreal Forest with Adam, No Fee

The mythical handdrill is a skill that many aspire to master.  With an experience practitioner and teacher this skill can be learned.  Join Adam as he shares his experiments with various native materials and helps you learn the fundamentals of spinning the fire stick!


Old Time Cool Conveyances in the Bush with Kelly and Marius

Ever wondered how people hauled stuff around the bush before space age backpacks.  Join Kelly and Marius on an experiential journey through time.  They will demonstrate, and you will experience, Tumplines, blanket packs, Roycraft packframes, Trapper Nelsons, and everything in between.  Participants are welcome to bring their own large wool blankets and have a go.

5 Tips for better Feather Sticks with Alex Rayner

The ability to create quality feather sticks in a reasonable amount of time is an important

wilderness knife skill. Especially when conditions are less than ideal. Whether it is in wet

weather or impressing your friends with your mad knife skills, these 5 tips will help you on

your way to creating consistently good feather sticks. We will also discuss material

identification, selection and why, when and how to use them. This is a hands-on session

so please bring a sharp knife (a personal "cuts" kit is also not a bad idea anytime you are

playing with cutting tools). We will cover some knife safety but that is not the focus of the


Traditional Drum Making, Materials Fee: $45

Join Darcy to learn the art of making a First Nations hand drum.  Students will be exposed to the entire process, from creating the rawhide (instructional portion), to sizing and and cutting the drum head material, and lacing to creating their own piece of living and functional art (hands on).  All participants are requested to observe protocol by presenting tobacco, in whatever form you wish ie. Loose, cigarettes, pipe tobacco etc  to the instructor to honour their knowledge and teaching. A smudge will begin the class, but is not mandatory.


Load Hauling; Toboggans, Pulks and Komatiks with Chris Randall

Join this session to explore the man types of sleds that are used in traditional snowshoe based wintertrekking.  You will earn the advantages of each type of sled, gain some experience loading/securing baggage and have a chance to haul things around.  


Quinzhee Magic with Dean McLeod

Come play in the Snow!

Learn the both the basics and the details about creating safe, comfortable, amazing snow shelters for fun and for multi-night camping. Topics will include clothing, equipment, safety, building techniques, efficiency, comfort, and technique refinement.

Please bring:

- Lots of energy!,

- A shovel or two,

- Clothing that will keep the snow out and keep you warm,

- Well-insulated pants (especially in the knees) that fit over your footwear,

- A hooded outer shell/top,

- Mitts with cinchable cuffs.

Wolf willow seed bracelets with Alissa, Materials Fee: $5

Create art from Nature!  Learn the process of preparing and cleaning wolf willow seeds to then string on memory wire with glass beads.


Animal Tracking - Indoor Session  No fee 

Introduction to animal tracking in snow, identifying species, foot morphology, gaits, and track casts.  We may also have some fun with a tracking quiz - winner gets a prize.


Animal Tracking - Outdoor Session No Fee

Hands on snow tracing animals around the camp.  Methods for identifying species, interpreting gaits, sign tracking, and trailing.  Outside for entire session in any weather so please dress for the coldest expected weather and expect to cover some distance.

Secrets of the Striker with Bruce Zawalsky Fee: $2

Bruce has spent some time with the ferro rod, and those years of experience have developed a few techniques for getting the most out of your striker and ferro rod.

The Jigsaw of Making it to 100 Days Lecture with Bruce Zawalsky

Survival Secrets?  Over the past few years Bruce has served as a safety/support person on various reality survival shows.  This has provided the opportunity to observe the skills, mindset and strategies that are effective for long-term wilderness living.

Traditional Puuko Sheath with Jay Seely, Fee: $30

Learn a skill, go home with a new knife?  Join Jay Seely to make a traditional Puuko style leather sheath for a Mora 510.  Materials fee includes all materials, including your new knife.


Making the Bushcraft Journal with Brenda Holder, Fee: $35

Work with Brenda to create a custom journal that you will proud to carry on adventures, or to simply make quiet notes while sipping tea at home.  Students will need to bring their own knife.

Elderberry Medicine with Brenda Holder, Fee: $45

During this course you will be creating a potent cold or flue formular based on the familiar Elderberry.  Students should bring 1 jar, with a capacity of between 100ml → 200ml.

When Cold Exposure Becomes Medicine with Ber

Shivering, freezing, not everyone’s idea of a great time.  But with training and knowledge exposure to cold, and trained body response, exposure to cold can feel very different.  Join Ber to better understand how to work with rather than against the cold.

Food Planning and Preparation (Requires Sessions 2 & 4) with Colleen Kiselyk, Fee: $15

Based on her experience as a wilderness guide, Colleen will share ideas and suggestions on how to plan menus for Canoe, Snowshoe or Backpack excursions.  During Part 1, students will be involved with processing foods for dehydration.  Part 2, will feature more information and students will leave with bags of freshly dried food.  All students should bring 1 large, and 5 medium FREEZER bags.  Sessions 2 and 4.

Crafting a Round Willow Basket (Requires Session 2 & 3) Fee: $20.00

Using home grown English Basketry Willows, we will make a basic round basket including

the 3 x 3  slath bottom, pairing the bottom, waling the uprights, English or French Randing,

topped with another row of waling and a 4 by 2 border. This will be a complete basket with

all necessary weaves to create a multitude of functional containers. We will show two kinds

of handle options but likely will not have time to complete the larger version.   Please arrive

on time for both session, so the group can stay relatively at the same point in starting and

continuing each section


Counting on Calories with Dave Holder

Outlasting a TV survival show or real life scenario.  This presentation will focus on important issues like plant nutrition, rabbit protein, poisoning and more.

Make a Leather Pouch with Robb Brouwer, Fee: $15

Learn the basics of leathercraft while making a leather pouch.  Materials and all tools will be provided for use during the class, and you will leave with a custom made piece of functional art.

Make a Leather Axe Sheath and Handle Guard with Robb Brouwer, Fee: $35

Bring your own axe to class, learn to create custom patterns, then create a beautiful sheath and handle guard for your own tool.  A great introduction to leather work.  All material and tools will be provided for use during the class.

From Fiber to Fabric with Tarn White (Requires Sessions 2 & 3)

Processing, cleaning, twisting and weaving! Starting with raw materials you will learn to process into raw fibers, and then to create cordage.    During Part 2, you will take the cordage/string and then finish the project by creating a piece of fabric.  Students should bring their own knife to this class.  This course will run over both Sessions 1 and 4. 

Drop Spindles, and Dog Hair with Dave Holder (8 participants)

Using drop spindles, stick spindles, and fingers to spin animal hair. 1 hour. All gear supplied.  You get to take home a drop spindle and stick 

Suncatchers with Meredith Brotherston, Fee: $5.00

Come make a beautiful mobile the disks are painted black and participants will cut out the feather shape and etch the detail of the feather. Then create the mobile with beads and the crystal. 2 hours 

Indoors 13 chairs and 3 tables.  Participants are requested to bring a sturdy pair of scissors.

Tree of Life Pendant with Meredith Brotherston, Fee: $10.00

Participants will come make a lovely tree of life pendant from copper wire and semi precious stones and create their own leather cord. 

3 tables 13 chairs


Survival Scarf with Randy and Lori Breeuwsma, Fee: $8.00

Join Lori and Randy to create a survival scarf as first made by Tom Roycraft then modified by Mors Kochanski and Randy Breeuwsma.  Materials and sewing machines provided.

Information will be given to all students on how to use it and the link to the YouTube video on Mors talking about the scarf.

1.5 hours for 10 students at a time and we will do 2 sessions back to back. 9-10:30 and 10:30 to 12:00

3 Tables and chairs required.

Birch Bark Knife Sheath with Randy Breeuwsma, Free

Join Randy and learn to craft a custom knife sheath from birch bark knife.

2 Tables and chairs required

Create a Small Awl and Leather Thimble, Free

This class is a 2 for 1.  There is crafting, and there is building the tools to enable the act of creation. Create a small awl and then use it to help create a leather thimble.

2 Tables and chairs required.

Crisis Ready Survival with Zef Ordman

This presentation will explore the linkages between wilderness survival, and where most of the world lives, the “Sub/Urban Jungle.”  Definitely a presentation not to miss!

The Personal Safety Triangle with Dave MacDonald/ICSOS

Presentation and discussion that explores the fundamentals of survival strategy and planning.

The Mighty Birch with Dave MacDonald/ICSOS

Paper Birch, White Birch, Canoe Birch, the Mother of All Trees!  Join Dave in a presentation and discussion on the range of gifts that birch provides to the wilderness traveller.

Knife Skills Revisited with Jaye Selin

Instruction and demonstration of foundational knife skills (key grips and technique) intended to increase your boldness (not recklessness) and proficiency in using your bush-knife. Students should bring a “paper slicing sharp” knife. Some loaner knives may be available. 

Sewing a Leather Drawstring Pouch with Alissa McRae, Fee: $25

Beginning with a ready made piece of leather, each person will learn to stitch with a glovers needle and imitation

sinew.  By the end of, you will have created your own beautiful pouch.

Living off the Grid with Tim Essington

TIm and his family have been living off-grid since 1994.  During this presentation they will share their experiences and lessons learned through photos and discussion.  Topics could include: key learnings, solar systems, financial realities, tips n tricks, and why they chose to do something different.

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