Alderleaf Wilderness College Blog

Listed below are new articles, classes, and recent updates to the Alderleaf Wilderness College website. Checking this page frequently is a great way to stay abreast of new information on our site!

Dec 15, 2017

Wolverine Tracks and Sign

Learn how to identify wolverine tracks & sign and other fascinating information about this elusive carnivore.

Continue reading "Wolverine Tracks and Sign"

Nov 20, 2017

Autumn Olive

Autumn olive is a shrub the straddles the line between multi-use permaculture plant and problematic invasive.

Continue reading "Autumn Olive"

Sep 21, 2017

Hand Drill Fire

Learn how to make a hand drill fire, one of the most elemental ways to start a fire.

Continue reading "Hand Drill Fire"

Aug 23, 2017


Learn about the edible and medicinal uses of the common burdock plant.

Continue reading "Burdock"

Jul 27, 2017

Garter Snakes of Western Washington

Learn about the three species of garter snakes that occur in Western Washington.

Continue reading "Garter Snakes of Western Washington"

May 24, 2017

Fire Piston

Learn about the fire piston - a tool for fire starting that has prehistoric origins and is still in use today because of its effectiveness and portability.

Continue reading "Fire Piston"

May 23, 2017

Wilderness Survival Instructor Training

Get the Skills to Be a Wilderness Survival Instructor through the Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program.

Continue reading "Wilderness Survival Instructor Training"

Apr 27, 2017

Stinging Nettle

Learn about stinging nettle - a wild food, natural garden fertilizer, strong fiber, and more...

Continue reading "Stinging Nettle"

Mar 29, 2017

Human Tracking

Learn about the basics of human tracking - one of the oldest skills on earth, which continues to be used for search & rescue, law enforcement, and military purposes.

Continue reading "Human Tracking"

Mar 21, 2017

Position Announcements

Check out the latest job openings / position announcements at Alderleaf!

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Mar 03, 2017

Essential Wilderness Survival Skills - Online Course

Learn the core skills of wilderness survival - shelter, water, fire, food, & more - in this online survival course.

Continue reading "Essential Wilderness Survival Skills - Online Course"

Feb 27, 2017

How to Raise Chickens

Learning how to raise chickens is a simple way to become more self sufficient. Learn all the essentials for getting started.

Continue reading "How to Raise Chickens"

Feb 01, 2017

Human Tracking Course

This human tracking course teaches tracking skills as applied to detecting, interpreting, preserving and following sign of the passage of humans, be they lost, missing or evasive.

Continue reading "Human Tracking Course"

Jan 27, 2017

Survival Clothing

One of the most vital pieces of life-saving outdoor gear is survival clothing - clothing that performs well in the wilderness. Learn about specific types and principles of effective outdoor clothing.

Continue reading "Survival Clothing"

Dec 29, 2016

Cattail Plants - Friend of the Forager, Bushcrafter, and Basket-Maker

Information on the edible, medicinal, and survival uses of cattail; plus step-by-step instructions on plaited cattail basket making.

Continue reading "Cattail Plants - Friend of the Forager, Bushcrafter, and Basket-Maker"

Nov 29, 2016

Homesteading Skills Course

Learn about canning, small animal systems, creating new things from old, useful wild plants, fermented foods and more in this packed weekend introduction to basic homesteading skills course.

Continue reading "Homesteading Skills Course"

Nov 22, 2016

Black Walnut Tree

Learn about the black walnut tree, an incredibly valuable tree for food, wildlife habitat, specialty lumber, and as a versatile addition to permaculture systems.

Continue reading "Black Walnut Tree"

Nov 21, 2016

Axe Forging Course

Learn axe design, basic metallurgy, tooling, forging, heat treating, and hafting a handle while you produce a small backcountry axe to take home at this axe forging course.

Continue reading "Axe Forging Course"

Sep 28, 2016

How to Make a Fire

Learn the key elements of how to make a fire successfully in the wilderness, including site selection, preparation, materials, design, mental attitude, safety & ethics, and how to practice.

Continue reading "How to Make a Fire"

Aug 24, 2016

King Bolete

Learn about the king bolete - a large, charismatic wild mushroom with a distinct appearance and incredible flavor.

Continue reading "King Bolete"

Aug 16, 2016

Media Coverage of Alderleaf Wilderness College

Press, Video, Radio, Blogs, and Social Media Coverage of Alderleaf Wilderness College

Continue reading "Media Coverage of Alderleaf Wilderness College"

Jul 27, 2016

Permaculture Principles

Permaculture principles lay the foundation for making permaculture design choices. Learn about the 12 core principles.

Continue reading "Permaculture Principles"

Jun 29, 2016

Skull Identification

Learn how to get started with skull identification by understanding key parts of mammal skulls.

Continue reading "Skull Identification"

May 27, 2016

Edible Bugs

Learn about which edible bugs can be an excellent food source in wilderness survival situations.

Continue reading "Edible Bugs"

Apr 29, 2016

Bamboo Propagation

Bamboo is one of the most useful plants in the world and bamboo propagation by cuttings can be an affordable way to establish a stand.

Continue reading "Bamboo Propagation"

Mar 24, 2016

Morel Mushrooms

Morel mushrooms are an elusive, exciting and distinctly delicious group of wild mushrooms. Learn to identify the choice edibles from the potentially deadly toxic look-alikes.

Continue reading "Morel Mushrooms"

Feb 24, 2016

Bird Identification

Learn key tools for bird identification including how shape, size, color and habitat can help you quickly identify species.

Continue reading "Bird Identification"

Jan 28, 2016

How to Sharpen a Knife

Learn the core principles of how to sharpen a knife using a whetstone, the most key component to effective knife care.

Continue reading "How to Sharpen a Knife"

Jan 28, 2016

Custom Courses

Alderleaf can provide customized wilderness skills training or consulting for your group or project; including presentations, courses, and outdoor expertise. Learn more and see examples.

Continue reading "Custom Courses"

Dec 29, 2015

Monkey Puzzle Tree

Learn about the edible, utilitarian, and cultural significance of the monkey puzzle tree, a plant useful to permaculturists and gardeners in cool, moist climates.

Continue reading "Monkey Puzzle Tree"

Nov 25, 2015

Field Herpetology

The study of reptiles and amphibians in their natural setting is called "field herpetology." Learn about some of the most effective techniques for finding and observing herps.

Continue reading "Field Herpetology"

Nov 24, 2015

Reptile & Amphibian Tracking Course

Learn about the tracks & sign of reptiles & amphibians, a whole new area of wildlife tracking, from author, Filip Tkaczyk!

Continue reading "Reptile & Amphibian Tracking Course"

Oct 30, 2015

Edible Seaweeds

Learn about several of the most common edible seaweeds in North America.

Continue reading "Edible Seaweeds"

Sep 24, 2015

Lobster Mushroom

Learn about the lobster mushroom, a strangely fascinating and tasty edible organism!

Continue reading "Lobster Mushroom"

Aug 26, 2015

Edible Wildflowers

Identification, Harvesting, Examples, and Cautions for Edible Wildflowers

Continue reading "Edible Wildflowers"

Jul 22, 2015

Dakota Fire Hole

Learn about the Dakota fire hole, an ancient technique for building efficient, clean burning, and easily concealable fires.

Continue reading "Dakota Fire Hole"

Jul 07, 2015

Book Project Connections

Learn about the various field guides and book projects that Alderleaf teachers, adjunct faculty, former staff, or guest instructors have been involved with.

Continue reading "Book Project Connections"

Jun 25, 2015

Wilderness Skills Camp: Summer Day Camps

Now your children can also experience Alderleaf's amazing wilderness education through our summer day camps!

Continue reading "Wilderness Skills Camp: Summer Day Camps"

May 23, 2015

Course Highlights: March & April 2015

Here's some highlights from the Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program in March and April 2015.

Continue reading "Course Highlights: March & April 2015"

May 23, 2015

Survival Fire Starters

Learn the pros and cons of the many options for survival fire starters.

Continue reading "Survival Fire Starters"

Apr 24, 2015

Bald Eagle Habitat

Learn how to recognize bald eagle habitat, including tracks and nests.

Continue reading "Bald Eagle Habitat"

Mar 17, 2015

Employer Testimonials

Alderleaf's core programs prepare students to apply their wilderness skills training to make a difference in the world. Hear what employers have to say about Alderleaf graduates they've hired.

Continue reading "Employer Testimonials"

Feb 20, 2015

Course highlights: December-February 2015

Here are some highlights from the passed several winter months with the Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program.

Continue reading "Course highlights: December-February 2015"

Jan 14, 2015

Deer Hide Tanning

Learn how to braintan a hide. Deer hide tanning brings with it many benefits.

Continue reading "Deer Hide Tanning"

Dec 23, 2014

Foraging for Wild Edibles: A Practical Approach

Have you ever been curious about foraging for wild edibles? Learn the basics to start harvesting plants on your own!

Continue reading "Foraging for Wild Edibles: A Practical Approach"

Dec 23, 2014

Heating a Greenhouse Without Electricity

There are many creative ways to heating a greenhouse using natural, electricy-free means.

Continue reading "Heating a Greenhouse Without Electricity"

Dec 19, 2014

Course Highlights: Two Night Wilderness Survival Trip December 2014

While the first trip dealt with chilly temperatures and rain, the second group of students had to tolerate downright cold temperatures.

Continue reading "Course Highlights: Two Night Wilderness Survival Trip December 2014"

Dec 19, 2014

Course Highlights: Two Night Wilderness Survival Trip November 2014

We took to the woods for a 2 day/2 night survival trip with only the clothes on our back, our knives, canteens and some cordage. .

Continue reading "Course Highlights: Two Night Wilderness Survival Trip November 2014"

Nov 17, 2014

Course Highlights: October-November 2014

Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program students continue their learning journeys while embarking on many adventures.

Continue reading "Course Highlights: October-November 2014"

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