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!

Nov 08, 2018

Wildlife Trailing Course

Learn how to locate fresh animal sign; follow the tracks and subtle clues, and find the animal, approaching without alerting them at this Wildlife Trailing Course.

Continue reading "Wildlife Trailing Course"

Nov 08, 2018

Survival and Tracking for Hunters Course

Learn wilderness survival and wildlife tracking skills specifically applicable to hunting. Survival skills are key for backcountry hunts, while wildlife tracking skills allow you to find game more efficiently.

Continue reading "Survival and Tracking for Hunters Course"

Nov 07, 2018

Mushroom Cultivation Class

Learn how to grow your own mushrooms - both wild and popular culinary varieties - including shiitake, stropharia, and oyster mushrooms - at our Mushroom Cultivation Class.

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Nov 06, 2018

Primitive Hunting Tools Course

Learn how to build an atlatl, bola, rabbit stick, sling, and quickie survival bow at the Primitive Hunting Tools Course.

Continue reading "Primitive Hunting Tools Course"

Sep 19, 2018

Bear Attacks

Learn what to do for different types of bear attacks, as well as preventative measures. Bear awareness and knowledge helps ensure your time in the outdoors is well spent and safe.

Continue reading "Bear Attacks"

Aug 22, 2018

Permaculture Plants

Learn about 15 helpful permaculture plants that will serve you well whether you are planning to start a garden, landscaping around your property, or going all out on a sustainable homestead design.

Continue reading "Permaculture Plants"

Aug 09, 2018

Alderleaf Alumni

Learn about what graduates have done after attending the Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program.

Continue reading "Alderleaf Alumni"

Jul 27, 2018

Survival Gear Checklist

Learn about the Ten Essential Systems for a survival gear checklist that can make the difference in surviving a challenging outdoor situation.

Continue reading "Survival Gear Checklist"

Jun 22, 2018

Seaweed Recipes

Check out some of the seaweed recipes we share with students in our core programs when we teach about wild edible seaweeds on our marine ecology field trips to the coast.

Continue reading "Seaweed Recipes"

May 15, 2018


Learn how to make an atlatl - an ancient survival projectile weapon for hunting and sport that pre-dates the bow & arrow.

Continue reading "Atlatl"

May 04, 2018

Alderleaf Open House

Join us for a free, family-friendly event to get a taste of what we offer at Alderleaf! Demonstrations and activities are led by our Advanced Wilderness Skills Program students.

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Apr 24, 2018

Nettle for Hair

Herbalists use stinging nettle for hair and other scalp-related issues. Learn how to make your own nettle remedies for hair.

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Mar 21, 2018

Solar Oven

A solar oven is a unique and fun way to cook food by converting free sunlight into heat energy. It can be especially useful for emergencies, off-grid homesteading, and permaculture plans.

Continue reading "Solar Oven"

Mar 06, 2018

Position Announcements

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

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Feb 22, 2018

Mora Knife

The Mora Knife, such as the Companion or Bushcraft models, is an excellent tool for survival and bushcraft. Learn about the qualities to consider in choosing good outdoor knives.

Continue reading "Mora Knife"

Jan 29, 2018

Medicinal Plants List

Our top ten common medicinal plants list for North America - great species to get to know as a starting point towards making your own remedies.

Continue reading "Medicinal Plants List"

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.

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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 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"

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

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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"

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