The Handcrafted Tool Kit Week

Students Working On A Small Carving Project

(Weeklong “Build Your Own Bushcraft Gear” Course)

  • Course Info
  • All Ages Dates: 10/16-10/21 2022
  • Teens (Ages 14-18) Dates 7/9-7/14 2023
  •  Max. Size: 10
  • Min. Course Size: 3
  • Tuition: $950

This week will be all about learning to make the most basic useful objects and tool from materials on the land, how to harvest those materials effectively and ethically, and how to use those objects and tools. One tool will be used to make another, and by the end of the program students will have created a series of objects and tools that will set them up for future, more involved crafting projects.

Students will first put a handle on their own custom knife (blade blanks provided), using wood they harvest and carve themselves, then use that knife to carve a series of projects, culminating in a bucksaw frame that they will then use to harvest a sapling for the culminating project, a self bow. These projects are selected to give students the opportunity to create several different styles of craft, and build the skills necessary to not only create useful tools, but use them effectively in the future.

Using hand tools effectively is only half of the skill set. Being able to make and repair them is what allows artists, guides, woodsy folks, and anyone else who works with wood or spends time in the bush to be self reliant. Tool use is a human skill that we all have the ability to progress in and thrive at. Making your own kit is a powerful experience, and this course will set you up for many wood working projects to come, and increase your ability to live simply in the back country with minimal gear. Students will also get some basic instruction on open fire cooking, as they’ll spend the week living in our low infrastructure outdoor campus.


Topics covered include:

  • Basic Carving Skills
  • Fast and effective material removal
  • Effective and efficient strategies for crafting
  • Sharpening
  • Attaching a handle to a knife blade with minimum infrastructure
  • Burned Spoon Carving
  • Carving an effective Bucksaw Frame
  • Carving a Self Bow

Gear List

•  Sleeping Bag:

•  Sleeping Pad (foam pad or Thermarest)

•  Tent – Be sure you set it up and stay in it a few times before arriving, and that it has noseeum netting

•  Cup for Hot/Cold drinks (unbreakable, travel mug-style)

•  Plate, bowl, fork, spoon and net bag to hold them (similar to a laundry bag)

•  Water Bottle with wide mouth

•  Notebook and pen/pencil

Tool List (Optional)

The purpose of this course is to build your own kit, so don’t feel the need to bring anything on this list unless you want to have extras, get used to using a certain knife you already own etc.

  • Knife
  • Saw
  • Axe

Travel Information and Directions: Our campus is located just outside of Brattleboro Vermont in a little town called Guilford. After you register you will receive local driving directions to our site.

Arrival and Departure:   Plan to arrive on Sunday afternoon if staying on campus for the weekend, between 4 and 6. We’ll have dinner, a group introduction and a tour of the grounds starting at 5. If commuting, please plan on being on campus at 8 am each day of the program.

Accommodations:   Bring a tent, tarp, or another shelter. It will be your home for the week. For summer programs please consider bringing a bug net if you don’t have noseeum netting on your tent. We’re located just outside of Brattleboro, and there are plenty of hotels and air BnB style lodging available if needed.

Meals:   Information on food and meals at the field school is located at About The Field School: Food.

Cancellation and Refund Policies:   Please visit our School Policies page for information on all of our policies.

What is included with the tuition:   Included in the tuition are all camping fees, group food, instruction, and group gear.

What is not included with the tuition:   Not included with the tuition are personal gear, items from town and any food or meals other than the group bulk foods provided.

Course Insurance:   Adventure travel and wilderness education are not inexpensive, and anything can happen when we’re in the bush. We recommend that all participants have medical insurance. We also recommend you protect your investment with travel insurance for trips and tuition insurance for courses.

Tobacco:   Smoking is not permitted in or near any buildings. All cigarette butts are to be placed into the metal can provided.

Vehicles and Parking:  We’re located on a private dirt down a gravel road. During the winter and spring the road can be impassable for 2-wheel drive vehicles.

Telephone: We don’t have a phone or electricity in our teaching area. If you need to be in constant phone contact please consider bringing a cell phone, and if you need to charge a phone (or other electronic devices), please look into getting a charger or bringing extra batteries.

Other: Please don’t bring any pets or illegal drugs.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

We reserve the right to include or omit any of the course topics listed due to class interest, availability of materials, inclement weather, or other factors that make them impractical or unsafe.

If you have questions about the course, don’t hesitate to contact us.