Winter Camping Symposium

October 21 — 24, 2021   Sturgeon lake, MN

Thursday Fire Clinic

Ben and Jason will be teaching essential fire making skills for the north woods.

Friction fire : We will spend one on one time with students on the bow drill and each student will go home with a completed set they can practice with.

Flint and Steel : We will cover the basics of flint and steel spark based ignition with char cloth and chaga fungus.

Ferro Rods : This is the most practical bomb proof way to light a fire in the bush, we will cover lighting birch bark, pine pitch resin wood, and work on feather sticks with the ability to light them with a ferro rod as in a one stick fire.

We will focus on north woods resources including birch bark, pine pitch wood, twig bundles, feather sticks and also talk about fire maintenance and setting up a Finnish 3 log fire lay for a all night fire.

Safe knife, axe and saw skills will be taught as these are the tools for lighting fire as well as harvesting firewood.

Students should bring a knife and ferro rod ( knives and ferro rods will be available for purchase )

Email: or to hold your spot

Class Title:  Woofum Stick building and eating workshop.  Cost $7 per person.

Overview:  In this workshop you will build one Woofum stick to take home and also bake a traditional Woofum to eat and enjoy.  

What is a Woofum?

Move over s'mores and pudgie pies!  The Woofum is making a return to your campfire!  While some might think a Woofum is a new invention, they have been around for decades (as spotted in old Boy Scout manuals).  Note:  The Boy Scouts will not claim they invented them though, so the Woofum origin remains a mystery.  

In short, a Woofum is a fire baked biscuit turned into a cup using a Woofum stick that you fill with all sorts of goodness.  Traditional fillings are: chocolate pudding, cherry pie filling and whipped topping.

To see a video explaining what a Woofum is:  

What we will do in the workshop:
1. Karla will provide the material, tools, and instruction for you to build your own woofum stick.
2. You will also cook, prepare, and eat a woofum with the traditional ingredients of chocolate pudding and cherry pie filling. 
3. You will also gain access to the instructions to build your own additional woofum sticks at home and a woofum recipe book.
4. Your stick will soak in oil for 24 hours and be available for you to pick up in the dining hall on Saturday afternoon.
5. If you want to make a 2nd Woofum stick on-site, you would have time.  Pay for two sticks instead of one.

To pay Karla for the workshop:  
1. Everyone needs to register in advance.  Karla needs to bring the appropriate amount of materials for the Woofum stick building and eating.
2. Go to: if you would like to prepay.  You can also pay Karla during the workshop, but please let her know that you will attend.
3. This option is free to you and me if you use your paypal funds or bank account and send the money as a friend transaction.
4.. If you choose to use a credit card, the rate is: 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction (the sender "you" decides who pays this fee) - you must select yourself.
5. Karla should receive the full amount.


DESCRIPTION:  In this workshop you will cut and sew materials into your very own toboggan duffel bag.  Written directions and classroom instruction will guide you through the process from choosing the dimension of your bag to the very last stich in about 4 hours.   These tough bags with clean and efficient design are great for lashing to toboggans, car travel, car camping, and gear storage.

PROVIDED:  Written directions, classroom instruction, fabric, zipper, webbing, thread.

SUPPLY YOUR OWN:  Functional and tested sewing machine, 2 bobbins, scissors, marking pen/pencil, measuring device. 

SKILL LEVEL:  This project takes low to moderate sewing skill level, though, total complete novices have taken the course and left with a finished duffel.  I encourage all who are interested to sign up. 

Cost:  $35 For the course and materials to complete 1 bag.  $20 Per set of materials to complete additional bags at home.  Pay (preferably cash) to the instructor at the start of the class.

Register:  Contact Jon Maruska directly at to reserve your spot.  Participants must register 10 days prior to the course to allow the instructor time to order materials.  Minimum class size: 4.  Maximum class size: 10.

Build a Toboggan

Chris Evavold from Black River Sleds

Winter Camping Symposium 2019

            with Chris Evavold

Hauling Toboggan Workshop (HDPE)

Time: 3+ hours (Sunday Morning 7am - Noon)

Participants: 6 maximum per session (no minimum)

No tools or experience necessary (but, any additional block planes, drills, Phillips #2 drill bits, or countersink bits would be helpful)


“In this 3+hour workshop participants will be able to construct their own hauling toboggan that will be ready for use upon completion. Participants can choose from 5’, 7’, 9’ or 11’ lengths. Construction materials will include black HDPE pre-shaped blanks, finished white ash crosspieces, stainless steel screws, and 4mm accessory cord for running line, tumpline, and lashing system.  Participants will prepare and finish the plastic blank, fasten crosspieces to blank, and string up toboggan.  The end result will be a low maintenance, durable, and rollable toboggan that will provide years of use trekking into the bush.”


5’ SnowWalker Petite - $143 ($125 w/o Lashing System)

7’ SnowWalker -  $171 ($150 w/o Lashing System)

9’ SnowWalker - $200 ($175 w/o Lashing System)

11’ SnowWalker - $230 ($200 w/o Lashing System)

Sign up prior to event by emailing or calling Chris at 7159190118.  You can pay with checkcash or credit cardPriority given to payments ahead of event.

"Tureenware Carving Tools"

Friday and Saturday in Hanson Lodge *No charge for this class


Roger Pilsner of Primitive Spirit

Last year was treenware 101.  You carved a spoon from a preshaped blank with tools I provided.  This year I would like you to dig into Grandpa’s old tool chest and bring some carving tools of your own.  Don’t worry about sharpness, I will bring my Tormek and a bunch of hand sharpening tools, together we will recondition that old tool into a Mercedes.  If you don’t have any tools that is ok, I will bring some extras.  I will bring wood blanks for Kuksa’s, bowls, ladles, platters, and of course more spoons.  If time permits we will make some Birch shrink pots. 

Please do not bring survival knives, these are not carving tools.  Wrong application and edge geometry.  Timing is similar to last year, come early, stay late and leave whenever you desire.  Don’t blame me for missing another seminar. Ok, you can blame me.  
Any questions about possible tools, please give me a shout:  
Roger Pilsner at

Antler Handle Knife

Friday 1:00-3:00 Mcleod by the Lake

Making an Antler Handle Knife Participants will learn to assemble a small blade into an antler handle as well as stitch together a sheath that will hang around the neck and will be provided information on sources for knife blades, leather, and tools required to make knives on their own. All materials are provided by the instructor. Cost is $50.00 per person. Contact Warren prior to Symposium if interested in taking this workshop. Warren M. Peterson, cell # 715-314-0797, email:

The Annual Snowshoe Lacing Workshop

Friday 10:30-4:00 Mitchell

Snowshoe lacing class will be on Friday Oct 26th and finish up Saturday morning for those wanting to get their frames dipped at camp.  
Cost $130.00 and includes choice of snowshoe kit and instruction.
Snowshoe bindings will be available to purchase separately for anyone wanting them.  You can pay when class begins.
Kit choice:
Ojibwa, Small (10 x 48) Med. (11 x 54) Large (12 x 60)
Youth Ojibwa 9 x 36
Green Mtn Bearpaw (10 x 36)
AK  Large (10 x 56) AL XL (12 x 60)
Huron (12 x 42)  
You can find a better description of the different styles on our web site: 
Class limited to 10 people
Call, Greg at Country Ways, 612-861-2262 or email with your kit selection and to reserve a space.