Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Science and Art of Tracking

Eastern Wolf

I will be offering a new class entitled 'The Science and Art of Tracking'. This class is going to focus on the scientific as well as intuitive side of tracking. By learning to track and follow wild animals we begin to see how they live thier daily lives and what kind of a role they play in maintaining a balanced eco-system. We also begin to look at our own selves in a deeper way that helps us to connect to nature in a powerful way. We will spend time learning to classify and identify various animals by thier tracks as well as sign that they leave behind. Some of the animals that we have tracked in the past include; deer, wolf, marten, fisher, otter, ermine, snowshoe hare, red and flying squirrels, many small rodents, etc... Time will be spent learning how to properly measure tracks, sign tracking, pattern and gait classification, and trailing. We will also look at the ecology of the landscape through a naturalists 'eye' and learn to ask questions that will draw us deeper into the study of nature. Through tracking we begin to experience the natural world in a new and powerful way. Please come and join us this winter as we follow the many tracks left for us by the various animals that live in the forest.

This class will be taking place February 7-10th 2008 at the Northern Edge Algonquin
More information can be found on thier website at
Here is the link directly to the class description:

I will also be teaching a similar program in the Orangeville area this winter in southern Ontario.

If you are interested please contact me directly ( ) and I will post details here on this site as they become available.

Happy Tracking

Alexis Burnett

River Otter Tracks and Slide

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Art of Survival

I just finished the 4 day long course entitled 'The Art of Survival' at the Norther Edge Algonquin and it was a great success. We had 4 participants involved in the class and we all had a good few days learning and practicing survival skills in the comfortable setting of this eco-lodge located just outside of Algonquin Park. Most of the time was spent in our camp area where we had set up a fire pit and 'sweet' reflector wall. It was great to practice these skills in the beauty of the forest and close to the lake. We focused on the Sacred order of Survival -- Shelter, Water, Fire and Food and went over different skills relating to these topics. We built a debris hut as a group, practiced making bow-drill fires, talked about various methods of water gathering and managed to do a little foraging to add to our section on primitive cooking. The last night of the class we went over various cooking methods which included a steam pit where we cooked salmon, squash, potatoes and corn. A granite grill where we fried bannock bread and salmon. We rock boiled shrimp, cooked steaks on the coals and our friend Chris Gilmour showed us how to stir-fry veggies using hot rocks and birch bark. It was a wonderful thing to prepare our food in such a special and traditional manner. The cooking of the food in this way always brings a group closer together and develops a sense of community. As we learned these skills during our time together we focused on the deeper aspects of survival and the 'oneness' that we experience with nature when we practice these skills in a Sacred manner. By the time the last day rolled around we had covered a great deal of information and things came to a close as people left with a greater appreciation for what it means to 'walk in balance' with nature. I send my thanks to the 4 people who joined me for this class and hope that our paths will cross again soon.

In Light

Alexis Burnett