in: Outdoor/Survival, Podcast, Skills

• Last updated: July 2, 2023

Podcast #157: Primitive Pursuits & Winter Survival

Winter is coming.

And if you spend time outdoors during the cold weather season, be it skiing, snowshoeing, or hunting, you need to know how to survive in the wild if for some reason you find yourself stranded with nothing but your wits and the clothes on your back.

Surviving in the cold and snow presents some interesting challenges that you don’t have during the warmer months of the year. How do you build a fire when all the wood is covered in snow and ice? How do you avoid hypothermia? How do you build a shelter when the only material you have is snow?

Well my guest today on the podcast is an expert on winter wilderness survival and he’s written a book on the subject. His name is Dave Hall and he’s the co-author of the book Winter in the Wilderness. Dave is also the founder of Primitive Pursuits, a nature awareness and primitive skills program for children and adults in Ithaca, NY. Today on the podcast Dave and I discuss why it’s important for kids to get into the wild and how to survive Old Man Winter face-to-face.

Show Highlights

  • The purpose behind Primitive Pursuits
  • Why kids need to get out into the wild
  • What parents can do to give kids a Primitive Pursuits experience without traveling all the way to Ithaca, NY
  • The biggest mistake people make when approaching wilderness survival in the winter
  • The symptoms of hypothermia and how to treat it in the wild
  • How to build a fire in the snow using a “fire burrito”
  • What to wear to be prepared for winter survival
  • Why you shouldn’t eat snow to get your water
  • The easiest way to build a shelter from snow
  • And much more!

Winter in the wilderness Dave Hall, Book cover.

If you enjoy practicing wilderness survival skills, I definitely recommend adding Winter in the Wilderness to your survival library. Lots of great information geared directly towards surviving in the cold and snow, which you often don’t find in other survival books. Also be sure to check out the Primitive Pursuits program. I’m super jealous of you folks who live in upstate New York and can send your kids to their classes. The McKay family hopes to make a visit there someday!


Brett McKay: Brett McKay here and welcome to another edition of The Art of Manliness Podcast. Winter is coming and if you like to be in the outdoors during the wintertime, especially, one thing you need to start thinking about is what would you do if, for some reason, you’re stuck out in the wild with nothing but your wits? Whatever the clothes on you and the knowledge in your head. Would you be able to survive the harshness of the cold?

A lot of survival books, they focus on these great survival skills, but they gloss over what you do when it’s snowy, wet, and cold. My guest today has written a book about wilderness survival, but specifically survival during the winter.

His name is Dave Hall. He is the founder of Primitive Pursuits. It’s a youth nature awareness program where they teach primitive skills over in Cornell, New York. Or over in Ithaca, New York with Cornell University. His latest book is Winter in the Wilderness: A Field Guide to Primitive Survival Skills, and today on the podcast, we’re discussing what to do or how to survive in the winter. How to build shelter with snow, how to get water in the snow, how to avoid hypothermia, how to build fire when all your wood is wet. A lot of great, practical information. I think you’re going to like this episode. Stay tuned. Winter in the Wilderness with Dave Hall.

Dave Hall, welcome to the show.

Dave Hall: Thank you so much. This is really exciting.

Brett McKay: You are a primitivist, wilderness survival guy and you’ve just come out with a book about winter survival, but before we get into the book and some of the principles of surviving in the winter, let’s talk about how did you get involved or get started with wilderness survival and primitive skills training?

Dave Hall: Sure. I think, like a lot of people, I came up through the ranks in that typical way. I was an avid Boy Scout, I loved camping, I loved canoeing, and our scout master provided those kinds of amazing experiences. Typically, I was into the backpacking and all of the gear and all those wilderness experiences that gave you a nice adrenaline rush. Long story short, was that eventually put me in a place where I was professionally leading people, mostly youth groups, through the Adirondacks.

Up until that point, all of my “guiding” was with friends and all that, but something shifted in my mind that once I was getting paid, I felt a little dependent on the gear. I really wasn’t able to answer those questions, like what if a bear walks off with my food. What if the canoe sinks? What if the stove falls apart? Any number of things can and do happen, and I had no capability of answering that, those questions.

That serendipitously, my first group that I ever led through this program, called Adirondack Treks, led me to wilderness survival because this young man, named Will, mentioned the Tracker School, and that’s Tom Brown’s school down in New Jersey. It really sounded like a great place for me to learn what I was craving. That’s where it really all started.

I began picking up some of Tom’s books and I eventually went down and took a class, and the rest is history kind of thing.

Brett McKay: Gotcha. Besides doing the leaded guides in the outdoors, you also have a school that I thought was … It sounds awesome. When I read about it, I was like I got to send my kids to this when they get older. It’s called Primitive Pursuits. Can you tell us why you started this camp or program to teach primitive skills to kids?

Dave Hall: Sure. It was about 1999, I began working for Cornell Cooperative Extension, which is the organization that houses 4-H, and I had been working with youth through that program for roughly 16 years now. As one of my after school programs, I thought let’s see how the kids respond to my enthusiasm for learning these nature-based approaches to wilderness survival.

Very organically, Primitive Pursuits began as an after school program and then, through the efforts of friends of mine, they took the idea and grew it into this huge program that is much more in the public eyes now. Right now, it’s probably the biggest wilderness skills program of its sort in the Northeast. We work with all ages. They’re talking about doing a residential program for adults. It’s pretty amazing.

I was talking to somebody about this recently. We … When I say we, there was a core bunch of us at the beginning. I think we offered a program that somehow, deep down resonated with people. We weren’t trying to pitch canning sauerkraut, which may have value. We were saying hey, we want to bring you into a place where you’re in touch with nature, you’re more capable, you’re more in tune with the natural rhythms, you’re able to do any number of things, and it’s simply based on a really strong and deep, meaningful connection with nature minus the gadgets and gear.

Brett McKay: What’s the response to kids who are … The kids who are glued to their screens. They can’t have that stuff out there. What’s been their response? Are there the withdrawals at first and then they love it? Or they love it from the get go?

Dave Hall: I would say overwhelmingly, the response is positive. We certainly know that kids today are plugged in way more than they should be, and they have a tough time managing the technology that’s offered to them, but when we get them outside, there’s something so different, so raw and pure and fun that they can’t help but feel excited about it once they get involved with the program. You know what I mean?

Brett McKay: Yeah.

Dave Hall: Yeah, it’s a win/win for everybody. We’re having fun teaching, we’re learning along with them a lot of the time, and yeah, parents come back with amazing comments, and it’s a wonderful program.

Brett McKay: Awesome. What are your tips for parents who don’t live near Cornell, like me. I read about this, and I’m like, man, that’s really far. It’s going to take three planes to get over there. If they want the same sort of things for their kids, what can they do to replicate something like Primitive Pursuits in their own hometown?

Dave Hall: Sure. I have to say that it’s not rocket science in the sense that, if you’re honest with the kids where your own skill levels are at, and you treat it as let’s learn and do this together, you don’t have to necessarily be an expert. It certainly helps to have at least a foundation in basic survival priorities, so you don’t get yourself in trouble, but at the same time, you could be like pick up one of the good books, Tom Brown’s book, my book, there’s a lot of good stuff out there, and start learning together, and have fun, and don’t make it a … Try to be anti-school, like classroom. Have it be fun, make it an adventure.

Leave room for kids to have unstructured creative time where they feel like they’re directing themselves. Even if you’re not an expert per se at these skills, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start on that path.

Brett McKay: Yeah. That’s awesome. Great advice.

Talk about your book, Winter in the Wilderness. I’ve read a lot of survival books, but a lot of them … I feel like they assume you’re going to be in the woods in the summer or spring or fall, where there’s some inclement weather, but you don’t have to deal with the very extreme cold.

I’m curious, what’s the biggest mistake people typically make whenever they approach survival in the winter that perhaps it wouldn’t be a problem if it was summertime or springtime, but becomes a problem if it’s snowy and it’s cold?

Dave Hall: Really, I think people don’t have a raw understanding of the potential of what can go wrong. It can … You’re exactly right. The implications of a summer situation don’t compare to anything that the winter may throw at you. Simply not anticipating the worst case scenarios, and also not understanding what your body’s priorities are gets people into trouble. They don’t know where to direct their energy, so that they can actually take care of themselves.

There was that story, it was in 2006, the James Kim story, where he and his family got stuck up on some mountain road in Oregon, and they basically sat it out for a few days. They got stuck in the snow, and it wasn’t an SUV-type deal. It was a smaller car, but when the food and gas ran out of the car, Mr. Kim left, presumably to head back down to the main road from where they came, but it was hypothermia that did him in. He got cold, he didn’t have an inherent respect or understanding for how to deal with that and what would happen if he didn’t do things right, and he was found within the week. He had gotten off trails, circled around, and he hadn’t taken care of himself or didn’t know how and hypothermia got the best of him. In his case, it was a very noticeable effort, but he didn’t know how to deal with it.

Brett McKay: Yeah. In the winter, your top priority should be staying warm, right?

Dave Hall: Yes, number one is staying warm and if you think about it, there’s so many different things that you can do to help maintain your warmth. Whether it’s making sure you’re dressed right, making sure you’re full of good calories, making sure you’re … Maybe you’re building a shelter or a fire. Any number of things can be done can that help to preserve and insulate yourself.

Brett McKay: Gotcha. We’ll get into some specifics about that, but let’s talk about hypothermia, because it’s one of things people talk about a lot, but when I was reading your book, I was like I don’t think I knew what the symptoms of hypothermia were. If it was happening to me, I don’t know that it would be happening to me.

What are the symptoms of hypothermia that you know, okay, I need to take action now.

Dave Hall: That’s right. It’s really … This is the thing where being in-tune with your body and knowing … Your body’s giving you clues as to something’s happening, and the first clue, and this is not a panic situation, but the first clue that you’re losing core temperature is you’re simply shivering. That’s your body’s effort. It’s literally vibrating to try to warm itself up. That’s not a panic situation, but that is your moment to act because as soon as you go into a deeper level of hypothermia, you may utterly be useless to yourself, and the symptoms are all over the place.

You might have slurred speech, your body may go rigid, you may stumble, but what happens, and it’s happened to me once, and I’m glad in a way, so I can talk about it from firsthand experience, is that after you shiver, you can literally go rigid. Meaning you stop shivering, you get stiff, and your brain goes numb. That’s why you hear stories about hikers or hunters and they drop their clothing. They don’t act rationally. It’s a downward spiral.

Really, the thing for most people to understand is okay, I’m shivering. It’s time to improve my situation. After that, the symptoms are interesting to know, but they may be moot for the actual survivalist in the thick of things.

Brett McKay: Treating it is getting warm, right? It’s getting dry and warm?

Dave Hall: Yes, right. It might mean putting on an extra layer. It might mean getting out of damp things and getting into warm things. Do jumping jacks for a little while. It’s energy intensive, but it might be what you need for that moment. Make a fire, make some hot tea, any number of things. Stay out of the wind, don’t sit on the snow, that kind of … Anything sensible like that.

Brett McKay: Yeah, I thought one of the interesting tips was don’t stay in valleys because that’s where the cold air sinks?

Dave Hall: Right.


Brett McKay: I never would have thought of that.

Dave Hall: And up off the floor of valleys. Even a little. You’ll feel it when you get up above it. It’s really interesting.

Brett McKay: Interesting. What about … Is frostbite … What’s worse? Frostbite or hypothermia? Should you be more worried about hypothermia, I’m assuming?

Dave Hall: Definitely. Frost bite is simply … Not simply. It’s certainly something you want to avoid, but that’s frozen skin, frozen body parts, but it doesn’t necessarily imply that you have lost core temperature. You certainly don’t want to lose fingers and those pieces, but it’s hypothermia that is more dangerous.

Brett McKay: With keeping your core body temperature up is the top priority. What are your suggestions for dressing to maximize survival in the wilderness because I get the catalogs for the outdoor mag stuff, and I subscribe to Outdoor magazine, and I see all these cool, synthetic fabrics and awesome ski jackets and coats. Are those necessarily the best things to have when you’re dressing for the cold?

Dave Hall: Sure, the first thing to do is to avoid cotton at all costs because what happens is cotton, when it gets wet, it sucks heat away from you. Dress in layers, layers of synthetics and wools are the best. I tend to go with wools a lot because this whole survival game implies that I’m going to be around fire quite a bit, and synthetics have a very low melting point, so you’ll end up with garments that end up with little pockmarks all over them because they’ve gotten melted. Wool is durable and it’s quiet. It tends to be in earthy tones.

I also do … I’m not saying don’t use the Gore-Tex and that stuff. I do use a good Gore-Tex shell, but what layers does is it gives you the ability to take off things to regulate your body heat because this may seem funny, but if you’re being active, you want to stay on the cool side because you don’t want to sweat from the inside out and get your clothes wet. Once you cool down, you can literally have ice buildup between your layers.

It’s one thing if you’re out ice fishing and you want to put on the biggest down parka you can find because you know that you’re going to be sedentary, but really, for most of us, working with layers of clothes is a much better option. I rarely wear a big, heavy jacket. I don’t even think I own one.

Brett McKay: Gotcha.

Dave Hall: The closest thing I have is a heavy, down jacket-type thing, sweater. Yeah.

Brett McKay: What about footwear?

Dave Hall: Yeah, I was going to say most of these things, in terms of clothing, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money on. You can go to the thrift shop, you can go to the secondhand store, but the two places where I don’t skimp is footwear and gloves.

In terms of footwear, I want people to know if you’re uncomfortable in your feet, that’s not only dangerous, but it’s going to make for a really lousy experience. I go for boots that are built to withstand negative-20, negative-30 degrees, they have to have removable liners because that enables you to dry them out – your feet tend to perspire quite a little bit – and make sure that they’re well-built. Invest a little bit of money. I have a pair of LaCrosse Icemans that I’ve literally been using for 25 years, and they are still going strong, which is an amazing feet.

For gloves, because you’re working, breaking branches and you’re moving a lot of material, I find that your typical high-end REI or North Face-type gloves, even though they’re great for skiing and a lot of things, they don’t hold up to the abuse that you’re going to be putting them through, so I go with leather, waxed leather mittens with inflated leather glove inside of them. That double layering system works well.

Brett McKay: Awesome.

Dave Hall: They hold up well. They don’t have some-

Brett McKay: Very good. Bottom line, cotton is rotten.

Dave Hall: Yes, that’s right. Cotton kills.

Brett McKay: Cotton kills, okay.

Dave Hall: Yep.

Brett McKay: Let’s talk about … In keeping with this idea of priority being keeping warm, how do you build a fire in the snow? That’s the thing-

Dave Hall: Sure.

Brett McKay: Whenever I go camping, I get so … The fire’s the one thing I take a lot of pride in, and it’s easy when it’s warm and dry and everything’s perfect, but when it’s wet, that’s when I’m like, man, how do you get a fire going when everything is wet?

Dave Hall: Right, and you’re exactly right. When you need fire the most is when it’s hardest to make. Let’s even one-up that. What is the worst case scenario in terms of winter survival? It’s not when there’s nice, fluffy, deep snow. It’s actually when the weather warms up a bit, it’s hovering somewhere around freezing, it starts to rain, and everything gets soaked. That is your worst case scenario and that is probably going to be a better option for fire better than, say, a snow shelter.

What do you do? Everything is literally soaked, there’s nothing on the ground that’s useful, so I came up with this little system called the Fire Burrito. If you … This is where, as a survivalist or somebody who’s interested in these skills, you have to start opening your eyes and looking for your resources.

The core of the Fire Burrito is what I call punky wood. You have to find trees that are in a state of rot that offer you material that’s dry, spongy. It will take a flame or an ember from a friction set really well, and then you put that on a slab of bark, and you get it going, put twigs on top, another layer of bark, and that will light itself. You get to the dry stuff by finding the right trees and pulling away all of the wet stuff, all of the stuff that’s been precipitated on, and it’s an amazing little device. You can direct people to the website and they can see a video of that. Literally, a life saver. It’s amazing.

Brett McKay: That’s awesome.

Dave Hall: Very potent. Yeah, I went out … Oh god-

Brett McKay: I was going to say, we’ll put a link to it for sure.

Dave Hall: Yeah, it was a day after Hurricane Sandy came through this area. There was no school the next day and I ended up in the state forest near my house. Everything is soaked, saturated, and I, without thinking about it, found a proper tree, created a Fire Burrito, and I had trouble putting that fire out. An environment that had just been dumped on. It’s a very potent way.

Brett McKay: Wow.

Dave Hall: Yeah, I do have to say that making fire and being so good at that skill is one of the most important skills that anybody can master. When there aren’t other options, fire is going to save your butt, and that’s by … Even though I’m a big advocate of the primitive, always carry at least a couple of modern methods to light your fire. Don’t mess around in the winter. Always carry matches.

Brett McKay: That’s a skill that you can practice at home. You don’t have to be out camping to practice making fires, right?

Dave Hall: Exactly. Yeah, even though I’m really good at this stuff, I’m always monkeying with different flammable materials and trying to make fires in new ways or challenging myself, if we’ve had a weather event, going out and proving to myself yet again that I can do it. Always staying on top of things that way, yep.

Brett McKay: All right. Along this line, keeping warm, shelter. This is … Usually the priority is … Isn’t it fire, shelter?

Dave Hall: Yeah, in the book, how we arranged it was … We certainly talked about clothing, but we decided to put fire first before shelter simply for the reason of helping people understand those really bad, worst case scenario situations. They can happen anytime.

Even though I’m in New York State, which most people think of as a very wintry state, it hasn’t been like that in the last 10 years. We’re getting weather events that are very fickle. One day it’s above freezing, the next day it’s not. One day it’s snowing, the next day it’s raining. These situations that are really horrific are becoming more common, in my opinion.

Yeah, what we did was clothing, fire, and then we got into shelter.

Brett McKay: All right. Let’s talk about building shelters with the snow. Most people, when they think about snow shelters, they’ll probably think the igloo, the blocks of snow, but you actually talk about a big mound of snow and then you hollow it out. What is the name of that system again?

Dave Hall: Sure, that’s a quinzee, and that’s a classic, north country shelter, and it really is an amazing thing. If you can imagine that ideal, postcard snow, it’s light and fluffy and it doesn’t make good snowballs because it’s too cold out. What do you do with that, right?

What’s interesting is snow of that quality, when it is moved either by a person or by nature, meaning it drifts, will become something solid that can be hollowed out. That to me is one of the most amazing things. What was once useless fluff is now serving as a sanctuary to me.

That’s a fun one. We’ve made adaptations from that. That’s certainly not my favorite shelter, but they’re all good to know because there’s a time or a place where one or another one would be the best choice. The Quinzee is something that I’ve played with quite a bit and improved upon as well.

Brett McKay: Is the purpose of a snow shelter, is it just to keep you away out of the wind? Or does it actually get a little warm in there?

Dave Hall: Oh yeah, no it’s incredibly valuable. When I say the word sanctuary, it is a true sanctuary. Most snow shelters … Actually, I’m going to say all snow shelters, if built properly, are going to heat up simply from your body heat to about 40 degrees despite the temperature outside.

When we were finishing up the book, my co-author, John, who was really helping me write the book, he wasn’t as well versed at these actual skills and he wanted to go out and experience this and write about it in the conclusion.

That particular night, there was a friend who joined us. It was about single digits. I think it got as low as 3 degrees, and we slept out without sleeping bags or blankets, and it’s 40 degrees inside. That’s over a 35 degree difference.

If it’s 20 below out, the difference is going to be even greater. It’s not only relatively warm, it’s quiet, it’s cozy, it’s a wonderful place to be and if you think about the implications of not being there, you could be dead, right? Not too put too grim a face on it, but the truth is is that it could mean the difference between life and death, which isn’t always the angle that I’m trying to use when I’m teaching, but in reality, that is what it can do for you.

Brett McKay: Yeah, what about instances where you don’t have much snow? What is a good go-to shelter to stay warm?

Dave Hall: Sure. If you’re asking what do you do when there’s no snow, there’s really a lot of options. You can utilize fire, use fire in front of a lean-to or a double lean-to or four lean-to’s together are basically a shelter. If you don’t have fire, you can use something, like either a leaf crib or a debris hut. Both of those use, basically, huge amounts of leaves or forest debris to insulate you and they’re two different ways to accomplish that goal.

One of the things that we do often is try to emulate animals that can help us in some way. Deer are not, for example, very helpful in terms of shelter because they can lie there and they have these beautifully dense, hollow-haired bodies covered in these hollow hairs, but a mouse or a squirrel can help us.

When we utilize leaf litter or grasses to help insulate ourselves, we’re really taking a lesson from those animals and that’s something you can do. Either with or without fire, a debris hut or a leaf crib is something you can do that doesn’t require any extra heat. It’s heated by yourself. You’re the internal flame.

Brett McKay: The leaf cribs is just a box basically, and you just pile in leaves, right?

Dave Hall: Yeah. Simply either making some sort of log cabin-type cribbing or utilizing the landscape so you have a container. If you don’t, and you make a big pile of leaves, essentially, your leaf pile will disburse in the night as you move about. That’s why you need some sort of container, and incredibly effective, really effective.

Brett McKay:Okay.

Dave Hall:Yeah.

Brett McKay: Let’s talk about … We’re keeping warm, we’ve got shelter, the next priority is water, right? You can … A lot of people assume it’s food, but you can actually go weeks without food. Correct?

Dave Hall: Mm-hmm (affirmative) and that’s where people get themselves in trouble. We’re in such a food-spoiled nation that they think, oh my gosh, where am I going to get my next meal?

No, calm down. Yes, you will want food as soon as you can get it, but yeah, you’re correct. After maintaining your core temperature, you do want to worry about water in a big way.

Brett McKay: Okay.

Dave Hall: yeah, go ahead. Sorry.

Brett McKay: I was going to say water in the winter poses a challenge though, right?

Dave Hall: It does, yes. The challenges are really two-fold. For one, you don’t want to cool your body’s temperature and take away precious calories by ingesting cold or frozen water. The other issue is if you do find running water, it will likely need to be boiled to make it safe. In either case, you want to heat your water. If it’s questionable water, you want to boil it, and if it’s something that’s coming out of the ground and you feel like you’ve found a reliable spring, it still makes sense to warm it up otherwise you’re going to lose some calories getting it up to body temperature.

That brings in an interesting challenge. How do you make a container when you’re out there presumably with nothing, to hold and boil water in?

Brett McKay: How do you do that?

Dave Hall: There’s two methods that we share. One of them is a simple technology called coal-burning. You can imagine … I think most people have heard of the idea of burning out a log to make a canoe. You’re basically taking embers and hollowing out a log to make some sort of a vessel. Of course, bowl is theoretically a small, burned out canoe-type thing. That doesn’t take much other than the use of fire.

The other method that we share, and this is only available where the Eastern white pine is growing is you can literally take smooth sections of a branch from an Eastern white pine and utilizing heat from a fire, get it to peel off in a big leathery sheet. Those corners can be pinned to make a seamless container that will hold water, and you can boil it.

The issue is then, hopefully it will become obvious to your listeners is how do you utilize something that’s basically wood and boil water in it. The answer is is by using heated stones that are then taken out of the fire and put into your vessel and then you’re using heat in the water, rather than the typical way that we’re all used to heating water.

Brett McKay: Interesting. Very clever.

Dave Hall: Yeah.

Brett McKay: Eating snow’s a no-no. That’s something you don’t want to do, like last resort?

Dave Hall: Yeah. If you’re out for the day and you’ve got an infinite amount of trail mix, it’s not going to hurt you, but if you’re really in a situation, don’t start wasting precious calories by eating snow.

Brett McKay: Gotcha.

Dave Hall: Find a spring.

Brett McKay: Any other skills that you think are really important to know, particularly for surviving in the winter?

Dave Hall: For me, I’m always asking what-if questions, and I think shelter really does epitomize winter survival to me. Getting out there and practicing these safe ways is really going to be crucial to anybody who starts to take this topic seriously.

There’s lots of varieties of snow out there. Some of it is going to be more suitable for this shelter, and there are other varieties that are going to be more suitable for that type of shelter. Really, starting to become more aware and realize that there’s lots of variety snow. We tend to use descriptors when we talk about snow, like it’s sugary, it’s powdery, it’s sleet, whatever. You have to find out what’s going to work for you in any given situation.

For example, the igloo is not something that I have a lot of experience with because I don’t live up on the tundra where there’s old, windswept snow. We get all kinds of the other stuff in Central New York, and that’s led … Been a great asset to learning because we’ve had to face it all, you know what I mean?

Brett McKay: Yeah.

Dave Hall: In terms of a particular skill, I don’t think there’s anything other than saying to your listeners, practice and make it real for yourself. It’s one thing to read a book or take a class, but when it really starts to get into your blood is when you’ve practiced it and practiced safely, I should add.

Brett McKay: Yeah. Do you keep the Primitive Pursuits classes going throughout the winter?

Dave Hall: Oh sure, that’s actually … Probably obviously my favorite time of year. Yeah, I love it.

Every year we host an overnight or two when we go out in the winter. Whether there’s snow or not, we do it. Last year, it was around New Year’s, we didn’t have snow so we had a hodge podge of camping situations out there with sleeping bags, but this year, we’re going to wait a little later when the snow’s a little more reliable and we’re going to go out and snow cave it with a bunch of kids.

Brett McKay: Very cool. Dave, where can people learn more about your work?

Dave Hall: Sure, my website its, and I should also say that I’m going to be running an adult program this January with Ondatra Adventures, so if anybody’s interested in that, they can go to my website and link up to Ondatra.

Brett McKay: Very cool. Dave Hall, thank you so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure.

Dave Hall: All right. Sounds great.

Brett McKay: My guest today was Dave Hall. He’s the author of the book Winter in the Wilderness, and you can find that Also check out his website, to lean more about his Primitive Pursuits program in Ithaca, New York.

That wraps up another edition of The Art of Manliness Podcast. For more manly tips and advice, make sure to check out The Art of Manliness website at If you enjoyed this podcast, as always, I’d really appreciate it if you’d give us a review on iTunes or Stitcher. Really helps spread the word about the show.

As always, thank you again for your continued support, and until next time, this is Brett McKay telling you to stay manly.

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