Early life[ edit ] The Kochanski family immigrated to Canada from Poland in Mors, the fifth of six children, was born in His mother named him "Morris" but, because of a misunderstanding due to her Polish accent, the midwife wrote "Mors" on the birth certificate. Kochanski was brought up on a farm in Saskatchewan , where he worked and assisted his father, who had been a windmill carpenter in Poland and who fought for the Polish military during World War I. In his early school years, he travelled seven miles to and from school on a bush road. In his family moved to Prince Albert , where he frequented the local library and took particular interest in two books: an old Boy Scout manual, and The Ashley Book of Knots.

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In the modern era, there are only a handful of men who have significantly contributed to the pursuit and furthering of research, education, and scholarship of wilderness living skills and modern survival. Within that circle there exists a legendary savant, from which many seek his wisdom. That man is Mors Kochanski, and his writings should be an essential part of your wilderness knowledge foundation. For over 40 years, Mors Kochanski has been an outdoor educator and survival instructor.

When you meet Mors for the first time, you are blindsided by the amount of information he possesses. And rightfully so, as Mors has obtained wisdom from a wide breadth of resources and time in the forest. Decades of field experience as an instructor and a personal library estimated at , books places Mors in a unique category, as both an outdoor educator and wilderness living skills research pioneer.

However, like a great Tibetan sage nestled on a remote mountaintop, Mors stays out of the limelight, instead choosing his Alberta cabin in the woods. It was there, in that cozy wood-heated living room, surrounded by stacks of books, that we felt a reverence for Mors that naturally creeps up with every sentence of outdoor knowledge he avows. The Kochanski family lived without electricity until Mors was ten years of age.

The closest town was a two hour horse-drawn wagon ride away. Mors fondly recalls picking mushrooms with his mother and the many miles traveled on the Canadian dirt roads to and from school, encountering everything from bears to wolves. In pursuit of spending money the Kochanski brothers spent summers squirrel hunting and the winters trapping weasel.

Mors was the happy understudy skinning and stretching pelts, while his older brother, a belt-knife-wearing crack shot. Early on, Mors was exposed to a modest library with less than books. It was there that Kochanski began quenching his thirst for knowledge.

While continuing to grow, a college-aged Mors dabbled in many things from chemical engineering to working as a welfare officer. He also continued to freelance, teaching wilderness living skills for high schools and other groups. Later in his career he taught tens of thousands of school children, mostly kindergarten to sixth grade. However, there is far more to Kochanski the field instructor, as he is truly a scholar of survival.

Those who know of Mors have likely heard the affinity he has for literature. For many years, books have lined the walls of almost every room in his house, quite literally adding thermal mass against the cold Alberta winters. It was incredible seeing the sheer volume of books in the survival section alone, as well as everything else he has collected and read over the years.

Building after building was overflowing with books both shelved and stacked, each in distinct categories covering ecology, history, architecture, medicine, zoology, and everything in between. The floors of one building had begun to sink due to the weight. Here, Mors shows Joe his favorite pot. In yet another building, erected solely for the purpose of organizing information, hundreds of binders were spanning the length of the room in many rows on multiple shelves, each collated by specific outdoor subject.

A closer examination showed photocopies, notes, clippings, pictures, newspaper articles, and excerpts from magazines on every single point of outdoor knowledge one could think of, and then some. The cataloging of this information reflected decades of studious research to a degree that seems super human. Each subject is clearly labeled, and it is common to find multiple notebooks and binders on a single subject.

Mors will spend an entire day and continue well into the night enlightening his students with copious amounts of woods knowledge. But his knowledge is much more than the practical skills. Sharing A Gift Mors preparing to teach a fire-by-friction class. He uses material from the forest around him and his knowledge of the science behind the process to teach it in a more expedient manner.

Ask any good teacher, and they will tell you who is their mentor. Mors met his mentor in , a civilian survival instructor for the Royal Canadian Air Force by the name of Tom Roycraft. Using Richard Graves Australian book Bushcraft as an example, publisher Grant Kennedy asked Mors to compose an outdoor skills book for the north. It was here that Northern Bushcraft, one of the most well regarded books on outdoor skills and wilderness survival, was penned.

This was no easy task, as the book had to be fewer than pages long, so only the absolute most fundamental skills and tools were presented. Here, Mors is instructing on how to make a proper igloo.

Mors has instructed over 50, children in his 40 years of teaching. While there are many books on outdoor skills and survival, Northern Bushcraft now simply known as Bushcraft was different. Tested and matter of fact, whole chapters were dedicated to firecraft, axecraft, knifecraft, sawcraft, bindcraft, sheltercraft and more. Readers were impressed with the copious yet succinct details of information on the most practical of skills an outdoorsman should know.

Northern Bushcraft became an instant classic. He is also known for his earlier writings, booklets, appearances and mentoring of some well-known instructors.

Also with Karamat Karamat. Very few can comprehend what plus years of outdoor education experience in the field is like, and fewer still can add the exhaustive research Mors has added to that experience. We can tell you, however, when you spend time with Mors, you will know in your heart that his wildwood wisdom is genuine and you will trust in his guidance. Through all those years of experience and accumulated knowledge that Mors has, he will understand your aptitude for bushcraft and survival better than you know it yourself.

As such, you will be hard pressed to find a better teacher to inspire you in the right direction. A sage is a person of profound wisdom, and that is the absolute definition of Mors.

You are simply the best! His accomplishments will hopefully shed more light on his genius while offering you a chance to pick up some skills.


Mors Kochanski

Mors Kochanski Mors Kochanski Mors Kochanski is known throughout North America and the world for his extensive work in outdoor education, survival and wilderness living. His enthusiasm for wilderness recreation, his extensive knowledge of the field, and his desire to learn everything there is to know about the wilderness has made him one of the foremost authorities on wilderness skills. Mors Kochanski has been an outdoor educator and survival instructor for over 40 years, twenty three of which as a sessional professor for the University of Alberta; a few months of which were at the Canadian Department of National Defense Survival School at Jarvis Lake, Alberta. Today, if a course or instructor has any solid foundation in modern survival skills or Bushcraft, the odds are that they are likely based on a teaching, a skill or idea that Mors had some input in developing — whether they know it or not. Bushcraft, published in , is a foremost text on that subject with the skills you really need to know, including Firecraft, Axe Use, The Bush Knife, Cordage, Shelter Concepts, Trees and Animals is evident that Mors is teaching from experience and knowledge.


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