Here’s a list of various things that you’ll need (or may want) during the Wild Abundance Apprenticeship program. You probably already have a lot of them, or can borrow them from a friend or family member. If you decide to acquire any of these things, it’s likely you’ll be glad that you did and that you’ll use them for a long time.
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Tools of the homestead for spring, summer and fall
- Pruners. Felcos are really the best. They make a pair of ergonomic pruners with a swiveling handle that is easier on the wrist (some folks prefer these). Coronas are also decent, and less expensive.
- Kama (Japanese hand sickle)
- Hori Hori (Japanese soil knife, a.k.a. garden knife)
- Medium sized pruning Saw. Silky is the best and is also more expensive, Corona is not as good, but acceptable, and is cheaper.
- 2 Pairs of work gloves that fit well and are fairly heavy-duty. It’s nice to have at least one pair of heavier-duty leather gloves for dry and pokey tasks, and one pair of lighter-duty, rubberized fabric gloves for working with moist soil or anything wet.
- Hatchet. Estwing brand is the cheapest decent hatchet. Gransfors Bruks are excellent, but they are costly. You can get a good one for under $20 at the flea market down the road once you get here if need be.
- Tool belt (like this one, or this one…or this really beautiful handmade one, made by one of our former instructors) or a tool apron
- 5 Carpenters pencils
- Tape measure. I like the Stanley Fat Max, as I find it to be superior, but any will do.
- Speed square (triangle shaped tool for carpentry)
- Eye protection
- Ear protection. You can opt for the smaller, cheaper earplug-style ear protection, or choose an earmuff-style pair. There also exist bluetooth ear protectors that allow you to listen to tunes while you work. They are pretty cool, but can be dangerous if you’re working with others (you’re less likely to hear someone shout if you’re rockin’ out).
- Large format sketchbooks. We will be keeping naturalist notebooks and this style works the best.
- Transportation. 4wd trucks or cars are the best (4wd only on the road to the apprentice village). Other cars or trucks are the second best and totally fine (you can park down the hill). Scooters could work but, like bikes, they can be challenging here in the country where we have no busses or trains and it rains a lot.
- 2 pairs of work pants. Carhartts, jeans, or whatever…I always wear stretch pants, just keep in mind that whatever “work pants” you wear may get a bit beat up.
- Long underwear tops and bottoms (I prefer wool)
- Several pairs of wool socks
- Work boots, rubber boots, sneakers (2 out of three should be fine). I highly recommend rubber boots (Muckboots, Bogs, or any tough rubber boot) for those very wet and muddy spring/fall days.
- Sandals (I like Chacos)
- Tank tops/T-shirts, whatever light top you’re comfortable in
- Light colored long sleeved woven cotton shirt(s) to keep the sun off in the summer.
- Underthings (I am sure you can figure out this one)
- Hat to keep the sun off of your lovely face
- Sunglasses (if you use them)
- Sunblock (if you use it). Please only use natural/organic products if you plan on using the shower here.
- Warm winter coat, plus a few warm layers. Spring and fall weather can be quite variable, so it’s nice to have options.
- Raingear (whatever works for you)
Personal equipment (for here)
- Headlamp/s (consider bringing a backup) and batteries, if it uses batteries. There are many rechargeable headlamps available. Some are of higher quality (also more expensive), with budget options also out there.
- Hand towels or washcloth
- Candles (a bunch of them)
- Solar-powered lamp and/or solar Christmas lights (for your shelter)
- Kerosene or oil lamp (will cut down on cost of candles)
- Body towels
- Bedding/sleeping bag. Make sure you have various bedding options and layers that can be appropriate both for very warm nights, and very cold nights…sleeping bags can get old. It can be awesome to have sheets, a thick blanket, a thin blanket, and a sub-zero sleeping bag to slip into under all of your other blankets for especially cold nights at the beginning and end of the apprenticeship. Look at list for wild foods hike too.
- Sleeping pad or mattress. Your sleeping platform is 4 feet wide and about 7 feet long, so get something that will fit on that. Memory foam does not do well on cold nights. It becomes hard as a rock, so I don’t recommend it.
- Your favorite bowl, cup, and any non-electric kitchen stuff you want to bring (we provide some pots and pans).
- All natural toothpaste (our water gets drained into a greywater system)
- All natural body soap (if you use it)
Gear for wild foods hike
(You might be able to borrow some of this stuff from a friend or someone here if you don’t already have it all)
- Comfortable, lightweight backpacking pack…it should have a waist strap and a breast strap. I think that internal frames are better. The size should be around 2200-2900 cubic inches, about 39-45 liters.
- Pack cover or large heavy duty garbage bag to line your pack in case of rain
- Lightweight tent or tarp, or nylon fly to keep you dry
- Light camping pad (like a Thermarest)
- Zero degree (or better) sleeping bag. Remember that the temperature rating on a sleeping bag is the temperature at which you will not die, not the temperature that will still be comfortable.
Totally optional, and very useful stuff
- Any comforts from home (keeping in mind you won’t have access to electricity in the apprentice village)
- Impact driver. This is very highly recommended. I like Makita, DeWalt, Ryobi, and Bosch, in that order.
- Drill. Same brands as impact driver, but you will probably like the impact driver better. Having both is nice, they do slightly different things. You can get drill/driver sets as well. Again, Makita, DeWalt, Ryobi, or Bosch.
- Power tools (circular saw, etc)
- Woodworking tools
- Eye hoe
- Hard Rake
- Your favorite pan(s) (cast-iron or otherwise)
- Hand tools (hand saw, sharpening tools, etc.)
- Carving tools
- Cookbook or recipes from home
- Your pet rock
- Spiritual paraphernalia, talismans and altar items to call in helpful spirits
NOTE: AT&T phones do not work here. Republic wireless works great, and costs only $10/ month, though you have to buy a phone. Verizon, US Cellular, and Sprint phones work here too.