What to Bring
Work Trade

The Maine Primitive Skills School is a learning institution. Our Primary mission is teaching and sharing skills promoting Outdoor Education, Nature Literacy, and Field Craft. We use primitive skills, bush craft, survival education, wild foraging, and ancestral knowledge to increase confidence, leadership, education and effectiveness as stakeholders in our outdoor heritage.

We operate on a 4,882 acre Wild Life Management Area with an adjacent 30 acre Main Campus adjacent to the Wildlife management area, a short drive away from Augusta.


Maine Primitive Skills School
716 Church Hill Road
Augusta, ME 04330

Contact Info:

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 207-623-7298


MPSS offers ample spots to pitch a tent or hang your hammock. Summer interns have a full outdoor kitchen/fire pit that can serve as a long-term home base. There is also an indoor dojo with bunk beds for those who prefer the comfort of the indoors. Spaces are also available to park your van/RV.

MPSS has a full kitchen, workout area, garden, and over 30 acres to explore!

What to Bring

The majority of class time is spent outdoors, especially during spring, summer, and fall. We recommend packing as if you were taking a camping trip the length of your course. Please consider the weather and climate in Maine as temperatures are significantly lower than other areas of New England. We have complied a general list of items to bring:

Note: We do have 4 beds available in an indoor dorm-style room.  If you are interested in reserving a place indoors please email us before you arrive so we can hold you a spot.

There are several local hotels and AirBnB options in the area if you would like go that route.

  • Tent with rainfly or hammock based sleeping system (Sami trip members a tarp is fine if you are used to light mosquito activity)
  • Tarp or ground cover
  • Climate appropriate sleeping bag (Sami trip members, we will be crossing the arctic circle, so temps slightly below freezing are to be expected on some nights).
  • Sleeping pad (Sami Trip members-Sleeping pads and some camping equipment are available for a small maintenance fee)
  • 4-6 inch non-folding sheath knife (Sami Trip members, we have knives you can use for a small maintenance fee)
  • Reusable, preferably steel water bottle. You want one you can boil water with over the coals of a fire. (please avoid bringing disposable bottles)
  • Flashlight and headlamp with extra batteries
  • Notebook and writing instruments
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana
  • Non-toxic, biodegradable toiletries
  • Insect repellent, bug net, long sleeves and long pants for insect protection
  • Wet weather clothing (including waterproof boots)
  • Mess kit for cooking over fire, utensils
  • Food (easy to prepare and enough to last the duration of the course) As a School and working landscape, we focus our efforts on sharing skills.This allows you to bring the foods you know you will like and it helps us focus on what we are good at while keeping the price of tuition down. We have a full kitchen, refrigerator, and stove in our apothecary that you can use to prepare meals. Meals are an hour each for your planning purposes.Personal items

Fall, Winter, and Spring course participants must bring adequate cold weather clothing including hats, gloves, scarves, and footwear. Wool or polypropylene are highly recommended in all weather and essential in the winter. Spring and Summer course participants should plan for sun and insect protection and bring sunblock and a hat.

Students should bring anything they may need to feel comfortable. If special tools or materials are required for a specific course, you will be notified upon registration.

Sami Trip Members– Be sure to contact the school ahead of time to share what you might need. We may already have it for you to use!

What to bring to Day Workshops:

You will not need all the camping equipment necessary for courses unless enrolled in two consecutive workshops. Day students should bring:

  • Lunch
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Weather appropriate clothing (including waterproof boots)
  • Sun protection including a hat & sunscreen
  • Non-folding (4-6″) sheath knife
  • Notebook and writing utensil

Maine Primitive Skills School has a strict no tolerance policy regarding drugs and alcohol. Any students found in violation may be asked to leave immediately. All buildings and public areas at MPSS are non-smoking. Please do not bring pets or any animals to the Maine Primitive Skills School Campus.

MPSS Wish List

Work-Trade Information

We offer work-trade opportunities to earn credit towards tuition for courses and the Wilderness Immersion Program.  Work-trade is intended for people who would not otherwise have the funds to attend our courses.  An ever changing list of projects is maintained by our facilities manager. After your application is received we will determine what projects are the highest priority for our community and that suit your skills and abilities.  There is no guarantee that we will have work for you on the dates you request, but we will do our best to accommodate your schedule and come up with dates that work for both of us. Credits will be awarded at the rate of $10 per hour. For those people with a skilled trade to offer that we currently find a need for we will work together to adjust the hourly exchange rate to a fair price based on our needs and your experience.  The credits can be used for classes or apprenticeship payments up to 50% of the cost of tuition. The work-trade can be performed before or during the program it is used for, but not after.  If you are interested in applying for a work-trade opportunity click “Apply Now” below.

Apply Now

A short sampling of projects that could be of use to the Maine Primitive Skills Community include:

  • Stacking Firewood
  • Garden chores
  • Shaving bark for building materials
  • Painting
  • Organizing tool shed
  • Video creation & editing
  • Photography & photo editing