Preparing For A Course At MPSS

The majority of class time is spent outdoors, especially during our spring, summer and fall courses. 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 rough & general list of items to bring for our day long and multi-day courses, which you can find below.

We recommend taking a look at out Campus Info page to get an idea of our facilities and amenities. If you are interested in reserving a place to sleep indoors (on the floor of our dojo or winter classroom) please email us before you arrive so we can hold you a spot!

Packing List for Multi-Day Courses


  • Tent with rain fly or hammock based sleeping system
  • Tarp/ tent ground cloth
  • Climate appropriate sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad

Water, Fire Starting, and Cooking

  • Reusable water bottle. Ideally a non-insulated steel bottle you can use to boil water over the coals of a fire (please avoid bringing disposable bottles)
  • A second water bottle, water bladder, or reservoir for combined 2+ liter water capacity (optional)
  • Ferrocerium rod, lighter, and/or matches
  • Your preferred fire starters or tinder
  • Camping cookstove and fuel (if you intend to cook outside)
  • Mess kit for cooking over fire
  • Eating utensils (metal is preferable; plastic breaks frequently)
  • 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.

Utilitarian Items

  • Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
  • Notebook and writing implements
  • 4-6 inch non-folding sheath knife
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana
  • Insect repellent & sunscreen
  • Non-toxic, biodegradable toiletries


  • Bug net, long sleeves, and long pants (for insect protection)
  • Rain jacket & pants
  • Waterproof footwear
  • 2-3 spare changes of clothes
  • A light wool or synthetic sweater/ jacket
  • See below for more notes on cold weather clothing ↓

Fall, Winter, and Spring course participants must bring adequate additional cold weather clothing including hats, gloves, scarves, and footwear. Wool or polypropylene layers are highly recommended in all weather and are essential in the winter. Spring and Summer course participants should plan for sun and insect protection; we recommend bringing sunblock, a bug headnet or jacket, long sleeves, and a sun 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.

Packing List For Day Workshops

You will not need all the camping equipment necessary for our multi-day courses. Day students should bring:

  • Lunch
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Weather appropriate clothing (including waterproof boots)
  • Notebook and writing implement
  • Sun protection including a hat & sunscreen
  • Bug protection (for the spring and summer seasons)
  • Non-folding (4-6″) sheath knife

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.

 For more information contact the school at: