The Story Of Lost Creek…

The story of Lost Creek is one of connections…

Greg Weiss

Greg Weiss, Owner/Director of Lost Creek Adventures & Folk School

Greg Weiss is the owner/director of Lost Creek Adventures and folk School. He began his career teaching in the outdoors in 1993, and since then has worked with Outward Bound, Boulder Outdoor Survival School, and several other organizations including one that he started with a friend. This work took him all over the North and South American continent leading survival trips, sea kayak expeditions, mountaineering trips, youth rehabilitation programs, and later on, planning, marketing, and then leading expeditions to the Ecuador rainforest to live and learn with the Huaorani natives.

It was a wonderful way to see the natural world and get paid a bit for doing it. But mostly it was the way he could try to teach connection.

Even though it seemed that the problems of the world were complicated, in the end it seemed to Greg that if people were connected to the land, physically, emotionally, spiritually… that many of the worlds problems wouldn’t happen in the first place. The idea was that if someone loved something how could they destroy it? It would be like destroying themselves. No one would do that!

This ideal, like everything in life, is born in ignorance. Ideals are black and white while life is not. However from his experience living and learning with people who still live by the old ways, there is something to it. Something modern human existence is missing. Something that all of the comforts and conveniences we have can’t make up for. Something that Greg knew deep down could help people, if they experienced it for themselves.

Greg started Lost Creek Adventures in 2011. Looking for a name he thought back to his original reason for starting this path in life. Connection. Greg’s land is at the headwaters of Lost Creek. This little waterway meanders from his now straw bale house, (across his driveway in the spring) and down several miles to Lake Superior. The name fit the mission, and the rest is history.

Lost Creek is a name that symbolizes our wandering connection to the natural world. It symbolizes the meandering adventure of life. It is a very real connection to how we treat the land and one another, because in the end, we all end up in the same place.

Lost Creek Logo

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Caring for your yurt

I’ve lived in a yurt for 7 years in northern Wisconsin. I bought my yurt used (Pacific Yurts), and I am estimating the age to be 22 years of this posting.

So far so good. The frame is great. The vinyl top seems solid. So what problems have I had and how did I address them?

Greg's yurt in front of the newer straw bale house.

Greg’s yurt in front of the newer straw bale house.


The thin plywood that I used to make the skirting (what the bottom of the side cover screws into) has rotted in some places. This is what helps keep the yurt down in a wind so I need to replace it soon. I’d like to find 1/8″ treated plywood for this fix. Pretty simple. I would think 1/4″ plastic sheeting could work too, but you want it to be strong enough to screw in to and hold up against wind.



The plastic windows have velcro along the edges, (female) which attach to the velcro on the yurt side cover (male). When the sun hits the male velcro it breaks it down pretty fast. Consequently the windows blow off in a wind, get damaged and new ones cost $60 each last I checked. It would be great to have a better fastening system.

What I did was to pop-rivet new velcro on to the yurt side cover. It leaves some air gaps between the new and old velcro however, so gluing fabric or sealing with caulking would work to seal the gaps.


The vertical sidewall gets a beating from the sun. Generally the sidewall is lighter and has exposed stitching. Mine was rated for 10 years, and after 22 years being in full sun it’s still going strong.

When I saw that the stitching was starting to fray I decided to paint it. Yes, that’s right paint it. It sounded crazy to me, but with a new sidewall costing $2,000 I figured I’d try it.

I bought paint meant for RV’s called “Plasticoat”. It’s a flexible paint meant to go on metal. Since metal expands and contracts quite a bit, I figured this paint would work well.

It came in white, so I tinted it some with brown, and rolled it on. After at least 10 years of exposure I can say that this is one of my few experimental successes. No chipping or peeling at all and the stitching is coated and protected from not only sun, but molds and other growths known to affect fabrics.


That’s about all for now. Let me know if you have any questions!

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Pot Pies and Woodsmoke

by Paul Sveum, Lost Creek Instructor for traditional skills and survival.

Let’s say you love those frozen pot pies. The ones that when microwaved bubble over with goo that, beyond the limits of physics, heats up to near nuclear levels. Every day you go to the store, plop a few in your basket and call it a day. Although you know that they are not the best thing for you, and admittedly you are growing concerned that they may actually be bad for you, you keep eating them because it is what you have always eaten and you know of no other way of satiating that hunger in your belly.

This is exactly why traditional Earth skills, primitive* technology, and all life ways that pre-date the modern agricultural revolution are so vitally important to our species. Get it? Cool.

Ok, I’ll explain. Just like little Jimmy Pot Pie our society is hooked on just one possibility for what life on Earth can look like, for right or wrong. This idea consists of, albeit wildly simplified, exploration, totalitarian resource consumption, unchecked growth, and expansion. This plan works very well, just like noshing down a few pot pies a day, but at some point it catches up with you, and for us that time is coming near. Now, this is not “the end is nigh” raving lunatic kinda near, but in a peak oil kinda way where the same science that got us to this point is starting to say whoa horsey!

Now, I am not saying that one way of living on earth, or eating for that matter, is better than another, but what is clear is that we as a species need options. A prime example occurred in Tasmania around 30,000 years ago. When the island of Tasmania was still connected to Australia, the people of Tasmania lived much like their Aussie counterparts, each sharing technology such as fishing nets, hunting tools, and also each others genes. As the glaciers began to melt though, Tasmania became disconnected from the mainland of Australia. This isolation caused the Tasmanian people to become more dependent on change in order to survive and ultimately lead, over the course of tens of thousands of years, to their cultural forgetting of such tools as fishnets, the boomerang, of all but the most simple clothing, and it is thought that they may have even lost the control of fire. Simply: the early people if Tasmania hedged their bets on a future dependent on quick adaptation with an apparent lack of desire to conserve ideas of the past. Now, they made it, and so did we, but it should be clear that such cultural forgetting sets up a tight rope existence, without a trampoline and funny clowns to help if things go wrong.

The hallmark of our species is our creativity, resourcefulness, and our ingenuity, but in order to utilize those attributes we need options- both historical options of what has worked well in the past and future possibilities of how to make life even better. Just like with fashion, regrettably where 1980’s style is cool again, history repeats itself- but we can only repeat what we remember. After all, how many ways can you cook a pot pie and come up with something other than a pot pie?

What we need to do as a people is to explore all life ways- the old and the new. For my part, advanced physics being slightly out of my grasp-for now, I will speak for the old ways because that is what I have dedicated much of my life to. One option we need to keep alive is the working knowledge of the lifestyles, skills and practices of the people who we used to be before the laptop, the McBarfwich, and Monsanto.

This is where learning the old ways comes in. I do not proclaim that the old ways are how everyone should live or that they represent a panacea to our current situation, but simply that we need to keep those traditional ways alive so as that we might in the future have more options of how to live on Earth. For instance, if the day comes when oil prices are too high for the average, say, plastic spoon factory to justify staying open just to sell 99 cent spoons, then we can say so what, I know what wood to use and how to carve a mean spoon, so no biggie. If we didn’t retain that bit of cultural knowledge we would be left either hopelessly slurping soup with a fork or praying that science will figure things out before the soup gets cold. My point is that by whatever means, we need to start making an effort to keep some options open, so when things change, as they always do, we won’t be caught sitting on a pile of frozen pot pies with no way of cooking them.

Traditional Earth skills represent a way of life, that by sheer dint of time, have proven to be, oh here comes that word, sustainable in the truest sense of the word. After all, any life-way that existed for at least 50,000 years must have been fairly sustainable- they must have shopped at Co-ops and driven Priuses! Now I know that not everyone is going to start carving figure 4 deadfalls and lighting fires with hand drills, but what everyone can do is to learn a little of the old ways and save them for later. There are many down to earth folks out there teaching traditional earth skills and many offer short weekend courses at a reasonable price, so you don’t need to commit a load of time or money to helping retain the knowledge it took humans a 250,000 years to perfect. We need to go into this future of ours with as many tools as we can in carry, so learn to make fire with sticks then tweet it to the world.

*The word primitive has been used derogatorily to refer to a people or a way of life that is somehow less, or under developed. I use the word primitive to mean, as the dictionary says, first, original, and natural.

From the author: This summer I am excited to be offering a full 3 months of courses with our pals at Lost Creek Adventures!  The vision of SOAR Outdoors is to help establish and grow our connection with the natural world and also do so in the most sustainable and ecologically responsible way we can. This summer’s courses are aimed at getting back to our roots- that means a summer of lighting fires with sticks, eating wild foods, living in hand made natural shelters, learning how to survive in the bush, and crafting the goods that make life possible with a few hand tools and a great deal of creativity.  We are running multiple day long workshops, two weekend long wilderness survival courses, a couple of week-long traditional skills courses, and also our most in depth and experiential course – the month long Bushcraft Semester.  All of the field based courses are live in, hands on, and outdoors.  We will be running all of our field courses in and around the beautiful Cornucopia area- from Lake Superior to the Chequamegon National Forest- and we can’t wait!


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Baja Mexico Travels

I just got back from Mexico.

So what? You say. Rubbing it in our face? You say.

Actually, I wanted to share some pics and invite you to join us next time!

Lots more photos to come on our website. Get our newsletter to stay in the loop!

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Getting around Baja Mexico

Greg from Lost Creek just got back from a scouting trip to southern baja where we will be leading kayaking trips in the near future.
After some internet research on buses,vans, shuttles…. and then going there for ourselves, we found that there is a alot of
misleading information out there and would like to help anyone who is thinking about heading to baja. Please comment if you have questions.

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Winter Herbal Apothecary

By Gigi Stafne, MH, ND

Open up the door to your medicine cabinet, take a look inside.  Are you ready for this winter?  Remember last year?  How quickly you forgot about the intense earache in the middle of the night, the dreaded cold that lingered on for four weeks or the uncontrollable cough that had you barking through the most important business meeting of the year?

It seems that Murphy’s Law is true–“If anything can go wrong, it will”  and at the worst possible time in the winter–if you have not considered prevention medicine.  I have noticed that it is human nature to wait until the last minute to prepare for ‘expected emergencies’ such as common colds, ailments or other injuries.  Many situations can be avoided or better dealt with via advanced planning.  Prevention and natural medicine are perfect practices to planning ahead and being better equipped to take care of ourselves and families.

Before winter storms blow and the next virus heads your direction, consider taking some of these simple steps of adding basic natural remedies to your medicine cabinet rather than dashing out to the 24-hour drugstore in the middle of the night.  ‘Better to be prepared’ is my motto.  You and your family will feel greater physical comfort and emotional security when some of your healthcare needs are addressed in advance.

When I present natural medicine classes or workshops I am often asked what I prefer to have on hand for my family and  myself.  Here are some of my favorite common herbs and supplements.  These are the ones that I would not go without through a Wisconsin winter.  Try starting with them.  Be well this winter!

Echinacea & Astragalus

Optimal herbal combination for bacterial & viral infection plus immune system boost. Use as a tea, herbal tincture or capsules.



Strong natural anti-biotic & anti-viral (plant is at risk, so use sparingly). Available in powder, tincture or capsules.



Versatile natural anti-biotic & anti-viral among other supportive properties. Eat raw, cooked or buy in capsule form.


Elderberry Cough Syrup

Along with other throat & lung herbs this soothes better than most.  Buy over-the-counter in health food stores or make your own. Terrific for colds and flus, too!


WIld Cherry Bark or Slippery Elm Throat Lozenges

Reduces inflammation & coughing. Available in most health food stores.


Yarrow, Elderflower, Mint

Fever reducing herb tea.  Blend these herbs into a tea infusion.


Breath Easy or Lung Tea

Blend of demulcent, expectorant & anti-inflammatory herbs to support the entire respiratory system.  Purchase an

organic blend in boxed form or create your own.


Vitamin C with Roseships

Support your immunity throughout the winter with regular doses.  Available in many chewable or other forms.


Essential Oils of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus & Bergamot

Tea Tree is a strong anti-microbial, anti-viral & anti-fungal.  Combine this with these respiratory system oils to fight winter infections.

Use in an aromatic inhalation or vaporizer.

Essential oils are available in 1/3 or 1 ounce at health food shops.  Buy organic all natural oils, not synthetic.


The information in this article is educational in nature.  Remember that you may need the individualized care of your healthcare practitioner before using any natural products.

Gigi Stafne is an instructor, writer, Naturopath and Master Herbalist specializing in clinical natural medicine and cross cultural medicine.  She will be teaching a Winter Wellness Workshop: Creating your own medicine cabinet at Lost Creek this January. To inquire about her other courses, publications or eco tour business:


copyright 2005,2012

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Water & Wind Festival

We’re happy to announce that Lost Creek and the village of Cornucopia will be hosting the 1st annual Water & Wind Festival October 6 & 7 2012.

The idea was to create an event not around the gear, but rather around why we use the gear, to get outside!

So yes, we’ll have some discounted kayak trips and classes, some free demos of stand up paddleboards, kites for sale and rent, and maybe some opportunity for wind surfing, kite boarding, and rowing (sculls). Additionally there will be a fun flea market and food vendors happening near the beach.

Speaking of gear, we’re also having a PaddleSwap, which is just like a ski swap but for paddling and other outdoor gear and bikes, etc. A 15% consignment fee will be charged and all proceeds will go towards getting kids out on the water next season.

Bring the family!


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Stand Up Paddling a tanker wave

When I first heard of it, I scoffed. It’s just a fad. I’m a kayaker and have been for 20 years. I DON’T need a new watersport and more gear.

Well, after a couple of years I can now say that my SUP is the first “boat” I like to paddle in the spring. Sure there are limitations of wind and how much you end up getting wet (it’s cold here in the spring) it’s still a fun and simple sport to get up on. You just grab your board and paddle, and go!

Stand Up Paddleboard with Lost Creek this summer. If you like it you can purchase one of our fantastic pre-owned boards at the end of the season.

We’ll have some of our own videos up soon, but for now check this out!

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Can self-reliance ruin the economy?

Many of our ancestors lived a self-reliant life. Many people still live this way out of necessity. We often call these people “poor” probably because yes, they do have less money than our norm. However, these people often have a wide range of skills to compensate. They make house shingles out of old tin cans, grow their own food, make clothing out of scrap materials, and houses out of timbers they felled. Many of us are eager to learn (some say remember) the ancient skills of self-reliance.

I often think that everyone needs these skills. Just in case. Or to help get people back to understanding and appreciating nature and the value of hard work and craftsmanship. But what would happen if everyone did everything for themselves or within a small, local sphere of interactions? (e.g. a village where each person had a specialty, and then bartered/traded for what they need or want.)

It’s pretty obvious that if enough of us do for ourselves, and just barter/trade locally, that the global system of government and trade would collapse. The rich couldn’t get richer because the 99% wouldn’t be doing the work for them. The government would have to be volunteer. (probably a good change!) There wouldn’t be need for a stock market. Walmart would cease to exist. What isn’t as obvious is that though it is completely possible for us to live without money, we (even the self-reliant types) are dependent upon money. Not only are we dependent, but we want to be dependent.

Why? Probably because most of us are comfortable. And we like our stuff. Besides at this point in the game we can’t make everything we need (see want) to live. Smartphones, Automobiles, jet planes, microwaves. I think it’s safe to say that everyone won’t be going back to using the bow-drill to light the Horno to make dinner, any time soon.

So why practice self-reliant skills? Tell us. Is it to save money? For fun? To help the impending collapse of our capitalistic society?

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Get Real, Get Outside…

When I was a kid we had D&D, also known as Dungeons & Dragons, a role playing game where fantasy reigns and you build your character by killing things, finding gold pieces, and using magic.

I eventually figured out that I was spending all of my time thinking about a world that didn’t exist, and that it was hurting my ability to live in the real world. I figured that I had to face up to the struggles and trials of life to grow as a person. I was 15 years old when I quit playing the game and joined reality.

It seems that fantasy is becoming reality for our culture. We can make “friends” by simply clicking a button, be a Navy SEAL via joystick, and avoid awkward conversations by texting. In a fantasy game, ethics are a relative concept as you choose to be good one day, and evil the next. You can do anything you want with no fear of the consequences.

But in the real world, consequences are happening. We are losing touch as a species. We are inventing ourselves into a creature that no longer belongs in the world.

I listen to students on my wilderness trips talking to each other; “what are you going to do when you get back to the real world?” and I have to snicker. Real to them means what they’re used to, the easy life for many of them, rooted in whatever the media is selling and technology allows to increase comfort and decrease connection. With a decrease in connection with one another and the planet, we have increased human inequality and abuse, and environmental degradation.

Wilderness is not easy. You’ve got bugs. You have to be patient and deal sometimes. And when you’re ready (yes when YOU are ready) nature shows you more beauty in one fallen leaf than can be found in all the paintings in any art museum in any city. Once a person is witness to this, they won’t be able to go back to callously treating one another and the earth as a “resource” and will instead see it as home, perhaps for the first time.

Today begins our official “Get Real, Get Outside” campaign. We can each do our part in little ways. Leave the artificial world behind every day, even if just for a few minutes. Put the cell phone down for 15 minutes and go outside in bare feet, any time of the year. Smell things like dirt. Look at beach sand close up. Make a real friend by doing something for someone.

We welcome your thoughts. Please join us. And for a great article on how our ancestors avoided money check out

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