If you were to name the most influential survival instructors, who would be on your list? You might immediately think of Les Stroud, Cody Lundin, or Ray Mears — all appropriate choices given their considerable experience and celebrity status. However, Canadian outdoorsman Mors Kochanski has been teaching wilderness survival for longer than any of them. He is undeniably a legend in the field, and influenced all three of these modern-day experts. Stroud has called Kochanski “a master”; in our recent interview with Lundin, he referred to Kochanski as “one of my greatest instructors”.
Kochanski, currently age 77, has spent most of his life in the remote wilderness. He started his career as an outdoor educator in 1968, and would go on to write several books, including the popular 300-page guide known as Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival. Whether you're already familiar with him or haven't heard of him yet, there's much to be learned from his teaching.
In the following 15-minute video, Kochanski shows off the core concepts of his famous Super Shelter, which was inspired by the traditional domed igloo. This design helps to optimize the effectiveness of your heat source, whether that's a roaring campfire or a small stove. Kochanski also discusses variants of the shelter, such as a movable version and a more-permanent version with rigid upright beams.
We especially like the high door sill feature he mentions, since this prevents sinking cold air from flowing into the doorway of your shelter and displacing the rising hot air. Anyone who has ever camped at the bottom of a valley during colder months knows just how much that effect can ruin your night.