Canoe AnniversaryWelcome! Thank you for visiting SmoothingIt.com. If you are new here, I invite you to look over this home page as a way to navigate the information found here.

“We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.” – George Washington Sears (Nessmuk)

In honoring the spirit of Nessmuk and to provide a place for woodsmen, outdoorsmen, campers, and lovers of nature a place to learn about the art of smoothing it when outdoors, I’ve designed SmoothingIt.com as a place for you. There is a lot of information here and the content grows constantly. The information found here will prove useful to a variety of outdoorsmen including:

  • Campers
  • Backwoodsmen
  • Canoeists
  • Outdoor Sports Enthusiasts
  • Hunters, Trappers and Fishermen
  • Hikers and Backpackers
  • Anyone wanting to learn more about the gear and mindset of woodsmen

SmoothingIt.com began in the Cranberry Backcountry of  West Virginia. While attending a backwoods adventure there, I began writing my Rough Notes from the Woods. These notes cover backwoods trips like the ones in the Cranberry Backcountry, canoeing trips on the New River, the Gauley River, the Elk River, the Greenbrier River, and the Shenandoah River. There are Rough Notes about hunting as well as Rough Notes about the Appalachian Trail. Many of these are short to medium length stories that are entertaining as well as informative. Read the ones that interest you and perhaps you will be inspired to plan an outdoor adventure of your own.

There is good deal of general woodsman information found here. You can start with the most current blog posts.  I also recommend The Real and Not-So-Real Dangers of Being in the Woods, Ticks – What Every Woodsman Should Know, as well as information about Backwoods First Aid Kits and will begin a series in the near future about how to treat common injuries when trekking in the backwoods.

Estwing Sportsman's AxeIf you appreciate knives and bladed tools, you’ll find a great deal of useful information here at SmoothingIt.com. I’m not a knife collector and refuse to purchase a knife based on how it will look in my home. All of the knives that I purchase, use or recommend are functional knives that you will find useful in the outdoors. I recommend that you start off with A Woodsman’s Primer to Knife Safety to brush up on your knife handling skills. Then take a look at The Duncan Trio. This trio is a great place to start when considering purchasing knives for the outdoors. You will also find reviews for Gerber Suspension Multi-tools, Spyderco Delicas, Schrade Sharpfingers, and perhaps the best mass-produced hatchet available to the woodsman, the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe.

I will not recommend or discuss gear that hasn’t been field-tested to ensure that it is durable and useful for the outdoorsman. I don’t get paid to review a piece of gear and won’t recommend something that I don’t personally approve of for outdoor use. If you would like to learn more about the gear that I use or recommend, click here.

Additionally, I’m in the process of releasing a book for newcomers to the outdoors (and maybe a few old-timers will enjoy it as well) tentatively titled Smoothing It – An Updated Guide to Woodcraft and Camping. It will include chapters on how and where to camp, outfitting, gear, campfires, camp cookery, canoe and car-camping, and more.

If you have found the information here at SmoothingIt.com entertaining, useful, or hopefully both, subscribe via WordPress or email and receive notifications of new blog posts relating to the outdoors.

Again, thank you for visiting SmoothingIt.com. I sincerely appreciate you stopping by and hope that you enjoyed the information.

Montani Semper Liberi


Duncan by the Fire


10 thoughts on “Home

  1. Good Morning, we enjoy the site very much and was wondering if anyone has been to the Ohiopyle on the Youghiogheny river in PA.

    • Thanks for the comment, Sherri. I’ve driven past the Youghiogheny many times, but haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy any recreational activities there.

  2. I just discovered your blog and I appreciate that it is filled with a wider variety of subjects than the typical outdoor blog or journal. But I say that without having read that many entries so far.

    But I’m also interested because I am from southern West Virginia and spent many summer days somewhere along the New River between Glen Lyn and somewhere beyond Crump’s bottom. I haven’t visited recently, although I was in my hometown of Princeton about a year ago. Now I live outside Washington, DC, where I moved after finishing school. The triangle of Princeton, Morgantown and D.C. just about defines my world, at least since trips to the Outer Banks ceased.

    As you probably know, suburban living can be close to life in the woods, what with the creeks, the trees and the wildlife. Deer visit us on our deck, we hear the owls (I’m pretty sure they’re owls) and we deal with the raccoons and groundhogs. There are beaver, too, but just like beaver everywhere else, you never get to see them.

    • Kenneth,

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting! As I mentioned, it’s been a few crazy weeks, but I should start publishing again shortly.

      Although I have a few further branches, it seems our triangles are fairly similar. I’m not sure where you are near DC, but the Harpers Ferry, WV, area as well as the Shenandoah River towards Luray, VA, are fantastic outdoor locations to visit.

      I totally agree about suburban living. If one is inclined, it’s easy to find and enjoy nature anywhere.

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