December’s Featured Artist is Doug Flinders, a Brantford-born and raised photographer, bushcraft artist, and wilderness guide. Spending time outdoors “helps all the stresses in [his] everyday life melt away” and he enjoys the challenges of exploring new and less travelled places.
As a child, his experiences outdoors felt challenging to him, and left him wanting more. When younger, he loved camping and experiencing nature. As he grew more comfortable outdoors, he began learning more about tree and plant identification, fire building, and making bushcrafts at his campgrounds through foraging.
Bushcraft skills include creative pursuits such as shelter-building, the use of tools, hand-carving wood, container construction using found materials, rope and twine-making, and more. Although Flinders does bring five key tools with him on all of his adventures – his knife, cordage, metal canteen, fire starter, and a tarp – everything else he creates is made with foraged objects.
Just over five years ago, he started documenting his adventures in the wilderness through photography and some video. He enjoys sharing his modern and traditional outdoor survival skills to teach others how to not only survive, but to thrive in the backcountry.
Over the last two years, Flinders has taught wilderness skills to the public through his company, Flinders Adventures, encouraging them to learn more about Ontario’s beautiful backcountry and encourage them to go on their own adventures. He is always learning, and finds inspiration from Mors Kochanski in particular, a world-renowned wilderness survival instructor in Alberta who has also written one of Flinders’ favourite books on the subject of bushcraft.
To learn more about Doug, visit his website, Facebook page, or Instagram account.