My name is Tomasz Pater­ski and I was born in 1988. I come from a gre­en land loca­ted on the Vistu­la River. Fate inse­pa­ra­bly con­nec­ted me with the trap­pe­r’s tra­de and tra­di­tio­nal cra­ft­sman­ship. It’s the bore­al fore­sts thro­ugh which I tra­ver­se in tra­di­tio­nal fashion – as the trap­pers of North Ame­ri­ca once did in the old days, which serve as my living spa­ce. It is here that I imple­ment pro­jects aro­und the art of forest cam­ping (as a guide and instruc­tor), as well as pro­jects to chal­len­ge myself in the form of lone­ly trips to remo­te are­as of the taiga. Altho­ugh lone­ly, it’s not quite: I wan­der with two com­pa­nions – Nano­ok and Wydra. And also with a gro­wing pas­sion that whi­spers in my ear: “don’t fol­low whe­re the path leads. Inste­ad, go whe­re the­re is path and make one. ” Want to know what sto­ry emer­ged from fol­lo­wing this advi­ce? Get to know it yourself…
  • Cam­ping skills
  • Cano­eing skills
  • Hor­se riding skills
  • Dog sled­ding skills
  • Hun­ting skills
  • Fishing skills
  • Cra­fting skills

Eve­ry­thing began during the Amhan­ska (Febru­ary, time of the Long Dro­ught Moon in the Assi­ni­bo­ini tra­di­tion), or as some peoples living in the north would call, the Bear Moon. It wasn’t long befo­re I faced the forest in my ear­ly chil­dho­od, thanks to my parents moving to a house on the edge of a meadow near the sur­ro­un­ding, ever-rustling and gre­en tre­es. It was a Polish forest which grows near Poznań; a gre­at forest of adven­tu­res soon awa­iting me , which flo­uri­shed to form a forest play­gro­und. In it I assem­bled the first shel­ters under fra­grant resin soaked pines, which were like sign­po­sts for me when for when I went for a hike in tho­se fore­sted woods. Here I gained expe­rien­ce in the field of fishing, in which my four unc­les and father par­ti­ci­pa­ted, and it was them who tire­les­sly sup­por­ted me to absorb this dif­fi­cult and fasci­na­ting art. In the begin­ning, we har­nes­sed very old-fashio­ned fishing methods, blo­wing away the dust of histo­ry from our bam­boo and hazel rods so that I could fish with them in the forest waters. I wor­ked thro­ugh a series of even more intri­gu­ing tech­ni­qu­es, immer­sing myself deeper and deeper into a trap­pe­r’s atmo­sphe­re. Aro­und this time, I also faced sco­uting for the first time, altho­ugh sle­eping alo­ne was not a cor­ner­sto­ne for me. Alre­ady the youn­gest Tome­k’s parents admi­red the­ir trips to the skim­ming sea and the lake that mat­ched it with blue. They set the time for us to sle­ep in old canvas tents, shro­uded in the aro­mas of 

tre­es and a bon­fi­re pul­sing with life. Just con­tac­ting the vil­la­ge tau­ght me many use­ful skills, altho­ugh the vil­la­ge in which I lived was not the arche­ty­pe of the vil­la­ge known for agri­cul­tu­re. Never­the­less, the time spent on it, or more pre­ci­se­ly – spent with grand­pa­rents on the­ir plot, resul­ted in expe­rien­ce with gro­wing plants and raising ani­mals. Impor­tan­tly, the sight of slau­gh­te­red ani­mals that accom­pa­nied me sin­ce my chil­dho­od did not sup­press my sym­pa­thy or respect for the inha­bi­tants of the vast fore­sts. Grand­pa was a real teacher to me. A master of natu­re who told me sto­ries abo­ut ani­mals and the old ways of living … He orga­ni­zed trips to the forest for mush­ro­oms and fru­it toge­ther with my grand­mo­ther; and from the­se adven­tu­res, I had my first fasci­na­ting les­sons of the secrets of col­lec­ting forest tre­asu­res. My grand­pa­rents kept pace with my parents, taking me and my bro­ther to a land carved by huge gla­ciers, whe­re clo­uds meet the Earth. At that time, being a teena­ger, I left my nati­ve town of Maniecz­ki for a long time, cove­ring over a hun­dred kilo­me­ters. With an air of undo­ub­ted pro­fes­sio­na­lism the pur­po­se of this jour­ney – the Sie­ra­ków Tech­ni­cal Scho­ol of Inland Fishe­ries – made even cle­arer the paths of pond, lake and river fishing in front of me. This was during my sco­uting years as well and it was the­re, in the king­dom of blue, wavy lakes, that I beca­me a team sco­ut leader and a par­ti­ci­pant in my team’s suc­ces­ses in the field of topo­gra­phy and survival. 

The good results achie­ved at the camps fur­ther streng­the­ned what sco­uting gave me in gene­ral: an uncon­trol­la­ble desi­re to be in the woods and not neces­sa­ri­ly accom­pa­nied by a fishing rod but rather it is impor­tant that I am sur­ro­un­ded by a forest and the har­mo­ny of two smells flo­ating in its cle­an air: the smell of resin with a hint of adven­tu­re. When the tur­bu­lent period in my life pas­sed, in which the role of the forest path was tem­po­ra­ri­ly sta­ved, I allo­wed myself to light that fire of pas­sion aga­in one day, which direc­ted me aga­in into the myste­rio­us woods. Such a fire belie­ve it or not is not dan­ge­ro­us to this envi­ron­ment but is “allo­wed” a good word? In fact, I could­n’t do it any other way. It was like a thun­der­bolt that spar­ked an instant deci­sion; I just sud­den­ly pac­ked my back­pack one mor­ning, drop­ped a kit­chen kni­fe, a mess tin, a pie­ce of foil for the roof, maps and string. This hasti­ly fol­ded gear was my only com­pa­nion on the instinc­ti­ve path to the same forest which remem­be­red me as a teen wal­king with my grand­pa­rents. The pur­po­se of this mad­ness was the lack of a point or goal, name­ly it was abo­ut going so far into the forest , just to get lost in the­re. Appa­rent mad­ness con­ta­ined an uncon­scio­us method to chal­len­ge your­self: awa­ke­ning an even more inten­se need for com­mu­ning with natu­re and rela­ted expe­rien­ces, bru­shing aga­inst the extre­me. The goal was achie­ved, and with con­si­de­ra­ble vigor. 

In retur­ning to the forest which con­nec­ted me with old memo­ries gave me a vision of my own scho­ol of survi­val, and the idea beca­me a reali­ty. A pla­ce was cre­ated whe­re I tra­ined young people eager for survi­val know­led­ge, not avo­iding either rock and high moun­ta­in clim­bing. It was a lar­ge gro­up, among which the most nume­ro­us were mem­bers of para­mi­li­ta­ry orga­ni­sa­tions. Witho­ut aban­do­ning my posi­tion of a mili­ta­ry survi­vor instruc­tor in the Sagit­ta­rius Asso­cia­tion, I simul­ta­ne­ously orga­ni­zed many trips under the bush­craft umbrel­la, as well as seve­ral get-toge­thers, which were atten­ded by people from the enti­re land car­pe­ted with gre­en fore­sts, cut by a blue rib­bon-like river. Then I reali­zed that not only do I want to get to know my coun­try bet­ter, inste­ad of just pra­ising other people­’s but thanks to per­se­ve­ran­ce in pas­sion, I was able to uni­te more and more coun­try­men aro­und the lush, spon­ta­ne­ous con­cept of bush­craft. The love of stay­ing in the fore­sts, fueled by a beau­ti­ful, tho­ugh incon­spi­cu­ous turn of Sla­vic natu­re towards its roots, has grown to a much lar­ger size. All the­se pre­vio­us expe­rien­ces con­tri­bu­ted to the cre­ation of Leśne Rze­mio­sło. When I laid the foun­da­tions of the pro­ject, I did not expect it to devo­ur me endles­sly… Hor­ses, sled dogs, long, far from boring canoe trips to pri­sti­ne are­as, wor­king as a car­pen­ter and wood worker… 

All this has beco­me a new chal­len­ge, which is gro­wing bey­ond me along with Leśne Rze­mio­sło, but it did­n’t tan­gle my paths. On the con­tra­ry – I was get­ting more and more invo­lved in acqu­iring new skills, which also inc­lu­ded buil­ding log huts in a tra­di­tio­nal way, sewing leather, dres­sing ani­mals, or dres­sing skins with pri­mi­ti­ve, altho­ugh very instruc­ti­ve methods. In the end, hun­ting cra­fts began to bother me, and under the influ­en­ce of fasci­na­tion with trap­ping, I was car­ried away by the histo­ry of North Ame­ri­can trap­pers. I col­lec­ted equ­ip­ment, star­ting the adven­tu­re with histo­ri­cal recon­struc­tion. Sho­oting and black powder weapons beca­me the apple of my eye. Thanks to such meti­cu­lo­us scien­ce, the majo­ri­ty of my cur­rent equ­ip­ment comes from my work­shop and per­for­man­ce. I began a real adven­tu­re bur­ning the return brid­ge to a civi­li­za­tion on which I had kil­led my exi­sten­ce in civi­li­sa­tion itself. With a pocket com­pass in hand, I set the azi­muth to be the North Star, oppo­si­te me was a book titled Wal­den by Hen­ry David Tho­re­au. Love for bore­al fore­sts and a trap­pe­r’s raw life led me to the full-blo­oded are­as of the north, whe­re I also lived. Today, the forest is my authen­tic home, and its tra­ils are a cor­ri­dor that I tra­ver­se in clas­sic fashion, per­fec­ting myself as a trap­per and guide tra­di­tio­nal­ly as to my methods, and equ­al­ly inva­ria­bly, with the same desi­re to meet the unknown. 




Day in travel

Thomas Paterski to the studio Radio Three

Radio Three of the Polish Radio welco­mes Tho­mas Pater­ski to the stu­dio. Hel­lo dear readers. Who­ever fol­lows the acti­vi­ties of Leśne Rze­mio­sło , could listen to me on August 5, 2018 on Trój­ka – Pro­gram 3 of the Natio­nal Polish Radio. In the series “Droz­d’s Eye’s View…

Personal Compass – interview with Thomas Paterski

Tho­mas Pater­ski – Leśne Rze­mio­sło. “Tho­mas Pater­ski. Tra­ve­ler, arti­san and survi­val instruc­tor. He is con­nec­ted the craft of trap­ping on a daily basis, he makes his own equ­ip­ment for his trips to the nor­thern are­as of the taiga. He is the orga­ni­ser of many expeditions…


Inland Technical College

2004 – 2007

Pond, lake and river fishing. Bio­lo­gy of rese­rvo­irs and water­co­ur­ses. Ana­to­my and phy­sio­lo­gy of fish.


2012 – 2014

Orga­ni­sing tra­inings for para­mi­li­ta­ry orga­ni­za­tions, uni­for­med servi­ces and civi­lian personnel.


2014 – 2021

Publi­ca­tion of edu­ca­tio­nal mate­rials, orga­ni­za­tion of expe­di­tions and tra­inings. Pro­duc­tion of equ­ip­ment and tra­di­tio­nal handicrafts.


2004 – 2007

Polish Sco­uting Asso­cia­tion – team leader and instructor.


2013 – 2015

The Sagit­ta­rius Sho­oting Asso­cia­tion – survi­val instructor.


2014 – 2019

Work rela­ted to car­pen­try in the fur­ni­tu­re and inte­rior design deve­lop­ment industry.

Log Cabin Builder

2016 – 2019

Expe­rien­ce in buil­ding clas­si­cal log cabins, trap­per sty­le inc­lu­ding some as a volunteer.



Volun­te­er expe­rien­ce in a dog sled­ding kennel.