Trapper Saturday

Poland – Wali­ły Forest Inspec­to­ra­te, Sta­te Forests

Trap­per Satur­day is a pro­ject aimed at parents with chil­dren. Its main mis­sion is to pro­mo­te spen­ding time toge­ther in an ori­gi­nal way. Alter­na­ti­ve, becau­se witho­ut tele­pho­nes, modern mate­rials and other bene­fits of the modern world. Trap­pe­r’s Satur­day is the best way to streng­then the parent-child rela­tion­ship, ena­bling them to get to know each other bet­ter. Apart from brin­ging reso­ur­ce­ful­ness into life, it also streng­thens the psy­che – when, during dif­fi­cult tasks, the par­ti­ci­pants’ belief in the­ir own abi­li­ties natu­ral­ly emer­ges. Trap­pe­r’s Satur­day is also abo­ut ope­ning our eyes to what sur­ro­unds us. Deepe­ning the know­led­ge of natu­re, its mecha­ni­sms and rela­tion­ships results in a gre­ater under­stan­ding of our pla­ce on the pla­net. In its essen­ce, thro­ugh the com­ple­xi­ty of the sub­ject mat­ter of the clas­ses and recre­ation, abo­ve all it helps to acqu­ire skills that may one day save your life.

Trap­per Satur­day – becau­se sha­red memo­ries are not made in front of the TV. 

The pro­ject was cre­ated from the syn­the­sis of Tomasz Pater­ski­’s ori­gi­nal pro­gram. Thanks to the coope­ra­tion with the Wali­ły Forest District, our joint pro­ject could see the light of day.


Man trap­ped in a huge con­cre­te jun­gle has long for­got­ten what real con­tact with natu­re is. Strap­ped to the pho­ne, he sim­ply can­not see the beau­ty of the world aro­und him. We are not tal­king abo­ut a week­end cam­ping in the forest, or a Sun­day trip to a natio­nal park, but abo­ut a real con­tact of man with his natu­ral envi­ron­ment and the mecha­ni­sms that ope­ra­te in it.

The­re are two visions of con­tact with natu­re in cul­tu­re. The first one is expen­si­ve excur­sions, during which we watch care­ful­ly selec­ted “post­card” views, next to which the­re are hot-dog stands – a safe anchor of civi­li­za­tion. The second is often pre­sen­ted in enter­ta­in­ment pro­grams. Natu­re appe­ars the­re as some­thing extre­me­ly dan­ge­ro­us, an ele­ment that is bet­ter avo­ided witho­ut spe­cia­li­zed pre­pa­ra­tion and a lot of expen­si­ve equ­ip­ment. Howe­ver, we com­ple­te­ly for­get abo­ut the third possi­bi­li­ty – a true spi­ri­tu­al con­tact with natu­re, recon­nec­ting to the sour­ce of life; retur­ning to the roots. The­re are gro­ups and people who seek just such a con­tact. The­se are the thin­kers who have found peace in the­ir lit­tle cot­ta­ges by the ponds some­whe­re deep in the wil­der­ness; the tra­ve­lers for whom it is not abo­ut get­ting ano­ther pie­ce of the big forest and fame, but some­thing more per­so­nal. Final­ly, recon­struc­tion gro­ups try­ing to recre­ate the ori­gi­nal forest skills.

The Trap­per Satur­day pro­ject was cre­ated espe­cial­ly for parents with chil­dren who are looking for real con­tact – with natu­re and with them­se­lves. The main mis­sion is to pro­mo­te spen­ding time toge­ther in an ori­gi­nal way. Alter­na­ti­ve, becau­se witho­ut pho­nes, modern mate­rials and other bene­fits of the modern world – in our natu­ral envi­ron­ment. An attempt to instill the bug of adven­tu­re and deve­lop inte­re­sts other than com­pu­ter games and wat­ching TV. It is also an attempt to cre­ate spa­ce for streng­the­ning the parent-child rela­tion­ship, which will allow us to get to know each other bet­ter. Apart from brin­ging reso­ur­ce­ful­ness into life, it is also sup­po­sed to streng­then the psy­che – when, during dif­fi­cult tasks, the par­ti­ci­pants’ belief in the­ir own abi­li­ties natu­ral­ly appears.

Trap­per Satur­day is also abo­ut ope­ning our eyes to what sur­ro­unds us. Thanks to a spe­cial didac­tic path leading direc­tly to the camp whe­re the clas­ses take pla­ce, the know­led­ge abo­ut natu­re, its mecha­ni­sms and rela­tions is deepe­ned. This results in a gre­ater under­stan­ding of our pla­ce on the pla­net. In its essen­ce, thro­ugh the com­ple­xi­ty of the sub­ject mat­ter of acti­vi­ties and recre­ation, it also helps to acqu­ire basic skills that will allow direct con­tact with natu­re. In this way, our pro­ject gives the oppor­tu­ni­ty to feel like trap­pers of North Ame­ri­ca – it is when we begin to com­mu­ne with natu­re in the tra­di­tio­nal sty­le that the mind opens to the sti­mu­li of natu­re. This is the uni­que spi­rit of the forest, a mysti­cal power ava­ila­ble only to a few.

Ima­gi­ne that you are looking at the land­sca­pe stret­ching out in front of you, the wil­der­ness stret­ching all the way to the hori­zon.… using tra­di­tio­nal equ­ip­ment and equ­al­ly tra­di­tio­nal know­led­ge, you sud­den­ly feel your con­scio­usness shift, gra­du­al­ly fil­ling with a sin­gle and unsha­ka­ble pre­mo­ni­tion – that eve­ry­thing is as it sho­uld be. You expe­rien­ce a per­fect blen­ding into the land­sca­pe – being part of it, like a neces­sa­ry and per­fec­tly fit­ting pie­ce of the big puz­zle. Fear and over­whelm disap­pe­ar – a cle­ar, calm mind emer­ges inste­ad. You are at home! Becau­se the path to the woods and natu­re is always a jour­ney into your­self; an appro­ach to life in its most clas­sic form. It is to draw from it what we lack for true civi­li­za­tion, becau­se civi­li­za­tion is deve­lop­ment, and deve­lop­ment is not achie­ved by cut­ting one­self off from the “old”, but by dra­wing from it the most valu­able teachings.










19.10.2019. BUILD CAMP

Tra­vel­ling for seve­ral days thro­ugh fore­sts and wil­der­ness, we are for­ced to set up camp eve­ry day – to eat, drink water and gather strength for the next day­’s adven­tu­re. This can be con­si­de­red as one of the most basic skills. During the first clas­ses, whe­re the main topic will be shel­ter, we will learn the basic impor­tan­ce of this ele­ment in the art of forest cam­ping. Taking into acco­unt the gol­den rule of thre­es, in the­ory we will learn how to cho­ose an appro­pria­te pla­ce for a camp, select mate­rials for con­struc­tion of a shel­ter, as well as learn abo­ut the most effec­ti­ve con­struc­tions. Of cour­se we will also talk abo­ut methods of iso­la­tion from the gro­und, as well as scre­ening the shel­ter. From a prac­ti­cal point of view we will use the acqu­ired the­ory and under the super­vi­sion of the leader we will try to build our own small forest camp using gifts of natu­re. In the second part of the pro­gram we will learn abo­ut ready solu­tions such as bivo­uac she­ets – eve­ry­one will learn how to build basic figu­res. During the clas­ses we will also learn how to use a forest hut, pon­cho and other ele­ments of forest man’s equipment.



It is com­mon know­led­ge that water is essen­tial for life. The case is no dif­fe­rent with the life lived on a forest tra­il. A wan­de­rer wan­de­ring thro­ugh the woods, depri­ved of access to water, often over­wor­ked due to high effort whi­le buil­ding an encamp­ment… quic­kly beco­mes dehy­dra­ted, which in extre­me cases can even end in death. The­re­fo­re – during long expe­di­tions – we are in a way for­ced to draw life-giving liqu­id from uncer­ta­in sour­ces. During the first part of the class we will learn how to get water from the ter­ra­in. In the second part of the Satur­day­’s meeting, using the pre­sen­ce of water, we will talk abo­ut fishing. And this is becau­se nothing is so enjoy­able during expe­di­tions to the bac­kwo­ods, as a tasty meal from ingre­dients obta­ined in the field. In addi­tion to ber­ries, black­ber­ries or mush­ro­oms, we can also find… fish. Tasty, nutri­tio­us and heal­thy – and also very easy to pre­pa­re, will cer­ta­in­ly satis­fy eve­ry con­no­is­seur of forest cuisi­ne. During the­se clas­ses we will learn sim­ple and legal methods of fishing. We will learn how to tie hooks and build sets, as well as how to read water, which will incre­ase the chan­ces of a suc­cess­ful hunt.



It’s hard to ima­gi­ne life on a forest tra­il witho­ut fire. We use it to warm up tired bodies, to dry wet clo­thes or to boil and puri­fy water. The art of making a fire is one of the most impor­tant skills which sho­uld be acqu­ired by eve­ry­one who goes on a forest tra­il. And it is not impor­tant how we do it, what counts is the effec­ti­ve­ness. Tra­di­tio­nal ket­tle or fire bow have the­ir own uni­que atmo­sphe­re, but when you start your adven­tu­re with forest cam­ping it will be more reaso­na­ble to use sim­pler methods. Nobo­dy will award us points for ligh­ting a fire with a fire bow, it’s not a race. Having a hand­ful of basic infor­ma­tion, we will learn the rules of safe fire han­dling. Then, we will get acqu­ain­ted with the methods of making fire – we will learn easy tech­ni­qu­es at first and gra­du­al­ly move to more dif­fi­cult ones, requ­iring from us more tech­ni­que and fines­se. We will also learn what kind of natu­ral fire star­ters and hubs we can use. We will also learn to build appro­pria­te types of bon­fi­res and select wood spe­cies for it.


18.01.2020. CAMP KITCHEN

An often unde­re­sti­ma­ted skill on a forest tra­il is the art of cooking. Of cour­se – we can eat a lot of the ava­ila­ble ingre­dients raw, but nothing boosts mora­le like a tasty meal. Espe­cial­ly when you have had a hard day. Unfor­tu­na­te­ly, young adepts of the forest cam­ping often watch comi­cal shows – in the caul­dron the­re are poor­ly cho­sen ingre­dients, and in addi­tion, under the influ­en­ce of too hot fire they get burnt after a whi­le. In panic – during a spec­ta­cu­lar fli­ght from an unsta­ble han­ger – the caul­dron is grab­bed by its hot han­dle… and eve­ry­thing lands on the gro­und, whi­le a young adept of forest cooking spends the next few days healing burns. During the­se clas­ses we will learn how to build struc­tu­res to hang our uten­sils, as well as how to burn the right type of fire and select wood spe­cies for it. We will also learn reci­pes for tasty and nutri­tio­us forest meals. Of cour­se – the­re will be pre­sen­ta­tions of methods of pre­pa­ring meals witho­ut the use of uten­sils, such as fry­ing on a log or baking in an earth pit. During the clas­ses each par­ti­ci­pant will build his own camp kit­chen and try to pre­pa­re a deli­cio­us forest dish.



If you want to tra­vel thro­ugh the forest, admi­re the beau­ty of natu­re and enjoy the silen­ce, you can­not do it witho­ut kno­wing how to read a map and how to deter­mi­ne the direc­tion of the world. Lack of know­led­ge in the field of ter­ra­in can end up in get­ting lost, the con­se­qu­en­ces of which can be vario­us – the more serio­us the big­ger the forest and the more seve­re the con­di­tions in it. During the­se clas­ses each par­ti­ci­pant will learn how to read a map and use a com­pass whi­le wal­king in a win­ter land­sca­pe. We will also learn more sophi­sti­ca­ted ways to navi­ga­te, such as using a stick and two rocks. Of cour­se the­re will be no shor­ta­ge of infor­ma­tion on how to read the signs left to us by mother natu­re. Each stu­dent of the art of ter­ra­in stu­dies during the clas­ses will also try to draw a sketch of the over­co­ming ter­ra­in. Taking advan­ta­ge of win­ter weather and a walk, each par­ti­ci­pant will also learn the art of trac­king, and will focus the­ir atten­tion on reco­gni­zing the tracks of forest inha­bi­tants. They will under­stand that trac­king is like reading a gre­at and fasci­na­ting book of the forest – that each track is a part of the histo­ry of its inhabitant.


The Kny­szyn Pri­me­val Forest is a huge forest area on the Bia­ły­stok in the Poland. Upland with the sur­fa­ce of abo­ut 1050 km² (the second lar­gest forest area after the Bia­ło­wie­ża Pri­me­val Forest). The Supraśl River and its tri­bu­ta­ry the Sokoł­da River flow thro­ugh the area of the Forest. The rich­ness of the ani­mal and plant worlds testi­fy to its uni­que cha­rac­ter. Within the area of the Kny­szyn Pri­me­val Forest, 23 forest and scrub com­ple­xes have been found. The most com­mon are: fresh coni­fe­ro­us forest, mixed mul­ti-spe­cies forest and fresh pine forest. The tree stand is domi­na­ted by pine and spru­ce. Other com­mon spe­cies are birch, alder and oak. The forest is a refu­ge of ani­mals. Apart from elk, deer, roe deer, wild boar, bad­ger and beaver, the­re are rare spe­cies such as lynx, wolf and Euro­pe­an bison. Sin­ce 1974 the Kny­szyn Pri­me­val Forest has been the loca­tion of the Euro­pe­an bison sanc­tu­ary. Cur­ren­tly, the herd con­si­sts of 121 free roaming bison, which is one of the few exam­ples of a free roaming herd in Poland. In Kny­szyn Pri­me­val Forest, bison can be found in Kryn­ki and Wali­ły Forest Divi­sions. It is much easier to meet them in win­ter, when they come out of the forest to the open are­as. This beau­ti­ful mam­mal has beco­me a per­ma­nent ele­ment of the Kny­szyn Forest fau­na. In the area of Pusz­cza the­re are also at least 38 spe­cies of bre­eding birds. Nine spe­cies are pre­sent in num­bers suf­fi­cient to con­si­der the area as a refu­ge of inter­na­tio­nal impor­tan­ce Natu­ra 2000: black stork, honey buz­zard, les­ser spot­ted eagle, hazel gro­use, black wood­pec­ker, whi­te-bac­ked wood­pec­ker, three-toed wood­pec­ker and red-bre­sted fly­cat­cher. More infor­ma­tion abo­ut the Kny­szyn Forest can be found at:

The clas­ses take pla­ce in the Wali­ły Forest Inspec­to­ra­te, abo­ut 30 kilo­me­ters from Bia­ły­stok. The Wali­ły Forest Inspec­to­ra­te is part of the Regio­nal Direc­to­ra­te of Sta­te Fore­sts in Bia­ły­stok, loca­ted in Pod­la­skie Voivo­de­ship, in Bia­ły­stok district, boro­ugh of Gró­dek. From the north the Wali­ły Forest Inspec­to­ra­te bor­ders with the Kryn­ki Forest Inspec­to­ra­te. On the east it reaches the sta­te bor­der. From the south and south-west it bor­ders with the Żed­nia Forest Inspec­to­ra­te. The north-western part of the inspec­to­ra­te bor­ders with the Supraśl Forest Inspec­to­ra­te. The ove­rall area of the inspec­to­ra­te is 15 972,26 ha, inc­lu­ding forest are­as of 14984,76 ha. The inspec­to­ra­te­’s forest are­as are loca­ted in the Mazu­rian and Pod­la­sie Natu­re and Forest Region II, District 5 of the Biel­sko-Biał­stoc­ka Upland, in the meso­re­gions of the Kny­szyn Pri­me­val Forest and the Sokól Hills. The Wali­ły Forest Inspec­to­ra­te­’s fore­sts are a com­plex which is a part of the Kny­szyn Pri­me­val Forest, as well as forest com­ple­xes not con­nec­ted with the Forest and fore­sts cre­ated as a result of affo­re­sta­tion of for­mer farm­land. For cen­tu­ries the­se lands were occu­pied by the pri­me­val forest which stret­ched from the Pole­sie mar­shes thro­ugh the upper cour­se of the Narew River, the Supraśl River, the lands betwe­en the Brzo­zo­wa River and the Sidra River to the Bie­brza River whe­re it trans­for­med into the Jaćwie­ski Pri­me­val Forest. We invi­te you to get acqu­ain­ted with the histo­ry of the Forest Inspec­to­ra­te in Waliły.