Besides being a licensed guide, John Gibbons is the grandson of Euell Gibbons. He started learning survival at the early age of eight by participating in a three day survival trip with his grandfather. His father was active with the U.S. Air force and John moved every two years to places such as California, The Philippines, Washington, Nevada, Idaho and northern New York.
He and his mother stayed with his grandmother
in New York while his father served in Vietnam and Thailand.
He spent a lot of time in the woods where he studied and practiced the teachings of Larry Dean Olsen, Baden Powell, Seton, Hillcourt,
Nessmuk, his grandfather Euell and many others.
Several weeks would be spent in Pennsylvania at his grandfather’s farm. It was here that
John would search for fossils and explore the areas of Bald Eagle state park.
At age 16, John hiked the Northville – Lake Placid trail,
hiking one week alone. At a later date he completed the trail with his best friend.
“Those were great days” learning to travel light
and fast using little gear. From age 16 until completing his B.A. in Anthropology, John worked at several Youth camps teaching nature,
survival and camping.
During five summers spent working for one program, John worked logging approximately 3000+ combined miles of
canoeing, hiking and sailing , guiding trips.
After a tour in the Navy, John returned to New York and spent time perfecting his outdoor,
primitive and wild food skills. At the same time he held a variety of jobs such as teaching, Import / export, writing and construction.
For several years, John was a partner and chief instructor in a successful Outdoor School, located in northern NY. At that time working
with Job Corp of VT as a contractor teaching wilderness skills and leadership programs. Also, offering week long instruction open to the
public specializing in camping and wilderness survival.
It was at this time that John Received his Guides license. Camps are exempt from guide
During part of the year, putting on workshops and seminars on outdoor topics.
After leaving the school, John worked with a
NYS wilderness program for Juvenile offenders for about six years. At this time, John logged on average: approximately 145 days, about 5 months,
per year in the woods and on the waters, guiding and teaching woods skills. Lots of dirt time.
He is the author of, An Adirondack Guides Cookbook
and Canoe Camp Cooking (E-book), he is