You may have noticed that new articles have been a little thin on the ground lately. Please accept my apologies. I must also apologize to all those who have tried to contact me recently via email and received no reply.
Due to personal problems, injury and a house move I find myself with limited time and resources, added to which intermittent & limited internet access. This will probably be the case for the next few weeks up until Christmas for sure. Hopefully though, things will be back to normal in the New Year. I should be settled in my new home and well on the road to recovery.
Please keep comments and emails coming in and I will endeavor to answer them as soon as I possibly can.
Here is a great video by Jon aka Wingman, showing how it’s possible to cook a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs without the use of a frying pan by just using an everyday paper bag.
I was recently sent this movie short. It was made by Pascal Lemoine who is an amateur film maker and keen outdoorsman. The film was shot in Savoy in the French Alps. I think it really captures the atmosphere of the area. Have a look and see what you think.
Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) are amazing plants, rich in Vitamin C and Iron, they provide a very substansial food source. however they also produce very strong fibres running up the stalks which have been used in the past for clothing and of course string.
Mid September and October are the best months to harvest nettles for their fibres, as they have had all spring and summer to grow to a large size yet they should still be alive and un-wilted by the frost.when harvesting nettles i find that the side of rides and paths to be the best place, as the large quantity of available light allows the nettles to grow very large very quickly, larger plants mean longer fibres which makes cordage making a lot easier.
Rather than clearing out a large clump of nettles it is more economical to walk along the ride and pick only the best examples of nettles, these will be tall nettles with thick stalks. the ones to avoid are the thin soft nettles and the dry ones that have started to wilt and die.
The Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917
In Shackleton’s own words, “After the conquest of the South Pole by Amundsen who, by a narrow margin of days only, was in advance of the British Expedition under Scott, there remained but one great main object of Antarctic journeyings–the crossing of the South Polar continent from sea to sea”.
When Shackleton returned from the Nimrod Expedition, on which an attempt was made to plant the British flag on the South Pole, attention was turned towards the crossing of the continent as Shackleton felt certain that either Amundsen or Scott would succeed where he had failed, just 97 miles from his goal.
Shackleton felt that the first crossing of the Antarctic Continent, from sea to sea via the Pole, apart from its historic value, would be a journey of great scientific importance. The distance would be roughly 1800 miles, and the first half of this, from the Weddell Sea to the Pole, would be over unexplored territory. Shackleton intended on taking continuous magnetic observations as the glaciologist and geologist studied ice formations and the mountains of Victoria Land. While the Trans-continental party worked its way across the continent, other scientific parties would operate from the base on the Weddell Sea. One sledging party would travel towards Graham Land, making observations and collecting geological specimens while another party would travel eastward toward Enderby Land conducting the same types of studies. A third party would remain at the base to study the fauna of the land and sea and the meteorological conditions. From the Ross Sea base in McMurdo Sound, another party would push southward to await the arrival of the Trans-continental party at the top of the Beardmore Glacier. Two ships were required for the expedition. The Endurance would be used to transport the Trans-continental party to the Weddell Sea and would afterwards explore the shores of the coastline. She was constructed at Sandefjord by the famous Norwegian builder, Christensen. She was barquentine rigged and had triple-expansion engines which gave her a speed under steam of 9 to 10 knots. Some 350 tons, she was built of selected pine, oak and greenheart. Fully equipped, she cost the Expedition £14,000. Aurora, the ship used to take out the Ross Sea Party, was purchased from Douglas Mawson. She was very similar to theTerra Nova of Scott’s expedition.
A very useful item is a leather belt. Other than helping to keep your trousers up or providing something to hang your knife off. You can also use a leather belt in many other ways. As a lashing, perhaps an aid to carrying a bundle of firewood or even as a tornique.
I also use my leather belt as a strop to help me keep my knife as sharp as possible while away from home, spending precious time in the woods. Before I leave home I rub some polishing compound onto the inside of my belt. Not all belts are ideal for this task. You are best to use a strong, one piece leather belt which does not have a liner stitched into it, as when you strop your knife you will eventually wear the stitching away.
There seems to be a huge interest in the subject of Every Day Carry or EDC. Youtube is full to the brim of videos of people showing off their EDC equipment. All manner of different bags, packs and pouches crammed with diverse equipment ranging from cotton balls soaked in vaseline to the latest technological breakthrough in GPS systems.
People seem to love discussing the contents of their Bug Out Bags, Woods Bag, Survival Kit, Car/Boat Kit and all manner of other types of kit in-between. I’ve seen fanny packs/bum bags, rucksacks, gearslingers and all sorts described as EDC kit. There of course is a place and a time for these kits. However, I personally don’t think you could class them as EDC.
I’ve decided to add a new section to the BushcraftStuff Blog site. So, welcome to the first post in the Hints & Tips section. Here you will, over time find… well, hints and tips some of which you may hopefully find useful.
This one is very simple but I personally think quite effective. Especially when you’re going on a trip which is going to last a few days.
My grandfather, Maco, had been our chief. I never saw him, but my father often told me of the great size, strength, and sagacity of this old warrior. Their principal wars had been with the Mexicans. They had some wars with other tribes of Indians also, but were seldom at peace for any great length of time with the Mexican towns.