Archive for February, 2009
Now the old saying goes that there is more than one way to skin a cat and this is true and its not just cats we can skin! In a long term survival or emergency situation our aim would be to utilize every part of the animal but where game is plenty or where we have other uses in mind for instance the construction of decoys, skinning is a valid option and should not be ruled out. Birds can be skinned just a readily as mammals and such a method as described below is far less pain staking and messy then spending time laboriously plucking.
Throughout history the bear has been a significant creature, a symbol of both raw courage and power both admired and feared by man. It is not without good reason that the heavenly guardian of the wandering traveller, Ursa Major – the Great Bear, points to the North Star as an ever watchful sentry boldly guiding our way through even in the darkest night.
Imagine a bushcrafters paradise. An island where wildlife is abundant, wild food is plentiful, tranquillity is within easy reach and the maddening crowd has been left far, far away.
Sound good, well you no longer have to use your imagination. This magical island really does exist and you’ve no need to travel to foreign climbs, its right here on your doorstep. Welcome to the little known and uninhabited island of Texa.
Your clothing and the kit carried on your person are your first line of defence. As a minimum you should be:-
1. Dressed for the worst weather condition to be expected.
2. Carrying a dependable means of lighting a fire.
3. Carrying a sharp and sturdy knife.
4. Carrying a small first aid kit.
5. Carrying a minimum of one litre of water.
Other items advised are a map of the area, a compass, a mobile phone and a whistle.
I managed to grab myself a couple of bits of spoon fodder this weekend, Ash, willow but in particular a piece of hawthorn, hawthorn is a very wet and closed grained wood when cut, fantastic for carving, here’s what I did with it.
First I split the wood using an axe (no pics of that sorry) then I sketched the outline of a spoon on the blank and cut four stop cuts into it prior to carving, stop cuts STOP you cutting through the piece you are carving and splitting through into other more delicate parts of yourcarving.
One of the initial problems of making fire with a bow drill is that there are a lot of elements that need to come together to achieve the final goal. If one of these elements is not right it can result in failure.
Obviously, trying to explain in writing how to do this is very difficult as some of the elements are very subtle. It would be far easier for you to learn this skill if someone could show you. Of course, that may not be possible which, is why you’re reading this article.
So, I’ll try and give you a few helpful tips although this won’t be a definitive answer to your problems.
First select an area without too much in the way of defects; you want your bark as clear as possible. It’s less likely to split or break.
First off, try and find a dead standing tree, it’s much easier to de-bark.
Using a sharp knife, score a vertical line, starting at the top, slowly scoring downwards.