Archive for September, 2009
A Simple Effective Fail Safe Tinder…
There are many different natural tinder’s available to the outdoorsman. Birch bark, clematis, old man’s beard… the list is almost endless. All are readily available as long as you know where to look for them and how to prepare them.
I just got the new designed larger fire kit knife in today…perfect timing as it has been raining for three days now…seemed as good a day as any to test it out.
So…say you’re in the woods, or at least many of the woods in the Eastern U.S., Western Europe that I am sure of, it’s been raining for days on end and you need a fire but only have a small knife and a firesteel….
A little known survival aid related to wilderness fire making skills is the Dakota fire hole, also known as the Dakota fire pit. This handy device is easy to construct and has marked advantages over other types of campfire constructs. Once you make a Dakota fire hole and try it out, you may choose to use this method on a regular basis.
Making a Dakota Fire Hole is initially more labor intensive than simply building a fire on the surface of the ground. However the outlay in energy required to make a Dakota fire hole is more than offset by its efficient consumption of fuel; it greatly reduces the amount of firewood required to cook meals, treat water to destroy pathogens or warm your body.
1 pound beef steak*
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
*When purchasing the steak ask your butcher if he will slice it relatively thick on a bacon slicer for you. This gives nice thin slices of steak with a uniform thickness which helps in the drying process.
The following is basically a variation of how I usually do a one match fire. However if you really need a fire and you have a match…or a lighter…use it. It will speed things up a good bit.
Since I’m using sparks instead of a match the first thing I did was whittle into the dryer part of a pine limb and laid it in the sun so in a few minutes I could make shavings for tinder.
One of the most important yet strangely overlooked skills that any outdoorsman should strive to master is the ability to resharpen their tools. There are many different and varying grinds which can be found on knife edges nowadays. In this article we will look at how to sharpen a convex grind. This article was first published by The Bark River Knife Collector’s Association in 2006.
I’ve included Major Les Hiddins in this series of ‘Bushcraft Heroes’ quite simply because back in the eighties when his television series The Bush Tucker Man hit our screens, he brought me a huge amount of inspiration. Here was a man sharing my interest of the outdoors and doing exactly what I dreamed of doing. All be it, in a completely different country/environment, even a different continent for that matter. Every Sunday I was glued to the television screen to watch Les in his distinctively modified Akubra hat, travel the outback of Australia showing us what nature had to offer in terms of wild foods and how to go about obtaing those foods.
Can you recall, dear comrade, when we tramped God’s land together,
And we sang the old, old Earth-song, for our youth was very sweet;
When we drank and fought and lusted, as we mocked at tie and tether,
Along the road to Anywhere, the wide world at our feet –
Along the road to Anywhere, when each day had its story;
When time was yet our vassal, and life’s jest was still unstale;
When peace unfathomed filled our hearts as, bathed in amber glory,
Along the road to Anywhere we watched the sunsets pale?
Whatever your previous experience with net, rod or gun, it is likely that spending a weekend in the company of Roger Harrington’s team will improve your knowledge and skills. That was the conclusion Steve and I reached when we heard about the Countryman’s Course run by Bison Bushcraft and decided to go along.
Longer than the standard weekend course, we arrived in East Sussex (along with 5 others) on the Friday lunchtime and transferred our kit into tipis which were up and ready to be our home for the next two and a half days. As promised by the joining instructions, it’s a secure site with open fields flanking a large block of woodland and very straightforward to find. The course briefing promised much hands-on experience, including preparation of a wide variety of game which would be expertly converted by JP into our fully catered meals.