Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category
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.
Whilst in Sweden studying under Preben Mortenson he showed us the method of making a Swedish torch with a chainsaw. I don’t know about you but I never carry a chainsaw in my daysack. So I when I came upon a different method of making a Swedish torch on Youtube I thought I’d give it a go. You will need straight dead standing branches a couple of inches in diameter and green whippy sticks. Make two small hoops with the whippy sticks, think Christmas wreath here. Now cut the branches all the same length bar one which is half size. Next arrange the branches so the hoops fit over them. The half size one goes in the centre of the bundle, this aids airflow. Getting it to stand can be tricky so I made a wooden stake and pushed that into the ground and pushed the centre of the torch on to it. Stuff the top with twigs and birch bark and light it up. It’s a method for a quick brew or cook up on wet ground or if you don’t want to leave a mess.
Here is an informative and entertaining video which was recently sent in by ROBwithaB showing you how to strike a spark and light a fire using an Opinel folding knife and a piece of quartz.
Rob has a ‘unique’ style of presentation but, he certainly gets the message across loud and clear. I hope you enjoy.
I took the squirrel with a head shot from the top of an oak in my brothers garden, nice clean kill, they can be difficult quarry and a well placed shot is needed.
The goal when you use any fish trap is to catch fish. You want to make a fish trap that the fish can swim into but not out of. Part of the trick is the bait, but a big part of the success of any fish trap is its design. Here’s a simple fish trap you can put in a river to catch a load of fresh fish.
There are numerous methods to make a fish trap and all sorts of materials can be used. Below is how to make a fish trap using wire mesh. More traditional fish traps can be made using natural materials such as willow. A small fish trap can even be made out of an old plastic drinks bottle.
From the slums of Nairobi to the most remote corners of the Andes, clean water is a necessity. But without significant investment in sanitization infrastructure, this resource is incredibly difficult to provide. But after years of research and development, a cheap, reusable and nearly universally effective system of water treatment has been developed.
I love my gasmask bag its great for day trips but it is unbelievably not waterproof – in fact in a massive down pour water leaked in (a lot) and the leather base meant it pooled in the bottom of the bag. To rectify this i treated it with wax as below.
Ok some of you may already do this or may know of it but some of you may not know how to make greenland wax, or if you prefer, waterproofing wax. To buy waterproofing wax its around 7 quid for a small block which is quite a lot. its easy to make so save money this way! The paraffin was £1 for 400g and the beeswax £1 for 50g and this is enough to make a lot of greenland style wax – i have a massive block now and am probably not ever going to use it all!