Fire by hand drill

Fire by hand drill

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Death of a Mora

I snapped a Mora today.

Of course i was abusing it somewhat with a spot of light batoning. It was a 2/0 the little one thats perfect for a necker.

I buried it at the edge of a resivoir where me and it have had so many good times together. It will probably be rusted to nothing in a few years.

Rest in peace little guy it was good while it lasted. Now to buy another.


Adventure Medical Kit Ultralight Watertight .9 - First Aid

Hi guys,

Just got one of these to try out. I have to say I am very impressed indeed. It would be quite hard to make a better kit for less money I think.

Got mine at amazon
Adventure Medical Kit Ultralight Watertight .9 - First Aid



Knife porn

Hi,

My F1, a faithfull, used companion.

I was looking at a few lovely pictures of expensive knifes on British blades today. Its all very nice when somone shows a knife and says it is a user when it is plainly not. Any knife that is a user will not look immaculate unless you are using it to chop tomatoes. (why that is a test of a bushcraft knife I will never know) Knifes develop character as they are used.

The pictures that get me thinking are the ones of the old battered things that are functional and used looking and glow with the marks and stains of adventure. When you see one you cant help but wonder where it has been and how the hell it got like that.

Sometimes people are to quick to change knifes hoping to find something better around the corner in the next purchase. Sometimes I think that people buy the woodlores because they think it will imporove their skills.

Our ancestors who used knives on a daily basis would have thought a Mora was the most usefull thing ever I am sure.

There is to much focus on knives in bushcraft I think.I think the problem might be to much choice.

Good example of a used and loved knife is here.

fallkniven-f1-used-abused-loved

The best thing to do if you are starting out is to buy a knife and then use it until it wears out.Then get another one.Thats the way people used to do things but commericalism has taken over big time, we dont feel complete until we have a drawer full of knife shinny blades.

What a rant............................

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A surprise visitor

I was out today in the woods and heard a sniffling nearby.

Then this little guy wandered past. Odd that he is out during the day.


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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Fun at Cardiff White water centre

White water rafting in Cardiff white water centre. The facilities are excellent and the cafe has a great selection of buns for starving rafters.

You get all your kit, wet suit, helmet etc as part of the price.

We had a 2 hour session for a stag do and it was absolutely brilliant fun. Not sure how it would compare to the real thing but the guide, Adam, told me it was very realistic. One thing is that we could do things we couldn’t do on the river due to the high level of safety and control and knowing exactly what is under the water.

The course can be altered by re-positioning bollards to create hazards and choke points.

Good adrenaline rush

Excellent stuff, highly recommended. We will definitely be back.

http://www.ciww.com/content.asp

Friday, 24 June 2011

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Collecting a huge knot of pine resin from a scots pine.

Sometimes the best stuff is harder to reach. Paul playing monkey and doing a great job gathering.


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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Stink horn fungus

We smelled this from 20m away. Smells like decay and cod liver oil to me.
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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

More figure of four trap practise.

The more you make them the more you learn.

Get out there guys. Use the knife you have, swiss army, mora whatever and concentrate on the skills not the tools.
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Nothing like a bit of dry ash to get the fire going on a damp day.

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Friday, 17 June 2011

Quite a good video with Cody Lundin

This shows him in a better light than dual survival, which sometimes shows him and dave in a bad light I think.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Removing branches from live trees...PROPERLY

Hi all,

Quite frequently in bushcraft we have to remove branches. I have often seen the results of people removing branches for craft use or what ever and leaving behind horrible ragged wounds which will struggle to seal.

I thought I would write a little bit about how to properly remove a branch from a live tree.


First some basic facts.

Trees do not heal, they seal. In other words they just cover wounds over with bark and callus wood.

If you leave a tree with a ragged wound it will be much much harder for the tree to seal it inviting infection by a pathogen or rot etc.

There are areas of the branch which are designed to produce sealing wood called the branch collar. It is a slightly swollen bit where the branch meets the main stem and is most noticable in hardwoods. If this bit is cut off by cutting the branch to close to the main stem then the tree will struggle to seal it.
A flush cut too close to main stem result in wound.
If you leave a peg this can also prevent the tree from sealing as you are leaving something in the door way.
Here is were you should make your cut.

The branch collar can then do its job and seal the wound.
Another problem is not making under cuts in branches before sawing them off. The end of a branch can be quite heavy and when you start sawing down the supporting wood is lost and the branch snaps off ripping a huge swathe of bark off the main stem with it. Simply making a cut underneath to severe the bark on the branch you are removing will prevent this and give the tree a better chance of recovery.

Of course this short guide is simplified and only covers small branches. Big limbs can be very dangerous indeed and you should really know what you are doing.

Cheers

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Special Forces base layer

Special Forces base layer

Check it out, a rather nifty base layer designed by the famous patagonia brand and others.


Looks brill. I wonder how much they will be. Of course Patagonia is also known unofficially as Pata-gucci so expect alot.





Monday, 13 June 2011

Deep survival book review

 Hi Guys,

I have just finished 'Deep survival' by by Laurence Gonzales.

This is a book about survival but is different from the standard fair. A lot of well known survival experts say that survival is all in the mind and that if a group of people are given the same skills and resources certain people will be more likely to survive than others.

Some people dont give up no matter what. Some people fight to the bitter end.

This books talks about mental strength and talks about strategies for keeping a clear head and survival.

Very highly recommended.

You can buy it here (amazon).

In the US

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why


In the uk/europe

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why

Saturday, 11 June 2011

A Bow and arrow trap video

video


Bow trap

Hi there,
I thought I would have another go at making one of these.
Rather simple really if you have a bow. The bow will lose tension if cocked for to long.
The bow is attached securely to two uprights with cord, wire, cable ties. You need to drive them deep so they don't hold.
The mechanism features a notch to hold the bow string and a notch to catch on the third upright. This hold the bow cocked.
The run a piece of string along front of bow via 3 pegs creating a trip wire. The trip wire trigger is attached to bow string holder via a loop, not tied on.
When the trip wire is stretched the loop pulls the trigger to the side off the third upright releasing the arrow. The loop slides off the trigger and doesn't interfere with the action.
Simple.
Built for fun as these traps are illegal. I won't use it in a real life situation unless it was an emergency and even then its a lot of work for one trap.
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Friday, 10 June 2011

Island of the little people

Hi for a bit of a laugh I did up this photo in photo shop and asked my young neice if she had ever seen a little island like this before.

Of course straight away she noticed the secret inhabitants as children do.

I denied all knowledge of course and she now thinks that little poeple live here and cant wait to visit the actual site.

Kids are brilliant aren't they.


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Mora hunter bushcraft knife

Hi ,

I got my hands on one of these.

The blade is standard Mora quality but the handle is different from the others. It is incredibly comfortable and grippy even in the wet.

I took it out today to light a fire in the rain and it was really good. I think it would be excellent with gloves too.

For only £10 you cant go wrong really. Yet again Mora make another good knife.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Lanzarote Bushcraft

Hi all,

I had a rather interesting trip to a little volcanic island called lanzarote this week.

The land is mostly covered in volcanic rock left after massive eruptions in the 17-18th century.

It dosnt sound like it but it is a popular holiday resort.

As with everywhere i go I look for old skills and knowledge which is of interest to me.

There is very little growing here except for cactus and succulents. The animals come out at night due to the heat.

However there is lots to discover and people have lived here for hundreds of years surviving volcanic eruptions pirate raids and lack of water and food. Amazing really.



Over the week I was there I toured the island and visted the fire mountain which is the only active volcano on the island. There is a legend that an old hermit lived on the volcanoe for 50 years with a camel and cooked his food over a thermal vent. In fact we visited and had chicken cooked over the same vent and it was delicious. The temperature is a constant 250 or so degrees C. the heat coming from far below ground. In fact a bucket of water was poured down and it boiled into a geyser of steam in about 6 seconds.

Apprently the hermit collected water by digging down where the plants grew in the valleys between the volcanos and knew what plants were good to eat. The guide became quite excited when i pressed him for info as he was used to the usual tourist questions and probably quite bored. It turned out he was a bit of a bushcrafter himself though didnt know it.

His name was Jorge. He showed me a few plants in the area.

The canary Palm produces a fruit which can be eaten and a sweet milk. The young shoots can be eaten aslo.


Aloe vera is very common also and is well known for being good for sunburn among other problems.

In fact aloe vera is sold in jars while outside the shop is grows wild. You can just cut a bit off and the gel oozes out.


He also showed me a few catus like prickly pear whos flower pod is edible.

Other catcus were used as water resivoirs and the spines used to spear fish. In fact one had curved spines like fishing hooks and he told me that he used to catch fish like that when he was a boy with twine make from palm.Not sure if it was native though.




Later in the trip I had the luck to meet a falconer who was hired by our hotel to chase pigeons.

He had a beautiful harris hawk which was 2 years old and male. While i watched it snatched 3 pigeons out of the air and they were dead before they hit the ground, quite fantastic.

In fact there was so many pigeons that the hawk flew off and the trainer paniced and sprinted after it blowing a whistle.


I also had a go at a few other things. One good little project was polishing the base of a coke can with chocolate and toothpaste to make a convex mirror. I was then able to light a peice of buffed palm fibre to make fire. the sun was very hot indeed.

I also made a small discoidal knife from volcanic rock i found which appeared to be a mix between basalt and obsidian, strange stuff but razor sharp and very good for cutting aloe vera for sun burnt shoulders.

Of course i also had time to lie beside the pool sunbathing, drinking beer and most importantly and best of all playing with my baby daughter.

Cheers