Monday, June 17, 2019

What Bushcraft means to me.

Truthfully, not even sure where I belong in all this.
I prefer wilderness survival, but I do like to make my own gear, so maybe Bushcrafting is the field I fall into, or maybe not.
Either way, to me, wilderness survival, bushcrafting is the form of ultimate freedom. Making your own gear, knowing how to live anywhere with minimal gear is the truest form of freedom to me.
With that said, I have to shake my head at some bloggers and youtubers when they talk about their gear they have. They show their gear and its nice, well made etc. Then I look up their gear and my jaw drops. For instance, one talked about their boots. Really nice looking, very well made. When I looked up the boots, the price tag and it was well over $300. Granted, if you can afford it, get it. But I started this adventure as a pauper. I had to watch what I spent and save up if I really needed or wanted something. My first boots were the Walmart survivor boots, less than $50. With that said though, I do have a pair of high end boots that are valued over $300, but I got them off of ebay cheap due to the fact I have small feet. ;) I paid $40 anad recently sent them off to be resoled for $87, so the total value of the boot is $127, still cheaper than the high ends, even though my boots are high end.
This goes the same with knives. Yes, I have a couple expensive knives, but I scrimp and saved or traded to get them. But one of the best knives I have is also one of the cheapest. The Mora knife. Those are true work horses and I know wilderness survival teachers and bushcrafters who had a mora and used it for nearly twenty years.

That's what I do. Bushcrafting to me isn't buying the most expensive gear, but to make do with what you have and able to get.

Friday, April 26, 2019

More about me and my skills.

Whew! That was a long one, wasn't it? Well I'm not done. ;)

So... What got me started on this path? Hard to say really. Even when I was a young kid, I felt drawn to the outdoors. My earliest recollection is memories of my dad talking me for walk in the parks, reading to me. I also remember when I lived in Arazonia of playing in the drainage ditches (during the dry season of course) and being upset that they wouldn't take me to the "play area" because the mountains were getting rain. Hey, to a little kid it made no sense, It was sunny and dry and the mountains were very far away. I DO remember my parents bringing me to the park that was near the drainage ditches and hearing a roaring sound that instinctively felt was dangerous. My dad brought me near the ditches but not that close and showed me why they didn't want my to play in the ditches when the mountains got rain. What I saw terrified me. The whole ditch was a mass of rushing frothing water, roaring and hissing. I have a feeling my dad showed me this because I must've been a brat when I couldn't play in the ditch a few days back.
But what really put the wild bug in me, was a book I read when I was in the forth grade. For the life of me I don't remember too much about it, much less the title. I do remember it was a badge brother and sister who made their own dens and wanted to throw a party for their friends who weren't able to make it. The brother was sad about that and cooked up some bacon and decided to widen his burrow to take his mind off of being sad. As he dug, he accidently tunneled into his sisters burrow who was having a tea party for her stuffed animals as he friends didn't show up. Long story short, they decided to have a brother and sister party. But what got me was I wanted to make a fort or something like that.
Fast forward a few years later, I discover a book that completely changed my life and set me on the path I walk on today. That book is My Side of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George, but I didn't discover it right away. If anything it was during reading class and had to read short stories. Well, I was bored out of my mind, when we had to read a short story called Sam Gets Started. It was from the second chapter of that book, but I was floored. The skies opened up, light shown down and I wanted this book. I WANTED it bad! So I went to the library and searched naively for a book Sam Get Started, but failed. I looked up the authors name and went to the book section and didn't find it. Instead I found My Side of The Mountain. Ok, this looks cool I thought. I started to read it and I was hooked, and when I got to the second chapter I discovered this was what I was searching for, and got detention for jumping up and down whooping. I WAS in the  school library after all.
From there I read it over and over, wanting to know how to live like that. Then one of my friends introduced me to Tom Browns Field Guide to Wilderness Survival. Between those two books I read them and learned and tried out everything I could.
Years later on, after graduation from high school and recovering from a abusive relationship, I decided to take classes from the Tracker school. I took a number of the survival classes, and when I discovered other schools, I took classes from them when I could
I learned what I could and taught when I could. I then helped form the Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Group known as MAPS.
Years on, I had the wonderful opportunity to join the late Ron Hood and his wife Karen on a survival trek in the remote area of Idaho and was in their survival camping video.
Had a great time, even at my expense. ;)
But this is the basic gest of it all about me and my skills.
Going to see if I can include a about me video in this.

About me, and my skills.

  Well, what can I say. I've always been in love with wanting to live in the wilds. Always have, even when I was a young boy. I've done survival treks numerous amount of times. Some were good, some not so much, but I will tell you this. I found that a bad survival trek is much better day than a bad day back in society.
  I guess I find bushcrafting or wilderness survival to be more honest that living in society. In the wilds, rules are quite simple and dare I say, common sense. If you're cold, find a way to get warm and out of the adverse conditions, make a shelter. Thirsty, find a way to get water and purify it if necessary. As to warmth and purifying water, know how to make a fire in a multitude of ways, don't be reliant on one way. Lastly, hungry? Come on! Anyone from Western Civilization, especially if you're American, you have at LEAST a weeks worth of emergency storage. We're just so used to eating 3+ meals a day. Dropping it down to 1-2 meals a day, and unless you have a medical issue, won't hurt you.
  If you noticed I have a theme on survival priorities, though they can be flipped around at times. Of which the importance of survival for me goes as: Shelter, Water, Fire, and lastly, Food. Though I HAVE switched things around like Fire than water due to terrain and weather.

I also follow the priority of 3's.

You have three seconds of surviving without thinking. (Thought.) If you find yourself in a emergency/survival situation you need to get your thoughts in check otherwise you'll succumb to panic, as we all know that panic will kill.

You have three minutes without air/oxygen. If you have trouble breathing, find a way top fix that otherwise in approx three minutes you're done. I also like to include this with Thought version, as a way to calm down and control the out of control thoughts (Panic fuel) take deep breaths. If you combine the Thought and Breathing in a emergency/survival situation you're going to be ok.

You have three hours without adequate shelter. This can be varied, but at certain terrains, times of the year, even weather, you can have only three hours to live. Lot of people would liken this to hypothermia, and in a way they're right, but they also forget its polar opposite. Hyperthermia, sounds similar, but they not, but will affect you the same way, make you dead. HyPOthermia is where your body core temperature drops and you start shivering. HyPERthermia is the exact opposite. Its where your body core gets dangerously high, which occurs in the desert. Yes, you CAN die in a matter of hours in the desert. High heat, very dry air, and intense sun can bring you down fast before you know it.

Some definitions:

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F (37 C). Hypothermia (hi-poe-THUR-me-uh) occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C).

When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs can't work normally. Left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and eventually to death.

Hypothermia is often caused by exposure to cold weather or immersion in cold water. Primary treatments for hypothermia are methods to warm the body back to a normal temperature.
Hyperthermia is a condition where an individual's body temperature is elevated beyond normal due to failed thermoregulation.  The person's body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates. When extreme temperature elevation occurs, it becomes a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment to prevent disability or death.

You have three days without water. Again, this depends on a numerous of things, but this is a general average. In wetter climates, it can be a bit longer, where I live in the desert, it can be much, much faster. Dehydration is a horrid way to die.

You have three weeks without food. This can be of some debate. It depends on body mass, how survival muscle (Fat) you have on you, the environmental conditions, the amount of physical exertion, the over all physical condition of your body, and medical condition. I might also add in the training you have done with your body. IE: you fast at least a day or two or more every so often. This will train your body not to freak out when the food stops and start consuming itself. Over all, the general consensus is approx. three weeks without food before you start having issues.

Lastly, and this is of some debate, you have Three months with out Companionship or hope. Basically, this means three weeks without Love, Companionship, and especially Hope, you will just give up out of despair and give up the ghost or at the very least stop trying to live.  If you're a very social person and like being sociable, this can be shorter, but if you have hope you can use that. For some, people who can be alone with themselves, they can last longer. But in the end, as human, we are social animals, we have to have some form of communication otherwise depression and despair starts to set in.
I'll use the show Alone. You have skilled experts being dropped off in the wilds to live out there as long as they can and can tap out at any time. Yes, accidents do happen and they have to tap out, but in the end, what most tapped out was due to the fact they missed their family, they got lonely.
People NEED some form of communication. Even the mountain men of old who liked being by themselves sought out communication from time to time. Those on Alone that lasted to the end, had a key ingredient on lasting to the end, and that was Hope. Hope to keep pushing to bring something back to the family, a ways to help them. That is what gets them though the lonely times is the hope of making it to the end and doing them proud.

Revamping the blog soon

Hey all, been awhile. Life and such. Going to change things around. Still making knives and such, but going to turn this into more of a Bushcraft and Wilderness Survival blog soon as that is what I primarily do, oh, and knives will still be included. Stay tuned for upcoming stuff.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Not so new knife.

I made this for myself as something small to carry. Its a stacked handled knife, something I've been wanting to learn how to do properly for a couple years. At the last Rabbitstick, I took a class on this and learned what I was doing wrong. So, got back home fired up the forge and hammered a rat tailed knife out and stacked bone, wood and leather pieces on the handle with brass spacers. Here is the finished product.

I loved how it turned out and use it a lot when I'm out and about.

New stuff.

Hey guys! Worked out the neck strikers. Going to include two types. A flat hammer striker, and a worked handle one that goes into a hoop. Also, have two types of bags to choose from. A faux buckskin cinch bag, and a open leather bag. Both can have fringe on request.

The faux buckskin cinch bag with the flat hammer striker and tin containing flint and char cloth.

The open leather bag with the worked handle hammer striker and tin containing flint and char cloth.

Later I'll be showing my full size hammer strikers kit.

Sunday, December 27, 2015