Found this in a certain place today and can imagine it having been made by a fairy traipsing through the woods hand in hand with her lover..who,where, why???
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Sunday 26 February 2012
We went out for the day to have a simple time trying out a few things that we have been meaning to try..so firstly the woodsmans friend was fire which we lit with amadou and ferns
he'll huff and he'll puff
doesn't take long to get good smoke
and our good friend prometheus smiles upon us!
Thinking about what Keith had been saying about bracket fungus tinder I picked a birch polypore and charred it in the fire hoping to get another string to our flint and steel bow
It was smouldering so well I had to put it in my tin cup and bury it to starve it of oxygen, so I had high hopes that this would work
However no matter how many sparks we dropped on it from flint and steel and as a last resort even from the ferro rod it would not catch, we put it back to flame in the fire and it caught right away
so we simply left it to see how long it would smoulder for
This little fungus smouldered for just over an hour and very hotly too I might add, I broke a little piece off and blew cleavers to flame with it, so it's got potential especially as an extender or as a method to carry fire but as for it catching a spark I think we need more experimentation with this and other bracket fungi.
Wednesday 22 February 2012
Davy managed to get some good grade tallow and he decided to have an impromptu candle making session
Melting down the tallow ready to use
Quick wick made from flax and set in the melted tallow
and a Kudlik type lamp made from a scallop shell
and both worked very well
but this one was definitely my favourite!
Sunday 19 February 2012
I've been led to believe that water filtered through limestone is some of the cleanest and purest forms of water you can get,I also know that a number of bottled water companies advertise that their water has been filtered through limestone so there must be something to it,and when it comes to bushcraft/survival websites we don't seem to see a lot of information on water even though it is one of the essential elements..so many people seem to concentrate on fire, food and shelter and take water for granted when we really should be examining this resource as carefully and meticulously as we can.
A place we use often has great limestone cliffs and a lot of little caves and fissures and regardless of the time of year or what the weather has been like there always seems to be drips coming down through the limestone..
and forming in little puddles and pools all over the place, now this is a very handy resource if the limestone has already purified the water,and the easy way to find out was to drink it..So I did, and it was delicious and after 3 days there were no after effects whatsoever.
Now I'm not saying that just because it's limestone filtered it's pure enough to drink as is, but I have drank from these pools on quite a few occasions with no adverse effects at all and in a survival situation I would be happy to continue to do this if I had no other means to purify the water available..I have also been told that limestone filtering can remove enough salt from sea water to make it potable for humans, now I cannot verify this but I do intend to find out one way or another if that is possible!!
Wednesday 15 February 2012
It's been a very long time since I made one of these, and as you know I'm not one for perfection, I don't tend to labour over things to get them as perfect and beautiful as can be, I believe whole heartedly in the addage of "if it works it'll do!" so I don't care if it's rough and ready or wonky or shabby,if it does the job I intend it to do then I'm a happy man..
I used a mora 510 and a mora spoon knife, just basic work at the moment as the wood was still green, I tried to sand it a little with very coarse 40 grit paper but even this was clogging up,
so I guess I'll just have to leave it to dry for a few weeks before I can do any more work on it, as long as it holds water that's all I need it to do.
Sunday 12 February 2012
As an aid to recycling and creating something that could be useful in a survival situation we decided to show the troop an easy to make meths penny stove..
Davy took the lead and gave a quick intro then onto the demonstration
A group of very enthusiatic kids
All hard at work,with a little help, and doing very well
And some very good results indeed
you can just about make out the burners in flame on the table
what a smile! I think that says it all!!!
Sunday 5 February 2012
All else being equal the quality and type of your tinder can make a difference as to whether you get a fire or not, so I decided to compare some, by no means an exhaustive list and it will be added to as I use other types
Flax tinder with a cattail extender,ember source was amadou lit by flint and steel, this produced a lot of smoke and took longer than usual to ignite..
Still, it did eventually ignite
Flax extender with dry grass bundle and amadou again,
This worked quite well and was certainly easier to get to flame than the previous one
Next was buffed dry grass on it's own with no extender,
No problems here,it worked very well
Next I started to broaden the horizons and use tinder I found on the day and an extender I'd brought, so dried (sort of) cleavers and cattail extender
No problems at all,it worked very well.
lastly tinder I found around me on the day,dryish bracken extender and dryish cleavers,
and believe it or not it was probably the easiest to blow to flame on the day, I was quite surprised by this but I do believe it had a lot to do with the available oxygen around the larger tinder enabling it to take flame much easier...we live and learn..more experimentation will come in the fututre.