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Sunday 28 April 2013

Atlatl Darts

I made these quite a while ago and they seem to arouse a lot of interest at groups and when we show them off,

they are 6ft long

they are fletched with swan and rook feathers, and whipped with nylon thread, I didn't go fully native with these as I have done with arrows in the past
the head is bone and sits in a small piece of bamboo,the idea being that when the dart hits an animal the head disengages and you can retrieve the dart, the atlatl itself (thrower) is a hazel rod with an antler point to hold the dart ready for throwing
and this is how the dart inengaged, it's simply a strong forward arm throw and wrist flick and the dart is propelled quite a distance!! Be careful, they are not toys!!

Thursday 25 April 2013

Casstrom Forest knife

I read a review of this knife on one of the forums and thought it would warrant purchasing. I went for the bare blade intending to put a handle on myself, so  duly ordered it and waited for it to arrive,and when I opened the parcel this is what I saw
a plain edge blade that looked more like a serrated one. Needless to say I contacted Casstrom and I will admit they were quick to respond and offer a replacement, but I decided not to accept one as if a blade chips that easily without any use I can only imagine how it would perform in the field, so I sent the blade back and was then given a refund, pity actually as the style looked really good.

Sunday 21 April 2013

'A' Frame Shelter - Raised Bed

This is a great wee shelter to learn to build as it is very suitable for a lot of environments in which you want to get up off the forest floor, from boreal forests to jungles it's one the Bushcrafter and Survivalist should really practice building

Find a couple of trees the right distance apart, normally about 8 feet or so, and lash 2 stout poles to each tree so that they cross near the top, make sure you tie them securely to the trees

Tie a cross piece to each support using a square lashing about 2 feet off the ground, these will support the poles that will be the matress of your bed, so make sure you tie them at the right height and make sure they are level
then set a pole on top of the crosses you have made on your main supports, this will be the ridge pole for your tarp
cut enough poles to fill across the supports, if they are very tapered make sure you alternate them tip to base when laying them down, if you make the poles 2 inches thick or less they will flex when you lie down giving you a sprung matress!
load your bed with soft boughs, rushes or grass to make you more comfortable
put a tarp over the ridge pole for a quick roof or you can lean poles or thatch a roof if you have the time and materials
If you build it at the right height it can also function as your seat and living area
Then take a well earned rest! It is one of the most comfortable natural sleeping systems you can get
and if you are interested this shelter was built using the Gerber Gator and Bear grylls Parang in just over 2 hours, well worth it for the comfortable nights sleep you'll get.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Handmade Leather Pouches

I like these, they remind me a little of pioneer pouches used long ago,they are also easy to make and provide a pleasurable past time when you're stuck indoors!
all different sizes, some for use as tinder pouches some for use as food pouches, but I'm sure they'll all find a use somewhere!

Sunday 14 April 2013

Pickled Garlic

We picked some tricorn garlic bulbs today, they're good to gather and preserve now for casseroles or stews later on in the year
they are a good size and full of flavour
I wrapped them up in my bandana
washed, sorted and peeled and put in a jar
and topped up with dark vinegar for a deeper maltier flavour, they should be ready to go in a month or so.

Sunday 7 April 2013

Bushcraft and Survival Books

Here is a quick pic of my Bushcraft and survival library,
I realise it's modest in comparison to others out there, even though I do have another shelf full in my bedroom, still it's taken me many years to put this together...
I don't have that many rare books but some are more unusual than others..
If you have any ideas for other books that would fit in my collection please do let me know!


Wednesday 3 April 2013

Modern Day Kephart

I've always loved the traditional Kephart style knife, and although I like using them I find the lack of a tapered point a bit of a hindrance with some wood carving tasks I might need to do, none the less it's a nice knife to use especially for food prep

This knife, made by the virginia knife company was originally similar in shape to the Green river/old Hickory bucher knives, but a little time on the grinder dropped the point and made it into a Kephart
the handle shape is different than the traditional Kephart but is still very comfortable to hold
I've thought about commissioning a custom Kephart before that cost around £200, but with a little time on the grinder I made this one and it cost £16..a much better deal I think!