contact us at Buzzardbushcraft @

Sunday 29 June 2014

Making Amadou with Salt Peter

It's an old way of preparing amadou by using salt peter (potassium nitrate) and it can be made using rotten vegetable matter, urine and wood ashes, but it's much easier and more convenient to use ready made KNO3

First find your source of Amadou, horses hoof fungus is in short supply in my part of the world so I use Artists Conk, it's every bit as good as any other fungus.

get it off the tree , take off the pores and outer layer just to leave the trama (amadou) layer

once cut off you will need to dry it properly until it is totally dry, this is imperative

to make your salt peter solution you will need 30g of salt peter to 1 litre of boiling water.. this is my recipe and I find it perfect but you may want to alter this to suit your own needs

pour your boiling water into a stainless or glass container and add the 30g of salt peter.. you DO NOT NEED TO BOIL THE AMADOU!!!
I often hear people say you need to boil the amadou for hours and hours, it's not necessary at all.
Add in your dry amadou and allow it to soak up the solution, this only takes a few hours but you can leave it over night to be sure..

once it's very nearly dry, pound it with a stick to break up the fibers in the amadou and tease them out a little bit

once you've done that you can see they look like dark rabbit fur, it's really gorgeous looking!

last think to do is test it.. a flake of jasper and a steel and this piece took on the first strike and burned beautifully!

As a point of interest it's often Said that Prometheus brought fire from the Gods, but study of the ancient Greek texts actually say that he brought the method of catching the sparks from which he could create fire.. so maybe Prometheus himself actually used amadou to bring us the element of Fire!!

Sunday 22 June 2014


Not to be confused with Red Valerian or the white subspecies of Red Valerian!

This is one plant that a lot of people will have heard of because of it's medicinal properties, often used as a sedative and relaxant.
It has also been used with good effect on migraines and in general pain relief.

Generally it's the dried root of the plant that is the most effective and is often sold in pharmacies already in tablet form so there's no real need to uproot the plant yourself.

It's often said it's best to dig the plant in spring before the flower forms, but you can also do it in autumn when the plant dies back as long as you're sure you've got the right plant!!
Dry the root and use in a tea, just small amounts until you find what works for you.. It's got a very distinctive smell, I don't mind it but others might!
It has also been suggested that the Pied Piper used Valerian to lure away the rats!!
It's gets its name from a 3rd Century Roman Emperor.. Valerius.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Common Stinkhorn

Quite an unusual looking fungus isn't it?? I'm sure you can imagine some of it's more common names without me having to write them here!
It's latin name is Phallus..enough said!

It is edible and considered a delicacy in certain countries. It's also one of the fastest growing mushrooms in the world, growing from it's egg stage to it's full size in about 6 hours!! It's supposed to be highly unpleasant and able to be smelt over long distances, but this one didn't smell much of anything.. though when I first noticed it, it was covered in flies so they obviously liked something about it!

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Troy James Knapp

This is a man who has lived wild in Utah for at least the past 7 years

Known by many as Mountain Man he's become a Robin Hood figure, often stealing from cabins and leaving thank you notes for the items he took!
He lived in the Hills shooting small game with rifles he stole and hiding away in snow bound cabins in the mountains.

A newspaper report says this about him

Knapp was born in Saginaw, Michigan, and got into trouble with the law early. As a teenager, he was convicted of breaking and entering, passing bad checks and unlawful flight from authorities, according to court records. Knapp drifted across the country and ended up in prison in California for burglary. He fell off the radar in 2004 when he "went on the run" while on parole.

He shot at a helicoper containing police who were trying to bring him in and this probably resulted in such a stiff sentence of 10 years..

So what do you think, Hero or Villain, genuine modern day Mountain Man or low life criminal? Can't help thinking that regardless there will probably be a movie and book deal somewhere down the line..

But for a man used to the great outdoors and surviving wild for the past 7 years, 10 years in confinement is going to be a very hard pill to swallow.

Sunday 8 June 2014

Teaspoon Broadhead

There's probably never a time when we will ever have to resort to bone and flint tools, but it's always handy to be able to make tools or survival items from everyday objects, and this is what we have here.

Take your teaspoon and flatten it with a rock or hammer

grind or file your spoon to the desired shape

Cut the stem to the required length and scallop it to allow for gluing or binding

sharpen the edges and fix to the arrow shaft, you'll be surprised just how efficient they are!

Sunday 1 June 2014

Kydex Sheath for a Mora Robust, Simply Made.

I don't have all the equipment needed to make 'professional' kydex sheaths, so it's a case of improvising and using what I have to make something that works, like most of my stuff, it's functional but not beautiful..still it does what it's meant to and that's all that matters.. DFR (Do Fine Rightly) as we say here !!

This is all I use, a heat gun, a piece of kydex and the knife to be moulded, plus a couple of pieces of foam glued to the back of a piece of 1/2" MDF board.

heat the Kydex till it turns floppy, make sure you keep moving the heat gun to stop the kydex burning, fold the kydex in half and place the knife in it close to the fold and quickly place the other foam backed board on top of it all, then stand on it!!!

once the kydex has cooled take the knife out and cut to a rough shape allowing for enough space to put the rivets, I just used a dremel with a cut off wheel.

a quick sanding to smooth the edges and get the final shape, then drill the holes in the kydex where you want the rivets or bolts to go

I just used rivets tapped in with the small flaring tool and mini anvil it comes with, it doesn't make a perfect flare but it does the job and as it's on the back side of the sheath you'll not see the other side of the rivet anyway.

with this one I also fitted it with a cheap tek-lok so it can be attatched to my belt or pack, but you could also make a belt loop from left over kydex instead.