30 January 2011

Turning Outdoors Firesteels

Recently I ordered ten firesteels with turned brass handles from "Petrifiedwood", a member at BushcraftUSA.com. They arrived as described and promptly. The work was outstanding and the customer service was above top notch. I will definitely be doing business with him again.

I ordered the steels as rewards for some bushcraft challenges I am holding with some local youths. As they progress and complete the fire challenge the firesteel is the reward.

Can't say enough good things about Turning Outdoors, you can also find him in the vendor forums at BushcraftUSA.

29 January 2011

Another Winter Overnight

Same basic camp type as last time. Made a few changes to the shelter type though, adding another larger tarp over the reflective poncho. Different fire as well and used pine boughs under the Thermarest.

Snow was much deeper, hitting three and a half feet with drifts to five plus.

Our snow is very dry, doesn't pack much, just sink in it. Event with decent snowshoes I'm not getting much flotation, the pulk is sinking as well, about eight inches or so from the surface.

Future camp site.

Digging out of the camp site.

Once I got the site dug out I got the main larger tarp up and the smaller reflective poncho set up. Pine boughs down and basic camp set and then started on the fire.

Putting dinner on...

Making wood fell to the Wetterlings, the BK9 and predominantly the Trainblazer 24" Buck Saw.

 Got the temps inside the shelter to about 55 degrees, air temp outside the shelter was 12 degrees.

23 January 2011

Homemade leather sheath for BK&T BK-9

I decided to try to make a leather sheath for my BK9. I learned pretty quick that I am no leather worker but the end product suits me fairly well.

I used some saddle leather in layers, double stacks of it on the edges and a collar for where the handle sits when the blade is sheathed for a bit of retention. Again, I am not a leather worker, but my end results are satisfactory for my needs. Stitches in thick leather stacks is a pain in the fingers!

After it was fully assembled I got the bottom quarter wet, placed a BCUSA patch there and then the whole thing into a flat wood vice to press the patch into the leather. It came out okay, I was shooting for the whole thing and what I got was a vintage looking worn away embossing.

22 January 2011

Waxed Canvas Gathering Bag

I use a canvas bag to gather things around camp or on the way from a camp, everything from edibles to tender, twigs and so on.

I decided to wax the current bag I am using, making it waterproof and more durable.

Pretty simple process, nothing complicated.

Materials, including a Wounded Warrior Project canvas bag, a melting pot, some parafin wax, fuel, stove, bristle brush and a cardboard box to lay the bag on as you apply the wax.

Melting the wax.

Beginning application. All I did was brush it on while it was good and hot. Made sure the canvas was saturated.

Continue application.

Finished and it stands on its own, heavily waxed.

Folded flat for transport.

BushClass USA Twig Fire

Finally got out to do this one.

It was 0F without the wind and it was gusting some, around -15 I'd guess with the windchill.

Stopped for a bit of coffee and did the Twig fire exercise.
The canvas Wounded Warrior Project bag I used in gathering materials is going to get the waxed treatment soon. Hope to document that process as well.

Ignition was done Kochanski style, no tender, match directly into the small twig bundle.

This was the end result.

Here's the process of getting the materials and getting the twig fire going.

20 January 2011

The King Has No Clothes

I've really been enjoying the Becker Knife & Tool knives I got late last year.
Recently I decided to mod the BK9, it's been the knife I have used the most since I got it.

I filed the thumb ridge and jimping off to create a hard 90 for better results when used with a firesteel.

I added the aftermarket micarta handles.

I stripped the factory finish off, not that there was anything wrong at all with the coating, I just prefer the clean non-tacticool look of the stripped blade. The process was very quick and simple.



16 January 2011

BushClass USA Course: Feather Sticks & Shavings

www.bushcrafusa.com is graciously hosting and running a Bushcraft class on line called BushClass USA. IA Woodsman is leading the first projects. The courses are free to all registered members at Bushcraft USA and well worth the time.

IA Woodsman can be found here and his web page can be found here Midwest School of Bushcraft.

This was my submission for the first course, feather sticks & shavings. Mine certainly are not the prettiest I've seen or made but they worked to get a small warming fire going. Air temperature was 5 degrees Fahrenheit, light winds dropped it to about -8F.

Music by Ray Wylie Hubbard as usual, "The Knives of Spain".

08 January 2011

Winter Overnight

Quick video showing the final at least for now incarnation of the sled. Used it to get back to a remote campsite, hauling quite a bit of gear. Set up a reflecting leanto with a long fire. Had a good time in the cold, and it was cold.

Gave me a chance to put the new camera through some testing. Batteries ran out much faster than I thought they would, I'm sure the cold had a lot to do with that.

Music by Ray Wylie Hubbard again, "Black Wings"

Hope you enjoy it.

06 January 2011

El Cheapo Pulk

Just a quick video of the PULK I built from spare parts.

All in less than $35 spent. Hauls a load well, needs a few modifications but it'll work for me. I'll keep tinkering with it.

I prefer NOT to use rigid tow bars. They are probably fine on the tundra or wide open ground. They DO NOT WORK in the bush that I traverse. Doesn't matter the length, they work great on established trails and wide open spaces, not so much when moving into, around in, and out of heavy timber and brush country.

Contents break down and how to coming soon. So far I am pleased with it.

Music is Ray Wylie Hubbard, the song is A: Enlightenment B: Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C) from the album by the same name, you can find it here.

05 January 2011

Winter Reading list...

 Ahhh Winter!

A peek at some of this winter's reading materials.

From the looks of things so far it would appear we are in for a pretty good winter. 37" in the month of December, another five or six inches since January 1st. We managed to get two degrees above freezing on one day out of the past forty five days.

So far, my Shepherd approves.

01 January 2011

Camuks follow up

Original review for the Steger Camuks was done in September and can be found here. I also wanted to try out my new camera's capabilities when it comes to video. Try to ignore the clicking sound, it was so cold out that the auto focus, as it moved it was clicking, trying to freeze up.

Couple pictures of the Camuks in snowshoes.