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Old 02-23-2006, 03:25 PM   #1
Volte
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Bushcraft skills?

Does anyone on this site possess advanced bushcraft skills? I would like to learn how to identify and prepare edible wild plants, start fires with a bow and make cordage from barks and herbaceous plants. Other skills like building shelter, container fabrication and snare setting would be cool to learn also.

I have read several of books on bushcraft, but I was hoping someone around here might take this green horn under their wing and show me the way.

Regards,
Joe
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:43 PM   #2
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[QUOTE=Volte]Does anyone on this site possess advanced bushcraft skills? I would like to learn how to identify and prepare edible wild plants, start fires with a bow and make cordage from barks and herbaceous plants. Other skills like building shelter, container fabrication and snare setting would be cool to learn also.

I have read several of books on bushcraft, but I was hoping someone around here might take this green horn under their wing and show me the way.

me too

Rickie
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:03 PM   #3
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Get the books by Tom Brown Jr. He covers much of what you want to learn, especially the snares. You might also consider taking a survival course.

All of the techniques take time and practice. The firebow especially takes some time to master, as well as having the right wood (hardwood for the drill, soft wood for the platform). Then the tinder is important too and it does not burst into flame as many people believe, you then have to put the tinder into your kindling and blow briskly to get the tinder started.

You might check out THIS LINK for info on the fire drill.

All in all, it's a pain and I have yet to be in a position that I had to use one. I always carry butane lighter, waterproof matches, flint and steel or a magnesium bar which are much easier then the bow and drill.

I understand if it's stuff you want to learn solely out of curiosity.

Anyway, read Tom's books. he's about the best I know for survival and the best damn caucasian tracker in the US, even if I don't like him personally
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volte
Does anyone on this site possess advanced bushcraft skills? I would like to learn how to identify and prepare edible wild plants, start fires with a bow and make cordage from barks and herbaceous plants. Other skills like building shelter, container fabrication and snare setting would be cool to learn also.

I have read several of books on bushcraft, but I was hoping someone around here might take this green horn under their wing and show me the way.

Regards,
Joe
Hi Joe,
That's a great idea, I'd love to do some first hand practice at these skills. I have a few web resources on tecniques you might be interested in.
http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/index.html
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/community/index.php?

Enjoy!
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:34 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=redhawk]Get the books by Tom Brown Jr. He covers much of what you want to learn, especially the snares.

Thanks for the info & link.

I understand if it's stuff you want to learn solely out of curiosity.

Yes it is but there is also something about the feeling of confidence that you can handle survival situations if you had to, without being on a TV show, that carries into the other aspects of our lives. Plus I think it would be more fun than watching TV.
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildernessphoto
Hi Joe,
That's a great idea, I'd love to do some first hand practice at these skills. I have a few web resources on tecniques you might be interested in.
http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/index.html
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/community/index.php?

Enjoy!
Thank you as well. I saved the links for future perusing.

Does anyone know who may offer this type of class or courses? That wouldn't be such a bad way of spending a weekend.
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:16 PM   #7
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When I was a whippersnapper learning about the outdoors I had to choose between two courses. One was called, "How to survive in the woods". The other was called, "How to prevent finding yourself in a survival situation". I took the second one and as a result I've never learned any survival skills.

I have read Brown's website and thumbed his book at the store and I love the looks of the débris shelter. But I sure as hell wouldn't pay money to build one at one of his courses.

As for finding food all you have to do is kick over a rotting stump. Mmmm yummy.

All irreverance aside, I think an Outdoor Leadership Course would be more valuable.
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Neil
When I was a whippersnapper learning about the outdoors I had to choose between two courses. One was called, "How to survive in the woods". The other was called, "How to prevent finding yourself in a survival situation". I took the second one and as a result I've never learned any survival skills.

I have read Brown's website and thumbed his book at the store and I love the looks of the débris shelter. But I sure as hell wouldn't pay money to build one at one of his courses.

As for finding food all you have to do is kick over a rotting stump. Mmmm yummy.

All irreverance aside, I think an Outdoor Leadership Course would be more valuable.
Hey Neil!
I thought this is how you survived?
http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=2262
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:36 PM   #9
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Hey Neil!
I thought this is how you survived?
http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=2262

Well Gary, the technology still has a few bugs (Ha Ha!) that need ironning out and I'm having trouble recruiting volunteers. To make matters worse, the water filter companies are trying to sabotage my work.
Another problem is that I like to hike in deep wilderness where there are no trails or privys. Therefore, no food for the nano-technologically altered hiker.
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Old 02-26-2006, 06:31 PM   #10
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To second Hawk, *Practice all techniques at home* A few years back, I thought this would be priceless information, purchased a book called HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE WOODS - one of it's gems of wisdom was to remove the lead from a bullet in order to use the gunpowder for firestarter. Well, I'm an ex-lifter, and what a joke! I was finally able to accomplish this in my workshop with a bench vise and visegrips. Bare-handed in the back-country, NO way. With practice, you might be able to wedge a shell in a crack in the rocks, and use another rock to knock the lead end out....Another tidbit was to remove the shot in a shotgun shell, putting in a wad of cloth and firing that into tinder to start a fire. Didn't get that to work either, must be more diligent - I carry matches/tinder in a waterproof container. I know there are lots of valuable techniques about building shelters, securing water, starting fires that I'd like to know more about, but practice at home is definitely in order.

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Old 02-26-2006, 08:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mtneqgurl
To second Hawk, *Practice all techniques at home* A few years back, I thought this would be priceless information, purchased a book called HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE WOODS - one of it's gems of wisdom was to remove the lead from a bullet in order to use the gunpowder for firestarter. Well, I'm an ex-lifter, and what a joke! I was finally able to accomplish this in my workshop with a bench vise and visegrips. Bare-handed in the back-country, NO way. With practice, you might be able to wedge a shell in a crack in the rocks, and use another rock to knock the lead end out....Another tidbit was to remove the shot in a shotgun shell, putting in a wad of cloth and firing that into tinder to start a fire. Didn't get that to work either, must be more diligent - I carry matches/tinder in a waterproof container. I know there are lots of valuable techniques about building shelters, securing water, starting fires that I'd like to know more about, but practice at home is definitely in order.

Gary -mtneqgurl's guy('til I get my own log-in))
Hi Gary,
I was thinking about building a yurt on my property in Caroga, just for the practice:
Survival Yurt
If that interest anyone, we could pick a weekend and build one like this. I've got the raw materials, and it might be fun to use it for any company that drops in.
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:30 PM   #12
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Practicing Bushcraft

Thanks for all the pointers. Tom Brown is defiantly someone to study and wildwood.com is an awesome reference!

Redhawk, I have read several of Tom Brown’s books along with Jon Young, Gilbert Walking Bull, Mors Kochanski, Cody Lundin ect. I have also studied at least 5 of the Peterson Guides (Eastern Forests, Edible and Medicinal Plants, Mammals and Birds) several Golden Guides, and some of Newcomb’s Guide books. I also have purchased some mammal and bird tracking guides but have yet to fully digest them… Blah Blah Blah. And, I still don’t know diddley.

I don’t really retain information from books all that well, no matter how good the text, illustrations or photographs may be. For example; what is the difference between the edible Wild Carrot and the deadly Water Hemlock? Um? I forget. If someone would show me side by side which one is which, I would retain that for life. Also, how do you get cordage from Stinging Nettles with out getting stung all over? Stinging Nettles burns like CRAZY! I can remember when I was a kid, my friends and I would trout fish in our skivvies (couldn’t afford waders) and inevitably one or two of us would brush up on a stand of nettles; 20 or 30 seconds later we run screaming thru the stream looking for a deep pool to jump in. We knew, even back then that water probably didn’t help much, and that jumping into the deep pool all but killed our chances of catching fish, but MAN that nettles burns!

I have read at least 5 different “guide, survival, bushcraft, primitive living” books; they all show you how to make cordage out of Stinging Nettles but NONE of them explain how to do it with out all of that pain. It’s the little practical answers I am in search of.

Regards,
Joe
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:51 PM   #13
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Gary's Yurt

Gary,

I'm alway's game for a road trip, pick a weekend that's looking good weather wize and I'll stop up to help with your yurt. Are you going to make it with natural hand made cord? Or ya gonna skimp with that store bought stuff?

Joe
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:14 AM   #14
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Gary,
Sounds like an interesting project, maybe even an event; with good company, some hotdogs and a campfire!

We've started climbing up at Moss Island (at the lock in Little Falls) as early as the end of March, as it a south facing cliff, so we'll be in the neighborhood regularly. Stay in Touch!
Gary

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Old 02-28-2006, 11:32 AM   #15
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Once we forgot all of our eating utensils and had to make 4 sets of "rustic" chopsticks. I was also able to carve out a decent Spoon/Spatula. Is that bushcraft?
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Old 02-28-2006, 06:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtneqgurl
Gary,
Sounds like an interesting project, maybe even an event; with good company, some hotdogs and a campfire!

We've started climbing up at Moss Island (at the lock in Little Falls) as early as the end of March, as it a south facing cliff, so we'll be in the neighborhood regularly. Stay in Touch!
Gary
Sounds like an event to me!
We'll see what the spring looks like. I've already leveled some spots and put in some sand. I was having all kinds of problem with white pine roots when I was digging with my dozer, so we could go native growth cord without to much problem.
http://wildwoodsurvival.com/survival...ots/index.html
I've still got to find a harness that fits my 42" waist, and some climbing shoes. If I can find that stuff we'll hook up and do some climbing!
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Old 02-28-2006, 06:27 PM   #17
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I suppose I could come and chew on some fresh hide. Would that help?

Seriously, let us know when this happens. But I'm saving my teeth for steak!
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:49 AM   #18
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Build it and they will come!
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:33 PM   #19
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I used to be big on survival camping, back in the days of my youth. Had some very...interesting trips.
On one, by chance I picked the very worst week imaginable and camped near a pond I had fished as an even younger chap. I could NOT get a fish. Not a bullhead, sunny, or bass would bite the entire trip. It was very dry that year, and foraging for berries provided barely enough food energy to keep me going. I finally landed a few crayfish from the creek and placed them in a pot to keep overnight for breakfast the next day. A raccoon came and stole off with them during my sleep, so I learned one valuable lesson: eat food as soon as you can!
I've since taken my daughter on a few survival camping trips and we've done a bit better, though usually we'll end up with similar 'grub' (sometimes wayyy too appropo a word!): krayfish and grasshoppers end up being our only protein; snowberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries our main carbs (depending on season: trust me, while they're edible, bunchberries are hard to get down in quantity without puking).
I've never had good luck with snares, which of course is probably due as much to operator error as anything else.
Same goes for firemaking. My strong suggestion: if you are going to make fire by rubbing two sticks together, it is imperative that at least one of them be a match (this humurous quote is stolen from an old Maine Survival Guide). While there are ways to make fire without them, if you are in a 'real' survival situation you absolutely DO NOT want to be dependent on them (if for example, you've broken an arm, your firebow skills will probably be worthless).
Real survival campouts tend to be quasi-fasting events. Occasionally, you'll hit everything right and the fishing is good (if available, fishing tends to be the best way to get protein), the berries are plentiful, etc. But more often than not, you will be learning how to function with less food. Not a bad lesson, actually, for most Americans at least.
One note about edible wild plants: I don't put much stock or reliance on anything but berries for a couple reasons. First and foremost, harvesting such things is generally very harmful. Indian cucumber root, for example: harvest that little, tasty root and you've killed a plant that takes two years to produce seeds. There are some exceptions (cattails and nettles being a couple of them), but most edible wild plants worth the time to harvest are relatively scarce). Secondly, for many of them, harvesting and preparation aren't efficient enough to justify.
On survival shelter: I almost always opt for wickiups, as these require basic stuff, are relatively fast to build, and can be built from just about anything. In the winter, snowcaves or trenches filled with leaves/balsam boughs will get you through just about any night.
While I still read up on and take 'survival' trips; I only recommend them as a hobby activity. True survival situations require positive mental attitude, preparation, and stamina more than anything else. Always carry waterproof matches (or a lighter), always carry a bit of extra clothing, always carry a bit of water, and always make sure someone responsible knows where you're going and when you should be back. Follow those basics and you've just solved all basics for a week's survival.
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:51 PM   #20
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JClimbs,

Interesting stuff you been up to. I would be trying the Bushcraft skills just as a hobby, twisting cordage from nettles stalks to test how strong it is and making flour from Acorns, to check out how they taste. Too bad we don't have all of the huge American Chestnut trees around anymore, that would make your survival camping a bit more comfortable.

JLM

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