Fire and Knives
Wasnt able to get out into the woods today, but I did get to practice some skills in the backyard and test out some gear. it is absolutely amazing how much fun I had, for the most part.
We cut down a pretty decent limb from a live walnut tree out in the front of the house. I used my new Bacho Laplander to cut it up into more manageable pieces, and it was a dream compared to that little Gerber I was using before. Im really glad I picked that up, and I think it was only $10 more for a world of difference.
Did some trials with some new knives, and an old one I havent used in a while. My Bushlore is sweet, freakin workhorse! The little stainless knife my Dad made me will work just great as long as I dont try to cut down the center of bigger pieces. Didnt try to baton with my mora, and my new skinner doesnt take an edge too well yet. But my new (old) Old Hick was amazing as well.
My fire prep took about an hour cuz I was just messing around with the new knives. After my last attempt at fire with wet materials I took extra care with my prep, but I guess not enough. Its still took me awhile to get it going, and then keep it going. It was especially challenging because of it being a live branch cut off of a live tree, but that was the point. I learned some more too:
-My new knives and saw are the shizz nizzle and I paid $40 for one (with shipping) and $10 for the other. I dont even know where to begin when it comes to how much I love these knives already!
-Proper prep and ammount of said prep is big time priority!
-Getting frustrated cuz it doesnt work out at first? Do it again. Try different things. Smoke a cigarette and calm the hell down (if you get super frustrated about things, as I do at times) etc.
-This was the first time Ive used a Mora, and really I much prefer my Old Hick and my Bushlore. Will have to see about it some more, but as of now Im not sure if its for me.
-Those little Coglans firesteels are ok, but I dont know if Ill go out with anything less than a strikeforce or something similar from now on, cuz if it had been for that I dont know if that fire would have been possible.
-Even though it took me a few hours, a few trials, etc. I was able to light that fire, and keep it lit. I busted my ass to do it, and it was still a blessing. I guess thats why its called "practice"!
Big time thanks to Iawoodsman for the One Stick fire and Fire in the Rain videos; I saw the techniques work for myself! And also a big time thanks to everybody on this forum for being a badass (can we swear on here? Ill edit it if not) and letting me ramble about this!
Thanks for reminding me that I don't have to get "out" to get out and play and that any practice is better than none.
Sometimes the backyard is the only place we can play. Good job making it a learning experience.
I get most of my bushcraft time in the backyard. Better to do that then only get out once a year
on the front porch of our house is a box full of fuzz sticks and pieces waiting to be cut on or chopped.
I usually keep at least a few pieces of red cedar in there just in case I want to sit and peel shavings for a while. I tend to throw em all back in the box.
then when it is rainy or some such the younger kids will pull the small hobo stove in the box out, light up a small fire (we set the hobo stove on a grill just so it doesn't mark up the porch) and put an open can of beans or chili on the stove and eat hobo lunch in the rain out on the porch. They love stuff like that, and are up to starting the fire with fire steel n tinder instead of a match or bic.
Also I usually have a file and a few rags and such in case something needs filing. I wont leave my good stones out there but I'm thinking about getting one of those harbor freight ones just to have handy.
The other day a couple of the kids friends (the older kids - have 4 in all ages 10 12 18 n 21) were over and ended up helping one of the boys get a edge on a china knife he had bought at the quick stop. At least it did not have serrations on it. I got it hair popping sharp, but told him I would not promise how long the steel in it would hold that edge since it wasn't known to me what kind or the heat treat etc.
Ended up by walking out back and showing him a couple blades I was working on and impromptu talk on hammering steel even though I'm not much more than a dabbler at it.
Still ya never know what sort of bushy stuff might be in that box on the porch and the story / times it might spark.
think Im gonna throw some jute or bailing twine in there just for having something to twist up into cordage when I'm sitting out there watching the sun set or rise. (front porch faces north so can see both of em and the south porch is screened in for summer / winter use.
Front is usually colder than rest of home which I usually like espically spring summer and fall.
Also I can see "my mountain" from the front porch and deer in the hay field accross the drive and such. Over all north is my favorite view since ya can't see much except nature that direction.
Anyway ramble off for now.