Murkwood Birch Root harvest, tea time, and sami coffee pouches..

Discussion in 'Hudson Valley Handcrafts' started by Adahy, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Murkwood

    I decided to hit the forest today for some black birch roots that I'm harvesting for tool handles for the upcoming spoon knives and other tools I'm going to be making with Matt.



    The woods behind the house always reminded me of medieval england or viking territory. Dark, murky, misty swamp land full of twisted up black birch and extemely steep rocky slopes...
    Maybe that's why I had a crazy imagination growing up on this little mountain. The woods were always eerie at dusk..

    Even on this cloudy day, it still reminded me of:
    [video=youtube;2UbtcmjfKa8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UbtcmjfKa8[/video]

    [​IMG]

    Well I got my first order from Donk in the mail. "One high quality, Internationally known and loved, made in America by and American DONK GRILL!"
    After seeing our northern friends [Doug and Joe] countlessly cooking steaks on one of these I had to have one. Then by fate, I met Donk in Ohio and came home really wanting one. To be honest, I instantly knew this would be a 'choice piece of gear' as Donk would say... for Jess' kit.

    [​IMG]
    Here is the last known photo of the elusive man himself.

    So we hit the woods with some sandwhiches and tea ready to test the Grill of Donk.

    [​IMG]
    I also received a lovely gift from a member here. An 18" pack basket which just happens to fit my frost river pack perfectly. This will become a vital piece of kit. Thank you Sunny.

    [​IMG]
    I like the idea of a pack basket. Sure you can put a lid on it, but I like the idea of having a strong open backpack that doesn't even feel like it's an chimpanzee clinging to your back. This is weightless and perfect for what I set out to do today.
    There was a patch of swamp where a friend gave me permission to harvest some black birch roots. So we went out to have lunch, tea, and some foraging on the way back.





     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  2. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    [​IMG]
    I'm really liking this mini axe. It was perfect when teamed up with a nice sharp saw.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    I'm really having a blast with this silky saw I got from Cellis. So much easier to process wood than the bahco.


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    Donk grill on it's maiden voyage. Thou shall not look shiny and silver ever again! Soot all the way!


    [​IMG]
     
  3. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    [​IMG]
    BillyBass' Bushpot Sack in waxed canvas. I use it as a tinder bag as well.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    Tea water is on.​
     
  4. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    [​IMG]Tea is ready.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]The noggin kuksa.
    [​IMG]The tea makers kit.
    [​IMG]Another one of my kuksas.
     
  5. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    All ready to be tucked away in the pack basket. Properly seasoned.


    [​IMG]
    I'm officially going to be taking orders on these Sami inspired pouches. I brought the first set Jess had sewn together. We'll have a couple of different colors. I'm going to make a thread on this for more information.





    [​IMG]
    For Scale. The large one is great for tinder gathering, mushroom hunting, or for a multiple night's worth of dry food goods. The middle I was going to call the bannock bag. The smaller is perfect for coffee, tobacco, and even coins if you want to get all medieval paying for groceries.


    [​IMG]
    Like anything I plan on offering for sale in my vendor area.. I want everything to compliment the forest, not contrast it with bright nasty harsh colors. These are a nice burgundy.
     
  6. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ive been waiting 3 seasons for this.. and have been checking birches anxiously… it's almost sap season. Using my drifter as a probe.
    [​IMG]

    Some birch polypores.. knife strop anyone?
    [​IMG]

    I'm really digging the bean boots on the messy terrain. I don't have to tip toe thru swamps, I can just jump right in them.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    [​IMG]
    Jess rocking' the RangerJoe hat


    [​IMG]
    Grae dog was constantly up to no good. Digging at tree roots, and sloshing thru the swamp muck.


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    Jess levitation.


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    Very haunted looking 'farm' land.


    [​IMG]
    More muck. This is the effort one puts into harvesting tool handles..​
     
  8. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    [​IMG]

    Jess thought I looked kinda funny balancing on some tangled upturned birch root above a foot of water, and 2 feet of mud.
    [​IMG]

    This is what I'm after. It's medicinal too.
    [​IMG]

    Birch Trapeze.
    [​IMG]

    She was probably waiting to get a picture of me hanging upside down tangled up in this mess.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    [​IMG]

    Still an extremely comfortable ride, even loaded with this much birch root.


    Time to head home in time to try to catch the Comet that will be hanging near the crescent moon tonight just after sundown.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  10. IllicitDreams

    IllicitDreams Guide Bushclass I

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    Makes me want to get out this weekend and put my Donk Grill to use... I think I will do just that. Great shots, and great review.
     
  11. urban_coyote

    urban_coyote Scout

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    That's a sweet pack basket! Great pics as always!
     
  12. The Stumpy One

    The Stumpy One Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks for posting those pics, Bro. It is threads like this that make this such a terrific forum.
     
  13. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    nice set of photos ...
     
  14. Leif

    Leif Staff Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Awesome outing bro! Grill looks like a winner!
     
  15. badger claw

    badger claw Guide Vendor

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    Awesome day Alex! Thanks for sharing!
     
  16. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Bushclass I

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    good stuff ,great pics -i have pack basket envy!
     
  17. cellis

    cellis Post less. Do more. Supporter Bushclass II

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    *insert typical incredible pics comment here*

    Thanks for the mention, I'm glad you like the saw. I'm gonna be first on the list for one of those pouches I'll watch for them.
     
  18. Northman242

    Northman242 Scout

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    +1 pack basket compliment. hehe I am also looking forward to collecting some birch sap.

    Thanks for sharing. I will keep an eye out for details on those pouches! They look great.
     
  19. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    So far so good. Seems like it can take quite the load too.

    Thanks brother!

    We gotta get to making them. I can't get over how comfy they are. I like that you don't have to take the pack off while foraging. You can just chuck things into it.

    In the next day or two I'll have a thread with the list of folks I have that had interest and the availablilty. Thanks my friend 8)

    Thanks, in a day or two I'll have all the details laid out. Thanks 8)
     
  20. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Means a lot, thank you very much.
     
  21. Crco

    Crco Scout

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    Great photos, Alex. I'll have to check with Donk about that grill.
     
  22. rlh2

    rlh2 Guide Bushclass I

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    Lovely photos as always. Perfect.
     
  23. Mtnfolk Mike

    Mtnfolk Mike Supporter Supporter

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    awesome pics Alex.. LOVE the pack basket man. i have wanted one for many years.. i am definitely in for a Sami pouch or 2 also..:44:
     
  24. Sequoia Kid

    Sequoia Kid Guide

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    You're a lucky man Alex, a good looking lady, a good looking dog, aaand a good looking pack basket. :3: I've always loved pack baskets, they'll never go out of style, only get better looking with age.
     
  25. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Thanks buddy. We make a good team.

    I love the idea of having an open pack to toss things into as you're walking.... plus they do look awesome as they weather up a bit.
     
  26. 556mp

    556mp Bushmaster Vendor Bushclass I

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    Insane photos. Looked like a good day out man. No Jess cooking?!
     
  27. Mudman

    Mudman Guide Vendor

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    Another kick ass outing Mr. Alex! Lots of really awsome gear too.

    I was thinking about that grill since your last trip. Need to get me one of those.

    Hows the saw compare to the Bahco roughly? I've been debating on the two for a few months now.

    Don't forget to put me down for a spoon knife dude! Didn't get a reply from the last email.
     
  28. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Actually she made fun curry tuna fish sandwhiches!

    Hey sorry brother Mud. Didn't mean to leave ya hanging. Talk to Donk. His work is spot on. It was very camera friendly too.

    The bacho was much slower. It also has a paint finish, and it's a bit thicker. The silky is thinner, and I just broke the very tip off the blade because I was balancing on those weird roots trying not to fall in that thick muck.... got too rammy on the saw. 8)
    But it cuts so must faster. Ive been to that spot before and had the bahco... there was much frustration. I hands down put my money on the silky. (And Cellis sells em cheaper than anywhere I looked, even Amazon.)

    You're officially on my list. I'm ironing out the kinks right now. But soon!
     
  29. VinoNoir

    VinoNoir Guide

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    those B&W's got me floatin' on air!!
     
  30. Mudman

    Mudman Guide Vendor

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    Perfect, guess I'll be contacing Cellis and Donk soon.

    Thanks dude, can't wait to get carving.
     
  31. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Tell em that half viking half gnome sent ya! :38:
     
  32. Mudman

    Mudman Guide Vendor

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    Hahaha will do. They might charge me more! Don't know of I really should. Lol

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2
     
  33. xRangerx

    xRangerx Woods wandering bird nerd Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Another great trip and I loved the pics man! That grill looks awesome! I am enjoying the outdoors vicariously through you guys right now, midsemester coming up and all the profs are hammering us with tests and whatnot... Thanks for the post and I love the sami coffee (tea for me) pouches! Keep up the good work!
     
  34. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter

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    I'm really digging those Sami pouches as well. The small one looks perfect for carrying my gold dust into the Longbranch. Put me on that list. (Jess have an older sister?)
     
  35. CimarronJr

    CimarronJr Tracker

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    Great pics! The pouches look pretty slick, and the grill is nice. Wouldn't mind one of those myself. BTW, is that a handlebar mustache on ol' Tom Jefferson in the pouch line-up shot? I love it.
     
  36. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    Nice time Alex. Thanks for sharing your great pics as usual.

    I was kinda hoping for a shot of you hanging upside down myself, LOL!
     
  37. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Scout

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    Great stuff, like the money shot!
     
  38. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Thanks Lichen. If you have a specific size in mine let us know. She can make custom sizes. If you're filling it with gold dust you'd probably put that in plastic first? I feel like the leather would absorb some of your goods.

    I drew that on there worried about photographing currency. Wasn't sure about the laws so I altered the image just incase. Plus why not give him a moustache 8)
     
  39. snapper

    snapper Scout

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    Alex - Thanks for taking us along on another of your adventures. I've been using a pack basket off and on for about 25 years now. A friend of mine, Bill Smith, is a basket maker & storyteller and that's how he makes his living. Bill grew up in the Adirondacks in the last of the logging camps where his mother was a cook. He learned how to make pack baskets by watching the Mohawks who worked on the crews. He still goes into the swamps during the winter months to harvest black ash. From there he pounds the wood into splints and then makes his baskets. I've been lucky enough to make 3 baskets now under his tutelage; and each of my daughters has made a pack basket with Bill as well. If you ever get your hands on some ash my guess is you'd be able to make yourself a traditional basket as well. The advantage to using the ash is that you never have to put a varnish or other sealant on the wood. In fact, doing so actually hurts the basket. By leaving it bare the splints will breathe and darken to a beautiful golden hue with use and time.

    That's all for now. Take care, happy tramping in the woods with your new pack basket and until next time...Be well.

    snapper
     
  40. Panzer

    Panzer Prepared Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    Donk grills are the awesome! Nice pics and post man, love it.
     
  41. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Hey there Snapper

    Good to see other basket lovers out there. I only see a handful even on this forum. Just makes sense to me to use them. I really need to visit you sometime. I'd benefit so much from meeting some of your friends as well. I'm thinking of getting into basket making on the side. Ash means snowshoes too. Cordage and weaving are the one thing I want to learn this year. I have tons of ash around and love to learn from some real old world types.

    Is there a good way to ID black ash? I bet I walked by some in that swamp. I can go check today. I'd even try making a small basket today. I never knew that info about ash being resistant to the elements. Just underlines my entire philosophy on our societies lack of common knowledge. It's all in your backyard if you really need it. 8)

    Thanks for another inspiring comment. Ive been talking to bushtramp about baskets lately too. Id love to see yours sometime, ifyou have photos.

    Take care brother!
     
  42. Iz

    Iz MEMBER of a BANNED Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Great pics, man. Looks like a nice trip to the woods.
     
  43. snapper

    snapper Scout

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    Alex - I'm a bit embarrassed to say but my tree ID skills aren't all they should be. While I can tell you the various species of tree (maple vs. oak vs. beech, etc.), within each species I still have a ways to go. For what it's worth, Bill told me he only finds black ash in swamps but he lives up in Colton, NY; northern Adirondacks. I don't know if there's any black ash growing in your neck of the woods. Also, for the inner/outer rims at the opening of the basket he switches over to white or green ash. I never have gotten an answer as to why but there must be some reasoning to it.

    That's all for now. Take care and enjoy your woods. They look like a great place to escape to.

    Until next time...Be well.

    snapper
     
  44. rakscout

    rakscout Tinder Gatherer

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    I love the Sami pouches. I'm definitely interested in one.
     
  45. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    thanks for the info my friend!

    Thanks! I should be putting a sales thread up soon!!
     
  46. Trekon86

    Trekon86 Guest

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    I like your idea of using birch roots as handle material. Might hafta try that! Sounds like it'd be easier to carve than hawthorn, which is a great tool handle material, but very hard and dense and also quite heavy.

    PMZ
     
  47. adkwalker

    adkwalker Supporter Supporter

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    Always love your pics thanks for bringing us along can't wait to see the stuff you make with the birch roots
     
  48. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Ive never tried hawthorn.. I'm intrigued though. It's really dense. Plus you get a burl like grain.

    Have you seen some of the spoon knives I made with Matt? Ive been using yew wood which is a twisty shrub. Really awesome for natural angles.
     
  49. Crco

    Crco Scout

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    I have my grandfather's hawthorn walking cane ... and it is damn heavy in comparison to other canes. It's really a club, a shillelagh, if you will.

    So if you have designs on carving a "self-defense kuksa" for clocking people over the noggin (pardon the kuksa pun), hawthorn might be your ideal path.
     
  50. 7.62

    7.62 Scout

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    Where would someone get one of those Donk Grills
     

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