Estela 101

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by mauiarcher, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    I have always known and believe skills are more important than any piece of kit but I do certainly enjoy buying a new blade(s). Those who buy a cutting tool (usually seems to be a cheap one) or make their own and go out and conquer the world never to buy another until it breaks, are very admirable. I realize that is not me but I can certainly strive more toward that direction and shed a bunch of knives and gear that dont get used on a regular basis. I want to learn and practice skills and increase my knowledge base and focus less on knives/gear. Fortunately I have a bunch and the bar is pretty high so it shouldn't take too much effort to move the needle. Comparatively I am better than many and worse than others.

    For me and my situation, I am am no primitive skills instructor and primarily a back yard bushcrafter. I do have what I consider a decent knowledge base I have absorded over the years but it pales next to some others, especially as I learn more and discover what I dont know. I do get out and usually do several small hunting trips and one big hunting trip every year - spiking out under a tarp/hammock for up to a week-10 days. I love hiking/over nighting when time allows but reality is family life and work limit opportunities and I am happy for it. I am blessed and do have decent resources around my home as well as two kids that are quite interested in what I consider basic skills from as little as a 100+ years ago that have been long forgotten and not passed down.

    Anyway...that is a little background about me and my situation. Now for the purpose of this thrrad. I guess it is just to document some dirt time to have a record, look back on, and share with others who may enjoy, appreciate, or maybe learn something if they are newer. I am not trying to educate, I dont have any rules or guidelines, it is not a challenge thread (which I enjoy and are fun). Others can certainly post, participate and share. I may change direction, post for a long time or not at all.

    My initial thought is to run through what I can or feel like doing not in any particular order the skills in Kevin's new book. My daughter is very goal oriented and she wants to participate with me. I have thus far found it a good read that is both simple and informative. From what I have skimmed thus far, I have done many of the skills previously and some I haven't. Regardless, it should be a fun start and good practice when repetitive. We will see where this goes and for how long. It might be a picture, narration, thought, word, or combination thereof.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  2. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Ran though 1,2,3,4 last night. It had been raining most of the afternoon and made things more challenging being damp. Drizzled as well trying to make fire. We were successful and found some palm tree paper (not sure what it is really called) that was dry enough to take a spark. Of course my daughter being the over achiever wanted to do flint and steel vs. The fero rod so we divided on conquered. I did log cabin with fero and she did TP with flint and steel. It was getting late and I wanted to quit at #3 but of course daughter wanted to keep going and get one more in. I had hoped to make some cordage out of coconut husk or hau bark to secure the posts but in order to knock it out just used some bank line. Maybe we will circle back to this one or I am sure cordage will come up later.

    As of right now, my intention is to use one knife as much as I can for this thread. This I am hoping will cause me to adapt and learn as I reach some compromises that I believe come with any knife and grind. I am using a SET solutrean that is about a 6 inch blade with a varied grind. I also had a smaller puukko neck knife that I didnt really use except to help my daughter to show her what she was trying to accomplish with her smaller knife is possible. I may decide later on another knife, length, grind etc. that I believe may make it more challenging or difficult for the task at hand. Maybe I will just use what I have on me 90% like a multi-tool or SAK. We shall see.

    Tonight I also used a hand saw to make billets to batton, trim edges for the top of platform, cut posts to length. Solutrean was very capable battoning, chopping and delimbing the coconut fronds. Daughter did her wood work and collected the large leaves with her SET el chapo neck knife.

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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  3. HP500

    HP500 Guide

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    That's awesome! It is great that your daughter is interested and motivated as well.
    I'd like to make a suggestion though: teach your daughter NOT to use a knife cutting between her legs like in the picture. That area is known as the "Triangle of death" due to the close proximity of some very important veins/arteries in that area. One slip of the knife could turn into something serious very quickly. It is better to cut off towards your side. Good job otherwise!
     
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  4. halo2

    halo2 Curmudgeon in Training Supporter

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    That's a very cool way to spend time with your kid. Nice work.

    Ditto on the triangle of death and safer knife technique. YouTube has some safety videos, as expected.
     
  5. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Great point, thank you. I do appreciate it. I have shown her the proper technique off to the side, but Dad sets a bad example much of the time. We will definitely address next outing. Progress not perfection.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  6. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Another Young Roughian in the making I see...
     
  7. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Couple more skills tonight...still have to look up the numbers later but worked on friction and try stick. My wing-girl left me early so I had to carry on without a photographer.

    My initial two fire attempts were to make 2 pom pom feather balls with as fine as curls as possible and use that as my tinder bundle. (Saw in a video recently....coal's and feathers or something like that) After two "fails", or better stated opportunities to learn, had to resort to the old faithful...coconut husk. I actually had some promising initial results but not quite a burst into flame. I am confident I will be able to do this method in the future with additional effort and a bigger pom pom. I dont think the rain today helped matters as everything was wet (starting to get hit by the effects of Flossie....should miss us though). It is important for me not to post a highlight real of successful efforts. That is one of the things wrong with social media IMO...life ain't all unicorns and rainbows. But that is another subject.

    Next I did some notches in a try stick. Managed 11 before i ran out of stick and time. I continue to use my SET Solutrean which is a larger knife for sure (about 6" blade) with a varied grind (about 2 inches of scandi near the handle and zero convex to the tip. It is still a little surprising with a little practice and persistence that I can still do some fine work. I wouldn't call it a Carver but I should be able to do most things. I dont think anyone will argue that a big knife is more effecient on the big stuff but it can also do a fair amount of the smaller tasks. I have to admit the scandi section is sure nice for the notch work and digging into the wood when needed. We'll see how easy it is to maintain.

    Couple thoughts....pinch grip and thumb assist are definitely your friend. I may continue to use this bigger knife as I like pushing my current limits and comfort level.

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  8. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Skills 5,6,7

    Dakota fire pit, one match fire and cooking with fire.

    I have a feeling that I will be revisiting alot of these skills. There are alot of types of fires and ways to cook over them. I am still not certain what the heck is an "H fire" he talks about. I tried a google search and still couldn't find it. He says something about cutting two troughs and fire in middle?

    I have never done a Dakota fire pit. Not that I didnt know about it or how to do it....it just seemed like alot of work. Boy was I right. I am sure in soft soil or something it would be way easier but where I am, our dirt is HARD and compact. I made a digging stick but that was quickly abandoned and used my cold steel shovel. This is an amazing tool IMO and bring it on beach adventures and car camping. Hiking and hunting, it stays home but would definitely bring it for a lengthy camping/campaign bushcraft trip with a base camp/one locale.

    Anyway, no real issues other than digging the darn holes. The pit was everything they said it was....discreet, conserves wood, easy to cook over, air really pumps and fuels the fire once it gets going.

    Now I struggled with the one match fire. In short it was technically a fail....took more than one match. :( however, I learned and likely attribute it to a few things. The good news was that my prep was excellent. The book said try to use sticks and fuel you find. I did a very good prep if I do say so myself. Now the tricky part was the matches.....first to find some. I dont smoke and usually make fires with flint and steel, a Ferro rod, or even a lighter. I do have some storm waterproof matches in my kit, but I figured that would be cheating. My son finally said he saw a pack in the electrical kit. Odd place for them but sure enough they were there.

    Well the matches were old and the first 3 sparkled but didnt ingnite. The next one i dropped prematurely once I thought the tinder was lit and it went out. Finally the 5th match worked as I held it against the tinder until it burnt down. The other challenge was striking and lighting it in the pit which contributed to the first three not lighting into flame. That is what I get trying to combine skills.

    Finally, the cooking was easy. I just threw a stick threw the bale and propped it over the flame to make some top ramen. It is late and just prof of concept. Next time maybe I will make bacon on a rock or something, I dont know.

    Once the fire was going, i just used some processed wood and enjoyed the flames. Definitely disperses less heat than an open flame but we dont need much heat here on maui. ;





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  9. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Slow learner Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I

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    Nice work! I would like to pick up a copy of this.

    The H fire:
     
  10. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Thank you! There were no pics in the book and wasn't sure if I was visualizing properly. That makes sense to me now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  11. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Not much action today...haven't done a spoon in a while and figure i would try some new curves and rough it out using a large knife. Got a Gossman Bolo recently and been itching to use it. A hatchet/hawk seems easier-might be the focused mass...or it could be my imagination and it was just the fact I was making a small spoon. Small andal forest tool is a definite carver and a very good companion/necker IMO. Will dig it out later.

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  12. central joe

    central joe Wait For Me!! Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Ya doing well lad, especially getting yer daughter out with you. joe
     
  13. accycle

    accycle Supporter Supporter

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    @mauiarcher awesome thread! You’re doing some great work here. Far too many kids are missing out on these rich and important experiences.

    If food skills involves field dressing and butchering game, your daughter will be an ace and have a ball!
     
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  14. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks Andrew! Hopefully can know a couple more skills out tomorrow. ;)
     
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  15. accycle

    accycle Supporter Supporter

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    Good luck, and keep us all posted on the skills training!
     
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  16. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Skill 32, 32

    Daughter and I made some natural cordage (coconut husk) and made my first paiute dead fall. Very hard to set up. My fingers hurt and I might lose a nail. I see why Fowler had such a hard time. Cant remember the skill numbers. Will try to insert later. I think this thread will be just skills practice than worrying about numbering. Book gives some great ideas.

    Also abandoned the big knife for the notching on this one. Nothing beats a small scandi IMO for wood work. If I was using a softer wood for the set I would have tried. The Gossman bolo was great for the bigger work/chopping trigger to size.

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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  17. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Last skill for the day. Bow drill / friction fire. Took a couple tries but got her going. I learned spinning the ember directly into tinder didnt work. May try again but suspect there is a reason everyone one seems to transfer it in to the best after making one.





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  18. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    This is a great thread friend, thanks for posting!
     
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  19. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    My pleasure!

    #99

    Crawfish gig tonight. Hopefully can try it out this weekend.

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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
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  20. RI Chevy

    RI Chevy Scout

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    Did you use bamboo? Nice
     
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  21. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    @mauiarcher , what wood do you use for your bow drill and hearth board? The set you sent along with @the_dude 's knife pass around spun up an ember almost as quick as flicking a Bic!
     
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  22. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Lol....yes it is SUPER easy. It is called "hau" (pronounced how). I find it easier than any other wood i have tried, even cedar (not that I have tried a ton). You can harvest green wood, make a set, stuff it in your pocket/against your body to dry a little and good to go. I used it for my green wood fire water bowl challenge and almost felt like I was cheating. ;)

    Now if I can only find a native rock that will spark steel and hand drill material. I thought hau may work for hand drill but no success yet.

    I know bamboo will work for a fire plow and I have gotten close but man is that hard!!! At least for me. They make it look so easy at cultural center or on you tube.

    @RI Chevy yes...bamboo is fairly plentiful (on wet wide of island) and doesnt get much easier for a spear. Edges are sharp as hell once you split it. Bamboo cuts suck! Gotta wear gloves (dont have to but damm good idea). Has incredible longitudinal/vertical strength but can be weak side sideways/horizontal. Really cool material and want to do more with it but always short on time. havent built much more than spears, tripods, son made a gutter for an automatic waterer in chicken coop with little help from dad. I am thinking I should be able to do a cross bow pretty easy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  23. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    @mauiarcher , thanks! Not much chance of finding that in the woods of Maine I'm guessing, LOL!
     
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  24. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Lol....I doubt it. Happy to send you a set or piece of hau you can make your own if you like.

    If you have birch, i would trade all the hau on maui for that (or maybe half). That is a magical resource IMO. Would love to make a bark sheath, cup, or stacked puukko knife handle. Dont get me started on fire making. Talk about cheating. When firing up the sauna (in canada or Finland when visiting family) we could light thumb size or larger kindling with a bit of bark. The smallest branches make for excellent vasta (sauna whip) and you can bind together also from cordage made from braches. I have to use lemon gum eucalyptus here for the vasta and bind with bank line. Will post a pic. ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  25. Jtulkas

    Jtulkas Tracker

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    I just discovered this post. Thanks for doing this. I was interested in getting this book and you have about sold me on it.
     
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  26. HannahT

    HannahT Firebug Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    This thread has inspired me so much that I bought the book :D Great stuff @mauiarcher ! I'd been looking for a book like this - sort of a list of skills :)
     
  27. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Thank you all....Obviously not trying to sell or promote the book (though I think it is a good one). I think I posted initially that I have done a bunch of it, if not the majority (different knife grips, try sticks, various fires, chopping with a small knife, etc.) but I still find it to be a good guide and great practice. There are some new nuggets of information too (I learned what an H fire is). I bought the book on kindle so it travels with me on my phone and no issues enlarging the pictures (although I sometimes wish it had a couple more instructional diagrams to help me understand at times). My daughter really loves structure and it has been a great add for us. She of course wants to do the whole book in order and I am all over the place.

    Again, anyone is free to add, comment, or participate along. My intent was to create a sort of record/documentation I can look back on one day (especially those skills done with my kids) and create some accountability even though I don't have any rules or requirements for myself. ;)
     
  28. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    Just saw this. Sure, I'll swap you for some birch. I'll PM you and we can work out the particulars. Thanks!
     
  29. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Skill 50

    Steel wool firefeom flash light. I have known about this but never tried it. Little trial and error. Couldn't get ignition from 1 battery. Either too much wool or not enough power. Caught flame when daisy chained 2 batteries. I usually carry this little light on me or a headlamp. Might throw a piece of steel wool in my kit....it weighs nothing.

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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  30. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Tarp shelter. No knife skills, well I did carve a couple tent pegs, but trying a new tarp configuration. This is my first square 10x10 and usually go for 8x10 for the weight savings or hammock tarps. Bcusa isnt the lightest but light enough and really enjoying the added coverage. Couldn't find my rain skirt for entrance cover. Daughter and I slept in it last night. A front came through and had to re-secure it at 230a. I am letting it dry and will inspect the seams and tabs when I fold but it really seemed to hold up in really high winds. We stayed pretty dry too even without the door. Gave my daughter the bivy to protect against centipede (I hate centipede!!!!) And I just used a wool blanket. This reminded me of why I am no longer a ground dweller and have taken to sleeping in trees! I also remember I need a pillow! Not an actual pillow but something like pack or clothes to put under my head.

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  31. PrimitivePotato

    PrimitivePotato Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Do you have a tutorial or something of how to do that tarp set up?
    Really enjoying this thread!
    Thanks
     
  32. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    I'll try to find and post a link later. Harvesting olives with the kids right now. ;)

    There are cool charts on flat tarp set-ups...some of them almost like origami. There seems to be more options for squares. I usually stick to diamond, a-frame, or lean-to variant but this one really impressed me. Was going off of memory and should go up quicker next time.

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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  33. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    This is pretty close to how I set it up.


     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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  34. PrimitivePotato

    PrimitivePotato Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thanks for that, I'll have to try it out at some point
     
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  35. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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  36. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Pop can whistle and lantern. Candle made from bees wax harvested from our hive. ;)

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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  37. accycle

    accycle Supporter Supporter

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    That pop can whistle is pretty cool. Is it any good?
     
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  38. mauiarcher

    mauiarcher Supporter Supporter

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    Yes it is quite loud. Would be better with a pea. If the sides are too big, a little hard to enclose with fingers so can be a little fiddly.

    Hand Helicopter toy (not sure what skill that is...maybe notching) and a quick pot hook system for a coffee can stove my son built. He wanted to boil tomorrow for dinner last night.

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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
    halo2, rsnurkle, ArmyMacE and 3 others like this.

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