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Fun with tallow

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by chris67, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    I decided to make up a few things that require tallow for my next trip. The first step is making tallow.

    I picked up a couple pounds of beef fat from the butcher. I cut it into pieces and cooked it on low until most the fat had rendered out and craklins were left. I scooped out the craklins for the dog and strained the fat to get the purest tallow possible. Then I let it cool. Tallow unrefrigerated can last a long time with out spoiling.

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    With my tallow made I cooked up some ground beef and then put it into the dehydrator. When its dry Ill mix it with the tallow and some spices for a pemmican soup to take out on my next trip.

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    The next thing on my list is a fire starter. This is the primitive version of the good ole cotton ball and Vaseline. I consider this to be extravagant in that your taking excellent cordage material and food and making a fire starter. Not to say fire is not critical but when in a low cal situation I might start drooling over my tinder, lol.

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    First I take a dogbane stalk and using the spine of my knife I scrape the outer bark off just like prepping cordage.

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    After the bark is removed I start at the tip and using the spine of my knife I scrape the fibers off the stock working towards the base. This creates a very fine material very similar to a cotton ball.

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    continued:
     
  2. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    After making the dogbane cotton balls I make some fine shavings to mix into the tinder.

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    I process some fibers in the normal method and make some cordage for wicks for tallow candles I save the left over fiber to mix into the tinder balls.

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    After getting the dogbane made up its time for the tallow. I use a tallow dogbane tinder ball that I had left over from the last batch to get the fire going.

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    It lights up easily with a spark and burns for quite a while helping to get a fire going under difficult conditions.


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    I melt the tallow and dip the dogbane wicks into it.

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    I slowly pour a couple teaspoons of tallow onto the dogbane and the rest goes into containers with the wicks for candles.

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    With the candles poured its time to go for a wander while they cool.

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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  3. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    On my wander I found a nice piece of cottonwood. Perfect for a bow drill kit.

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    Next I gathered some rosehips to take with me for tea.

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    A good afternoon's worth of fun

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    Thanks for looking

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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  4. woodsmanjohn

    woodsmanjohn Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Interesting post Chris good job with the tallow projects man. Great photography too that's a fine looking knife too buddy . Thanks for posting. John
     
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  5. himesrun

    himesrun Tracker

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    Looks like a wonderful day you had. I made tallow for the first time this year with some deer I harvested. I probably wouldn't eat mine as I left it in the fridge for about a week before I made it but I'd like to make some pemmican so a trip to the butcher shop may be in order. I've started carrying a small tin of tallow in my pack for wiping down my knives in the field as well.
     
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  6. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    Yeah tallow is pretty versatile stuff it can also be used on leather
     
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  7. rmorgan736

    rmorgan736 Scout

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    make some soap......
     
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  8. Hoof

    Hoof Former Genius Supporter

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    I always enjoy your posts, reminds me I need to up my game
     
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  9. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    I actually do make my own soap but I use mostly coconut, olive, and palm oil
     
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  10. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    This was great Chris! Those cracklins looked too delicious to give to the dog though. :)

    It's funny to picture you sucking on one of those tinder balls while trying to light another one with your ferro rod. Let us know how that pemmican soup turns out.
     
  11. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    Ha that's my fear! Too hungry to make fire.

    I've made it before and it comes out much better than the bars I've made it's basically beef stew. Ground beef, fat, seasoning, flour and sometimes instant hash browns. There are a few sources I've read about adding pemmican to hot water. So this is a fancy version of that concept
     
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  12. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    nice chris. i made a big batch of tallow last year but haven't found too many uses for it yet. i like the cotton ball idea and thought about making candles with it as well
     
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  13. Blackhawk45hunter

    Blackhawk45hunter Pronounced sim-bee-duh Bushclass II

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    Awesome post Chris!, thanks for sharing! It makes me start to regret all the deer fat I've tossed over the years...

    Nice looking knife there too! I saw a post of it on Sargent's Instagram and started instantly drooling haha.
     
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  14. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    It's been like Christmas this week a couple of great knives to try out over the next couple months
     
  15. Brook Trout

    Brook Trout Scout

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    Thanks for the post. I've got some venison tallow I made up awhile ago, and this gives me some good ideas for new things to try with it!
     
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  16. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Guide

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    Really cool stuff as always.
    I've mixed beef tallow or bear lard with beeswax and/or neetsfoot oil as a leather dressing.

    I don't want to derail your thread but I have one question I'm dying to ask.....

    The knife?
    That thing looks like everything a knife should be.

    Sent from my bakelite rotary phone via Tapatalk
     
  17. Brew-Jitsu

    Brew-Jitsu Supporter Supporter

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    This was a fun post to read, Chris. I've wanted to add a container of tallow to my kit for a while after learning of its versatility.

    Awesome knife, too.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
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  18. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks, Brian Sargent made that knife for me. He based it on some of my preferences and some of his own. I'm still in the testing phase but so far it cuts better than any other knife ive used.
     
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  19. Youcantreadinthedark

    Youcantreadinthedark Chaotic Neutral. Supporter Bushclass I

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    I know I've never met or seen you, but I can safely say that knife fits you like a glove.
     
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  20. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    As always @chris67, your posts are not only an excellent read but greatly informative as well. Looks like a nice replacement to the PBK....!
    Well done, and thank you for the post.
    Cheers!
     
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  21. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Guide

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    Thanks Chris, I was guessing it was Brian's work.

    Sent from my bakelite rotary phone via Tapatalk
     
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  22. Naturalist

    Naturalist Guide

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    Very nice Chris. Thanks for the tallow lesson.
     
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  23. hdlv

    hdlv Supporter Supporter

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    That looked like a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing!
     
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  24. Pharmer

    Pharmer Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Tallow or Chris-co? Haha, another cool and informative post. Thank you for sharing.
     
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  25. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    ha Chris-co it felt like that this Christmas
     
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  26. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog Hardwoodsman #8 Supporter Bushclass III

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    Great post Chris. I've made those candles with dogbane cordage but never thought to scrape the dogbane for tinder.
    Excellent skills as always!
     
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