Hardwoodsman tab skill posts

Discussion in 'BushClass USA' started by Iz, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    in our readout it says this so answer is yes to those;
    fire chain to be done at one sitting
    knife and man made cordage allowed
    make a fire using the friction method of your choice ie. hand, bow, plough, etc.
    all material must be gathered and made on site, if wet must use a split wood and shaving method
    natural tinder only gathered on site
    once fire is going char natural material WITHOUT container or man made vessel
    make a 2nd fire with flint and steel using the charred material just made

    we added make sure you show in real time digging up the charred material and striking it to show the ember formed
     
  2. Sweeneyguy

    Sweeneyguy Supporter Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Correct. Knife and Cordage only. You can bring a striker but have to source the rock. No axe and saw. I also learned that the hard way.
     
  3. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Took so me time to read and reread, hen digest. I agree with the you’re your own best critic part. The issue with this is it’s an incredibly hard task. You can succeed, feel you haven’t cheated yourself, and still fail the parameters of the challenge. Fortunately there is plenty of room for questions before hand. Which comes to my next question.

    Using a poncho is a no go. A poncho is my only piece of rain gear. If simply wearing a poncho a no go? Or, can you wear it if you’re clearly not hiding under it to do all the work?
     
  4. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    I would think your are fine then Evan. No one is going to make you buy rain gear lol!
     
  5. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Alright, I have a lot to learn about camera handling, editing, and not being such a loud mouth breather in the winter :confused:, not to mention those actual the bushcraft skills, but... for the Council's consideration, here is a submission for the Off-Trail Navigation challenge.

    I did my route planning before the trip (and indoors), so that I could leave some version of it with my in-case-of-emergency contacts. I'm not sure whether the council needs it the route planning details, so if you're low on time or internet data, I believe the second video (the actual hike) should be able to stand on its own, but they're both here for people with the time for more information about the hike.

    Route planning video


    Navigation hike
     
  6. Sweeneyguy

    Sweeneyguy Supporter Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Yukon Go.jpg

    We weren't really sure which challenge you were doing at first but we figured it out. We would like for you to actually talk though the challenges, it was hard watching and keeping up with the subtitles. Other than that, spot on. Strong work and great job!
     
  7. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Awesome, thank you! And sorry about the which challenge confusion. I started referring to #7 "NAVIGATE TO A SPOT YOU'VE NEVER BEEN" as "off-trail navigation" to remind myself about the important parts of the challenge, but forgot to convert it back.

    Re: talking through the challenges. Would it be possible to stick with subtitles if I make sure that I stop the action and put subtitles/captions in the center of the screen (over a black or white background) for an appropriate period of time to read them? I know that's diverging from other entries, but I'm trying limit the amount that I appear "in front" of the camera (whether with my face or my voice).

    I have footage for the "solo overnighter" challenge that I will start editing soon, which I think is the main challenge where the footage might require some explanation. All of the other challenges seem like they could be pretty self explanatory from the video alone.
     
  8. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Here is my submission for the "#5 Solo Overnighter" challenge. The video has footage from my hike in, setting up a quick shelter for camp, my second and third attempts to ignite wet hemlock kindling (first happened during a MITC attempt), and my early morning hike back out.


    I separated out my attempt at the "Man in the Creek Drill," which was unsuccessful, and is uploaded here:

    (I think I've found my crucible for testing manmade and natural tinders: dead and downed twig kindling in a damp and cold area.)

    The video also mentions the off-trail navigation work, which is indeed the video posted earlier in this thread.
     
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  9. OMRebel

    OMRebel He who piddles Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    @rsnurkle good job! Way to use your tracks to get back in the dark. What do you think went wrong with the man in the creek challenge?
     
  10. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    As much as I would have liked to have "gotten it right" for the sake of a having MITC submission, the fires I was making on that trip were a great learning experience, and I've been thinking a lot about what happened.

    When I try to explain the basics of firemaking to other people, I like to use the metaphor of a ladder: different materials to burn are different rungs on the ladder (fuelwood, kindling, tinder), and the amount of energy needed to burn a particular rung tells you how high up on the ladder it is. So, firemaking is a matter of making sure the rungs on your ladder are spaced close enough together that you can actually climb the ladder.

    In this particular case, the distance between my tinder and kindling "rungs" was too large to get the fire going on my first (and second) attempt. Factors making the kindling harder to ignite were:
    • Air temperatures below freezing (starting around 20*F in the morning and getting up towards 32*F that night), plus a freeze/thaw/ice/snow roller coaster cycle recently. There's a clip of ice cracking under my foot in the hike in, suggesting the water that sometimes runs over the trails froze solid and then had snow pile on top of it, a process that probably happened to every piece of exposed, slightly damp wood in the forest, including the kindling I picked up.
    • Several inches of snow on the ground (most of this got knocked off as I gathered the material, but not all, I'm sure)
    • Ambient moisture: this area has a lot of streams and valleys and general moisture
    • Horizontal material in contact with the ground: In this area, regulations limit visitors to dead and downed wood for fires, and because I was trying to collect material quickly, I picked a good source for a lot of material all at once (the top of the downed hemlock) but all of that material was horizontal (catches and absorbs water better than vertical materials) and probably had been in some sort of contact with the ground for a while, wicking up ground moisture in addition to catching it from precipitation.
    • Bark-covered twigs: again, because of speed, I didn't try to split anything. Most of us here know it requires more energy to ignite round, bark-covered material (the rung is higher), versus split wood, so for time saving I traded off ease of lighting.
    In a real emergency, my main change would be to improve the kindling I picked: focusing on drier branches still attached to nearby hemlock trunks and sheltered from snow by the tree branches. I might have also tried using some green boughs, in order to get that fun "foosh!" effort from conifer needles when they've been heated enough to catch. The other option is to beef up the tinder side of the equation, and that's where I'm doing the most thinking to figure out how to improve the tinder I carry regularly, especially in wet, snowy conditions and where I'm focused on dead and downed material.

    I've succeeded in making fire from twig kindling in that same area, in very similar conditions (19*F that evening, snow covering everything) with the same compressed sawdust squares I used in this video. That's why I was hoping to pull it off on this trip, instead of waiting for better weather to increase my chances of success while respecting the time limited nature of the task and restrictions of the area. For that past fire, I had a mix of hemlock and hardwood kindling from the nearby ridges, made sure to build a good platform for air flow and keeping material out of the snow in the fire pit, and also had a slight rock reflector for the firepit we were using on that past trip to help block a little heat loss through radiation.

    Improving the available platform is something I can do for tinder that I carry: for example, using IA Woodsman's foil wrapped packet of petroleum jellied cotton ball tinder, rather than putting the sawdust squares directly on the snowy ground.

    Increasing the amount of tinder available for burning is another option. I had some small sticks of fatwood, but held those in reserve, instead using two compressed wax + sawdust squares plus a Tinder Quick tab that burned for at least ten minutes. Since a follow-up wetfire cube burning for multiple minutes didn't light the kindling and I used the fatwood on the third try, again having it burn for multiple minutes before the kindling caught, I'm pondering what would be the bigger bang for my buck: choosing better kindling (e.g., knowing to pick it up while hiking when I see it and not just when I decide I need it), or carrying a half pound of fatwood (or a road flare) around to compensate for the kindling available in those weather conditions.

    One other things I was hoping would be in my favor would be that loosely stacked kindling would provide good airflow and help with ignition. However I'm not sure whether, because of the cold air involved, I lost any valuable heat for drying out the kindling by having that amount of airflow.

    Anyways, those are my thoughts. I figured putting the video together (instead of just describing it) would inspire comments from others, so I better can understand what happened.

    Was there anything in particular that you saw?
     
  11. OMRebel

    OMRebel He who piddles Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I was thinking maybe you could have made a base on top of the snow to build the fire on. You had a good bundle, but the flame had to reach high to get to it, and I think the snow melted and put out the fire before the bundle was able to catch. Kudos on the attempt though. I've never built a fire in snow, so I am only a spectator, lol!
     
  12. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    Great summation. Your experience is a good one to practice since things just aren’t always that great. I taught a class yesterday in high wind and was really tough. Could you have made the fire closer to where you got the wood?
     
  13. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Great work so far @rsnurkle! I had a similar issue with the man in the creek drill. I know that it's not advised to snap the twigs and just throw them on, but the problem I saw with yours was that there was not enough small wood close enough to get going. If there isn't heat built up there it isn't going to move up, and taking a couple seconds to snap a few twigs to get that heat going right on top of your tinder may have made the difference. Only after I failed at it a couple times did I realize I was doing the same thing as you did.
     
  14. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    A base definitely would have helped! And you're right about how high the flame had to reach to touch the kindling. A base and brace are my standard operating procedure when I'm building a fire at "normal" speeds :). I think part of working on this task involves learning how much I can and can't deviate from standard procedures for the sake of speed, so in the future, I'll be devoting time to something of a base if it's even the slightest bit cold and wet. If you ever find yourself in a snowy place, hope you get a chance to play around with fire making. If you're otherwise prepared, it's interesting to get a "no go!" from Mother Nature.

    I completely agree. As I was walking in and doing my water crossings, I realized that this was the ideal environment to (carefully) practice in, because it was the one with higher risks. I took enough time which hiking to avoid any slips or face plants into the cold water, but this would have been exactly the environment where a MITC drill could happen for real. I'm hoping to go back to that area for my next attempt for that reason.

    Re: closer fire. Sort of? The area allows people to build fire rings, but they do need to be rings of rocks to contain the fire and there are restrictions on where campsites/fires can be placed relative to water. The only reason my site was that close to the river was my use of an already established campsite. At the trailhead I could see there was definitely snow, so I decided to pick a water-side established fire ring with material "near" it and spend my time moving back and forth with material, rather than rooting around in the snow for rocks to make a new ring based on available material. If I go back and there's no snow, I'll definitely look for rocks to setup a proper fire ring closer to legal material.

    Thank you! And this is a good point. I figured I was snapping the twigs even more than I should, but I agree that in these conditions it would have helped to make sure everything was getting closer. Did you come up with a way to judge a happy medium between airflow to everything and getting the tinder close enough? That was part of my concern when I was hastily throwing stuff on.
     
  15. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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  16. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  17. Sweeneyguy

    Sweeneyguy Supporter Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Great job! One thing I have learned with Hemlock, even when it's green it snaps like it's dead. Add that to possibility that it was frozen and you got a hard lighting fire.

    I thoroughly endorse the PJ cotton balls and foil. Cheap and effective.
     
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  18. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Yikes, I was going pretty much by the snap, so the hemlock being green would explain a lot. Thank you!
     
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  19. Iz

    Iz MEMBER of a BANNED Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Ha! It's good to see that there are still freaks in this world willing to do crazy things in the woods.

    I just wanted to say some thanks.

    Thanks to all you guys who have volunteered to judge these things. More heads together are surely better than one.

    Thanks to those of you who are doing the challenges. I hope you have fun with this stuff. Don't take it to seriously and I hope the judges don't either.
     
  20. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Another attempt at the Man in the Creek Drill:


    Iz mentions the benefit of conifers (both for finding trees with lots of dead lower branches and the effect of the needles on live branches) in the demonstration video, so I included some quick footage in the very beginning to show an example of a hemlock that was near the water (e.g., where I would have fallen in in the hypothetical scenario) and would have provided a lot of materials to get started with in an actual emergency.

    On this attempt, I had scouted for a location with a downed hemlock nearby to get lots of materials quickly like last time, and better approximate using mostly conifers for the fire, but all of the promising trees had all fallen on the wrong side of the river bank. Thus, there's a lot more "moving with purpose" around the area than would be ideal to collect the materials. (I sped the collection part up, but left the fire lighting at normal speed so you can decide whether to skip through it or not.)
     
  21. OMRebel

    OMRebel He who piddles Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  22. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  23. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Awesome, you fought for those flames! (Condolences about that lost half of your ferro rod...:)) I hard to started to comment on your trial run video, but now I get to enjoy them both! Way to get after splitting wood in crappy conditions multiple times. Also, style points for continuing to throw the ball (and sticks) for Lily throughout. Her enthusiasm for fetch, regardless of precipitation is a lot of fun to see.
     
  24. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    It's hard to tell from the video, but I would get a flame going then a huge rain drop would put it out! So frustrating! Now I get why @NWPrimate makes those huge fuzz sticks, if you get them going then the fire gets hot fast and can stay lit even though rain drops are hitting it. I originally was thinking real small would be better, but they didn't get hot enough.

    Lily loves the rain, heck she just loves being outside. I didn't notice until I watched the video, the whole time I was struggling trying to get the fire to light she was staring at me with her "come on!" look.
     
  25. wvtracker14

    wvtracker14 Hardwoodsman #9 Supporter Hardwoodsman

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    IMG_4625.JPG

    Sorry but we've decided this one's a no go. First I want to commend you on making a base to start out smart work! The reasons for the no-go are that it took way too much time to get the fire going good. You did make a hustle but you took too much time collecting your wood and then breaking it down. In the future just collect your fuel and throw it on don't waste time breaking it up. But at the same time make sure that the wood is compressed enough to touch the flames from your tinder.
     
  26. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Hey, thank you guys for looking and for the feedback! At the time it felt fast, but when I was editing the video I saw how much longer both wood collection and building the fire took than I realized. 12 minutes for me, vs the two minutes that Iz takes in the demo video, so the no go makes sense to me. The MITC is interesting practice, hopefully third time's a charm...
     
  27. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    @atlastrekker
    It is a
    NO
    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 8.01.55 AM by Ken Cardwell, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-12-27 at 8.15.16 PM by Ken Cardwell, on Flickr

    we talked about this one a lot; you were on the border for sure. few things that kept us from giving the go though. Not enough real time video to see and hear the rain(couldn't tell for sure how much it was raining), your skills in using curls need to be improved...try to make a thin and tiny as ones as possible and make sure they are covered when you are not watching them...hover over them when working on the firesteel so you cover them from the water, show both making the curls and splitting in real time some to show your technique, don't blow on the flames and most of all let your poor little dog help more :)
    One last thought....you might put your camera under a tarp such that we can hear the rain falling and it also keeps the camera dry. Quite a few have done that and shows the intensity of the rainfall. You did a good job of being right out in the open with no cover and used bark well except that one time of leaving your curls exposed. Sorry you have to do this over but think you will be better because of it.
     
  28. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I'm sorry but I am just a simple hillbilly redneck who barely graduated high school. I'm having trouble understanding what I did wrong here. You are saying that you can't tell it's raining in the video?

    I made a split wood fire in the rain, I question what else really matters.
     
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  29. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Let me add to my above post, as I do not want edit it. Like I have said many times before, my words are not always written the way that I think them. I apologize if it seemed snarky.

    What gave me the no-go was that you couldn't see the rain well enough, there were parts you want me to slow down so that you can see better and you thought my feather sticks were to big. Correct?

    Can I make another video using the footage from that day and re-enter it? I believe that I have footage of all the things you say I need.
     
  30. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    yeah; not just me saying this but the rain needs to be seen coming down....all we could see is your rain pants wet....idea is to do it all in the rain and not in parts so it would have to be done over...I would again advise putting the camera where the view shows the rain periodically at least and we see in real time some of your feather sticking and split wood making. You can hurry up the redundant parts. especially show the lighting with the firesteel which you did.
     
  31. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    After thinking a little more....

    I'll do it again and stop complaining.

    Thank you all for putting up with me.
     
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  32. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Alright, shaved a few minutes off of my time on this attempt:


    Weather conditions similar to the previous attempt (32-25*F). This time I was literally building on mud, so no base would have been a squishy mistake. I found a location with a large downed hemlock branch immediately nearby (the first place I step to in the video) and then the top of a downed hemlock tree about 20-25 feet away and across a steep slope dropping into a larger creek (so that's why I slow down a lot when walking to my second source of branches, would be undignified and disqualifying to have fallen in).

    I still haven't run across downed hemlock branches with needles still on them in these conditions, but perhaps in the future I'll get to test those out.
     
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  33. wvtracker14

    wvtracker14 Hardwoodsman #9 Supporter Hardwoodsman

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    Nice work! Curious what were the blocks of fire starter?
     
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  34. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    [​IMG]

    Jeremiah Johnson approves, so that is a GO!

    I was watching from the point of view of being wet and shivering and watching you make the effort to get me warm. You were hustling, confident, and had flames going very quickly and just added to it from there. I would have felt confident in your skills to get me warm. Well done.

    Good thinking with the base as well, adapting to the specific circumstances. The 2 camera shoot was cool too!
     
  35. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    My heart is deeply warmed by Jeremiah Johnson's approval (and the Council's)!

    A friend was moving so I got this whole box:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Have never figured out exactly what they're made of, but basically some sort of shredded or compressed wood product covered in a wax of some sort. I started using these just to get rid of them, but now I like them a lot for some specific applications (like cold, wet, and fire-sooner-please conditions).

    Edit: an equivalent amount of fatwood has more firepower, btw, so that would be better for lighter fire kits, but I'm mainly using these up where appropriate.
     
  36. wvtracker14

    wvtracker14 Hardwoodsman #9 Supporter Hardwoodsman

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    Thanks! They are different and got me curious.
     
  37. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Alright, here's video for the last challenge I attempted on my recent outings. I took a shot at the "6. BUILD A NATURAL SHELTER WITH NO TOOLS AND OVERNIGHT IN IT" challenge and spent the night in the lean-to I created.



    I took a lot of useful notes from this experience for the future, but tried to keep the video relatively short and focused on the build. I plan to never use this much shaky, handheld footage again :eek:
     
  38. wvtracker14

    wvtracker14 Hardwoodsman #9 Supporter Hardwoodsman

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    download.jpg

    Thanks a GO!
     
  39. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  40. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  41. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    Nice work @atlastrekker ! :dblthumb: It looked like you almost forgot about the pocket pieces again, but got them out just in time. :)
     
  42. OMRebel

    OMRebel He who piddles Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    @atlastrekker If I knew how to do memes, I would post one with a big ol bunch of excited hardwoodsmen jumping up amd down screaming...

    GO!!!!!

    Good job buddy!
     
  43. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Woot woot! Thank you!

    Still working on the fire chain. Need more practice with the hand drill still. Hopefully soon!
     
  44. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  45. Sweeneyguy

    Sweeneyguy Supporter Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Automatic NO-GO.

    First sentence of the requirements on the first post of this thread.

    "ALL TASKS MUST BE COMPLETED IN THE WOODS. NO BACK YARDS AND NO BESIDE THE TRUCK SKILLS."

     
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  46. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Unless.... the woods IS your back yard. I believe. Should I find the post?
     
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  47. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    That is not the case at all. If the woods is your back yard you still need to get out of YOUR back yard.

    The idea behind the challenges is you are getting out in the woods and away from a comfort zone. This way you can't get something you forgot in your vehicle or go inside for a snack and a cup of tea and take a break.

    The idea is to simulate difficult conditions in all of the challenges to bring out the best in participants. This is the way it has been from the beginning with precious few exceptions made in special circumstances.
     
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  48. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    For the record, this was not filmed in MY backyard, though it is someone's backyard. Living here in the pot growing capital of the world it's hard to not be in someones backyard. There are some national forests here, but due to the snowflakes that freely run through them you cannot do anything "suspicious" without being turned into the law.... or running into an illegal grow... or any number of stupid things. Because of this most people pick there safe spots and stick to them, myself included. I like to try not to end an outing dead.

    This is my backyard.
    20180605_155520.jpg

    If the problem here is that I used the same place as I have before, I will try again.
     
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  49. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    This is why I asked.

    @Kerri asked here

    @Iz replied here
     
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  50. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    What is the definition of back yard? No one's house in front of me? Or is it just MY backyard? Do I have to be 100 feet from a house or miles from a house? This isn't clear to me.

    Also, you had better define "beside the truck skills" because I have no idea what that means. I have to walk 10 feet from my truck? 30 feet? A mile? What if I drove offroad 10 miles and there is not a soul around or anything man made for most of those miles, but I do the task right next to my truck? How is that different from being in a kayak or riding a bike, or even having a backpack for that matter?


    Why does it matter, if I do the job the exact same way that it is asked of me? Is the demonstration somehow tainted?

    Thanks for answering my questions.
     
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