Hello New England Bushcrafters

Discussion in 'New England' started by Chris Hatton, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. Chris Hatton

    Chris Hatton Tracker

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to the Bushcraft USA website, and new to Bushcraft in general, and someone in general introduction forum mentioned this group to me so I wanted to introduce myself and hopefully get some insight from you all into Bushcraft in New England. Any advice, insight, or information about meet-ups is welcomed. I live in Massachusetts.

    For those living in MA, the state offers a free Map, Compass, and Survival course that I'm considering taking. Has anyone taken it and, if so, what was your impression? It is free, so I can't really go wrong in taking it, but I'd like to hear your opinions.

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  2. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    @werewolf won holds meets twice a year in the Freetown State Forest and I have been holding them in CT at least once a year.

    I hope to see you around.
     
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  3. Bridgetdaddy

    Bridgetdaddy Supporter Supporter

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  4. Chris Hatton

    Chris Hatton Tracker

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    How are these meet-ups announced?

     
  5. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    Usually posts in general bushcraft and here in the NE subforum.
     
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  6. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Roughian #10 Supporter Bushclass I

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    Greetings neighbor! Live in CT just down IS 91 or 84 depending on which way you are coming down.

    Ditto BushClass! Great place to learn and share.
     
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  7. Chris Hatton

    Chris Hatton Tracker

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    Thanks. I've been looking over the Bushcraft course.

    I looked over parts of Basic course, and when I viewed the 4 basic knots I was surprised that I hadn't seen any of those knots, except the slip knot, in the Bushcraft videos I've been watching, and I've watched a few. The knots that kept coming up in the videos I've watched were the Bowline, Trucker's Hitch, Prussik (spelling), Fisherman's, and Slip knot. Is there a logic behind the knots chosen in the Bushcraft class?

    thanks
     
  8. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    I've been to a couple of Wolf's meetups. A lot of good people there, and there is always a trade blanket, and some interesting stuff. Pot luck dinner. There are always a couple of folks give an informal presentation about whatever it is they are into...carving, fishing, stuff like that.

    There was a New England Bushcraft Show for the first time last year at 508 International, but so far, ahven't seen anything about a 2019 show, except of Fowler's webpage, he lists a couple of September dates, but I haven't seen it anywhere else.

    Oh, and Hello from Framingham, MA.
     
  9. Chris Hatton

    Chris Hatton Tracker

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    One more question: where can you practice Bushcraft in Massachusetts? Is it correct that in MA state parks you must camp at designated camp sites, and that you can't simply start processing or using dead wood? I've heard that at many places you must buy the wood from the park.
     
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  10. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    Yes, that is true.

    There aren't any woodlands that are publically available for overnight camping, and you can catch some serious trouble transporting wood, because of Asian insect problems.

    As for doing things like building primitive shelters and stuff, you pretty much would need private land for that.

    Your best bet for being as free as possible is in western MA, the Berkshires area, like Mt. Greylock.

    For myself, I don't do campfires or camp overnight. I just do dayhikes in managed woodlands, bring my twig stove, and have fun. I cut dead branches and stuff, nothing that requires an axe...just a small saw and a knife. I gather cattails, bark from dead birch, practice primitive traps like figure 4 (which I suck at, by the way).

    There lots you can do, even in your own backyard if you have one. You can practice carving, make coffee over a twig stove, even cook over a twig stove. Pretty much anything except overnight camping and campfires, but bushcraft is about a lot of little things that you can never run out of stuff to do. For example, a couple of things on my to-do list are to make a walking stick with a couple of survival features, decorate it by heating a a cut piece from a clothes hanger and burning some designs into it, put some leather strip lashings on it for a handhold and emergency cordage, etc, etc. I also have come into possession of some feathers and antler, and I want to make myself a fletching kit with the antler, and make a bushcraft dreamcatcher with some leather, the feathers I found, along with some stuff I find in the bush. I made myself a handhold for a friction fire set with a piece of sandstone I found and a piece of granite with a point on it, that I just ground a nice spindle hole into it, and lined it with wax. Took a couple of days to do it, but it is a cool piece of kit that I only I have.

    I enjoy sharpening and tool maintenance in the woods, and sometimes silly stuff, such as last December when I went into the woods, found a tiny pine tree, and decorated it with Christmas decorations and battery powered lights while I made some venison stew and coffee.

    EDIT: I made a thread on that here;

    https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/thre...ushcraft-challenge.237722/page-2#post-4173152


    There is a ton of fun you can have when you have a creative mind, and that's really what it's all about...skills, but creative application of your mind in the wild. You'll never see the Youtube guys making a Christmas tree in the middle of the woods, or making a dreamcatcher out of stuff you find, but I enjoy that sort of silliness. It's all bushcraft, and we should all find our niche and find our own brand. That keeps it interesting, right?

    So, yeah...really, whatever limitations you have on the woods around you, don't fret. There is lots you can do.

    Alternatively, or additionally, I volunteered for trail maintenance for awhile at some small, local land reserves. That allowed me to play with my big old axe and saw all I wanted. Also, I got to do things like gather garlic mustard, because it is invasive, but it makes great pesto! Dandelions, too...as a volunteer, you can dig up your dandelions, save and dry out the roots, and make dandelion coffee. Groups that maintain these reserves are always looking for volunteers, and you can do and learn a lot more as a volunteer than a visitor, so that is an option.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  11. Chris Hatton

    Chris Hatton Tracker

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    Thank you for the reply and the Bushcraft suggestions; I might consider the volunteer thing. I do have a backyard with a fire pit, and it's there that I sit and practice my knots. I watched a video the other day and the guy said that to stay sharp with your skills you need to practice at home, and he was demonstrating how to practice knife skills with what he called, "A Try Stick." Here's a link to the video, which you might enjoy:

    .

    However, I am a bit sad that I cannot go out camping in the bush, though I am so new to this that doing day hikes is where I need to begin. Have you heard of anyone ever thinking about a Bushcraft club that buys or leases some land on which only the members, who pay dues, can use for Bushcraft? I'm originally from the south, and there hunting clubs have done this kind of thing for years. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a large track of land somewhere nearby where you could go to practice Bushcraft and stay overnight and for multiple days? It might include a base camp or it might not, but it would be owned or leased by the club for Bushcraft purposes. Perhaps, there might even be an owner who would lease it at a reasonable rate if there was a promise to only process dead wood. This would keep the land clear.

    I enjoyed reading your Christmas adventure, and your profile pic has the exact two knives I want to purchase for myself!

    Keep in touch,

    Chris
     
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  12. Toddg

    Toddg Bushsquirrel Hobbyist Supporter

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    I did the map and compass class a couple of times (perishable skill) and its awesome! great group of folks and the class its self is really in depth. Start in the class and end up navigating point to point in the field. Practical and a lot of fun!
    Love to get a New England get together scheduled for those of us in the area!
     
  13. halo2

    halo2 Curmudgeon in Training Supporter

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    I've taken it twice. The last time was a month ago. I think it's well worth the time. It's a bit light on Survival due to timing but the volunteers were engaging and motivated. Good folks.
     
  14. halo2

    halo2 Curmudgeon in Training Supporter

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    Respectfully to @MAD Punty , I don't believe this is true. There are a few places that are legal that are hike in only and offer primitive camping (at primitive sites), even in winter. Mt. Washington State Park is one that I've been to. Washburn Island is very primitive too. Mt. Greylock is another though I have not been there.

    Mt. Washington has this trickle of a stream that has native trout. Washburn Island is salt water access by boat only.

    Transported firewood is banned but dead and down is usable as far as I understand. Most sites I've camped at have a supply onsite that is adequate for many bushcraft tasks except shelter building, I've found.

    See https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2018/10/18/campgrouds-open-close-2019.pdf for suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  15. Cheapeats

    Cheapeats Guide

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    I have primitive camped with the boyscouts on mt greylock and in the Monroe state forrest both have shelters and allow collection of downed wood.
     
  16. Andy in NH

    Andy in NH Scout

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    Hello from SW NH!
     
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  17. Chris Hatton

    Chris Hatton Tracker

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    Thanks for this info. I'll check it out.
     
  18. jimmyt

    jimmyt Living large! Supporter

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    Greetings from southeast NH.
     

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