Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bushcraft Cutlery

Cutlery for your bushcrafting adventure is really no different than cutlery for your bug out bag is. You need to make the same decisions, based upon your needs and skill sets that you have learned for both tasks. I have included an older video I made called "Cutlery For Your Bug Out Bag" here for a couple of reasons.

For one, I still carry some of the same blades as I suggested in this video, and for another reason, I wanted to show you that it is OK to make changes as time goes by. Generally, we ant to learn to stick with what works. However, sometimes we need to make a change. As our skills develop and expand, we find that we can make do without something, and we also find that maybe there is something new we can't do without.

That said, I have indeed made some changes in my usually carried blades. I still use my True Temper hatchet, the machete, the SOG multi-tool, and the hobo tool fer eatin" grub. I also still carry the faux bone handled Stag Hunter belt knife. The big change I made was that I omitted the folders in exchange for a Leatherman C33 folder with a black bolster. One of the good things about this knife is that it has a bottle opener that folds out. very valuable tool to have, especially after a hot day out in the woods.

This knife isn't quite so good at gutting fish as the slender little stainless job in the video, but all around, the Leatherman C33 is a great little pocket buddy, and the clip is better than many folders sport today.

Enjoy the video, and remember, it is OK to make changes!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Foraging in the Bush

One of the prime considerations for human existence is the procurement of the food necessary for survival, as well as for everyday living. We all eat, butit surprises me as to how many people out there will go to great lengths to overload their packs with foodstuffs when heading out into the woods for an adventure. This probably is not such a big deal for a day hike, or even for an overnighter, but what if you are planning to go out for a week or more.

Food means poundage, and poundage can be ones worst enemy after toting a heavy pack through the woods. When I go out, I try to carry the least amount of equipment with me. Since I go out with the intent of making videos, poundage means a lot. My camera equipment alone weighs about twenty pounds, so you can see why I like to economize as much as possible when it comes to weight. I can go for several days with just a forty pound pack, not including water.

Therefore, it is in your best interest to learn about the plants that are in the area you are going to, and learn which ones can be used to provide needed nourishment along the way. There are a lot of good books on the market that can help you to learn what is and is not edible. Some of them even have recipes along with the descriptions to give you an idea of how to prepare them. If you have never foraged for food before, I suggest you get a couple and study them thoroughly. Then pack them along so you can make positive identifications. Some edible plants closely resemble poisonous plants, so you need to be 100% certain of what you are picking. Remember, if you get sick from eating poisonous plants, you likely will not recover, especially if you are alone on your journey.

You’ll want to make sure you have a small knife, such as a pocket folder with a very sharp edge and a bag to collect your find in. I use a commonly available shopping bag that I fitted an adjustable strap to the handles. It is made of soft nylon. And folds into a bundle small enough to easily carry in a cargo pocket on my shorts, or stows easily in my pack. These bags will hold several days worth of food, although I never pick more than enough for a meal or two. The way it is made also means it won’t have a tendency to crush whatever is inside it as well.

Come springtime, when the foliage starts to grow, I’ll be doing some posts and videos on harvesting your meals on the go, but until then, pick up some books and study for next season.

Welcome to the Maine Bushcrafter Blog..

Hey folks, welcome to my new blog! I'll be talking and sharing things about getting out in the woods of Maine and beyond, as well as some of my observations regarding the impossible phenomenon commonly referred to as Bigfoot. My video series, Into the Woods, with Dan the Bigfoot man will be shared here as well. Sit back,grab a Sam Adams, or whatever, and enjoy the woods of Maine!