Friday, 30 November 2007

Swedish Survival Skills

I’ve been meaning to recommend Michel Blomgren and his site for a while. Not only is he very knowledgeable about the skills that will keep you comfortably alive should you get lost while in the forest, but he’s also a talented TV presenter who is not afraid to suffer, if it means imparting some knowledge.

If you do nothing else make sure you watch Episode 1 - Five points survival.
It could save you life, it will make an overnight stay in the woods more comfortable, and if you are trying to get your kids into the outdoors the skills he demonstrates are so simple you could be teaching them to your kids by this weekend. Genius!


Thursday, 29 November 2007

Jonah – The Boy Done Good

My old mate Jonah has made it back in one piece from his yacht master training voyage.
How delicious does his catch look!
Good to see you back mate.

Hungry? You Will Be!

I'm adding a new cookery section to my blog roll.
I'd like to introduce you to Kevin Kossowan, hunter, butcher, forager, bon viveur and chef. He has done some great posts, and believes in honouring his prey by eating it 'nose-to-tail'.

It was wonderful to read that I'm not the only person obsessive enough to use a metal detector to take shot out of game birds.

Gotta go - I'm starving

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Full Bore Fool

While we’re on the subject of shotguns, how much of a numpty is this guy?

Picture the scene if you will. A grown man of 66 years of age is trying to undo the last nut that holds one of the wheels on to his vehicle. Frustrated by its stubborn refusal to come undone, he reaches not for a can of penetrating and easing oil, but for a shotgun.
Because stupid is as stupid does, he fires the shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot at the wheel while standing next to it. With inevitable results.

You couldn’t make it up.

Picture from

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Hunting Birds or should that be Birds Hunting?

I’ve started following a really neat blog where a grade ‘A’ foodie from northern California, who didn’t grow up around hunting, has taken up wildfowling and bird hunting. At the start of her adventure she suspects that being a woman taking up a male dominated activity will be the hard part….
Between the lunkheads and the professionally patronising, she finds the same challenges we all face when going into the great outdoors; finding clothes to protect us from the worst the weather can throw at us, weapons and tools that consistently do the business when asked, and someone to show us how to get a result.
Nor Cal Cazadora sites some recent research showing that while hunter numbers are down, the number of women afield is rising, and rising significantly.
Except at my house.
I’m forever trying to sell Mrs SBW the benefits of eating wild meat and hunting for it ourselves, she remains unconvinced. Meanwhile on the other side of the world BoB (brother of bushwacker) is married to a woman made of sterner (and more weatherproof) stuff. When Mrs SBW was pregnant she wanted to: reorganise storage and redecorate the house. When Mrs BoB was in the family way it was a different story. Just before they left for New Zealand, we all got together for a family dinner. At the table I saw her staring dreamily at a Sunday roast saying wistfully, “when I get home I really want to shoot a pig” Mrs SBW further endeared herself (although not to me) when she pointed at me and chipped in “you can shoot this one if you like”.

Thanks for reading

Translation ‘Birds’ is english for ‘Chix’
Photo Credit

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Way Better Than The Sunday Papers

In a further attempt to put the Sunday papers out of business by giving you something more worthwhile to read, I’m pleased to present the literary wit of Albert A Rasch.
Mr Rasch blogs an excellent chronicle of his adventures afield. He has a lively turn of phrase, you’ll like him.

These are two of my favorites.

Charged! Hog Hunting Adventures.

Charged they were, misadventures they nearly were!

“We drove up to the guides ramshackle house, the driveway entrance marked by a couple of mismatched fire hydrants (ill gotten to be sure). A couple of hounds of questionable pedigree lifted their mange ridden heads to see what the wind was dragging in, and wearily dropped them back into the dust wallow they were in. A little cur with half an ear came up happily to meet us, his tail just a waggin, and a look on his face, that in hindsight could have easily been taken as "Please, take me away from here!" But I was more taken by the charnel smell in the air; a mix between a slaughterhouse and a municipal waste dump. It wouldn't be long before I was to find out what caused that peculiar and most disagreeable odor.”

A Nice Walk In The Park

Where fitness is tested, and lessons in preparedness are learned.

“As I was licking the last bit of bacon grease, tomato, and mayo off my finger tips, I thought of how fortuitous I was to live on some land, far from the foolishness of subdivisions and McMansions. I made a comment to my wife about it. She nodded in agreement, and offhandedly remarked that, not only had I not shot any of my firearms in quite some time, but that I hadn’t even done any of my usual scouting either. Handing me the keys to the gun safe, she said I should really go and spend some quality time by myself and do a little shooting and maybe some scouting. “Who knows,” she said, “there could be a hog on the prowl somewhere.” Well I certainly didn’t need anymore encouragement.”

Have a good weekend

Todd’s Desert Scandi

I’ve recently added Todd’s knife making blog, Primitive Point to my blog roll.
Here’s for why;

Over the last year Todd has made a journey as a blade smith and knife maker and his blog details what he’s learned along the way. Part tutorial, part philosophical thesis, he’s obviously gained a lot more than a draw full of cool cutlery from his efforts.

Todd’s based in Arizona and all the materials he uses are gathered from the local environment, for the desert scandi that means a handle of mesquite root: long weathered in the Arizona sun and L-6 steel cut from an old lumber mill saw for the blade.

He’s made numerous other blades from wombled* materials, files, tire irons, rail road spikes and truck springs. His Damascus from cabling is a thing of beauty even before has wrought it into a blade.
For me the attraction of his work is in its usability, these blades aren’t draw queens, kept behind glass by a collector; they are the EDC of the enthusiast. Take ‘em into the backcountry, butcher game, chop vegetables and split wood. Whack ‘em and they just look more ‘lived in’, these are tools that grow more ‘you’ in the using.

‘I just started collecting junk I found while on my walks. I remember finding a steel table base. That eventually became the bottom of my forge. I remember finding a large nail. The head of it become the rivet in my tongs. I started looking and seeing things in new ways. Each year my experience has opened my eyes wider. I now see in ways I never did before. I see what things can become. Recently I wanted some nice wood for some knife handles. I went to an exotic wood store and drooled over their selection. I couldn’t afford any of it, of course. My brother took a trip to Brazil. I asked him to bring me back some wood. He couldn’t because the country is not allowing any wood to be taken out. Finally, something clicked in my brain and I saw the wood that surrounded me, free for the taking. I took out my saw and in no time had a couple dozen really nice mesquite blanks. I found roots and branches and pieces that had lain in the bottom of washes. I found all sorts of patterns and colors in the mesquite within easy walking distance of my house.’

If, like me, you’re now seized by a compulsion to commission a knife. Please let him know you heard about his work here.

*From the wombles theme song
“Making good use of the things that we find, things that the everyday folks leave behind”
PS He also makes bread!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Bushwacker Des Res

How cool is this!

It took 1500 man hours to build and it only cost £3500 or $7000!!
The pictures of the inside are even more amazing.

I'd like to build one for myself but i'm worried it might be 'Hobbit forming'. Sorry.


Deer Scrap!!

'Always hunt with someone else', is usually good advice.
However there's an exeption that proves every rule.

With a 'friend' like the cameraman, you're probably safer hunting on your own!

Thanks to MB for the link.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

There’s No Tool Like An Old Tool Or BoB Sends Bushwacker Back In Time!

Things that were covetable become mundane, and then, stained with memory become keys to the past.

As regular readers will know, BoB dropped of a few bits of kit that he’d found while clearing out our folks’ attic. While it was great to see the Opinels again, and a Trangia can only be useful, the real prize was to see my old sheath knife again. The keepers of the family legend are divided as to just how long I’ve had this knife for, if it isn’t 30 years its not far off. As you can see the carbon blade has acquired quite a patina. The tip had a little more acute point when it first came out of the workshop.

The Pommel was a fair bit smoother. But boys will be boys. As dads who were lads ‘ll tell you, boys are tough on their stuff.

As lads we used to play a knife game called ‘splits’. You (well not you, you have more sense, but your teenage self), stand toe-to-toe with your opponent. . Each of you takes it in turn to throw their knife into the ground. Wherever it sticks (not lands, it must be sticks. lands is instant forfeit of the game) the other player must put their foot. Both feet remain flat on the ground – no heeling allowed. All forms of psychological jiggery-pokery are legal. Think of the game as being like Twister with attitude.
Even in the 70’s before 'PC' and ‘Health and Safety’ someone would come and put a stop to it when we were playing in bare feet.

The leather slices that make up the handle have been worn slick by use and by time.
I took a chip out of the first inch of the blade, (guess how that got there!) and I started to run a ceramic file over the gnarls in the pommel, but I stopped. Every ding and scrape is the track left by a tale.

The SharpMaker worked its magic, and the blade is once again shaving sharp. The design makes for a great bushcraft knife, the back of the blade is nicely rounded where you’d want to put your thumb and the false edge up front is acute enough to makes some big sparks from the Swedish firesteel.

Thanks BoB.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

In Remembrance

Today is Remembrance Sunday when we take a pause to think of the young men who gave their lives to the wishes of their masters on the bloody fields of France in the 14-18 war, and in all the conflicts since.

I was reminded of something Chief Gene said
"I asked uncle Crow Dog how he felt about our young men dying in foreign lands and he said ‘while I don’t usually see eye to eye with the federal government these are our warriors and we must salute them and honor their sacrifice’”

J. with regard to your coming trip to Iraq – you write like Saki please make sure that’s the only similarity.

Safe Home.