The Story of Cedar

Cedar has a long  time history. From a more contemporary standpoint, cedar is used to make chests to protect woolen garments and blankets, though it has been used in times past for that as well.

To Native Americans, cedar, where available, was used for other things. In this Documentary, Phil Ives does an excellent job of showing how the Cowichan Indians made cedar hats. It includes a walkabout with an elder who takes along a group of onlookers to collect cedar bark in long strips straight off the tree. In my opinion, this part of the video alone is worth the entire piece. From there the video moves on to cleaning the bark and finally weaving it.

The video is … Read More

Fire, Preps and the true Oregon Story

The county of Klamath Falls, Oregon, has been hit by wild fires burning hundreds of homes to ash. The area known as mocasin hills estates was hit hard. It is known as an area with lots of preppers and survivalists.

Many, it seems, lost it all; food stocks, weapons, seed, and other important gear. They did not have the means to get gear out. The fires were fast moving, so that left little time to bug out.

Going on ten years now, I consulted with a few families in the area on preps and all the other gear for their families. The other night, I had a late night call from two of the families. I’m glad to report they … Read More

Becoming Wild and Go Wild

My quest for information on a feral woodsman lifestyle has led me down many paths. From websites to Youtube to books, interviews and secondhand stories

Today I am covering a few books I have unearthed. These are two of the best in my opinion. I have read books on hermits, loners and misfits, books on being in the wilderness alone or in groups. The wide personalities and myriad, all over the world, places is astounding. Some are just sad, some are heartwarming, some are because of circumstance,or accidental.

The best are on purpose and planned. in the book “Becoming Wild ” living the primitive life on a west coast island, by Nikki Van Schyndel is one who planned and schemed … Read More

Ferro Rod vs. Bic Lighter

IMG_3495This article grew out of a post I started on Dirttime.com and Facebook as a way to summarize and discuss some thoughts and findings on the often hotly debated topic of ferro (ferrocerium) rods, versus lighters— Bic during quick research.

It has been a commonly held belief the ferro rod is superior than a Bic lighter, because:

  • A ferro rod will not run out of fuel like a lighter will
  • A ferro rod is not affected by altitude like a lighter is
  • A ferro rod is not susceptible to a very cold temperature like a lighter is
  • A ferro rod uses gross motor skills (this is partially correct and is dependent on the size of the ferro rod)
  • A ferro
Read More

Fixed Blade Knife Comparison

Knives ComparedI always find interesting knife comparisons, especially those that involve Moras stacked up against their more expensive competitions…

Here is a great article from one of my favorite blogs

I’ve noticed that my requirements for a fixed blade knife have changed over the years as my backpacking, hiking, and bushcraft skills have developed.  I won’t be getting into a debate here about fixed blade versus folding knives.  I have both and love them equally for different reasons. What I will be doing is comparing my three favorite fixed blade knives and describing their good and bad points based on my usage and general observations.

The three knives I’ll be looking at represent a good cross section of price, ranging Read More

RX When You’re Lost

 

I remember the first time I got lost in the woods. I was sixteen and finally old enough to drive. While other girls my age may have headed straight for the mall, I headed to an area in the mountains my father often took us to camp and fish. Instead of heading into the valley I was familiar with, I parked near the top of a ridge and hiked out across an old clear cut with no destination in mind. I followed a game trail on into the woods on the far side and kept going, enjoying the freedom of being on my own without regard for where I was.

As you can guess, after a while I snapped … Read More

The Emergency Blanket

The ubiquitous mylar emergency blanket has been a main stay of many survival kits for many years. On the surface, the idea is to wrap yourself in it and it will help get you through a cold night. But the devil is in the details and not addressing one critical detail can bring more harm than good.

Many moons ago (years), I was travelling extensively for survival related reasons. Determined to reduce my pack load even more, I decided to use an emergency blanket, in lieu of carrying a sleeping bag. So, for an entire year, I traveled around, from the Cascades in Washington to lowlands of Texas and many places between, using an emergency blanket. In the beginning I Read More

Tent Stakes

Wooden_stake_holding_guy_ropeTent stakes, seems like such a simple thing, even on the mundane side and not a big deal. Yet is one of the items that seem to get over looked until you are at the camping site. When that happens a lot of cussing goes with it. Mostly they are those little wire jobs that can’t or won’t stay in the ground, or if the ground is hard and rocky, they bend like the cheap crap they are. Or you get it in the ground and a decent wind kicks up and pulls the stakes out with the first puff, and there goes your tent. Or my favorite, you trip over one of the guy ropes and pull it out.… Read More

DIY Air Conditioner

I know this really isn’t outdoor related. But if you prefer to stay indoors and read outdoor related stuff, while escaping the heat, here is a cool inexpensive portable DIY air conditioner you can make.

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If you don’t have air conditioning, you really don’t have to spend a fortune to cool yourself during the hot summer months. You can make your own portable air conditioner that will perfectly cool any room that you are in at the time.

This little gem costs only about $8 and will really lower the temps in any room. Plus, it only takes about 10 minutes to build from start to finish.

You will need to pick up a Styrofoam cooler, which you Read More

Smokeless Campfire

Okay the title is a bit of a misnomer for what I am going to write, but you’ll see what I mean.

I watched this video and it reminded me of the funny occurrence that happened at Dirttime, campfire smoke following people. This wasn’t localized to just this one event. It happens all the time. It’s just that this incident was more recent in memory.

It was entertaining to see people run around the campfire attempting to avoid the smoke accompanied by comments from them. “Smoke is attracted to good looking people” was one of the recurring mantras as folks dashed about. No matter what people did, the smoke seemed to shift directions and follow them. Truly it was funny.… Read More