I want to start out with a couple of thoughts on this section of the website. First, many of the concepts listed here are not new, or anything profound. They can be found in any half-way decent book on bushcraft. My whole reason for wanting to re-create the information is because of the presentation. As much as possible, I plan on using videos to demonstrate the techniques. To look a diagram in a book and visualize it working is one thing. Actually seeing it happen is totally another. With that in mind, I will try to cite references for the different techniques when appropriate.
Second, I wanted to comment a bit about bushcraft and its environmental impact. I am going to start that with a quote from one of my idols, Ray Mears; “Because I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills it may seem as if we are consuming natural resources, but of course the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, and the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of bushcraft.”
That pretty much sums up my feelings on the topic, but let’s take that one step further. It is undeniable that man takes more from the earth than he gives back. It is a unfortunate truth of our modern lives and is not sustainable. That type of non-sustainable existence will have to end one day either through our own willful actions, or situations that will be forced upon us. Bushcraft can seem destructive because in order to perform your task at hand, you are personally witnessing the TOTAL impact to the earth from your actions. The same is not true when you buy a chrome plated, Chinese-made hot dog stick. At first glance it appears the ecological choice. But, do you really consider the aspects that went into the production of that hot dog stick? The raw materials, the process of acquiring those materials, the manufacturing process and energy required, and finally the transportation involved in getting the product to you. In this case, the destruction to the earth is “out of sight, out of mind,” as the saying goes. In the end, it is a many faceted argument, and the final choice is a personal one.
The reason for the this long disclaimer is to warn you that if you think carving a green stick is not appropriate to accomplish every day tasks, then a website such as this one is one that you should not be visiting. Comments and criticism will be gladly taken, but I am not going to allow comments regarding mis-understanding of environmental issues.
Below is an outline on the techniques I plan on providing material for. As the content becomes available, the individual item will become a hyperlink.
- Chopping small wood
- Ferro rod technique and starting
- Natural tinders
- Fire with only ax, firesteel and log (no tinder here…..)
- Bend cutting
- Traditional notches
- Hook notches
- Complex notches
- Use of tree forks
- Making points
Putting basic techniques together to make:
- Pot stick
- H bar crane
- Adjustable crane
Map and Compass Techniques