After a full season of cyclocross racing, I finally had a weekend off and got a brilliant idea to invite Dan and Spen (of JRE Industries) to get into the woods for a little chat and hike.
Unfortunately, life has a way of getting busy this time of year and Spen had prior obligations but Dan and I pushed onward and, after a few chats, decided to meet up Sunday morning at one of the old haunts.
I brought minimal gear with an excess of steel (just like always) to show off and beat on a bit. The knives include the Survive! Knives
GSO 3.5, SK-4, and the big mama jama GSO-10.
Feathersticks and fires were the order of the day and I actually had to practice yesterday at home to make sure the rust was only on the surface. It took a bit to get the technique right but it came back quickly and was a good reminder that skills you don't lose you may
I also brought along some paraffin-dipped cotton rounds that I had made as part of an Instagram tutorial that solve all the problems I encountered in the past making dipped cotton balls. A quick strike of a firesteel on the spine of the SK-4 produced enough spark to get the firestarter going that was enough to get the feathersticks lit.
What a feeling to be able to light a fire with a single spark again…it's been a long time and I was pretty nervous about just getting out there so getting a fire going with a little preparation and minimal gear was nice. (Sure, it wasn't friction fire but that wasn't the objective today.)
Making feathersticks with the GSO 3.5 and SK-4 (the same size as Survive!'s GSO 4.1) was important but there was some play planned too as I pulled out the GSO-10 and chopped a dead branch to test my technique and the grip on the 10. It took a few swings to get it right but I quickly was popping off "slices" of the branch in single swings.
I won't take a side on the chopper versus axe debate but will say that I'm a BIG fan of these large, impractical knives regardless of weight and always have been. The GSO-10 is thinner stock than any Busse in a comparable blade length but thicker than any machetes you're likely to encounter--maybe 3/16" thick.
It chops though. It bites deep with little effort and the handle was fine for the little bit of chopping I did. It was secure in the hand, didn't jam up my pinky while working, and didn't transmit too much vibration upon impact.
Dan had a chance to use the SK-4 and the GSO-10 and I think he liked what he experienced. He also showed off his L.T. Wright Genesis
with the best orange handles I've seen and a Skeleton Key with a great story.
I was reminded of the fun we used to have out there and need to do this more often. Rest assured that I will be updating this blog as I get out there…
Maybe there'll even be a tutorial or two along the way. (I know, I've said it all before…)
Who knows, this time may be different and we'll really get this thing started again. :)
Thanks for reading,