American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Playing with the Kids

After finishing the baldric rig (not extremely pleased with the final result) the kids and I headed out to the back yard to set up a campsite. We took a blue poly tarp, some cordage, two tent stakes, and ourselves and set about pitching a lean-to shelter.

Once the shelter was up I discussed the proper distance from the shelter to set up your fire. I've read 1m, approximately 3 feet, or one good stride. We set up logs to reflect the fire back into the shelter, harvested a "y" branch to hoist a pot support stick, and split some logs for firewood, kindling, and tinder.

We discussed a few of the plants growing in the back yard and why one is called Mayapple(left.) I got to show them both male and female plants and we even had a few premature "apples" on one of them. The other we discussed was garlic mustard (right,) an invasive plant that just refuses to be eradicated despite continuous efforts by the Forest Preserve District and local foresters.

As the sun set the mosquitoes started coming out. I was carving a toggle for later use and felt one bite me right through two shirts and I told the kids it was time to run for cover. West Nile season is upon us and getting sick is NOT an option.

If we'd been camping out we would have gotten the fire going and let some wet leaves/sticks smoke the camp a bit to keep the mossies out.

Time "in the woods" is always better with good company and my kids make up some of the best I can think of.

Thanks for reading,



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