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

Monday, August 28, 2006

Woods Time

Finally got back into the woods yesterday. Even better than getting into the woods was my daughter asking if she could come along.

We hit the gym in the morning, came home and threw some gear into the pack, got dressed, and headed out the door. She was so excited about the hike that she promptly fell asleep in her car seat.

The weather was cool but humid and it ended up being a pretty nice day to get out.

The hiking trail has been well maintained so Laura led the way. On the way to our site we found plenty of animal sign and even had an opportunity to scare up a coyote who was out and about in the middle of the day.

We set up near a stream under the shade of some old trees. Spen pitched a tarp and hung his hammock while I laid out Laura's area and Dan quickly set to brewing up a cup of tea. It's nice to be so industrious and to be comfortable with the steps required to establish a campsite.

Once we were settled in the knifework began. Dan and Spen brought out some new prototypes from Bark River Knife and Tool and I brought out my new Fallkniven F1. Once I laid hands on the proto the F1, I'm afraid, sat on my pack for the remainder of the day.

Spen setting up his tarp and hammock
Dan's pack, Laura's pack, and the space blanket where she would sit and relax
Showing Laura that it's fairly simple to start a one-match fire once you've mastered spark-based firemaking.
Using the new proto to flatten the back of a hearth board for some fireplow practice
You can't really see it in the picture here but we got smoke pretty quickly using the fireplow. Unfortunately, I ran out of steam before I got an ember. This is an excellent way to burn some calories though.
Dan made some curls with the proto for a fuzz stick. That'd burn with a single match.
Last, but certainly not least, my best hiking buddy. Sorry guys, she's got you all beat. She's tough, she's funny, she's cute as a button, and she's just as happy playing with bugs as she is with Barbie.

This was a great outing. We practiced lots of skills, we relaxed, we didn't melt in the heat or humidity, we talked, we laughed... In short, we did all the things that make bushcraft, woodsbumming, or camping so enjoyable. The sounds of nature all around us, the smell of woodsmoke in the air, the feel of a knife in the all combines to make one heck of a memorable experience.

Thank you to those who went with me and thanks to the rest of you for experiencing it vicariously through us. I hope I've done a respectable job of telling the story.



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