Holy cow is this a tough knife!
G10 handle slabs
Paul Bos Heat Treat
My convex edge
Here's a thread on Bladeforums where I've been testing this knife for over a year.
"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin
Holy cow is this a tough knife!
The knives I took with me this weekend varied a bit from the original plan so the Aurora didn't get any work. The PSK knife, however, did get some attention and I have to say I'm generally pleased with the knife.
There's something about strapping on a knife, loading up a pack, and heading for the woods. It's manly.
Today and/or tomorrow I'm going to be doing some extensive testing of both the Bark River Aurora and PSK knife.
My desktop crashed a couple of days ago. As a former professional computer geek I considered it a minor inconvenience. Now it looks as if it is a much more significant problem.
Collect as much dry wood as you can while the sun is up.
The title is, of course, a quote by Mark Twain and could be applicable to the status of Survival, Inc.
The NRA Store is selling a Personal Survival Kit for $15.95US. This kit, assembled by Survival, Inc., contains a BlastMatch Firestarter, StarFlash Signal Mirror, two WetFire Tinder Cubes, and a JetScream Whistle. The container appears to be an Otterbox 2000 and will withstand abuse you and I are unlikely to withstand.
It was windy but dry and the temperature was in the 30s before the sun went down and dropped steadily after. I was wearing a Coolmax T-shirt, a button down shirt, and the Swanndri Ranger as my insulative layer. I wore a Wigwam Thermax hat, cotton pants (yeah, I know,) wool socks, and nylon and leather ultralight hikers.
I got a late start yesterday due to various reasons but I did finally get into the woods and I did manage to shake out one of the many bags I've got loaded up around here. I made a few last minute additions to the kit which included fresh water in the hydration bladder (2L) and a chunk of Swiss Cheese I picked up at the store.
This weekend I'm going to be trying out one of my many kits to see just how it'd work if it was the one bag I grabbed as I ran out the door.
Wow! 200 Posts.
Last night I was reading Pablo's blog here and his picture with the Trangia in the middle got me thinking...
Over the weekend I went down to the city for a 5K race my wife was running. We went with another couple and another friend. On the walk to the starting line one of the women fell on some rough sidewalk and managed to tear open both of her hands at the lower palm. My wife, her husband, and the friend were many paces in front of us and focused on the job ahead.
|Frequently, when I stopped, I'd look around and see something interesting. Here's a perfect example. I stopped for a drink of water and, as I reached for my bottle, this Red Tailed Hawk feather just popped out from the leaves. I did move a piece of dead grass to get the picture but the image is otherwise composed as it was when I first saw it.|
|You can see some of the scrapes left by the buck I encountered. There were other signs in the area but I'm not certain they were all made by the same buck I saw on Sunday.|
|Here's another example. This bark is completely shredded and would make excellent tinder to get a fire going should one be needed. This particular tree was found earlier in the day and may well be outside the range of the buck I spotted. The height of the scrape is also a bit higher and the length of the scrape overall is longer.|
It is wholly possible that there is another more mature buck roaming through The Sanctuary that I didn't see. They don't get to be as big as the one I saw without being a bit shy and/or wary of people.
|One more shot of the big boy. I can hardly believe that I saw a buck in The Sanctuary let alone got two pictures of him before he spooked and ran.|
|Having the river nearby is always comforting. Should I run out of water, I have the gear necessary to boil and/or chemically purify enough water tto get me home. I have yet to find someone with the EPA who would be bold enough to take a drink of purified water from the river at this point however.|
|It is not uncommon to see two saplings grow together to form one larger tree. Seeing three trees of two different species, however, is. This is a black cherry in between two maples if I remember correctly.|
|The forest preserve was once private property (as recently as the 1970s) so finding an abandoned cabin on the property wasn't such a surprise. Finding it in such good condition was though.|
It was getting dark so I didn't spend much time exploring the old cabin. That's an adventure best saved for another day...
|Black Cherry bark to add to my tree bark photo album.|
October has been a good month for tree identification. The changing leaves add a facet to species identification as certain members of a tree family change different colors in the fall.
|Lo and behold, on the way out of the woods I find an old dried mullein stalk. Mullein used to grow here in vast quantities but in just the past few months the Forest Preserve District, in conjunction with the National Audubon Society, have ripped much of the flora from the forest preserves and replanted the areas with once-native grasses.|
Mullein stalks can be used in primitive firemaking but I suspect they'd miss this one if I harvested it as it appeared to be the only example left in the field.
|I think this picture does a good job of summing up the current state of the woods.|
This weekend I decided to hike to my hike. The local woods are about 1.5-2 miles from my house and the extra bit of exercise would be good for me. I loaded up some very basic gear, grabbed a bottle of water and my hiking stick, and headed out. Along the way I spent some time investigating the woods along the bank of the river. I also have long wondered about a section of woodland I pass every day taking the kids to school.
Is it really Friday the 13th?!
Our first temperatures in the 30s and it is 30 degrees. We're under a Freeze Warning from The Weather Channel with a chance of flurries today. That's right--snow.
Survival, Inc. the makers of WetFire Tinder and many other outdoor/survival products...
Ultimate Survival WetFire Tinder comes in a box of 8 squares for around $6. This tinder feels paraffin based but I've never seen an ingredient list so can't be certain.
For the second Monday in a row the kids have been off from school. So, we headed to the local woods for a day out.
|Jake would like to take a minute to guide you around our shelter. "This," he says, "is the zipper that opens up the back wall."|
|Eating inside the shelter IS allowed here and Jake is a big fan of the baked potato chip.|
|Laura shows that despite the cooler weather and slight breeze one can always remain fashionable when enjoying the outdoors.|
|Notice the Brunton compass hanging around Laura's neck. She's beginning to work on her land navigation skills and neede her own compass. For the money, this model (the 9040) really fits the bill.|
|Here she is working her way along the scrub line calling out where the arrow is pointing.|
|While Laura worked on her navigational skills, Jake took a few minutes to just sit and enjoy the moment.|
|And then they were off and running once again. This time it was chasing a small yellow butterfly back and forth across the field.|
|Jake learning that even though the nights are cool bees will still be active when the sun comes out and it warms up a bit.|
|Ah, we've been at this for a few hours and it's time to relax for a while in the hammock. From the way Jake's looking at his sister here, I may be in the market for a new hammock soon.|
|If your pants are too big and your sister has taken off your belt it may not be the best idea to try and crawl into a hammock unassisted. If you try it you may end up pantsed.|
We managed to get some woods time yesterday and I had the pleasure of working with the Bark River Knife and Tool Aurora Prototype. The knife will come with a JRE Industries sheath and will be made of A2 fully convexed by the crew in Escanaba. The handle slabs are contoured and the handle falls right in to the "not too big, not too small" category. I found it fit my normal-sized hands as well as it fit Dan's big mitts.
Yesterday I spent most of the day in the woods.
I've been knapping flint.
Apple season is upon us. If you happen to find yourself in the woods next to an apple tree (it has happened) keep this recipe in mind to make some mouth-watering applesauce in your Trangia with a little sugar from your brew kit and a little water from your canteen. The lemon juice is really just to keep the apples from coloring so don't worry too much if you don't normally hike with a fresh lemon in your pack.
The kids and I went for a picnic yesterday as both of them were off from school. We took a shelter, blanket, one folding kiddie chair, and a cooler full of food (i.e. sandwiches, chips, crackers, Skittles, and drinks.)
Pablo's got an interesting post on tracking and the use of the tracking stick HERE.
Yesterday, the whole family went apple picking with some friends and we had a blast.