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

Thursday, May 31, 2007


This is the night for sure. If the weather holds out I should be in for a bit of rain and some cooler temperatures.

The Mosquito Hammock is up, the insulating pad is stuffed in between the layers, and the raincoat and fleece are on board.

All that's left is to get out there and get to sleep.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Altoids Tin

As I sit here writing there's an empty Altoids Tin sitting next to me and my mind begins to wander over the many future possibilities for the tin.

Altoids Tins have been used for everything from first aid kits to survival fishing kits to radios and toys for the kids. Once upon a time the boys at JRE Industries made me an Altoids Tin sharpening kit complete with several pieces of abrasive paper and a leather strop loaded with compound.

I've used Altoids Tins in the manufacture and storage of charcloth.

Look on the Internet and see just how many people have made mini survival kits in Altoids Tins.

The possibilities are, as they say, endless.

Can you believe some people throw these things out when the mints are gone?!

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Streamlining Gear

Having something specific to plan for makes it a bit easier when it comes time for final gear selection.

Right now I'm working out the kinks in my shelter component and have found myself switching from the hammock/tarp combo I've used for years to one that is as yet unproven but seems to better fit my needs. A good idea? I won't know until after the trip(s).

The basic gear I carry in my pockets changes on a regular basis still as well. I'll add a K&M Match Case and then remove the compass I normally carry. I change my firesteel from a Scout to the smaller Boy Scout Hotspark to the much larger Army to the even larger Big Flint.

For now, the items in the picture comprise what I feel I'd like to have on my person for an extended trip into the woods. Here's a breakdown of the contents:
  • Bark River Bravo-1 in a custom JRE Industries leather rig
  • Light My Fire oak handled Army Firesteel with the handle reshaped and refinished with mineral oil
  • Light My Fire spork
  • Blaze Orange K&M match case filled with approximately 25 strike anywhere matches
  • Windmill butane lighter
  • Great Eastern Cutlery Model 73 Trapper
  • Mini prybar from County Comm
  • 100 feet of paracord (bagged to keep it clean and dry)
  • Viking Whetstone from Ragweed Forge

Everything except the knife fits snugly inside a rock climber's chalk bag which I can either clip onto my belt with a carabiner or carry baldric style with just a loop of paracord.

This will adequately cover most of my needs if I get separated from my pack while out scouting the area around the campsite and I'm comfortable being away from my pack with this gear as it puts me far ahead of where I'd be without it.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, May 28, 2007

Catching Up

I've hung my Mosquito Hammock today in place of the Eagle's Nest Outfitters Single Nest I've been using. The hammock, tarp, and bug net that I'd relied on just wasn't doing it for me and I remembered that I had the Tom Claytor hammock down in storage and that it had been an interesting piece of kit.

It took some time to get everything hanging as it's not the same setup as I've been using. It does, however, go up very easily and can be under the tarp or under the stars in a flash. I'll do more of a write up on the Mosquito Hammock in the next few days.

I've had a meal or two in the past two days so I'm starting to get back to normal but have lost 17 pounds. Now, that's not really a bad thing but it does say a lot about the value of a little extra "survival muscle."

I received my knife from Matt Lesniewski of ML Knives. Awesome. Expect a write up on this later in the week as well.

It's been a busy three day weekend but I wanted to at least get my thoughts down here before the day was over.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Making Rope with Mors

I've recently acquired several of Mors Kochanski's videos and have been watching them while I've lacked the energy to do anything else.

In his "Bush Knots" video he talks about making rope out of smaller cordage using a simple machine. I have been, all morning, searching the Internet for more resources on making rope.

Having seven strand paracord in the bush is handy not only because of the 550 pound breaking strength or 110 pound working strength but because one foot of cordage provides so many smaller strands in one neat package. Turning that paracord into rope both increases its strength and decreases the coil size required to pack the same amount of rope into the woods.

Just a thought...


Friday, May 25, 2007


Well, the doc says I've got strep throat. That puts the kibosh on my trip to New York for Marty and Aggie Simon's PEACE.

I'm sure glad that I've got a prescription now though. My throat has gotten worse over the last 24 hours and I was beginning to have a problem dealing with it.

I still haven't eating anything in three days. I must only have another 18-20 MONTHS of "survival fat" left to feed the body while I'm fighting this illness.

Anyway, my schedule wasn't going to be able to absorb any more problems in June so I'm glad to get this out of the way now rather than in the middle of the survival class.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lack of updates

Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm sick sick sick. I didn't get any sleep two nights ago and yesterday took a nap from 1:30 to 4:30 in the afternoon and then went to bed at 6pm waking up on and off until I got up this morning at 7am.

I haven't even had an opportunity to sleep in my hammock yet. I got everything treated with Permethrin to prevent the cicadas from latching on to my gear but haven't had the energy to try and climb in.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Movin' Out

Tonight's the night. I'm moving out--out of the house and into the hammock.

I've got this campout and class the second weekend of June and I haven't ever spent so many consecutive nights in the hammock before. I need to make sure that this is the shelter option I want to bring.

The weather report looks fine if not a little chilly for the next few nights and my snoring might bother a few of the neighbors but I'm excited at the prospect of sleeping under the tarp and above the ground. It'll also be a good opportunity to shake out my kit to make sure I've got everything I'll need.

Sure, I'll have the safety net of the house not 30 feet away but maybe I'll hang the hammock across the berm and over the water to avoid contact with the local coyotes and raccoons.

Wish me luck,


Monday, May 21, 2007

ML Knives: Your Knife Is Ready

Got a note this morning from Matt Lesniewski of ML Knives that my knife was finished and the sheath was under construction.

Now THAT is a quick turnaround time for a custom order. I "officially" placed my order on May 10th. That's only 11 days from start to finish on a hand-forged piece. Fantastic.

The blade is 1095 and the handle is a nice dark maple. I'll know more once I have the knife in hand but I must say I'm really liking the look of it from the picture.

I can't wait to get this one and start using it.

Thanks for reading,


PS.George, if you're reading, this one'll be in Clare in a couple of weeks so you can see it firsthand.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Relay for Life

My friend Mary does the American Cancer Society Relay for Life every year. You can read more about it, and her reasons for doing it, here.

I think it's an extremely worthwhile cause and would encourage you to visit her page and have a look around.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Paracord Baldric Work

I'm working on making a new pararcord baldric today. I've already to tape on my fingers to try and delay the onset of the massive blisters I always get when doing this kind of work.

When done, this baldric will hold some 50 feet of paracord for emergency use and I'm using plastic Fastex buckles so the entire assembly is going to be impervious to the weather.

I have to work on it on and off all day as I've got plenty on today's agenda that does not involve making a paracord baldric.

I'll try to post some pictures when it's done.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, May 18, 2007

Nuisance Animals

Uh Oh! Looks like a new batch of raccoons is moving in to my yard. I had an encounter with one last night on the deck and, as he approached, he seemed fully aware of my presence and continued to come toward me anyway.

This happens when people feed the "cute" raccoons and acclimate them to human interaction. It's much the same problem we face with our bear population. "Nuisance" animals are created by humans and then destroyed by humans when they go from "cute and cuddly" to scary and menacing.

I have a problem with this whole topic.

Several years ago I had ten raccoons living under an aggregate slab on the back of my house. It turns out the neighbor two doors up was feeding them every night and, with full bellies, they'd retire to my house. I had to get a trapping license from the state, traps from Bruce Hemming at Buckshot's Camp, and build a bucket trap to catch and dispatch them.

So it is time to build a new version of the old bucket trap and remove this animal before it becomes a problem.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Simonich Mid-Tech Kootenai

I received a gift in yesterday's mail from Christine Simonich of Simonich Knives which contained a Kootenai (pictured,) a leather sheath, a kydex sheath, and a leather sheath for a Bitterroot. There was also a very nice Thank You note included in the box.

There was a long running thread on Bladeforums a while back where I put a Simonich Salish through its paces. That knife is still going strong.

The Kootenai can look forward to a similarly good time.

I mentioned the sheaths earlier. The leather rig for this knife is simply outstanding. The fit and finish is some of the best I've seen to date (from the boys at JRE Industries or elsewhere) and the lines match those of the knife extremely well. You'll also see their designs for the Bitterroot and Crowfoot on that page.

The kydex rig is made by Sharpshooter Sheath Systems and fit and finish on it is quite good. The kydex sheath is made of a carbon fiber looking material which, I feel, is not appropriate for this particular blade but that seems a minor nitpick for an otherwise fine design. It's got a good snap, the knife doesn't rattle, and it comes with a Tek-Lock--a nice option for easy on/off.

I am currently carrying the Kootenai in the JRE leather sheath as they really seem to go together. That's not to say the kydex rig will never see use, I believe in fair and balanced testing and reporting. If I know I'm going into wet and mucky conditions the kydex just may get the job. I know in the old days guys would wear their leather sheath (as it was the only option) in all sorts of weather and they'd get wet, dirty, frozen, or worse. Those guys knew more about getting their leather rigs clean than I do...

As soon as the weather decides to cooperate I'll snap off some pictures for you. Hopefully I'll be in the woods at the time...

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Custom Kepharts

It's been a long time coming but well worth the wait.

Mike Stewart and his crew at Bark River Knife & Tool have been working on a ton of custom knives since late last week and my two custom Kephart blades (1095 instead of 12C27 on the production model) have finally been finished.

That's green canvas micarta on the left and Sambar on the right.

There'll be no modifications needed on these two knives...

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bravo-1 Mod.

Am I the only one to do this? I buy a knife because I either like the original design or because I can see some potential for the design with some slight adjustments.

Sometimes my modifications work out...and sometimes they don't.

Here you see pictured my matching pair of Bark River Bravo-1s. I ordered one and, upon receipt, asked for another just like it so I could make a slight change to the point and then make a head to head comparison. The top knife has had the point dropped approximately 2mm to where, aesthetically, I think it should be. Will the dropped point improve the performance of the knife? It's too early to tell.

I can tell you that the dropped point makes the knife look exactly as I'd hoped.

Over time I will test these knives in various ways and I'll be able to compare them to determine not whether my dropped point is better but whether it decreases the performance of the knife while increasing aesthetic appeal. I suspect it'll still do everything asked of it AND it now looks just like I want it to.

Not all mods have gone as well...we'll talk more about that tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, May 14, 2007

Ben Franklin Quote

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

I recently heard this Ben Franklin quote and it has been rattling around in my head ever since. This, writing things worth reading, has always been my goal with this blog. Doing things worth writing is important to inspire me to find things to write about.

Anyway, don't be surprised to see this quote pop up somewhere within the framework of this blog (as soon as I can figure out where to put it into the HTML.)

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers that are out there reading.

I'm spending the day with my mother at Medieval Times.

We've talked about it for years and this year we're finally going to do it.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Revisiting Primitive Skills

I've been watching Prairie Wolf's Primitive Wilderness Skills:Applied over and over the last few days (saw a clip on YouTube and had to go back and watch the whole thing.) In it, one of the participants works on starting a friction fire using a hand drill and a technique known as floating.

Floating Hand Drill:
Floating a hand drill involves moving your hands in a circular motion rather than just back and forth. On the up stroke you're pulling on the drill and on the down stroke you're pushing. This leaves your hands in a fairly constant position instead of sliding down the drill.

Wildwood Survival has an excellent description of the technique here.

The search through my primitive skills books lead me to Larry Dean Olsen's Outdoor Survival Skills for more information. I opened the book to a passage about finding part of a natural material trap trigger and the author's pursuit over the next several years to determine just how it fit into a deadfall trap.

Paiute Deadfall:
The Paiute Deadfall uses a much more sensitive trigger mechanism than the figure-4 and can, therefore, be set to catch smaller animals and/or catch other animals more often. Olsen suggests running a trapline of 100 traps which, he claims, can be set over three days of fairly constant work.

Again, I defer to the folks at Wildwood Survival for their information on the deadfall here.

I need to find more information on both of these skills and then practice, practice, and practice some more.

George and Marty, if you're reading, please add this to the list of topics I'd like to visit during the class in June.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, May 10, 2007

ML Knives

I have recently discovered Matt Lesniewski of ML Knives after seeing his blades all over the Internet and various discussion forums including Ron Hood's Hoodlums Forum and Knifeforums' Outdoor Survival Forum. I did a quick Google search yesterday and found him right at the top of the list.

I really like his blade finishes and his Woods Knife (pictured below) comes in a variety of blade configurations to suit most tastes.

I dropped him an email last night and he was very quick to respond with answers to my questions. I sent off a quick sketch this morning and, hopefully, we'll be moving forward with this project. I'll let you know how it's going as it progresses.

Check him out.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

White Box Stove?

Tinny, of Mini Bull Design recently posted a review on YouTube of the White Box Stove. I had heard nothing about this stove until I read AktoMan's blog which linked to Tinny's video.

Now, I've been able to do some research and have found the stove available on eBay for $20 US plus shipping. The stove is made out of an aluminum bottle instead of a soda can and has thicker walls which should make it a bit more robust than the run of the mill soda can stove.

I've made several soda can stoves and even own two or three from Tinny. I know what they can, and can't, handle. For a day in the woods, however, they're just about perfect. The thicker walls intrigue me and the top of the bottle is used as the inside wall which gives you a taper and, apparently, an easier way to monitor just how much fuel you've added.

Anyway, I'm going to have to do some more research and then give this stove a closer look.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Drying Meat

I've been talking for months about drying some meat to take with me into the woods and today I'm finally getting around to it.

I went to Sam's Club yesterday and bought about seven pounds of their ground beef (80% lean) that was a day from expiring and got it for a song. Normally I would bring this meat home, portion it out, and vacuum bag it with my Foodsaver before tossing it in the freezer. This keeps the meat until I'm ready to use it. I can then speed thaw it in the sink and cook it as I would fresh ground beef.

Anyway, today I'm going a different direction. I heated up my largest cast iron skillet and broke the meat into chunks. While the meat is cooking I stir it regularly with a wooden spoon to break up the big chunks and to move around the meat that gets into the pan's hot spots. This process takes about 15-20 minutes for this quantity of meat.

Once the meat is cooked I pull it from the skillet and put it through a strainer to let any extra grease drip into a pan. The drained meat is then put back into the skillet, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder, and allowed to caramelize (color) just a bit. This takes maybe 5 minutes.

The meat then goes into a sheet pan lined with paper towels and is dried off to make sure the last of the grease and water is removed before drying. Then it gets moved to a foil-lined sheet pan and placed into the oven set on its lowest setting. You can also cover the pan and set it outside where moving air and the sun will dry it in a few days. My method, in the oven, takes only a few hours but lacks some of the tradition.

If you're drying the meat outside you'll want to move it around once or twice a day to make sure the meat dries evenly. In the oven I'll move it around once an hour for the first three hours and, if needed, every two hours after that.

According to Karen Hood in Cave Cooking 3 this dried meat will last approximately one year at room temperature and indefinitely in the freezer. Fantastic stuff.

If you add tallow to the dried meat you'll have pemmican. Add potato flakes, tallow, and additional seasoning (as Karen Hood does) and you've got a ready to go stew that just takes hot water once you're set up at your campsite. I add freeze dried corn, carrots, potato flakes, and seasoning to mine and it will make another yummy stew which I can supplement with some of the new plants I've learned like the wild ginger, garlic mustard, and some of the greens.

I wish it was ready to go now!

Thanks for reading,


Monday, May 07, 2007

Plant Identification

Over the weekend I had some time to shoot pictures of the plants that are springing up in the area. I wanted to focus on those plants that seemed to be more prolific as they'll hopefully be the ones that have some edible/medicinal use. I wouldn't want to harvest anything that was growing by itself as that would wipe out any chance of that plant being more prolific in the future.

The first two of these plants I know. The last three I don't.

Garlic Mustard


George Hedgepeth of Briar Patch (see comments) says this is Wild Ginger.
According to Marty Simon of the Wilderness Learning Center this is Virginia Waterleaf. And so is the last picture.

Virginia Waterleaf, according to Marty, "...can have either a white or light purple flower. Good eating in your spring salads." How exciting to have so many edible plants right here in the yard.

Please forgive my clever captions on the last three. It's been a long weekend and this morning my brain's gone on holiday...

If you know these plants please don't hesitate to let me know and I'll edit the post to reflect a positive identification.

In the meantime, I'm going back to Marty Simon's DVD to see if I can learn some more of these plants.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Light My Fire Grilliput and Firebowl

The boys at JRE Industries are now authorized distributors of Light My Fire and Industrial Revolution products. This means that their dealers can now get you Army and Scout model firesteels, Mess Kits, ice cream making balls, and my new favorite pieces of gear, the Grilliput and Firebowl.

The kids and I spent the day outside again today enjoying the weather and trying out some more new gear. This morning was spent at REI's grand opening of their new store in Northbrook, Illinois. After spending some time in that zoo we headed for home and a more relaxed environment.

I had some fancy sausages in the refrigerator and the kids wanted some ramen noodles so I got out my silverware sorter from IKEA and loaded it with a single sheet of newspaper and topped it off with charcoal. I lit the paper and then set about assembling the Grilliput.

It still takes me a few tries to get everything in the right place but, once assembled, the unit is nice and sturdy and can easily support my 10cm billy can filled with water and the filled charcoal starter. The firebowl opens and closes much like a steamer insert or, as Laura sees it, like a flower in the Spring.

Once the coals have a nice even layer of ash on them I dump them into the firebowl. I have found that having a two-zone fire (coals stacked high on one side and almost none on the other) works best to get water boiling. It gives me a warm area on the grill on one side and a very high heat on the other. This means I can move things around to get the best type of heat.

While we were at it, I threw on a chunk of hickory just to give us some nice hardwood smoke. Laura was tasked with keeping down the flames when the hickory dried out.

We cooked our sausages and ramen, set up a small table and folding chairs, I got some drinks from the house, and we had a nice little driveway picnic while our friends and neighbors walked, jogged, rode, and drove past.

Yes, we live the good life...

I'm really impressed with both the Grilliput and the Firebowl and plan on including both of them in my daypack for future trips into the woods. I'd encourage you to talk to your dealer and have him/her get in touch with Dan or Spen through their website above to find out just how easily they can add Light My Fire and Industrial Revolution products to their lineup.

Thanks for reading,


Wiggy's Bags On Sale

All sleeping bags at Wiggy's are on sale now through June 20th.

20% off.

That's not bad. I've been wanting to get Jake a bag but held out for the next sale and now here it is.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Fox River Testing

I got into the woods for a while today. While I was out I managed to test a custom Fox River I had made by Jimmy and Steve at Bark River Knife & Tool several months ago. This knife has been used a bunch already both in the kitchen and in the woods. Today, however, was the toughest testing it has seen to date.

It was a light day for packing and my gear consisted of my basha, some cordage, a Nalgene bottle, a 10cm Zebra Billy, my Hoodoo Hone, a spork, and my Fox River. I also had the usual SwissTool on my belt and firesteel/whistle/compass/LED light in my pocket on a keychain. You can see most of the items listed in the picture.

First, I carved a digging stick with the Fox River. I dug a pit approximately 18 inches long by six inches wide by six inches deep and built my fire just above the pit. When I had some nice coals, I scraped everything into the pit and began to feed hardwood in to keep the fire going. I filled the billy with water and set it on the bed of coals. Then I used the Fox River to carve a pot lifter/fire poker.

While the coals were heating up the water I used the Fox River to cut up some weeds to clear the campsite. I got the basha pitched lean-to fashion and sat on the ground in between trips to find more wood to burn.

After digging those weeds out of the dirt I found the edge on the Fox River had been pretty well beat up and needed some attention. I used the hone (sandpaper over mouse pad) to resharpen and the knife performed flawlessly the rest of the day.

I brought a good selection of gear as I managed to use all of it on this trip.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, May 04, 2007

Oranizing an outing

Getting a group into the woods is often more difficult than going solo. The camaraderie certainly makes the group trip worthwhile and it gives a whole new dynamic to the woods.

You'll see far less wildlife in a group than you will when going solo. You'll also feel quite a bit safer when strangers enter your camp uninvited. Yes, it has happened.

Finding the right group to go into the woods is even harder than just finding a group. The chemistry among the group is, in my opinion, more important than the common goal. If you want to enjoy your time in the woods you'll heed this advice:

If a person joins the group and causes friction between two or more members of the group, that person must go. He or she will ruin the experience for all involved.

Make no ifs, ands, or buts about it. That person must no longer be welcomed nor invited on group outings. Perhaps a few weeks of solo trips will force him/her to reconsider his/her attitude...

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Leather V. Kydex (Round 2)

From the "You can't do THAT with Leather" file:
I've got a friend in Taiwan who's been making kydex sheaths for several years. Once upon a time I torture tested one of his sheaths. I dropped a sheath into a bucket of water and left it in the garage for a week. At the end of the week I pulled the sheath out, gave it a good shake, put a belt clip on it, inserted the knife, and put it on my belt.

Trying that with leather will either leave you with a very long drying time or it'll leave you with glue.


Leather v. Kydex (Round 1)

From the "You can't do THAT with Kydex" file:
Load the edge of the sheath with green stropping compound and you've got an excellent edge-maintenance kit when you're in the field. This isn't so wonderful with a pocket sheath as it tends to get everything in your pocket (and the pocket itself) coated with a fine layer of green Chromium Oxide.


Material Comparison and Contrast

My tastes have changed dramatically over the years when it comes to knives and sheaths. I was once interested in the latest and greatest super steel ground sharp(ish) and shoved into a kydex/Concealex sheath. I had no use for leather sheaths and carbon steels. They required too much care and maintenance.

Then, one day, it happened. I became a...gulp...Traditionalist.

I started to read Kephart and Nessmuk, Rustrum and Seton, even Mears and Angier...

Now I haven't completely turned my back on the knives I once found so interesting but I have certainly learned to embrace the routine maintenance that is required of my leather sheaths and carbon steel blades. I've also learned to appreciate the patina that comes with use.

Over time I'll be posting some observations pitting one material against another. I have no preconceived notions about which is "better" or "worse" as I understand each and every thing has its place. I just know how I've used the materials in the past and how I'm using the materials at present.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Taking a moment

Just want to take a moment to say hello to my grandparents in Lakeland, Florida.

I know they stop by every day and, from what I've heard, are really enjoying the blog.

Thanks for reading,


Reintroduced to some old friends

I pulled out a couple of old knives yesterday and did some work with them. One problem with the constant influx of new blades is the old users being put out to pasture. Some of these, like the BRK&T Fox River and the Aurora, get bounced in favor of a bigger blade, or a smaller blade, or a thicker blade, or a thinner blade, or a folder, or an never ends.

Fortunately these two knives have been moved back into the rotation for the time being. They're both great designs and well worth your attention. They're both comfortable to hold, take and hold a great edge, and will quickly take on the patina I'm after with proper preparation and use.

Guys like Nessmuk and Kephart had ONE knife and they used it for everything. In this case, I mean one fixed blade knife. Those knives, like a handful of old knives belonging to one of the barbers at the shop I frequent, have been there and done that (BTDT.) I have huge respect for men that can use a knife up. These knives belonged to a professional butcher and he used them until they were nothing but spines with edges. The blades had an unreal patina and heavy scratching from all the sharpening and steeling he did to them. I had the pleasure of sharpening those knives last weekend and put a wicked sharp edge on them without removing the scratches and patina that had been left there by years and years of use.

Someday I hope to have a knife like that. Maybe it'll be my Sperati...

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Going to School

Survival School that is...

Marty and Aggie Simon of The Wilderness Learning Center are co-hosting a campout June 15-16, 2007 followed by their Basic Survival course co-taught with George Hedgepeth of Briar Patch Outdoors.

George is one of Marty's instructors and he's opening up his own school in Michigan this year.

Marty also has a wild plants DVD here which I'm watching in between bouts of typing. So far I'm impressed with the content and Marty's presentation skills.

I'm getting anxious to see just how he and George work together and I'm really excited to learn what they're going to teach. If you're in the neighborhood of Clare, Michigan that weekend you should drop in and say hello. I'll bet it's going to be a darned good time.

I'm also looking into taking a class with Dave Schultz at H2GoKayaking as I'm going to be purchasing a kayak in the very near future. I have recently realized, however, that there are far more choices to make than just that I'm going to buy a kayak. I hope a class with Dave up in Wisconsin will give me the information I need to make an appropriate choice. It'll also be great fun to get out and paddle and learn the basic strokes, self rescue, and other basics of safe kayaking.

Thanks for reading,