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

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,



At 11:06 AM, Anonymous George Hedgepeth said...

Well, let me comment-

FLoating- my brother in law is good at this, I am not. I make hand drill fires regularly, but in a more straight-forward manner. I have never seen aboriginal people float either. It does work, and seem like an advantage if you can master it.

Traps- We will work on these a lot. The Paiute is one of my favorites. You can expect to learn AT LEAST 6 traps in the basic class.


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