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, November 17, 2008

Went Back Out

After rethinking the space blanket configuration I decided to pitch it with one corner attached to the tree and the three other corners tacked down to the ground. I threw a poncho inside to keep me off the wet ground and crawled inside.

There just isn't enough space under the space blanket for a six-foot tall guy to curl up and stay out of the elements. I either had my head or my feet too close to the fire for comfort (I still have my eyebrows right?) and there was the constant threat of knocking one of the pegs loose and flying the space blanket like a flag in the wind.

I gave it a go for a few hours anyway because emergency situations are rarely convenient or comfortable. Heck, I almost fell asleep a few times on the uneven hard ground despite the lack of space.

I spent some time gathering more firewood and brutalizing the First Strike by splitting branches and sticks by jamming the point into the wood and torquing side to side until I split the wood. While this isn't probably the ideal way to split wood it sure worked well and the First Strike relished the work. A bit of throwing (not very good throwing I might add) proved that the point was more than strong enough for direct impacts. Then, just to prove that the edge had sustained NO damage during all the previous testing, I decided to carve a baton and the First Strike would produce nice, long curls of wood from seasoned red oak. The edge looked like it was sustaining some damage but a quick wipe with my gloved finger showed the edge to be as pristine as it was when originally received from the guys at Fehrman Knives.

One of the distinct advantages of spending so much time in front of a campfire is the smoky smell that makes one nearly invisible to wildlife. I was under the space blanket making some noise as a spike buck came within maybe 3 feet of me. How much of that was because he was fully habituated versus how "invisible" I was is unknown but not 45 minutes later I got within six feet of a coyote. He (or she) came right along the fence line as I sat on the fence and got so close that I laughed. The coyote clearly was panicked as he/she couldn't see or smell me because I was sitting absolutely still. And then I spoke. I said, "Hi 'yote!" and he/she was OFF deeper into the woods. I heard the coyote moving around trying to flank me so I moved deeper into the woods too. After a few minutes I decided I had more wood to process and the game with the coyote was getting to the point I might find myself in trouble so I headed back for my space blanket shelter and the fire.

By this time it was full-on dark and I got the call from the kids that they were missing me so I packed up my gear, put out the fire, and stored my extra firewood under the space blanket shelter to keep it dry because the snow had started to fall and was actually beginning to accumulate on my shelter. I headed inside for a shower and some dinner and called it a night.

Another fantastic weekend day spent outside. It doesn't get much better than that.

Thanks for reading,



At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Pablo said...

Great stuff Bri.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

Thanks Pablo!

I missed the post about your injury. Sorry to hear about it.

I hope everything goes well.


At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anders said...

Sounds like a weekend well spent!
Thanks for sharing your experience.

Best regards
Anders from Sweden


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