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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Firesteel Contest

Okay, I've got my first four entries for the contest but I need six more people to make this contest a go.

To inspire you I've posted a picture of one of mine. This is a blank from JRE Industries that I drilled, cut, and tied onto some orange cordage. I'm using barrel knots on the back to keep the necklace adjustable. I used a butterfly loop to attach the firesteel to keep it from sliding while adding a bit of decoration.

Remember, the contest runs until the end of April and you can get Army-sized firesteel blanks from the JRE guys at a special price if you mention the blog and/or contest.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, March 30, 2009

Survival In The Bush

This film was brought to my attention this morning and I thought it worth sharing:

These historical films from the Canadian National Film Board (NFB) are always a real kick to watch and I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Born in 1918, she's 91 today.

The things those eyes have seen, ears have heard, and hands have done...


Happy Birthday!


April Showers Bring May Flowers

But what does March bring?


We're getting pounded right now with wet, heavy snow that's been falling since last night.

There must be 3" so far out there and more in the forecast for today.

We knew it was coming and I got a tarp lean-to put up yesterday so the kids and I would have a place to go hang out today.

I'll have some pictures up for you later today that I snapped this weekend including my new cork-handled firesteel, a finished wooden wedge, and maybe even some snow pictures.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, March 28, 2009

MSR Stainless Insulated Mug

I picked up thisMSR Insulated Mug yesterday at Erehwon and am using it this morning for my first big cup of coffee.

It holds .4L (12.5 oz) and was designed to drop into the new MSR mess kits just like the GSI kits that came out last season. The cup stands approximately 3.75" tall, 4.25" wide, and 2.5" from front to back. The cup itself is stainless made in Thailand like the rest of MSR's stainless pieces (probably at the same factory that makes the Zebra products) with a red rubberized insulator which can be removed to wash the cup in the dishwasher.

I don't have the MSR kits but thought I'd give this one a try to fit into my Trangia kit or maybe one of the larger Zebra billy cans.

It has kept my coffee warm longer than the porcelain cup I normally use and it's not imparting any foreign tastes so far.

I'm having a hard time getting used to the shape but that'll become comfortable with some use I suspect.

I think this cup paired with a spork and thermos full of hot soup, coffee, or hot chocolate would be a welcome companion while sitting in the cold woods during deer season.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, March 27, 2009

Carving Wedges

A good set of wedges helps immensely when it comes to splitting wood and making a pair couldn't be much easier.

They can be carved with your knife or shaped with your axe and used with a wooden baton or the poll of your axe if you have it. I'm making mine with a knife and will carve my baton later.

Here's what I do:

1. Find a stick, branch, or dead tree about 2.5-3" in diameter and harvest a section about 12" long.
2. Carve the ends into a wedge shape trying to keep the point in the middle
3. Cut across the grain to thicken your bevel and to refine the tip so it'll withstand more abuse before splitting.
4. Carve a notch all the way around the stick's circumference at the midpoint and deepen it until you can snap the halves apart.
5. Bevel the blunt side and make it nice and flat. This is your impact surface.

If you've got a fire going you can stick the tips under the coals to harden them but it's not imperative.

Now you can start a crack with your knife and a baton and then hammer in the first wedge. As the split opens up you insert the second wedge and continue working down the length of wood you're attempting to split.

It's effective and it'll save your edges from nails, grit, and other debris that often finds its way into the wood we harvest. Best of all, you can carry a thinner (and lighter) blade into the woods and still harvest the bigger stuff.

Thanks for reading,


EDIT: I found this video on YouTube this morning that does a pretty good job of explaining what I'm doing.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Box of Awesome 3

Box of Awesome (BOA) 3 came while we were at the hospital but it took an extra three days to get it in hand and this is what it contained. The Fallkniven F1 and RAT Cutlery RC-3 weren't in the box but somehow made the picture.

Mike at Grindstone Cutlery is a dangerous guy to know. He sells knives, makes custom sheaths, is interested in the outdoors and bushcraft skills, and is highly entertaining. A discussion can quickly turn from topic to topic with little or no warning and sometimes we even talk about knives. :)

Three Boxes of Awesome later we're still working on new ideas for knives and sheaths.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dial In Your Binoculars

This article from the latest issue of Field and Stream gives some valuable information on dialing in your binoculars to get the most out of them.

Using these tips you should be able to squeeze a bit more performance from your current optics whether you're using the high-zoot models or something more bargain basement (like me.) :)

So, give the picture a click and it should open up big enough to read.

Thanks for reading,


PS.Two entries so far in the firesteel contest. :D

Monday, March 23, 2009

Contest Time!

Okay readers, it's time for the first official American Bushman Custom Firesteel Contest!

Between now and the end of April I'd like you to consider making up a custom firesteel and sending me a picture. I'm working on a couple including one with an antler handle and one with a cork handle that I'll get finished and posted here in the next couple of days.

I'll compile all the pictures into a gallery and then we'll vote on the best firesteel at the end of next month. The winner will get, on my dime, a full custom sheath from JRE Industries. It could be for your favorite knife, axe, multi-tool, or something else.

Now, if you need a firesteel rod you can get them from Dan and Spen at JRE. Just mention the blog and they'll hook you up with a special price. ;)

Here's the rub: I want at least ten people to participate to make this interesting. So, tell your friends, mention it on the forums, write about it on your blogs. You can enter more than one firesteel but I need at least ten PEOPLE to get this thing off the ground.

Even if you don't walk away with a free full custom leather sheath you'll end up with a full custom firesteel made with your own hands and that's got to be worth something.

So, get creative...

Thanks for reading,


Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Here she is folks.

Born today, 3/20/09, at 6:53 this morning. She weighs 7 pounds 14 ounces and measures 21" long.

She and her mother are doing very well and I'm operating on about 10 minutes of sleep since yesterday morning.

Jake and Laura are just over the moon.

We are too.

I've got a new woods buddy! :)

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Time!!!

We're out of here.

See you in a couple of days. (Maybe tomorrow.)



Caught a Rat

Yesterday the kids and I ran down to JRE Industries to drop off a knife for a new sheath and picked up a RAT Cutlery RAT3 with green blade and orange handles.

The RAT3 came with a molded plastic (not kydex) sheath and several accessories that allow multiple carry options with the sheath. There was also a warranty card, instructions for the sheath attachments, and a thick plastic card with contact information for RAT Cutlery Company on the front and some survival and signaling information on the back.

Knife Specs:
1095 Steel
0.135" thick right in front of the handle slabs
3 7/8" from tip to front of handle
8.5" OAL
5.75 oz.
Orange G10 handle slabs
Approximately .513" thick at thickest part of handle

The sheath accessories include a clip plate, Chicago screws, rubber spacers, MOLLE clips, and a piece of paracord with a cord lock. This allows the user to configure the sheath to his/her preference and the numerous carry options allow you to locate the sheath on your person where it best suits you. HERE is an image from the RAT Cutlery website with the various carry options.

The knife is very thin and comfortably fits into my hand. The handle has been left fairly grippy (just the way I like 'em) and the super thin profile doesn't really lend itself to much contouring of the slabs. You can see it's rounded at the top and bottom edges but the slabs are essentially the same thickness from front to back.

I haven't used this one yet but look forward to getting it out for a little testing and evaluation. This is my first foray into RAT (Randall Adventure & Training) knives but it certainly won't be my last.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nature's Symphony

After yesterday's 70° temperatures the frogs in the wetland behind the house came out of hibernation. I had the windows open last night to enjoy their songs.

The sound, similar to the chirping of a cricket but louder, went on all night and has continued into the morning.

I don't know how many frogs are back there but it sounds like thousands.

This morning's wake-up call came in the form of chirping frogs and singing birds.

These are the things that help me feel connected with nature and lure me outside.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Make Your Own Slap Straps

While playing around with the hammock yesterday I tried something a bit different. Instead of working so much on the tarp configuration (I think I've got a workable solution there though) I played with the idea of replacing the ENO Slap Straps with some of the 4mm accessory cord I picked up for working the tarp line.

The tensile strength on this cord is somewhere north of 1000 pounds so the working load on it should be around 200 pounds on a single strand. I tied a figure 8 near the top forming a loop through which I passed the two free ends. Then I tied a half hitch every 18 inches or so giving me "loops" like the Slap Strap.

My pieces of cordage were about 15 feet long so cut that in half and then reduce a hair for the knots to come up with a strap around 6.5 feet long. These cords could be made as long or as short as you like and the weight for two of them is just ounces. Plus you can adjust the "loops" by adding or removing knots as needed.

The 4mm cordage I brought home has quite a bit of stretch in it so I've had to make a few modifications to my hanging technique and haven't gotten all the bugs worked out yet. I'm sure part of it is just that I'm a big guy but the degree of stretch in the cordage versus the webbing of the Slap Straps is significant.

If I hang my hammock at waist height with the Slap Straps I'll hang about two feet off the ground. With the cordage I hang about six inches off the ground. I haven't even done an "all-in" test yet because I'm not fully convinced that the 4mm won't stretch to failure. I've had one of those before and even an 18-inch fall onto your back/butt can be fairly shocking.

For Laura though it's perfect. There's no stretch in the cordage, she reduces the weight of her sleep system even further, and she can make the necessary adjustments by herself.

I'll continue to toy around with this setup. I think the reason I've never gone with a single solution to hanging is that there are so many viable options. I like the ridgeline but two shorter pieces of cordage are easier to pack and untangle. The shorter "straps" are more convenient for setup and takedown but I lose the consistency of a structural ridgeline.

There are trade-offs to be made...

Thanks for reading,


Monday, March 16, 2009

Hangin' Out

With the warmer weather we got out the hammocks and accessories yesterday and I had a go again at trying a structural ridgeline. I've been reading my knot books and found the Butterfly Loop which is also known as the Lineman's Loop and can be used to tie climbers together as they're traversing crevasses. If it'll take a carabiner then it should work just fine for the snap rings used on the Eagle's Nest Outfitters (ENO) hammock.

I took some measurements of the hammock and the cordage I am using (8mm rope) and made my loops at approximately 9.5 feet with extra cordage on both ends. This fixes the length and sag of the hammock so it'll hang the same way every time. That's important from the standpoint of familiarity and comfort for me as it always takes me a day or two to acclimate to my new sleeping arrangements.

Once I had the butterfly loops tied I could clip on the hammock and bundle everything up to head outside. Other than one snap ring needing to be lubed this whole process was as easy as could be.

Then I took my bundle outside, tied a simple half hitch on one end, and then tied a quick release knot on the other end. I re-worked the first knot to take out the slack and secure that end and then nervously gave the hammock a test sit. One end slipped a bit and I had to reconfigure that knot. Once it was retied though it held secure for the rest of the afternoon and the quick release knots were a breeze to untie at the end of the day.

Now you're asking yourself why someone would want a structural ridgeline on their hammock when ENO's Slap Straps are so simple and effective. I like the ridgeline because it gives me a hand hold should I need to jump up out of the hammock quickly, I can hang a light, knife, and water bottle from the ridgeline at night within easy reach, and it gives me a place to hang laundry that needs to be aired out. I can also throw a bug net over the ridgeline and secure it at both ends for a (relatively) peaceful hang later in the summer.

I'm toying around with an idea on how to pitch a tarp over the ridgeline and may have something today. The method I used to use would work just fine but it'd lay right on top of the ridgeline and take away some of the flexibility. I'm thinking about attaching one end of the tarp's ridgeline to the tree and the other to the hammock ridgeline using a taut line hitch so I can adjust it as needed.

This concept still has some kinks to work out though so I may have to go another direction before I'm through.

The 8mm rope is much too thick and heavy for this job and I'm moving down to 25 feet of 4mm rope today. Cutting the ridgeline diameter in half may put me on my backside but I suspect the thinner line is still capable of holding my weight. Some knots can reduce the working load on a line by as much as 40% but all of this climbing accessory cord seems to be ridiculously strong.

I'm an empirical guy so the best way for me to find out is simply to try it. I'll let you know tomorrow. :)

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, March 15, 2009

No News!

Sorry folks, no baby news yet.

We're now D(elivery) Day + 2 and counting...

I'm going to be keeping my head down, my mouth shut, and treading as lightly as possible around the house. :)

The weather has turned this weekend and we had enough warmth today to pull out the hammocks and try a few things. I'll be writing more about that tomorrow. I'm working on a new hang and it's going very well so far and may be my preferred method this season.

If you're going to camp, this is the time to get out there. It's chilly at night but there's NO BUGS during the day so you can tent/bivy/hammock without a bug net.

See you tomorrow,


Friday, March 13, 2009

Broken In or Broken Down

I've got this pair of boots that I've worn very nearly every day for the past two or three years. Sure there have been the days I didn't wear shoes at all but most of the rest of the time I wore these boots.

Now they're really comfortable and well broken in. I do everything I can to maintain them from brushing them clean to treating them with SnoSeal a couple of times a year as needed. They're still going to go from broken in to broken down one of these days and they'll need to be replaced.

They've got Vibram soles which can be replaced and the leather's still in pretty good condition but how much longer are they going to resist the icy cold water I seem to find myself crossing this time of year?

So, the question is, how long can I make these boots last? And when should I think about getting a replacement to start breaking them in?

It's always a sad day when I have to retire a piece of gear but I think retiring a good pair of boots may be the saddest...

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, March 12, 2009

If You Didn't Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat

I've been racing to finish Bill Heavey's book If You Didn't Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat: Misadventures in Hunting, Fishing, and the Wilds of Suburbia before the baby's Friday due date and it's been a highly entertaining read and the short stories really fit into my busy lifestyle.

Heavey has been a writer for Field & Stream for many years and his stories paint him as a truly unorthodox outdoorsman who sometimes has bouts of insanity (like the time he snuck out of the hunting lodge hours before sun-up only to realize he'd forgotten his pants back on his sleeping bag) with massive successes (like the two day Alaskan hunt that saw him bag a 300+ pound caribou.)

He writes about hunting, fishing, knives, spending time outdoors with his daughter Emma, and the seeming genetic directive to acquire the latest camo patterns and newest gear every season. You can see why I might find his writing particularly entertaining.

The book's cover price of $14 is more than reasonable and it looks like you can get the paperback at for slightly less. This book, like From a Wooden Canoe is good enough that I'll pass it around when I'm finished. I know of at least two people who'll get a kick out of Heavey's stories.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Flea posted a slow cooker pulled pork recipe the other day and it has motivated me to run up to Bass Pro Shops today to pick up one of their larger cookers.

I don't really do much with the slow cooker but as my life gets busier and it gets harder to put dinner on the table on time this might be an avenue to explore.

I think I'd probably dry rub my pork shoulder before putting it in the slow cooker but this recipe seems so simple I may just try it as written.

Since I'm going up there anyway, I think maybe I'll call ahead and reserve a lane at the range and do some shooting if I can find some ammo. Last time I was up there there was simply no ammo to be had for my guns. I had reserved the lane for an hour and shot everything I brought in about 35 minutes. Maybe it'll take me two phone calls then...

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Custom Scale Division

Have you got a favorite pocket knife that's just getting a bit run down or that just doesn't excite you like it once did?

Well maybe you should give the boys at Custom Scale Division a look. Most of their site is in German but they're adding English translation just about as quickly as I can follow the links.

They're doing custom scales for some popular folding knives including the Benchmade Griptilians, Strider SnGs and SMFs, Spydercos, and even the venerable Swiss Army Knife (SAK.) Materials range from exotic woods to synthetics like micarta, carbon fiber, and G10.

I've been talking with Luke at CusCaDi for the past couple of days and he informs me that they're a small family-run operation trying, "to fulfill the wishes of knife enthusiasts all over the world." That seems like a noble goal to me.

I like the idea of a "face lift" for a faithful old pocket knife and Luke assures me that they're expanding their product line all the time adding new models and new materials. There's even a chance we'll see some blaze orange G10 in the not-too-distant future.

They also make a glow in the dark backspacer for the Griptilian (and possibly other models) which you can see on their gallery page.

So if you're in the market for a new pocket knife (like me) but maybe you aren't ready to let go of your old pocket knife this could be a great option. New slabs and a custom backspacer would go a long way to making the old and familiar seem new again.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, March 09, 2009

Ultimate Survival Technologies Sparkie (Part 2)

I know there's been an awful lot of talk about firestarting and firesteels here of late but it just happens to be the subject on my mind at the moment. Here's a video I shot on how I use WetFire Tinder and the new Sparkie from Ultimate Survival Technologies (UST.)

In a nutshell, I crush the cube of WetFire with my thumb before opening the wrapper. This gives me much greater surface area and the smaller bits easily ignite with a spark from the firesteel. Sparkie can be used one handed while pushing down toward the tinder or you can hold it above your tinder and drive the firesteel rod past the striker using your thumb or index finger.

After a couple of strikes I found Sparkie got a little gummed up but a quick rinse and shake dry fixed that problem and now it's working as good as new and maybe even better because I've removed the protective coating on the firesteel.

I also found out what it takes to make WetFire stop working before it's all used up. After the video was shot I put out the tinder cube and scraped the remaining tinder into a pile. Then I left it. It rained non-stop all weekend and that tinder was soaking wet by the time I came out late on Sunday morning. High winds had also blown a good bit of it away to points beyond. Three days of rain on partially-burned WetFire will keep it from igniting. If you use a partial cube to get your fire started though you can wrap up the remainder in the mylar wrapper and keep it for weeks (if not months) and it'll still light as easily as it did the first time out.

Today I'm working on yet another fire-related project. I'll have more to share tomorrow...

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Bushbaby Pictures and Survival Forums

The knife I described yesterday is actually being called the Bushbaby and there are comparison pictures here.

While looking at the pictures I realized that this is a discussion forum I haven't been on before. looks to be a fairly new forum but there's already plenty of discussion going on. Subforums run the gamut from the Wilderness Learning Center's survival education forum to manufacturer sponsored forums including one run by the boys at JRE Industries.

There are forums on survival fitness, firearms, economic survival, and much more. It's going to take me some time to dig into the posts but it looks like a good group of folks (familiar names from other forums) contributing so the quality of discussion should be quite good.

Stop on over if you've got an opportunity and give it a look. I'm headed back over there now to continue digging around.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Blind Horse Knives Bushcrafter Mini

I visited JRE Industries yesterday to pick up some gear and talked with Spen for a bit about what's new. One of the things I can tell you about is a new, smaller version of the Blind Horse Knives (BHK) Bushcrafter which I'll simply call the Bushcrafter Mini.

It's made of the same materials as the larger Bushcrafter but reduced proportionately in size. Now it's more of a three-finger knife but the sample they had at the shop was ridiculously sharp and the spine was nicely squared and threw massive sparks from a firesteel.

I didn't take any measurements or pictures (too much top secret stuff going on in the shop right now) but I suspect it'll be up on BHK's website soon. I'll put in a call to L.T. and Dan to find out what, if any, additional information I can give you.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, March 06, 2009

Ultimate Survival Technologies Sparkie

I received a box from Ultimate Survival Technologies (UST) yesterday. It contained the three items pictured at left. One boxed Sparkie firestarter, one blister packed Sparkie firestarter with WetFire Tinder, and one box of WetFire Tinder.

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of the WetFire tinder for use in all conditions and I was sorely disappointed when I heard the company that made it was going under. Fortunately the company has changed hands and WetFire, along with the other Ultimate Survival items, are being made once more.

The Sparkie is UST's newest firestarter and takes everything that made the BlastMatch great and made it smaller, lighter, and easier to use. Sparkie weighs in at a svelte 0.8 ounces, is approximately 1.25" wide, is 2.25" long when closed, and 3.75" long when opened. It's still operable with just one hand and now has a rod protector to help reinforce the smaller-diameter ferrocerium rod.

You can see the size difference from the BlastMatch and Sparkie both open and closed:

To deploy Sparkie you simply push on the textured section of the rubberized handle and the rod pops out. The built-in striker is fully contained within the handle. Sparkie's rod is comparable to the Light My Fire Scout in diameter and the rod support arm is intended to prevent snapping of the rod during use. It (the support) should also assist the user in striking at the optimal angle somewhere close to 90°.

There's a lanyard hole molded into the handle and Sparkie is much more "pocketable" than the BlastMatch but it's still too big for key ring carry. It will, however, easily fit into an Altoid's tin which opens up all sorts of options for a compact personal survival kit (PSK.) With a little bit of manipulation you can actually fit Sparkie into the tin the short way opening up more room for other kit components.

I'm looking forward to getting out and giving this a test later today. I'll try to shoot a video showing how I like to use the WetFire tinder as well. It's an easy technique that can also be done one-handed.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Briar Patch Herbal Preparations Class

I got an email from George yesterday about a class he's hosting on April 25th and wanted to share that with you.

Herbal Preparations Class

Saturday, April 25 2009

Spring is getting close and it is time to get the class season started! In a joint venture between The Mustard Seed, a really neat alternative health and herb store, and Briar Patch Outdoors, Angela Abraham and George Hedgepeth will be presenting a class on the use and manufacture of herbal preparations. We will make salve, balms, tinctures, decoctions, infusions, and other preparations of wild and garden herbs for specific health needs.

Each student will leave with several completed herbal preparations, extensive information packets, and additional preparations to be finished at home. We will provide a guide to supplies, and a bibliography of recommended texts. We will take a short field trip to see early spring herbs in their natural settings, and will gather some for use in the class. Snacks and drinks made from natural and locally gathered plants will be provided throughout the program.

It will be held at The Mustard Seed in Shelbyville Michigan. This is between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, at exit 59 off of US-131. The store is located just east of the highway, at 948 124th Ave. The class will run between 1 pm and 5 pm, and costs $40 per student. Contact The Mustard Seed for information or to register. Angela can be reached days at (269) 672-9880.

So, for those of you (us) in the Midwest with some time available in late April this would be a fantastic opportunity to learn some valuable information about healing herbs and their practical applications from some very knowledgeable folks.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Pocketknife

I want a new pocketknife.

I've been carrying the same Victorinox Farmer for a long, long time and, even though I love it, I'm growing tired of (bored with) it. It's so reliable and useful and...constant.

I have plenty of other knives (as you all know) but nothing is really floating my boat right now. I'd like to carry a Spyderco but don't have a real strong feeling one way or the other for their models other than the Rocklobster which isn't even out yet.

The Farmer is just hard to beat because it's more than just a knife. It's also got the saw which I use for striking firesteels, the cap lifter I use for opening bottles of beer and soda, and the can opener has that tiny Phillips screwdriver which gets used more that I'd think.

Now I can cover all the "tool" aspects of the Farmer with the SwissTool I carry every day so I can move to a pure knife but there's just something so pocket-able about the Farmer and so benign to folks around us because it's "just a Swiss Army Knife" that I'm finding hard to beat.

It'd be nice to find something lefty-friendly but that usually makes the search much more difficult.

Any recommendations?



Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Life Gear Glow Stick

I picked up three Life Gear Glow Sticks at REI on Sunday (orange, blue, and green) for some testing after giving them an initial once-over at the store. They come in orange, blue, green, and red but my local REI only had these three colors on the shelf.

The glow sticks run on three watch-type batteries and claim to run 200 hours before needing replacement. The LEDs will probably outlast the lights if Jake and Laura's past history is any indication.

These sticks/flashlights have three modes:

1.LED Flashlight
2.Glow Stick

plus OFF and there's a whistle at the end.

The sticks put off enough light in glow mode to read in a dark room but I don't think you'd want to read for very long at that level. The flashlight puts off a fair amount of light (less than a Photon Microlight II but more than a Maglite Solitaire) and plenty for a late night maneuver through the house.

The whistle is loud and, while not on the same level as the Fox 40 Micro, plenty loud enough to chase off an over curious coyote or annoy a boogie man.

The kids have really enjoyed playing with the glow sticks so far and I hope they can keep the lights unbroken long enough for us to test battery life.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, March 02, 2009

Briar Patch Schedule Posted!

George has posted the 2009 Summer Class Schedule and it looks pretty good to me.

With the new baby I'm only going to get one shot at a week-long course so I've just blocked my schedule for the week of the Basic Survival course. Then I can go back next summer for Advanced Survival and, if I play my cards right, another time through the Primitive Skills course.

I'd love to get some of you out there to join me at the class.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Day Out Sure Beats A Day In

I dropped the kids off at a neighbor's house today to play and then went for a little walk before heading home. It was 18° with a nice stiff wind and a few snowflakes in the air but it was still nice enough to stay out for a bit.

I walked the neighborhood and took a look at our retention pond to make sure that there are no signs of goose nests and to see what kind of work we'd be responsible for later this year. Aside from some cleanup the pond looks good. I even found a small bass (dead unfortunately) on the water's edge. I don't know where he came from or how he got in our pond but I'm happy with any aquatic life that decides to visit our little body of water.

There wasn't anything else of note out there but hearing the sounds and smelling the smells and seeing the sights was a welcome break from the recent glut of days spent working in front of the computer.

See you tomorrow,