What You Haven't Got, You'll Have to Improvise
I was watching Ray Mears this morning on his way to a jungle camp and he said the line above. It struck me as especially fitting as I continue to reduce what I actually need to carry with me into the woods.
This 10-item challenge is going to have to be geared toward that end. Bring items you'd have a hard time fashioning in the woods and place more value on those items which can be used to make what you don't have. A good example would be the axe.
The axe provides you with a cutting edge and a hammer. This allows you to build shelter, construct traps, and to make tools to build other items. You can even choke up on the head and use the axe for detail work and food prep.
The improvisation, I think, is one of the great challenges answered by bushcraft. By learning how primitive people solved life's mysteries we should be able to come up with solutions to our problems. Forgot your sharpening stone? Use a flat rock from a stream bed or load your belt with dirt and use it as a strop. No cordage? Make some from dogbane or split spruce roots or use thinly split pieces of basswood.
This will be my personal challenge this summer at Briar Patch. I'll be taking only my 10 items for one of George's week-long classes and I'll have to improvise those things I don't have.
Sounds like fun... :)
Thanks for reading,