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, December 17, 2010


You've just been given some homework. It's due by Christmas Day.

Play if you want to play; just give a read if you don't.

Your assignment is to make a pocketable fishing kit built around a wine cork. Make it as simple or as complex as you like but remember it's got to be something you can throw in a coat or vest pocket AND use with included or scrounged bait to land a fish.

Remember, the cork can be used as a bobber or even a top water lure if you want to get fancy.

Feel free to comment if you want to play and I'll put together a gallery of entries as they're submitted.

I'm playing too and have only the cork so far so you're not too far behind (you may even be ahead if you've thought of this before...)

Good luck and remember, Due 12/25/2010.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, December 08, 2010


So, I've had some foot problems recently and it turns out that I have plantar fasciitis which is basically tendonitis in the bottom of the foot.

I have pain when I put my feet down after a night's sleep or even after sitting for just a few minutes.

Was this partially caused or exacerbated by the new shoes? Maybe.

What I'll tell you is this:

Avoid it if you can. Take care of your feet.


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

What a Weekend!

Between the running around and the snow it has taken me until this morning to officially dig out from under the work. I'm still finishing the laundry but am otherwise all caught up. Finally!

This weekend the kids had a book fair at the local Barnes & Noble and I found this book on the shelf and decided to bring it home.

I haven't had much of a chance to read it but I have scanned over several pages and read the front and back covers.

The gist of the book is that kids who spend time outdoors are better behaved, better adjusted, and less likely to be obese or depressed.

Richard Louv, the author, (Website here), won the 2008 Audubon Medal and is the Chairman of the Children & Nature Network.

As I get into this further I'll be doing a full review.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, December 04, 2010


I don't know about a White Christmas but we're surely having a White Weekend.

The snow started falling overnight. We've got about 3" on the ground already and it's supposed to continue falling all day and into the night. We're blessed (or cursed) with Lake Effect snow so any little storm could turn into a big deal but it seems hit or miss so it's hard to judge when to be more concerned with the snowfall.

Following on yesterday's post about gear, we now know that Jake is missing his boots and his gloves are too small. Sarah has nothing to wear to go play in the snow (poor kid.)

The kids were out rolling around in the new white stuff before 7:00 and Laura asked me if she was the first kid out. I told her to stop chatting for a minute and just have a look and listen. I think we were the only two souls up and about at that hour. We hadn't even seen the snow plows yet.

I pushed a shovel around enough to see how deep the snow was while Laura tried making a few snowballs to check the consistency of the snow. It was too little and too powdery to really do much with it yet.

If we get pounded sometime this winter, we're going to make a quinze. Two years ago it was an igloo and this year we're going to do something different. We can also do the quinze without the hard blocks you need to make a good igloo.

Well, I think it's time for a cup of coffee for me and time to fire up the cast iron pans to make the kids a nice hearty breakfast to warm them up from their time in the snow.

I hope they left some for me out there. :)

Thanks for reading,


Friday, December 03, 2010

Gearing Them Up

I have always gotten "real" gear for the kids and we get sizes that'll last two years so the expense hurts a little less.

Well, it's that every other year again...

I find it strange that manufacturers make stuff for kids but some stores, both online and brick and mortar, just don't seem to carry it.

Last year was the soft shells and fleece for both kids. This year it's snow pants, long johns, and socks.

The great thing about outfitting the kids is how brutal they are on anything you put on them. We have found "waterproof" gloves that weren't. The kids have learned the value of layering and wicking materials--means more time in the snow before getting too cold.

It's the time in the field that really helps you to dial in what you want and what you need and that helps you to really focus on the bits of kit you select and spend your hard-earned money for. I found it with "52 Weeks" and the kids have found it during our hikes and during time spent "playing" outside during rain, heat, snow, and wind.

The first real snowfall of the year is in the forecast today so we'll see how much of last year's snow gear still fits and/or works by the time the sun goes down.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Jake's Ready For Adventure

I had written a rant against the Boy Scouts of America today but think I'll sit on it for a while and cool off. Instead, let's look at something a little more positive.

Jake has been my adventure buddy for three or four years already and he's only 7. If I throw some candy in my pack he's game to go pretty much anywhere.

He's got his normal load pretty well dialed in already and knows his pre-hike routine well. (It's funny that he is still working out the kinks on getting ready for school--something he does five days a week.)

In his pack, he has a fresh bladder of water, his kid PSK I put together, snacks, gloves, and that orange hat. He has his own cool orange hat but he chooses to wear the one I used when deer hunting.

Then there is his knife. Since he doesn't wear anything but sweatpants, he doesn't normally have pockets. He doesn't like carrying a knife around his neck either. That means he has a lanyard wrapped around the sheath and then he stuffs the whole thing in his pack. It's got a Fox 40 Micro and BSA Hotspark on the lanyard so he's got signaling and fire.

Today his bracelet from Joben should be in the mail and he's so excited to start wearing it. He asked me five minutes after we put in the order if it was coming that day and then again yesterday and this morning. That'll provide him with an additional source of cordage should he need it.

This may not be the most flattering picture of him but I think it does capture a moment from a hike that we'll remember for a while. :)

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Paracord Bracelets by Joben

Paracord bracelets are all the rage right now and I found a member on Bladeforums who is making them with small buckles sized to order. He's turning them out inexpensively and fast and I've got three already with five more on the way (the kids wanted them.)

Jonathan (Joben) takes a measurement of your wrist, makes the necessary adjustments, and braids up the bracelet before sending off some pictures and sticking them in the mail. I had my first order two days after I sent payment and I've been wearing one of them every day since.

The buckle is a really nice addition as I can put it on and take it off in a blink or I can just wear it 24/7 as the buckle and all components are waterproof or at least unaffected by water.

He does the cobra stitch and a few other stitches as well as using some jute twine and other types of cordage.

In a pinch, I can turn the bracelet into paracord and the inner strands with a quick flick of the knife. I think there is something like 5-6' of paracord in a bracelet.

We like them so much that I'm going to be using Jonathan to source the materials to make bracelets with the Cub Scouts next month. He'll supply pararcord, buckles, and some instructions to make tying the Cobra Stitch a bit easier.

If you want to get in touch with him to discuss your own paracord bracelet needs, drop him a note here:
and I'm sure he'll be back to you in short order.

Thanks for reading,