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, October 28, 2011

I Smell A Project

I've played with the idea of making a custom machete for a couple of years now and it just never went anywhere. Then the market for custom machetes really took off and now you can spend as much as you'd like on them and get some real dandy pieces.

Well, I don't want to spend much and I already have several machetes so it's time to take one of them and do the work on it myself.

What I've got here (pardon the terrible, blurry picture) is an Ontario 12" Cutlass Machete that has been stripped (Bar Keeper's Friend and a Scotchbrite pad work wonders) and the handles have been removed. It has been sharpened over and over and there is a bit of a recurve at the plunge line but I'm going to see if I can't clean that up.

Now, as to what I'm going to do...

I don't know yet. I've got my Sharpie and I'm ready to start drawing.

I've got a piece of apple wood sitting here that may be destined for life as a handle. I'm looking at maybe a more traditional parang style handle if I can figure out how best to attach it to the existing tang.

I'll make sure you get a chance to see where I'm going with this one once it's underway.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Looking for an easy and healthy fireside breakfast?

How about a cup of good old oatmeal?

It's easy to prepare, travels well, can be made many different ways, and really sticks to your ribs.

I like to use Quaker Old Fashioned Oats over instant.

Here's the basic recipe:

1c Water
1/2c Old Fashioned Oats
Pinch of salt

Combine everything in your cup and bring it to a boil for 5 minutes.



See how easy that is?

If you want chewier oats, don't add them until the water is boiling and then follow the recipe.

Add dried fruit during cooking or fresh after for an additional nutritional boost. Add sugar or maple (or birch) syrup for added sweetness.

This morning I've added some dried blueberries to my oatmeal for their antioxidants and because they taste good. :)

With a 5 minute cook time, you can make these over the coals, a Trangia stove, any other fuel stove, or even the cooktop. You could even make up a cup before bed time to fire up the engine to help you sleep a bit warmer.

Now I burned a bit in the bottom of my canteen cup so I'll be scrubbing a bit more during the clean up but it's easily avoided so it won't ruin the taste of your breakfast. I should've stirred it more often but was getting one kid on the bus and another one ready to go so it didn't get my full attention today.

Bon Appetit!

Thanks for reading,


Monday, October 24, 2011

Press the "Reset" Button

For a very long time, I've done less with more and it's time for a change.

I've been playing with some of my oldest gear in the past few days and I'm thinking about changing it up for the sake of change and to show that I can still do it with some minimal, inexpensive gear.

Will that draw me out? I don't know for sure but a change could have a positive impact while doing nothing surely will lead to more of the same...silence, the occasional post, and little else.

I need to hunt, I need to hike, and I need to camp.

I got a couple of wool blankets from Robert at The Canteen Shop today along with some other gear and it got me thinking about walking away from my synthetics and ultra-lightweight gear for a while just to prove something to myself.

My plan is to cut the cost of items to a minimum with a couple of notable exceptions--cutlery related.

Come along with me and let's see how it goes...

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stinky Wool Blankets? A Tip!

I got a couple of those Italian Military Surplus wool blankets off the Internet and, when they arrived, they smelled so bad that they made my eyes water before I even opened the box.

I aired them out on the front porch for a couple of days. Then I aired them out on the back porch for another couple of days. They still smelled pretty horrible.

Before I washed them and embedded that naptha smell into the washer and dryer for weeks, I tried one more trick I had read on the Internet and it seems like it's working.

I got a big trash bag and some dryer sheets and tossed the blankets in the bag, tossed in the dryer sheets, and then squeezed out the air, twisted the top up, and left the bag overnight.

I am happy to report that, so far, this morning there is no smell coming from the blankets.

I shook everything up and put them back in the bag and I'll pull them again a bit later today to make sure but it seems like it not only worked but worked quickly and effectively.

If any of you give this a try please report back and let me know how it went for you.

Thanks for reading,