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

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Just a Quick Walk in the Woods

After a full season of cyclocross racing, I finally had a weekend off and got a brilliant idea to invite Dan and Spen (of JRE Industries) to get into the woods for a little chat and hike.

Unfortunately, life has a way of getting busy this time of year and Spen had prior obligations but Dan and I pushed onward and, after a few chats, decided to meet up Sunday morning at one of the old haunts.

I brought minimal gear with an excess of steel (just like always) to show off and beat on a bit. The knives include the Survive! Knives GSO 3.5, SK-4, and the big mama jama GSO-10.

Feathersticks and fires were the order of the day and I actually had to practice yesterday at home to make sure the rust was only on the surface. It took a bit to get the technique right but it came back quickly and was a good reminder that skills you don't lose you may lose.

I also brought along some paraffin-dipped cotton rounds that I had made as part of an Instagram tutorial that solve all the problems I encountered in the past making dipped cotton balls. A quick strike of a firesteel on the spine of the SK-4 produced enough spark to get the firestarter going that was enough to get the feathersticks lit.

What a feeling to be able to light a fire with a single spark again…it's been a long time and I was pretty nervous about just getting out there so getting a fire going with a little preparation and minimal gear was nice. (Sure, it wasn't friction fire but that wasn't the objective today.)

Making feathersticks with the GSO 3.5 and SK-4 (the same size as Survive!'s GSO 4.1) was important but there was some play planned too as I pulled out the GSO-10 and chopped a dead branch to test my technique and the grip on the 10. It took a few swings to get it right but I quickly was popping off "slices" of the branch in single swings.

I won't take a side on the chopper versus axe debate but will say that I'm a BIG fan of these large, impractical knives regardless of weight and always have been. The GSO-10 is thinner stock than any Busse in a comparable blade length but thicker than any machetes you're likely to encounter--maybe 3/16" thick.

It chops though. It bites deep with little effort and the handle was fine for the little bit of chopping I did. It was secure in the hand, didn't jam up my pinky while working, and didn't transmit too much vibration upon impact.

Dan had a chance to use the SK-4 and the GSO-10 and I think he liked what he experienced. He also showed off his L.T. Wright Genesis with the best orange handles I've seen and a Skeleton Key with a great story.

I was reminded of the fun we used to have out there and need to do this more often. Rest assured that I will be updating this blog as I get out there…

Maybe there'll even be a tutorial or two along the way. (I know, I've said it all before…)

Who knows, this time may be different and we'll really get this thing started again. :)

Thanks for reading,



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