A little show and tell this rainy winter morning. I've been carrying this walking stick in one form or another since 2001. What does that mean? I just can't leave well enough alone, that's what. It was a straight knobbed staff before attaching the stag horn but I decided it would be more useful and … Continue reading Thumb Stick
This is a pretty good setup for any outdoorsman (our outdoors woman for that matter). By 1925, the scouts had worked out a pretty good uniform and gear setup based on many old experts not the least of which was the US Army. If there's a bit of a paramilitary look to the scouts it … Continue reading Boy Scout Gear from 1925
I am stunned to hear from several recent misguided enthusiasts to the gentle art of wilderness skills that their new hobby costs them so much money... I guess even our low-tech approach to life can be marketed and sold to the right customer with our ingrained need for newer, quicker, and "approved" gear. Let's hope … Continue reading Another Bucksaw on the Loose
Expanding on Lessons Learned In 2012 I decided to build a wooden packframe. What started out as a Sunday afternoon project led me down many paths, from Iron-Age Europe to 21st Century military designs and it took about a year of stewing around before I actually got around to building something. It was fortuitous for … Continue reading Wooden Packframe – The Final Draft
Coming soon to the blog; New plans for a packable frame saw. In the mean time, check out the link to my older post about making a frame saw from 5 years ago.
From one of my new favorite blogs Running With Sheep. Johan and Sanne are a couple of remarkable outdoors - bushcraft - survival enthusiasts with more than a touch of philosophy thrown in. Their most recent project shows how to convert a run-of-the-mill thrift store find into a functional pack basket. From what I can … Continue reading Making a Pack Basket
Finally, after stepping away from this little project for two months, I'm nearly finished with this wooden noggin cup. I set it down in despair early on when the block started to check along the radial grain. Luckily though, storing it in a moist bag seems to have saved the project and I was able … Continue reading Wooden Mug, the end is in sight
Here's a nice look into some Minimalist but modern camping gear.
Sometimes I wish carrying a walking stick was more acceptable in daily life. Maybe it's just my yeoman heritage or my fondness for the old ways... To do so now, you tend to either look like a hoodlum or the walking wounded. Living for so long in wild country I found that a staff was … Continue reading Scout Staff Hiking Stick
Excellent work from our Tuscany comrade. I hope to find the magazine and make one myself!
In a fit of energy I got around to putting proper and better shoulder straps on my pack basket made last summer. The pack is willow and the leather work is approximately 10 oz. Hermann Oak harness leather. Once the leather ages a bit they will be beautiful and rustic-looking.
Sounds like a great time. Wish I were there!
Guest post by Kevin Bowen
First off, I must thank Todd Walker for the opportunity to write this piece for his blog. He really wanted to attend Kephart Days this year but an even more important event took place the same weekend that required his attendance, the birth of a beautiful, healthy grandson. Congratulations good buddy!!!
I first met Todd online about a year or so ago and then had to chance to meet up with him and Bill Reese at one of the Workshop in the Woods classes, hosted by primitive expert/teacher/author, and all around great guy, Scott Jones. If you regularly follow Todd’s blog, you have been introduced to Scott already. Since then, I have garnered a great respect for Todd’s attitude, an affinity for his ideas and work ethic, and more than anything, a love for his friendship. It’s truly an honor to help him out…
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Starting in the upper left and moving more-or-less clockwise: small tomahawk, portmanteau, stoneware jug, braided buckskin cord, patch knife, buckskin bag for brass sundial compass, wool bonnet (tam o'shanter), trade bead necklace, small gourd for salt, pewter beer mug (could possibly hold water too), canteen gourd, Knife River flint blades, needle case and bone needles, … Continue reading Early Style Camping Gear
Here is a great little instruction set on how to make a European Medieval-style belt bag. You see these in paintings and illustrations on just about every traveler. Not only will you come out with a nice bag but it is a fine and simple introduction into leather working and sewing. All makers need to start somewhere and this might be the right project.
During the Middle Age was common carrying small items like coins, keys, inside pouches or purses attached to the belt.
There are many archaeological and iconographical documents, you can search for your favorite patterns, but there is a model that in my opinion, is one of the best for a bushcrafter.
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by Todd Walker
Coffee drinkers like myself usually have a favorite mug or cup. My all-time favorite “tankard” developed a crack and DRG trashed it. A sad day indeed!
My sob story may seem petty, but there’s nothing trivial about not having a way to “contain” stuff. Think of all the ways you use containers daily. Then imagine all your modern containers being gone… poof, no more. Welcome to the Stone Age!
Here’s what else disappears with your containers. Your ability to…
- Cook stuff without skewering it on a stick
- Collect, disinfect, transport, and drink water
- Raise plants and livestock
- Store food without stuffing it in an animal stomach
- Dispose of waste
- Personal hygiene
- Ferment food and drink
- Make medicinals
- Gather food
- Keep stuff clean
- Organize stuff
- etc., etc., etc….
This is why containers are king!
After attending a local two-day primitive pottery class, my respect and appreciation for the humble container grew…
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Starting as a field scientist in the heady days when men were men and GPS was not available to common civilians, I learned my way around a compass pretty well. I thought I knew something coming out of Boy Scouts but putting those skills to the test mile after mile in order to locate a … Continue reading Magnetic Compass, a Gimme from an Iron-Rich Earth
This is a re-post from an earlier entry. Say what you will about British imperial policy of the 19th and 20th centuries. They certainly worked out minimalist travel with a fair amount of style and comfort on a very personal level. These old catalogs give some great ideas for camp living. From The Army and … Continue reading Edwardian Camp Equipment
"A good meal ought to begin with hunger." French Proverb. All animals need to eat. All the time. As humans, we eat every day if we are lucky. An average Westerner will have about 275,000 meals in a lifetime, not including snacks, munchies, and other nibbles. Once upon a time, we all caught, gathered, and … Continue reading Ancient Dutch Ovens and the Ceramic Hibachi
Bucksaws, bowsaws, and other frame saws are often lumped together into a single category in modern American or British English (unless you happen to be a traditional hand woodworker of course). And why should anyone care anyway? Bucksaws are replaced by chainsaws, bowsaws have become cheap, pot-metal, throw away abominations, and turning saws are replaced … Continue reading Making a Traditional Turning Saw, part 1
For this project I moved my little operation into the living room of the house. Creating sawdust and wood chips for the dogs to track around in their boredom is a real bonus. But, on to the show... Making a Bucksaw for carpentry, bushcraft, or just because they're cool. The little bucksaw I built last … Continue reading Bucksaw Again
From The Army and Navy Co-operative Society Store, London 1907 Waiting for the plumbers gave me a few minutes to put up this post. This is a lot more than a bunch of nifty images (but it is that as well). There are some excellent items here that should give some inspiration for fabricating some classic … Continue reading Edwardian Camp Equipment
I don't buy a lot of tools but this past week added one old, one new, and created one to add to my pile. I found this old shoe anvil at out local pawn shop/junk store last weekend and couldn't pass it up. It will help with my ever increasing level of shoemaking and might … Continue reading New Acquisitions
Field testing the nearly finished rucksack. It still needs a few closures and bits but is essentially as finished as anything I make. It's poorly packed for a quick hike and not very full. More pictures to follow when I get some time off to tramp around with it. Features: Heavy, waxed canvas truck tarp … Continue reading Field Testing
One of many projects happening around here this yule-tide season. A new classic-style rucksack is being sewn, much leatherwork is occurring, and this pack frame is being finished. The wood is shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) made from a bowstave section and some other scrap from the pile. All was split before finishing so the grain … Continue reading Wooden Pack Frame