Weaving Wagon

This is an excellent idea, especially for a skilled willow weaver. If you need a bicycle wagon and can get a lightweight frame built, this seems to be a great, eye-catching option.  I suggest watching the short videos on their site as well.  I find their site somewhat difficult to navigate, but who am I … Continue reading Weaving Wagon

Possibles Bag

Here is an update on the most recent possibles bag I have been working on: Sorry the photos aren't so great but here is the description: Made from 7 oz (~3 mm) Hermann-Oak full-grain harness leather top dyed and antiqued Fiebings medium brown with a single patch pocket inside. It still needs a little edge … Continue reading Possibles Bag

The Caveman Catalyst in Your Tinderbox

It’s always time to up your fire-building game. Survival Sherpa Todd Walker does just that in this post. Check it out.

Survival Sherpa

by Todd Walker

The Caveman Catalyst in Your Tinderbox - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The human love affair with fire is intimate and ancient. Over the flames we cook, celebrate, spin tales, dream, and muse in the swirls of wood smoke. Fire is life. Its warming glow draws us like moths to a flame.

It’s not a stretch to believe that a Stone Age chemist recognized the idea of using carbon for future fires. Disturbing the leftover carbon ashes from the night fire, she stares at sparkles of light glowing like the pre-dawn stars above. She carefully nurses a baby “star” back to life to warm her hearth and home.

It ain’t rocket surgery. Even cavemen knew the importance of the sixth most abundant element in the universe.

Carbon and Future Fires

The game of chasing lightning strikes for each fire was no longer required. This unreliable practice was abandoned for twirling sticks together to create enough heat to initiate the…

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The Handy Neck Knife

In the spirit of the internet Bushcraft trend of pulling out our tools and comparing I decided to join in the fun.   This is the patch / neck knife I purchased back around 1986 when I first started getting primitive. This one was made by a bladesmith from an antique crosscut saw and has a … Continue reading The Handy Neck Knife

Early Car Camping

I love finding old images like this.  They show that we never really change yet are on a continuum of adaptation.  The bows that support the canvas top on this (I believe aftermarket) truck bed are reminiscent of much earlier wagons of the Old West. Space was extremely limited in the cab of these old … Continue reading Early Car Camping

Fishing Reel

I've been working on a new hand reel to keep in my pack with my travel fishing kit.  I didn't have much of a plan when I started so I drilled out a couple of one-inch holes a little further apart than the width of my hand and started from there.  The wood came from … Continue reading Fishing Reel

Photo Gallery

I've added a photo gallery in the sidebar to the right of the main blog feed.  I think nearly all these projects have been shared here over the years but this makes for easy viewing.  I'll continue to add images and re-post some older work as I get time so please check back feel free … Continue reading Photo Gallery

Wooden Packframe – The Final Draft

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

Too Many Knives

A few too many camp knives? This is what happens as you travel, receive gifts, buy better stuff, always need a good knife, etc. From the upper left: Camillus 5-1967 (a friend carried this through Vietnam), my small Arkansas stone for field touch-ups, Buck folder, two classic Victorinox Pioneer knives (I've carried this style every … Continue reading Too Many Knives

Eating Spoon

Just a short show-and-tell today because I needed a new eating spoon.  I lost my old favorite a few weeks ago and as near as I can remember, it was about 20 years old.  I remember this because it was cut from the end of a bow stave of a bow I love.  Here is … Continue reading Eating Spoon

Arrows from Planks

Dowel Cutter - A useful tool for large-scale production A version of this post appeared here in 2012 but here is an update as prelude to a coming post. I've been using a Veritas dowel and tenon cutter to rough out arrow shafts from planks.  Quite a while ago I posted about the jig I … Continue reading Arrows from Planks

Arrowology

Some Thoughts on Making Arrows, an Underappreciated Art - I have been making my own arrows from scratch for a couple decades (since 1987 to be precise) and thought I'd showcase some I have made over the past few years.  I don't generally make them to sell and I rarely hunt these days but there … Continue reading Arrowology

Primitive (but useful) Sewing Kit

Sewing I do quite a bit of sewing and I feel it is an essential skill for nearly everyone.  My sewing includes new buckskin trousers, cotton shirts, shoes, a few leather bags, backpacks, and repairs to clothes to name just a few projects.  All this has caused me to think about sewing without manufactured goods. … Continue reading Primitive (but useful) Sewing Kit

The Magic of Sinew

SINEW Sinew  is the term used to describe tendon or ligament in more formal English. It is the cord that connects muscle to bone or bone to bone in skeletal animals.  Like rope, it is made up of bundles of bundles of bundles as shown in this anatomical illustration. For our purposes, sinew is a … Continue reading The Magic of Sinew

Primitive Arts

Today I'm prepping to present some primitive skills on Saturday, from raw materials to finished goods. I'm also getting some kid's activities together to draw in the latest generation. An assortment of stone-age technology laid out to take to the public.

Making the Possibles Bag

Several years ago, I made a shoulder bag that I still often carry today.  It is the perfect size for a small field bag or hunting pouch.  It was a lot fun looking at various designs, mostly from the 18th century to try and come up with something that would fit my needs. When I … Continue reading Making the Possibles Bag

Medieval Turnshoes

I'm re-sharing an older post of some experimental turnshoes I made quite a few years ago.  These were based on some Scandinavian examples from the archaeological record.  They came out pretty good for a first try.  My only modification would be to tighten the width through the arch and lengthen the toe area slightly.  I … Continue reading Medieval Turnshoes

Pump Drills

In preparation for summer teaching I recently spent some time making a couple new pump drills for demonstrations and hands-on activities.  While some modern tools were used in the production, these are entirely hand-made with no purchased parts or plans.  As I have only made two of these previously I spent a little time perusing … Continue reading Pump Drills

Bird Traps

I've been researching more ethnographic data for trapping techniques to get beyond the same handful we have all seen since our Scouting days; the Paiute, Figure-4, spring snares, etc.  While not looking at all I came across this interesting image from the archives of the Smithsonian from 17th century Italy.  The more I research, the … Continue reading Bird Traps

Making a Pack Basket

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

Making a bow-drill fire

I was lucky to learn this method as a young Scout and have stayed proficient over the many years since.  To become truly skilled at this, I went through a period of making a coal every day with either this method or by hand drill.  I spent a couple days and nights out in the … Continue reading Making a bow-drill fire

Primitive Fishing

My fishing kit is coming together and I added another hook and leader last night. The left hook and gorge are made from deer cannon bone (metacarpal) and the right is whitetail deer antler.  The antler hooks are proving to be tougher and less likely to snap under tension.  The leaders here are yucca and … Continue reading Primitive Fishing

Knife Sheath

I realize this isn't the most exiting project of the year but a necessary one nonetheless.  My knife sheath for the "regular" camp knife was a sloppily done remake of the original.  The knife maker did an excellent job on the knife itself but the sheath wasn't up to the standard of this fine tool. … Continue reading Knife Sheath

Cozy Camp

I made it out for a brief stay in the eastern Ozarks this week.  The rain and cold came back just in time for my outing making it a little less comfortable than it could have been but I still enjoyed the time out. I chose to stay fairly low-tech with the exception of a … Continue reading Cozy Camp