Archive | May, 2013

KilimanjaroJack

Gypsy Jack’s Camping Journal – Earnest Hemingway

Who is Earnest Hemingway? He liked to open cans…and shoot hyenas for no reason.  Yep, Hemingway was a hand full if there ever was one. I met him in Philip Percival’s camp just west of the Ngong Hills.  We got along well enough I suppose, but four days turned out to be just about enough.  […]

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hammock insulation bed

Add The Hammock Insulation Bed To Your Survival Kit And Sleep Like A Baby

 HAMMOCK INSULATION BED by Chad Nech The hammock insulation bed makes an easy addition to any survival kit!  Here is a quick way to set it up. On a recent canoe trip, I purposely left a few items at home. One of which… My sleeping pad. It was still early spring, and I would need […]

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Knife Sharpening Board

Knife Sharpening and Care by Tom Ray

Knife Sharpening and Care by Tom Ray Knife sharpening is sometimes thought of as an elusive skill. Actually, once the basic principles are understood, almost anyone can accomplish it.  First of all, it is important to understand that in order to get a long-lasting edge that is shaving sharp, a burr or wire edge must […]

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Traditional Pocket Knife Types: (top) Trapper, (left to right) Congress, Canoe, Scout/Camper, Barlow, Peanut, Stockman, Muskrat

Classic Camping Knives by Steven M. Watts

“A knifeless man is a lifeless man” – Nordic proverb Steven M. Watts, 2013 Most campers and woodsmen in the first quarter of the the twentieth century carried both pocket knives and sheath knives — a wise continuation of frontier practices from a century or more before. Sheath knives performed the “heavier” woodworking, skinning/butchering, and […]

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Close-up from one of the applications in the video.

The Pot Hook Notch

Timing is everything so they say… I just started reading Mors Kochanski’s new eBook from Karamat, Basic Safe Travel and Boreal Survival Handbook.  A pleasure unto itself.  But that got multiplied this past weekend doing knifecraft with my good friend Steve Watts. Talking knives, Steve entwined his encyclopedic knowledge of primitive skills, Nordic tradition, the American […]

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SAM_0030

That Fresnel Lens in Your Survival Kit

Today’s common Fresnel lens, and the one a Woodsman should carry, is a super-thin business card sized piece of plastic.  Based on the 1822 lens design by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, it was originally intended for lighthouses, hence it’s larger aperture, shorter focal length and much thinner design compared to conventional lenses. For a lighthouse, […]

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Tinder Bundle made from the inner bark of Tulip Tree (Yellow Poplar).  Click on photo to enlarge.

The Tinder Bundle

  For fire and its continuation (chain reaction) three components need to come together: heat, fuel and oxygen.  So many folks into Outdoor Living Skills focus on the ignition or heat source.  While obviously a critical component, the other two-thirds are equally important… So let’s put ugly on the table.  Can’t tell you how many […]

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Chris e

Tree ID 101

Most of us have been there… on that nature walk with a local expert who points out 20 or so different trees and plants giving them a brief description while you feverishly take notes. The notes will last, informing you about that tree; and you may have even have snapped a picture or pressed a […]

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piedmontearthskillsgathering

Piedmont Earthskills Gathering

“The mission of the Piedmont Earthskills Gathering is to provide a learning experience which empowers people through the development of skills and inspires a deep appreciation of inter-connectedness, cultural heritage, and ecological respect.” That’s exactly what happened when I attended the Piedmont Earthskills Gathering.  Here is the video from the event. I only got to […]

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Mors_eBook

New Mors Kochanski eBook ~ Basic Safe Travel and Boreal Survival Handbook

In a nutshell, the survival information that did not make it into Mors Kochanski’s classic book, (Northern) Bushcraft can be found in the new e-book, Basic Safe Travel and Boreal Survival Handbook.  In addition, there is an expansion on his great booklets within the new book. See Karamat.com for purchase information and more.  Video explanation from Mors and […]

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blackbear

Tricked by a Weasel by Peter Frost

Editor’s Note:  If you haven’t read “Tracking a Fisher,” please read that article first and this is part two. The following essay is the sequel to the fisher story. It is an account of how the fisher turned into the bear, and how old habits can play tricks on the mind. After petting the fisher […]

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Fisher

Tracking a Fisher by Peter Frost

This morning we were very fortunate. The conditions were ideal for tracking. Early last night, an inch of dry, light snow sifted down through the trees and covered the forest floor. Underneath this fine layer, nothing of the previous winter snows remained except for a hard-packed crust. This allows one to move through the woods […]

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nansen5

Fridtjof Nansen – Gypsy Jack’s Camping Journal

Fridtjof Nansen “I’ve known some tough hombres in my time.  I’ve seen cowpunchers ride, rope and brand all day–day after day—living all the while on beans, biscuits and prunes.  Then each night, throw down a thin bedroll on the thin cover of the hard, herd- trampled ground– and there sleep the sleep of babes.  I’ve […]

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Gypsum Hills, KS

LEGEND OF FLOWER POT MOUNTAIN 2 OF 2

LEGEND OF FLOWER POT MOUNTAIN 2 of 2 This and more info from the book ‘Medicine Lodge: The story of a Kansas frontier town’ by Nellie Snyder Yost Copyright 1970 Swallow Press Inc. In part 1 of Lenora Day’s journal, we already have the makings of a blockbuster western movie.  If you missed it, you […]

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