I never really got into the whole Youtube thing until very recently. I’d use it occasionally to look up some music or find a movie trailer or something funny I’ve heard about, and that was about it.
When I started this blog I decided I wanted to do a lot of video with it and there’s really no other service with as much exposure as Youtube, so I signed up, and started posting my videos there. I’ve also started watching a lot of videos and subscribing to other people’s channels who have a similar interest and content like mine. There is a vast amount of knowledge on Youtube that is there, and free for the taking – and I’ve been soaking it up.
One person who really has been sticking out to me lately is OutdoorEnthusiast101. He is from England (I think) and has been posting up some really good, informative videos. Go check out his channel when you get a chance.
I wanted to put my new tomahawk and knife to the test, so I went out into my backyard with some old lumber I had, the knife, hawk, firestick and my hat to build a fire.
First thing I did was use the knife to cut up a few patches of denim out of some old pants. Once I had enough pieces of a size I liked and put them in an altoids tin and set aside. Then I set to splitting the lumber. What a task for two little tools. I have two pieces of 3′ long 4×4 post. I’m not exactly sure what it was but it smelled kind of like cedar, not as strong though. The wood was very dry and rock hard.
I finally got it broken down into the sizes of kindling I wanted and then started on trying to see how the knife would do making a feather stick out of one of the pieces of split wood. I got a few good curls and a lot of nice shavings but no feather stick. I felt like the knife could do it but I think it was mostly the wood not cooperating. Or maybe it was me. I don’t know.
My backyard is full of dry leaves and needles from a mesquite tree, and it makes an excellent natural tinder bundle. The first time I tried it, it caught flame on the first spark from my ferro rod. I thought I’d get the camcorder out and take some video of it. Three more tries and could not get it on the first spark. DOH! Oh well, it still works pretty well.
I moved all my materials over to my propane grill and built a fire in one of the water pots for my smoker, it’s really dry in Arizona right now and wanted to be as safe as possible. I started the fire and put the tin of denim in the flames.
This is the first time I’ve made charcloth and really didn’t know how long I should let it sit in there, so I used the guesstimation method. The end result:
Looks good to me! I set the tip of my fire stick down on a piece and hit a spark, it started smouldering right away. I guess it worked! This charcloth will help me with a number of the Bushclass courses.
There is a series of online classes over at Bushcraft USA called “Bushclass“. There is a set curriculum plus electives that can earn you “certifications” in bushcraft. It’s an on your honor system, where you perform the tasks set forth by the instructor and take photos or video of your progress and submit it to the the specific thread for that particular class.
Many of the courses for the “basic certification” are for skills I know the basics of, or in some cases only know the theory behind and have not actually tried, but I plan on enrolling and challenging myself with as many of these as I can. As I progress through the various courses I will keep a journal of it here as well.
There is a wealth of knowledge to be found on that forum and in Bushclass specifically and if you plan on spending any time outdoors in the wilderness, I encourage you to take a look at it.
When I was a teenager my dad bought me a compound bow. I shot at targets mostly, and got fairly good at it – even bowhunted a bit. Then at 20 or so I just sort of stopped. This past February, some ten years later I picked up a new compound bow and have been hitting the bails once if not twice a week since.
I hit the ground running and have branched off from strictly shooting, to doing a bit of my own bow tuning and as of about a month ago, arrow building.
I purchased a Bitzenburger fletching jig, some Fusion 2.1″ vanes, and some bare arrow shafts and went to town. After having some issues and finally breaking down and calling my dad, I find that I bought the wrong jig set – I got the one with the right-helical twist in the clamp instead of the straight clamp. I returned the whole thing and got the right box and that made the process with the short vanes a whole lot easier.
I’ve fletched up the same dozen shafts about 3 times now, partly due to error and partly due to the fact that I am currently experimenting and have discovered a few things:
- AAE Fastset Gel is awesome. I was using some Goat-Tuff glue and having a hard time getting the vanes to stick. With the Fastset, I just apply the glue, push the clamp down to the arrow shaft and can immediately remove the clamp and my vane is stuck!
- Wraps look good, and they make it marginally easier to remove old beat up vanes, but overall I find them to be a pain in the rear end, and they make it almost impossible to replace a single vane if needed.
- I find it enjoyable to put together my own arrows. It’s a great way to get away from this laptop, computer games or the TV!