Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Preserving Jello or Hide Glue

I dont write the way to do things, but way to do them.
I used to save my extra bone broths (and meat) in heat sealing mason jars and store in a second fridge. The plastic from the lid was getting into my broth, so that method was thrown to the way.
Make broth, and gelatinize the liquid. The liquid should be able to stay sold at room temperature for some time; this is difficult with just bones in your average broth, so it will need much tendon and or skraped, clean, hide to make it as thick as possible.
Scoop the jellow onto a glass plate, or stainless steel rack (not chrome plated) in surprisingly large chuncks, but also so that the chunks are not touching much. Use a glass plate as you will need to scrape the items off later - they will stick well. You may want to try using a tallow or oil on the plate to prevent sticking unless the product will be used for glue.
Blow fans on the chunks; enough so that the surface cant stay moist initially for very long; keeping the fans blowing for 4 days or so in a well ventilated coolish room. At some point, after a few days, scrape and flip the hardening "things" and finish dehydrating the clumps.
Eventually you will be left with sharp, "things", of dehydrated jellow  which can be taken outdoors, used as hide glue, added to a soup, just left to melt in the mouth, and simply stored in a dust free container.
Im still working on how to do this outdoors. The chunks tend to want to melt into a sloppy puddle.

Just flipped.

Friday, July 5, 2019

On Risk Assessment of The Wild

My experience has been that there is a greatly inaccurate assessment of the wild among those less experienced in the wood. "Dont touch that shroom - its probably poisonous", "Dont go into the woods - wolves will eat you (or bear or cougar)", "Dont go near the ants - they bite", "Dont go near the mice - they all have diseases". Name it, if it exists, there is a reason to hide or hate ALL; this direction or nature, given the gifts of our species has had and does have a devastating effect on our environment, and it feeds back to us.

Obviously you cant eat ALL mushrooms, but their are A-LOT of wild mushrooms you can and this can be said of many wild misunderstandings.

 As they say, the only thing to fear is the fear.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

On Conditioning for the Bush

After finishing my career as a competitive swimmer, I still wanted to stay fit. I bagan working out in gym, then working out on my own, using running and jumping exercises, swinging a knife - as I thought this was a skill I would use in the bush... But you cant work out for the bush. There is no other way to get bush ready like being in the bush. The dips, the crouchs, the tiptoe work, the shivering, the culture, the lifestyle.

I get it though - we want to be people of two worlds, a fact especially difficult for those born and rased urban - but the time and exercises just dont transleate any more than speaking English in the heart of China. Muscles adapted in a gym become a caloric drain in the bush. The fluid ruels of dexterity with a bow, compassion, hard work do, but not our biceps.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Reducing Wood For Arrow Shafts In The Bush.

When manufacturing arrows, we look for long, dead standing, spruce sapling tops or other appropriate dead but non rotting wood to make the shaft. In order to reduce the excess wood and achieve a moderatly uniform shaft, rubbing the wood back and forth on a large sand stone or other apparently abrasive stone wont do. Wood will gunk up the abrasive surface of the rock almost immediately and thus, the energy to reduce the wood on the shaft will be too great for the efficient bushman.

The sharp corner of a large stationery rock has a difficult time in reducing the wood as the once sharp egde will quciky round.

Metal tools such as a rasp unavailable, the lower mandible of a deer rubbed back a forth, near diagonal, will quickly and literally chew through the wood without clogging the abrasive surface so that the shaft may then be quickly finished on the rock.

Knots, where branches emerged, require the abrasive surface of a rock as the mandible has a difficult time with reducing the wood here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019


My impression is modern people belive that moccasins were commonly worn at all the times a-field by indigenous both before European interaction and up untill the wide spread use of the "shoe" in North America. Expirence has lead me to conclude the use of a moccasin was not as common in the day to day activities as most, today, may think.

A deer or buckskin moccassin is a difficult and labour intensive article to make and was probably reserved for moments of need. Deer skin moccasins wear through easly with rocky abrasion. Water makes them stiff, and sloppy to wear. The material, buckskin, takes a lot of energy and time to produce, with the scraping and smoking, and to sew a moccasin takes skill and time. When soggy, they become very uncomfortale to wear and as puddles, rain, and water holes are inherent to life "outdoors", water exposure to the foot would be a day to day occurrence.

I am of the position that due to the moccasins difficuly of production, the material would have been reserved primary for less abrassive applications, and the bare foot the go-to approch when walking in the bush. The bare foot slows down your movement, which can be advantagouse during a hunt; they also have a remarkable ability to "toughen-up" when exposed for an extended period.

Where a moccasin would have been common, was in camp, or while asleep, as the deer hide has a great capacity to prevent no-seeums', mosquito, and other biting bugs from ravaging the skin around the foot during sleep, and at periods of sitting rest. It also prevents these bites when the hide used are thin and hugging the skin.

The moccasin would have been situation specific to a great extent. It may have been common to wear the moccasin while hunting, as looking at the floor all the time can be quite detrimental to pursuit. Moreover, the moccasin may have been helpful in areas where thistles and certain bramble where present as certain plants have the tendency to pierce the skin and cause infections and debilitating swelling, particularly if the immune system is compromised.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Why the Northern Natives wore buckskin leggings.

When afield the smoked buckskin leg covering is the prime material as a covering to your meaty legs. Until the deer hide buckskin became a scarce, and pricey commodity, they where the only material that could stand up to the bramble, allow one to turn their leg into bush ploughs, keep the legs slighly warm, and still perform their primary function - protect the legs from bugs; as even when the material huggs the skin, penitration is difficult for the the flying females.

What is required are two bucked hides and a means of keeping them up whilst wrapped around the leg; the croch - a generous cotton loin cover in the front or hide if available. 

Whith the hides, no fear is warented that the material will frey, tear, or come undone - not the case with cotton or plasic (polyester). The described approach also frees the hip joints for dips, bipedal craws, and creeping inherent to movement through the wood.

The difficulty, is keeping them up. I dont like tight things around my waiste, so the "traditional" (and I am strongly sceptical about the accuracy of the historical records and claimed wide spread use of this design) strap around the waiste and outside attached to the belt approch was out. As my firt atempt, I used some old coveralls (legs torn off - like, hip-torso-alls') and attached the top of the legging to the bottom of the pocket section on the outside of my legs - did not work; when I needed to lift my arms (say for bow hunting) the leather would catch my inner thigh and inhibit free arm movement when I wanted to lift them.

Suspenders, were my second approach. One attached at the front of the leg, the other to the side of the butt, not over. I could see that this would soon wear out and desroy the suspenders. I also found the metal clips out of place in the bush and irritating on my skin.

My third attempt left me using thick moose hide smoked thong/suspenders. Where the suspenders cross over the shoulders I widened the strap. The thong would attach to both the front and rear/side of the legging so that the strap did not cross over my butt. At the center chest and mid back, both sides were tied with a separate thong to one another to appear like two broad arrows joined at their tip; this was done to prevent the suspenders from sliding off the shoulders during use. The hide is rough on the skin and will require some breaking in and getting used to.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

On Draw (Archery draw that is)

My traditional Tomahawk Dimond Series Thunderstorm 2 is a #70 at 28".  The choice of this weight was due to my previouse bow having a #45 draw wheight at 28" and it simply didnt have enough power. Little did I know, this challenging upgrade had a hidden advantage - draw versatility. If I want to shoot with a shorter draw, say from the hip,  I have the power behind the arrow to make a strong throw.

I didnt pick up the bow and start drawing it to full. Working with a compound bow which had an equal draw, it still took some gradual exersize before I could even reach full draw on the longbow Thunderstorm. What I am leading too however, is the importance of proper draw arm form. Whether its a compound heavy weight (particularly so) or traditional long bow on the standard shot - exersize first proper draw so as to lead up to your bows weight. Dont compromise with the chest rub draw to rush ahead or you will live with the scar of bad form - and look like a goof.

Part of that scar incudes eventual shoulder injury and jittering at full draw (this means draw back too a set; not pull back with all your might then take time to figget with shoulder position till its sets) for the compound shooters - confidence, for intstinctive shooters -control of the drawn bow, and thus accuracy (though propper form is usuallly seen in traditional archers because of the lack of let off at the end of the draw).

 If you, aim for a #70 stacker, or higher, traditional bow, or longbow (but still cant bench press 25 pounds if your life depended on it), dont compromise good form at first (then play and have fun with it) if it means practicing and slowly working you way to the desired heavy weight draw - you'll get there, but take time to get there right and avoid the lasting scars. A good principle  to consider in most areas of their life too - but not too much.