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22

When I was a boy I learned about a tribe of natives that had an initiation into manhood which involved plucking a hair from the tail of a live deer. These people had developed a mode of stealth that allowed them to walk right up to deer head on without the deer sensing their presence or noticing their advance. I adopted the technique for moving through the ...


14

I'm from British Columbia, lots of BC is technically a rain forest, which pretty much means you're always starting your fire with wet wood. The trick to getting wet wood to light is to generate a lot of heat when you first start your fire, that means using lots of extra kindling. Cut triple or quadruple the amount of fine kindling and build yourself a ...


10

There are two important factors when bowmaking: Flexibiliy, i.e. how easy the wood is to bend Strength, i.e. how much force you can put into the wood before it breaks. If you are just interested in a toy bow that doesn't shoot to hard or far then flexibility is your main concern. You want thinnish green wood which tends to be the most flexible. If you ...


7

Since you didn't limit the question to materials found in nature: I've lit wet firewood in the rain using pieces of waxed cardboard. They burn very fast and hot. And wax firestarters are essentially waterproof themselves, so they're pretty reliable even in wet conditions. You used to be able to get waxed cardboard from any supermarket, in the form of ...


7

Poisonous plants are typically more dangerous when you burn them, at least that's true with plants that have oily toxins (poison ivy/oak). Toxins in plants aren't necessarily vaporized when burned. Smoke is a particulate, not a vapour. If you are burning something toxic, the toxins can potentially be carried by particles of smoke and be inhaled which is far ...


6

In the US southwest, Juniper was commonly used by native peoples. I've heard it said that one can still find living Juniper trees around the southwest that have apparent 'slices' taken out of them where material was removed to shape a bow. Also, a quick google search turned up this site with a seemingly comprehensive list of woods that will work for bow ...


6

When I was a kid I repeatedly made simple bows from hazel trees/shrubs. The main advantage here is that it grows in very handy, more or less uniformly thick branches that are very appropriate in size to use as bows (also make good walking sticks/spears). As strength/durability of the bow was never an issue we used freshly cut, green branches - obviously a ...


6

At least for some species, Rhododendron wood is not especially toxic when burned. I've seen (and used) many species of Rhododendron in the Chinese Himalaya as firewood, in both outdoor and drafty indoor conditions. This included seasoned and unseasoned wood, and large enough quantities of smoke that my Rite-in-The-Rain notebooks still smell like bacon. ...


6

Overall I think you should be okay with just making sure that the contact points on the oars are a bit padded, or at least, the contact point is not sharp. That way it shouldn't rub on the oar and degrade or scratch the finish. Rubber is a common way to keep oars in place without scratching the finish. You could consider using guitar hooks to keep them in ...


3

This summer I went out canoe camping in some light rain that turned into a torrential downpour and wouldn't stop. When it finally did, there was a puddle in the fireplace and we had no dry wood. We had a little paper with us, and we got tinder from the inside of logs, and all those tricks, but nothing worked and we had a small child with us who was getting ...


2

While looking for mushrooms mid-morning in the summer, I saw a deer perhaps 50' away, in brush maybe 5' high- it was upwind of me and couldn't smell me. It was browsing and slowly moving as it ate. Slowly, stopping frequently, and gradually approaching, I stopped and listened. I'm sure the deer was able to hear me but not see or smell. I kept my head and ...



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