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25

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 ...


15

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

I have ruined more than one hatchet in my lifetime trying to split large logs in half. The trick is to not try to spit them down the middle as you would with an axe, but to chop around the edges of the logs and split off smaller pieces all the way around, making the log smaller and smaller as you go. One technique is to make "helper" chops in the top around ...


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

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 ...


4

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 ...


3

I normally baton with a large knife, but the principle remains the same (driving a wedge to split the wood). I taught myself how to baton in order to quickly make kindling from larger sections, often quarter-rounds, while my little cousin was around. Batoning can be performed on logs or thickers sticks, depending on your needs and the size of your wedge. I ...


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

There is one very efficient trick I will call reverse chopping. (No idea if this technique has a proper name, feel free to correct my answer.) The problem with a hatchet is that it is quite light weight, so there is not a lot of force available for splitting logs. The trick here is to inverse this scenario, so that the weight of the log will work in your ...


1

In general, the splitting force necessary to split firewood depends on the length of the wood, the width of the piece, the species, the knottiness/curvature, pre-existing stresses, and the degree of moisture. Additionally, machine-split wood tends to fracture where it went through the grate/splitting cross and not along the grain of the wood, making it ...


1

In such cases the kindling material found on the ground might be also wet: try searching for thin dry branches on the lower parts of trees. Especially the pine trees are "built" in a way that the lowest branches die and dry as the tree grows - the rest of the branches are usually thick enough to keep this bottom part dry, and as so, perfect to be used as ...



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