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We all love our knives. Each of us owns several of them for various purposes and they’re the most indispensable tools that we carry. So the idea of making blades from stone may seem primitive and even backward. But what happens if you get caught without a knife? Or you need to do some butchering work and want to keep clean the only knife you have on you? Sharp stone blades can fill in for your favorite knife, and the best part is that they are easy to make. [ Read Full Post ]
Is it just my imagination or are an awful lot of folks on the trail, at the shooting range, and at hunting camps wearing some kind of parachute cord bracelet nowadays? What started a few years ago as a practical way for soldiers, firefighters, and outdoor adventurers to carry some extra 550 cord has mushroomed into a multi-million dollar business serving fashion-conscious urbanites and true wilderness aficionados alike.
Since bracelets and jewelry were invented, they have been worn mostly for looks. Decorative wear typically doesn’t usually do anything. But a few years ago, Survival Straps came into the market. Standing apart from most bracelets in human history, these bracelets actually do stuff, and the company has grown from a family business which began at a kitchen table in Florida to become an industry leader in survival bracelets and a staunch supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project and American law enforcement, fire, EMS, and military personnel. [ Read Full Post ]
The thick winter coats of furbearers are the best pelts of the year. Hopefully, your trap line and predator hunting forays will bring you many of these beautiful skins. A happy problem arises when it comes time to tan them all.
There are specialized tools, chemicals, and materials that make the life of a modern tanner relatively easy, but you can still do a respectable job of tanning pelts with common tools and materials that you probably already have. [ Read Full Post ]
Ever had a thermos, Nalgene, or your favorite canteen swell to its breaking point in winter’s cold temps? Whatever activity you were doing outdoors in sub-freezing temperatures, it’s likely that you didn’t need that extra hassle.
Staying warm can be a full time job, and keeping an ample supply of water in liquid form can also be a constant chore. So how do you keep your bottles from busting and your water filters from breaking? And what’s the best way to consume snow? [ Read Full Post ]
Cold weather can wreak havoc on your trapping activities, freezing triggers shut and imprisoning footholds in frozen dirt beds. But there are a few ways that the cold can help us, whether you are trapping as a pastime or trapping for food during a wilderness emergency.
Successfully baiting traps is an important part of the overall art of trapping. Unless you have a creative and effective motion-activated trap, the bait is the only reliable reason for an animal to visit your trap. In weather above freezing, your quarry and plenty of other critters can steal your bait. But a frozen block of bait will take some work for your target animal to chew up, and it will be a lot harder for little bait thieves (like mice and birds) to eat the bait out of the trigger or run off with it. [ Read Full Post ]
Chances are good that you currently have a newspaper within reach at your home or cabin. If you have a stove or fireplace, or just build a lot of campfires, chances are also good that you know how effective the black and white pages of newsprint can be at starting fires, both at home and in the field.
But what about the rest of the stuff at home? What other items that you’d be willing to burn could be useful in the task of fire building?
Here are a few you’ll know well, and a few you may want to try out. [ Read Full Post ]
A wintertime wilderness emergency can leave you with a lot to worry about. Fortunately, making a bed to get you up off the frozen ground is one of the easiest problems to fix—if you know how to make a bough bed.
I am sure that beds and mattresses like this go back to antiquity, but they became common in the later days of the fur trade era in the northern U.S. and Canada. To make a bough bed you don’t need much in the way of tools—just a pair of gloves should do it. [ Read Full Post ]
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