Today, I have four selections from RidgeRunner’s Green Earth Survival School Facebook page today. RR puts out some of my favorite down to earth articles. Must be the common backgrounds we share, having both grown up in the rural Appalachians.
I really enjoy working with bone and this morning when I discovered a deer cannon bone that I had squirreled away last Fall I jumped right in and starting making things. The knife pictured was quickly made by cutting the length of bone into two equal lengths and then splitting the blade side lengthwise and thinning and shaping the blade. The handle, except for my artificial aging process using bark tannin, is basically unchanged. I hafted the blade into the handle using my special pine pitch mixture and some deer sinew and then added a brain tan thong. All components are from the deer I harvested last fall.
I still have enough bone material left from that one deer leg to make several bone awls, a few needles, fishhooks and some nifty fasteners (buttons) for leather bags and such. I have a couple of the fishhooks made already and as soon as I finish the other items I’ll post them .
Bones, bones, bones. I never pass a pile of bones without gathering up a few choice pieces for special projects.
Pine Needle Baskets
As many of you may know, my wife Pon makes some of the nicest pine needle baskets I’ve ever seen. I wanted to share her latest creation: a water jug that she made in the car while we were driving up to KY. I also have another jug she made for me that I sometimes carry as my canteen. Her baskets are so tightly made that they almost hold water without any lining but just to make sure I don’t lose any water I add a little beeswax to the inside.
Using natural materials as water containers goes back thousands of years and in some cultures developed into what would be considered an art form. The Indians of the Great Basin area of Nevada and Utah and in particular the Paiute Tribe were renowned for their basket weaving and could make water jugs from Willow woven so fine that they scarcely leaked even without a coating of red clay and hot pitch smeared on the outside.
Learning to make use of natural materials is one of the foundations of becoming proficient at Primitive Skills. Early man obviously had nothing else to work with and learned to make do with what they had. If one thinks about it – there’s really very little that modern man uses today that didn’t come from Mother Nature.
“There’s nothing like the small of gunpowder in the morning.”
At least that’s what the guys in the Treasure Coast Muzzleloaders Club are fond of saying. We shoot our smoke poles, both percussion and flintlocks, twice a month at our private shooting range and welcome new comers. You don’t need to already own any black powder weapons – if fact we recommend that people wait until they’ve had some instruction and a chance to fire different types of black powder guns before buying anything. How’s this pertain to Survival? Simple. If the lights go out we can make our own powder and ammo.
Is Canning a survival skill? I’d say so. And that would be especially true for any long term survival scenarios. Being able to preserve fruits, vegetables, meat and fish could be an essential skill – one that makes the difference between constantly foraging for food or being able to set back and enjoy it at your leisure.
Survival skills aside – Christmas is canning time for us. My wife and I enjoy making apple butter, orange and pineapple marmalade, and my favorite: candied jalapenos and putting them in Christmas baskets for friends and family. (Darrell, the Floridahillbilly, and his wife Liz taught us how to make candied jalapenos several years ago and I’ve been hooked on them since.)
This is today’s run and should be enough to meet our immediate needs.
OK, the last was a shameless plug for me, but you see my point, right? He writes about some marvelous things, and does it in an easy to read manner.
I’m hoping this will nudge him into writing more, I know I am hoping so.
And of course, tell him FloridaHillbilly sent you
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