Due to my very limited success with my improvised deadfalls, I decided to add a strictly traditional Norwegian setup to my line. The advantages of this design should be:
- The trap is put into the squirrel’s domain, the conifer trees.
- The trap is set so high that it is harder for most predators to pick the squirrel out of the trap.
On the negative side, this trap involves quite a lot of extra work compared to the stone deadfalls. Use densly grained spruce or pine or preferably broken trees that has split naturally. That will save you a lot ow energy.
First chop the tree down. To give you as little chopping with the antler axe as possible, break it after only having chopped around slightly. Cut off where you find it to be a good length. Longer length makes for quicker action on collapsing.
Split it down the middle.
Wedge the bottom log between two trunks to make it sit securely. This will also make the upper log fall directly down. But you need to make sure you remove any twigs or cracked bark in the way, otherwise it will not fall freely.
I used a regular figure 4. I have found a way to make them more sensitive and more quickly producable with stone as tools and spruce twigs as materials.
The bait is walnuts, a bait I have had success with in previous years.
Larch is not found naturally in Norway, but since I (unfortunately) live in a city at the moment, a lot of trees that are not natural is to be found there. Since larch was used on the original, I decided to go for this tree.
Larch is supposed to be exeptionally easy to split. That has to be trees with denser growth rings than this specimen. This one was quite hard to split properly, but the results were satisfactory. There was also a slight twist in the grain. But not more than I was able to even out on the planing.
Here my daughter seems to be working on something. Maybe she has some plans for the split log too.
Planing the planks thin and even takes a lot of time. Much more than one would expect it to. I used the big flakes I got from Kevin as drawknives and planers, alternating sides avoid digging into the twisted grain.
The ends were evened and notches were cut. To make sure that the frame isn’t going to spread, one of the two boards are notched.
The only remaining task is now to mortise the frame and lash on the boards.
A new book review is up in the books review section. The book is “Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival by Mors Kochanski. Thanks to Ian on bcuk (nick: elma) for giving me this book.
I thought I’ll promote the Veidemann course this October again, which Backwoods Survival School will co-arrange with me. Patrick McGlinchey is a suberbly skilled man. Particularily known for his beautiful fishing equipment on display at BCUK and PaleoPlanet.
Here is the link to the Veidemann Course, almost to the bottom of the page. Photo is from this site.
This type of survival snowshoes I have long wanted to build. I think they look horrible to be honest with you, but the simplicity was appealing. A warning: To save time, I used sisal ropes on this project. Sacrilegious, I know, but hopefully you will forgive me. 🙂
First, You need ten small trees and 6 short halves. Try to use as small sticks as possible to reduce the weight. I used aspen, a very weak wood and consequently needed to use bigger sticks to compensate. If I’d used birch, rowan or even willow I would have been able to reduce the weight to more comfortable levels.
Anyway, bind 5 thick ends together onto a crosspiece, with some spacing. This will be the rear end.
Decide where the binding will be and bind another crosspiece onto it. The binding needs to be a little in front of the tipping point to make the snowshoes work properly. Measure where the heel of the shoe will fall and bind another crosspiece there.
Bind together the tip and lift it by binding it to the front crosspiece.
Make bindings. Just a thread over and one behind the shoe. Duplicate it to produce two snowshoes (hardly needed to say that, did I?).
Compared to traditional Canadian snowshoes, this is a terrible piece of equipment. Heavy and ungainly, but still far better than going without any snowshoes at all. For denser snow I would rather go for the traditional Norwegian style, which is much less encumbering. With the fluffy stuff we have here these days, you can clearly tell the difference. Below: Wading in the snow without snowshoes.