I have decided to stop using this site as my own. From now on, selected contributors from various locations will be posting here along with me. What we have in common is that we’re all on our way towards a life living in companionship with nature, mostly on the hunter/gatherer model.
Donations and income from the site will from now on be shared amongst the authors after the site costs have been paid.
As of yet there is only Thomas who is new to posting here, but I am working on getting more contributors.
Hope you will enjoy to read our articles.
Well hope things don´t get too confusing here with Torjus and me both posting.
One of the smaller craft projects I´ve been working on while being in the woods lately is a fat container. I´ve mostly used canning jars for rendered fat, mainly because they work and are easily available. Fat gets rancid through exposure to sunlight, heat and/or oxygen, so a tight fitting container is preferred for that purpose. The one shown here is a design made of birch bark.
Materials used from left to right: Split cedar pieces (for lid and bottom), birch bark and spruce/balsam fir root.
The finished container. To the right is some basswood fiber which was used to make the piece of cordage on top of the lid. An excellent tutorial for a similar style of container (along with other tutorials) can be found at Jon´s Bushcraft site
I may also experiment with rawhide containers for fat storage in the near future and post about it here.
Less than 24 hours old large male lynx tracks from yesterday. No time to hunt unfortunately.
Sent from SonimXP3.20_5.0.0 using Sonimail.
Finally done with the skins and leaving for work in the city very soon.
Did some crafts in the evenings in between the skinning of legs. On the first picture, from left to right: A new buckskin sling with bone bead for the grip. Two birch bark sheaths for awls. The awl out of the sheath is also new. I find narrow and long ones best for fur and shorter, sturdier ones better for buckskin. The bag is made out of scraps of buckskin I have had laying around for ages.
I am experimenting with some new tanning methods (not completely successful yet). The left tool is an unmodified jaw bone of moose where the teeth are used to pull the hide soft. The rib to the right has been serrated to perform the same task, which it does, but not to the same extent. Next is a hafted, bone stretching tool, with serrated teeth, stretches the skin and pulls off remaining membrane. To the right is a broom I had to make in a hurry. Could have been prettier and more well done. Birch twigs bound with a birch withie and a piece of sinew higher up.
Thomas has great lessons to teach all of us. I don’t know of anyone, in any trade, business, hobby or whatever that is as dedicated as he is to the old ways (maybe I know a couple of TV slaves who are almost equally dedicated…).
So, after I’ve been scraping a large stack of skins for weeks I am soon to leave to Trondheim and work again. As usually I have put myself into work that has kept me away from what I really wanted to do… There hasn’t been time for as much trapping as I imagined. A few realisations I have come to:
– Business ambitions (getting out of the endless circle of freedom and wage-slavery, is the reason why I have it) and commitments keep me from doing what I want.
– Buying things requires money, like this reindeer skin order also ties me down. Being extremely cheap and adaptable will give me more learning experiences, more free time and less periodically timeconsuming chores like the one I do now.
– Although reindeer skins are very warm, there are other more waterproof solutions (it can be very wet here at times) out there. Birch, elm, juniper and willow bark is all locally available. This area has a high species diversity, with no naturally dominating species (f.i. all the four native deer species can be found in this valley from time to time), thus it makes sense to mix and match from various animal species and use plants to a greater degree. This area is truely a generalist’s dream, which is why I love it so.
Yeah, and one thing. I need to start working more methodically. Fewer materials available, narrows down the options, which is good for someone who would like to try everything… Like me…
PS! In addition to the skins I have finished a number of craft projects. I might make an update to show those later.