Jun 17 2011

Birch Sap and a Prototype Trap

Published by at 12:37 pm under Expeditions and Experiences

When I was a kid some friends and I usually tapped some birches every spring and drank. I find it very good, with a slightly sweet and sour taste. Water is not always good at that time of year anyway, so drinking sap is an excellent substitute.

What we formerly did was to drill a hole into the tree and hammer in a wooden stick with a groove in, so the sap would collect and run into a bucket also hanging from this peg.

I wanted to try a more primitive method of tapping this time. I made two cuts with the axe and put a straw in the middle to guide the sap into a bucket

The season for sap starts when there is rarely frost in the nights anymore until the time when the ground starts drying up after the snow is gone. Quality is best at first, getting more harshly flavoured later.

When you’re done with tapping (I tapped this tree for weeks, giving several litres per day) you can take out the straw and pound the wound flat and it will probably heal up to a lesser or greater degree. I don’t recommend using this method where birches are rare, since it’s potentially more destructive than the drilling method, of which can easily be plugged after you are done tapping.

This is the prototype I am making of a new portable trap, inspired by Ainu and Eskimo traps. It has the potential of becoming very powerful, scaled up or down to suit any kind of animal. I don’t want to tell you how it works, as that should be pretty evident. 😉 It can be used in combination with snare, but my plan for this one is to have spikes underneath to keep the animal from getting away. It should however be strong enough to kill them outright.




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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Birch Sap and a Prototype Trap”

  1. paul mortenon 23 Jun 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Utrolig fin side dere har. Har leita mye den siste tida om tradisjonelle/primitive teknikker. Prøved å finne folk i Norge som holder på med slikt, men med dårlig resultat. Det er helst i england og us det er masse og finne. Så derfor ble jeg glad for å finne denne. Leste med stor interesse art. i TA en plass her inne. Er enig i at vi nordmenn tror vi er utlærte når det kommer til å være i naturen. Men vi er også på veg bort fra den.
    Jeg skulle gjerne besøkt deg for å få inspirasjon og for å lære.


  2. Torjus Gaarenon 27 Nov 2011 at 11:41 am

    Paul Morten, you can reach me on torjusg@gmail.com.

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