Dec 30 2012

New Inner Coat

I’ve recently finished a new inner coat of fall killed wild reindeer. It is made out of one adult female and two calf skins, hairs turned in. The female forms the back, one calf was split to be made into arms and the other split for the front. Leftovers were added as needed. The pattern is quite simple, based on Selkup/Evenki people’s design with a touch of the far east and a few personal additions. The skins were lightly bark tanned and smoked. I used a metal needle for most of the project, with moose sinew as thread.

It is meant to be worn underneath a waterproof layer or a coat worn with the fur turned out. I might add edges of pine marten to reduce a bit of draft at the front, but it is still very warm, without anything underneath.

5 responses so far

Dec 26 2012

Join foraging nomads in NE Oregon this Spring/Summer

Published by under Expeditions and Experiences

I just learned of what happened to my fellow contributor Thomas. I am grieved, to say the least. I never met the man, and I am not up on the details of the incident, but have a great respect for Thomas’s work. I wish the best for all involved.

In the spirit of the blog, I continue with some happier news I’ve prepared. I do not mean to make lightly of recent events with my timing.

Those of us who have striven ‘live primitively’ know it can be a hard lonely path. Want for company and community is what holds many back. This is why I’m pleased to extend a unique invitation, from a certain rewilding community, to interested readers.

My forager friends and I will begin a long ride/walkabout this Spring, through the Hell’s Canyon country of NE Oregon. We’ll be out through the summer. We’ll will live in the style of nomadic hunter/gatherers, using a few pack animals, dining on abundant yampah and biscuitroot along the way. But we are by no means purists, so expect to see titanium digging sticks, nylon tents, and chocolate mingled in with the buckskin and jerky. This is not a masochistic survival challenge. It’s going to be a portable party, a celebration of wildness and egalitarianism. And we intend to make a splash. Our camp is open to any brave visitor for any length of time. We expect all kinds of company so bring an open mind.

If you’d like to join us for a leg of the journey, bring whatever supplies you’ll need to live in a way that is familiar and comfortable to you, if that’s ultralight backpacking gear, animals and tack, or a primitive trekking bundle. Much of the trip will be bicycle-able as well. And, for you car campers (cringe), some of our camps may be accessible road. We can teach you about wild foods, but don’t expect to subsist solely on these if you haven’t done that before. A good digging stick, or cupin, is indispensable- we like metal.

Our friend Finisia, the infamous Tranny Granny, will be lending her horse packing skills and ‘hoop’ living expertise. She and others aspire to live this way, as a group, full time. They are seeking free use of private land in the area on which to make a regular winter camp. Along similar lines, my own acreage in NE Washington is open as a refuge for the primitively inclined.

Some pics from a similar adventure last year:

Feel free to contact me. I may put you in touch with others, as I am not living with the core group now:
practicalnaturalist(at)gmail.com
5o9–793—5399

https://sites.google.com/site/plantingback/

-Kyle

6 responses so far

Nov 30 2012

Thomas Missing in Alaska

My friend and co-writer here has been missing in Alaska since November 15th after having been alone in the wilderness since around September 25th. The search parties found very few clues to what have happened and the search has been suspended until further leads are discovered.

Thomas is extremely hardy and might very well still be ok, but something has definitely happened to keep him from getting back. If you want to help in any way, you can contact Teaching Drum and they will inform you what you can do in terms of donations to the search.

I wish that this great adventurer and human being will return to tell the tale.

9 responses so far

Nov 07 2012

News from My Life

For the last year I have been trying many new things. I now work about half the year, it’s ok to work, but I feel that I’m betraying my path in life. However, looking back on it I see that all of it was necessary. I have almost learnt how to suffer like a civilized man. hehe

I’m not advocating illegal actions here, but lets say that hallusinogens in a ritualistic setting has a lot to offer. Recreational use is potensially dangerous, but respectful use can give you insigths that might otherwise be difficult to access. I believe they are the gifts that nature offers us to find back to her.

I spent the first half of the year exploring the realm of the subconcious and the spirit-world. It’s been fantastic for me. Since the summer I have very much spent time in the physical world, gotten a new appreciation for masculine occupations such as fighting. To me an honourable warrior’s actions is a dance with death. He accepts the sacrifice of his flesh as a celebration of the life breathed into this cold world.

There is no telling how long I’ll be stuck with a regular job. Actually I don’t mind working a little, it keeps me grounded in the world that everybody lives in, instead of totally creating my own reality. But living in a house is again becoming very boring for me. I need the fresh air and the routine of camp life.

The reindeer hunt didn’t go so well this year. I shot two animals which was far less than I had hoped. Autumn fishing has almost not happened this year, but we caught quite a lot of trout in the spring and the quality of the fish has improved markedly. There is a lot more fat around the intestines now and a higher percentage that is red in the flesh.

My big nightmare is transition clothing and reingear, which is needed for a great part of the year here. I’ve been looking into bark tanning and Saami footwear, but haven’t done much of the practical work yet. Bark tanning takes an awful long time. Modern shoes are not good, they dry too slowly when wet and are virtually impossible to repair in the field, so this really needs to be a priority. I have found that half tanned bark hides are very difficult to soften, I was hoping to do a shortcut there.

Anyway, that’s an update long overdue. Enjoy some of the few pictures I have actually bothered taking. I have some plans for the future, but they’ll be revealed when they have actually happened. :-)

3 responses so far

May 19 2012

Northwoods spring

Published by under Expeditions and Experiences

Here’s another little update from this spring. Since getting back to the US I’ve been fairly involved at the Teaching Drum Outdoor School as there is a special family year-long program happening here. Also, wild leeks were ready to be harvested and several of us went fishing for suckerfish  during their spawning run. This year turned out to be a particularly good run, and we ended up getting in large quantities over the course of several days.

The picture above shows a  larger size female sucker fish. For the community here, one way of showing our appreciation for these beautiful fish that feed us is to return the first-caught fish unharmed into the water. And, making sure that we don’t cause any unnecessary suffering – fish taken out of the water are immediately killed with a blow to the head.

Sucker fish are bottom feeders that spawn in spring when the water temperature is about 50F (about 10C). They seek out areas with gravel or rock substrate, oftentimes in creeks or rivers, in which case they migrate in big schools which makes it easy to catch them.

In this picture, a landing net is employed to catch spawning suckers. Under certain conditions, catching them with bare hands can also be quite effective.

A mature leek patch. In my opinion, one of the tastiest wild edible plants around here which is also available before most other greens are in season. When broken up and thinly spread, they can dry within a few days of sunshine. If they’re strung individually they can dry even faster though this method is very time-consuming when working with larger amounts.

Spring time in the Northwoods…

On another note, I’ll be in Alaska for the summer and probably won’t get around to write much here during that time…so I’ll probably get back to writing after my return in late summer. Wish you all a nice green season!

 

4 responses so far

« Prev - Next »