Campfire Club of America

Welp, it looks like our friends over at Masterwoodsman.com have hit it out of the park with this one, yet again!
The videos contained in the article are priceless, in my opinion

I’d no idea of such club, and after reading the article I have only one question… Where do I sign up?

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Last year I wrote an article which included an excerpt from the book,On Your Own in the Wilderness by Townsend Whelen and Bradford Angier. In that article was a quote mentioning the Camp-Fire Club of America (CFCA). I, and my friends who study and appreciate Classic Camping, have seen mention of the CFCA in text from the early 1900′s and obviously up to the late 50′s; however, we assumed they simply did not exist these days. And little did we know the extent to which they have and what they continue to do for conservation.

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Edible Wild Plants for Survival, Not So Fast

here is an article I found interesting and eye opening. Some of the stuff Mors Kochanski was talking about I’d not heard before, like “Fasting usually brings on greater clarity of thought and improved recall” I will say this, when I’m hungry and glucose drops I can’t think straight and get grumpy.

Anyway, here is the article

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One of the Survival 101 maxims is “Learn my top edible wild plants for survival!” Equipping yourself with this knowledge is empowering according to most instructors, whether it is a fight for survival or a recreational walk through the woods. Whichever experience is being sold, it comes down to being self-reliant. Therefore, many put learning edible wild plants at the top of their “must learn” list.

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Bushcraft 101… A book review

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Dave Canterbury is arguably one of the most popular survival instructors in the general public eye. This is in no small part due to the popularity of his role as one of the original co-stars of Discovery channel’s “Dual Survival” and his online videos. With the success of his school and personalized products, along with his breadth of knowledge, writing a book was a natural progression for Canterbury.
“Bushcraft 101, a Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival”, authored by Dave Canterbury, is yet another book to enter the survival community, but when one opens to the title page, one is greeted with a long list of topics, some common and others not so common in this type of book.

Unfortunately, this long list is the detriment of the book. In an effort to squeeze as much information as possible between the pages, many of the sections were left lacking. Many times, it seemed topics were just given a cursory overview, simply for the purpose of inclusion, but did little in the way of teaching.

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Tales From the Green Valley… Video

With the ubiquitous hustle and bustle surrounding us, we often dream of escaping to a more simpler time, a time free of traffic, city noise, honking horns and large crowds. After all, isn’t this why many of us escape to the great outdoors on our myriad camping excursions? Though we dream of being transported back in time, just how well would one be able to adjust, however?

In 2005, the BBC ran a twelve part series following a group of historians and archaeologists for a year as they lived the lifestyle of the 1620s, wearing the same clothes, eating the same food, and using the same technology.

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The Better Bow and Drill

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For as long as I remember and what ever reference I’ve ever come across, when it comes to the bow and drill, it is said to use a hefty branch with a bit of bend to use as a bow. I’m not exactly sure why that is, other than perhaps the idea comes from our Northern Ancestors who would fashion a bow from a naturally curved walrus tusk or bone. It is perhaps that image that has spawned so many to believe it is the ideal shape and therefore reprint the images and ideology over and over again.

From a purely mechanical standpoint, the bow and drill far exceeds the hand-drill in machine efficiency, but there is still room for improvement with small tweaks that will make the bow and drill easier to use.

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8 Solar Fire Starting Tips You Must Know

Most everything I’ve ever seen in print in regards to using a magnifying glass to start a fire has been very generic—focus the sun beam on something dry and swoosh fire. Sometimes I’m left wondering if the authors of some of the things I’ve read have actually started a fire with such a device? Perhaps, the author has used a big magnifying glass that can easily fry an egg, but when a small wallet type one is used the tactics change a bit.

I have to admit, I was a bit taken a back when I read the following article, because, well, It seems Creek Stewart was inside my head when he wrote it.

Creek’s tip #4 has been what I’ve been telling folks for many years, often to the disbelief of even well known outdoor instructors. It’s not until I demonstrate it they are convinced.

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Fire Making Apparatus in the U.S. and Abroad

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Yesterday I wrote about the Bow and Drill for fire-starting in North America and how in fact there is no evidence to actually support that, when in fact the only evidence is use of the hand-drill.
It was suggested elsewhere the Iroquois used the bow and drill, but I think the person authoring the comment was confusing it with the pump drill, which the Iroquois are credited with inventing, though reference indicates there may likely have been white man influence in the invention.

My buddies over at Master Woodsman—thanks guys—pointed me to another resource which I know many of you I am sure will find fascinating, as it details the firemaking apparatus of various tribes across North America, from the East Coast to the West Coast. From South America to Canada and across the ocean.

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The Bow Drill in North America

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It’s been a long held belief that the Bow and Drill was used in North America, by Native Americans, as the principle means of starting fire. However, evidence, or lack there of, suggests that simply isn’t true, Not on the West Coast and Not on the East coast. In fact, the only historical evidence there is for it’s use is in Canada and above. So what was used then? The handdrill.

In 1934, Paul S. Martin wrote an anthropological article outlining how fire was started in North America. Much of the information came from historical documents of travelers as they logged their encounters with indigenous people and witnessed how these people indeed started fire.

From the document:

It has been generally agreed by various authorities that the bow and drill, whether used for fire fire-making or for drilling, was confined to northern North America. Wissler says,

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The Word Bushcraft is Trademarked. The Facts Broken Down

Rarely do such events occur in our small community that raise a nary eyebrow. On July 24, 2014 that all changed and a tornado swept through the bushcraft community, of such epic proportions, that it went international and people were banned from an online community because of it.

There has been so much clutter with messages going back and forth on forums and blogs, often hundreds of replies long, that it can get confusing just to follow. So I will do my best to pull out keypoints, but I encourage everyone to read this for starters. http://woodtrekker.blogspot.com/2014/07/bushcraft-usa-trademarks-word-bushcraft.html

In 2012, BushcraftUSA submitted for trademark (they received a service mark instead) the word “Bushcraft”, not BushcraftUSA, or Bushcraft outfitters, just plain ole BUSHCRAFT. That means THEY LEGALLY OWN the word, but to what end?

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The Story of Cedar

Cedar has a long time history. From a more contemporary standpoint, cedar is used to make chests to protect woolen garments and blankets, though it has been used in times past for that as well.

To Native Americans, cedar, where available, was used for other things. In this Documentary, Phil Ives does an excellent job of showing how the Cowichan Indians made cedar hats. It includes a walkabout with an elder who takes along a group of onlookers to collect cedar bark in long strips straight off the tree. In my opinion, this part of the video alone is worth the entire piece. From there the video moves on to cleaning the bark and finally weaving it.

The video is 30 minutes and is a bit slow to get to the meat of the topic, but it is worth the wait, as the intro is nicely done with voice over and music

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