“Alone” celebrated as one of televisions most highest rated new reality show.
In a world where we are glued to the news during a high speed chase, fighting, accidents, etc., It’s no wonder the show had such a high rating. Week after week, we would sit in front of the television and watch as ten participants, one by one, would tap out, due to their mental demons poking and prodding at their souls. Houses in Vegas were placing odds and taking bets, week after week, on who would tap out next and who would stay.
Various online bushcraft sites and forums were a buzz with the show, but for different reasons than the rest of the viewing audience. These folks would tune in week after week in hopes of gleaning one more appreciable trick they could add to their bushcraft chest of knowledge. Often times, some of the comments surrounded, “I wish they would show more skills”, or “Why didn’t they just do this or that?”. Hundreds and hundreds of comments would be made surrounding the skills and how they—the commenters—
If you know who Matt Graham is, you’ll be pleased to know his new book has just been released. If you don’t know who Matt Graham is He was one of the stars of “Dude You’re Screwed” and “Dual Survival”. Aside from staring on those programs, Matt is a world class athlete, having run the entire length of the California portion of the Pacific Crest Trail in record time, climbed El Capitan and came in third place running against over 30 horses. Matt is a modern hunter gatherer who has lived a good portion of his life off of the land using primitive skills. He’s run along side the Tarahumara Indians and has worked at BOSS where he’s lead month long hunter gatherer courses.
This book is not about tangible skills, as many would hope it is. This book is about Matt’s life and his journeys as he edges out his place in life as a hunter gatherer.
I don’t carry a ferro (ferrocerium) rod. I’m not a fan of them, for reasons you will find out later and it has nothing to do with my ability to start a fire with them. As a result, I carry a lighter, a few to be exact. But as others will be more than happy to point out, a lighter will run out of fuel, not work when it’s wet, have problems when it’s cold and suck at high altitudes. Lets address some of these points with logic:
Runs out of fuel- It sure does, just like you wear out your socks and underwear, which is why you have several pair. But did you know an average size BIC lighter has up to three thousand lights worth of fuel. That equals up to about eight fires a day for an entire year. Check the BIC website under faq
Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in three short episodes for Complex Media, titled “Boys in the Woodz” The idea was to take two hip hop artists (up and coming in this case) and teach them some outdoor skills.…
I’m often admonished by others, survival instructors included, towards my dismissal of a compass for navigation and also the fact I say a map is more important than a compass for navigation. I even jest at survival manuals that teach how to find cardinal directions by the shadow stick method— place a stick in the ground and place a stone or marker at the tip of the shadow cast by the stick and continue to do so every fifteen methods to determine an approximate East West line. Another is the watch shadow method—By pointing the hour hand at the sun, way between the hour hand and 12 o’clock is South, or North, depending if you roll counterclockwise or clockwise in your estimation. Sound Confusing? Don’t worry you don’t need it. These tips are nothing more than fodder to fill the pages of books, but frankly not needed. The fact is, these are relatively new creations, yet navigators have been navigating without these techniques for centuries.
For a long time, I’ve been abhorrent to credentialing survival instructors, partly because I was just so opposed to a governing agency telling me what to do. But over the last few months I’ve seen an increase, or at least become aware, in information that really is questionable as it pertains to survival. For this reason, my opinion has changed.
All too often many a would be wilderness survival instructors have cobbled together some bushcraft skills together and called them survival. Sadly, their marketing prowess have mislead the unknowing into believing this often misleading information. Rarely has anyone ever captured the true essence of survival, that is to mitigate a life threatening emergency as fast as possible in the easiest fashion possible. Instead, would be instructors attempt to dazzle you with tools and techniques that are void of sound principles.
It appears our friends over at masterwoodsman.com have also been thinking the same thing and they have written a rather thoughtful article on the very subject. What’s equally interesting are the exchange of comments at the end of the article.
I’m absolutely blown away by people’s outdoor cooking creativity and this time is no different.
Though I haven’t tried it yet myself, the genius is in its simplicity and the results appear mouthwatering.
Here is the recipe that is being featured in The Hinton Voice this week. It is still incredibly surreal seeing my recipes in print! I absolutely love the first Thursday of every month!
Now that its quite nice outside in the mornings, I have started reading my paper on the deck with a cup of coffee – it’s a few moments of Zen before my crazy day begins.
Many of us dream about one day just checking out and heading into the hills to live a life of the mountain man. Others often live with the nagging question “I wonder if I could really stay out there for an extended amount of time and live by my wits?” Most will never get to realize their dream, while others will drop out before they start. But there is one person who had this dream and finally one day was able to realize it, putting himself to the ultimate test—heading into the Alaskan Wilderness with no food and foraging, hunting and fishing his way through 70 days.
I believe it was early 2010 sometime and I was on business at JFTB (Joint Forces Training Base) Los Alamitos. After a long day in the field, a group of us went to the pub on base for a much needed drink and meal. The pub is a little unique in that it has an outside patio with gas grills set up where one can grill up their own food, have a drink, and watch the military aircraft come and go.
I decided to grill up some chicken, knowing well my chicken grilling skills always seemed to leave the chicken on the dry side. But hey, I was hungry and chicken is what I was craving. When I ordered up a breast to toss on the grill, the bar maiden asked if I would like it marinated for about 20 minutes first. “Why not”. I watched her as she proceeded to pour out a healthy dose of teriyaki sauce in a shallow bowl, followed by Guinness straight from the tap. To this she immersed the chicken breast and set it aside.
To this day I can not forget how juicy and tender that chicken was after I pulled it off the grill. Sure, I seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper and some other things once on the grill, but the sweetness of the teriyaki and beer really made a difference.
Last year I wrote an article about the documentary “Happy People, a Year in the Taiga“. The documentary follows Siberian trappers as they make a life in the Taiga. Sometime back, the documentary was broken down into four separate one…