Month: April 2022 (Page 1 of 4)

Shower and Hot Water Systems

Ive been looking into having a shower awning on the side of my new van and after looking at several different brands I came across the Quickpitch, having the most solid bracket system I could find. Im also looking at hot water systems. I dont like having indoor systems they take up too much room and when they break. Been there done that. There are several options listed below. from a Joolca portable LPG operated system. To a solar and 12volt options. Still looking into comparing whats out there, but prefer portable and easy to fix.

Shower Privacy Tents


Hot Water Systems

Ontap (12V)


Sea to Summit (Solar)

Joolca (LPG)

Drilling Without a Drill and Bushcraft Tensioning System

I was watching Dan Wowak Hacks on the Coalcracker channel which are full of ideas and since I had timber to spare thought Id try to drill a toggle without a drill and turn it into a ratchet strap for a bedroll. I believe I first saw the tensioner system on Felix Immlers channel so I also put a link to his site. Lots of cool ideas on there as well.

timber split and V notch cut
binding completed
tensioning cord attached showing the completed hole

Coalcracker Ratchet Strap

Coalcracker Drilling without a drill

Felix Immler Bushcraft Tensioner

Tent Peg Project

Since missing out on the BSA Level 2 course Im doing a few sections of it myself. Cordage, shelter building, tent pegs, bucksaw, mallet and pack frame. Its keeping me busy in-between doctors appointments for the next four weeks while Im not up to doing much else.

some nice grain came up in the yellow box gum
tried a few different methods on the harder Australian timbers
this is why I like using 6 to 8 inch blades in this country
finished pegs

I tried a few different methods on shaping the pegs. From in-bedding an axe and scrapping the timber backwards over the edge, to chopping with a larger 8 inch bolo. The timber in Australia is so much harder than Northern Hardwoods. This is why I favour a 6 inch blade.

Cordage : Bark Experiment

Ive stripped the bark from the yellow box gum trees to one inch pieces. Then soaked it in water overnight. Ive then stripped it further to 5mm diameter and soaked it again. Over the weekend Ill rub it between my hands to break down the fibers even more then start to do a reverse wrap method.

scrapping all the burnt outer layer off with the 90 degree spine of blade
splitting it with an Esse RB3 before pulling it apart with my fingers
top the 5mm pieces ready to soak, below the scrapped burnt outer

Im finding it easiest to place the blade vertically into a bench top and half way though the material and pulling it through to split the bark. Then reverse it to do the other end. When it gets thin enough or soaked enough I can strip it down further using my hands. Ill rub it over weekend to break down the fibers even more.To start and make cordage.

Timber Processing for Projects

stripping the bark
had some nice long sheets come off
really happy with the ESSE RB3
finished ready for production
soaking the bark for cordage making

Spent the afternoon stripping most of the branches. Some were too burnt to use. Managed to get enough for the projects I had in mind and enough bark strips to make cordage. Really happy with the way the ESSE RB3 handled the job.

Scout Number 3

burnt out area used for collecting material
slippery jacks
size of the trees downed by fire
new fishing spot
collected these for making a buck saw and roycroft pack frame

I believe this is my third scout of the area. I went out looking for approximately one inch thick and straight limbs to make a Roycraft pack frame and a buck saw. Found another fishing hole and what I believe are Suillus luteus Slippery Jack mushrooms. The timber was collected from a recent brush fire burn off. Ill spend the rest of the day stripping the bark off ready to start my projects.

Snugpak Special Forces Sleep System One Week Later

the special forces 1 and 2 combined with the baffle

Its been a week since getting out of hospital and Ive only just started walking around the block to test my exercise level. All my camping gear was still sitting in a pile in the corner, so I thought I better make a effort and try and sort some of it. The next three weeks are booked up with Xrays of knees, CT scans of neck, MRI scans of pancreas, blood tests,Eco-cardiograms and a heart beat monitor.

Its not as hard as it looks on You-tube to fit out the Special Forces One and Two bags together using the baffle. Start from the outside with the special Forces One before doing the Two. id like to add a longer zip-pull to the center zip so you can tell which is which in the dark and maybe tape up the other two zippers.

I used only the Special Forces Two last week and I was wearing only pants and a T shirt. No socks or thermals and at 3am it did get cold, possibly 10 degrees Celsius. I also didnt have the hood pulled up tight. When we first went to sleep it was too hot and I had the bag opened. It will be interesting to try the two bags together.

Id also like to upgrade the sleeping pad to a Nemo Tensor insulated version. I was only using a Sea to Summit 3/4 summer mat in combination with a Platatac 3/4 Gonk mat..

Im currently in a minus 5 bag in my swag along with an extra egg foam mattress, a blanket underneath and two on top and find it cold here at 4am.

Self Reliance Outfitters The Pathfinder School Aussie Challenge

Dave Canterbury had lined up to come back to Australia after his last visit in 2019 to teach his Basic Survival Class so Ive been told but the plague happened and the trip didnt. Ive gotten all motivated for my Level 2 bushcraft course (Which didnt happen) and thought Id give myself a challenge of going out with only the gear list of the 10cs and by going off youtube videos seeing how I go at duplicating some of what is covered on the Pathfinder couse in case Dave ever makes it back to Australia to teach. Hopefully 2023.

Thats not going to happen now atleast till I have my health back under control, but I must have dribbled on too much with mates at the caravan park I was staying in. Talking about bushcraft all the time because they now want to learn some skills. So were talking about setting up a bushcraft study group.

I thought this is a good way for people to learn, have a support base and just get out and do shit and provide a sense of purpose. Keep in mind this will also involve beer and fishing. Im putting the idea out there to see if others are interested in forming a study group of their own. If it became popular enough maybe we could approach Dave and see if he was interested in becoming involved over the internet, you never know.

The 10 C’s of Survivability refer to the 10 Categories of Tools used in survival. Please separate the 10 C’s into an easily manageable backpack or haversack (shoulder bag) as these are the primary tools you will utilize:

1) Cutting Tools:

Knife: Should be non-coated with a 90 degree spine.

Folding Saw

2) Combustion Devices: Fire Kit Components

Two Bic Lighters

1/2” x 6” Ferrocerium Rod (DO NOT bring a small one!)

3) Cover: Emergency Shelter

All Weather 5×7 Space Blanket

Four, 6mil, 55 gallon Drum Liners

One Queen Size Wool Blanket or Swagman Roll

6 plastic tent stakes (no metal)

4) Cordage:

100ft Paracord

100ft #36 Tarred Bankline

5) Container: Drinking & Cooking

Qty 2 Pathfinder 32oz Bottle and Nesting Cup (or equivalent and MUST be wide mouth)

6) Compass

Must have bezel ring, sighting mirror and magnifying lens and non-lensatic

Recommended Suunto MC-2

Ranger Pace beads

7) Cloth & Repair

3′ x 3′ of 100% Cotton Material (Shemagh or XXXL Orange T Shirt)

Scrap Cotton material like an old T (100% Cotton)

(1) #14 Sail Needle

8) Candling Device: Lighting

Headlamp with Spare Batteries

9) Cargo: Tape

1 Large Roll of Gorilla Tape (Not Standard Duct Tape)

10) Combination Tool: Multi Tools

Leatherman Style Multi Tool or Swiss Army Knife

Additionally you will need:

All Weather Notebook/ Journal

3 Pencils/ All Weather Pens

Clothes appropriate for weather conditions.

Appropriate Hygiene Items

So the idea is to learn to do the following:

Make a Bucksaw frame with a 21 inch blade

flint and steel fires

frensel lens fires

20 feet rope soft shoulder straps for pack frames both Roycroft and H ladder style

dismantle and use a wet bic lighter

make a mallet


6 toggles

4 tent stakes

fire bow and bearing block fires

natural shelters

emergency shelters using mylar tarps

knots and lashings

knife sharpening

bush style cooking over a fire

filtering water

try stick carving


splitting wood

plumbers vice

Basic Class Gear Update 2022

Intermediate Gear List

Scout Course

Advanced Class

Pack Frame

Rescue A Wet BIC Lighter

Try Stick

Bushcraft, Disability and Anxiety/Depression

I have a few theories, I would like to share that I havent seem implemented. One was introducing Kali (Stick fighting) into physical rehab. Your twirling a stick around. Its not only great as a passive physical means of rehabilitation for uppe body but also helps to fix the mind when yourve had such mental anguish its difficult to make your mind work and concentrate. The other is to use bushcraft to help with Anxiety and Depression by being outdoors and learning new skills and keeping your hands working all the time. Theres no time to think too much. The third is involving more disabled into bushcraft.

Bushcraft is one thing that no matter what level of disability you have its something you can do and push yourself to be around people and participate in life it boosts self-esteem, helps one feel in control, more confident, create relationships, release endorphins, and feel more independent.

A conversation I had a few days ago with one of my instructors. He said he knew why I did these courses. I replied Im not giving up otherwise Id be sitting around drinking piss all day.

Yourve got to get out there, participate, be part of life, meet people ,learn!

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