Month: August 2022 (Page 1 of 4)

Ferro Rod Scrapping and 90 Degree Spines.

I repeatedly say bushcraft is what you make it. You take bits and pieces of what you like from different sources and make it into your own. I was starting to notice something and Im just as guilty of this. Sharpening the spines of blades. I dont do it on all my knives but there are a few that i want for that particular purpose of being able to strike a ferro rod with the spine. Many of my favorites I leave alone. There is also the advantage of scrapping tinder. Which I probably use the spine for more than striking ferro rods. I just change the knife I’m using if the one Im carrying hasn’t a 90 degree spine. Which is why I carry more than one blade. Usually a small neck knife.

I was watching Chris Tanner on Preparedmind 101 while researching the Tops Bob Fieldcraft. I don’t always agree with Chris but if I only watched channels I agreed with all the time I wouldn’t learn anything.

Chris is also having a hard time with several bushcraft trends. He just uses his leatherman saw if he requires a sharp spine for striking a ferro rod. (see links below).

I notice particularly with knots. They’re the same knots passed down from one instructor to another and no one has had an original idea in a while. Thats one of the reasons I started my knot tying articles.

Its good to have a backup in case you loose a striker,( redundancies) but I have been carrying a striker made by Beaver Bushcraft and Leather in 01 steel. I find this much easier to use than a blade spine. I have it attached to my ferro rod with paracord in a reverse twist braid that’s long enough to attach to my belt and fit into my pocket.

Otherwise I usually have an Esse CR2.5 hanging around my neck that does have a sharp spine.

The other option that I’m looking at are necklaces specifically designed as strikers. One in particular I like is from Norseman at Survival Hardware.

On courses your constantly lighting fires for training however in real life , how many times ?Once a day!


Reverse twist ferro rod strap

Preparedmind 101


Ferro Rod Strikers

Beaver bushcraft and leather


Ridge depot


Beaver bushcraft necklaces

Old Growth Artisians

Bison bushcraft

Survival Hardware

Nature Literacy

“I really wanted to share this article by Mike Douglas, it really struck a cord with me.”

What does “Nature Literacy” really mean? Understanding biology, ecology, botany, ornithology, silvaculture; is that what Nature Literacy is? Is it something you get when you check off all the birds on your life list? Is it when you get Survival Merit Badge, or your first deer?

I’ve met folks who are more “Nature Literate” than me. When they walk through an area the birds don’t get alarmed. You can’t hear their foot steps and they aren’t even trying to be quiet. The “Nature Literate” usually know what plant to use, but they take their time. They might wander the landscape- following some intuitive sense until they find just the right place to harvest from, and choose just the right part of that individual plant. Sleeping outside is preferred, but a window open at night keeps peace with the “Nature Literates” loved ones. The landscape seems to benefit from the “Nature Literate” person. The majority of these people seem to enjoy a long and enriching life outdoors as a result.

Can you imagine if we were all “Nature Literate”? We would have communities whose health would be reflected in the health and diversity of their landscape. Self-actualization would be the norm. To know yourself and be at peace with who you are would be easy. The constant immersion and interaction with a healthy and diverse landscape would nourish your body, mind, and spirit. For countless generations, wherever we hunted and foraged, humanity would be considered, like many apex species, an indicator of the health of that landscape.

If a biome is rich enough it could support an assortment of apex species. The carrying capacity of the landscape would limit the numbers of all but one of those species. Uniquely, we have the ability to encourge, diversify, and increase the carrying capacity of the land. This ability, once removed from a mulitgenerational interdependent ecological view, expresses itself in a variety of ways. Many are marvels to behold, but they tend to be unstable, sharpening the peaks and troughs of populations within our affected area.

Health and diversity are driving natural forces. They create an interdependence among organisms and literally shape the individual life forms to better interact with each other. Birds and flowers evolve a symbiosis that insects take advantage of. The movement of mites from flower to foul encourages the evolution of predatory insects and their form and behaviors. The tapestry is at once complex and profoundly simple. Imagining the reasons the landscape expressed us is to examine human interactions with everything from the soil to the sky, and to do so in a natural setting, tracking the trends as far back as we are able. In short, “Nature Literacy” is nothing less than getting connected to the landscape until it becomes part of your identity and than making the agreement to grow from there exponentially.

by Mike Douglas

Knives On My To Purchase List

Condor k tac kukri desert – Im not a big kukri fan, Ive had another four kuks including an extrema ratio and a cold steel. Id probably get another cold steel when they come out in 3V and replace the handle with micarta. The Ktact is the closet.

Tops earth skills – really looking forward to trying this one out.

Extrema ratio waki – Ive trained in several blade disciplines. My sword work was primarily Aikido and kali. I prefer short swords as Ive trained longer in Kali. 12 to 14 inch blades are my favorite.

Tops firestrike 45 – I was looking at the 7 inch hunters point version of the anaconda and found this one instead. I dont like choils.

Tops cuma kage – another short sword/machete style.

Id have to modify

Tops Brakimo – from the looks of it Id like to round off the grip more and go over the spine to bring it to a full 90 degrees.

Tops bob field craft 154cm green micarta – once again sharpen the spine , round off the jimping, grind back the pommel depending on the balance.


Tops anaconda 9 inch tanto point – been a big fan of Ron hood.

Becker bk 9 and 7 – had both of these. What Im thinking of is modifying the BK9 to BK7 clip point and length to have a thicker version

Tops msk 2.5

Tops scandi trekker

Let me know in comments what you think or own them.

Blog Maintenance

The website now has an active comments section at the below right of each post heading and should be at the bottom of the each article page. The contact page is also now up and running. I had to remove the sales page in order to have a disclaimer menu heading for legalities.

Knife Collection Pics

Some of my current knife collection. Top to bottom.

Almar Sere 2000
Benchmade Griptillian
Cold steel ti lite
Kershaw blur

Spyderco delica zombie
Spyderco delica serrated
Spydeco pikal folder
Spydeco tenacious

  • Sere 2000 and Tenacious

Askari backup
Mission knives MBK ti
CRKT Bearclaw
Spyderco pikal fixed
Spyderco Temperance

  • Temperance and Jeff Crowner TORIS – TROIKA Knife

Tops Ferret
Katz Parrasite
Tops Scapal
Esse CR2.5
Gene Ingram pocket warncliffe

Scrapyard knives warden
Spyderco Moran fb101
Spyderco mule team

Jeff Crowner bush knife
Jeff Crowner golok
JEB kukri

Becker BK 2 01 steel
Becker BK 7 01 steel

Spyderco bushcraft
Quickhatch knives bushman
Tops Tanimboca Pukko
Lt Wright Shemanese
Esse RB 3

Jeff Crowner TYR Group tracker
Almar Sere Operator
Tops 4.5 hog
Caldwell 1 in 6

  • Jeff Crowner 12 inch bush knife

Im down from 600 blades. You can only carry so many when traveling. I still have an LT Wright Sospes on order.

Awareness in the Bush through Mindfulness

The more knowledge you accumulate the more you see things differently. Most people walk through the bush and see nothing, notice nothing just green if that. They look but don’t see, hear but don’t listen.

Short story long. When your first told your terminal they make you write a list of what you’d like to accomplish when you become healthy. Pretty much all of my list turned into , whats the politically correct term. A cluster fuk.

I fell into bushcraft and it took root and from doing bushcraft courses has gotten me through a lot of sickness, rehab and pain. Helped to focus my mind. A mate said to me I have probably achieved a level of resilientness that most people can only dream about.

I read a book called Celestine Prophecy, The author is probably a nut job but the book says that when we go to the celestial plane we choose the life were to reincarnate into in order to learn life’s lessons. I came away with two things from that. One I stopped being angry with what was happening to me (the important one) and second looking back on it I was probably a dumbarse for putting myself through all this BS.

However I’m now on a path that I wouldn’t have been on otherwise. Ironically I would have been dead long ago if I hadn’t become sick.

I first learned about mindfulness through martial arts. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention to the present-moment experience without evaluation

Through mindful awareness we can realize an engaged life for ourselves. Engaged living is about being aware of our choice to connect to our own Truth, live in harmony and in gratitude for every moment of our lives.

Mindfulness and engaged living will inevitably overlap. One who practices mindfulness turns their everyday life into an art.

Awareness. We first have to be aware in order to decide how to live differently. Mindfulness practice is an ideal way of generating awareness in life. In mindfulness practice, every action we take is done with awareness

Engaged living relates to the actions behind the awareness, in both large and small things. Though it’s difficult to practice mindfulness all the time, by making choices to live an engaged life, the structure of one’s life changes. And as the structure changes, mindfulness flows.

The last maybe fifteen years I have studied everything from botany to history. When I walk a trail now I see differently I also don’t just focus with my eyes when I can also listen, smell, taste and feel.

I look around me and know the trees are Yellow Box gum trees and that they’re good for honey, which part of the country Im in, its good for firewood and building.

That the clouds are Cumulus and are less than 2000 meters in altitude. The different sizes of cumulus clouds have four differing types. If the cloud you’re looking at is wider than it is tall, then it’s a cumulus humilis. If it’s as wide as it is tall, then it’s a cumulus mediocris. But when a cumulus cloud is taller than it is wide, known as cumulus congestus, If cumulus congestus clouds continue their vertical growth, they’re capable of producing rain, and can eventually morph into a cumulonimbus cloud, or thunderstorm.

On the ground plantain is growing ,the seeds are called Psyllium and can be used as a porridge, the leaves can be eaten in salads, soups and stews or sautéd and contain vitamin C, E and K.

I can recognize a dandelion is one of the most nutritious leafy greens to eat. This plant contains vitamin A, C and K, calcium and iron. The young leaves and yellow flower petals of the dandelion plant can be used in a salad, sandwiches, go well with egg dishes, added to soups and stews, or cooked like spinach. The dandelion root can be used as a coffee substitute.

Im still learning about the medicinal virtues of plants. Bird language has recently interested me. Australian birds have 10 vocal expressions/categories, Alarm, ground predator alarm, aerial predator alarm, annoyance , territorial, courtship, mimicry, aggression , begging, contact calling, pain , joy. Bird species overseas have more likely five vocalizations, song, companion call, territorial aggression, begging and alarm.

I look at everything differently now.

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