Month: March 2023 (Page 1 of 4)

Maxpedition Gear IFAP

I upgraded my bushcraft first aid kit with a different pouch system. The Maxpedition Gear Individual First Aid Pouch, that could hold slightly more than the system I was using, but more importantly the zips were stronger.

Maxpedition Gear IFAP front pouch contains trauma shears, first aid book and casualty cards
rear molle
both internal compartments
sealed conpartment contains meds and PPE
Mesh compartment contains tape, sting goes, assorted bandaging

Mora Garberg Part 2

The Garberg is probably the cheapest knife I have ever purchased. I think the more I play with it the more I will appreciate it. For someone wanting a cheap blade for a bushcraft course would probably be better served with a bushcraft black if they were never intending to use it again, being half the cost.

I don’t mind it! Coming from a verified knife snob. The plastic grip feels nice in the hand, which I wasn’t expecting. The blade feels smaller than most other blades Ive had for a similar purpose. I don’t even mind the plastic sheath. I think if I were going to go through with a micarta grip and leather sheath I would have chosen the stainless model, but I think Ill leave it just as it is and give the blade a proper work out over the next few months and see how the edge holds.

I purchased this knife for a very particular purpose. For one course in particular requiring carbon to sharpen off locally sourced rocks and for weight reduction. Where Ill be carrying a reduced load on my back and where Ill be using flint to strike off the spine. I don’t want to damage the spine on a more expensive blades.

The height of the scandi to spine thickness ratio has been done well. Great performance making feather sticks, no scandi over bite that Ive seen on several other brands. The spine thickness looks the same as my RB3. I much prefer this diameter over past Mora models. The pommel sits proud slightly for striking with a mallet or for use with a ferro rod.

I’m purposely not picking up any of my blades with micarta or timber handles as a comparison until Ive had a good play with the plastic sheath and handle on the Mora. The Garberg will probably end up being my course knife, where I don’t mind flogging it.

Van Life

I ended up selling my 2019 Ford Raptor, which I never thought Id do. That thing would go any where . Then brought a Mercedes Sprinter 313 LWB 2013 high roof to make into a camper to live the Van Life. Much easier when traveling doing courses having a vehicle to sleep in. I started off in a 30 foot Bedford bus, downsized to a caravan and now to a van over the past five years.

Ill be driving the van to Tasmania for the build by Antisocial Engineering in Margate and get to spend a month in Tassi doing the build and taking some time off to check out the scenery and trout fishing..

The build will consist of insulating and sound deadening everything, installing solar and batteries, futon queen sized bed at rear (sideways), lounge near the sliding doorway and a kitchenette. The roof and walls will be will be a blackout concept with timber batons covering the walls an ceiling and strip lights leading up either edge of the roof. Beech floor covered in 6mm hybrid vinyl floor planks to match the ceiling.

Build Parts:

Method Race Wheels 703 17″x8.5″

Maxxis AT811 265/70R 17 Tyres

Motexion Beech ply LWB floor

Terrawagon flare kit

Van Essential insulated window covers

Maxair roof vent and cover

Parts Supplied by:

Build :

Antisocial Engineering

Solar System

(Three attempts to deliver the two lithium batteries, they supplied the wrong regulator with the kit. They stopped making the 175 amp size so to increase to four batteries I now have to sell the two I purchased and will be going back to AGMs. Returned the agm reg for a refund that has now been over two months and they don’t answer their phones and when they do they have not received or cannot find the returned item. Their warranty and customer service sucks I would not recommend company to deal with again.)



Leto Bamboo: ( higher density for sound reduction and heat dispersion ) Anne was great to deal with. Had written up a cutting plan, and shipping to two different destinations.


New England Backbutt: Ask for John, he informed me which brands to suit a vehicle with 5G locking systems, txted me pictures of the exact colours. Also great to deal with.

Design Influences:

Heat Sheet Emergency Thermal Blankets

in packaging

I’m trying out a new product from Tacmed Australia called a heat sheet for inclusion in my first aid kits made from LDPE (low density polyethylene) in 1.25mil 142x213cm. They seem a little stronger than the standard Mylar blankets usually found in emergency equipment. I grabbed a couple to add to my kits to treat hypothermia and shock.

OD colour
1.25 thickness

Bird Identification Homework

Part of the last few courses Ive done were to pick three birds around your sit spot areas you didn’t know anything about and learn about them. What I learnt was my bird ID skills were crap.The birds I thought were Minors were Blackbirds and minors I thought were Butcher Birds for a start. I can now tell male from females and have a different appreciation of starlings and minor birds. The Australian Robin is something Ill have to look into even more. Beautiful little birds.

male black bird
minor bird
Australian robins

What prompted me to take this more seriously, because I’m not a birder. Is that the Magpies were chasing other birds either into the house or into the windows. One fell by my side while I was trying to read and I had to protect it from the Maggies until it recovered. It then flew inside the house. Seemed to have followed me inside. I just couldn’t figure out what it was . Female black bird or juvenile Starling?

LT Wright Sospes

My LT Wright Sospes arrived today with special thx to Rob from Practical Survivor for shipping it over to me from the US, the way the postage is at the moment. Doesn’t weigh as much as I thought it would from the you-tube clips mentioning heft. Very well balanced, beautifully made.I don’t know why LT Wright stopped making the model. I would have liked the scandi ground version but the sabre was the last one I could find any where. I think the rocky mountain grip put people off purchasing but it feels great in the hand no hot spots and adds to the look. Ill enjoy testing it out later this week. Thx Dave for sending through the pics, the resolution is smaller than usual but my phone is playing up.

I really like this one
JRE Industries sheath
Purchased from Old towne Cutlery

May have to copy and paste the link to Robs blog that seems to playing up too.

Does Size Matter

The age old question. Does size matter? I’m speaking of bushcraft knives of course! Ive had a theory for some time that I will be putting to the test very shortly in that a 6 inch bushcraft knife is far better than a four inch blade for Australian conditions. Ive watched many a you-tube clip of Bushcrafter’s overseas in the Northern Hemisphere making feather sticks and carving try sticks, even tent pegs, but try doing those on Aussie timbers which are much denser then I believe a larger blade would be more suited.

Ill be testing side by side a Mora Garberg and a Spyderco bushcraft with an LT Wright Sospes sabre grind with a Helle Nord. In everything from buttoning to finer carving chores to see if the larger blades can also be counted as bushcraft knives rather than be classed in the survival knife category.

Helle Nord

LT Wright Sospes

Spyderco Bushcraft

Mora Garberg

San Bushman Saying;

If one day I see a small bird and recognize it, a thin thread will form between me and the bird.If I just see it and don’t really recognize it, there is no thin thread. If I go out tomorrow and see and really recognize the same individual small bird again, the thread will thicken and strengthen just a little. Every-time I see and recognize that bird, the thread strengthens. Eventually it will grow into a string, then a cord and finally a rope. This is what it means to be a Bushman. We make ropes with all aspects of the creation in this way.

From “What The Robin knows” By Jon Young

Eastern Coast 6 Bush Seasons (D’harawal Country)

‘The yearly calendar does not rely upon dates in months and weeks, or even an understanding of the solstices, but on key events that occur in the environment. These events involve specific plant flowerings and fruitings, and noticeable quirks of animal behaviour that occur only at certain times of the year. The calendar is not set rigidly in time, but responds to the triggers of the environment, a response to the Land of the D’harawal Peoples as they moved through the environment, observing the signs of these changes.’

Frances Bodkin, D’harawal Climate and Natural Resources

The six seasons within the annual cycle are:

The Time of Burrugin – Tugarah Tuli

Cold, frosty, short days (June / July)

This is the time when the male Burrugin (echidnas) form lines of up to ten as they follow the female through the woodlands in an effort to wear her down and mate with her. It is also the time when the Burringoa (Eucalyptus tereticornis) starts to produce flowers, indicating that it is a time to collect the nectar of certain plants for the ceremonies which will begin to take place during the next season. It is also a warning not to eat shellfish again until the Boo’kerrikin blooms.

The Time of Wiritjiribin – Tugarah Gunya’marri

Cold and windy (July / August)

The Wiritjiribin (lyrebird) calls ring out through the bushland as he builds his dancing mounds to attract his potential mates. It is the time of the flowering of the Marrai’uo (Acacia floribunda) which is a sign that the fish are running in the rivers. At the end of this time the Boo’kerrikin (Acacia decurrens) flowers, which indicates the end of the cold, windy weather, and the beginning of the gentle spring rains.

The Time of Ngoonungi – Murrai’yunggory

Cool, getting warmer (September / October)

The cold winds have now gone, and the days are starting to get warmer. The buds of the Waratah swell and redden, and the Ngoonungi (flying foxes) gather in vast numbers over D’harawal Lands as the sun sinks below the horizon and dusk falls. Gentle rains fall during this time, and the flowers bloom heavy with nectar. It is a time for ceremony, and the clans gather to celebrate a time of plenty.

The Time of Parra’dowee – Gooray’murrai

Warm and wet (November / December)

The time of the Parra’dowee (eel) signifies the time to prepare for the very hot weather which will, within the next two moons, scorch the land and the people. This is the time when it is unwise to camp near rivers; the weather is getting hotter and storms with heavy rain more frequent. The golden yellow flowers of the Kai’arrewan (Acacia binervia) indicate the beginning of the season, giving plenty of warning of the storms to come. In massive numbers the freshwater eels begin their long journey down the rivers and creeks and out to sea where they will mate and die.

The Time of Burran – Gadalung Marool

Hot and dry (January / February)

The staple diet during the time of Burran (the kangaroo) was fruit, seeds, and the roots and tubers of those plants which had finished flowering. It was also usually the hottest time of the year, and a time when the people did not wander far from their water source. This time of year is signified by the blooming of the Weetjellan (Acacia implexa) and indicates that the people were forbidden to eat meat or fish during this time.

The Time of Marraigang – Bana’marrai’yung

Wet, becoming cooler (March / April / May)

The time of the year when the cries of the Marrai’gang (Quoll) seeking his mate can be heard through the forests and woodlands. The Lillipilli ripens and food is plentiful, however, when the fruit begins to fall from the trees it is a sign that it is time to start moving from the highlands and plains down to the coastal areas. It is also the time to start mending cloaks or making new ones in preparation for the coming cold weather.

As detailed in Frances Bodkin and Lorraine Robertson’s book D’harawal Climate and Natural Resources.

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