Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Woodsrunner's Diary: Cooking Utensils For Wilderness Living.

A Woodsrunner's Diary: Cooking Utensils For Wilderness Living.: Cooking Utensils For Wilderness Living. Now there is no doubt that a variety of cooking utensils are useful, but are they really necessar...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Woodsrunner's Diary: Part Five. A Closer Look At Flint and Steel Fire L...

A Woodsrunner's Diary: Part Five. A Closer Look At Flint and Steel Fire L...: Kindling versus Tinders. There has to be some division between tinder and kindling, otherwise it can become very confusing for the beginne...

1080 Poisoning Video.

The use by the government, land holders and farmers of 1080 poison is killing our native wildlife. It is also polluting our water supplies with the dead poisoned carcases. Please do what you can to get 1080 banned in Australia as it is overseas. Please sign this petition.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Poisoning Paradise: 1080 Poison Protestors Have Charges Dismissed

Poisoning Paradise: 1080 Poison Protestors Have Charges Dismissed: Photo - Katie Earnshaw It is not unusual to have a police presence at 1080 poison drops in New Zealand. People have been voicing their co...

1080 Poison Video. Please Watch.

Please Sign This Petition.

No point complaining if we don't try & change things. Please sign this petition & share where you can.
Regards, Keith.

Poisoning Paradise: 1080 poison: Science and Facts

Poisoning Paradise: 1080 poison: Science and Facts: Dr Jo Pollard (BSc (Hons, PhD) has spent 2 years analysing and investigating the evidence and research presented to the ERMA reassessment on...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bug out areas to look for.

Bug out areas to look for.
Whether you scout out an area to survive in first or whether you have to find somewhere on the run, you need to know what to look for. Anywhere with cover will do for a temporary camp, but if you are looking for a permanent camp site, then there are specific things to look for.
Water is life, where you find water you will find food. A permanent water source attracts game, and with any luck you may find edible plants there as well. Ideally what you are looking for is water where cattail/Cumbungi is growing. This will give you a food supply as well as tinder and shelter material.
Trees are essential for constructing decent shelters, but a cave would make an even better dwelling. So keep these two areas in mind.

Cattail Pond on the author's property. This is the sort of area you should be looking for.

What Do You Need To Survive. Part 2 Wilderness Living.

What Do You Need To Survive. Wilderness Living.
If you do not have a retreat to go to, then when you leave the city you will have to go to the most remote part of the bush you can find. No matter if you are travelling by water or by car, you do not want to take with you any more gear than you can carry on your back. It is doubtful that you will be able to go all the way by vehicle, and if you have to ditch the vehicle at any time, then there is no point in leaving equipment behind.
What will you need to survive? You will need to survive the wilderness; it is not a home away from home. Living will not be easy. You do not need modern gadgets and “Rambo” survival knives. You need to carry practicle tools designed to perform the tasks of wilderness living. Yes you may need to use these tools for self defence, but their main purpose will be to serve you in the performance of living skills. You need a good butcher knife to skin and dress game. This knife is designed to perform this function, a “Rambo” knife is not. You will need more than one knife, and you will need a tomahawk, because no one tool can perform all duties easily and efficiently.
When you are packing your “bug-out” bag for the trail, there must be some compromise made between maximum self-reliance, and minimum weight. You may love your solar torch, but at the end of the day, would you rather have one more round left for your gun, or would you rather have that torch?
No matter how much you like the thought of being able to carry your modern breach-loading firearm, the reality is that it is going to cost you a lot of weight in ammunition, regardless of whether or not you intend to reload your own ammo, there are other important items you need to carry with you. A self-bow or a muzzle-loading gun is a far better choice for long term wilderness survival. If you have enough people going with you, then by all means have someone carry a modern firearm. But they can not afford to be laden down carrying a lot of ammo. You are just as dead if you are hit by a .22 as you are if you are hit with a .308, so if you are carrying a firearm for self defence, then go for a .22 with light ammo, or a 12 gauge and carry less ammo.
The muzzle-loading gun has many advantages over the breach-loader for hunting, the main one being that you can easily retrieve the spent lead from shot game and remould it. This means that you can afford to carry more weight in gunpowder than in lead, and your ammo will last longer.
Tents and hammocks are restrictive when you are survival camping. They restrict your movement, and it means that you have to carry extra bedding or a sleeping bag to stay warm on cold nights as you can not gain any warmth from a fire. If your camp is raided in the night, you will be at a disadvantage. So I recommend that you choose a simple canvas or oil cloth lean-to shelter. You can see more and hear more, you can gain heat from a reflector fire if it is safe to make a fire. You do not need poles or rods to hold this shelter up. In actual fact you are better off in dry weather sleeping without any shelter or fire at all.
Cooking utensils are many, but all you need is a kettle/billy. Do not add more weight or bulk by carrying anything else, it is just not needed. Don’t carry a camp stove and fuel, it is not needed. Instead make sure you are carrying trail foods that do not require cooking.
Fire lighting tools need to be as basic as you can make them. Fire lighting must be sustainable, this means learning some fire lighting skills beyond the use of matches, lighter or ferrocerium rod. The ferrocerium rod relies on everything being right, and if this rod is dropped and breaks, you are stuffed. Learn to use a flint, steel & tinderbox, and learn how to make and use the fire-bow. You can’t keep up a steady supply of Vaseline cotton balls or “charcloth” in the wilderness, so learn how it is really done and you will never be without fire.

The author's blades.
Tomahawk. Making trap and shelter stakes, hammering in stakes, pounding plant materials, shelter construction, throwing for recreation, throwing for hunting, butchering game, self-defence, trap making, making pegs, hammering in pegs, dispatching game, debarking timber.
Hunting Knife. Skinning and butchering game, hunting, self-defence, eating.
Clasp Knife. Camp chores, making trap triggers, cutting cordage, harvesting plants, making fire-bow parts, back-up for other tasks.
Legging Knife. Self-defence, back-up for skinning and dressing game.

Benefits of the flintlock over the modern firearm. Copyright Keith H. Burgess.
  1. Spent lead can be retrieved from shot game & easily remoulded into swan shot or round ball by using a simple ball mould & a light lead ladle. This means you can carry less weight in lead, & more weight in gunpowder, which means your ammo will last longer.
  2. You are not carrying the extra weight of brass shells & do not have to worry about moisture damage to primers. You are not carrying heavy reloading gear.
  3. Flintlocks are easy to repair, especially if you are carrying a few spare springs. Flintlocks rarely break, but if the lock did break, & you had no spare parts, you can easily turn it into a matchlock or a tinderlock & continue using it.
  4. A flintlock smoothbore can digest round ball, swan shot, or light bird shot, or any combination of two of these in one load. IF you were eventually to run out of lead, there are other projectiles that can be used.
  5. The lock on a flintlock can be used to make fire without the use of gunpowder.
  6. A .32 caliber flintlock rifle will take any game a .22 will. It will also take larger game. It uses only about 14 grains of black powder so ammo is light & it lasts a very long time. With another mould, you can also use minnies (conical) which are heavier & have even more killing power. They are very accurate.
  7. Paper cartridges are easy to make for the smoothbore, & makes for much faster reloading.
  8. The fact that you are carrying black powder, means that you can use it to make fire even if you have no prepared tinder.
  9. You can carry a flintlock pistol in a matching caliber  For instance, a 20 gauge fusil & pistol. The pistol can digest exactly the same ammunition, swan shot (buckshot) & ball is devastating.
  10. Ignition is supplied be a piece of hard sharp rock. You can of course carry spare flints, but should you run out, you can find suitable rocks in the bush.
  11. You can if you are careful, make your own gunpowder. I have read that you can make suitable gunpowder by using just charcoal & Potassium Nitrate, but I have not tried this yet. Both of these elements can be made in the bush.
  12. Anything hit with a large caliber ball from a flintlock will not get away, regardless of where it is hit.

What Do You Need To Survive?

What Do You Need To Survive?
There is a lot of talk on survival forums regarding bugging in versus bugging out. So first let’s talk about bugging in. Instead of saying to yourself “I have a .308 and a 1000 rounds of ammo plus a 12 gauge with a 1000 rounds of ammo so I am bugging in”, just ask yourself this question. If I wanted to get someone out of a house, what would I do? If I were in this position, being part of a gang and wanting the supplies in someone’s house, I would consider two options. 1) Drive a truck through the front of your house and shoot the hell out of any survivors. 2) Burn you out, shoot you as you exit, then rush in with fire extinguishers and save whatever supplies I could.
I will leave you to think about that one, personally, if I were living in the city/town, I would be leaving as soon as I could.
Okay, bugging out, going bush.
If you have a retreat out bush, then you should seriously be thinking of moving to your retreat now. Not because all the signs are pointing to an imminent disaster, because they are not, but because at your retreat you can have gardens growing food, you can become as self-reliant as possible, just in case something happens.
If you intend to survive out bush, retreat or no retreat, think about exactly what it is that you have to survive. Okay, let’s make a list of what you may need to survive.
At The Retreat:
·         Starvation.
·         Attacks from raiders.

Needs: You need to have a good garden growing. You need to find out what plants will survive through winter if you are in a cold climate. You need somewhere cool to store your produce. You need to be able to hunt for meat. You need to be able to process that meat and preserve what can’t be eaten at 2-3 sittings.
You need some form of defence, you need guns. You need to construct some form of protection against bullets and arrows entering your dwelling. You need to have Rangers scouting the area for any signs of raiders. You need sentries posted day and night. The Rangers and sentries need to be armed as well as possible, and they need to know what they are doing, they need to be trained. You will need a wood burning fire or stove and the fuel to burn in it.

The skills needed: Hunting, trapping, trap making and use, skinning and butchering, drying meat, gardening, Ranging and scouting, Guarding, weapons training, firearms knowledge and servicing, reloading ammo, cooking, sewing, clothes making. If this turns out to be long term, then more skills will be needed.
Now think about the tools you will need in order to perform these skills. Do you need a “Rambo” survival knife? Or do you need a good butcher knife? Do you need a tomahawk to make traps with and hammer in trap stakes, or do you need a machete? Can you hunt well enough to get close to game with a bow or muzzle-loading gun, or do you need to use a .308 with a scope? Do you need special expensive gadgets to survive in this lifestyle, or can you learn how to go back to basics?

A group stands a much better chance of survival than an individual does in this situation, but these people need feeding, and they need good water. Cement tanks are largely safe from penetration by arrows and bullets, iron and synthetic tanks are not. You will also need a dam/pond or a river or creek. You can not afford to use drinking water for your gardens.
Next time we will cover primitive wilderness living, or bugging out with no retreat to go to.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Woodsrunner's Diary: Rogers Rangers Standing Orders 1759.

A Woodsrunner's Diary: Rogers Rangers Standing Orders 1759.: Rogers Rangers Standing Orders 1759. 1. Don't forget nothing. 2. Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds...

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Woodsrunner's Diary: One Blanket Winter Camping.

A Woodsrunner's Diary: One Blanket Winter Camping.: One Blanket Winter Camping. It can get very cold here in New England NSW, but there are places where it can get much colder. So be min...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Woodsrunner's Diary Blog: The woodsman as a survivalist.

Primitive V Modern. Primitive is an attitude.

Primitive V Modern. Primitive is an attitude.

Primitive survival is a matter of attitude. Instead of thinking what else can I add to my pack, we think “what is there in my pack that I don’t need”. Instead of thinking what is the best gun for long range & maximum damage, we think “what is the best firearm for long term wilderness survival”. We do not rely on bows or firearms for getting meat, we rely more on a trap line. But we don’t think what traps can I purchase, we make our own animal traps out of natural materials found in the bush.
We don’t say what tanning materials can I carry with me, because again, we have no need to carry anything for tanning animal skins. We use natural methods. Instead of asking what is the best hiking boot for survival in the bush, we make our own. Because further down the track when those expensive hiking boots wear out, they are going to need to know how to make their own moccasins.

Cooking is not about carrying a camping stove, cooking is about making a natural fire and using its heat to keep you warm in winter and dry your clothes when they are wet. Fire is about knowing how to make fire in all weather conditions and being prepared. It is not about carrying a Ferrocerium rod that will not work when all the tinder and kindling is wet. Fire is not about carrying Vaseline cotton balls, it is about having the knowledge to find and prepare your own natural tinder found in the bush, and where to find dry kindling in the pouring rain.
Primitive survival is not about preventing wet feet and purchasing the best sleeping bag. It is about knowing what to do when you get wet moccasins and learning how to stay warm with only one wool blanket. It is about learning how to think differently about comfort and being resigned to the fact that you will not be as comfortable as you would be in a modern house.

Wilderness living is about having the right tools for the tasks in hand, it is not about carrying a Rambo knife. Modern so called survival knives are for those that only carry one knife and nothing else. A woodsman on the other hand carries more than one knife, and he/she carries an axe. Extra weight? Yes of course it is, but having the right tools is something that should not be compromised. You don’t carry a jungle machete into an eastern forest. Wilderness survival is about choosing the right tool for its versatility and worth, it is not about purchasing a tool because it looks formidable and might be good for fighting.

Primitive long term wilderness survival is about thinking out of the box, it is about thinking beyond the main purpose of a particular piece of equipment. By all means if there are enough of you in your group then carry a modern firearm, but DO NOT totally rely on modern equipment. Sooner or later it will wear out or break down, and then you will find yourself back in the stone age. Better to use methods that are natural and sustainable, and equipment that is practical and serviceable.

Think about it.

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