On Discovering Self

"Walk in Peace... Learn from Nature... Find Yourself...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When You Just Have To Make A Tool

Wood Spoon Blank
Okay, so sometimes you just have to have the right tool for the job. On a recent bushcraft outing, all was going well. The fire was made, the water set in the canteen cup to boil, soup in the offing. It was Chicken Double Noodle after all, and one of my bush buddies favorites. So he gets out his mess kit, and his Light My Fire plastic spork and his soup bowl now at the ready. All I need is my trust LMF Spork also and I will have my soup right out of the canteen cup. We will divide it up, and chow down. I reach for my kit, open the flap on my utensil pocket and lo and behold pull out half a spork. That's right, a spoon bowl with a one inch handle. Hardly enough to do the stirring, even tougher to eat with. What to do? More after the jump.

Wooden Spoon with Bowl Carved
    As chance would have it, I had a regular soup spoon, made of metal of course, in my pack, left over from a previous expedition. All I needed to do is wash it, and press it into service. But it did beg the question, what would you have to do to get a functional spoon in the wild. I decided to tackle that question on my next outing. As you can see, I found a good piece of birch, about 2" in diameter. I used a makeshift baton and my SOG Seal Pup to split it down to usable stock and began to shape the handle and bowl form. Birch is really a go-to wood for making utensils. I will season it with olive oil when I am done and it should last a long time. There are special tools, called "spoon knives" that are made specific for this task. Mora Knives have a few models and I hope one day to procure one of them. Until than, I will have to be content using my SOG. All in all, it turned out really well and I can easily eat soup with it. It is strong and will last a good long time, I hope. I think I will put a pot hook on it, just to lift the bale on my billy can when needed.
   Bushcraft really is about adapting and improvising and lastly, overcoming the obstacles set before us. It is about problem solving. I find it helps me to focus my mind, and that brings with it a new realization that life is about solving problems and that for me is really one of the  purposes of living. Happy Exploring.

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