Today, while eating lunch, I re-watched a video I've seen many times. It was Ray Mears series "Bushcraft" and the episode about the American Prairies. He spoke of Jim Bridger, mountain man extraordinaire, who ventured into the mountainous regions that are now known as Yellowstone National Park, in the northwest corner of Wyoming. He said that the mountain men of that time, like Jim Bridger, did not start out as bushcrafters, but had to learn all they needed to know even before the first winter. They needed to be quick learners. They learned to improvise and adapt as they went about their daily lives. At the very heart of bushcraft is the ability to use the materials on hand, those things that you bring with you, and the things that the wilderness can provide. You do not need to bring all the tools you can, because you can make what you need as you go along.
As more modern bushcrafters, we are drawn to the same core of bushcraft, to learn what we can about the landscape around us and to improvise the tools we need to adapt to that landscape. So with that in mind, and yet another lesson needing to be completed for Bushclass USA, the "Student Practice to Improvise A Cooking Implement From Metal" I set about designing and improvising a piece of gear that has been missing from my kit for a long time. This speaks to the "modern" side of bushcraft, but touches on a primitive need. Cooking with fire and metal is always a challenge. I hope you enjoy my lesson video.
That should give me a piece of gear to play with for awhile. I can hardly wait to try some stir-fry.