So it was about this time, the husband started to ask about knives and wanted to know what a good brand was and he also wanted to know about "flint and steel." I suspected he meant "ferro rod" or "firesteel" so I proceeded to make up some tinder from some jute twine I had and explained a little about what knife brands I was familiar with and why I prefer a fixed blade.Then I brought out my ferro rod on the lanyard and my trusty SAK Farmer. In no time at all, I had that nest of jute twine burning in flame. It was impressive and everyone was amazed.
Well at least they had seen one modern way of making fire, the old reliable, "Don't Leave Home Without It", works in the rain, throws molten metal and sparks to 5500° F, takes a licking and keeps on ticking Ferro-Rod!! But now I had to focus on getting fire the really old fashion way, by rubbing two sticks together.
As it turned out, I got a very excellent ember on the second try. And as everyone looked on, it cherried up nicely and would be an easy start from there. By this time, I had made a second bundle nest of jute twine and carefully transferred the ember to blow it to flame. It worked perfectly, to everyone's amazement. I felt pretty good. I had the chance to share something fun and unusual with some perfect strangers and it did not matter where we had come from, or who we were. We had all felt the kinship with the past, of the discovery of fire in a primitive way. It felt a lot more satisfying than using the ferro-rod that's for sure.
After the young man got the video he needed, I shared the fact that I have a YouTube channel and invited them to visit the site and this blog to see and read more about bushcraft and some of my adventures. I spoke to them about BushcraftUSA and about the membership and the Bushclass lessons. I hope they look it up. I hope I hear from them again or maybe see and visit with them and get the chance to share some other things about bushcraft that I love.
Soon the husband and wife couple and I said our good-byes to the young men and started out on our hike again. I promised to bring them up to the top of the ridge and show them a large rock on the ridge line, that works as a nice look out and a place to stop and have a lunch. Once we arrived there, I showed them yet another bow and drill set that I had left behind. She asked me if I do that a lot. I smiled and said, "Yes, I try to leave them anyplace someone might find them and wonder what they are for and how to use them and I hope that they will take them home if they want." I think she may just go back to the Sakatah Trail Eagle Lake bridge sometime to take home what she missed.
We walked the ridge line over to the campground and thru it all the way to a park bench that overlooks a scenic area and bend in the river. We sat and chatted for awhile and I started to show them things in my kit and why I have them. Then it occurred to me that they had not see yet the use of flint and steel. If I showed them that, they would have a larger understanding of the methods of making fire down thru the ages.
So I opened up my tinder kit and got out some charred cloth, some flint and my trusty steel striker. In no time I had a spark and the charred cloth caught the jute tinder to flame almost instantly. Again, they were impressed.
I finished up the show and tell and we headed back towards the vehicles. It had been now about 4 hours and I was just then getting around to introducing myself. I found out their names were George and Terry and they had been in and around Mankato over the years and were re-visiting some sites they had not been to in awhile.
As we arrived back at the vehicles, we said our good-byes and they thanked me for all the fun that they had. I did have a good time. It was a good day. I wished them well, and it is my hope to meet with them again, so that I can share the adventure that is bushcraft.
Even if I did not get the chance to practice bushcraft with my usual suspects, I did get to practice it with strangers and maybe they will remember me and want to learn for themselves more about that wonderful thing we can Bushcraft. Happy Exploring.