On Discovering Self

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Recon Of The Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest

   Well as promised, I finally made it to the RJD Memorial Hardwood State Forest and had the chance to spend a good nine hours playing in the woods. In that time, my friend Sticker and I covered a lot of ground, including both over land and the landscape that is bushcraft and some of the required skills sets. Here is a list of nearly all the activities we touched on in our time at the woods.
    We worked on navigation with our topo maps and compass, gathered tinders, found chert for improvised strikers for improvised steels, practiced with magnifying lens and chaga, gathered false tinder fungus, and gathered pine needles for tea. Then we gathered basswood and ash for bow drill and spindle parts, looked for water sources, practiced tree identification, looked for wild edibles (found some near ready fiddle heads), worked some knifecraft with batoning and carving, practiced shadow stick method for direction, played with making natural cordage made from basswood inner bark (not in the video), used flint and steel to start fire, and finally made some pine needle tea and relaxed.
   The established campground was on a hill nearby and had plenty of trees to hang hammocks, open areas for tents and fire rings and vault toilets. There was also a hand powered pump that worked for water.
   We got there at 9AM and stayed until 6PM. The weather was perfect for an outing, with sunny skies, temperature high near 40°F and little to no wind.
   As Sticker put it when we got there, "We needed to get out of our comfort zone." and he was right, we had gotten really familiar with things back in our usual stomping grounds.
   But we discovered as always, that bushcraft and bushcraft skills travel with you, and before long we were comfortable here in this new place, and we were soon gathering resources and having fun like a couple of boys playing in the woods.
   So here is Part One of our great adventure.

   Later, I will post up Part Two showing even more of the fun and I know I will be looking forward to doing even more adventures in bushcraft this year and meeting up with some really fine people. Until next time, Happy Exploring.

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