Well, it has finally arrived and by that I don't mean Spring or some new piece of gear or even the myriad number of robins that have populated our yards and woodlands. What I mean is that it is Tax Day 2013. April 15th, some of us dread it and some, well let's just say they probably have their refund already and have already bought their new knives and other gear for the coming spring and summer adventures.
I realized too that it is the 15th of April and I have yet to post anything in my blog for this month. Where has all the time gone? It's not like I haven't been busy enjoying several bushcraft adventures.
The following Sunday after my last posting on the "Sights and Sounds of Spring," I met up with my buddy Sticker and we headed out for a long hike to explore some of the places that he had not seen in our area before.
Along the way we discussed ways of finding directions without a compass and how to tell approximately which direction was "south" by looking at which side of a tree has the most branches, we looked for any large ant hills that might have been built, usually on the south side of a tree, we examined the growth patterns of moss on the usual north side of a tree in the deeper woods, and later we used the shadow stick method to really nail down the east west line and determine north and south, once the sun came out. Sticker had never seen that done before and was very impressed.
We also practiced some tracking skills, examined mullein stalks as possible sources for a hand drill spindle, looked at several types of scat, found a deer carcass, bushwacked thru some thick brush, and in the end made a small dead fall trap using a promontory peg trigger. I could tell that my friend Sticker was having a good time.
In the end, we had hike 4.5 miles or so and spent about 6 hours in the woodland soaking up what turned out to be a great day. It was a lot of fun and I didn't take a single minute of video. Sometimes you just have to let it go and be more in the moment.
Part of our conversation that day was on making plans to recon the Richard J. Dorer State Forest here in southeastern Minnesota for an upcoming three day meetup with several other interested bushcrafters in our area.
We decided to make the recon a Day Trip and are planning on meeting in the Easy Wheeling Nature Area which is part of the Kruger Forest Management Unit. We are planning on spending about 9 hours in the area exploring, practicing bushcraft skills and getting the most out of what should be a great day. Here is a link to a map of the area. Easy Wheeling Nature Area
Hopefully soon, I will complete the video I am working on, on how to make an Ottomani Sun Compass and I will post up my report on the day trip to the Richard J. Dorer State Forest and our day of recon and bushcraft adventure. Until next time, Happy Exploring.