Woo Hoo! I had a four day weekend ahead of me. Now, what to do, what to do?? To the woods!!
Wednesday after work, I pretty much vegged, thinking about how I could sleep in on the 4th. It was too late to get a campsite at the local park, besides I have more fun during the daytime hours anyway, sleeping in a tent is sometimes just a nuisance.
I would rather be awake and out and about and when you live that close to the woods, well it just seems to be a no brainer. Sleep good, and play hard the rest of the day out in the woods where you can put in some day long dirt time.
So after sleeping in on the 4th, I headed out on the trail and that afternoon did some playing with the new canteenshop grill top stove and canteen and cup. You can see that adventure earlier in this blog.
On Friday, the 5th, I headed out to the local stomping grounds for just some good alone time and a good long hike that would eventually end up being a great work out, with a few surprises and I learned the tale of a tragic event for the state park.
It seems some campers were using illegal fireworks, and they succeeded in setting several acres of prairie and grassland on fire. The DNR officers I spoke with, said the culprit was lead away in handcuffs and fined heavily for his actions. They said he was ignorant to the point that he did not even think of reporting it at first and just sat and watched it burn for quite awhile. He admitted setting the fire "accidentally" but did not feel any urgency in notifying anyone of the park officials.
Everyone was very sad, but we all know that the prairie will recover and life within it will go on.
I finished my Friday hike and started again to look forward to Saturday and my regular meeting with some Minnesota members of BushcraftUSA.
I met up with my friend Shonuff' at 10AM and it was already about 75°F by that time. We worked on some knot tying practice and then went out on a long hike to visit the fire scared prairie and to work on some edible and medicinal plant ID.
We ate some wild black raspberries and gooseberries and watched for other edibles.
Here is a list of most of the things we played with during our dirt time:
• Practiced knot tying including:
square knot, sheet bent, double sheet bent, directional figure 8 loop, alpine butterfly knot, siberian hitch, canadian jam knot, two half hitches, tautline hitch, prusik knot, klemheist knot, bowline, bowline on a bight, figure 8, double fisherman's, and finally the one handed bowline.
• Worked on Wild edibles ID: black raspberries, gooseberries, burdock, greater plantain, cattail (pollen stalk), lambsquarters, smooth solomon seal, salisfy (goats beard), canadian thistle
• Also worked on non-edibles ID: bush honeysuckle, false solomon seal
• Practiced on medicinal plant ID: jewelweed, white yarrow, greater plantain
• Practiced on utility plant ID: mullein (both 1st and 2nd year plants), wood nettle, stinging nettle
• Worked on Tree ID: found ash for making bowdrill spindle
• Demonstration of practical sling by Shonuff: as a primitive weapon, possible food procurement tool
• Worked on firecraft: split wood for kindling, scrappings for tinder, bowdrill with ash on basswood, some hand drill practice
• Prepared full meal: kabobs with chicken, veggies and a rice dish on the side cooked with improvised pot hook
Here is a video of most of our activity and adventure and I hope that you like it.
It was a great time as usual and we finished up around 5pm. A good long day of skills practice and good camaraderie has had. I only wish we could convince more members to stop by and join us, but I think that day is coming.
Sunday brought yet another bushcraft project day, but I am going to tell that story in yet another blog post, as I work to catch you all up on my latest adventures. Until next time, Happy Exploring.