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How to Make South African Style Biltong: Beef Jerky Doesn't Compare

How to Make South African Style Biltong: Beef Jerky Doesn't Compare

by Kevin Estela August 15, 2018

Dried meat has been a staple of the outdoorsman’s diet for thousands of years. From one culture to the next, indigenous people have found ways to preserve meat for the long trail, as an emergency energy source, or the occasional snack. Recently, while on safari in South Africa, I had the opportunity to learn more about the national variety, biltong, from my friend and Professional Hunter, Russ Field. Since Russ is responsible for harvesting wild game on a regular basis and hunts well over 200 days a year, you can be certain there is a healthy supply of this dried meat at his lodge, in the safari truck, and at lunch. The process is extremely simple and the end result is only a week’s wait away.

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Resilience

Resilience

by Brian Griffin August 01, 2018 5 Comments

Knife makers, as well as the makers of many other tools, started looking into synthetic materials shortly after the turn of the 20th century. The goal being to make their tools easier to produce and less environmentally sensitive. The best evidence of when this practice became more widely available and less cost prohibitive can be seen in government issued military equipment from around the globe. Military personnel have to be able to function in any environment and in any weather, in order to be effective in their duties. In WW-I most of the furniture on tools and weapons; rifle stocks, bayonet handle scales, shovel handles, etc. was still being made of wood as they had been for centuries. By WW-II much of the wood had been replaced with plastics. By the 1960s most of the wooden furniture had been replaced with synthetic materials and blades made of corrosion resistant alloys were being developed and issued.

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Cleaning Fish with the Fiddleback Forge F2

Cleaning Fish with the Fiddleback Forge F2

by Kevin Estela July 24, 2018

The Fiddleback Forge F2 is Andy Roy’s interpretation of a fish and fowl knife. It has a featherlight blade with a fine edge that is exceptionally nimble in hand and perfect for processing both fish and small game. When this knife came out, I knew I had to have one as I find myself fishing and hunting birds more than I do large game and this knife seemed ideal. It doesn’t add much weight to the pack and it is purpose built. I received my desert ironwood F2 with only a few days before leaving for South Africa on safari where it would get a really thorough field test. [...] The next morning, I took a trip to my favorite local fishing hole and came up with two rainbow trout that would taste great for lunch. Just as I started to clean the first, I had an epiphany and came up with this “how to clean a fish” instructional for the Fiddleback Forge website.

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Planning for South Africa

Planning for South Africa

by Kevin Estela July 06, 2018

In late July, I will be headed on a dream vacation, a safari in South Africa. I will be joined by friends of Fiddleback Forge, Justen and Liam. We will be guided by the seasoned professional staff at Russfield Safaris. This hunt has been a long time coming. At one point, we even thought Andy was going to join us but with the new shop and knives to be made, we couldn’t pull him away from making the sharp tools you enjoy using. With less than 2 months to go, I’ve been getting my gear tucked away in the corner of my office (ok, it’s more like a room with an explosion of gear and piles of awesomeness everywhere in organized messes). This trip is coming up soon and I think it is time to start talking about it more publicly. This is the first of a few blog entries about this epic adventure.

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User-Friendliness, Finesse Over Force

User-Friendliness, Finesse Over Force

by Brian Griffin July 06, 2018 1 Comment

There is a time and a place for everything, and as Solomon points out in Ecclesiastes “to everything there is a season” Large knives are great to have along in the more wild and less settled places of the world, but there is seldom a need for them in a city or much more urbanized areas. So I much prefer to make carry something that makes sense compared to how I intend to use it when I am living the city life. Fortunately, looking at the number of smaller Fiddleback Forge models, it's easy to see I'm not the only one who feels that way.

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Hiking Buddy at Deer Camp...Hunting for Fajitas

Hiking Buddy at Deer Camp...Hunting for Fajitas

by Robert Gilbert May 24, 2018

In typical fashion, I bring more knives on a hunt that one guy needs but hey, is there such as thing as too much cutlery? Each morning I go out I grab a different knife and take it to the field with me and should I get luckily enough to harvest a deer, that is the knife that gets field dressing duties. Opening day I saw a lot of smaller does, spikes and yearlings - I was covered up in deer most of the day but I didn't want to take a smaller deer early in the season so I held out, we had some nice bucks on camera so I rolled the dice.

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Common-sense 1911 Pistol Upgrades

Common-sense 1911 Pistol Upgrades

by Kevin Estela May 15, 2018

Much like a Fiddleback Forge Knife can be appreciated for its beauty, so can a nicely finished 1911. Both Andy’s knives and modern 1911s blend classic styling and modern touches into a very functional tool. For those who like to match their Fiddleback Forge Knives with custom ferro rods, you can add another factor into your coordination game with a properly customized 1911. When you have so many options to upgrade your 1911, remember the advice of this blog and think logically to create a truly personalized piece of American firearms history.

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Start-Up Guide: How to Write About Bushcraft and Survival

Start-Up Guide: How to Write About Bushcraft and Survival

by Kevin Estela April 24, 2018

I love sharing my passions with those who want to learn to do what I do. In response to some recent questions on “how do I become a writer?” here are some hints you might find helpful. 

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What's That About?

What's That About?

by Brian Griffin April 22, 2018

He noticed “the little wooden-handled knife I was wearing for a necklace” as he put it, and asked about it. It is a Fiddleback Forge Esquire with an Osage handle that I have carried daily for a couple of years now. I also showed him a larger one I had with me that day, my Woodsman, and told him who had made them. To which he said, “so you prefer handmade knives over store-bought knives now? What's that about?"

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The Spirit of Otzi Lives On

The Spirit of Otzi Lives On

by Brian Griffin March 30, 2018

Today, roughly 5,300 years later, many innovations in tool making technology and metallurgy have come along, and thankfully so. Those advancements have allowed for many improvements in tool design. Yet with the vastly improved equipment, not all that much has changed in the way of real world needs or how they are accessed. We still venture out into a big uncertain world, and we still prepare for our adventures according to our knowledge of this world and our anticipated needs.

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History of the KE Bushie

History of the KE Bushie

by Kevin Estela March 09, 2018

There’s no secret, I love the KE Bushie. I should, it bears my initials and back in the mid to late 2000’s, Andy Roy made me the prototype of the knife that would eventually become one of his best sellers. The KE Bushie was originally designed for performance and Andy Roy was able to make it both functional and attractive for Fiddleback Forge collectors and users.

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Reality Is Relative

Reality Is Relative

by Brian Griffin March 08, 2018

There is more to the bacon story than meets the eye on television. Yet because we are deemed to have become so wise and enlightened over the years the rest of the bacon story isn't thought to be necessary for us. We are presumed to no longer need the knowledge and wisdom within the story, the powers that be just don't want us to stop buying the bacon that keeps their bank accounts flowing.

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