Most people know what bamboo is, but not everyone these days understands just what a resource it can be. It just so happens, that for a number of reasons, bamboo is most wonderful gifts that nature has to offer. In the world of plants, few if any bring as much to the table as bamboo does.
Anyone who has eaten at their local Asian restaurants very often has learned to use the fee chopsticks by now,. It does take a little more effort to make a set in the wilds than just opening the package and snapping the connection, but really not all that much effort. With a sharp knife a functional set of chopsticks can be whittled in a couple of minutes.
Because it grows as a segmented stalk, it lends itself very well to making spoon-like objects and digging tools. Just cut a section of one full segment with about an inch and a half of another segment still attached. Then split off half the partial segment lengthwise from the end back to the separation joint, sharpen then end a little, and there you have a handy spoon or small digging tool for digging up roots and tubers.
It can also be quickly whittled into a simple spear with one diagonal cut. A more complex gig can be made by splitting the end of a shaft into quarters, spreading the tines apart, and then sharpening the tips of the tines. The can work very well for gigging frogs or fish.
The inner lining of the segments is a very thin membrane that is much like rice paper. It can even be used to write on of course, just remember it can be fragile. However it also makes an excellent tinder material for starting a fire to cook the frogs or fish over.
Bamboo also has structural applications for building shelters and water collection systems. The segments can be used to make cups, bowls, canteens, and even pots to cook in. The shoots are edible, and it can be used to fashion numerous tools and utensils. In a primitive living environment, or even just is hobbies and crafts, bamboo is an amazing resource to have available.
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The term “surf and turf” usually relates to a dinner entree consisting of one protein from the land and one from the sea. Most of the time, this means steak and lobster or some form of red meat and shellfish or crustacean. If you’re looking to dine out on the frugal side, this menu item is usually on the other far side of the menu. I’m going to take some liberty with the term “surf and turf” and extend “surf” to the rivers and tributaries of the great lakes for the purpose of this monthly blog. I’m writing this and I get to set the rules. Trust me, this story is going to be worth bending the terms. You see, I’ve just had an epic week of hunting and fishing so this article for Fiddleback Forge was certainly going to include the amazing bow hunting experience in Kent, Connecticut and catching monster fish in Albion, New York. Granted, the cost of the gear and travel to get these menu items is far from frugal but the taste is priceless.
I've received requests for more information on the small pocket emergency kit that appears in my articles now and then. Some want to know more about it; how it developed and what it contains, so I thought I'd dedicate this article to it.
My work takes me to some interesting areas, especially lately. Some are more questionable than others, and it's usually late night or early morning prior to sunrise. To avoid disruptions and distractions I try to not draw attention. I try to just blend in with the environment, go gray so to speak and be uninteresting, but be prepared for mishaps knowing some could be life or death depending on environment and/or season. So these little kits have developed to contain a variety of contingency items, chosen based on their likelihood of use at the time and place, and still discretely disappear into a pouch or cargo pocket until needed.
Knives & News
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