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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Handicapped Training

Handicapped Training

by Kevin Estela February 28, 2018

At any moment, we can become injured. Accidents happen and there is simply no good time for one to afflict us. Take a fall in the woods and break your wrist breaking your fall. Slip with you knife and cut your leg. Pay too much attention to the ground and that branch your buddy is holding out of the way hits you in your eye. Accidents suck and injuries suck even more. Many survival instructors have recognized the possibility of accidents and have started to teach one-hand fire starting, one-hand this and one-hand that.

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Fat Rope Stick

Fat Rope Stick

by Brian Griffin February 26, 2018

There haven't always been many options for tinder materials that worked well in wet conditions, available commercially. The ones that were available at outfitters during the 70s and 80s were various chemical compounds, which came with more a lot more health warnings than uses. but that is not the case these days. One of the latest ones to hit the market  is Fat Rope Stick™.  Fat Rope is cotton rope that has been impregnated with a proprietary high gasification compound. It is hydrophobic so doesn't absorb water, and it doesn't evaporate. It is also listed of the Fat Rope website as being non toxic.

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What Has Been In My Pack

What Has Been In My Pack

by Kevin Estela February 05, 2018

We’ve all seen the articles titled “What’s in my Pack”, “What I carry”, or something along the lines of “What’s Inside”. These articles and photos can be straight up “gear porn” for the Instagram crowd but they can also be great for the outdoorsman reader as they offer a glimpse into the contents of someone else’s bag. For someone just starting who throws anything and everything into their bag before a trip, order is probably lacking and reading the logic behind someone else’s careful planning is incredibly beneficial. I’ve written a “What’s in my Pack” article years ago for the now out-of-publication Self-Reliance Illustrated Magazine.

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Mischmetal

Mischmetal

by Brian Griffin February 03, 2018

All of the types of ferrocerium rods I've listed initially, the first ones to hit the global survival market (and later the bushcraft market), are of the harder type of ferrocerium rods. Any abrasion on these types of rods begets sparks. Light pressure yields lights sparks, and harder pressure yields hotter sparks, but essentially any scraping of the surface at all produces the pyrophoric result. That would change just after the turn of the century. A new and different style of ferrocerium rods, ones labeled as “mischmetal”, would come along and create havoc for some people. It would be the topic of many discussions on outdoor forums back in 2006, and it even caused more than a few arguments about which was better.

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Cold-Weather Hammock

Cold-Weather Hammock

by Kevin Estela January 31, 2018

In the past 10 years, I’ve noticed more and more campers taking to the trees. Hammock camping is on the rise and if you doubt me, just take a look at all the places selling hammocks, suspension systems, tarps and hammock hardware. Hammocks have an inherent advantage over tents, bivy sacks, and dropping to the ground with a ground pad and sleeping bag. Your sleep isn’t interrupted or prevented by sharp roots digging into your back, puddles of water marinating your feet while you sleep or uneven terrain certain to roll you into your camping buddies. With all the benefits of hammock camping, it would seem logical to use them over traditional ground shelters whenever possible but there is one condition hammock campers despise; that condition is cold. Hanging in the cold air requires specialized equipment and some “stay warm” hacks and habits.

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Firecraft From An EDC Perspective

Firecraft From An EDC Perspective

by Brian Griffin January 25, 2018

When we are out and about in the city and wandering the concrete trails along the asphalt rivers that run through our urban wildernesses, under the neon stars of the city skies, most of us tend to look at EDC tooling at least a little differently than we do when compared to a woodland environment. We do this viewing from different perspectives that are based on our own life experiences. Personally I seldom put any thought to self defense when I am out in a wilderness environment. Having grown up in wild places, fishing and trapping commercially in my youth, I am generally pretty relaxed in a secluded forest environment. Yet I definitely think about such things when I am in crowded urban environments.

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Leather Pouch Tutorial

Leather Pouch Tutorial

by Kevin Estela January 24, 2018

Working with leather has been a winter pastime of mine since 2009. I first learned this skill from my friend Marty Simon at his leather workshop at the survival school where I used to work. Leathercraft is something many bushcrafters will eventually take up but at first, it seems very daunting with all the leather choices, finishes, tools and techniques. I have been contemplating what project I could demonstrate in a tutorial here and settled on a very simple one-piece pouch for a sharpening stone, or other flat objects like the signal mirror used for mine. I didn’t want to carry a quality glass mirror around in a foam and duct-tape sleeve anymore. I’ll do my best to summarize the process step-by-step and anticipate common questions sure to arise in the course of this tutorial.

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Heat Vectoring

Heat Vectoring

by Brian Griffin January 07, 2018

If you are a hunter or fisherman, or you just like the out of doors and plan to venture into a wilderness environment this winter, it could be helpful to have more than just a basic understanding of wet weather fire starting techniques. Not because winters are known for wetness around the globe, but because if you can start a fire quickly in wet conditions, then you can start a fire quickly under less humid conditions as well. If you find yourself alone facing the bitter cold of winter, and dealing with the onset of hypothermia and the loss of motor skills, it will be the quickness with which you can produce warmth that is important to your survival.

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