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Confession is good for the soul.

Discussion in 'Bushcraft and survival skills' started by Laurentius, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    The minute hand isn't used - that would cause the angle (or half angle) to change much too quickly (the Sun traverses the sky at 15° per hour, while the minute hand rotates at 360° per hour). It's between the hour hand and 12 o'clock on the watch. The north / south line is half-way between those two. The orientation of north and south then depends on whether it's before or after noon. For best accuracy, the watch must be set to local noon (in the northern hemisphere, Sun due south at noon, regardless of time zone or daylight savings).


    My tree, plant and bird ID is pretty hopeless (I know some, but it's shocking how many I don't know). Knots are so-so - I know the ones I've known for years, but seem to forget new ones if I don't use them regularly. I struggle with methods of making fire that don't involve using a naked flame (and preferably some scrunched-up paper and lighter fluid), although I can happily tend a fire once it's going. I'm pretty good at navigation and making things. By far, however, my biggest failing is not getting out to practice stuff (sometimes, life just gets in the way, and I do have other interests which bushcraft has taken a back seat to for some time).
     
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  2. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    I need to buy an Icelandic crystal of Calcite. The Viking Sunstone to find the sun on a cloudy day at sea.

    Nomad: thanks for the reminder about the analog watch. Now, I have to try to find one in the dross of my life.
     
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Those sunstones look handy. I remember reading about them ages ago, but didn't take it any further. After some research just now, I see how they work (a combination of polarisation and double refraction), so I've tracked down a nice clear one on eBay and bought it.
     
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  4. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I have one, but the one I bought, through a gemologist / stone collector site, is unsuitable. To thick, to opague and to small.

    Mine is supposed to be from Iceland.
    Does it work well?

    Together with a watch I sort of understand how it will work (almost accurately) in two different ways, buy without a time keeper?

    If you experiment sucessfully with it, please tell us ! A sunstone would be a cool addition in a bushcrafters ‘essentials’!
     
    #44 Janne, Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  5. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    I wait for Nomad's report. I'd like to read about size and quality of the crystal, too.
    How it works on a cloudy day really interests me.
    I wonder how many hundreds (thousands) of years it took to figure out what to do and how?

    I can see the supreme advantage on the open and featureless ocean in a small boat.
    In between swells, down in a "hole" of the ocean with a wall of water all around you.
    Next you know you're on top and can see the curve of the earth. (No not flat in Fiji.)

    All that can screw you up here is really dense fog or a sudden alpine snow storm = a white wall.
    Otherwise the rock, snow and glacier patterns on the peaks are individual land marks for a walker.
    There's a single logging road in every valley with no practical turn offs. Hard to fail driving!
     
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    From what I've worked out so far, it needs to be as clear as possible, and preferably have two flat polished surfaces. This should make it easy to see the black dot you add to the far face when you look through it. Since part of the trick is the double refraction thing, it's probably a good idea to have those two faces fairly far apart - the bigger the distance, the further away the refracted image of the dot will be from the direct image of the dot. If it's relatively thin, the displacement will be less and it might be harder to do the comparison between the direct and refracted images.

    I looked through lots of them on eBay and picked one that clearly showed the double refraction thing working. Unfortunately, I hadn't realised that distance between the faces was a good thing, so picked a rather thin one. Rather than a dot, I plan to apply some copper tape (completely opaque), which should allow me to make a more intricate pattern which will hopefully get around the reduced spacing between the images.
     
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  7. Klenchblaize

    Klenchblaize Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Often think of girls I knew when 18 years young.

    K
     
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  8. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Think of 18 year old girls now too, will make you fell young!
    :)


    (Just joking!)

    Sun stone:

    Can you please open a new thread? I think that subject is very interesting, and I am sure I am not alone there!
     
  9. Laurentius

    Laurentius Native

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    Well so do I but do they still think of me?
     
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  10. Greg

    Greg Full Member

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    Having not been out in the field doing practical bushcraft for a good few years now my skills are sadly very rusty.. However when it comes to short term survival I know the knowledge in my head would get me out of most situations having done the survival thing on many an occasion in different environments but its whether my knackered body would cope is the big question
    As for long term bushcraft skills well the list is long and distinguished lol
    Can't carve wood into anything pretty for love nor money..
    And metal forging.. Never even tried it... No wait.. I tell a lie.. Once tried making ball bearings out of roofing lead with a purpose built mould in John Fenna's wood..they weren't too bad.
    My plant lore isnt what it should be although I get by with what I do know but I wouldnt attempt identifying fungi if my life depended on it.
    Tracking, hunting and trapping well there is room for vast improvement...although I have recently started fishing and getting pretty good at it.... The theory information is in my skull somewhere but putting it into practice needs refining..
    Knotwork... Well as long as it holds my shelter or whatever needs holding together I am happy with that, although I wouldn't want to put anyone elses lives in my hands lol.. But everything is a "Greg knot"... No fancy names for this callsign
    Friction fire lighting.. Happy with my bow drill but never attempted the hand drill.
    Fire plough.. Useless!!
    Flint & Steel.. Happy with that.
    Hammock Camping.. Well thats an issue all of its own.. Had a hammock for years but have yet to sleep. In one where I don't either fall out halfway through the night, wake up in at one end or the other or with my backside touching the floor.... These days I think I'd rather stick to a campbed or the floor lol
    Navigation... Well I've never been lost ... A little geographically embarrassed on occasion but never lost.. And I know how to find my cardinal points day or night.
    Got no problem dispatching live animals (even after looking after one for a week, giving it a name and feeding it lol), no problem touching, skinning and prepping dead animals although sometimes the results are like the animal has been ripped apart by a savage animal

    If I think of anything else... I will keep it to myself lol
     
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  11. Sundowner

    Sundowner Full Member

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    Greg, you make me want to confess too, so here it goes.... I have the know how to make a bow drill and board out of whatever wood is to hand, BUT, I won't ever use it for fear to end up on the deck like in bad game of twister, unable to get back up onto my feet!! Kneeling on one knee (cramp inducing), pinning board down with one foot??? (That ship sailed years ago), sawing motion with bow drill?? (Get real, I'd put out my back for years to come!!).
    Firesteel it is until the day I move into the great forest in the sky
     
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  12. weaselid

    weaselid New Member

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    I couldn't tell you the difference between any mushrooms. Despite owning two mushroom knives.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
     
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  13. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Coniferous tree ID, and I'm a wood butcher by trade
    Small bird ID, see those little brown ones? Yeah, its a whatever bird. And a brown one at that.
    I'm only OK on fungi and theres loads I just won't eat cos I'm not positive about.
    Could be better on my stars but I can find polaris as long as the plough is visible. Can identify a few other constellations and often find various planets.

    I've been sharpening knives chisels and plane blades since I was a kid so I'm happy enough with that.

    Some things I'm just not fussed about, like I know its a "Bushcraft" obsession to carve a spoon but honestly I just couldn't care less. I can make most things I want out of wood but needing to carve a spoon has never even been on my list.

    Could be better at leatherwork but its not rocket science for the pretty simple things I've so far wanted and I just don't do the ornamental stamping stuff cos, well... I'm just not right keen on it. I'm not even going to practice it to end up with something I don't like.
     
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  14. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I like matches. Matches are not Paleo like friction, or Old School like Flint and steel, but not as modern as a fire steel. Kind of ‘in the middle ’ tech.

    I like to have a good supply of storm matches, as the prolonged flame is hot enough to start a fire under slightly damp conditions.

    Something I hate greatly is when people take flashlights with them.
    Ruins your nightsight when they wave the beam around.
     
  15. Fadcode

    Fadcode Full Member

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    All this Banter and no-one has mentioned making a good cup of tea...............................get a grip, the things you can do whilst sipping a good cup of tea, will always outweigh those you are not capable of doing.
     
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  16. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    We need fire. Your circumstances will dictate what you can conjur up. Drink is for later by the fire.
    I have several fire-starting methods, much depends on the weather and urgency like it does for most people.
     
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  17. Billy-o

    Billy-o Settler

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    I spent a lot of my younger life on the Pembrokeshire coast, which affords terrific views of the Atlantic,as well as great surf, fishing and sunsets.

    Sitting outside the tent when I was, I dunno, nine or ten, my Dad passed me a rule and told me to hold it up to the horizon. And there it was; the curve of the Earth.

    What I like about looking at it is that it makes you simultaneously feel how small the Earth is, and at the same time how tiny one is in comparison to it.

    Also, one can really see where the curved edge of the flat Earth is; and where the big waterfall must be, with the dragons and sea beasts :lol:
     
  18. stevec

    stevec Full Member

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    friction firelighting, never managed it.
    i'm ok at sharpening
    knots i'm ok at
    shelters, i never really get the chance to practice these days
    plants, rubbish
    trees i know a couple of the standard ones
    birds, i'm getting better at that
     
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  19. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    True. But unless you can light a fire to brew it you might have to settle for sun tea. Fine with me as I like cold tea, but I don’t think that’s what you had in mind.

    By the way, primitive fire lighting is one of the areas where I’m lacking. The full list would take up too much space.
     
    #59 santaman2000, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  20. zornt

    zornt Forager

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    My sharpening skills are almost nonexistent. I do Not like to handle a fish.
    Love to fish but have to use a glove to unhook them.
    My carving skills need a lot of improvement too.
    Jon
     
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