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Survival... Indian time

Discussion in 'Bushcraft and survival skills' started by cariboo, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    The first dental infection we would get would be a killer.

    There is a reason most pre modern times humans lived on average 30-35 years.
    Worn out, diseased. Starved.
     
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  2. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Freshwater clams in our coastal rivers are as big as your hand. Marine clams are somewhat (1/2) smaller.
    BC oysters are again the size of your hand. just gross raw. OK cooked in the shells.
    It is never going to take many to fill you up.
    Still in a village of 200+ that's still a very big pile.

    A lot of the time they shucked the shellfish and threaded them on cords to be smoke-cured and dried.
    I can imagine tons of that, harvested on "Indian Time" and prepared to storefopr 6+ months.
    If you ever ever get the chance, they are an astounding treat.

    Haida had some trails. Since it's an island archipelago, the boats were quite sophisticated
    and they still are.
     
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  3. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    @Le Loup
    and can you make refined gunpowder? source all the ingredients ? while still making a living that is, still living in the '18th century'.
    Not many can, let alone keep the barrel and the firing mechanism in good order too.
    I know folks who can, who have made the whole thing from first principles, but that relied on a knowledge of the minerals of their area....bit like knowing where good clay is to be found.
    Or grow the plants, harvest and prepare the fibres, weave the cloth, and sew your shirts, etc., or do you intend to Otzify your life and live in skins and grass ?

    Bushcrafting is an interest, one that while it very rarely is the total of life, greatly enriches the lives of many of us. Most no longer live lifestyles that require them to use hand tools, but bushcrafting, in all it's airts, does encourage that. 9 to 5 leaves little time to get out and about. Vaseline and cotton wool works, in time they play around with more native materials and birch tar soaked plant down (reedmace is surprisingly good) works pretty much the same way. Unless one owns woodland though, many have no real access to such materials. That's a whole other issue though, isn't it?

    We live in a modern world, and we're not stressing out about global warming to the exclusion of our modern lives. I believe that changes are already happening, and they'll grow apace. Humanity is the ultimate adaptable species, it'd be sound if we could adapt quickly enough to allow other species to simply live though.

    I have to comment on your bit about water and sewerage...so long as the sewers, which here run underground below frost (and Hitler's bombs) etc., stay sound, then we have no problems. It rains enough that the catchment would provide for any household, and the mainline sewers are regularly flushed out with the runoff too.
    Our area is set on layers of clay, sand, coal and sandstone. The two villages were renown for the quality of the naturally filtered water from the springs and wells.
    This is all pretty common in the UK. Our infrastructure is pretty sound really.
    Put it this way, if the folks in Bombay can manage, or the folks in the shanty towns can manage, what on earth makes you think that we can't ?

    Cities have their own issuses, but every city has neighbourhoods, different areas, different communities, they're not monoblots on the landscape. They're just tightly packed villages :D

    On that note though, I'm going shopping, in my village :) and then I'm going to harvest my willows. I have new fence panels to make once this lot dries out.
    I think that's modern bushcraft for most of us. Normal everyday life with a healthy chunk of natural in it :D

    M
     
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  4. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    I am coppicing at the moment and one of the applications for the material is to make 4 hurdles to fence a small area of the garden to reduce the wind that comes through - but I will be using steel tools to make it :)

    18 century is no more 'bushcraft' than 21st in my opinion. To me, 'bushcraft' is all about pre-industrial living - in the UK, for me, it includes the iron age and, maybe as late as early medieval. Without the skills and knowledge to find and process metal ores, work the raw materials into useable equipment it would be no easier for someone living an 18th century existence. Most people can't 'make' stuff when they have 21st century tools!

    A few years ago I was on a specialist skills course organised by a well known UK bushcraft instructor. As well as the intended skills he was doing a bit of 'bushcraft' tuition. When I mentioned, in private, that I don't take risks and always carry cotton wool in my firelighting kit he berated me saying I may as well carry firelighters or lighter fuel - I actually agree but there he was using a ferro rod as though it was paleo bushcrafting!
     
  5. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    BTW Le Loup/Keith, it is not scientific fact that global warming is man-made. Anyone that can analyse data and do basic extrapolation would have predicted this phase of global warming without man involved. 150,000 years ago there was a hotter and more rapid rise in global temperatures when we were still wandering the plains.

    However, man may be responsible for adding to it and is almost certainly responsible for degrading the earth's natural mitigation processes. This is a giant thermal control system that has in the past and will again oscillate around a control state - that state will vary over geological times; we can't control that. Can we halt the temperature rise? unlikely; can we influence the rate and peak of the rise? possibly but I'm not sure we have the controlling parameters to do it.
     
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  6. TLM

    TLM Nomad

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    Janne as you know Finland only became independent in 1917 by that time most of the damage was already done to traditional Sami culture. For the first 20 years policies set by Sweden and Russia were just followed, not that even after that much positive change happened.

    I have often wondered how 'green' or close to nature paleo people actually were, they just did not have the numbers or technological means to change their surroundings. Except to hunt the megafauna to death.

    The technological level of late iron age does not require industrial knowledge, nor does medieval level. Upto the industrial point just knowledge is enough, beyond that machinery of some kind is required to reach the top level.

    There might be a chance that sufficiently advanced knowledge and technology would make it possible to drop back to a closer-to-nature way of life without us losing any of the advances made.
     
  7. cariboo

    cariboo Forager

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    We ”got out” 25 years ago. Two with the wilderness making art. By June now, we’re prepared to “bug out” at a moments notice.

    Just being a tiny bit outside has ended up clearing the picture, putting society and it’s culture right in our face.

    Preparing for a bug out is easy. Physically easy but in our minds leaving on a moments notice would be devastating. When we prepare our bug out plan we also prepare to stay, hunker down and prepare for the worse nature can throw at us. The decisions are calculated, thought out to the end variations over a few cups of tea. When the “time” comes we decide. We’ve come to that point twice. Both times we stayed. Both times in defiance of the authorities and both times it was absolutely the right decision.[​IMG]

    When the fires come this country changes.

    Something happens to a community. Some kind of mass hysteria. When it is lead by unscrupulous men, the community becomes a disease.

    Life would be easy if for a few weeks a year there were huge fish, with no bones just tasty meat, swimming against the current in a creek beside our cabin. We could just pluck them out. Smoke them, dry them, pickle them, bake them…we could just boil them in the water we're plucking them from. Salmon, clams, oysters... one can see why Haida art was prolific.

    Oh yes, and there is "zone out" but you need gin for that.
     
    #47 cariboo, Jan 21, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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  8. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I think they were devastating, in some regions hugely.
    Europe was basically deforested and fields created. Animal numbers went down drastically. ( as you say - mega fauna vanished). In medieval times, drainage of wetlands started.

    A common way to hunt in warmer/drier areas was to start bush fires as a hunting technique. Australia is one such area.
     
  9. Le Loup

    Le Loup Nomad

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    and can you make refined gunpowder? source all the ingredients ? while still making a living that is, still living in the '18th century'.
    Yes I can Toddy but I do not need to. I lived an 18th century lifestyle for over 20 years & had no need to make more gunpowder. Most of the table meat came from a trapline. The gunpowder lasts a very long time. Spent lead is retrieved from shot game & remoulded. I can do this when travelling or stationary. IF I lived long enough to find my gunpowder supplies dwindling, then I would use a bow, but like I said, most of the meat comes from the trapline.
    Not many can, let alone keep the barrel and the firing mechanism in good order too.
    Yes I can do this too Toddy, & even if the lock on my flintlock were to break, I can still use it as a matchlock. I do however carry spare lock parts & tools.




    Cleaning at home & in the field.
    Or grow the plants, harvest and prepare the fibres, weave the cloth, and sew your shirts, etc., or do you intend to Otzify your life and live in skins and grass ?
    Yes we can grow the plants & prepare the fibres & weave the cloth Toddy, but again, 18th century clothing lasts a long time, & will probably outlast me. I probably would not bother making breaches if they did wear out & I could no longer repair them, I would use my breachclout. A breachclout is also a lot easier to make. Yes I would be brain tanning some skins for use as clothing if I needed to. We have a spinning wheel & looms at home, but we know how to spin & weave without these refined tools Toddy.
    [​IMG]
    The housewife I carry in my pack for clothing, pack or oilcloth repair.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Unless one owns woodland though, many have no real access to such materials. That's a whole other issue though, isn't it?
    Well I must admit Toddy that it has been many years since I was last in the UK, so they may be less forests & woodlands there now. I use to go into the woods at Slindon, Goodwood, Cowfold & other woodlands in West Sussex where I lived. Also in South Wales where my Grandparents lived. I am sure a dedicated Bushcrafter could find somewhere to forage.
    Put it this way, if the folks in Bombay can manage, or the folks in the shanty towns can manage, what on earth makes you think that we can't ?
    Well I hope you can Toddy, but it stands to reason that city people are going to be more affected than country people if society collapses, & I was talking about the cities.
    With respect & regards,
    Keith.

     
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  10. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Lovely to see, I really should put up some photos too. I have a lot of friends in the reenactors world, and a few who make their entire living from it....while going home at night to modern houses :)

    It's astonishing how much time it takes to make everyday items. Months to make cloth for instance. I do spin, weave, sew, etc.,

    Gunpowder is just an example, crudely made does work, but the barrels suffer......and their care and repair is a whole other ballgame, and you still need to source lead or alike for shot.....and at the end of the day, there's a better return for the effort to farm for food. It's noticeable that as soon as good cloth is available societies quickly give up on wearing skins for everything, even though cloth making is in itself labour intensive.

    Basically unless you are growing, making or have specialised skills to offer, that give you a 'trade' surplus, then it's almost impossible to truly live self sufficiently.
    In a society where everyone grows, makes or offers skills, that's even harder to manage, and life becomes a real toil.

    Quite happy in our modern world, with all it's advantages, from healthcare to internet, while really enriching my life with the bushcraft and hand skills that I practice :D
     
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    To make a gun from scratch using pre industrial methods and tech - can anybody do it today?
    From mining the ore, to making the gun components.

    It is fine to show people what can be done, but to live in a pre ind. rev. way, in all aspects, is basically impossible.
    We have lost too many skills.
    Taking the above example: Yes, you can hunt with a musket, but it has been made using modern tech.

    Many, if not most of us, need or will need glasses.
    The vast majority of the population that needed glasses did not have access to them.
    I can do boreal forest/ arctic bushcrafting/ survival fine for weeks at a time, but would have a problem without my glasses.

    Tiny modern things like that make our lives easy and enjoyable.

    Yes, pick those wild veg and fruit.( But choose well where. Maybe not alongside a busy road - pollution!)

    It is fun. Cheaper. Tastier. And probably more nutritious than commercial stuff!
     
    #51 Janne, Jan 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  12. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    I know a couple of folks who can, but they need housed, fed, clothed, etc., while they dedicate the time to sourcing the ores, refining them, etc.,
    Having done it one said to me, "I know why folks kept Yew trees safe in churchyards ! " :)
     
  13. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I believe that once we entered a metal age ( Copper/Bronze) we entered a society where a lot of people had very specialist knowledge and competence. In many fields.

    Of course, until the recent mass production of semi disposable items, we took care, repaired and babied equipment. As it was very expensive.
    Was the production 'sustainable' ?
    No. Toxic stuff straight into rivers. Dumped into fields, leaching and poisoning the soil and water table. Poisoning the workers.


    I personally find videos by Le Loup and others very informative and watch worthy. I hope their knowledge is somehow saved for posterity, outside the electronic media.
    Less and less people have this 'real' knowledge.

    Once gone - difficult to rediscover!

    Back to first post: There are lots and lots of people in the countryside all over Europe that do harvest wild foods and preserve. My family has done it and my sister still does.
    Berries, fungi, some greens.
    Cooking ( with bought ingredients) from scratch. Everything. She buys aged cheese though.
    Planning for a year so the supplies do not run out prematurely.

    Plenty of people live like that. And they have fun doing it!

    Sadly, lots of people are also totally clueless.
     
    #53 Janne, Jan 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  14. cariboo

    cariboo Forager

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    .
    The idea of “Indian time” is the recognition of the critical moment. That time when a decision has to be made in order to exploit the opportunity given. Recognition seems to be the key here.

    Probably more of a survival skill but I know it applies to the bush. Maybe a stretch to see it as a ”bushcraft skill”.

    [​IMG]
    This is the view from our outhouse door.
     
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  15. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    We have wild forage harvesting rules.
    The rules appear to be written expressly to prevent a person from attempting to be at least partly self sufficient.
    I have yet to meet anybody aware of them and who might adhere to them.
    I have yet to meet anybody willing to spend the time trying to do such foraging.

    For several years, I harvested 10-15 kg berries each summer and prepared to freeze them.
    Cleaning the berries on a blanket, the FN knew immediately that I knew some old ways.
    At 900g per fruit pie (which won't boil over in the oven,) my stockpile never lasted long.

    Because if the cultural genocide here, the residential schools, the "60's Scoop" and continued racial discrimination,
    you will be unlikely to be invited to participate in anything our First Nations do.
    It's obvious that their paloe/neolithic harvesting is alive and well.
    Neat to see a 400m marine beach still tended as a "clam garden."
    Here and there, the city of Vancouver, BC is built on shell middens.

    Down south in Florida on Cape Canaveral, next to the Kennedy space rocket launching place, is a hill.
    Called "Turtle Hill" or "Turtle Mound," it consists of 27,000^3 of shellfish shells from paleo harvesting.
    = = =
    Beginning when you're a little kid, one thing at a time, shift your dietary practices from the grocery store to the river.
    Further west on the Nechako plateau, I can find streams full of freshwater clams.
    Shuck a few hundred of those to be smoke-cured and dried.
    I don't see any of that further east where I live now.

    Wild, we have raspberries, 3 kinds of blueberries, strawberries, Saskatoons.
    Nobody pays much attention to the Hawthorn fruit or Mountain Ash/Rowan or the little hazel nuts.
     
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  16. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    The UK (and Europe/Scandinavia) is very seasonal. If we don't harvest in the seasonal round, we don't have it.
    Those of us who do forage are aware, even these days, of the 'just right to' times.

    Just right to pick the berries, the fungus, the fruits, the nuts, the tubers, but there's another thing to this just right timing; it's the knowing what you're looking at, and keeping it in mind for later when the season is right to forage.
    Just now the pignuts are up an inch of feathery green leaves. They'll grow but they'll disappear into the understorey of the flush of Spring bulbs....unless you know where they are. Give them a year's growth and there'll be a crunchy nut the size of a chestnut underground. A neat digging stick and a bit of patience is well rewarded :)
    The lesser celandines have their first leaves up, by late Summer those little plants will have a handful of fat peanut sized tubers beneath them....but in the wild they're hard to see under everything else that grows and their flowers have gone over. .....watch the woodpigeons, they love the pea like seeds though :) and they'll pull away at what looks like just green stuff, have a nosey and see what they're foraging upon.

    It's not just the food crops either. The comfrey is starting to come up, by early Summer mine will have totally gone over and be safely tucked up under the soil....yet those roots are so useful. Similarly the meadowsweet will die back and disappear in late Autumn, but all Winter long it's a medicinal resource worth knowing where it grew, because those roots are worth the effort.

    It's stuff like this that makes bushcrafting in the UK of interest to a lot of us, and every area has it's own resources, it's own ebb and flow.

    M
     
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  17. cariboo

    cariboo Forager

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    We live in the Tsilhqot’in (Chilcotin) territory, a rugged environment. Most Tsilhqot’in live on reserves. Hunting and gathering is alive and well within the communities for some. The reserves here are challenging.

    They say this area saw the only wars in Canada. The gov’t’s answer was to bring in the leaders to discuss peace but instead hung them. That is still in the air.

    When I sat in my truck listening to the radio program “Journey’s” and listened to a new and refreshing take on Indian Time, I saw some more hope for the peoples we admire and live beside. Racism is alive and well here as well. I’ve heard Canada treats their indigenous peoples like Australia. It seems everywhere.

    We collect all our mushrooms. We use to collect all our berries and meat but now we grow them and raise animals. Gardening is our thing. Building soil and eating healthy, organically grown food. We still collect all the special stuff, juniper berries, mint, pitch, wild onions and such. It's very seasonal here too.
     
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  18. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    You seem to have a 'healthy life'.
    I can eat as much veg and fruit as i like, but it is imported. Coated with wax, infused with pesticides, stored for ages. Junk.

    A large part of proper self sufficiency is to be able to preserve food in a good way. Some preservation methods produce food with a taste and flavour Modern Human does not like.
    I assume you are oldfashined when it comes to your meat?
    I mean - eating basically everything? I am brought up that way. I taught my family to do the same.
    I am yet to try Brains and Chicken Feet though! :)

    (of course, you can use the Brains to cure leather instead of eating it.....)
     
  19. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Most of us revile the past actions of racial atrocities, and t's greatly to our shame that such things do still occur.
    For the people of the past theirs was a most uncertain future, and we don't live back then. I think we can only try to do better with the benefit of hindsight and a genuine wish to see everybody thrive.

    I think that the kind of balance of life you describe, growing and harvesting in season is crucial, I really do, and isolationism is only a good idea when there's plague.

    I think encouraging folks to grow their own, to buy local produce and to put value on that, is better than yet another supermarket.
    I love fresh fruit, and I relish the home grown seasons, but we import fruit all year round now. Strawberries at Christmas :rolleyes: spoils us, and spoils our anticipation and pleasure when they finally really are in season here.
    The limitations of a populous land and lack of variety in Autumn and Winter crops though, that limits things.
    I still think we could do an awful lot more to grow and crop our own, but they'd be more expensive than the imported stuffs :sigh:

    Anyway, I try. I do grow, I do prep and store and I do try to buy local produce, and I'm most certainly not alone in that :D
    I also forage and gather, and again, I'm most certainly not alone in that either :D

    @Janne, my Grandpa's favourite dish was singed (singe....to lightly burn off the hair and fur) sheep's heid. I'm told that the Icelandic folks make the same dish.
    Half a sheep's head, cleaned off and either roasted or boiled in a pot to make broth. He loved the brains. He lived healthily into his late nineties.
    Couldn't do it nowadays, not with all the hassle over scrapie.

    M
     
  20. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    That's "Indian Time," Toddy. An issue of learning when and where to go. The correct timing.
    Not everybody does everything, particularly if you were in a community of even 100 people.
    After last fall's salmon harvest, I recall reading community notices of times for salmon deliveries to the elders.
    That's neolithic.

    Of course, it's just as seasonal here as anywhere.
    Nobody was leaping about at -40C, looking for nuts & berries.
    We don't have enough local lakes here to make ice-fishing economical.
    Over west on the Nechako Plateau there are all sorts of trout lakes with winter road access.

    South, the middens show that the Boneparte people were big fish eaters, principally big trout.
    The stone fishing weirs at the outlets of some lakes are still there to see.
     

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