Absolute Zero - Mine/Craft

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
6,365
769
46
Exeter
If you had no tools at all ( Just the clothes on your back ) but just access to a diverse mixed Terrain Environment what items / tools could you make and source from Nature and in which order.

IE - What would be the first item you would craft and then how what other Items would you attempt to procure ( & why )
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
6,365
769
46
Exeter
Ok, so Shaping Rocks to make a rudimentary knife/blade with.

What would be the next thing you then do with the Knife??

Fire Bow set?
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
6,365
769
46
Exeter
digging stick
that'll allow me to harvest roots to use for lashing shelter, bowdrill and such like
after that i'll be looking at shelter options,
Ok, Basic Knife made from Knapped Stones , then find ( cut ) a stick down to form a Digging Stick.
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
6,365
769
46
Exeter
I would (& have) make a stone tool for shaping the parts of a fire-bow, then I would (& have) make the fire-bow.
Keith.

And what else would you make an effort to make from nature to make your life easier?

Clay Bowl?

Wooden Hollow straw for helping to burn Bowls out?

That sort of thing .
 
  • Like
Reactions: Le Loup
once i've made the diggin stick and got the roots ive hopefully found some decent rocks too.
stash them aside

bowdrill set in mind id carry on with shelter. plenty no tool shelter designs about..

try/hope to find birch, ash or pine bark suitable to make a bark kettle

get fire lit, in ideal world this happens lickety split, when i have done it its been a PITA, but the gods have smiled upon me and it works.

fashion the kettle using the root to bind it or pegs worked with sharp stone find water a nice fast flowing stream, fill kettle
heat rocks and rock boil.

theoretically ive found something to add to make an infusion, i find a "brew" makes it easier to hydrate myself water is frankly too dull for me to be interested
 
  • Like
Reactions: TeeDee
And what else would you make an effort to make from nature to make your life easier?

Clay Bowl?

Wooden Hollow straw for helping to burn Bowls out?

That sort of thing .
Spear, bow & arrows, animal traps, cordage for securing shelter, I would brain tan animal skins for clothing & carry bags, I would bark tan animal skins to make water bags.
Keith.
 

gra_farmer

Nomad
Mar 29, 2016
464
246
Kent
As OLO, stated...shelter, water then food. For me a cutting implement (flint) and cordage (tree roots or bark) would be the first tools fashioned. Everything else falls into place after that.

I have do the clothes on my back experience before (36 hour wild camp) and the difference between having an okay time and a bad time is based of being able to fashion the above.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,807
2,984
Mid Wales
If you had no tools at all ( Just the clothes on your back ) but just access to a diverse mixed Terrain Environment what items / tools could you make and source from Nature and in which order.

IE - What would be the first item you would craft and then how what other Items would you attempt to procure ( & why )
I was in two minds about replying to this because it’s a complex subject in my opinion that can’t be covered in a few paragraphs of a post. And, to be honest TeeDee, I think you are guilty of doing what you have accused others of doing in the past: not fully defining the rules of engagement :)

Where are we, what time of year is it, are we talking about the modern world or the past? Are we surviving a day or a month? In a modern world, just make your way to the nearest farm and, at the back, will be a rubbish heap that will have discarded tools, cutting edges, rope, wire and even an old tarp.

This is a fascinating subject and it is something I have spent a fair bit of time considering in my studies of Mesolithic and Neolithic British peoples. Having said that I don’t have answers because there are too many variables. So, please excuse the long post ....

If we are talking about UK climate but not within reach of civilisation and not in a modern world then few of us, despite our knowledge and training, would survive this situation. It is very difficult for a single person to survive – the calories available easily are not enough for all the work that needs to be done and the UK damp/cold environment is not easy to cope with. But we’d all try, so here’s my view on the priorities.

If the plan was to stay as opposed to get out, it is likely that the first priority would be shelter from the wind and rain – once wet and cold all other considerations go out of the window. A reasonable shelter can be built with no tools at all. You would only not give this high priority if you knew it was going to stay dry and mild and/or you had access to natural shelter. If you have a choice your shelter would be near a water source, so you don’t have to find a way of carrying it.

The next priority would depend on whether you are already wet or not – if you are, forget water or food, and concentrate on fire; once hypothermia sets in on your own you die. Making fire is far from easy and something very few can achieve from nothing – finding dry tinder in the UK at any time other than high summer (whenever that is) is very difficult in itself then making a means of getting a spark or an ember without tools is also extremely difficult. How many of us know how to get a spark from natural materials such as flint and pyrite (if it’s available) or could get an ember from friction without tools to make the components? I know we all like to think we can, but on a wet cold British day what success rate would we have? The truth is we should have been collecting dry and suitable material as we travelled exactly as Mesolithic man did.

I think we all agree, a sharp cutting edge would be nice but there are very few areas in the UK where they appear naturally which is why flint was traded across Europe. The probability of stumbling upon suitable geology is very low. However, smashed animal bones were used as cutting and scraping tools and are much easier to find. You could fashion a decent hearth and drill using bone or antler tools.

Having got ourselves shelter, besides a water source, and a fire to dry ourselves our next priority would be food. I have made a table of calorie sources for different food types that I’ve put up here in the past, but to summarise, you need around 5 trout a day or 7 rabbit, or 6 duck …are your hunting/fishing skills up to that without modern equipment? Trapping is hard enough with modern wire; my success rate is not good and even old-timers talk about one trap in twenty being successful – If I had to rely on natural cordage for my traps I think it would fall to near zero. However, making strong cordage is not energy consuming and would be worth the effort in an attempt to trap whilst doing other things. Fishing using natural cordage and bone hooks would also be worth the effort but, again, success rates are likely to be low (how many of us fail to make a catch fishing with modern equipment?). Of course, if we were lucky enough to find ourselves on a rocky seashore (as many Mesolithic settlements were) we have ample food resources in the shellfish and seaweeds.

I doubt if any of us could hunt successfully with a spear even if we had a metal tip let alone stone or just a sharpened stick. A bow and arrow may be more successful but only for small animals as we don’t have the tools to make a decent draw-strength bow (or at least, it would be difficult and bow staves need to season). Arrows would be crude – probably best with a club end rather than a point but a lot of Mesolithic arrow heads were just shards of flint not the beautiful ones you see Will Lord making.

Remember, if you’re consuming more calories getting food than you’re getting from it, you may as well just sit down and wait to die – you’ll actually live longer! There’s no point walking 10km and coming back with one rabbit or using a digging stick for an hour to get one root out.

So, after all that (which is the ‘why’ bit I guess), in summary:
  • Shelter near a water source
  • Fire by spark or friction if the climate dictates
  • Food by foraging, trapping, fishing
All can be done without a cutting tool other than bone or antler IMO.
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
6,365
769
46
Exeter
I was in two minds about replying to this because it’s a complex subject in my opinion that can’t be covered in a few paragraphs of a post. And, to be honest TeeDee, I think you are guilty of doing what you have accused others of doing in the past: not fully defining the rules of engagement :)
If you're referring to the post by another where they were trying to quantify a time duration for starting a Fire than I think that is different - they are searching for an Objective quantifiable answer to how long it takes to get a Fire going - They were seeking an outcome to fall into a limited range of Time based Outcomes.

My question , to clarify , is just more generic and subjective - I can provide more details if you desire?
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,807
2,984
Mid Wales
If you're referring to the post by another where they were trying to quantify a time duration for starting a Fire than I think that is different - they are searching for an Objective quantifiable answer to how long it takes to get a Fire going - They were seeking an outcome to fall into a limited range of Time based Outcomes.

My question , to clarify , is just more generic and subjective - I can provide more details if you desire?
I was only pulling your leg :)
 
  • Haha
Reactions: TeeDee

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,076
427
Vantaa, Finland
In hunting a throwing stick or boomerang would probably be the most effective solution, next atlatl and fishing darts, though the eskimo spear head can easily be used by hand throwing, sling is easy to make but it does take a lot of practise to be useful. Birding bolas are easy to use and as all these it does not require much work.

Yep surroundings pretty much define the order of things but I guess in many cases shelter is first, after that again fire might be second then it gets a bit hazy.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,807
2,984
Mid Wales
Your a better man than me TLM; I've tried all those methods except boomerang and all I can say is that I would die from starvation before I was capable of hitting a rabbit sized object let alone stun or kill it. Sling I found particularly difficult and have yet to see anyone outside an indigenous tribe use it successfully.

Mesolithic man hunted large animals by driving them over cliffs or into traps - but that needs a number of people to work successfully.

But, again, we are diverting from the topic (my fault, sorry).

So, after shelter, fire, water, and food, and assuming I was staying, the next things I would make would be:

- a raised bed with a bit of comfort in it
- a comfy chair (not that there will be much sitting time)
- a hip-height table to prepare my food on

All made easier with a good stone or metal cutting tool but all possible without.
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,076
427
Vantaa, Finland
I've tried all those methods except boomerang and all I can say is that I would die from starvation before I was capable of hitting a rabbit sized object let alone stun or kill it
I did not say it would be easy :D but compared to a bow I think your chances are not any worse. I have thrown returning boomerangs and they are quite formidable weapons, in this case I would make a non returning one. Atlatl and darts are not easy but not difficult either, again I don't think it is any worse than bow. Most of these require that one is able to throw well. Bolas were interesting, the heavy ones are easy to throw fairly accurately but there is not much to throw at, no nandus. The birding ones are easy to throw but for some reason achieving accuracy takes time.

None of these take much time to make.
 
Last edited:

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,076
427
Vantaa, Finland
What and how one hunts depends on what there is to hunt. Traps are good and in some rivers and tidal areas I think they are a very good way to catch something. Trapping non swimmers depends on a lot of things.