CUTTING TOOLS, AND HOW TO MAKE THEM FROM SCRATCH
I'm delighted to have James with us for this hour, while he explains the importance of cutting tools, and in particular the knife, for basic survival and
daily life in a survival camp.
James has extensive knowledge, and takes us down to the very basics, techniques used by the cave man, in fact, on how to proceed from scratch, if
necessary, or work with junk and scraps laying about after the pole shift.
As an example, this description of a wilderness forge from the Troubled Times website, contributed by Michael.
- Wilderness Forge
- I found an interesting article in a magazine called Self Reliance Journal. The article of interest is titled, "Wilderness Forge". Using only
materials they found in the field (scrap metal and other junk which will be plentiful after the pole shift) they constructed a small Metal
The only "tool" that they used was what is usually called a fencing tool. Other than that they constructed a bellows from a large trash
bag, a pair of worn out camo pants and a hollow elk bone. Their forge was a coleman fuel can cut in half and covered with mud which
was then sun-dried.
In the article they made a chisel from an old spike and made a point drill from an old nail. They used a granite rock for an anvil. They
didn't make anything fancy, but they were just proving that if you're stuck in the wilderness, you can make your own tools. You could
use this technique to make Knives, utensils, spear heads, arrow heads, etc.
Please welcome James,
who takes us on a journey of tips and insights on knives and other cutting tools that I pesonally found fascinating.
What is someone not only did not have a knife or cutting tool, But didn't even have the means to start a fire?
Fire is used for heat and light, to boil water to make it safe for drinking, to cook food to either tenderize it or kill parasites, and to keep wild animals at
bay, and of course, for those wanting cutting or other tools, to forge tools from scrap metal.
If you have no matches, what then?
The importance of fire is described on the Troubled Times website, whose contributors struggled with the problem of those used to soft city life being
suddenly left bereft in the woods after a pole shift.
An example of this struggle, from a discussion between Mike and Ron in the Shelter section of Troubled Times.
From a page titled Starting a Fire.
- Starting a Fire
- When traveling on foot and with wet clothes from either rain or sweat, it is most important to try to make camp early and build a fire.
It will greatly help one's psyche, not to mention greatly helping to provide dry clothing to start the next day. It will also be necessary to
distill the next day's water for drinking.
In two of the survival field trips I attended, I was able to start a fire using the "bow drill" technique with only charcoal powder for
"starting tinder". This is also a good reason to carry some amount of cotton material in your pack inside a zip lock bag. Charred
cotton is the very best "starting tinder" I've ever used or heard about.
On many occasions I've been able to start a fire using a small piece of charred cotton cloth as the "starting tinder" with a single spark.
The dry tinder is only necessary to get a fire going well, at which point wet wood can be slowly added which the fire will quickly dry
The main problem I see with starting and maintaining a fire in the aftertime is the soaked muddy ground. A solution could be to carry
a metal garbage can lid, and then build your fire on it when inverted. One reason for using a tarp instead of a tent is so that it can be
set up with the top extending out from the "floor" section and high enough that a small fire can be build under the tarp, protecting it
One can also easily make a stove from an empty paint can, providing ventilation to the inside using sheet metal shears. If one is
carrying a section of corrugated metal for use in the event of a fire storm, this can also be used as a dry base for the camp fire.
And from a page titled Dry Wood.
- Dry Wood
- Most wood, even when immersed, takes several years to become "water logged". If it floats, there is still dry wood. One would
certainly want to always carry some absolutely dry material to initially start a fire; but remember, you are already pretty much loaded
with the other things you are carrying.
And from a page titled Carry Embers.
- Carry Embers
- The movie "In search of Fire" Illustrated a method of caring fire from one place to another. I think with some trial an error one could
make something that might work, made out of a paint bucket. The trick would be to allow in just enough air to keep it burning but not
so much as to consume all the dry wood you carry.
A small slot near the bottom and top that can be bent open or closed to adjust the air flow may work. The technology of taking a
glowing ember and making a fire out of it will need to be relearned well by all. If the amount of material is enough I think this concept
would work and an extra gallon paint can full of these burning embers wouldn't be heavy, as the water in the wood would have
already boiled away.
I've never had a problem lifting burning embers, and do this by just using a stick. One can use a stick in each hand or even make tongs
by loosely tying the "hand" end of two sticks together. This is how "cooking rocks" are moved to and from a fire.
From a page titled Rekindled.
- The so called dry wood that was close to the fire may not be all that dry but this wood and charcoal that was close to the fire should be
easier to rekindle. Put small burning pieces and hot coals into a 1 to 5 gallon steel paint can and close the lid. Any other steel container
would also work.
The fire will go out almost instantly (say within 30 seconds) once the container is closed, with no oxygen to feed the fire. Carry this to
the next encampment to help start the next fire. If the lid is completely air tight, the tin can could collapse when the hot gases cool. A
small hole punched on the side near the top will keep a vacuum from forming.
But James takes this a few steps further, describing how to make fire even in a pouring rain and with no dry tinder in your pockets!
Please welcome back James.