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How To's - Post 'em Here

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:28 pm
by macclint
Share your knowledge!

(I'll try to sticky this post)

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:46 pm
by Cheez
Knowledge on anything in particular or just general stuff we think might be useful?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:21 pm
by summersong
well, in the archives we have stormcrow's blade making tutorial, somebody (forgive me i forget) had something on making sandals out of rushes or straw, and there was a little bit on bowmaking in the thread that compared them, but not much.

i just noticed that those were some of the most popular threads...

so, things that you think would interest people who like the outdoors i guess.

:lol: just thinking. i think i still have one of those cheezy trail marking guides i got given in brownies... :lol:
the unfortunate thing is that only works if the person laying the trail and reading the trail know the same markers....

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:57 am
by Coyote Bob
summersong wrote:...........somebody (forgive me i forget) had something on making sandals out of rushes or straw, ....

Gack! You've discovered my true name Coyote Forgivemeiforget Bob, purveyor of finely crafted reed sandals for any occasion :)

I was showing some of my co-workers how to make them and one told me he wished he had known about them earlier. A couple of years ago he and some friends went rough water rafting and theirs tipped over and his shoes disappeared. The raft was damaged so he hiked to the pickup point barefooted, ouch.

Never know when something like that can come in handy. Try to make a point of learning how to swim (or make sandals) before the boat sinks.

There are so many things that need learning, where to start is the problem. Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? Personal experience only? Hearsay OK?
How about a: Comic with hero and/or heroine with a will to survive (and thrive) dropped buck naked in the wilderness? Or: Comic with hero and/or heroine with a will to survive (and thrive) dropped buck naked into a modern urban jungle? (Quite frankly the latter scares me more than the former.)


PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:00 pm
by summersong
thats because the critters in the forest wont arrest you for indecent exposure when you have nothing to post bail with.....

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:40 am
by Sage Blackthorn
I dunno if anyone is interested, but here's a Fry Bread recipe I thought ya'll might like:

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup milk

Mix ingredients adding more flour if necessary to make a stiff dough. Roll out the dough on a floured board till very thin. Cut into strips 2 X 3 inches and drop in hot cooking oil. Brown on both sides. Serve hot with honey.

Found it on this website:



PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:22 pm
by OzaawaaMigiziNini
Not sure if this counts as "how-to" as much as "what about it"...

So if this bugs you, forgive me! Oh, and forgive the photos, I snatched this off of another group I'm part of. By the way, these photos are.. erm.. graphic, so Clint, if you think some one may be offended, I appologize and ask for this to be deleted.

Porcupine, is the only animal in the Canadian wilderness that can be easily hunted in a survival situation (no firearm or bow). Because of this, Dr Gino Ferri dubbed the porcupine "the survivor's friend". It is also why during the early 1900s, Canada removed porcupine from legal animals to hunt. This was to keep the populations high, so that if in a survival situation, a stranded hunter, or an injured trapper could still obtain food.

My mother's co-worker is making a dogsled team. One of his newer dogs is real vicious, and decided to maul and kill a porcupine the other day. He assumed I would know what to do with it (wonder how he got that idea :-D ), and I found a young dead porcupine in my possession late last night.

Well, I hate wasting a good thing. So I removed the head and claws. Claws will be later made into necklaces, and the jawbones will make pendants for my nephew and a fellow bushcrafter when he arrives from Australia.

The quills were too small to gather (1.5 cm long). So with no other use for him, I decided to go out and make lunch!

The porky up close

I first gutted, and then skinned him. And while I did this, I built up a large fire made from birch, alder, poplar/aspen and some hemlock (the tree of course). I chose those woods because... well.. I had no others :rolleyes: .


Porky waiting to be roasted

As he cooked, I boiled rice on my MSR Dragonfly, and mixed olive oil, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and cumin. As the meat began to sizzle, I smeared this "BBQ Sauce" on the browning meat.


See? BBQ Sauce


And with 2 hours of slow roasting.. layer upon layer of sauce smeared and basted onto the glistenning meat.. you know what it tasted like?

Wood :-D . I'm serious, I was surprised that it didn't even taste like the sauce, the overpowering piney-meaty flavour masked hot cayenne!

So here's my advice.. if you get a porcupine for dinner;

a) drag an old rag across the quills about a dozen times, to help pull them out. Then you can learn quillwork.. or throw it out... or send the quills to me

b) Marinate the Porky for at least 24 hours in a strong marinade! I'm talking Soya Sauce, Worchestershire, Red Wine, Cayenne and Garlic all at once!

But the meat was fine... though I ate more rice than meat

on a lighter note...

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 1:52 pm
by summersong
how to make sugar cookies without sugar, salt, or that annoying 24 hrs int the fridge. and even with the alterations, i get complements every time. no one can tell unless i tell them. :D

Elsie's Sugar Cookies makes 8-9 doz.

5 C. unsifted flour
1 1/2 t.baking powder or no salt baking powder
1 t. salt or half salt
1 t. baking soda
(measure and mix together)

1 C. shortening (crisco)
2 C. white sugar or 1 C. splenda
2 Eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. lemon extract
1 t. nutmeg
1 C. milk
(beat together)

ok, if you are using a hand mixer add the wet ingredients to the dry. otherwise if you are using a stand mixer add dry ingredients to the wet ones, just make sure you dont get lumps. the mixture should be sticky. if it isn't firm add more flour. wear and apron and flour anything thats going to touch the raw dough (hands, rolling pins, etc.) it works best to put a small pile of flour under the ball of dough and let the rolling spread it out with the dough.

roll out on floured board 1/8 of an inch thick. cut with floured cutters and bake on greased cookie sheets at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. (use a spatula to lift cookies out of the rest of the dough if they don't come up with the cookie cutter)
save the scraps in a bowl. you can roll this out as many times as you like without it getting tough, if you can do so without adding more flour (after the second rolling it shouldn't be as sticky) however make sure that the layers have properly blended together or they can fall apart after baking.

Nestbox building

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 11:28 pm
by Coyote Bob
Sage Blackthorn wrote:I dunno if anyone is interested, but here's a Fry Bread recipe I thought ya'll might like:

This is great! I forgot all about making fry bread until reading your posting, discovered that I'd lost my recipes too. Your's and the link's will certainly get used this weekend.

My contribution is a set of plans to build a nestbox. I'm not sure that the World really needs another set of plans to build nestboxes but this one has a history:

My brother told me that woodpeckers were driving him crazy and if I had any suggestions on how to get rid of them? It was springtime and these woodpeckers were determined to make a hole in the side of my brother's house just under the eves. He'd tried everything he could think of to make them stop or go away, nothing worked so he was resigned to shooting them.
I though about it and gave him one of the nestboxes made from the plans below and told him to nail it on the side of the house near where they had been working and wait to see what would happen. He did so and after the the birds had worked on the nestbox's hole a bit (I guess they're particlular about entrances) they settled down and raised a family!
We're not sure if it's the same ones or not but a woodpecker family has been there every year since. Not only do they not make holes in the house anymore they also keep away other woodpeckers, as well as, bring a ton of insects in to feed the young ones.
I like a solution to a problem that has a bit of a twist to it, don't you?

Here's the link to plans and pictures of how to make a nestbox like I did:
And here's a bit of text to help too:
Measure carefully before sawing. If you nail something together wrong just pry it apart and redo it. The birds won't care if there are extra holes or hammer marks. Don't paint it (birds are sensitive to fumes) or get too fancy. A cute little perch will attract non-native birds that crowd out natives.
Pull the front panel's bottom nails out and it swings out for easy cleaning (Must be cleaned at least once a year) close and tap the nails back in to lock it. The vents at the top let air in and the cut bottom corners are drains. The guard prevents raccoons and opossums from reaching inside. The entrance hole size can be changed to suit different birds, 1 1/8" for house wren, 1 1/2" for bluebirds (woodpeckers will make it any size they want). Donate to a local park or place about 6' above the ground in shade. It may take a while for birds to use it.
There are a lot of bird house designs available. I've adapted the good points of many designs to make one cheap and easy for kids to build. I apologize to anyone whose ideas I have taken. Please visit your local library and find out more. January 22, 1995

You'll need a 6 foot dog eared cedar or redwood fence plank or something similar for the wood parts. I used 1 1/2 inch galvinized roofing nails (they have really big heads) and glued all of the joints with carpenter's glue.

Re: on a lighter note...

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 3:29 am
by Coyote Bob
How about a cookie recipe using acorn meal? The type of acorns I have access to in the Fall of the year are very bitter and the tannins have to be removed before they are safe to eat.
Once the tannins are leached out the meal can be frozen and used whenever you like. It tastes a bit like chestnuts which they are related to.
More info at:

Acorn Meals
Acorn meal preparation is very time consuming. I gathered the Valley Oak acorns shortly after they fell then washed and dried them. Acorns do not have a seam in their shells so there isn't an easy way to take it off. I've tried a number of different ways: Slit the shell with a sharp knife and peel off, soak in water until the shell splits then peel (took about a week) but putting the pointed end on a hard surface and hitting the round end with a hammer seems to be the easiest. Discard any with worms. Some people remove the thin skin covering the nut meat but I didn't bother.
Used a hand grinder to ground the acorns twice, put the meal into a big pot, filled it with cold water and brought to a boil. Let cool a bit and drained off the dark liquid, filled with fresh water and boiled again. Taste the meal for bitterness and repeat the boiling process until it tastes OK. Don't take short cuts, using the bitter meal is bad for your kidneys.
Pour the meal into a sieve, rinse with cold water, cover and let drain. Divide the acorn meal into 1 cup quantities, put into plastic bags then tie off and flatten before freezing.
Oaks are related to chestnut trees and the acorn meal tastes somewhat like chestnuts but not as sweet. I doubt if there are many water soluble vitamins left after boiling the meal but the protein should be there. The acorn meal gives cookies a nice texture but not much flavor.

Acorn Meal Cookies
(Recipe modified from one on a box of Quaker Oats )
1 cup (2 sticks margarine or butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking power
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup raisins
2 cups acorn meal (thawed if frozen)

Heat oven to 350 F. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, baking power and cinnamon; mix well. Stir in oats, acorn meal and raisins; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls (about the size of a small egg) onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

From "Oaks of California", "Depending on the species, acorns can contain up to 18% fat, 6% protein and 68 % carbohydrates (the rest being water, minerals and fiber). In comparison, modern varieties of corn and wheat have 2% fat, 10% protein and 75% carbohydrates. Acorns are also good sources of vitamins A and C and many of the essential amino acids."
"Oaks of California" 1991, By Bruce Pavlik, Cachuma Press and the California Oak Foundation, ISBN 0-9628505-1-9
Early Uses of California Plants・1962, Edward K. Balls, University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-00072-2

"It's a plan of my own invention. You may try it if you like." said the Knight

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:52 pm
by Timberwood
I found the end all repository of interesting information:

It's a magazine dedicated to tinkerers, and people who make stuff. If you dig around a little bit you can find some pretty interesting stuff, mind you a lot of this is electronics based information.