9/4/2017 – 1st week of Early Fall

Tried to go fishing, but the water level was too low. That was most likely my last attempt for this year. Sum total: one bait sized bluegill. Very discouraging, but still better than a complete strikeout. Seriously thinking of giving up on lake fishing and just going back to creeks.

In a similar vein, found a group of people (Arkansas River Coalition) who do monthly float trips down the Ark river. Think this might be a good way to get started with river canoeing. Also need to look in to similar activities on the Kansas and Missouri river.

Continuing to gather Black Walnuts, Honey Locust, and Hedge Apple. Meant to start planting some of the seeds gathered, but didn’t get a chance.

Cut down a weed Elm tree and started processing it. I mostly want to make a bucksaw and a packboard. The remainder will either become fuel for the backpacking stove or go onto a brush pile.

Got cords cut and spliced for the tarp tent. Decide to trash the sisal and get manilla as the sisal wasn’t splicing very well. Cut a 25 foot ridgeline (plus another one for spare) out of 3/8″ manilla and put eye splices in both ends. Cut two 6 foot tieouts, three 4 foot tieouts, and five 2 foot stakelines out of 1/4″ manilla and put aen splice in one end and a end splice in the other end of each. Soaked them all in water to pre-shrink them. Not exactly sure I have everything figured out right, but that should be enough to configure the tent as either a basic lean-to, modified lean-to, A-frame, or wedge. Once I get a chance to set them up, I can take photos and write up instructions.

The backpacking gassifier stove works great, but still has some issuess to fix. I was able to easily boil two cups of water on one cup of fuel with plenty of time leftover to do it again. The biggest remaining issue is the pot stand. My initial thought was to drill holes in the windscreen and use wire rods as a pot stand. The issue is that the heat generated causes the wire to lose it’s stiffness and deform under load. To options are to use heavier wire or create a pot stand out of either a tuna can or pipe strapping. 

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Posted in Camping, Daily, Fishing, Foraging

8/21/2017 – 3rd week of Late Summer

Foraging for seeds has begun. Still too early for Acorns, but Black Walnuts, Ash, and Honey Locusts are starting to ripen. Was able to identify some Autumn Olive bushes near me, so gathered a few handful of those. I think I have seen some Black Locust on one of my afternoon walks, but need to confirm.

No progress on the backpacking stove, but I was able to a) find a better recipe for waterproofing equipment and b) a passable solution for cases where the weatherproofing doesn’t cure properly.

Posted in Daily, Foraging

Drink – Switchel (honey/vinegar/ginger)

My younger brother started developing this recipe last year after having something similar. I had forgotten about it until I found a recipe only and discovered it had the name “Switchel”. It dates back to at least the late 1800’s (Laura Ingell). I suspect it was developed as an alcohol free version of watered wine. 

  • 3 to 4 T of honey (raw and local if possible)
  • 2 T of Apple Cider Vinegar (unfiltered if possible)
  • ~1/4 t of dry ginger
  • Water
  1. Heat a small cup of water to help dissolve the honey.
  2. Mix in the honey, then the ginger, then the vinegar.
  3. Pour the honey solution into a 64 oz bottle (I use an old Powerade bottle) and top of with cold water.
  4. Shake well while drinking to prevent the ginger from settling. Can be drank immediately or left overnight.
Posted in Recipe

8/14/2017 – 2nd week of Late Summer

Continuing to harvest Sand Plums. Learned that they will continue to ripen if left on the counter. Probably only one small harvest left. 

Started gathering a few Black Walnuts. It’s much too early, but I couldn’t resist. Besides, I can use the husks to darken the blade on my axe.

Learned a new way to make knife sheaths. I have used card stock and duct tape before to make sheaths, but I found a way to make them just using card stock based on the Northern European Birch bark sheaths. The next time I do it I will take enough photos to do a write up. But I will attach a photo to show how they turned out.

Working on building a backpack gassifier stove similar to the Midge and Mountain Ranger stove designs. Hopefully the write up for that will be next week.

Posted in Camping, Daily, Foraging

7/31/2017 – 5th week of Middle Summer

Nothing much to report. Still harvesting sand plums.

Posted in Daily, Gardening

7/24/2017 – 4th week of Middle Summer

Started the process of making a trotline. Didn’t think to take photos so I can write up instructions. Will have to go back and take them later. Also working on some bait recipes (chicken liver jerky and blood and cheese boilies). Will upload recipes later.

Tried to go fishing, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Was able to catch some bluegill on slim-jims, they coludn’t steal the bait very easily.

Gathered some Yucca pods. Hopefully these will do better than the ones I gathered last year.

Posted in Fishing, Foraging, Projects

7/17/2017 – 3rd week of Middle Summer

Lost another eight chickens, all in one day. Not certain what caused the die off. It was a hot day (+100), but they had plenty of water and had survived high temps before. I am now down to nine birds (1 light brahman, 3 buff brahmans, and 5 dark brahmans). This has further increased my concerns about the amount of females left in this flock. I may just have to harvest this one and start again next year.

Gathered up some Clover on one of my lunchtime walks and some Sumac (not Poison) while the family was stuck in traffic in Oklahoma. So far I haven’t seen any seeds on the Sumac around here. I can direct seed the Clover at any time, but I need to check on what pretreatment the Sumac needs.

The recent heat spell seems to have killed off the Black Walnuts that had sprouted, but the Honey Locust are doing just fine. I think one of the Oaks may have sprouted or it could be a weed I am not familiar with. Either way, I am going to need to forage more seeds this fall. 

Posted in Animals, Daily, Gardening
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