Ah…. wow… er… ah…

I came upon this over on one of the blogs I follow on the Tumblr. Bushcrafters gone wild!

It pretty much epitomizes everything I’m not likely to do when I go out camping.

Talk about “Leave No Trace”~~ Two dozen+ live trees cut for unnecessary [and U.G.L.Y., and disfunctional, and inefficient] shelter, and a hacked up stump. I just hope this was their own property. If it was public use land, or a state park, I’d be pretty upset finding this on my trip down the trail. However, from the amount of gear, I’m guessing they didn’t walk in very far.

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Playing With Fire- “all natural” Flaming Dragon Turds

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My buddy, Ed, and I have been upptacamp a couple times recently to build a deck.  Part of the process was taking down several large pine trees that were going to be in the way of the deck and the view. We took them down three weeks ago on the first visit. When we were up again last week, I realized that one of them had “sweated” a large amount of sap out of the stump.

Pine sap is one of my favorite tinders/kindlings, and, this being the Northwoods of Maine, there was plenty of loose, dry birchbark to be picked up easily. I scraped a bunch of the still liquid sap off and smeared it across the surface of some of the birchbark. I sprinkled it with some of the course sawdust from the chainsaw work, and pressed the two pieces together between a couple of cinderblocks for a few hours. The photo shows the result. I figure to thumbtack it to the railing outside for a few weeks to let it dry and set up completely, and then I should be able to cut it into pieces and add it in to my tinderboxes.

After I took the first photograph, I snipped off a chunk, and touched it off with a single match.IMG_0999

I got a burn time of about a minute and a half, and it left an “ooze” of unburned sap on the slate that would’ve soaked in if there was other tinder. It also burned so hot that it popped a flake of slate off the underside.

I think I have another keeper.

Pine Needles

Pine Needles

This is not the greatest photo in the world because it’s kind of grey and rainy up here today. But it will serve to illustrate the point…
This is a great time to go camping in Maine.  June is when a lot of the pines lose their needles, so this means it’s very easy to collect a couple of armfuls and make a wonderful, soft bed under your sleeping roll.

You can see in the picture how many needles have turned brown and are just ready to fall.