All posts by clay

I am currently employed as an engineer on the ship M/V National Geographic Sea Lion, which spends summers in South East Alaska and winters in Baja, Mexico. When not on the ship, I have 6 weeks off at a time, I am always on the move traveling mostly in the western US. I do hope to get off the North American continent soon, thanks to some travel incentives from work. I am a 33 year old male with two children, Mia and Eli, both of which I totally adore. I spend time with them as I can, and travel with them as much as possible. I'm currently living in Northern California, but that changes every year or so. I keep trying to move away, but it keeps sucking me back! At least it's beautiful there. I may be headed to Utah next.....but I'm not too sure about that.

Types of knives for the woodsman

First, let’s see what Mors has to say about knives.

Now considering the fact that we have many different shapes of knives is important, let’s take a look at some of them below.

While this is just a small sample of the different types, it helps to have a visual representation of some of the names commonly used.

Creek Stewart brings up some good points as well in this video.

I tend to agree with Creek, in that the full tang knife is the way to go. I’ve never been real keen on using a folding knife in the woods, but recently folks in the Mors camp have shown me that there is more than one way.

What do I personally recommend? Trying several styles of knives out and making a decision based on what you like is best. It may even change with time, so having sevreal different types of blades at your disposal is a good idea. Most importantly, get out there and find out what works.

The Try-Stick

The try-stick is the product of a man named Mors Kochanski who is a well known woodsman and teacher. The point of the try-stick is to teach carving techniques that are helpful in the woods.

In the future I will post pictures of mine, as this is added to the list of things to accomplish this year.

Hardwoodsman Challenge

I’ve been trying to hone my skills as a woodsman for a while now. It seems like I should know all of these things already, since I’ve been running through the woods all of my life. 40 plus years and I still don’t know most of the plants in the woods, or how to start a fire with no man made materials. This is going to change!

There is a website called Bushcraft USA that I’ve been surfing for a while now, it’s been a pretty good source of information and advice on becoming a better woodsman. They have a couple of online courses of sorts available to help keep the skills alive. One is what they call Bushclass, which I’ve been working my way through. It is basically the fundamentals of skills that are required to become a good woodsman.

There is also a group of fellows on that sight that have done what’s called the Hardwoodsman Challenge. I hope to start working on these soon, since the skills involved are very relevant to being outside quite often. The sad thing about it is that the person who started it, and is in charge of it, has gotten burned out on the whole thing and has pretty much walked away.

Through a series of posts I hope to capture the essential parts of the challenge and keep it alive. A series of posts following this one will include videos of not only the lesson by the teacher, but the students submissions for the class as well. One day soon I hope to become one of them myself, so this will help me on that path. Even if it’s only to say that I did it, I’m ok with that.

More 4runner updates

I did a little more fabrication on the rear bumper recently. The hi-lift jack needs a home, so here is what I came up with.

Hi-lift Jack mounted with the rack closed.
Side view of the Hi-lift Jack mount
Hi-lift Jack mount from the back side.

The old tires where getting a little dull, so after a bit of craigslist surfing I found a set of Goodyear MT/r tires mounted on stock wheels for a song. The tires have pretty good tread left and should be good to go for a while. Especially since I’m putting around 3,000 miles a year on this rig now.

New 33 x 12.5r 15 Goodyear Wrangler MT/r tires mounted on stock wheels

A definition

trek′ker n.

trek +‎ -er

Noun
trekker ‎(plural trekkers)

One who treks; thus, a hiker

Word History: In South Africa in the 1800s, a common way of talking about the length of an overland journey was not in miles but in treks—the original meaning of the word trek in English was “a day of traveling by ox cart, one stage in a journey by ox cart.” (Transport in the vast spaces of colonial South Africa was often by ox cart, as it was on the Great Plains of the United States during the 1800s, too.) Trek comes from Afrikaans, the language of South Africa that descends from the dialects spoken by the Dutch settlers in the region. The British took control of the Cape Colony of the Dutch in 1806, and eventually the descendants of the Dutch settlers, called the Boers, left the Cape Colony because of economic problems, conflict with the Xhosa, and discontent with British colonial authorities, who had forbidden the slave trade and postulated the equality of whites and nonwhites. From 1835 to 1843, more than 10,000 Boers, the Voortrekkers (“The Foretrekkers”), traveled north and northeast as part of the Groot Trek (“Great Trek”) and established independent Afrikaans-speaking states that were eventually incorporated into the British Empire and became part of the modern nation of South Africa. As British settlers arrived in the South African colonies in the 19th century and British influence in the region grew, many Afrikaans words entered the English of South Africa. Eventually, in the 1900s, trek began to be used in other varieties of English with the meaning “a journey or leg of a journey, especially when slow or difficult.”