Aww, Caveman fail

I tried my hand at the fire by friction over the weekend. I used the techniques I had read online, everything was perfect. But no fire. I had charred wood dust, I had smoke, the dust was fine not grainy. The problem wasn't my materials or my technique, it was me. I had hoped that my theoretical knowledge would carry me into success. I will admit that I was  disappointed with myself for failing. But then I began to think about it, very few people succeed at making a fire their first time, especially when they try the hand drill method alone with only books to learn from. Everyone has heard the old axiom "practice makes perfect", well this is doubly true with survival skills. If i were in a survival situation I probably could have built a fire but I would not have had the energy to build a shelter, find food or water, or maintain the fire I built. So I will not give up, and I will encourage anyone who has any interest in survival skills to practice until these skills become second nature, it might make the difference between eating and staying warm or being cold and hungry.


Caught Knapping

So a while ago for Christmas my Mother-in-law gave me, wait for it, a box of rocks!

I ask myself, "What can be better than a box of rocks?" A box of flint and obsidian! At the time I was heavily into archery and I thought it would be interesting to learn to make arrow heads from flint. My wife told her mom about it and at Christmas I got my rocks. The only problem was I had no idea how to do anything with them. The internet had several wonderful videos, but my computer was too slow to load them so I was forced to try to make heads or tails of the multitude of webpages out there. For those of you who don't know much about flint knapping it is not an "inside" sort of activity, and it was very difficult to look at my screen, run downstairs, pick up my work and rember exactly what was on the webpage. Luckily the library had a great book on the subject which I promptly checked out and on which I currently owe almost three years of late fees. I had the book, the flint, and the desire, but what I lacked was tools. In the town where I live there are several festivals at a park near the Missouri river, and one of these is a re-enactment of the beginning of Lewis and Clark's journey. There I happened across several pieces of deer antler, which made fine tools on which to learn.

Here is the tool kit I made/accumulated:

This is a deer antler billet I made for percussion flaking. 
This is my pressure flaker, this was made from an antler tine and a piece of poplar.
Here is the leather pad that I use to protect my hand while flaking. I made this out of some scrap leather I had laying around.

Here is my very (un)primitve abrading stone. This is from a stone age bench grinder wheel.

These two pictures are me using my billet and pressure flaker on some obsidian                                               
 And now all I need is ... Practice.


Primitive Rocks!

Please bear with me I am still new to this whole blogging thing. Many people have asked me why I am infatuated with primitive skills when there is so much technology out there to make our lives easier. I am drawn to the practical aspect of primitive skills. There is something to be said about having the capability to not only survive, but thrive on only what can be found around you on the ground and under it. Knowing how to feed yourself, make sure you have water, shelter, and fire. True there is a lot of technology out there that does make life easier ( I do recognize the irony of writing a primitive skills blog on a computer), but I find I get more satisfaction from doing things the hard way.


And then man created blog....

I like rocks, let me just say that from the beginning. I always have, and I love the idea of making things out of them. The idea of surviving in the wild intrigues me as well. Camping with me is a hoot! I usually spend my free time making things with my hands. I can't say when the primitive bug bit me but I am addicted. I started collecting books on primitive skills and survival. That however, was not enough for me. I NEEDED to TRY these skills out. My wife is the lovely lady behind Va-Voom vintage, and she got me on blogger after she fell in love with blogging. She supports my primitive hobbies and even listens intently when I spend hours talking her ear off about flint knapping or fire making. So here I stand at the beginning of a great journey of knowledge and discovery, care to join me?