Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Long day of testing hatchets at base camp

Making feathersticks at base camp for my upcoming Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet and Helko Camp Hatchet reviews. 48 straight days living in the wilderness!

(click to enlarge)


  1. Nice looking sticks, is it the wood because I have a hard as heck time getting such nice curls. Wow 48 days, is it tough to adjust to civilization when you come off the mountain?

    Looking forward to the GB review. I have my eye on the Swedish carving model. Also how is the big knife review coming along. The Puma.

    1. Hey Cattledog,

      Thanks, appreciate that. Some wood is definitely tougher to feather with than others. I have been making these since before the internet, so that's why I get some consistency with them. It really takes a lot of patience, along with experience and a steady hand to get them that way. One trick though is to make sure the stick you are using is about the length of your lower arm. This gives you more control and more room to work with.

      Regarding living in the wilderness, it does make me feel a bit like "Crocodile Dundee" when I go into town, lol. Lots of tourists look at me like I'm someone who just walked off a movie set :)

      On another note, I had a big Elk run right past my tent at 7:30 this morning, right before I was getting ready to get out of the tent to start the day. Scared the living hell out of me, because the ground shook, and I thought it was a huge bear until I saw the tracks.

      To go a little further, living like this ain't for the timid, that's for sure. Lots of creepy sounds at night, been visited by bears several times, had a mountain lion go through camp, plus coyotes. Lightning storms up here are tremendous. The air crackles as lightning strikes close by, which sounds like artillery shells exploding next to me and shakes the ground.

      Living is hard, because you have to constantly eat away from camp, lest bears "share your food with you." Eating at night is really creepy, and I generally don't do it. Too many apex predators around. Simple things like washing are hard, because I have to hike all my water in (no running streams around due to the drought). Half my day is spent just doing chores before night sets in. The rest of the day is field testing, photography, and writing on my laptop (using the solar system I mentioned before to keep it going).

      I definitely have a new respect for Native Americans and Pioneers after all this. It's a hard life, but also fulfilling if you can handle it (at least until winter comes!).

      Regarding the Puma, it will be the next review posted, so be on the lookout. They drop forge their knives (like how axes are drop-forged), so it is a very tough knife.



  2. I wish the Wolf on you. He will be neither friendly or foe.
    Sunrise will be prevalent.