When Bushcraft people get together, there is always a day of work, fun, and ingenuity that only other outdoorsy people can comprehend.
With a loud rumble, Eds van pulled into my long, country driveway. The vehicle stopped about ½ way up my driveway and shuddered to a halt. Directly across the vehicle was my firepit.
I welcomed Ed with a hug, and we gathered around the fire. Ed took out his trusty Fiskars axe and split some wood quarters into small pieces and created a feather stick.
As Ed worked on the fire, I gathered some wood from the nearby pile. By the time I returned to the fire pit, large and heavy chucks of snow were falling from the sky. I watched Ed work on the fire while I took out some tools and repaired his exhaust as best as possible. This included mounting a new exhaust hanger out of heavy-duty pipe strapping until he can get it repaired.
As I heard the click of the ratchet on the bolts, I could see the snow getting worse. It was time to move inside for the days filming.
Quickly, We set the fireplace going in the living room, and then relaxed. It was time for lunch. There was some homemade chicken soup and Green Tea on the menu.
During Lunch Ed described a new stove design he is working on. “It’s two cans which keep the smoke-gas from escaping”. He produced two tin canes, one which had several holes punched in the side in a strategic manner. “This one goes in this one, and traps the escaping gas”. A novel idea, especially using old tin cans.
After Lunch Ed mentioned he liked my wrist watch band, which I had made of paracord. “I have always wanted one like that” he said, with wide eyes.
“Before we do any filming, I’ll make you one – with 30ft of paracord”. I said, as I stood up to get some supplies. “While you do that – I’m going to sharpens some knives”.
Over the next two hours, we sat on the floor in my living room, listening to the crackle of the fire and worked nearly silently on our projects. Me weaving strands of paracord, and Ed sharpening his two knives, and then my brand new Gerber Prodigy. “This is a nice knife, almost as good as my Mora” he said as he watched the knife slowly move up the sharpening stone with a gentle ripping sound as the steel ground against the stone.
“May this bracelet always remind you of being in the wilderness” I said as I snapped the wide, chunky paracord bracelet on his wrist. It’s funny how outdoors people will spot a paracord bracelet a mile away. Having one almost always identifies you as a bushcraft person.
I set –up the cameras and Ed got the materials to put the project together.
Cameras rolling I started with my familiar “Hi, I’m the Wolfmaan…” and introduced Ed.
The project today was to turn a coffee-tin lid, some jute twine, and a bicycle inner tube into an axe sheath.
Sitting behind the camera, I panned back and fourth between Ed speaking of the project, and his hands first bending the tin can bottom, then putting in the bicycle inner tube to protect the blade, and so on.
After about half an hour of filming, the project was complete, and I finished the video with my usual “Please Consider Subscribing…”
As the late evening rolled around we sat around the fire and talked of the fun day. In an afternoon shared around the fire and fueled by friendship and a passion for the community a lot was accomplished. Starting with repairing a fallen exhaust, to sharpening knives and making videos.
The sun had long dropped below the horizon, and the fire now just embers. Two friends parted ways after spending the day part of a community. A community built on trust, passion, and a connecteness to the natural world.
For when bushcraft people meet around a fire to exchange ideas, and help each other out they forge lifelong friendships, and special connections are made. This connection goes back to a time when humans lived in small tribes across the world. The survival of early humans depended on meeting around the fire, being connected to nature, and connection to the community. If these primitive needs were not met, we would not be alive today.