This weekend I'll be in the sticks, the Ozarks, just south of Branson here in MO. I'll be spending 3.5 days outdoors, 2.5 days with an instructor. 1 on 1. I've never had solitary instruction. We met at a gathering of survivalists/instructors/students/wilderness nuts in the spring to celebrate the life of a friend, a former survival instructor, who is quite young and with family who developed a fatal brain tumor. The best part is that he's still alive and fighting.
While there I met Kris, wearing a shirt saying "Willing to talk to people about plants." Alright you doo-rag wearing, long bearded, grisly woods pirate...tell me more. We hit it off, and he interrupts me to tell me he's shocked he's talking to me. I asked why, "I don't talk to people." Well then, if you quit talking to me now, it's just rude. So we got along fairly well and he kept posting short video how-to's on Facebook with no talking and it's stuff I've never seen or even heard of before. Sign me up.
So, I'm going to do the fire challenge and shelter challenge while I'm out there before he shows up and I'm going for the gold on both. We'll see how that works out. I've made friction fire before, mostly from materials brought for that purpose as sourcing materials can be difficult and its VERY season/weather dependent. The shelter is much less of a concern.
Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to it. I don't know what to expect exactly and I'm bringing three scenarios of set-ups to work with: my usual backpacking setup, a bushcraft/survival setup (the same as backpacking but with serious tools), and a combat load that would be optimized for patrols in rural areas (completely different than the high speed, plate carrier CQB oriented stuff). The big difference with the combat load is the presence of weapons and the fact that there's minimal survival gear as it's ancillary.
I'd like to nail the 30 pounds 30 days too, but it's not going to happen. I'm not there. I'd like to do this either by the end of the year or January'ish. I've never trekked 10 miles in a day but the 30 lbs isn't a challenge so I suppose I just have to survive it rather than keep a pace.
One more thing of note. I've been making knives for 15 years but I've liked them for 29. I've wanted a Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri for 20 years. I finally found a U.S. made one in Carbon V steel that was used and reasonably priced...you might be shocked how hard of a thing that's been to do. So I'll go schwakin' in the woods with that, my personal knife I finally got around to making myself, a Gransfor Bruks Scandinavian axe and a Victorinox/Wenger Ranger 79. I guess there's a Mora Garberg on the chest rig but we'll see if it gets used. But the kukri I'm really looking forward to using. I've waited two decades. I even showed the old leather sheath some love and hot wax dipped it to ensure it'll last for a bit.
Alright, time to get packing for said trip.
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