Bushcraft Camp & High Winds

Good Monday afternoon everyone!

Oddly enough the title of this post seems like they are related, and surely they could be. They are not. Early Saturday morning I got up and…

*Work Pause*

…grabbed my camping gear bag and a hand saw and headed out to my dad’s land. With my brothers coming out and my dad my goal was to get most of my shelter built. Well they went and helped my dad build his tree stand, and it took more time than they thought so I worked alone all day. It is originally how I had planned it so I wasn’t concerned in any way. We were there for a little over eight hours and it was hot and humid. I’m sure it didn’t help that I had on a long flannel, jeans, and muck boots. If you remember from a few post ago I was still looking for that perfect spot. Well early that morning I found it. It is about 30-35ft from a small crick, and on fairly flat ground. The hardest part of making a modified lean-to is finding two suitable trees the correct distance apart, on level ground. Once I found the perfect spot I was ready to work. To make heat matters a little worse, I wore gloves to protect my hands from cuts and scrapes. I first needed to try and find a good crossbeam to go between the two trees. When I did I cut it down and processed the branches off. This left me with a straight and sturdy piece of timber to start my project. The most frustrating part was next, square lashing it to the damn trees. The first tree was the hard part, not only did I forget how to square lash, but the tree was bigger than expected and it made tightening the lashing hard. Once I figured out what I was doing I was off to the races. I got the other side up and tight in no time. The only down side is that I used twine. It will dry rot and fall apart, so I am going out again today, after work. I will stop at Lowes and grab some nylon rope and re-lash the twine sections for a more permanent shelter. Next I needed to see how deep my shelter needed to be, seeing how I wanted it to accommodate two slightly raised beds length ways. To do this I laid flat on my stomach and drug my feet across the dirt to mark a spot. I then guesstimated that I would need a buffer and made sure to cut my poles a bit longer. I wanted to have a raised back to my shelter to fit the beds, but to also host a small stone fireplace in the back of my shelter, in between the two beds. I squared up the corners to the best of my ability and drove two small posts into the ground. I lashed a back crossbeam to the small posts to raise the shelter off the ground about a foot and a half. This gave me a bare skeleton of what my shelter would look like, and I liked it. I got sick of cutting wood with a crappy saw so I decided to work on the fire place next.

The crick was again about 30ft away so I made many trips down there to get stones. It was really low which made it a little easier to find more stones. At first I was going to start and have the fire on the ground, but much to my surprise I instantly found a huge round, flat stone that would later be my fireplace base. I would build the majority of the fireplace around this base. I gathered as many brick like stones that I could and brought them back. I arranged them a few times looking for the best fit. The next challenge was that I needed a mantle stone to go over the stacked stones and be under the back crossbeam. This would be so that I could have a fire going and not burn the wooden back crossbeam of my shelter in half. I wandered around the crick and within moments I found a stone that would work. It was thicker than I originally wanted, but you have to make due with the materials that you have. I currently have the fire place stacked to be even the whole way around up the the height of the crossbeam. I will need to build it up a little more to have it act like a chimney. Once I have the fire place the way I like it I want to slap some mud in the cracks to make it more efficient and hold the stones together slightly, once I have fired it. I’m sure that will be a fun day. I’ll make sure to bring a five gallon bucket to make the process easier. That was the extent of what I got done in eight hours. Like I said before I will be heading to Lowes after work and getting a Corona folding saw and nylon rope and heading out to do more work tonight.

Yesterday we had some storms. Some rain, then a lot of rain, then sideways rain. Next no power. So what do you do when you have no power. Call and order wings, that’s what! Thankfully they had power to cook our wings. It probably wasn’t a good time to go pick them up but we were hungry and had nothing else to do. We didn’t know how bad the storm really was until we got home and ate. My parents have a scanner and there were reports of winds reaching 70+ miles per hour. One the storm subsided we listened to where the first responders crews were called out to. We went to check out the damage. (Most of which was 5 or less miles from our house)  One cemetery took the most of it. there were three or more huge trees completely up rooted from the ground leaving 6ft holes in the ground. They fell on every electric line in the area. When we were at the cemetery other people told us that the same thing happened in other areas and even right up the street from us. I guess I should let you know that no one was hurt from the storm, but up to 100 people were being put up in hotels and shelters for at least the night. We regained power after three and a half hours. Other people still didn’t have it this morning. Anyway, today is freakin’ beautiful. If you didn’t still see some of what happened you would never know there was a storm. They aren’t calling it a tornado, but it must have been as damn close to being one as you can get for all of that to happen.

I hope you all have a great rest of your Monday and I’ll talk to you again tomorrow. 😀

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