Lumber Jack

I love cutting down trees and chopping wood. It’s cheap therapy. I always try and get my daughters involved in outdoor activities even if its something like chopping wood. This project was part service project and part firewood gathering. The “service” side comes into play because this Red Oak that we are cutting up and hauling off came from a friend of mines yard. This friend fell from a tree stand (maybe another blog post for a later date) late last year and was unable to walk for a while, let alone clean up a fallen tree. So my daughter and I spent the day cutting, splitting and hauling off this massive red oak. 

Awesome morning in the woods!!

I’ve written several times about how being in the woods can provide a much needed reset. It’s nice when your day begins with 39 degree weather, not a cloud in the sky and with this kind of a view.  You can’t help but to feel calm and relaxed. 

  
If your a hunter, like me, it gets even better when you top it off with….

  
I’m not a prepper or super survivalist but I do love the fact that I can harvest a deer and use the meat to provide food for our table. 

Wether hunting, fishing, hiking, camping or bird watching, find a reason to spend time with nature. 

Lessons learned from Spicoli

Jeff Spicoli: Well, I’ll tell you Stu, I did battle some humongous waves! But you know, just like I told the guy on ABC, “Danger is my business!” 
Isn’t that what we all want…. For “danger” to be our business. Why do we love James Bond (007) movies, or movies like Braveheart? Because we love the hero who’s lives on the edge of danger.   As men we have to find our danger. Something that makes us feel like we have conquered the outdoors. I was fortunate enough to go water water rafting this past weekend with two of my threedaughterdad daughters. What an adventure we all got to share. Working together as a family, paddling down a river and navigating the Rapids. As a group we were able to say “Danger is my business”.  

  

  

L.L. Bean Guide to the Outdoors

I picked this book up at a used book sale for a dollar. I am a fan of L.L. Bean clothes but this book shared so much more than what I’m used to seeing from L.L. Bean.   

Besides the practical guide to outdoor skills, it also shares the story of how the company was started by Mr. L.L. Bean. 

His desire to create a hunting boot that would keep his feet dry turned into a business built in only selling outdoor products that were field tested by the avid outdoors men and women who worked for him. There are several stories of manufacturers that were turned down to be a part of the  L.L. Bean product catalogue but with suggestions for improvement from the company, the products became better and they were added.  

This book was published in 1981 and is a combination of the original Outdoor Guide published by L.L. Bean along with the stories behind he company. I’m sure there are resources for used copies of this like I found. 

Of course its available on Amazon

Not bad for a guy who only finished the 8th grade. 

Fiberglass reinforced PVC Bow

Backyard Bowyer has all the pertinent details for making this bow. This is by far my favorite one I’ve made so far…. And the most powerful and accurate.  I used 1″ PVC to give it a little more power. But the basic of the fiberglass rod reinforcement are the same. The backyard bowyer video show a no heat option. I tapered the limbs and added the decorative ends with use of a heat gun and a vice. If you need to know how to do it, send me a message and I’ll provide info on how I did it. I also used a 60 grit sand paper, along with a screwdriver to scuff up the PVC to help the stain provide a wood grain look. The arrow rest is a 1″ piece if PVC made to snap on to any bow, but I used superglue to secure it in place. Again, send me a message for details on how to make it. 

So with the previous bows build, I have had success making functional bows from PVC. My next step was to make one that was stronger and quicker than the prevoius builds. I found this video on the Backyard Bowyer youtube chanel. He outlines the way to build a fiberglass reinforced bow. I used the measurements he gives on how to cut the rods and secure them with duct tape, but I added the tapering and decorative ends for a better look. I also used some 

Supply List:
Fiberglass Rods

    
    
 

Shooting video:

PVC BOWS-

This is a fun and easy project that takes very little money.  It does require some patience, but in the end you have a pretty cool and effective bow that you could use for target practice or light hunting.  I’m not going to get into the details of the build because there is an expert on the subject who has a website and youtube channel, The Backyard Bowyer. He also has a book available on Amazon. The best option is to go to his website,and from there you can access his videos as well as see all of the info he has available.  There are so many cool designs and with some creativity, you can make pretty much any style of bow you want.  I use paracord for my bow strings. With a little paint, they can be customized any way you want.   I am going to highlight a few of the ones I built and also videos of me shooting them.

5′ Longbow: 
   
Traditional Horsebow:  

Snakey Recurve:  

  
 

Every man needs to know how to start a fire without matches!

If your like me, you have a bug-out-bag with items that you would need if there were ever (or as Creek Stewart says, not if but when) there were a survival situation where you had no power.  Fire is one of those important things that can be useful for cooking, purifying water, and warmth.  So i’ve had the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Series Ultimate Knife for a while.

    I bought it becasue, 1. It is a Gerber product and I really like their knives, 2. because it has the ferrocerium rod for fire starting.  This knife has a host of other features (which you can read about in the description on Amazon) as well which are an added bonus.  But for the purpose of this blog, I want to focus on practicing starting a fire without the use of matches.  If you follow @creekstewart, watch fat guys in the woods, or read survival manuals for fun, you’ve seen this method used.  Ive had the tools to do it for a while, but never tried.  So this past weekend, we decided to build a fire for the purpose of making smores. Instead of grabbing the aim-n-flame and starting a fire, me and daughter #2, set out to build it with just the fire starting tool on the Gerber.  We made our tinder bundle, started creating sparks with the fire rod, and before you know it, we had an ember.  Added some oxygen, and we have a fire.  Like I said, Ive had the tool for a while, understood the process, but have never done it.  Now I feel even better becasue I know I can do it, but more importantly, my daughter was part of the experience and it was a good learning opportunity for her.  I guess as parents we call that a teachable moment.  Remember, you dont have to be in the woods to practice.   Next time you want to grill, try to start the fire without matches and get a flame going before you add your charcoal.  Practice makes perfect!  Thats what my parents always told me! 

Military Phonetic Alphabet 

Saw this on orderofman.com blog and thought it was worth repeating.  I travel quite a bit and confirmation numbers for hotel stays are always a mix of numbers and letters. So heres the question, have your ever been on a phone call and need to give a number with letters in it (example..VIN number on a vehicle to your insurance agent) to the person on the other end and you struggle through it trying to come up with words to use with the letters like K- Kangaroo, U- Umbrella or D-Dog.   Check out armyalphabet.com for free downloadable pdf’s and flash cards or just keep the image below handy below for reference.
 
  

One interseting thing is that this phonetic alphabet has channged several times over the years.  Originally developed in 1913 and revised in 1927, again in 1938, and then around WWII the version we have today was put in place.  The only letter to never change through all of the variations is X (X-ray).  

Official Man Day (unofficially)👍

Yesterday was one of those great days.  Not only did I get to spend time in the woods, I was able to fellowship with a great friend. To add even more to it, we built a deer stand for the upcoming season. One negative was the nest of yellow jackets that left me with 6 stings.  There is something peaceful about spending time in the woods. For me, part of getting connected with manliness, is being in nature. Our world is covered up with technology, activities, and well….life. An interesting quote I heard lately was:

We are running through life to sleep!

Most days I feel like that is true. Especially as a #threedaughterdad. But when you get to spend time in the woods, build something with you hands, these are the moments when time and hurry are not thoughts that enter my mind.   

View from a tree!  

DEER Stand big enough for two.

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YELLOW JACKET NEST in the ground. OUCH!  
  

So…….  If all of the above wasn’t enough, one of my threedaughters wanted to set up the tent and camp. So that’s what we did. Set up the tent, built a fire and this is the view we woke up to.  Again, nature=relaxing.