Wednesday 30 May 2012

Treasure Island.

Finding Witchety Grubs. Survival foods.



Some Tinderboxes.

This image from the : Collector's Illustrated Emcyclopedia of The American Revolution.
By George C. Neumann & Frank J. Kravic.

Fire steels, Strikers.

This image from the : Collector's Illustrated Emcyclopedia of The American Revolution.

By George C. Neumann & Frank J. Kravic.

Note that the one in the top left corner looks like a piece of metal file with a washer forge welded to it so it can be secured to a fire-bag with a leather or cordage tie.

Sunday 27 May 2012

The Fascine Knife or Billhook.

The Fascine Knife was used by the military in the 18th century for cutting wands to be used for making fascines. The two shown below belonged to my Father.

This is the corn cob handle I fitted as the original was missing.

Saturday 26 May 2012

Houses of California Native Americans Described


Woodland Indian Women.

“If a man who wishes his wife to be with him while he is out hunting in the woods, he needs only tell her that on such a day they will go to such a place where he will hunt for a length of time, and she will be sure to have provisions and everything else that is necessary in complete readiness, and well packed up to carry to the spot. The woman, therefore takes charge of the baggage, brings it to the place of encampment, and there immediately enters on the duties of housekeeping, as if they were at home. She moreover takes pains to dry as much meat as she can, that none may be lost; she carefully puts tallow up, assists in drying the skins, gathers in as much wild hemp as possible for the purpose of making strings, carrying-bands, bags and other necessary articles, collects roots for drying; in short, does everything in her power to leave no care to her husband but the important one of providing meat for the family.”

John Heckewelder 18th century.

Travel 1745.

“this Night we arrived to a place,

where we found a few Clambs, and Catched a few

Small fishes, this Day we marched about 9 Leagues

and Incamped by ye Sea Side”.
The pote Journal 1745.

Author's Note: A league in English terms is about 3 miles, or as far as a person or horse can walk in one hour.

Jerky or Jerk.

“I was Left behind at ye Camps, where they

was killing of Cattle and Laying in a Stock of Provissions,

for our Voyage, there manner of Curing

meate that they Design to keep any Considerable

time, is to Cut it in Large fletches, and Lay it over ye

fire, till it is So Smoakedryed, and Rosted, yt one

Cannot perceive any manner of moister in it, more

then in a Chip, this is ye Custom of both french. and

Indians, when they Design to Carrey their provisions

any Considerable Distance”.
The Pote Journal 1745.

Actually you should not "Roast" or cook it, just dry it.

The Tiger.

I wrote an article  called "On Meat Alone" some time back with historical documentation to back it up. In a long term wilderness living situation, especially in the cooler parts of Australia, it is I think reasonable to expect to be eating more meat than anything else. My purpose was to show that this is possible.
Here is some more interesting info on this subject: In 1940, two German Geologists escaped nazi Germany & hid in the African desert, this was Henno Martin & Hermann Korn. They lived on mostly meat for two years with no problems, until Hermann Korn started to suffer from a vit B deficiency & had to turn themseves in to the African authorities. They gleaned a lot more insight from their two year stay in the desert, & it makes good reading, even if it is not the main story. This info can be found in the book "The Tiger" by John Vaillant. This book is worth reading.

Friday 25 May 2012

To all those interested in the ridiculous "Ammo Bill"...

Well..... just when we thought this stupid "Ammo Bill" could get no worse, we received a tip-off
that the Firearms Registry were in panic mode altering the Permits to Acquire forms as a result of an....errrr...
...."error" (?) in the drafting of the Bill. (See Borsak's Question without Notice, and the Police Minister's dismissive  reply below)
The Bill contains a provision whereby a Permit-to-Acquire ( PTA) can be used as evidence that you "intend" to purchase
a firearm, and therefore satisfies the proof needed to buy ammunition for that calibre/cartridge.
PTAs don't currently have any designated firearm listed, just the category.
So now, the clever people at the Registry, intend to require that you SPECIFY what you will buy !!!
Not one of these people has ever gone through the process of buying a firearm, particularly a new firearm,
in a firearms dealership with HUNDREDS of firearms on display.
The stupid "28 day" PTA bullshit is bad enough as it is. You MAY or may not have chosen a particular individual rifle,
but more often, you just know that you want a particular Category, but at the time you actually have your PTA,
you may well have missed the sale, changed your mind, seen a better deal, or otherwise be flexible as to what you will buy.
Then we have the second-hand market, and the various on-line sites that abound. In those cases, most shooters get the
PTA first, then take the 60 days available to hunt for a "deal".
Under what is now proposed, you will need to specify calibre and cartridge when you lodge the PTA.......
and if you change your mind, that means another $30, another PTA.... and probably another 28 days.
YOUR letters , and YOUR pressure on the marginal Liberals, and all the Nats, has definitely got the Government
into the "delay" mode.
Particularly now that Richard Torbay and Greg Piper have made it clear to the Government that they will "force" a
recording of the votes....thus exposing all the big-noting Nats that are.... errr... "threatening" to cross the floor".

So please..... if any of you 5,200 souls on this newsletter list, haven't yet emailed, phoned, or better
still...visited....your Local Member, please, please....

........do it NOW.

Robert Brown Robert.Brown@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Clean Water. Make yourself some filter bags.

Providing you do not have any nasty chemicals in the water, A tight weave cotton or linen bag should suffice to clean dirty water. Just make sure you boil it after filtering.

I cary these three bags specifically for filtering dirty water. Two of them are used together; one inside the other for very murky water.

Even my kettle bag could be used to filter water.

Food bags can be used to filter water.

A kettle can be used to collect rainwater or carry water from its source. It is also needed to boil water to purify it. Scoop the water up in the bag/s and run the water through the bag into the kettle. Don't forget to top up your water bottle once the boiled water has cooled down.

Always carry a water bottle with you. You can't always be sure to find water when you need it. When you find water, you need something to carry it in. Always top up your water bottle at every opportunity.

Sunday 20 May 2012

Ned Kellys Secret. A New Book By Sophie Masson.

Fishing Information, Links & Tackle.

As you know this is primarily a not for profit blog, meaning I get no payment for advertising. But once in a while I come across a good trader and I think it is useful to make them known. This is one such site. I have had no dealings with this person other than asking him questions, which he very kindly answered.


Saturday 19 May 2012

Snowy Mountains Trekking.

I camped in the Snowy Mountains one winter. We found an old cabin, cleaned all the animal manure out, repaired the chimney and moved in.

. . . though not ready to shrink from difficulties and not unwilling to encounter adventures, I did not think it prudent to contend with the inclemency of the approaching winter in an inhospitable position among the mountains; when I recollected that the month was May [1852], and that in the month of March preceding, a party of Aborigines, coming from the Murray River to Maneroo, were overtaken in a snow storm, and that, whilst one man was severely frost-burnt and crippled, two others were completely smothered in the drift, within a short distance of the very spot upon which I and my party encamped on the 22nd and 23rd December, 1851 (Clarke 1860:221).


Australian Aboriginals using Trade Axes/Tomahawks.

"They had among them one iron axe and four steel tomahawks".
Snowy Mountains Australia. Tumut district in 1824-25, Hume.

Friday 18 May 2012

Conrad Hawkwood said... and my reply.

Conrad Hawkwood said...
good idea too many guns around as it is..

I can understand your comment Conrad, though I think it misplaced. You obviously have a downer on guns and I can assume that you are not a gun owner yourself. However, there are legitimate uses for guns, for sport target shooting, for historical reenactment, Living History, and ferral pest erradication. The use of the gun in the latter instance reduces the use of poisons, & therefore benefits the environment & saves native animals.
Government gun laws are not designed to reduce guns in the hands of criminals, they do not hamper criminals. Criminals have no gun license & totally ignore gun laws. Only we legitimate gun owners pay the price for ineffective firearms legislation. I am definately pro gun legislation if it will hamper the criminal use of firearms.
What we need is higher penalties for the misuse of firearms. Do you honestly think that banning the ownership if a single barrel single shot flintlock muzzle-loading gun will hamper any criminals?!!! Think about it in a sensible way Conrad, don't be taken in by legislation simply made to gain your vote in the next ellection. Lobby for stricter penalties for the misuse of firearms, fines, imprisonment, loss of firearms & loss of licence. But this will only effect the morons in our communities, it will have little effect on criminals, nothing will.
If the criminals have guns, & we do not Conrad, where do you seriously think that will take us? I am alive today because I legally own a gun, otherwise there is a good chance I would not be here. Do you think you have the right to deny me my life & the ability to defend my family just because you don't like guns?
Sincere regards, Keith H. Burgess.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Rangers, 1734-1747.

Unfortunately these figures are shown without packs which they would have had, but the info on the page might be interesting to some.


My thanks to Flintlock & Tomahawk for this link.



The Firearms amendment ( Ammunition Control) Bill 2012.

Dear Sir, I am contacting you to ask you to vote against The Firearms amendment ( Ammunition Control) Bill 2012. This will impact on legitimate gun owners in the country. This may also have further implications. By the wording of this bill it implies that registration is ownership. Does this mean that if anything happens to me that my family will no longer have control of our firearms?
This sort of legislation will have no effect on criminals, this is just another move to get votes & we legitimate gun owners are the ones to pay the price. You are surely smart enough to see that this sort of legislation will not stop gun crime. What is needed it heavier penalties for crimes committed, not more & more legislation that makes it harder & harder for legitimate gun owners.
Very sincerely, Keith H. Burgess.


This legislation if it goes through will mean that my wife, a licensed gun owner, will no longer be able to purchase ammunition without paying a $30.00 fee for a permit to purchase! This legislation implies that my wife no longer ownes her own gun, because I was the one to register it!!! Think about this, they are coming in the back door again! Please write your local member & ask them to vote against this legislation before it is too late, whether you are a gun owner or not.
Regards, Keith.

Here is the link to your local member: http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/members.nsf/V3ListCurrentMembers

Sunday 13 May 2012

The Common Frock Versus The American Revolution Frock.

There are variations in frock styles, but the most common are the Shirt Frock 1680-1830, and the Hunting Frock 1770-1780.
These dates are not exact, the Shirt Frock started to appear Pre 17th Century and was still in use in the early 20th century in a Frocked form.
The Frilled Hunting Frock did not exist as far as I am able to tell before the American Revolution, and did not appear to be as popular as the European Shirt Frock, not is there any evidence that it remained in use for very long after the Revolution period.

The Common Shirt style Frock worn in Europe 1680-1830.

The American Revolution style Frock. Open fold over front, 1770-1780.

I welcome any more documented information on these Frocks.

Friday 11 May 2012

The Diary of Samuel Pepys. May Dew.

Tuesday 11 May 1669.

"My wife again up by four o’clock, to go to gather May-dew";

The early morning dew collected in the month of May was believed to be very beneficial for the Ladie's complextion. It was collected in any way possible, often with a cloth and then rung into a container. The container was kept in the home, and the contents spread over the skin with the finger tips. This was then allowed to air dry on the skin.

Also a method for collecting drinking water for survival.

Huron Indian Tribe History. A Link.



The Hon. ROBERT BROWN [9.08 p.m.]: I refer to the Firearms Amendment (Ammunition Control) Bill 2012, and attendant the regulation, which was passed by this House yesterday in a filthy deal between the Coalition and The Greens to do over the law-abiding firearms owners of this State. Shooters should be concerned about this new attack on shooters by the Liberals and, by default, The Nationals and The Greens. This regulation is simply a new tax of $30 on each person who now needs to apply for a permit to buy ammunition. There was no need for this regulation because there was no need for the bill. Observant members might have noticed that the regulation was dated 27 March 2012. Apparently this little fiasco was held over until yesterday to hide it behind the Federal budget media coverage. Every government acts in that way—Labor and Coalition. They dump out bad news or play politics on budget day; this Government is no different.
This regulation provides for persons holding a firearms licence to apply for a $30 ammunition permit to allow them to purchase ammunition for a firearm they are licensed to use but that is not registered to them when the person is a member of the same household as a person who has a firearm of that calibre licensed to them; or the person is employed or engaged by a person who has a firearm of that calibre licensed to them, and it is part of the first person's duties to purchase ammunition for that firearm. The regulation also provides a general power for the commissioner to issue an ammunition permit in other circumstances. The regulation provides a way for employees to purchase ammunition for a work firearm and a way for members of a household to purchase ammunition for firearms owned by other household members.
But enough of what the Government claims the regulation does do. What it does not address are the problems that will be caused, for example, when a licensed person borrows a firearm with a calibre and they do not already own a firearm with that calibre from a person who is not a member of their household and wishes to purchase ammunition for it, when a person who is driving to a remote property to hunt offers to bring ammunition with them for firearms owned by the property owner, when a licensed person who is a parent of a minor wishes to purchase ammunition for their child to use in a borrowed firearm that is of a different calibre to any the parent has registered to them, when a licensed person who chooses not to own a firearm borrows one for hunting or target shooting, or myriad other situations that have been identified to the Government but ignored.
In what appears to be something straight from Yes, Minister, the regulation imposes an additional $30 permit fee to allow already licensed persons to purchase ammunition that they are already authorised to possess under the conditions of their firearms licence. It imposes more work on the Firearms Registry, taking more money from the Police budget for administration, which means there is less available for policing. This raises questions about further costs to shooters. Will an additional $30 be required each time a member of a shooter's household purchases a firearm in an additional calibre and the permit must be amended? That is what happens to firearms owners. We were told that this bill was needed to address the drive-by shootings in Sydney's south-west.
The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: I didn't say that.
The Hon. ROBERT BROWN: That is true. This legislation does not address drive-by shootings. If the Government thinks it does, I would like to be provided with the supporting information by the police Minister or the Attorney General demonstrating that they are right and I am wrong. I do not think they will do that because they know this legislation is a political stunt rather than a genuine attempt to stop criminals shooting at each other's houses. This Liberal-Nationals Government will have to live with the fact that it is prepared to deal with The Greens on firearms legislation rather than talk to shooters, or even their own firearms consultative committee. It would have been sensible to do that before introducing the legislation.
I do not think the Premier listens to his Nationals Coalition colleagues on this issue. I assure members that we in the Shooters and Fishers Party will be making that clear to people in the bush. The Shooters and Fishers Party no longer believes the Government is prepared to deal in good faith about firearms issues. We will ensure that all licensed firearms owners are aware of this new paradigm of a Liberal-Greens coalition with regard to firearms decisions that the Premier seems to think will work for him. The Shooters and Fishers Party disagrees. In fact, we wish him good luck—and he will need it if he is metaphorically getting into bed with The Greens.
Shooters and Fishers Party
PO Box 376 Baulkham Hills NSW 1755
Tel: (02) 9686 2396
Web: http://www.shootersandfishers.org.au/
My thanks to Deerslayer for this informatiom.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Catoptrical Victuallers, Beware! A Link.


The Mountain Men. A Documentary Video.

This time period is a little late for me, but it is still interesting. In truth the Mountain Man period or its hey day as far as the Rendezvous is conserned, only lasted 25 years, from 1825 to 1840 ad.

WARNING! Much of the information in this video is pure fiction. I have no idea when this video was made, but much of the information is outdated research wise. I knew more than this 20 years ago, and I can offer no explanation for the misinformation in this documentary.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

How To Make Wool Buttons. A Link.

Ready to wear (1640s style)


More on Selkirk aka Robinson Crusoe.


This is believed to be the cave Selkirk lived in whilst marooned on the island. Read more at the link above.

Wearing Two Waistcoats.

The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Sunday 9 May 1669.
"This day I first left off both my waistcoats by day, and my waistcoat by night, it being very hot weather, so hot as to make me break out, here and there, in my hands, which vexes me to see, but is good for me".

" and my waistcoat by night". Does he mean at night as in bed?

Primitive Skills. The Figure 4 Trigger & the Cage Trap.

I just finished producing another video for a new DVD, and these are some of the still shots.

The cage trap. Built log cabin style. The bow over the top pulls it all together.

Cordage on both ends of the bow secured to the bottom stick in the construction.

The figure 4 trigger.

The bait stick. This trap can be used for rabbits or ground feeding birds.

Butt end of the bait stick.

Centre of the bait stick which notches into the upright.

The upright.

The notch in the prop which fits over the end of the upright. The end holds up the trap.

The bait stick notched into the upright.

The butt end of the prop notched into the butt end of the bait stick.

The top of the upright in the notch on the prop. The trap goes on top of the prop. The weight of the trap holds the trigger in place.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

18th Century Historical Trekking or Historical Travel.

I read a post written by my friend Karl today, in fact I have posted the link on this blog. While I found his article very interesting, it also served to remind me that some people may still not fully understand what historical trekking is all about.
It could just as well be called Historical Travel, because it is all about travelling away from home and what clothing, equipment, tools and skills as well as transport are used to travel.
Historical Trekking can include any period at all, not just the 18th century, but until I introduced it to a Medieval friend of mine it was predominantly 18th century. Now members of NEMAS in Armidale NSW are also involved in Historical Trekking middle ages style.
But just because we have set ourselves a period of 1680 to 1760, that does not mean that we can't incorporate earlier period items of hardware and primitive skills into our activities, which in fact we do. We learn & practice skills that the natives used at the time of colonisation in the New World, and in deed here in Australia also. The very fact that our group is in New England Australia means that we need to learn all about native fauna and flora and its many uses. Here below is a list of the skills that our woodsrunners, both ment & women, are expected to learn and practice. But this list is only a guide, it does not restrict us from learning many other primitive skills from bark canoe construction to flint knapping and many more.

Woodsrunner’s Skills.

This is a list of basic skills in which I personally would expect an 18th century woodsman or woods-woman to have some experience with.

·        Flint & steel fire lighting

·        Wet weather fire lighting

·        Fire-bow fire lighting

·        Flintlock fire lighting

·        Flintlock use, service & repair

·        Field dressing & butchering game

·        Blade sharpening

·        Tomahawk throwing

·        Making rawhide

·        Brain tanning

·        Primitive shelter construction

·        How to stay warm in winter with only one blanket

·        Cordage manufacture

·        Moccasin construction and repair

·        Sewing

·        Axe and tomahawk helve making

·        Fishing

·        Hunting

·        Evasion

·        Tracking

·        Reading sign

·        Woods lore

·        Navigation

·        Primitive trap construction & trapping

·        Open fire cooking

·        Fireplace construction

·        Clothing manufacture

·        Drying meat & other foods

·        Knowledge of plant tinders & preparation

·        Knowledge of native foods & preparation

·        Knowledge of native plants in the area and their uses for other than tinder and food.

·        Scouting

·        Basic first aid

My thanks to Karl for his post, as is often the case we give each other ideas for future posts. I would like to point out that this post is in no way to educate Karl as to what we do, Karl is very aware of our activities and practices many of the same skills himself. Still Karl's post made me realise that many people may not fully understand what we are all about and so prompted this post.