Mar 30, 2014

Waxed Jute Tinder

   I've heard about waxed jute before as a tinder but I never got around to trying it until now.

  The process is quite simple and the only components needed are Paraffin wax and some jute twine. The paraffin can be purchased at most grocery stores and the jute I had was used to tie the feed sacks at the farm, or you can pick some up at most hardware stores.

I used a pot of boiling water and a jar as a double boiler to melt the wax in.

Once the wax was melted I added the jute twine and kept the wax heated to the liquid point for close to an hour.

Once it was saturated I removed it to allow it to cool and set up.

To test the water resistance I cut off a 2" piece and floated it in a cup of water for close to an hour to see how well it would hold up.

To use it you just pull the strands apart to make a small "bird nest" and light it up.

I like the stuff and although I prefer to use natural tinder's like fatwood shavings or Poplar bark I thought it worthwhile to add to what carry for fire starting.

Stay safe

Mar 23, 2014

History Around Us: Fort McCord Massacre April 1st, 1756

On the way back from a trip to the game lands with the dogs  I stopped at a local fort site that was attacked and destroyed during the Indian Wars. Next to Mary Jemison this is one of my favorite sites.

Shingas Burns McCord's Fort
On April 1st, 1756, Shingas attacked and burned Fort McCord,
a private fort, erected in the autumn of 1755, and located several
miles north-east of Fort Loudon, Franklin County, and not far
from the Yankee Gap in the Kittatinny Mountains, west of
Chambersburg. All the inmates of the fort, twenty-seven in
number, were either killed or captured. After the destruction of
the fort, Shingas' band was pursued by three bodies of settlers
and soldiers. One body, commanded by Captain Alexander
Culbertson, overtook the Indians on Sideling Hill. Here a fierce
battle was fought for two hours, but Shingas being reinforced,
the white men were defeated with great loss, twenty-one killed
and seventeen wounded.
Pg. 274. From the book The Indian Wars Of Pennsylvania

Stay safe

Mar 15, 2014

Started a new Blog: SHTF Mechanic

     I've been thinking about starting a new Blog for quite awhile. My hobby is Bushcrafting and just spending time in the woods but most of the time I'm either at the farm or at a plant working on equipment. One thing I've not seen covered quite as much is survival mechanics, most breakdowns on a farm seem like SHTF. The cows have to get milked, fed etc. and most of the times the repair is made on the fly under adverse conditions it seems. Improvised repairs is one thing you learn to do on the farm. This falls in line with how I think...What if?
 Most of what I hope to cover will blend over into everyday repairs but in a SHTF scenario they could be mighty valuable skills to have.
SHTF Mechanic

Stay safe


Mar 8, 2014


   I was over at the farm earlier this week and while I was waiting for a trough to fill up with water I decided to make a quick trip to the woods on the backside of the farm.

Spotting the tell tale signs of a downed Pine I started to look for Fatwood which most times I don't find huge amounts but this time luck was on my side.

Most times when I do find some it's at the base of branches on down or standing dead Pines. Not huge amounts but more than enough to use to successfully get a fire started easily.

 But I think luck was on my side this time when I spotted this standing dead Pine.

 Shaving one of the exposed roots I could smell the strong aroma of turpentine from the resin laden wood.
And the trunk reveals the same condition, this is looking like it is going to be a fine harvest in the near future.

Now for a trial run.

Stay safe