Athletics and Recreation

Bushcraft Skills – Axe & Knife Skills, Camp Setup, Fire (Overnight Camping)

Bushcraft Skills – Axe & Knife Skills, Camp Setup, Fire (Overnight Camping)



folks Mike here thanks so much for clicking on the video I've just been picking some blackberries ready to make some blackberry jam but this video is all about bushcraft in fact I'd say it's probably one of the most informative and detailed bushcraft kind of tutorial videos on YouTube it's a really good one but before we get into it I just like to say a huge thanks to audible for sponsoring this episode they sponsored some videos before I really appreciate them helping out when I was up on the Lake District I had a five hour drive and that's a great opportunity for me to listen to audiobooks because I can obviously do it hands-free and I can keep my eyes on the road all of offers an unmatched selection of audiobooks with a huge range of different genres lately I've come away from the kind of fantasy novels and I've got much more into success stories on people who have gone out into the wilderness something's gone wrong and then they've actually managed to deal with this situation and survive the one I was listening to recently on my way to the later shoot is called lost in the wild danger and survival in the North Woods and it's actually about two different people but the first guy I think is 1998 he went out into the woods and he was leading a canoe expedition and what he did was he was crossing this gap between some cedar trees and he actually fell he was out for four hours I don't go into too much detail but it tells you the story of how he survived that situation and they're just really thrilling riveting stories about these two guys and how they survived and it actually teaches you some good tips on what to do and what not to do to survive in the woods it's been a personal favorite of mine this summer hopefully you guys enjoy that as well if you don't have audible they're actually offering you a free audiobook and a 30-day free trial just go to audible.com /ta outdoors or text EI outdoors to 500 500 and you guys can download this audiobook and let me know what you think thank you so much audible for sponsoring this episode there's links in the description if you guys are interested let's crack on with some bush grass so I'm back out here in the woods in this video it's going to be packed full of bushcraft and survival tips not just advanced ones basic tips as well I'm here with Paul curtly here you can see in the Paul runs frontier bushcraft one of the leading UK bushcraft schools and he has a wealth of knowledge we are doing an overnighter we're going to set up camp later the first thing we're going to get straight into is ax technique so I've come to speak to Paul he's going to give you guys all the tips about how to use an axe hey Mike hey guys I am just making sure the axes we've got out of stores are in good shape we're here in an area where I teach bushcraft skills is a working woodland it's where I teach my wood craft course and it's the perfect setting for Mike to skill up with his axe and general camp craft skills and looking forward to it alright that's nice and sharp now that's the scandi accent I just been just been touching up and when they've been in it was sharp when it was put away but when they've been in stores a little while they can just lose their their bite a bit so I've just tickled it a little bit with a ceramic side of a DC for what I think we need to do first Mike is start at the beginning and we'll look at some basic splitting techniques that are useful to people for firewood because that's what a lot of guys and girls are going to be using day-in day-out so let's get those day-to-day skills covered off first and we can look at maybe some of the more dynamic stuff so it's typical isn't it though it starts raining as soon as we start filming but it is raining a little bit now but we'll crack on we've got a good coverage of leaves from the sweet chestnuts here and what I'm doing is going around the sweet chestnut looking for some dead standing because we want this for firewood for later isn't just a demo of how to split stuff we actually want this and what I'm trying to find is something that's reasonably consistent and this seems quite hard but on the other side here it feels a little bit soft and I guess it's getting more water here so I'm just gonna shave into it a bit and see see what we've got yeah it's quite it's quite punky in here and in Britain even though we've had a hot summer it's pretty wet most of the time and absorbent wood is never good because it's gonna be full of moisture you can see where I've shaved it off this outer stuff that's actually quite wet and it is slightly off the vertical and you're getting water on here and you can see that it's really quite soft and I can pick that away with my thumbnail so that it's not going to make great firewood and that just goes to show how important it is when you're looking for dead standing wood that it's a vertical as possible because this side it's pretty solid yeah it's solid on this side and it's slightly shaded here and this side got more water incident on it because it's slightly off the vertical and it's more rotten so this one seems pretty solid all the way around it's pretty vertical you can see it's dead all the way up the top so I'm not going to act this and it's more efficient to use the saw actually I'm just going to use my lap lander we're looking for stuff that you can hold with your hand spin any complicated step cuts or anything here because it's a light piece of wood I can keep it under control just manually and it's pretty much vertical just nice and controlled just came to mind to share a little tip is something that I do as a matter of course now but rather than just sawing it somewhere randomly I'm actually thinking about what am I going to use it for and I'm going to saw it quite close to some of the knots because then it leaves the nice clean sections that are not free available for splitting whereas if I split it down the middle with a saw if I could saw it through the middle there then I'm left with two bits they've got knots in the middle which is not so good for splitting and particularly if we want to make feather sticks for example we don't want knots in the middle she's a little awkward I have to say I'm not you know making this up it is awkward to saw this small piece of wood on another quite slippery small piece of wood but this is often the situation we find ourselves in we don't have a sawhorse we're not in a fixed camp so we need some techniques in our arsenal that we can make life a little bit easier and when you've got a long piece of wood that's got its own weight it will stay there I'm on my own here this is moving around it's hard for me to source a little little tip for you is we can keep the source still and what we need is some way of keeping that source still slightly flexible stick something like that is fine and then we're going to move the stick that we want to saw the piece of wood rather than the actual saw one's a bit questionable it's a little bit funky this is the top of the tree not so good quality that's the bit that's been wet at the top we can chuck it on the fire but I'm not going to bother to split it well I've got the grants for small forest acts here which is a very popular axe and there are other axes of a similar size Vettel ings used to make one halter fours make one this sort of size and it's about half the length from my fingertips to my sternum from one end of the axe to the other it's very portable and it explains the popularity of these axes there are a few safety issues that we need to consider one is that because it's got a short handle and it can easily come into contact with parts of my body rather than the ground if I'm swinging it standing up so I tend to use it when I can kneeling down whether that's felling or splitting what we're going to look at here though is a typical situation that we all find ourselves in quite regularly you've got your small forest axe or similar in the woods but you've got no chopping block you've got no fixed camp but you've got some firewood you've sourced your dead standing we've sawn it up I've got a length like a sort of batten about I don't know about 18 inches about 40 50 centimetres long as a minimum so we want to be safe and also if you're working around other people you're setting a camp up you don't want to be doing massive swinging xsplit so you want to be doing something it's quite control so this is something we use on many of our camps and also we use it a lot on trips as well because you can do it just about anywhere you can even do it on snow all you need is a is a bit of a log to work on and that could be part of what you felled good anneal because it's safe gonna take the mask off my axe I'm going to put that somewhere very common thing I see people do all the time with these nice brown natural colored masks for their axes is put them down on the ground and I have a problem with that in two ways one is it's very kind of naturally camouflage it blends in quite nicely and secondly is you know I might stand on it somebody else might stand on it it gets damaged it gets dirty it introduces grip to the axe so I always try and put that in my pocket so I know where it is and it also doesn't get damaged now I'm gonna get myself a reasonable distance away from from what I'm working on so that I can bring the end of the piece of wood down I don't want to be so close to a more scrunched up and then I'm going to place the on top of the wood now you should be able to see why I've chosen to cut the wood approximately the length that I have it's just around the same length as the axe which means that I can place both the bit of the axe that the working end of the axe and the end of the handle here or the hell if you want to use the old English name and I can put my hand in between so I can hold the wood in my left I'm right-handed so I'll use my right hand my dominant hand to control the axe and then I can place the two together and I'm going to gently tap I'm not gonna try and split just gently tap so the axe becomes embedded in the wood and then once it's embedded it's all seated in you can split and I'm just gonna prise the word for it – to split it doesn't split all the way just attack it from the other end that's about as dynamic as it gets there's a natural split here which I'm going to try and utilize the axe in there and I'm using the weight of the axe largely to do the splitting one thing you should do just get into the habit of doing when your hands splitting like this is not to try and twist the axe because it could be embedded in what's below it might be embedded in this if you're using it on a stump it definitely will be embedded at times and what you don't to be doing is putting undue stress on this meeting of the handle and the head so we just get into the habit of holding that steady holding the axe steady in turning the wood surprised that so you're not just trying to turn the whole piece of wood underneath the stump or the block with the axis just wasted effort and it stresses your axe when we're splitting here you've got a nice flat surface and you've got this curved surface so I'm going to put the axe on the flat surface it's easier to place it there than trying to get it to balance on that curved service so that's where I'm going to go here I'm always trying to get the axe positioned over the piece of wood I don't want to overstretch there that's not as efficient I want that to land directly above what I'm splitting on so I have less of a target with a small piece of wood and say with a block and I want to be quite precise with that here however now that I've split it you can see if I put the axe on the inside I'm trying to balance it on the apex of that point now it's easier comparatively to place the axe there so I'm going to quickly turn it around and do that and this is something that becomes habit after a while but it just increases the efficiency here's another little tip you may have noticed me doing this the first couple of pieces I split I put down on the ground as a base and then all the other bits that I'm splitting are going across that so they're up suspended off the deck this is quite wet we've had quite a bit of rain here in the last few days and it's generally good practice to to do that this nice dry wood on the inside of what I've been processing this dead dry standing wood that I've been seeking out I don't want to just throw it down in the wet ground and putting it down with the dry side up and away from that wet ground nice straight grain no real NOx is the odd little pin not in there but if we wanted then to you know later on start making you know start making our feather sticks that would be a nice peace for that and what I'm sawing I'm bearing that in mind I'm thinking about where do I want to saw this in two sections so that I don't have knots in the middle imagine I got that knotty bit in the middle of that section there's no way that I could create feather sticks whereas I've got this nice straight grained bit there's no knots there and it's the same whether you're using pine willow here we're using sweet chestnut and here comes the rain so I'm not going to make many feather sticks now because they're just gonna get wet we'll make some more later on Mike yeah we have a little feather stick later on stuff that I can put down as a as a half board to build my fire on – that's good fuel and I've also got various different sizes of fuel however much I want to process it down from the very fine stuff up to the chunkier stuff for keeping my kettle going or what have you it's good for frying on as well split wood like this if you if you want to put a frying pan on you can quite quite a good crisscross fire lay with wood that's all of about the same sort of diameter like I sort of waffle shape here's a shorter one so it's a bit shorter than the one that we've been looking at before and so that might pose as a bit of an issue because we can't place the handle on we're going to trap our fingers perhaps so you generally going to bring your hand a bit further back and bring the wood together with it with a handle and then just tap it the same as before once it's in shorter pieces will split more easily just because there's less many a time I've hit my knuckle doing that doing that where you know with a shorter piece and you've ended I've ended up pinching it yeah common thing I think to do so get your hand a bit further back what you can also do I find it a little bit unstable but what some people do is get both of their sets of fingers underneath and get their thumbs on the top and do it like that and then there's no digits in-between here yeah so that's another option some people really like that personally I find it I just like to hold the end of the handle if it's a bit shorter and just get my hand out the way so for those wondering why I'm not really on the camera much in this episode that's because I wanted I came here to see Paul because I want this to be as informative as possible for you guys I want you to get as much information and absorb all that information some of you might know this already some of you might not so if you can pick up one or two tips from this video then it's been worthwhile for me Paul has a wealth of knowledge but what you're seeing now is a fraction of what Paul knows so if you're interested in obviously bushcraft and pushing your development enhancing your knowledge then you need to go to one of the pools courses on the frontier bushcraft courses but yes I'm only in this video too much at the moment in a minute I'm gonna have a go at doing these sort of things I'm fairly used to doing them but not with this size axe I'm used to a smaller sort of hatchet but it's just you know information to you guys so please carry on watching and absorb all this information that Paul's getting across because it's some very very useful tips that will help enhance your bushcraft knowledge pretty pretty decent some of this stuff might the thicker stuff from the base that the top was quite punky you know that's where it's exposed to the weather and bungee is not spongy on the outside was this is further down and it's not rock-solid clearly but it's really nice and Bend sorry but it's dry but one of the things with sweet chestnut is it when it burns down you don't really get any bed of embers so oak for example even Willow you get a reasonable bed of embers but sweet chestnut you just get our suits it's good for quick boils when it's split down it's good for frying but it's not good for roasting so we'll use it to get our fire going we'll use it to get their kettle boiled and you know any boiling that we might need to do we'll use some in the morning for frying perhaps but if we're roasting something in a Dutch oven we'll look to try and get some other hardwoods some oak some beach or even maybe somewhere though yeah always put the mask back on before you start wandering around with a live blaze you essentially you use the kerb the natural curve of the axe they're denser to hide your fingers absolutely a couple of gentle taps so I can fill that last yeah turns out yet him again so you're saying now at that stage you'd roll that yeah because it's just easier to place the action that surface rather than trying to balance it right on the edge I'd naturally want to go on that flap but even though I I feel comfortable being this distance away from you yeah it's safe for me to be here so we'll move on to another accent eh shall we yeah so now I do have a stump but that doesn't mean to say that the technique we've just looked at isn't valid anymore it's definitely not an inferior technique that you just leave when you've got a stump in fact something that's tall and thin like this is gonna be tricky to balance even if you've cut it off square at the ends and your stumps nice and horizontal it's gonna be tricky to balance it's a small target even if you can as well and that's something to bear in mind because one of my pet hates is seeing people play chicken with their with their own hands they this won't balance properly it will sort of just about balance they're gonna hold it with a hand and then they're gonna bring the axe in the last minute they're gonna move their hand out the way that type of thing is just an accident waiting to happen at some point you're gonna miss you're gonna be tired something's going to distract you and if you don't believe me just have a look on the internet there's plenty of bushcraft forearms on Facebook and in other places where people have got nasty cuts there's pictures of people with nasty cut on the backs of their hands and it isn't just about flesh wounds there isn't a lot of flesh there you've got nerves and you've got tendons and you've got joints and you do not want to be putting an axe into there it can cause your long term problems so what we can do is just use the same technique so rather than trying to balance that on end we can use exactly the same technique as we've been using already it doesn't mean just because we've got a stump that we can't use this technique that we've that we've learned place the axe on there same old story as before tap it on there and you can see there again the axe is embedded so we're going to twist the wood when what we don't want to be doing is trying to turn that because what am i doing I'm trying to turn the whole stump that puts a lot of strain on the the mating of the axe handle and the head and it will reduce the life of your axe maybe give you give it a loose head to turn the wood so another little tip for you rather than trying to lift the axe and the stump just give it a little tap before you remove it because it just loosens it enough and again it puts less wear and tear on the axe can use that technique when it's valid but there are times when it's not going to be valid and one of them is these pieces of wood remember I can get hold off with my hand that's one of the reasons we selected it but what if we want to split something bigger because we can because when we've got a stump we might want to split larger material we need to change our technique so for example this one here alrighty so before I go hell for leather at this I'm going to explain a few important points and all of these things again like efficiency all the safety points add up to being as safe as you can be remember we're not wearing protective clothing we're not wearing PPE stuff and we're not wearing hardhats we're not wearing steel toe-caps we're not wearing protective trousers were just wearing our regular outdoor gear so we want to do as much as we can to protect ourselves because there's a lot of weight and momentum and even a small axe when you're swinging it and we are going to be more dynamic now now I'm working on a stump here which isn't the highest stump in the world the top of it is about the level of my kneecap there and one of the things with these small forest axes and other half-length axes is if I miss something it's on a trajectory towards the top of my shin and maybe even my knee if we're talking in generalities it depends on how long our arms are etc but it's gonna hit most people around that area somewhere whereas a longer axe is gonna hit further down and potentially hit the ground first so if we're working on a low stump we want to be careful because if I miss what I'm aiming for I could well then hit myself next and one of the things that we want to do whenever we're using an axe is make sure that if what I hit and what I'm aiming to hit I don't hit you want to make sure that the next thing that the axe goes to is not you what you should also be able to see is you'll notice and this is something I do out of habit now I've put this on the far side of the stump so if I do somehow end up with the axe coming down here there's some stump there to protect me as well I'm not working right on the edge here and if I miss I'm then coming towards myself way that I'm going to adjust my stance to get that vertical strike it's just by bending my knees it might look a little silly but I then get that vertical strike and the axe is not rotating towards myself common mistake with axes is over strike and this is over strike you size it up you swing the axe with more force you stretch your arms more and you miss that way and you get over strike damage here in the axe because you'd go over the top and you hit it there by accident generally bounces off a little bit but over time that's going to damage the underside of that the handle so when you're sizing up initially do think about a realistic distance away when you're swinging it hard now come and have a look at this I've got a good split there and it's gone quite a long way down but it hasn't quite gone all the way now a typical thing that people do is lift that and do this sort of thing but this axe isn't very heavy it's a quite light lightweight axe that's why we're carrying it it's portable the log is a lot heavier so what we're going to do is lift the whole thing up and I can lift that quite easily there there's not a lot of leverage if I try and lift it from the end of the handle here that's quite difficult it's a lot of strain on my wrist date you could probably see my wrist straining and my wrist bending there was here not too much bother at all so that's just the effect to leave it so I'm going to lift this onto my shoulder in one smooth motion and I'm going to drop it with the axe inverted so that the weight of the wood hits the blade of the axe like so and now we got a split again size sizing things up and I'm adjusting my stance so you're not actually I can see you're not actually doing a huge swing there no I needed quite a lot of force to start off with because not only if you've got a very integral piece of wood that's you know held together you've also got the bark around the outside which is like a little shrug around the outside holding it all together once you've broken it open it's easier to split there's less wood to prise apart you can ease back to turn back the throttle as it were the other consideration as well as conservation of energy is every time I go through the wood and hit the stump I'm getting two strikes on my axe blade for everyone's piece of splitting which is going to mean that you know if I do it every time I'm going to have to sharpen my axe in half the time and so I don't want to blunt my axe either and again even here we can use that technique but it's more dynamic yeah I wouldn't be happy sitting near to somebody doing this remember before I was sitting really close to Mike when he was doing the hand splitting that weren't bits of wood flying around you don't want to be near somebody that's doing this because you might get hit in the head now that will just about stand up but I'm getting to the point where it might be more efficient for me to use the hand technique because the accuracy starts to go down or the need for accuracy goes up it's probably the way to think about it I can go back to this technique if I want to split it down further it's easier right Paul I'm setting your challenge that's a bit of a beast this one here this thing this naughty bugger there I record personally I would I would not have a go at that with that sized axe do you reckon it could be done it's a challenge for sure it's not it's to me Mike it's the knots in it yeah gnarly piece of we'll see ya right let's see it's definitely not going to split one that's a solid well including there is a split it's a bit of a split but there's not enough of a split it's very dense and the challenge now is getting is getting the axe out of it that's the problem but luckily we've got another axe yeah the one you here's an opportunity to have a look at another technique let's move to a different technique why not take the opportunity and this wasn't contrived let's do this we can mike mike and i didn't discuss this head of time it's like okay it was just that they're asking in case you know there is a split starting there the axes cause the split to run to about there but it's not really running any further but we can try and encourage that in different ways but i want to see where the splits go also i need to get my axe out and it's pretty well embedded in there at the moment it's one of my favorite axes so what i've got here it's one of our wood craft areas it's one of the areas that we teach these skills got some old wooden wedges technical term for these as an old english word is a glut i don't know the etymology of it i don't know where it comes from but we often refer to the the wooden wedges as glutes and the metal wedges as wedges so and we can differentiate between the two don't let it win think about where the axe is going next I've got the actor stump here I'm working on I'm not working right on the edge of the stump so if I slip it's coming towards me I'm working in the middle or even a little bit further away and then also the follow-through there is past my body it's not here you want to be out of the way so that follow-through is not toward you the other thing you might notice that I'm doing is when I'm working with the axe and moving the piece of wood to get the angle that I want and the axe is going pretty much vertically in case you're interested these are made of Holly ilex aqua folium if you want the Latin name we use Holly for this because it's available there's a fair amount of it nearby it's quite a waxy wood it has some lubrication if you like but also importantly it's a hard wood it's a hard hard wood and you want a tough wood so Holly hornbeam those type of woods that are really tough make really good and long lasting glutes here we are with a beast log and I'm going to blame Mike for this a piece log now I'm going to actually knock this axe in a bit further because I I've got a semblance of a split but it doesn't really run and I can't get the wedges in I might get one in there but I'm going to see if I can knock the axe in a bit more and get the axe to create more of a split do have two axes here brought one along for it for Mike to use as well I'm going to utilize that I'm going to look at the line of that crack and I'm going to place the axe there I'm gonna leave space there cuz what I want to do is try and extend that crack open and get a wedge in which will then free the axe I don't want to get too stuck in there I'm beating it yeah we're getting there now yeah that's in there so I've got this crack here now that's opened up and there so the original axe is corrected crack up there but I've got this other one here so I'm going to pull it and put it in here to free this axe up I think so that's that axe free let's see if we get the other one free as well there we go got my my best axe out which I'm happy about no job done there you go Charlie's complete I could of course made these it's just we had some old ones lying around but these are quite quick and easy to make if you've only got one axe though make them first before you get the axe stuck so too big to hold in our hands and now we're going to look at the scenario of not having a stump so we're out in the woods this is too big to split why might we want to do that well it might be cold the months of the year we might want to feed a stove we might fell some dead standing we want to split this down so it will go into a stove we're going to put the log down on the ground and we're going to attack it horizontally and it's really important that we get our heels no further back than the front face that we're hitting because if I'm standing here and I'm trying to split this and it runs off it could bounce off towards my leg to bounce off towards my ankle the further back I am the more in danger I am this would be ludicrous to try and split this here in my opinion and have your feet there what you really want to be doing is moving your heels here so that there is that line there heel is there the front face is there and I've got that no further back than that then if I miss the axes not follow-through that isn't me so I'm gonna bring my feet in front and then gonna size things up let's make sure my hands are not slippery and I'm gonna aim to hit the top half of that front face there I don't want to try and embed the axe in the middle and want to clip it going to do that top half it's gonna be a short sharp speedy attack on this if you do it too slow you just slowly push the log back and you're not going to split it so you need to be fast with it like so I was a little bit off with that one see if I can get my accuracy better that was a good one it works really well on snow in the winter because you're not getting that downward impact into soft snow you've got a horizontal impact so I use it quite a lot for winter camping I've sawn the pieces to length for the stove and I'm splitting them down quite rapidly to go into the tent speaking of winter camping I might have a larger axe this is the Scandinavian forest axe more generally it's what we would call three-quarter length backs 3/4 of the length from my fingertips to my sternum it's got a heavier head it's still a general general purpose profile very similar to the small forest axe just bigger and now gentlemen will appreciate this if you're just swinging this at full length you're probably going to clip the ground so your tendency or your first idea might be to hold it shorter but the problem is is the axe head goes that way the handle comes the other way and you might clip somewhere you don't want to clip with the with the he'll think about the the hands of a clock so that's six o'clock we're going to go around as they go around towards nine o'clock gets a lot further away from the ground so I can modify the distance that the axe is away from the ground simply by moving it around that circumference so I'm going to work to the side of myself rather than working between the legs and that gives me the clearance that I need and it's not encumbered by my groin not going to hit myself with any part of the axe before I'm gonna put something a little bit underneath it just to prop the front up now what I don't want to be doing is trying to hit that there with my legs here that would be stupid masks in the pocket I'm just going to make sure that mics not in the way it's pretty close pretty close now if you've ever ridden a mountain bike down a trail if you think about a rock in the middle of the trail you tend to hit it it's the same with motor crosses if you think about the obstacle you're going to go towards it so what I need you to think about doing this technique is to think about the front that you want to hit do not think about your feet once you've sized it all up ready to go and it just took off a little bit because of the size and weight of it I'll attack it again this is fairly normal it's a big piece of wood okay I've got a good crack across the front now so you often learn more if this is a textbook split cleave open you go wow that's fantastic but what if you end up with this problem well you can see there's a good crack across the front it just hasn't traveled all the way to the back yet it's gone so far down there maybe you're not in there we can't see it's also larger diameter piece of wood so we'll attack it from the other end will carefully remove the axe we don't want our fingers anywhere near very efficient leaver here that's the plane of the crack so I'm going to attack it in that same plane get my feet in position size it up again and there we go okay so we've talked to a fair bit about axe safety and and do concentrate on those points we can of course put the mask back on an axe to keep it safe but it's not going to protect us from everything you know you can still fall on that it will go through the mask so you do need to be careful with an axe and even when it's in the mask it's more to protect your equipment from the sharp edge as much as anything but a couple of extra tips for being safe with axes around camp and when you're carrying axes and with a with an axe like this I just tend to hold it like this I tend to strangle it I tend to carry it around like so another way of carrying an axe with a slightly longer helve is is like that it rests in the crook and you can walk around like that and it's quite it's quite safe and it's quite comfortable to carry another way if you need your hands-free is it's just in the back of your belt there so I might want to carry a load of firewood or something over back to camp and I want that hands-free I wouldn't hike with that there but it's just somewhere I can put it where I work with my hands but you do need to be careful if you're on a steep slope where you might slip over I wouldn't have that there cuz you're gonna fill it one of your your buttocks basically so there's a couple of methods there of carrying it particularly over short distances but what about leaving the axe around camp for short periods of time putting the mask on and off sometimes can be a bit of a waste of time it can be a bit of a pain so let's have a look we'll go over to the stump now in my mind that is not safe because you've got some edge that is exposed so if you put the axe into a stump just make sure the whole cutting edge is embedded and not exposed it can be quite hard to get it into the end of the grain sometimes what can be quicker and easier it's just going into the side of the grain because that's the way the grains are lined so that again that can be quite a quick place to you just wanted to tidy things away or move some stuff before carrying on that's often a very good place to put the axe in the side though and finally if there's no stump remember we've looked at some no stump cutting techniques maybe find somewhere that is a little safer to lean it like at the base of a tree somewhere so that sort of thing would be a bit safer than just leaning it up against the tree because the blades actually not somewhere where somebody is likely to kick it and that's what we're going to do in camp and speaking of camp Mike wish you probably yeah start thinking about getting the rest of camp set up we've split some wood and we've got bits and pieces that we need we've got plenty of kindling we can split some more out efficiently if we need to and I think we should probably get a tarp up in case that rain comes back here and maybe have a look at lighting a fire getting a brew on yet cetera and making ourselves comfy for the night good stuff well we've got the rope nicely tensioned and we've got the big DD tarp no connection with a company by the way just so that's clear it's a square cut tarp so it's rectangular and we really want the guylines coming away from the corner so that you get an even pull across the sheet so these tape loops are a good indicator because they're bisecting that angle nicely what we don't want to do is tie it off there because it'll be super tight there and it's gonna be slack there and equally if we tie off that way nice and taut that in that direction but it will be slack here and we'll have trouble with water pooling so we want to try and pull away at that angle 45 degrees if you like in the middle of there so we want to try and find something we can tie off all right now I'm not going to pull that super tight because it's not attached to the the line the main ridge line but I am gonna put a an adjustable guide line hitch in here just for just now and this is what I use on small tarps as well if you're using super slippery string you can do three wraps first but I normally just do two and then the third one goes around and I've got a bike through and that's you adjustable guy line hitch which a lot of people know we've got that one set there another tip with a big tarp in particular is to not try and get all the corners at exactly the same height because then you've got to get so much tension into the sheet that it can be hard not to get pooling even as hard as you try to get it tight and what you don't know what what you don't want to do is go away come back having had rain and your tarp be full of water in the big pool and it will stretch it I've seen that happen sometimes so the key is really to try and get one corner higher than the other on each side mr. little pointer and you'll see that nice slope there I think now so we've got this end high which is great because this is the area we're going to be going in and out of most the back end is low so if we do have a lot of rain we've had some heavy showers today it's going to run across the sheet and it's going to drop off that back corner it's not going to cool in here with us trying to keep it horizontal but clearly if we put the back corners both low the back of the shelter would be narrower than the front of the shelter and so I've done it that way on this side and I've done it that way on the other side we can get settled in now we can get some other kit in here think about getting a pot hanger sorted and get the kettle on I think we did ages ever bro yeah so we've got the main top set up over the kind of camp area where we're gonna sleep tonight we're not gonna do our shelters just yet we'll come on to that in a minute Paul has got some more tips to you guys hope you ready Paul's got some more tips you guys on feather sticks this time but I think it's one of those beginner skills that all bush crafters should learn and just get the fundamentals right in the first place and Paul's got some hope you got some tips to tell you guys so this is some of the split woods that we collected earlier dead standing that's always a good place to start with firewood dead standing and dry because remember some wood is dead but it's only just gone dead it's only just become not alive that doesn't mean it's immediately bone dry so we want dry standing dead will make feather sticks with this and we're also going to make a half board we're gonna do a whole file a with split wood what I'm looking for is a straight grain not free and with a with a pretty even grain as well so even little ripples like this in the grain here if you can see that can be problematic ideally you want something that is really nice and straight with no issues in if there are any knots maybe there at one end and that's not going to be a problem because you're going to need to hold the wood while you make the shaving the other thing though is we're focusing on the center of the wood here the back of the wood even really vertical wood can be quite damp on the first few millimeters in particularly if the bark is rotting away it can hold moisture so damp rotting bark is never going to help with your fire lighting there's no circumstance that anybody can tell me about where damp rotting bark and fibers from the inner bark and the first layers of wood that might be slightly punky you can see the different coloration here where that wood starting to rot away and it's a bit damp on the outside we want to do is get rid of that that's the first thing to do and with our feather stick so we can just do that with our knife you can just shave away just roughly it doesn't need to be a great carving project just quickly get rid of that wet stuff first maybe a few millimeters eighth of an inch on the outside perhaps and we into the dry stuff as long as it was vertical in the first place initially I am NOT trying to create lots of nice curls I just want to create a flat surface to operate on that might just mean planing away might mean removing quite a lot of material ethics code if it's split quite ragged raggedy that's even a word raggedly I think is probably the word my brain was looking for there I get this flat surface okay keep my hands at the top and I'm gonna start sliding down and creating curls now if you're a beginner at this the thing I would recommend most of us are using some sort of bushcraft knife as they tend to be called these days a fixed bladed belt knife with a flat bevel what a lot of people call a Scandi grind there's a fine flat bevel and then we're going to just run that down and increase the angle slightly towards the wood until we start catching it and then just run it down to the bottom and we'll remove some of the bumps doing that will increase the angle slightly more so what I'm doing is just increasing the angle that way gradually until I start getting some bite into the wood so I'm starting the same place at the top each time now run all the way down even if it falls off I keep going all the way to the bottom and I stop at the same place again if I run out of room I just push the curls away a little bit to give myself a bit more room what I don't want to do is kind of lose a bit and go back to the start lose a bit go back to the start lose a bit go back to the start because I'll end up with a big gouge here and it'll get lumpy and bumpy like a washboard Road and I will get more and more frustrated with trying to get curls off that so always start and finish the same place start at the top work down you can see as I broaden the face these curls are getting wider but it's actually becoming harder for me to maintain the angle but what I get as a result is I get an edge I get a Ridge so one of the other things we want to look at is working the ridges you can see that's a fine a feather stick okay it came off doesn't matter don't get stressed about that and if you're new to this don't get stressed if 90% of your curls fall off it's about learning the skill practicing and getting a feel for it so I've got curls there already maybe I'll work this one here and here's a little thing if you put the tip up curls go towards the tip so I can direct them it's a bit raggy in that grain now you can see it's rotting around there and that transition between the really solid wood in the middle across there and it been open grained is making it quite jumpy it's good practice for some pine species using sweet chestnut but it's not the easiest wood to use willow is easier if you're in North America Eastern white cedar or western red cedar work really well for feather sticks you know how well those would split anyway nice and fine-grained if I drop the tip the curls go away from the tip I'm getting some okay curls there anyway there because that's still quite fat your ideal feather stick is thin enough here that once this is all the blaze that that stick that's left here will light from that that becomes part of your next level of fuel we've managed to keep some curls on my extents are really nice scraggly endings that some chunker's I've managed to do and I think between us we've got a fire there Mike an old one this but they do last just worth checking it all fits together properly though so we can now get the fire going I think but we've had fires here before it's a camp that we use from time to time so I've scraped back the leaf litter from the area that's fallen in here this is quite damp even though this charcoal in here I'm still gonna put down a base for my fire and it doesn't have to be beautiful but it needs to do several things one is it needs to provide some insulation from the ground and both in terms of dampness and in colder months of the year also temperature the temperature difference between the wood and the ground is going to be sufficient to make a marginal difference to your fire lighting success if it was really wet we could even do a double lay and just like you can with for the sticks notice I'm laying it with the nice dry material upwards because it's fuel then at the heart of your fire the other thing it does is let oxygen up into the fire so you've got like a series of channels that allows some air to get in so you've got fuel oxygen and you're helping with the warmth as well so all those elements of the fire triangle heat fuel and oxygen that you're considering those even just with the base board of the fire scar feather sticks and we've been careful to keep these up off the ground once you shave this material you've got some bits are sort of paper thin and they do act like a bit of a sponge if you put a piece of very thin dry wood on your tongue it very quickly wicks up the material the moisture rather on your on your tongue it's one way with frozen wood in the winter you can tell that it's actually dry rather than just full of moisture and frozen you tell that difference in in frozen conditions that you can feel it is dry so it will wick moisture so we don't want to be putting these down on the ground the way that we create a fire lay with these and the reason we've got the curls just around that one out the way the reason we've got the curls just around one side rather than around the whole thing is that we lay this down with all the curls in the middle of the fire lay now if it were a windy day I take some considerable thought about which way I would angle this and I would want to have my back to the and I'd want to have this open v lay facing me so that there is some oxygen taking for initial flames into the rest of the into the rest of the curls today it's not windy doesn't really matter nice decent sized matches with long sticks on and my hands aren't cold today but I am in the habit of always striking a match by pushing it down this is something I used to work with Ray Mears years ago he's mentioned on his TV shows a lot and that the the strength of a match is in the shaft in pushing it down we can all take a match and easily break it there which can happen if you've got lack of manual dexterity and then you left we're dealing with something that's small and short but it's very very difficult to break a match by squeezing down from the end so if you're pushing it down however little dexterity you've got that's just a habit to get into just do it all the time and then when it comes to really matter you're just in the habit of doing it and you're not going to do something different don't just go like the match trying to like the stuff like the match and let it become established and then take it to what you're lighting the matchsticks light I'm cupping it to protect it's just to have it now I take it down to the base of my feathers and I don't just light it in one place I light it in multiple places if I can matches away they'll just chuck them on the floor people get excited put your fire lighting equipment back where it should be have a place for everything put it back in its place and now if I need to I can manipulate these things I can move things around I can get more oxygen in there if I need to do that but don't faff around with it people faff around it fires too much and put them out initially now I can use that initial flame to get my splints going like with all of our fire lights what we want to do is go up through the gears so you start in first gear as it were with the finest material then we add second gear 30 and so on if you can we have a sustained fire and that's for the nice amount of heat there the move always getting hot now and looks like a little capsule in reentry that's going to get our water boiled pretty quickly there Mike morning guys it is another day here in the woods actually had a good sleep I'm not you I don't usually sleep too well in the hammock find it tends to make my back ache a bit but had the tarp up there was no rain it was a lovely still night actually saw three roe deer as soon as I woke up in the morning and looked out to the right of my hammock I saw three roe deer just run across the back of the woods there which was really nice to see Paulus he was set up just over there he's a ground-dwelling I would have done some grounds running but I do it all the time so it's quite nice to get a hammock out and actually for the bugs because it's got the bug net on it just helps a bit given that it's summer although it's cooler temperatures the bugs are still around so yeah so that was the sleeping setup last night it didn't do too much filming because really this videos sort of not about the overnighting it's more about the bushcraft tips and getting those tips across to you so we've got the fire going we're going to put on some breakfast maybe have a tea or coffee and then we're gonna get straight back into some more tips for you guys how much coffered you up Mike 2000 coffee we'll take some out for porridge then we can use the rest for eggs that's our second round this just needs to sit for a few minutes and then we'll do they do the drop one thing Mike and I were talking about just now off-camera but we thought be worth mentioning was this maintaining this V file a so we had this V shape when we lit the fire particularly yesterday when we did it with feather sticks but the thing is that you get crossed over you get most flame there and you get this column of heat coming up and with something like these Billy cans getting that column of heat coming up directly below is going to give you a fast boil I threw the oak on that we had last night to catch from the smaller stuff that we lit this morning and that's giving us a good background heat but I'm still maintaining that cross over of small split sweet chestnut in this case but it could be anything that you've split crossing it over and getting that flame directly under the Billy so we can boil as fast as we can the Pope Paul says he's got a technique to show me called the coffee the coffee coffee drop the coffee drop say I've never heard of this before I have actually seen Paul do it but I had no idea I've never asked him what what on earth he's doing so prepare to be amazed by something here what is the coffee job very simply it's a method of getting the grounds to go to the bottom so you've got your coffee you poured your hot water in it's all mixed in together yeah it is brewing but then you want the grounds at the bottom of the pot okay we're not where I'm gonna filter we haven't got filter papers yes and you can maybe pour it to a bandana and stuff messy so this is a really simple method origin story very quickly yeah is that I was on a ski tour in Norway we're doing the Skeeter in the mountains and all day we had these Norwegians behind us every time we start with the to this group of Norwegians behind us and heading to the same Hut that we are going to clearly about 25 kilometres into the mountains but we were like why they're not catching us up we're Brits yeah you know and we're okay at skiing but these are Norwegian sea captain's up and taking overtaking anyway we got to the hut first they got in the hut a bit after us and the reason they had so much while the reason they were so slow is because they had beers and steaks and you know we had our dehydrated you know rations and things we were out for five or six days they were out for a boost going to the hut for the weekend and then skiing you know having a bit of a boy's weekend just old school friends the next morning one of the guys is in the kitchen looking like he was doing some sort of weight training exercise with a kettle in the corner of the kitchen and add so what are you doing this like well I'm dropping the coffee and but he was doing in the kettle because that's all that was in the hut but it works super super well in the billion we've you know I sort of started experimenting with it in different pots when I got back and it works really well in the village because they're quite tall shields and work quite so well in broad flat you know like Coleman tins and hearing things but these Billie's are more spot working really well so I'll show them I show the method and you can ever go okay so we've got we've got our coffee in there yep you'd let that settle for a few minutes well I'd let it brew I don't really mind about is settling actually give it a bit of a slosh to start off all these little a stuck on the side you want it moving you don't want it just stuck on the side okay and then you can kind of joke and say you have to get into like a proper learn and addition thing about but basically what you want to be doing is be able to straighten the arms oh yeah and it's a bit of a lock of the elbow at the bottom right not a slosh because that's going to slosh the grounds around yes just like yeah and lift it pull it back is throw it like a rope like an upright row that's it yeah bit faster than the drop yeah that's good that's nice natural so it's that coffee drinker me yeah yeah Oh big difference Wow I'm shocked actually that's a huge difference all those grounds are aflame yeah that's him I'm impressed with that I did not think that would kind of push those grounds down that far yeah that's impressive and then when we're pouring if there's if there's more than one of you it's just one of you you can drink it straight out hot yeah yeah if it's more than one of you yeah but just the next tip is when you pour it it's don't kind of slosh it back for each guy okay just lined line them up and then just propping up or slashing the grounds around the bottom but sure we have a couple let's do it yeah just yeah I mean well that'll be probably yeah that's just this morning coffee yeah the verdict it's good yeah yeah yeah no bits no grounds going to pass the test Hey so after probably a liter and a half nearly of coffee one Stokes I'm feeling buzzer yeah bust up I'm ready to do a hand drill now I have got an ember from a hand drill once before haven't not on YouTube once before I had to go and I'm not gonna lie my blip my hands absolutely blistered up there nice and happy now because I haven't done one in a while so I guess what I'm saying Paul is can you teach me and my subscribers some basic tips yeah on primitive fire the woods that you can use certainly more about the technique because I'd say mine was probably out and just basic tips to help us get a fire going by friction absolutely but I think one of the things that's worth saying is with the drill this isn't something that you for the best drills at least you go out and grab now to make a fire now these drills have been cut green and I've got a selection here they've been cut green from the bush and they have then been stripped of bark and they've been straightened using heat of a fire so you already need a fire to make really good drills is a piece of equipment it's a very simple mechanically it's very simple piece of equipment but then you carry it with you and I would contrast that with say the bow drill which is very widely applicable the range of materials you can use for bow drill is very wide you have a high level of mechanical advantage it's a realistic technique as long as you've practiced before even if you're a bit out of condition because you don't need to maintain your hands in good conditions and Mike mention the Pappy hands yeah and having made them sore in the past hand drilling that's one of the things with hand drill is that you need some specific physical conditioning of the hands I'm not saying you can't go out and find some dead plant stem so sometimes you can find burdock stems sometimes you can find ragwort stems sometimes you can find Mullen stems that you can use pretty much straightaway but they're not the most resilience of hand drills and the best ones tend to be cut green and then carry with you here I'm using elder this is sambucus nigra so it's European not going to get into the complexities of plugging other materials into the bottom of stems you can use hazel in this environment if you get a nice straight piece of hazel and make a drill in a similar way but it's harder than elder in your technique needs to be somewhat Betty I think you just need a bit more brute strength frankly and you need your hands to being in good condition elder is probably the best and most accessible very good quality hand drill that you can make in in the north if you like in Northern Europe Britain and also you know parts of North America and you're into the north of the United States and into Canada again I'd be looking at elder we have here a range of different half materials you can of course carry a half with you if you want particularly for carrying add a pack or a or a backpack because you can get a lot of fires out of them you can see this small half board it's not very heavy there's a lot of fires be made with this is Clemmie TISS clematis vite Albert it's a wild vine that grows on quite calcific soil so chalky ground so you get it heavily in the South Downs for example you get it around Dover and around the south coast obably more widespread and more available up and down the UK but also more widely as ivy Hedera helix and this is quite a thick stem you can see there's still the outer bark there it's some seasons in place and I think it's worth mentioning this because if you cut green ivy and take it home and put it in your garage or your shed – to season it tends to go like concrete it's super hard so that's not the way to get a good half board what you want to be doing is looking for say a birch tree I saw one the other day just an example birch tree that blown over and it had ivy growing up it and that ivied snapped when the tree had blown over and then that had been laying horizontally and it had started to season really quite nicely this one is something again common and widespread this is a piece of willow and we've got I think 18 species of willow native in the UK if I remember rightly some of them quite small but you're gonna find goat willow gray willow white willow widespread not just in the UK all over Western Europe into Scandinavia you just don't want it too hard if you've used willow for bow drill at all you'll know that sometimes it can be a bit on the hard side and it can even with a lot of pressure on the drill it can still polish you you want to make sure it's not so hard that you can't drill into it you definitely want to do that fingernail test to make sure that you can relatively easily make an impression with your fingernail if you can't without really bending your fingernail it's probably too hard and but that's a piece of willow that I've used successfully it works nicely for our North American brethren and a couple of options here as well as the as well as the the willows and we have West that's Western redcedar that one and again good but need a little bit more conditioning on your hands perhaps than some of the vines but in the West that's a good one to use a bit further east we've got eastern white cedar that's just a branch and that again works well American alder on on eastern white cedar is one I've used in Ontario Canada it's a good success and easy to find easy to make and a very good friction fire lighting wood that's just another bit of Clematis more generally spruce can work quite well so things like Norway spruce and black spruce and again on the on the other side of the Atlantic and even you could have a go with Scots pine so you could have a go with Scots pine over here right through you raise your turns a tinder in terms of your bird's nest bundle this needs breaking up a little bit more handrail embers and really quite small you know with a bow-drill ember you've got a bigger diameter drill you've got a larger half you've got a larger notch as a result of that if you're cutting 1/8 for that circle for your knot for the dust to go into it's a it's an eighth of something bigger you're gonna get more dust in there you're gonna get a bigger ember handle embers tend to be a bit smaller so your tinder needs to be really top notch otherwise you might lose that once you put it into the into the tinder bundle we're in a sweet chestnut wood so this is the inner bark of sweet chestnut it's taken from bark that's starting to rot away from the trunk and we can scrape it out with our fingernails just making a little ember pan here something we can catch the dust on I've got a couple of of existing holes in this here but I'm going to start a new a new depression so you can see the process from the start also is the holes get deeper you get more sidewall friction it's the same with bow drill as you drill deeper into the hearth board you get less of less proportion of the friction just on the bottom and you start getting more friction around the side I'm just rotating and creating a depression and I'm moving my hand around so that I'm getting the best angles and I just want to be able to seat the bottom of the drill initially and then we will burn it in very quickly you won't take much and unlike bow drill bow drill you really just you put a shallow point on the bottom of the drill and then you just seat that shallow point here I'm trying to accommodate the whole diameter of the drill partly because it's an elder drill and elder has pith in the middle of it and so you can't put a shallow point on the bottom of it but even so even if I was using something that had more integrity in the middle than elder house I would still be doing this to shallow depression somewhere flat to sit that now some people will put their feet on this end of the half board and hold it there personally and a lot of people agree with me particularly as you get a little bit older I'm just a just a touch over the mic and what the foot there because then it's easier to to bend over that than it is with your foot further out you just you've got a little bit more natural flexibility there smoke that's all I need at this stage because I'm just looking to seek the set together I've got a nice circular depression that meets the the bottom of that and now I'm going to cut my knotch because you can see all this powders going everywhere that's why you cut a notch in any of this type of friction fire lighting whether it's a hand drill or a bow drill where you're twisting a piece of wood into another piece of wood if you don't create somewhere for the dust to go it just goes everywhere and you're never going to get an ember start by just making a centerline I like to do that for reference and then I'll make an angle either side of it like so then I bring those lines down the front like so and then I'm just going to chip that out there's a knife so I need something underneath and you can put your knife underneath but it might leave a bit of a mark on it and certainly hunter/gatherers that i've spent time with often just put their knife underneath I'm going to take that little board that I made and put that underneath another little detail is I've cut the notch on the side that I can see nothing to stop it working if the notch is on the other side but it's harder for me to see what's going on if I can see into it here then I can see how much dust is accumulating whether or not there's an ember same with bow drill cut the notch on the side that you can see alright so I start off steadily how much down was passing a reasonable amount for sickly towards the end of the the descent start off quite fast yeah slow down a bit and then put bit more pressure on it a good grind and there's an ember when you start to see smoke coming out the bottom of the pile of dust that's typically a good indication that you've got an ember carefully tip it away it's a big one it's a really elegant method of creating an ember I really like it but you do need some practice you need some hand conditioning and generally for the best drills you need to prepare them ahead of time it's a piece of your bushcraft kit good fire lighting easy fire lighting is down to getting everything prepared sure I always I always work on the basis that I'm going to get fired if I want to fire yeah but all the corners that I cut I'm reducing my chances yeah and not cutting corners is down to preparation yeah yeah it's nice and solid I feel central yeah and you're asking about pressure so I mean it comes from triceps yeah but also if you if you use your core a bit look at the bottom body because you yeah so it's just it's just a bit of a crunch which is why I like getting the foot in that position because you can crunch over it a bit better than if you sauce out wider you can see that yeah you're looking well we'll sit we'll soon tower we got a banner in first at Manresa yeah we can always bring the camera in and just make sure that's so one little tip to you at this stage Mike yeah and you're doing your hands very sort of flat if you that the main part that you use really is here on it so if you open your hand very slightly so you're not rubbing the top parts of your hands of that said yeah okay maybe that's why I've been getting blisters all that so two points there I think the squeaking is because it's starting to polish a little bit so just trying it a little bit more pressure more fashion and a knack so just a little bit more downward pressure what you want to try and of always pushing your hands together too hard because that's that increases the chances of blisters so you got to kind of tell your brain yeah it's touching to touch down knocking yeah and then the other thing as you get in towards the bottom yeah the angle is starting to come out a bit because you're gonna push it so you need to kind of let your elbows come in a bit and let the let the push come from there on the core again just start steady so we're gonna change the camera angle guys we're gonna bring it over here so you can see it all a bit close-up because all you're going to see from that angle which is my hands really so we're going to hopefully be on camera if you do the first descent and then I'm gonna squeeze yes feel like I'm losing strength in my arms yeah down in them yeah hey now that's the hard a bit really getting into into a flame that was that feel getting mm I yeah good very good I mean it's it's definitely down to technique because it's your body position isn't it sat over there I think I was so far out here then up my arms actually restraining here that's where it felt like the strain was soon as I moved in kept it all a bit more central you could you could almost instantly feel the weights off your arms and it becomes more on your body yeah that made a massive difference for ya and then one day not there once we got it once I did a descent and we got it smoking yeah you could then keep it smoking yeah yeah right let's get that off the deck just remove that stick plates rather okay I'm gonna squeeze that in that's good keep it squeeze then get going smokes thickening and we have flame hey first Andrew without ruining my hands that was a much better technique much better and that was elder although on to calamitous notice that's brilliant thank you Paul I've enjoyed that hopefully you guys have learned some tips on that as well because it's it's certainly not something I think you could just pick up straight away yeah the technique itself like I said the first time I ever did it was just brute force and that's why I had such blistered hands but I can see you know even your tips such as I was keeping my hands together like this and there was so much friction it was creating that that's probably why I got so many blisters Paul was just saying if you tilt your hands out slightly almost like a V right so you're using that part of your palm that made it that made a huge difference as well so it's a combination of that and then bringing it all it a bit in closer to my body that's what sort of I think helps improve the technique so I hope you've enjoyed that episode I've certainly learnt a few tips I appreciate it might have been a fairly long video wanted this video to be informative I want to wanted it to be packed full of tips Paul it's been brilliant thanks so much I pleasure Mike it's been it's been a learning curve for me especially something you know as tricky as the hand go it's certainly not an easy easy skill to pick up no Paul you do a blog don't you yeah so I've got Paul Curtis blog which has been going for eight years now at Paul Kirtley code at UK and loads of sort of long-form articles short tips podcasts as few videos on there as well video tutorials some of which aren't on my youtube channel so definitely check my blog out there's loads of free resources there and one of my passions is sharing these skills as you hopefully picked up working with Mike it's been great you know I do this for the love of sharing the skills and keeping the knowledge alive and you know it's been fantastic to share some of that with you Mike and to share it with with your audience it's great yeah really good that's very helpful if you guys want to help Paul outdo go over to his his blog I'll put a link in the description below and also I'll put links to pull social media his Instagram and also his YouTube channel go and check it out hit the subscribe button Paul has a wealth of knowledge he also has his bushcraft school frontier bushcraft this is a fraction of what you've seen is a fraction of what Paul actually teaches so I'll pop links to everything you need to know in the description thank you so much for watching this video and we'll see you soon in the next episode and don't forget to check out my audio book recommendation lost in the world head to wwww calm /ta outdoors for a free audiobook and your free 30-day trial you


Reader Comments

  1. Paul is definately what I would call a proper English Woodsman. The majority of my youth was spent in the woods with years after of wood cutting for heat with camping for recreation.

    This video was very enjoyable indeed and thank you for pressing on with the issue of safety.

  2. Amazing video, lost of helpfull stuff for beginners like me, for others to remind of techniques forgotten perhaps. Im really glad you guys have the land, the oportunity to do that at all. Its quite hard in mid Europe to find any spots without risking either a bear, or a fat ticket for having a fire and sleeping bag in -15…survival situation and they ticket you 😀

  3. also the reverse strike where the weight of the wood smack onto the axe head, that is very damaging to the handle and head connection. i have seen many many axe head get loose after doing this. personally i do it all the time, but i woudnt do this with my 100$ axe light yours.

  4. 21:41 ive been splitting wood that way for 15years. no trouble when you control your hands and are not incompetent like a city boy. also holding the wood down bellow and not directly on top is more clever…

  5. I'm wondering if you can make an episode with him on which equipment to get (axes, saws, etc.) and how to maintain them ( sharpening, storing, etc.) 🙂

  6. This is one of my favorite bushcraft videos. Super informational. I come back to it any time I need a refresher or tips I wasn't looking for the previous time I watched. Great resource.

  7. I'm a knife one blade kinda guy… split, chop, everything with one large knife… but the way these guys are using that axe makes me wanna get one n try one axe only outing. awesome video though. lots of very usable techniques shown here. so thanks for that. though it makes me wanna try all these techniques with my large knife. i have a feeling that 99% of it all can be done with a proper knife. would be an interesting try. with the weather getting better up in canada i am gonna definitely try 😀

  8. Paul truly does seem passionate about passing on his skills and knowledge! What a treat to have him in your presence and to have him teach us methods we can implement and improve upon. Fantastic job, thank you 👍👏
    Oh, had to sub to both!

  9. If you can have two axes wouldn't it be better to have one chopping axe and one splitting axe? Like maybe a 25 inch chopping axe and maybe a 27 inch splitting axe?

  10. Hi Mike, awesome instruction and extremely informative. I live in WA, Australia – would this apply to Jarrah where I can't even drill into as it's so bloody hard?

  11. Anyone know what the belt pouch thing he is using at 0:26 is? Always wanted an easy, compact sack like that for collecting tinder/food. Seen other things like it but have never been able to find one online or in stores.

  12. When we were canoeing in the Quetico Provincial Park in Canada we used saws only because an axe injury 4 days paddle away from help was not worth the risk. I do love axes and hatchets though. Nice video!!!

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