Reminder To Be Safe

by Woodsbum

Here is a first hand account of someone that was attacked while thru hiking the Appalachian Trail. Here is his story:

His story is here

This goes to show a few things in regard to bear encounters. Bears do what they want, when they want. It first attacked the guy in his sleep and bit down on his leg. When the guy fought back, the bear really didn’t go anywhere. It kept on messing with him. Once the guy finally got the bear to leave for a short period of time, he was able to escape. The bear came back after he left for help and destroyed his gear. It would have destroyed the hiker if he was still there. If the guy had some sort of personal protection to fend off the bear he might have faired a bit better. Of course it is not “politically correct” to carry a pistol for protection, but a .44 mag through the face of a bear chewing on my leg would have been my #1 choice. This guy punched the bear and screamed at it as his only form of protection.

This guy also was the cause of the bear destroying someone else’s tent due to the blood trail he left on the way to find help. When they went into some shelter, the bear shredded the tent of the girl that was helping him.

So, let’s recap this whole thing:

  • Guy gets bit.
  • Bear shreds tent
  • Guy punches bear
  • Bear shreds tent
  • Guy yells at bear
  • Bear shreds tent and chews gear
  • Guy takes off to another tent
  • Girl helps guy and they go into some shelter
  • Bear shreds that tent and chews all his gear
  • Cost of bear attack on humans well over $1000 due to no active protection against bears
  • Bear will probably be shot because it hurt a human
  • Guy needs EMT to give him a bandaid.

If it had been me:

  • Guy gets bit
  • Bear gets shot
  • Guy bandanges himself up and makes breakfast (bear tenderloin and backstrap)
  • Guy patches half dozen holes in tent and continues hiking
  • Bear still dead, guy taken care of, no further damage to guy or girl like previous story and lots of bear jerky for the rest of the trip

Seriously people, don’t go all touchy/feely because you want to save Yogi. Yogi was a fake bear. Protecting yourself in the wild is exactly that: protecting yourself. Get serious about it and actually make certain that you are going to come home.

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Solo Sprayers

by Woodsbum

Several years ago I purchased a Solo 428 Backpack Sprayer. Seeing as how it was Solo brand and thus a fairly reputable company, I was under the impression that my $100 sprayer would be able to be repaired for years to come. Last night I pulled it out to use it and found that this theory was going to be put to the test, for the pump was broken.

I drove around and called several dealers of Solo sprayer products. No one seemed to have the parts for this sprayer and the unit was discontinued. Being a little miffed, but understanding that I could probably just contact the manufacturer I went ahead and bought a new Stihl with hopes of repairing the old Solo as my “loaner” sprayer.

When I called the Solo company I was told, “We don’t carry that sprayer and it was made by Plasindo. You would have to call them.” Solo outsourced this sprayer, put their name on it and now dismisses customers when they ask for help getting parts? When I asked the “customer” service representative to confirm that I had inadvertently purchased a $100 disposable sprayer and they don’t support this product with their name on it I was told, “You can deal with Indonesia, but I don’t know if the hassle will be worth getting the part. Just buy a new one.”

Seriously, this lady’s recommendation was to just “buy a new one” because they don’t support products that they outsourced from Indonesia. My question is: WHY DID YOU PUT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME ON IT THEN? Why would I have bought an overpriced sprayer from Solo if they were going to be so dismissive? I understand things being discontinued and no more parts being available for a product due to age. If that was the answer then I would have cursed a bit and just dealt with it. When the answer comes out that I overpaid for a disposable unit because they don’t support it, go deal with Indonesia…..  Come on Solo.

Here is a picture I downloaded from the Internet of the sprayer. The piece that is broken is the copper tube portion of the pump.

Solo 428

Solo 428

I am now hoping that I can fix the cracks myself with my welder and get it back up and running. The cost of this unit was definitely not worth it since it can’t be repaired.

Chalk this up on the board as a lesson learned. I will never buy a Solo product again and have gotten to the point where I only tend to buy Stihl products. They can be repaired and hold up 10x better than their crappy Indonesia competitors.

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Been Sick

by Woodsbum

If you have been wondering why I have not posted much these last couple weeks, it is because I have been really sick. Let’s suffice it to say that not only have I missed work due to this bug, but I actually went to the doctor for it.

After a shot of antibiotics in my hind quarters and two antibiotics to take orally for a while, I am finally STARTING to feel a bit better. There were periods of time where I was running a 103 degree temperature and barely able to stand. It was that bad.

Now that I am starting to make a recovery, I will post a few things this week and get back on schedule. Right before I got sick, I ran into some problems with my black powder rifle. I also got an antler handled ferro rod that I am going to cover. I also picked up some antler to make a 70 gr powder measure for my Hawken. All this will be coming up in the next week or two.

Again, I am sorry for the lack of posting. Getting well and back on my feet was really my main focus.

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Making Black Powder

by Woodsbum

I was messing around online about burn rates of black powder and came across this video. Supposedly, according to this guy, in Florida it is legal to make your own black powder. I was under the impression that it was illegal to make your own black powder so I will have to do some serious investigation on this. Either way, this guy has a fairly decent video on the process.

Here is another video on the process. This guy’s use of the strainer really shows how it is granulated.

This last video is really nice because he explains what the dextrin is and he shares information on the ball tumbler.

I will reiterate that I am none too sure how legal it is to make your own black powder. From what I have seen, this is restricted by the BATFE guys. I find it interesting that these people are sitting here in full view of the camera making it if it were illegal, however.

*****************UPDATE***********************

I found several links and pages where it is supposedly LEGAL to make small quantities of black powder for your own use. You cannot give or sell it to someone else unless you have a special license and there are some restrictions based upon state/county/city ordinances. This particular link actually has a bit of summarized information on it, but I would suggest you check your local and state laws before you start buying components.

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SPL Antler Awl

by Woodsbum

Well, I am at it again. Rather than just being smart and building my own stuff I have purchased something from a craftsman to give me more project ideas. This time I picked up an awl made from a sail making needle and an antler.

SPL Awl

SPL Awl

Not that I couldn’t have thought of this myself, but I never really saw anyone do this in a way that was memorable. I think he drilled a very small hole and just epoxied the needle into the antler. The important aspect of this is that I now have several ideas on what I should build for myself…… You will see some of these projects in a few weeks.

I have been using a Craftsman awl that came with a screwdriver set to poke the holes for my rawhide projects. When doing this I had to be really careful to not make the hole too big because the Craftsman awl has a fairly large shank/shaft/base on it and really isn’t made for what I was using it for. This will work much better. I do need to make some sort of a “sheath” for the pointy end before I end up sitting on it and giving myself a way to sew my butt crack together.

Steven also sent me some buttons he made and I should be getting a firesteel as well. The buttons are actually nice to see. I had been wondering how people did them.

Antler Buttons

Antler Buttons

These are just thinly sliced pieces of antler that have three small holes drilled in them. Nothing special for fancy, but I really needed to see how they were done. The core of an antler is not as strong as the outside so I was worried that there was some “magic” involved with the process to keep the holes from pulling through. Evidently there is not. Because I was not going to rush up to some other bushcrafter and stare at their buttons while out in the woods, I needed to get my hands on some myself. Important safety tip: Don’t rush up on a bushcrafter unannounced – they might be armed and almost always have a sharp knife.

I really love getting small project and craft pieces from people. By backward engineering their work I always get ideas for my own projects. Of course Steven’s work is impeccable, but I like to have ideas for ways to occupy my own time.

Again, keep checking back. I have a few ideas for some muzzleloading things made from antler now.

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