Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Bushcraft Course – Making string

I’ve always been fascinated by the skills and techniques of wilderness survival. From an early age I’ve been exposed to it, from living in a very isolated area and my dad being a survival instructor and trapper. Whether by chance or selective hearing, I never seemed to get the lesson on what to do about string in the wild. Indeed string must be one of the most important pieces of equipment, considering the number of uses it has. It always intrigued me, and even though I would dabble in wilderness survival books, I never found the answer. Being out in the wild on my own and being curious, I would try different methods in hopes to find a way to make string from the resources around me, such as braiding dry grasses, but I never seemed to come up with something substantial. I knew there must be a way however, and the question quietly left my mind.

Yesterday evening at Chilcotin Holidays I was part of a one-night bushcraft course where we learned the basics to survival and shelter building. It’s amazing how much you can learn in one evening! We learned all about what plants you can eat, which ones you can use in other ways, what the five W’s are of choosing a shelter location, how to cut down trees with only a pocket knife. We went out into the wilderness behind the ranch and were taught how to build a lean-to and a fire using only natural materials and a flint. But first, to make the shelter we need string. So how do we make string? We all gathered around a large willow shrub, which our instructor proceeded to cut down with one simple stroke of his knife and one simple technique. After that, we each took a long strip of bark from the tree and separated the outer bark and the inner bark. After telling us about the medicinal properties of the inner willow bark, our instructor showed us how to fold the strip of inner bark in half, into two lengths essentially, and twine them together with the “car-start” method to make cord, just like the typical yellow rope is coiled. The finished product was an extremely strong, flexible rope—perfect for building a shelter! At last the mystery was solved for me. The last major piece of the puzzle was now in my head and all I had left to do was try it all in the wild. Time for an adventure!

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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