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Monday, 18 August 2014

The Difference Between Horses Hoof and Artists Conk Fungus.

I've lost count of the amount of times someone has said to me rather excitedly that they've found a horses hoof fungus only to be presented with it and see that it's actually a ganoderma. I can understand the confusion as some artists conk really do look like Horses Hoof on the tree, especially when older and when the bottom of the fungus has hardened and lost it's soft white skin.

This is an Artists Conk (ganoderma) I've cut off the top so you can see the colour of the Amadou, this is the easiest way to tell for sure which one you've found, if it's a chocolate brown colour then it's an Artists Conk

This is a Horses Hoof (Fomes Fomentarius), you can see the difference in colour, if it's a tan or a mustard colour then it's a Horses Hoof fungus.

And side by side, it's far more noticeable like this

and you can also see the difference in the fibers in the amadou. Ganoderma on the left is coarser and fibrous while Fomes on the right is more tightly grained and finer in texture.

However both will take a spark well and both will work fine with flint and steel if you prepare the fibers correctly

Thursday, 14 August 2014

I Got Bit Again....

I guess if you use knives on a regular basis you're going to get bit, whether you're careful or not, there's always a momentary lapse of attention and that's when it usually happens..

this was a puncture wound in the pad below my thumb, it looks worse than it is, but wounds here tend to bleed a lot.. its best to let it do so for a second or two to hopefully wash out any dirt, then, apply pressure and elevate... I'll put this one down to experience, again.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Beautiful Bee's

There are around 250 species of Bee's in the UK, now I know very little about them except that they are quite beautiful and very difficult to photograph, here a couple of pictures, if you know what species they are, do let me know..




all taken on the same knapweed plant..

Friday, 1 August 2014

Possibles Pouch Contents - 21st Century Style

I guess we all have a possibles pouch of sorts, even if it's just whats in the contents of our pockets, but I tend to carry one in each bag I use, be it 24hr up to weekly bags, each has a little 1litre dry bag containing items I may need.. Just like the pioneers who carried, shot, a knife, firemaking equipment or even a pipe and tobacco in theirs, each pouch tends to be a reflection of the person who put it together..

and here it is, all contents safe and sound and protected from water, it packs down to about 6x5x4 inches, I think that's pretty tidy!

and here's the contents of this one, as I say each one may differ slightly but this is a pretty standard kit. I like to pack with the idea that each item has multiple uses

1. the dry bag itself, aside from containing everything also acts as a water carrier, forage bag
2. a plastic ziplock bag for water or burn dressings or a container
3. some water disinfecting tablets
4. an electrolite drink mix
5. a lighter
6. a cotton bandana, for filtering, making charcloth , wound dressing etc
7. a carbon steel knife, for cutting also for throwing sparks
8. a small torch/flashlight
9. a roll of duct tape, for repairs, wounds, and it also burns very well
10. a pair of tweezers for removing splinters, ticks etc
11. a small multitool, a myriad of uses!
12. a folding spoon or sometimes a masala spoon
13. a needle and strong linen thread, for repairs, cordage, snares, fishing line etc.
14. a folding cup, drinking vessel, container
15. a tin opener, can be utilised as a cutting tool or made into an arrowhead
16. a tube of superglue, for repairs (I've actually had to use this to fix a crown! It's still going strong!!)
17. A tin of vaseline (I use my own maxiwax instead, it's edible, burns well, lubricates and waterproofs, can make a candle from it!) Use the tin for char cloth
18. safety pins, lots of little uses, even making into fish hooks.

this nearly covers the 5 C's of survivability, the only thing missing is shelter, but I usually have a tarp or even good waterproofs, or if needs must I can build a shelter..

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Above and Beyond Discount Code Offer !

Buzzard has teamed up with the award winning online retailer Above and Beyond to bring you a very special offer!

This great retailer has won the Great Outdoor Award 2013 for online retailer of the year, and now with Buzzard Bushcraft we can offer you an even more enticing incentive to place your order with these guys!
Craig and his team of outdoor enthusiasts has offered the Buzzard Bushcraft readership a whopping 12% off the RRP of any product on their website!!!

Although some products already have a 5% or more discount, using the special Buzzard code will bring this up to 12% !!
Place a big order and this could end up saving you a bundle.

How it works... Contact us here at Buzzard Bushcraft at the email address at the top of  the page just beneath our header and we will send the Discount code back to you by email..Then simply go to the Above and Beyond website and place your order using the code and the discount will be taken from your total!
Brilliant, eh?

This is only available through Buzzard Bushcraft in conjunction with Above and Beyond..

check out their website here

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Introducing ROBwithaB.

We were contacted recently by some friends in South Africa and asked to share some of Rob's videos with you. I must admit they are a little quirky, but at a time when I see Bushcrafters and Survivalists taking themselves all too seriously it's nice to watch a video that's informative but leaves you smiling at the end of it.

Remember, our passion is about learning but it should also be enjoyable, nothing wrong with Laughing while Learning!!
Check out some of his other videos too, he's sure to put a smile on your face!

(The video doesn't appear on some mobile devices, so here's a link to it direct on youtube )

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Lord Farquhar Firesteel

I recently got a firesteel on BCUK from Mozzy, who goes by the username Lord Farquhar on a number of bushie/knife's a few pics and a quick trial of the steel

as you can see it's a big steel and I have largish hands taking a size 9/10 in gloves so this is a biggish lump of metal easily taking all four fingers

and in hand, as I say, quite large and feels a little unwieldy because of the size, an inch or so smaller may have fitted a three finger grip more easily

and how does it spark? Well quite decently, not as ferocious as some I have in my collection but it throws decent enough sparks to light char cloth and as you can see here, some amadou.

It was made of water quenched O1 steel and does a decent enough job.
I know Mozzy usually makes Knife blades (I have a few myself) and this maybe a departure for him, but it works well and I'm sure we'll see a few more from his stable soon.