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Saturday, 3 December 2016

Mora Garberg - First Impressions

OK, I said I wasn't going to buy one and in my defence I didn't nor would I have paid the full retail price for this knife. Quite a few retailers had this knife significantly reduced over black Friday and when I say reduced I mean less than half price!! Now make of that what you may but I don't ever recall a newly released mora knife being reduced to less than half price within a few months of it's release, I can only assume that sales where particularly bad and this was a way to get a few more knives in hand.
as for the knife when it arrived I was quite reassured to see the lifetime guarantee sticker on the box but that means nothing if the knife is going to spend it's entire life in a drawer.
The knife feels nice in the hand, only nice, not wonderful or exceptional or magnificent, just...nice.
the blade is a lump of stainless with a sharp edge on  it, that's all I can say about it, it's nothing exceptional, it doesn't take my breath away or feel like "quality" when I hold it, actually it just feels like a beefy 510. When I compare it with other knives of a similar price like Enzo's for example or even the Real Steel Bushcraft knife at half the Mora's price then it fails considerably in comparison.
I never thought, and after holding and using one I feel even more vindicated in saying, that this is not a £100 knife, it's embarrassing to have it marketed as such and I have no doubt that's why it was reduced so heavily recently.
How does it perform? Well it cuts well enough though I find the grind a little obtuse and when prepping food like apples, carrots or potatoes it tends to split rather than cut. It makes feather sticks fairly well but again it's not the knife that does that it's the user!! I'll try it out for a while but I don't think this will ever be a favourite, I'll probably get fed up using it and resort back to my 510's or robusts. I'm so glad I never paid full price for this, at half price it's just about worth it, at full price I would have felt cheated.
Also I can't get my head round this "it has to be a fulltang knife thing", nobody has ever put together a cogent argument as to why a knife HAS to be full tang that has swayed me, after all a knife is, or should be, used for much more than just batoning, does a wood carving knife or a food prep knife have to be full tang? I think not.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Late run Trout

On one of our permissions there is a gorgeous little stream, it's actually little more than a creek and for most of it you can actually step across it, however at this time of year it gets a run of really decent brown trout
here's the creek (sorry bout the phone pic).. can you see anything hiding in the current?
lets take a closer look..
can you see it now?.. estimates put it at about 4lbs, it's a really good fish!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Clean your blade with Sloes

Here's a little tip for those of you who use your knife to harvest pine or spruce resin, you've all seen just how sticky and difficult to remove it can be, well here's a little in field trick to help you clean your blade
first gather some fresh sloes from a blackthorn

cut a slice from the sloe and use the inside flesh to rub the blade

you'll soon start to notice that the acid in the sloe starts to remove the resin, it may take a little while but persevere

and after about 5 minutes.. a fresh clean blade!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Fortunate Fallow Preparation at NIBC Meet

At the most recent Northern Ireland Bushcraft Club meet we managed to take a fallow deer which was used by the guys there to provide us with food for the weekend plus lots of craft materials for later on projects..
strung up and allowed to cool before the prep begins

Gary and I took turns at skinning the beast and I have to say it didn't take long at all, we are definitely getting the hang of efficiently prepping large game.

I took the backstraps off and set them aside along with another little treat for dinner later that evening..
my favourite cut of venison, I absolutely adore this meat
after the meat was all prepped, Gary and the rest of the crew took the time to flesh the hide, hard work but they did a great job, the skin was then stretched and made ready for tanning!!

and our little treat.. the heart, lighlty cooked by our most excellent camp cook Davy, it was one of the finest pieces of meat I've ever eaten, the rest of the off cuts were used to make a venison curry which we dined on that night, the bones, sinews and left overs were then split between the group for different projects the gang all have in mind..
A thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Scarlet Dock Leaf

Every now and again nature produces a beautiful anomaly, and this seems to be one. Dock often turns red as it ages but this one was bright vibrant scarlet, on its own and I spotted it over 100 yds away, it was that visible...A gorgeous sight to see.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Paul Kirtley on Axe Safety

Paul recently put a superb article on his blog about safe axe use and proper handling techniques when using this tool in the woods. As bushcrafters and woodsmen it is always good to refresh the basics so we don't get complacent and end up with a serious injury.
The article he has written is one of the most concise and salient pieces I've read in a long time, if you use an axe, be it regularly or occasionally, you really should take the time to read it, so with Paul's kind permission I've included a link to it and ask you to take the time and visit his site and read it..

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Guelder Rose Jelly

Guelder berries are one that I often admire but don't often use, though I have included them in small amounts in compotes, preserves and jellies in the past, though I have never made a pure Guelder rose jelly until now. The berries are classed as toxic when raw but edible when cooked and have a long history of being used in Scandinavia.
I gathered about a pound and a half of berries

stripped the leaves and reduced them to a mush in the pan, and the smell was rank! Like a cross between vinegar and mouldy trainers, it was bad, and it lingered!
I then passed it through a sieve and for every pound of juice add the equivalent in sugar.
the result was a bronzey orange colour jelly. It seemed to set very fast so there must be lots of pectin in these berries so be watchful if you decide to make it.
 As for the taste, well lets just say I prefer virtually every other fruit out there rather than this, but in an emergency it might just do...maybe.