Just returned from a great day in my favourite local pine forest. Heres a google map if you are interested in visiting it yourself. The forecast was for showers in the afternoon so I set out early. I love this forest as there is room to walk around and explore (unlike most native forests) and I quickly found a decaying stump that maybe have some fatwood in in. I have been looking for this ever since Scott told us about it (also see this discussion in the Firecraft Group). I kick away all the soggy punky wood and found a section that was still rock hard, preserved by the resin. Jackpot! I used my knife and a baton to cut myself some chunks

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Below you can see the stash I brought home with me. These will make great firestarters for future outings, especially if made into firesticks. In the tub is some pine resin I collected on a previous trip

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It wasn't long before I got to may favourite spot. Here is a previous outing in the same spot, its a small spur on the sheltered side of a main ridge, with a small clearing that is the perfect size for a small camp. I was happy to hang up my satchel and start on whittling a spoon from some rimu I took with me. I wanted to give my new knife a spin, stay tuned for a proper review.

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At this point it started to rain so I whipped up a quick shelter with my poncho/trap and got straight back into it. All it needs now is a spoon knife to carve out the bowl of the spoon, or I could use a hot coal like I have with a previous spoon

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During the days exploring I came across plenty of rabbit scat and I also identified what I think was a cluster of Pate (aka Sevenfinger) which was used by Maori (mentioned in this post). Sap from the leaves of this small forest tree was used against ringworm (fungus) affecting the skin. A groove in a dry log was rubbed vigorously with a kaikomako stick to make fire.

The day outdoors what just what I needed and I got home that evening fully refreshed. I got to try some new kit and clothing out and they performed very well. I will review the kit I took in a future post.

Happy Shrafting!

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