Had a great outing the other weekend. I returned to a ridge overlooking a valley where I had been before, but set up camp in a different place to try a new tarp configuration. I rigged up my main tarp (2.7m X 1.5 m) between two trees to form a sloping wall, then used my poncho to add a small roof as I was expecting heavy rain.
I experimented with using prusik knots to create adjustable peg lines, and to attach the poncho to the main line around the trees. It worked great and I will be using them more, the prusik knot is so versatile as you can adjust it to maintain tension. Animatedknots.com is an excellent resource, with all kinds of knots that are great for bushcraft.
I laid some fern leaves on the floor to improve insulation while I was sleeping, to make it more comfortable, and to keep me above any moisture running in from the sides. As usual the focus was on sustainability, I used fallen dead leaves on the bottom then selectively pruned the least healthy green leaves from a range of different ferns. I used rotting soggy logs (so they wouldn't catch fire) to make a small wall to reflect heat and light back into my shelter. It worked well, although next time I will make it closer. My billy is hanging by wire from the green branch between the wall and the tarp line.
After a quick cup of tea I got onto making a bow saw. I was very happy with the result which exceeded my expectations. I took a few step by step pictures and have made a bow saw tutorial.
However after much effort and frustration I had no luck with the fire bow. I really struggled to find dry enough wood, so I brought the materials home to dry in the hot water cupboard and I will have another go soon.
Before I knew it the light was fading so it was time to gather some firewood and settle down for the night. Just as I was dozing off in the tranquility, I hear the familiar rasping screech of a possum. It sounded pretty close and I didn't want one sniffing around or stealing my food during the night, so I got up and shined the torch around to look for its tell-tale eyes reflecting the light but alas, nothing. I gave up and tried to get some sleep and even with a screech every 20mins I managed to doze off. I woke up again in the early hours as I usually do in the bush, so I stoked up the fire and had some hot soup. Then it was back to sleep till morning.
After some logan bread and a cup of tea for breakfast, it was time to head out for a bit of an explore and to work on my tracking. Because of the pine needles on the floor of the forest I had trouble finding tracks and all I could see was scat and foraging sign. As I am a novice, feel free to comment and correct me if I am wrong with anything
These droppings weren't the classic brushtail possum shape but this may just be that they were fresh and so hadn't dried and separated. I cant think of any other animal that size that could have produced them.
After that I packed up camp and did some whittling til late afternoon, then hiked out as it started to rain. I was very lucky with the weather and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
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