Updated Version of "Ancient Skills" now available for free download

Hi.   Sorry that I've been so inactive here for a while.   I've been busy.

One of the things I've done is to clean up the digital version of the book "Ancient Skills".  I also added a wee bit of text and an ISBN number (up until recently I didn't realize that there was a rule stating that PDF books need their own ISBN issued by the National Library).   I don't know how to load the book on to this site, but I guess Ryan will be able to do it in the blink of an eyelid.

Meanwhile you can download the PDF version from our website.   Click on the link  below, then scroll down to 'Ancient Skills PDF download' and click on it.  You mightn't see much happening, but the file should download to your computer.


One thing of interest I have done since I last posted here, was to catch a rat on my patio using a deadfall trap with the ancient Promontory Peg trigger.

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Hi Stephen! Thanks for making this book available to us! It sure has a lot of imformation. Cheers!

You're welcome.  It is good to have a place to share my enthusiasm for this kind of thing.

Hi Stephen thanks for offering us this fanstastic resource. I have uploaded this to the BushcraftNZ Library for all members to enjoy


Thanks very much for this! An African version of the deadfall trap was taught to me as a child by some maShona friends that had a lot of influence on my love of bushcraft. I have forgotten that version, but will give this one a go.

The trigger of the deadfall trap shown in my photos consists of two sticks.   The top stick has had the bottom edge sharpened a bit like a chisel.   I would generally rotate that top stick 90 degrees to make the chisel edge parallel with the front edge of the brick.    In theory this should allow the bottom stick to tip over easier.   If the top stick has too much contact with the bottom bait stick in a 'fore and aft' direction (i.e. parallel with the long axis of the trap weight) then the tipping action can be impeded.     But once you start fiddling around with the trigger you will probably work out what is best for you.   Below is a diagram which may help explain how the trigger can be set to be sensitive

I like the simplicity of the Promontory peg trigger, but if I had to pick just one trigger for a small deadfall it would be the good old figure four trigger:


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