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Old 07-11-2010, 10:36 AM
mplsatty mplsatty is offline
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Question Where to practice bushcraft skills



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Hello, everyone --

I am just wondering what types of places you would recommend for practicing basic bushcraft skills. I am not expecting to find any fellow Minnesotans on here to help, but I am hoping to find places close to home (so I'm not asking for specific place names unless you know of any near the Twin Cities area).

I'm basically self-taught & don't have the cash currently to get to any schools. But I digress...

I ask because practicing these skills can have an adverse impact on the environment & I don't want to destroy anyone's camp experience, much less an entire micro-ecosystems...

Thanks in advance, everyone!

dave
Old 07-11-2010, 10:40 AM
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i suggest practicing some of the smaller things right at home, like fire starting and settting up shelter if you are using a tarp or etc. that way you are familiar before you go off into the wilderness. Not sure of what skills you have already so its hard to say.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:59 AM
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I practice in the local woods,by the river,in my garden,infact anywhere I get the chance.

There's no spacific places that you really need to go to improve your skills,just practice wherever you are,If you find a nice piece of wood to make a spoon say just put it in your pack and take it home,then make said spoon at you leisure.

The same can be said for bow drill making and practice,find the woods you want to use and take them home and practice in the garden.

It all counts in the end.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by shadow61 View Post
i suggest practicing some of the smaller things right at home.
There's no place like home...

Always best to ptatice new skilld close to home, like in the backyard.
Some may scoff but then things go bump in the night and everything one does fails its nice to just get up and walk into your own home.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:21 PM
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There's no place like home...

Always best to ptatice new skilld close to home, like in the backyard.
Some may scoff but then things go bump in the night and everything one does fails its nice to just get up and walk into your own home.
This is priceless advice! I could have saved myself many uncomfortable experiences! Haha!
Old 07-11-2010, 03:50 PM
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This is priceless advice! I could have saved myself many uncomfortable experiences! Haha!
Like when pine pitch won't catch from a spark ?
Old 07-11-2010, 06:11 PM
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Like when pine pitch won't catch from a spark ?
Man. You come over here and show me. LOL.
Old 07-11-2010, 08:18 PM
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So your trying to find places around the Twin cities???? Have you looked at a map? There are tons of state forests and other forest areas around here. Go up exploring in Interstate state park that's just one that's within easy driving distance. I have lived all over Minnesota and am currently in Minneapolis area for school. Trust me you just need to start looking around. I believe its sportsmen guide, put out a atlas that has all the wilderness etc areas clearly labeled, along with back roads etc. Really helpful atlas.

Overall I do agree with what has been said about practicing close to home.

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:45 PM
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I practice at my property with the intent of teaching my daughter and her friends. Teenagers can be a really tough crowd. they are impatient and ready to critisize what you are doing. This helps hone my skills. what I love to hear is when they come back a few weeks later and they tell me they started a fire with just 1 match! or when they can tell their brothers and fathers what they learned as well.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:56 PM
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Thats really cool Diablito! I can see how teaching to a bunch of impatient teenagers would help hone skills.
Old 07-11-2010, 09:23 PM
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Find a Boy Scout troop and volenteer as an asst. Scout Master. Lots to be learned from the Scouts and as an adult volenteer you will be helping your community and local youth to become stronger adults.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:58 PM
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Plan out a weekend hiking trip on a remote trail. Practice your skills along the way. Go after jobs in parks.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:40 PM
mplsatty mplsatty is offline
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Thanks everyone.

Maybe I should have been more specific, but my concern had more to do with impacting the environment -- downing limbs or trees to build shelters, building fires or digging holes in non-designated campsites for fires, potentially trapping... Fact is, I'm not even sure, but I'm afraid of having an adverse impact on the environment -- I'm in Minneapolis, after all, and we tend to take negative environmental impacts seriously (sometimes too seriously, but still)...
And I have a small small yard (again, Minneapolis, not the larger yards common for in the suburbs or outstate). Much o the foliage in our yard is ornamental & would be noticed if missing -- which is true of our neighbors as well.
But I'll pay more attention to the backyard, & try to be a little more creative on that front (BTW, had a great time stripping the Christmas tree last winter in the back yard, I'll make sure to do that again next year).
Again, thanks all!
Old 07-15-2010, 10:13 PM
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Practice in "perfect" conditions first, and what better place to do so than your home?

You can make rope, dead falls/figure four traps, shelters, snow shelters, lean-tos, solar stills, gather condensation from transpiration of plants, practice fire starting (you don't have to get a BIG fire going, you get your ember going and your starter stuff going you've succeeded), all in your yard. Heck, even in your house/apartment (Uh...minus the fire), learn the night sky and night time navigation, tell time by the sun.

This would all have little effect on the environment. Don't leave your traps out then, disarm them and you're fine. Your lawn and probably the plants there are unnatural anyways. You've stopped secondary succession. Lawns are one of the most unnatural things anyways.

Kev has a video on using a compass and GPS in the woods, he's not going very far with how far he has to travel with shooting the azimuth and you may feel silly doing it on a city block with a map and compass or what have you but it's good practice!

Identify plants on a "nature walk" through a local park or one with a nature trail.

Then once you get good at doing these things in "perfect" conditions, go in your yard and make a fire when it's raining, when it's windy, snowing. Practice when you just plain don't want to cuz that's when you get good.

Then your once a month trip or what ever, out to the woods, try it for real, bring all of your supplies though, don't want to have a horrible experience. Slowly try not to use an item or what ever each time you go out. You can't just practice all these skills and then decide you shall last a week in the woods. Well, you could, but you're probably not going to have fun. Slowly learn to do without. That's to say, take your box of matches with you but say "I only have one match" make it a game, don't get frustrated, you messed it up? Guess what, you "only have one match" again.

+1 leave no trace!
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:02 PM
mplsatty mplsatty is offline
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ThoughtfulWolf, I can see why you have so many people thanking you!

I'm going to print your response & keep it with me, because you're right, it can be just that straight-forward, & I'll pick up things I find along the way if I don't have them in the yard...

Alright, living in the city is no excuse. Time to start practicing...
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