Sunday, May 19, 2013


The wind blew my willow tree into the shape of a question mark. This is what I did about it - S.L.

The letter "L" in Keyword S-U-R-V-I-V-A-L stands for "Learn Basic Skills"

Bamboo is quite possibly the most versatile wood. It is found on six continents, and has almost unlimited uses; I've cooked rice in it, built shelters, rafts, weapons, traps and snares. You can eat bamboo, make medicine, cloth, paper and musical instruments from it. In Southeast Asia I've seen it used for scaffoldings on high-rise construction projects. In a pinch it can even be used as reinforcing bar in concrete if you don't have any steel.

Wherever I go I carry parachute cord and a roll of electrical tape, and of course a BFK. Big F*cking Knife.

The cloven hoof on my kukri signifies that this is a Hindu blade and it cannot be used to kill a cow.

I received this kukri as a gift from the 10th Gurkha Rifles in 1989, when I worked with them in Hong Kong. It was made in Nepal from Land Rover leaf spring steel and it is razor sharp.

Cutting the bamboo to length and notching it out.

I cheated here and used a hacksaw and chisel. I could have done this task using my multi-tool.

Gut the internal strands out of the 550 cord.

Parachute line is called "550 cord" because it has five hundred and fifty known uses. It's tensile breaking strength just so happens to be 550lbs, but this is a coincidence.

Always burn the ends of your 550 cord to prevent unraveling.

The electrical tape is simply to give the 550 cord a gripping surface; the green bamboo is too slippery for the nylon cord.

All knots and lashings here are in accordance with US Army Field Manual 3-97-61 MILITARY MOUNTAINEERING and the Boy Scout Handbook.

FIELDCRAFT 101: Tie Twelve Basic Knots