Getting caught up, looking forward to unemployment…

I’m finally getting some time to get caught up. Pretty much all I’ve had time for here is working on my 365 photo project. After getting hacked at the beginning of the month I haven’t even had time for that. It took 2 weeks to recover and I’m still not caught up all the way. I have the pictures but it takes awhile to decide which one to use, then edit and caption it. I got about a weeks worth done today, and hopefully I’ll be caught up by next weekend.

Getting ready for unemployment…

The thing keeping my the busiest is getting ready for unemployment. I was told earlier this year that there’s no guarantee my contract will be renewed at the end of June. Not only that, there’s a chance it could be terminated any time before then with 30 days notice. I hate dealing with uncertainty, so I signed a voluntary early buyout agreement. This guarantees I’ll keep working through the end of June and also gives me a small severance package. I’ve been wanting to quit and do my own thing for a long time, so this is actually good news. If only I could get my wife to see it that way…

Anyway, I’ve been busy getting ready. For one thing, I’m documenting everything I do so my friend (who still works there) will know pretty much how to do my job. He’ll be stuck doing it and I don’t like leaving  friends hanging. Plus I don’t want him calling me with work questions after I retire… lol. I’m also traing a kid (student worker) who hopefully – eventually – be hired as my replacement. All good stuff.

Besides prepping at work, I’m also getting ready around the home front. I’ve spent a lot of time cleaning up the back yard and getting ready for a garden this summer. Also started working out again and “planning” to start eating healthy. And most important, making sure everything I want to buy is bought before my wife finds out I’m gonna be jobless after June… like a motorcycle… Also the mundane stuff of course, like cutting our monthly spending, enrolling in a health insurance plan, and finding a safe place to sleep for the first few weeks after my wife finds out.

Post-employment plans…

I’m already planning on going to Wilderness EMT school in July (the same one that’s been cancelled twice so far b/c of Kung Flu). I’ll be done with that in early August and don’t have any firm plans after that. I’m really hoping for self employement. I’m really burned out on working for others. One option I think I would like is working the camping or fishing department at our local Scheels. Home Depot might be OK too, and we have one close to our house So we’ll see…

The main thing I’m looking forward to though is having more time for woods running. Or in my dase, desert running. I haven’t had much time over the last 15-20 years to go off the beaten path even around my own local area. Hell, just last week I learned about a nice big bass pond less than 5 miles from my house. I mentioned it to a friend who lives almost next to it. Not only did he know all about it, he’s actually pulled bass out of it. He said the biggest he’s caught was a 4 pounder.

There are also tons of trails and dirt roads ripe for exploring (hence the need for a dual sport bike) and of course the garden. I also want to get into raising ducks and rabbits. Anything except sitting around the hause getting nagged at for sitting around the house. And also getting caught up and keeping up with the blog. Anyway, I have a lot more to say (been bottling it up for a long time) but work comes early tomorrow and I have a lot to do. Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

I failed to achieve victory…

OK, my 365 photo project didn’t quite work out. Actually, it was an epic fail. I admit and accept responsibility. I guess now is the time I’m supposed to start making excuses for why the project failed, but I’m not going to do that. The problem wasn’t the project, it was me. So what went wrong and why should anyone care? I hate to be a downer, but things are going on in our Republic… I don’t like the things going on. If you’re reading this, maybe you don’t like them either. I think my failure at completing the 365 Photo Project might hold some lessons if you agree…

Mistakes I made…

I’m going to get into these later. They all deserve a dedicated post, and I don’t have the time to dedicate to that now. Besides, I like to keep my posts short so they’re easier to organize. Anyway the main things I did wrong were…

  • I underestimated the time and effort needed to complete the job
  • I overestimated my ability to complete the job
  • I failed to see the impact the job would have on my other responsibilities

Bang, 3 strikes and I’m out. Usually I sign out with ‘peace out’ but not just that today. These are “interesting times” we’re living in. Stay safe. Build tribe. Learn to defend yourself. Learn how to produce your own food. Learn the difference between wants and needs (my photo project was a “want”). Redpill yourself. Read John Mosby’s old blog and subscribe to his new one. Stay safe and pray for our Republic. Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

More on being a Backyardsman

being a backyardsmanI got my first issue of The Backwoodsman – a.k.a. Ritchie’s Magazine – by accident. It had an article about using dandelions for food, something my wife was interested in. I liked it so much I made a point of getting the next issue. That issue had an article that made me a fan for life. Being a Backyardsman by Scott Siegfried was a breath of fresh air. A lot of others must have liked it too, as the article was reprinted in the Nov/Dec 2019 issue of The Backwoodsman. Then in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue, one of the reader requests was for more info on being a Backyardsman. Well now, that’s kind of up my alley. I don’t think I write well enough to submit something to Mr. Richie yet, but I can write here so why not?

More on being a Backyardsman…

Before talking more on being a Backyardsman, it’s probably a good idea to review what a Backyardsman is. According to Mr. Siegfried’s article, “A backyardsman is basically a backwoodsman who sticks closer to home. He enjoys reading about survival, camping, old-timey stuff, self sufficiency, homesteading, etc. Dabbles in some ‘backwoodman-esque’ activities and hobbies. He may have a workshop where he makes…”

Sounds pretty simple, and it is in theory. In reality, things can get in the way. Boring stuff like going to work, paying a mortgage, supporting a family, stuff like that. Aggravating stuff like being stuck in traffic and dealing with building inspectors. Responsibilities lie an elderly parent or a kid in high school who needs extra “motivation” to stay caught up with his homework. In other words, “life happens.” So let’s break this down into some things you can do even when “life” takes up all your time yet you yearn for some Backwoods therapy. Per Mr. Siegfried, a Backyardsman…

…enjoys reading about survival…

I read a lot, probably at least 2 or 3 books a month. I don’t write many book reviews because a lot of the books I read aren’t on Backwoods subjects. There are a lot of books I can recommend to backwoodsmen and backyardsmen though. I think 98.6 Degrees – The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive is a must-read for a backyardsman. Keeping with the survival theme, Left for Dead by Beck Weathers and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer are both excellent. American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People by T.H. Breen is a fascinating look at our county’s founding.

…camping…

I don’t have a book to recommend on camping, but I can recommend camping right now – tonight – even if you have to get up early and go to work in the morning. Impossible? No way. Camp in your own back yard. If you can’t do that, then camp in your garage. If even that is too much of a stretch, sleep on the floor. I did just that last Friday. It gave me the chance to test a sleeping pad I got at Costco and mess around with a ranger taco.

…old-timey stuff…

I’m fascinated by old-timey stuff. When I was a kid I used to get old electronic junk and unsolder the parts to put in my junk box. Can’t do that any more – everything is made to use once then throw it away when it breaks. Even hobby things like model airplanes come ready to fly and hard or impossible to repair when they crash.  Some of the best books for learning how to do things in the old ways are the Foxfire books.

…self sufficiency…

Forgotten Skills of Self Sufficiency by Caleb Warnock is a good introduction to pioneer-type skills. There are a ton of books on different areas of self sufficiency, too many to talk about. Two areas I’m most interested in when it comes to self sufficiency are food and being able to repair things. For general food and living self sufficiency my two favorite books are The Shoestring Girl by Annie Jean Brewer and Self reliance: Recession-proof your pantry, published by Backwoods Home Magazine.

…homesteading, etc…

I’ll revisit this later, but everything I mentioned above is good, especially Backwoods Home Magazine. If you want something actionable right now and you own your home, you can “officially” homestead it. Just check out you’re state’s homesteading laws. Chances are, all you have to do is send in a form with a small payment, and you’re now a legally recognized homesteader. And yes, there are some benefits depending on your state.

Dabbles in backwoodman-esque activities and hobbies.

I’ve been really busy the past year working and planning for a career change. Not much time for outside hobbies in other words. A lot of that is winding down so I should have a lot more time soon. One thing I want to do is set up my own knife forge. I found a copy of The $50 Knife Shop and I’ve got room for a small forge in my back yard. I’m also planing on putting in a fire pit, building a rabbit hutch, and changing my yard around so it isn’t so suburban.

I’ve taken to using Google Maps to look for places close to home I can explore. Lots of interesting things right around here it turns out. Sadly no places to fish close buy, but I did find an abandoned stone building within walking distance of my house. There’s also some old mine tailings in the area I want to check out.

He may have a workshop…

This one is my achilles heel – I have one, but it’s so full of junk it’s barely usable. So I guess one project needs to be cleaning it out. Lots of neat things out there to talk about when I get around to it though…

So for awhile I’m going to only focus on backwoodsman-esque things that can be done around the home, yard, and (very) local area. You know, do a lot more on being a backyardsman. Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

Stinky feet and wool socks

stinky feetI have stinky feet. Been that way my whole life and nothing seems to help. Foot powder, vented shoes, whatever – my feet sweat during the day and then they stink. It’s never a problem – heck I’m already married so who cares, right? (Just kidding honey…) But when I went to my wilderness first responder course it became a problem. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is for complete strangers to know you have stinky feet? Well maybe not for you, but for me it was.

Wool socks to the rescue…

Luckily I had some wool socks. I bought them mainly because all the backwoods, bushcraft, prepping, whatever books and blogs tout the benefits of wool clothing for cold weather wear. Wool is naturally flame retardant so it’s better around camp fires than cotton or polyester. It also keeps its insulating ability when wet. Another benefit I’d read about but either ignored or didn’t believe was wool’s odor fighting ability. Would they really work to control the stink? I decided it was worth a try.

It turns out that wool socks are made for stinky feet. To give them a good test, I wore each pair for several days in a row. The first pair I wore for 5 days. After 5 days, the socks still didn’t stink. There was so much dirt and dried sweat in the soles that they were starting to get stiff, so I decided to change. Then I wore 3 more pairs for 3 days each. No noticeable foot odor for any of them. Then I stuffed all the dirty pairs in a plastic bag where they sat for over a month until I got around to getting some Woolite so I could properly hand wash them.

Not all wool socks are created equal

For this trial run, I only tested the 2 least expensive brands I had: American Pride (71% merino wool, $16.84 for 2 pair) and Minus33 (85% merino wool, $13.49 for 1 pair). Both did a great job of keeping my foot odor under control, but the cheaper American Pride socks held up much better. You can see in the picture below the difference in sole wear between the 2 brands – circled area is a Minus33 sock. I guess the much higher wool content of the Minus33 socks affects durability somewhat. The pair in the picture had been worn for 3 days and showed more wear than the American Pride pair I wore for 5 days.

Another thing to watch out for is wool content. For some “wool” socks that info can be hard to find. I have a pair of “wool” socks from Costco I eventually found out are only 28% wool. They’re comfy, but they don’t control odor like the higher wool content socks do. Based on this little experiment, I’d say optimum content is 71% wool because the 85% socks didn’t hold up as good. I still have a few more brands to try though, so my opinion might change. For now it’s pretty hard to beat the American pride wool socks.

One thing to be careful of is that wool socks require special care. Harsh detergents can ruin their odor control, getting them too hot while drying can make them shrink a bunch, and rough handling can destroy their elasticity. None of those are show stoppers, just make sure to wash them properly. Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

Don’t make New Years resolutions

I don't make News Years resolutionsI don’t make New Years resolutions. They sound great, like a New Beginning or something like that, but really to me they’re a waste of time. I guess they’re a waste of time for a lot of others, too. People who study these things say that around 80% of those making New Years resolutions don’t keep them. In fact most people last less than 2 weeks. They “average” day for giving up is January 12. Most of the rest give up by the end of February. If the failure rate is so high, why even bother? Look at it this way too… if something is so important that you have to RESOLVE to do it, why wait for the New Year to start it? Why not get off your butt and start working on it now?

Just do it…

How about this… don’t make New Years resolutions for 2020. Are there things you were going to RESOLVE to do? Today is December 31, what’s wrong with starting today? Why do you need to wait until next year? Just do it already. I didn’t do a lot of things this year I wish I had. I should have worked out more. My shed still needs finishing. We didn’t have a garden. I didn’t get my kid to finish his Hunter Safety course. I still need to get my General class amateur radio license and finish some FEMA training. And about a million other things…

What about you? Do you wish you’d spent more time outdoors this year? Don’t make a resolution to spend more time in the outdoors in 2020. Go to Alastair Humphry’s microadventure site for some ideas and plan a microadventure. Heck, do one tonight. Skip watching the ball in Times Square drop and spend the night in the back of your truck or your back yard.

Been thinking about getting in shape? Eating healthier? Living a more rural lifestyle even though you’re stuck living in big city? The Mountain Guerrilla blog has you covered. Check it out, or better yet get a subscription to his Patreon page. I don’t often recommend buying online access, but the Tier 2 support level is only $5/month and well worth it.

Wish you’d done more fishing? Take up fly tying or build a lure display box. Can’t hunt because you live in the city? Make a rabbit stick or build a box trap from scrap wood. Want some reading inspiration? Dig out your copies of Backwoodsman Magazine or check out the Backwoods Home blog.

Don’t make New Years resolutions

My point is, just do it. Don’t wait to make a New Years resolution. Everything I talked about above is free, easy, and you don’t even have to wait until next year to get started. Do something now. I know what I’m doing tonight, and it won’t involve the television, heavy drinking, or revelry. What are you going to do today instead of waiting for the New Year? Until next year…

Peace out,
porcupine

Making do…

A couple years ago I wrote about building a miner’s cabin in the backyard. That idea didn’t really fly with my wife so I changed tactics. I quit calling it a miner’s cabin and started calling it a storage shed. THAT idea she really liked. We manage rental properties as a side gig, so our house and garage are always full of stuff for that. Last summer we got started on it with a lot of help from my brother and his wife (actually my wife’s sister and brother-in-law). I had my ideas and she had hers, but I got her to agree on shiplap siding. She wanted a concrete floor. Not exactly “backwoods” but it does make sense for a storage shed.

We started and everything was going great. Got the slab poured, put up the wall framing, got the roof on. Got my first load of shiplap and finished about half on an end wall. And then… nothing. It’s been sitting uncompleted since last October. My wife decided that shiplap siding was too expensive. She wants me to tear off what I’ve done and finish it using molded pressed board siding. NOT happening. Too ugly, too prefab looking, just too… modern. Not happening…

So about once a month we have a fight over it. She gripes that it’s not done yet. I say fine, I’ll go get the rest of the shiplap and finish it in a day. Then the conversation goes down hill fast…

Making do

Part of being a Backyardsman is making do with what you have. I have a mess – a half finished shed that’s worthless as a shed or a cabin the way it sits. I was in Home depot yesterday and the had pressed siding boards on sale and it reminded me I need to do something about the miner’s cabin shed. Went home and gave it a pretty hard look. Even with the roof on, it’s pretty wobbly because there’s no skin on the frame. One of the walls is along our fence, about two feet out and not really visible. I figured I could use pressed sheet siding for just that wall and finish the other 3 with shiplap.

I measured the wall height and checked level. Went back to look at the siding on sale. All the sheets were warped really bad so I picked a different type. Not on sale but I’d rather spend a little extra than deal with crappy material. Bought 3 sheets and cut them to length. Tonight I’ll get them hung.

The wife – of course – was like “why’d you buy the siding? I thought we were still arguing about what kind to use?”

Whatever. I just reminded her that it’s been sitting, unusable, since last November. I’m sure she’ll be happy I got pressed siding for the one wall. Of course I didn’t tell her it was for just one wall. Looking forward to see how much skinning a wall will stabilize the whole structure. When it comes time to get the rest of the shiplap… well I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. In the mean time, I’m making do with what I have.

Peace out,
porcupine

The Great Indoors

About a month ago I started sleeping on the floor. My wife didn’t kick me out of the bed, and our bed is actually pretty comfortable. I just wanted to see if I could sleep on a hard surface. Turns out I can’t, at least directly, so I got a sleeping pad. Also I wanted to change my eating habits, and work on other things to get more self sufficient. Since I can’t always get outdoors, I decided to see what I could do in The Great Indoors.

Sleeping on the floor

I’ll admit, the first night was because I was mad at my wife. When I woke up the next morning my butt and shoulders were sore, but my back felt better than normal. Hmmm…

The second night my wife asked me if I was planning to sleep on the floor again. I told her yes, and explained about my back feeling better. So she decided to try it too. Next morning, her experience was the same as mine – sore butt and shoulders, but better feeling back. We figured the hard floor was good for our backs but hard on the pressure points (butt and shoulders). We moved back to the bed, but a couple days later Costco had LightSpeed self inflating sleep pads at a closeout price of $14.95 and my wife wanted to try them. We got two and they work great. Not as soft as our bed so good for our backs, but soft enough our butts and shoulders don’t get sore. We’ve both been sleeping on the floor since we got the sleeping pads. I sleep better and have more energy during the day. Sleeping on the floor – welcome to The Great Indoors.

Homemade beef jerky

I’m trying to cut my carbs, so eat more meat, right? I don’t always have time to cook though, but when I do I have a lot of time. It takes me about 5 hours to make a batch of jerky, so I’ve been doing that a lot for the past couple months. Cleanup is really easy and it tastes a lot better than store-bought jerky. Also makes a great trail snack. Hope to post a recipe soon…

Building a library

One thing a backyardsman or backwoodsman can do is read about skills necessary or useful. In that spirit, I’ve been building a library. Books I’ve added recently and recommend are Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry, The Glock In Competition by Robin Taylor, Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness For the Family by Arthur T Bradley, and Seedtime On The Cumberland by Harriette Simpson Arnow. They’re all good reads and they all offer something to the aspiring backyardsman.

Taking it to the back yard

The great indoors have been pretty good for the last couple months, and proved that I don’t have to get away from the house to get away from urban/suburban stress. For the past week though I’ve been moving from the Great Indoors to the Great Outdoors. Well, at least to my back yard…

For the past week, I’ve been sleeping in the back yard. Instead of the LightSpeed sleeping pad I’m using a USGI Therm-Pad sitting on top of a canvas tarp I got at Home Depot (sold as a painter’s drop cloth). My sleeping bag is a bivvy bag I got from some European company. Can’t remember the name but when I do I’ll write a review. This combo works pretty good until 1 or 2 AM when the temp gets down to 45 or so. At that point I wake up and pull over a wool blanket. Then I go back to sleep until about 5:00 when the birds start chirping. Works better than my alarm clock. Now if only I could convince the wife and kids to join me in the back yard…

Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

Happy Easter

Happy Easter. Easter is my favorite Holy Day (nee holiday). I like it better than Christmas, Thanksgiving, and July 4th – Independence Day. I like it for the spiritual implications, but even if I wasn’t a Christian I’d like it because it signifies renewal. It’s fitting that we celebrate Easter in the spring. When the dead cold of winter is replaced by the warmth of spring and new life. A chance to think about past mistakes and working to not make them again. So just want to say – Happy Easter.

Preps I’m working on…

I’m trying to focus on process instead of things. That, of course, is a correction of past mistakes. For example last month I bought a Gransfors-Bruk axe. A thing. What I should have done is taken the cheap axe I found in my parent’s garage after my dad died and learned how to fix the edge (chipped) and sharpen it. Given my nature, that “ah-ha” made me think I need a GB sharpening puck. Nope, another $60 thing. Maybe time to look for info from people who actually know about axes. After some looking I found a video on getting THREE sharpening pucks that out-perform the GB for about $20.

If you follow that link, you should check out his other videos too. SkillCult (Steven Edholm) and Reallybigmonkey1 (David Pearson) are the 2 best YouTube channels for bushcrafting/homesteading/semi-primitive skills I’ve found.

I’ve also re-thought my garden for this year, and I have my wife on board. Mostly we’re going with open pollinated heirloom seeds. At first it seemed kind of limiting, but we’ve found every kind of veggie we want to grow. In fact, we found more than we have room to plant so that’s going to take some thinking (and maybe guerrilla gardening?) to make it all fit. Anyway, it should be fun esp. since my wife is supportive of the project.

Back to my roots…

I’m taking a couple days off from work this week and going back to my home town. I was hoping it would be just me and my younger son, but then my older kid and Mom insisted on going too. That’s good and bad. Bad is I won’t get to do everything with my younger son that I wanted to do (like camp). Good thing is we’re taking my mom’s car so gas is on her. Besides, the weather is still kind of iffy for camping since it will be my kid’s first camping trip. I’ll stake out a good camping spot for later, when summer school vacation starts.

The other things I want to do is go to my home church, visit my Dad’s grave, and do a little fishing. The church is the same one I was confirmed in and took my first Communion. It was also my Dad’s biggest concern in the last couple years of his life. Fishing was my Dad’s favorite thing to do, along with gardening. So basically this trip is to honer my Dad’s memory and reflect on the life lessons he taught me. I wish I’d learned them better when he was still alive, but at least I still have his legacy.

Misc. stuff…

Not much here. Our rental property is 2 months overdue and still not done, but I have hope it will be finished by the end of April. Key word being hope… which goes along with the whole concept of Happy Easter I guess.

I finally got my CERT ID card, so now I have about 5 months to finish 4 online FEMA classes. Another good reason to finish the rental soon, so I have time to study and take tests. Also I want to get my General class amateur radio license – lots of study time needed for that too.

Plans for the rest of the year

First is getting our rental finished and our garden planted. Both will require a lot of work so I expect to be really busy for the next 4 to 6 weeks. I need to get back on my Keto diet. I know it works, but breaking old eating habits is hard. But I know it works, and I really need to lose some weight.

The biggest plan though is NO MORE NEW STUFF and no more new projects. I already have too much stuff and too many unfinished projects and plans. Anyway, that’s about it for today. Hope y’all are having a happy Easter.

Happy Easter,
porcupine

How to be a Backyardsman

how to be a backyardsmanEvery other month I look forward to the latest issue of The Backwoodsman. When I found this magazine it was like a breath of fresh air. Especially Being a “Backyardsman” in the July/August 2017 issue. Scott Siegfried could have been speaking for me. Like him, I wish I lived in a much more rural or even wild environment, but job and family responsibilities keep me in the city. But how can you be a backwoodsman in the city? His writing is full of ideas on living a backwoodsman life in the city – he calls it being a Backyardsman. I liked the idea so much that I decided to start this blog to explore it further. But how to be a backyardsman? How much can you really do in the city? If you think about it, quite a lot…

How to be a Backyardsman???

The first thing I read every time I get the latest issue of The Backwoodsman is read the Reader’s Requests box at the start of the letters section. This gives me an idea of what other people are interested in. Hopefully an idea for something to write about maybe. There are usually lots of good requests, but one in the March/April 2018 issue really surprised me – “How to be a Backyardsman.” Really? Every issue is packed with things you can do without being out in the woods. I got to thinking about it though and I’m guilty of the same kind of thinking sometimes. “Gee, if only I didn’t live in the city…” “Dang, if only I could take a month off from work and forget that I had a family to take care of, bills to pay…”

How to be a Backyardsman

First of all, what is a backyardsman? To quote Scott, “A backyardsman is basically a backwoodsman who sticks closer to home. He enjoys reading about survival, camping, old-timey stuff, self sufficiency, homesteading, etc. Dabbles in some ‘backwoodman-esque’ activities and hobbies. He may have a workshop where he makes…”

Well, you get the idea. Do you need to be living in a cabin or a tent to do any of these things? No. In fact, you could even do most of them in your… back yard. Wasn’t that easy? I’d even say that if you’re new at this, practicing in some skills in your backyard would be better than trying them for the first time in the back woods. For example using a tarp as an emergency shelter in a snow storm. Where would you rather try this for the first time? In your back yard, where failure means you go inside, have a cup of coffee, and think about what went wrong? Or out in the woods after a 10 mile hike, in territory you don’t know too well, where failure could mean that you freeze to death?

But what about??? I can’t…

Of course there are some things you can’t do in your back yard. Unless you’re incredibly fortunate, you probably can’t shoot a gun or hunt in your back yard. Heck, where I live it’s illegal to even shoot a BB gun in my back yard. That doesn’t stop you from building a black powder rifle kit though. Or learning to build an AR-15, refinishing the stock on an old rifle, making a custom set of grip for a handgun, reloading ammo, or studying for a CCW permit.

You probably can’t go fishing in your back yard. That doesn’t stop you from learning how to tie flies, make your own fishing lures, or raising worms to use or sell as bait. It doesn’t stop you from going to the park and learning to cast a fly rod. It doesn’t stop you from finding places to fish that are closer to home than your perfect backwoods fishing spot.

If you’re still doubting, just look through any issue of The Backwoodsman. In the latest issue, you can learn how to use a bow drill to start fires. Discover how to learn about your personal area of operation (AO) by going on micro adventures. Learn about whittling. How to make a quilt. Re-purpose a length of rebar into a walking stick. Make homemade grape wine. Put together a low budget camping kit. There is even a good write up on how to survive an active shooter situation. That’s just one issue, and every single one can be practiced in your own back yard. Heck, some of them don’t even require a back yard – a small bench somewhere is plenty of room.

What was the question?

Oh. “How to be a Backyardsman?” I hope this post answers the question. Being a backwoodsman or a backyardsman is a state of mind. You don’t have to be out in the woods to have that state of mind. You can have it and practice a lot of back woods skills right in your own back yard or abode.

Peace out,
porcupine

The Backyardsman

BackyardsmanWelcome to The Backyardsman. You might be wondering just what a Backyardsman is. Simply, it’s a play on the word Backwoodsman and I’ll admit to blatantly borrowing the term from an excellent article by Scott Siegfried that appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of the Backwoodsman. To quote Scott, “a backyardsman is basically a backwoodsman who sticks closer to home.” Simple, right?

I wish I could spend all my time hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and practicing outdoor survival skills, but I can’t. Mundane things like a family to support, an elderly parent to take care of, a job… just seem to get in the way. On the other hand, I’m not content to just sit in my arm chair and read about how others are living the kind of life that I sometimes envy. I’ll never be a Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Creek Stewart, E J Snyder, or “John Mosby,” but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn new things – even survival skills – in my own back yard. I hope you find something interesting here and enjoy the ride…

Peace out,
porcupine