Mungo's Bushcraft Lessons

What? How to make binding material in the woods.
How's that? Sometimes you don't have any rope.
How so? Obtain some thin spruce roots (hint - look for an overturned, but still living tree - less digging that way). Split a thin stick halfway to create a kind of pliers/scraper. Remove the spruce root bark by drawing it carefully through the scraper. Make an incision through the center of the root tip - peel the halves apart. When the split threatens to leave one half thicker than the other, bend out the thicker end to control the split (don't let the split 'run out'). Loop lengths of the split root to the diameter of a cooking pot. Fill the pot 2/3 with water, heat it to boiling over a fire. Fill the pot until full with the ashes of a cooking fire. Immerse the loops of split de-barked root into the pot and leave it to simmer for an hour. The ashes contain caustic substances (lye, etc...) that affect the lignin). Then take it out, straighten it out and dry out over the boughs of a tree. This binding material will remain supple and strong for years. Weave into a weir for catching fish, use to bind lean-to boughs, use to make fish-spears, and much more.

What? How to use an arrangment of sticks to cook a fish over a fire.
How's that? Sometimes you don't have enough cooking pots or you have none at all.
How so? Catch a fish. Use a fishing line. Or use an arrangment of sticks pressed into the shoreline so that a narrow entry permits a fish to enter the fenced in area, drawn by the smell of bait, but so that the narrow entry restricts exit. Or spear one. Anyway, gut and bone the fish - and make 6 holes in the edges of the skin. Thread 3 thin, de-barked sticks to splay out the fish. Partially split a long stick, and wedge the meat into the split - and then tie the end closed with the binding material you made earlier... Rest the long stick against a stone and lean it over a low fire. After a while your dinner will be ready.

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