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Thursday, 02 February 2012 16:45

Handy Hazel

Known by some as "Gadget wood" this has to be such a welcome sight in any woodland.

 

Its broad rounded serrated leaves should be familiar to most hedgerows and if you don't know its leaves you must know its nuts. A welcome snack if you can get to them before the birds, mice and squirrels.Only just qualifying as a tree, its base or "stool" grows a multitude of stems which if regularly coppiced can keep you supplied for most of your needs for a lifetime.

 

An important part of any ecosystem, but of particular interest in Devon where it is known to be home to Dormice, lichens and fungus.

 

As well as its nuts there are uses for most parts of the tree including.........

Published in Bushcraft Tips
Saturday, 31 October 2009 10:04

Tracking sticks part 2, using the stick

Well you've been out and cut your stick, saved a few lambs from emasculation and you are all set to do some tracking.

For the start we will concentrate on man tracking. Although once you have the concept in your tracking tool box the theory can be applied to most walking animals. Of course this isn't an all seeing eye or magic pointer there is still a great deal of dirt time necessary to learn to interpret the tracks and see the stories they tell.

You will be using the stick to guide your eye to the next probable imprint. Just the same as Quantum mechanics this is about probabilities. so always consider the "what if ?" factor; your subject may speed up, slow down or take more stealthy evasive action. However as you read the spoor you will come to see that all changes will be shown in the track.

Published in Tracking
Sunday, 25 October 2009 08:59

Tracking sticks; part one making your stick

Many a time has my trusty stick got me out of a fix whilst Ive been tracking, and my mentor Max's words still ring in my ears from the day I passed my advanced tracking course and earned my silver feather "trust your stick."

Tracking sticks come in many forms from striped down ski poles and traditional walking staffs to custom made purpose built sticks. However my preference is for a personally made stick. I have found that as years have passed I have developed a bond with my trusty apple wood stick from the day I cut it to the next time I take it tracking. I know I am not alone and every tracker I know will go to great lengths to make sure their stick is close to hand.

The stick is used to estimate the next foot fall in a track whilst also gauging your following the right track, and with a little pimping giving a good idea of direction of travel.

Published in Tracking