If you read many of my blogs you will know that I love to read books, I get a lot of great information to try out next time I’m in the woods. A year or so ago I got Tony Nester’s BushCraft Tips and Tools, it’s great book let me give a few highlights. Oh, by the way check out my reading list on “My Bookshelf” on our website here’s the link. I think I need to update it a bit, lol.
Tony is based out of Arizona, and has spent much of his life outdoors helping people learn to survive and to live in the wilds, he has short courses and even 4-9 week courses if you really want to get immersed in the learning process. His business is Ancient Pathways LLC
I remember years ago as a teenager working to learn some of the outdoor skills. In those days much of what was written was generalized and did not offer enough detail to be truly valuable. In this book Tony tells you what he does, he tells stories from his own life to illustrate many points. It is easy to read and straightforward. I have found that most every book I read gives me some value or perhaps a different perspective on things.
Here are some highlights.
- There’s nothing fun or romantic about survival except, perhaps in retrospect.
- For cold weather gear, I have two approaches depending on the weather and temperature
- Slushy conditions above freezing-he likes wool garments as they are warm and not damaged as much by fire as other things.
- Weather below freezing-Steger Mukluks for the feet
- Cold weather gear is not something you want to skimp on
- Hot cocoa and butter provide a delicious drink with extra fat and calories to help in the cold
- Tony’s favorite knife is a Finnish Jarvenpaa Utility Puuko with 3 3/8″ blade
- His personal cooking kit consists of a 12cm Zebra billy Pot, GI canteen cup, and a 1 liter Trangia Tea Kettle
- “When the body is well fed the mind is also nourished”
- He rarely sleeps in a tent and opts for using Tarps. He likes square tarps as they can use diamond configurations, when on the move he likes to use a 10′ x 10′ tarp, incidentally our PSTL is that size and there are around 50 ways to set it up.
- Bag Balm is great for exposure to sun and wind that is common in the southwest US
- “Look at bushcraft as a lifetime pursuit and remember that you, as a modern human, are trying to learn what took our forebearers decades to master.”
- Tony gives his recommendations for weapons depending on need and situation. He keeps it simple.
- In his listing of “Food for the Trail” he tries to keep it basic with , rice, lentils, oats, flour, brown sugar, home made jerky, bouillon cubes, vinaigrette dressing, tabasco sauce and coffee. Tony shares reasons why he uses the above and some interesting other uses for some of the items.
- Tony constantly recommends practicing all the time around home to keep sharp in your skills and lists a number of good ways to do it.
- The book wraps up with a good Q & A section with many insights and helpful tips.
I have the electronic version, via Kindle, and that is great as he has lots of links to things he recommends so you can easily investigate further. You won’t regret the $2.99 you spend on Amazon for the book, check it out.
Until next time, this is Perry Peacock, “Simplifying Survival”