Sunday, December 30, 2012

Diary 30 dec

So what's happening..

Yesterday I finally got the Opinel that I ordered and it looks great. I will not use it until I leave, out there it will prove it's value. It''s a Opinel No.08 and I will use it for crafts that require a smaller blade then my Mora, such as carving a bone fishing hook for example.

I used to have a Opinel as a kid and have missed it ever since I lost it. The one I have now is made of carbon steel and I was surprised by how sharp it is.  The other stuff I have ordered (from a different company) have not arrived yet.. a poncho and a compass.. two essential items I need for the journey. Christmas is over, what's taking so long?

I have taken a good look at my selfmade backpack and I am once again rethinking the design.. I think that after wearing it for a while it becomes very uncomfortable, especially if it's fully loaded.. Maybe I should settle with a smaller backpack.. say a 40ltr backpack.. that has all the items I need instead of all the items that might become useful. Damn.. I put so much time and effort into making this backpack only to realise that I have to do it all over again.. Maybe I should better buy a new one.

So is there anything else?.. Nah.. not much.. I don't feel like whining again about the conditions between me and my gf and her family, I give it a rest for now. And other than that I'm doing good despite the fact that I have some trouble sleeping, must be because spring is getting near.

That's it for now, for those interested I ordered the Opinel at , The site is in Dutch and of course I hope everyone has a wonderful new year! I know I will, for it will be my last :)    Cheers everyone!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Am I really a Bushcrafter?

When you scroll this blog you find the term "Bushcraft" alot so you might think, with good reason, that I am a "Bushcrafter", however I probably am not.

I am beginning to wonder how a person is called who does what i am doing.. leaving society and all materialism behind in order to escape in the wilderness.. Is there a name for it..?

How about a "Hermit"?.. Well I guess this word comes closest to define what i'm doing, which is the reason why I named this blog "A hermits diary" but on the other hand Hermits are usualy people who seek abandoness for religious reasons.

Makes sence at first since i'll be surviving in the woods. But a survivalist is another word for Prepper. which I am not.. despite the fact that I like preppers and have learned alot from them

When I leave and head East I will be making several camps along the way but eventualy when I have found a good spot I will settle down, So Nomad is not a good way of calling myself

Yes I am fleeing from my country because I think it sucks but it's not Rwanda where I Must flee for political reasons.. I admit it ain't that bad. So calling myself a refugee is plain stupid. Also refugees  flee to places where they can get help or food, which usualy is not in the wilderness

Why not? Well Bushcrafters often spend their time in nature, sometimes for 2 days, sometimes for 2 months. But the difference between me and a bushcrafter is that they, eventualy, return home.

"Forest Dweller"
Hey.. Wait a minute.. this might be it! This name defines exactly what I will be doing next year.. dwelling the forests.. Not gonna change the name of my blog though.

This was just a little something I felt worth sharing, hope everyone of you had a great christmas.
Take care

Monday, December 24, 2012

A quest for meat

Water is the most important thing to have in order to survive but without food your days will be numbered and miserable. Meat will be the most important thing on your food menu, it contains enough vitamins and protein to keep you going. It is a good thing to remember that almost (if not all) all fur animals are edible and all birds are edible. The best ways in order to get some meat is by hunting and trapping..

Primitive Hunting Tools

The Atlatl
This is a primitive weapon that is once again gaining popularity. These are nothing more but two sticks.. a long one made into a spear and a small one made as a throwing device. The spear rests on the thrower and by pushing it foreward the spear launces itself towards the target. The Atlatl works best for hunting big game. For more info check

The Bow
Bows are pretty easy to make if you want a simple bow and making straight arrows can be alot harder. Many people still believe it''s the string that makes the arrow fly away but instead it''s the handle itself that provides the spring. The bow can be used for hunting any type of game even fish.

The Rabbit stick
If you wonder what the oldest hunting weapon is, well this might be it. Rabbit stick are.. well.. sticks.
Rabbit sticks are also called Throwing sticks and in primitive times people would just pick up sticks and throw them at animals in a spinning motion. Later on they would shape sticks in order to make it more aerodynamic so they would be more accuracte, faster and they would travel further.

The Sling
We have talked obout slings before. In the wild all you need to know is how to make cordage and how to braid, that is how most slings were made. If you want to know more about slings lookup my article on this wonderful weapon or visit

The Boomerang
Yes.. those funny things people play with at the beaches an parks, those were once used by the Australian natives in order to hunt (mostly birds) and nowadays boomerangs come in many different shapes and sizes and they are can be made out of wood or plastic. Using a boomerang can be easy but some are difficult for beginners to use. Making a boomerang is also easy as long as you know how it should be made.

The Blowgun
This is a very famous type of hunting tool that is still being used today by many indigious people. It''s nothing more then a hollow stick (often bamboo). Now i''ll be honest, I don''t like the blowgun all that much, it is pretty hard to use and make (or so they say) and in order to make it easier to get a kill the darts are often dipped in some kind of poison and I don''t like the idea of poisoning the meat i''m going to eat. I''m sure you could neutralize the poison or something like that, I still consider it a risk. A great hunting weapon if there are no other options I guess.


Snares are one of the best traps you can build to catch a dinner and they come in many shapes and sizes. One of the most populair designs is the one in the picture above, a Twitch-up snare, which is pretty easy to make. other designs are more complex but they all have one thing in common. They all have loops in order to trap an animal. Many people hate these kinds of traps, not because it is designed to trap and kill an animal but because it sufficates an animal, if the string does not cat an animal by it''s neck but by it''s leg for example an animal may lay there and suffer until it dies from starvation several days later. Therefore such traps should be checked several times a day. even better.. if you set up such a trap near the campsite then attach a little bell to the trap, that way you can hear when something set off the spring.

No.. we are not talking about the cheap movie here. Deadfalls are traps build to crush an animal and it is usualy made with a few sticks, a heavy log or stone and something for bait. The most famous design is the figure-4 deadfall and you can make them as big as you want. I once read an article about a guy who killed a bear with a figure-4.. quite impressive..

Other Traps
There are many other types of traps and if you want to make a trap you are only limited by your imagination. Some other famous traps are box traps which are great if you want to catch something without killing or harming it and then there ofcourse the household rat/mouse trap. Some other traps are effective but dangerous, these are made to kill big game but you can kill yourself with it instead if your not carefull.. these dangerous traps include the bow trap (when this trap is triggered an arrow is released at the target) and the Apache foot trap (a deep hole in the ground covered with debris with sharp stakes in the bottom pointing upwards, this trap was made famous thanks to the vietcong). 

Well, thats it for now I hope you enjoyed for more info on types of traps and how to make them visit good old youtube, among the trash there are alot of useful tutorial on how to make traps (aswell as the hunting weapons).. see you soon

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Diary 22 dec

It has been a while since I wrote a diary entry so I better get started.

I have been trying to reach out to others who are on the same path as I am so I can help them and the other way around. Because I might need some encouragement especially because it's almost christmas and it will be the last christmas I will spend with my family.. More of such days will come.. celebrating birthdays for the last time including my own, listening to my favorite song for the last time, watching my favorite movie for the last time, eating my favorite food.... is it all worth it.. awell, there is no turning back now.

A few days ago my girlfriend (if I can still call her that) had a night out with some of her friends, you know.. going from one bar to another and drink until she can't function anymore, but after a while she and her barmates got home and I found out that one of her friends wasn't her friend anymore, apparently her friend (some guy) was being annoying that night and they got into a fight. Well, that's what alcohol does, it turns normal people (and idiots like them) into complete animals because at first he was her friend and after a few drinks she wanted to kill him (or so she says).

But other then that I have also been a complete idiot today.. I sleep awful nowadays or I do not sleep at all sometimes and this morning I fell asleep at 4 in the morning and later on the doorbell woke up.. it was my father-in-law who has picked up the kids from school.. "Ah Fu*k, I should have picket them up from school, I overslept" Stupid moron how could I!?.. of course he started giving me a lecture, which is normal and I had it coming, on the other hand he only seems to be willing to talk to me when he has something to complain or something to bitch about. but it did not end up in total bloodshed, which is good I guess.

What else has been going on?..
Well business as usual, it is still boring over here and yes I get tired from my own negativity, my gf still runs the club and my home still feels like her home, she runs this joint. she does her stuff and I do my thing, no unity and no love over here and it looks like things aren't going to change. I could spend another year here but it will be another year of my life waisted, nothing to gain only precious time to lose here. Two people living separate life's under the same roof.... I should have staid in Rotterdam.

That's about it for now, yesterday was the 21st.. Hopefully there are more survivors like me out there ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My idea of an ideal longterm location

In my post "a quest for shelter" I promised to write about what I consider to be an ideal longterm location se here it goes..

In my search for "others like me" who also plan to live off the grid/land have no idea where to go.
Yahoo answers for example is filled with questions such as; "where can I legaly live off the land?", "what is the best place to live in the wild?", "I want to live in solitude, where should I go?"..

The answer to these questions is always the same.. Buy some land from the government.
And yes!, that is your best option. Unless of course if you are a poor bugger like me. Because even a small piece of land can be expensive and if you want to hunt you need a much bigger piece of land and unless you are a milionair this is out of the question. In order to live free, without money you need alot of money, it's not just about buying land it''s also about buying hunting licenses, fishing licenses and still paying tax.

However.. if you are like me and you believe that it is your godgiven right to roam wherever you want as long as you're not bothering anyone and if you believe cannot be "owned" by any government except on paper then there is a second option.. Just go...

There are other ways such as a (hippie) commune, these are small communities of people who usualy try to make a living without depending on anyone else. They often live off the land by farming and raising cattle but often they do generate their own electricity in order to go online, write their community blog, watch the tv etcetera.. So are they off the grid? maybe yes but barely. And for those who wish to head out in order to find silence and solitude this is not an option...

The 3rd option is what i'm about to do.. Pack your bags and just head out to a location where you can be all by yourself, to find peace and solitude and to have a chance to realy discover yourself and your capabilitys, to realy have the time to think about what you want to do with your live without anybody else forcing his or her opinion down your throat. All you need is to have a place where you can stay for quite some time.. an ideal longterm location.. but what is that?..

An ideal location where one should build a permanent shelter would need the following..

  • A nearby fresh watersource that is big enough to not only get water but also to use for fishing.
  • Edible resources when it comes to plants, roots, nuts and even fruits
  • Enough small game.. just like fish this is your best source of protein and other important vitamins.
  • A nearby open field.. simply because not being able to see the sun for days can drive you nuts, Farming should also be done in an open field.
  • And finaly having a great distance between you and civilization.
If I find such a location I will settle down maybe for a few months or maybe for years, I haven't figured that out yet if i will decide to settle down or becoming somewhat of a nomad. we'll see.

Hope you enjoyed ;) and take care

Monday, December 17, 2012

Leaving your kids, how dare you!?

Wow.. this is not going to be an easy thing to talk about but it''s still a very important matter.. In my introduction I wrote that I am a father of 3 daughters and that I was going to leave society to live in the wild. It is only a matter of time until someone asks "But what about your children?", "Don't you love them?", "Won't you miss them?"..

Truth is I am not a cold hearted bastard. I cannot look at them, turn around and walk away while realising that I might never see them again. I love my children and I spend more time with them then my father used to spend with me. Then again the last time when I had a job I was 23 years old so I had all the time in the world to play with them, care for them or to give them the attention they deserve in any other way. I was there when they were born, I was there when they started to walk and when they said their first words. My children are all I have and all I need.

Then why leave you might think.
Because I do not feel at home in the society i'm currently living in. My children are the only reason why I would stay while I can think of a million reasons why I would leave. I have 2 five years old daughters (twins) and a 1 year old daughter and I understand that they will grow up not knowing where daddy is. Sure, this is my quest, my journey but it comes at a cost.

I know that they will turn out allright in the hands of their mother and her (over)protective family but still it is hard for me to think about it. letting go of someone you love alot is hard and letting go of your children is impossible because we are talking about a kind of love only another parent can understand so I will be taking them with me in my mind and think about them every day

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Crosman 2240 and Airgun hunting

Today I wanted to talk about my 2240 and how I will use it for small game hunting

I bought my 2240 with a shoulder stock, a pack of co2 cartridges and .22 hollowpoints a few years ago and I bought it for one reason only; to hunt with. 

Warning: some of the following pictures contain images of shot animals and may be considered shocking.. even though I highly doubt it..

About the Crosman 2240
The 2240 is a bolt action airgun that shoots .22 (5,5mm) pellets, It's a Co2 pistol that with the help of a shoulderstock becomes more of a rifle. But there are a lot of accessories available for this nice crosman. It's great for plinking but it packs enough power for small game hunting such as rabbits and squirrels.

but I have to be honest and tell you that it has a few disadvantages..  Dispite it being pretty accurate with such a short barrel the open sights are horrible so buying a scope will be a good idea, however the 2240 has a plastic top/breech so that has to be replaced with a metal one making the 2240 cost you twice as much. The simple facts that it uses Co2 cartridges as the power source can be a problem for some, Not only do you have to buy both ammo and Co2 in order to shoot it you also have to count the number of shots you fired (so you know when the Co2 is running on empty). The only other disadvantage I can think of is that it's quite loud for an airgun.

a modded 2240

The best thing about the 2240 in my opinion is it's size, even with the shoulderstock it's quite small and portable. This thing is also very cheap and it's sold at Pyramidair for $57.95 and airgun enthusiasts often buy this cheap "toy" in order to convert and upgrade it into something awesome.

Airgun hunting.. the ups and downs

When it comes to hunting many people consider airguns to be toys for kids while firearms are for the big guys. however hunting with airguns is just great because they are usually cheap and silent. when you shoot you don't scare away nearby prey and when you use it for pest control in you backyard you are not annoying the neighbours, when you miss, who cares.. a pellet costs near to nothing.

Airgun hunting gains popularity but it is not aloud everywhere so be sure to first check out what your local law has to say about it. In my country for example I am not aloud to hunt with an airgun, even if it's for pest control (sure, i have shot several birds in my yard, just don't tell anyone ;) ) When you pick an airgun be sure to buy one that does the job. Some airguns are too weak to even kill a small sparrow while other airguns are powerful enough to kill a big moose (no joke!) so that would be overkill for rabbits. 
When you've picked a perfect airgun it's time to buy the perfect ammo. Choosing the right ammo is an important part when it comes to hunting. Pellets come in many different shapes, weights and calibers, most airguns shoot either .177 or .22 pellets and there''s an old saying.. ".177 for feathers, .22 for fur".. in my opinion you can shoot birds with a .22 but shooting a rabbit with a .177 often ends up just hurting the animal, not a good idea.
Just some of the most common pellet shapes
When it comes to the shapes of pellets remember that most shapes are ok for hunting. the most common pellets are wadcutters (above pic on the left) these can be used for hunting but are meant for field target, the best pellets in my opinion are hollowpoints and the worst being round balls that look just like bb's they tend to be very inaccurate and the often destroy the inside of the barrel. there are also pellets made exclusively for hunting. experiment a little and find out what works best for you.
Bird hunting.. guns appear to be Gamo's
For more information about airgun hunting check out these websites

Friday, December 14, 2012

The List of stuff 2 make (done)

This is the list.. here I will write down all the items that I still need to buy before I head out into the wild, some items are more important then others. Another part of the list are items that I still need to make, usualy I only buy stuff that I can't make on my own.

This list will be updated often..
Stuff 2 Buy
  • Military grade Poncho  got it
  • Walking/hiking shoes  made it myself
  • Compass  got it
  • 2nd Firesteel  got it
  • Opinel folding knife  got it
  • small Axe (optional)   didn't have enough space

Stuff 2 Make
  • 2nd pair of shoes (made of thick leather, somewhat medieval styled, nearly finished)  done
  • Pants (Made of fleece for wearing under regular pants on cold days, nearly finished) Bought one
  • A 3rd sling (made of yute twine and leather pouch) decided bringing one was enough
  • Winter hat (made of fleece and wool, nearly finished, looks somewhat mongolian)  done
  • Fire piston (optional)  failed
  • Collapsable Tin can cooking set  done
  • Longsleeve undershirt/tunic  (fleece)  decided i wouldn't need it, had plenty of warm clothes
  • Groundsheet (made of any flexible, waterproof material)  Wouldn't need it
  • Small saw (out of a kitchen knife, nearly finished)   failed
  • Dreamcatcher (not important, just a fun project)  done
  • Gloves (using old gloves and add a second layer for warmth)  Waste of time, use old ones instead
  • wooden Boomerang (mainly for fun)  kinda tricky to make, bought one instead
It is now the 21st of februari 2013 and this list is done and won't be updated anymore. I would love to make more items that would be usefull for my future journey but I'm running out of time for such projects. I have all I need to make it out there.

Diary 14 dec

A couple of days ago I wrote an article about how I made the billy can and yesterday the madame made some more soup resulting into more tin cans.
So why the heck wouldn't I try to make a comple cooking set out of it?.. well, here's the result:
From left to right: Smoker, Stove, Billy can
Well this was easy to make with just a old knife, what a wonderful material!
This idea is not entirely mine and many outdoors folk made sets like these calling it the bushcraft or hobo cooking set. I will definately put it to the test soon but I do not think I will take this complete set with me because it takes too much space in my backpack. I would rather make something collapsable. The stove seems ideal for burning twigs.
What else have I been doing?  I'm still sewing and stitching my own cloths, it is a fun project but my fingertips are starting to show damage from pushing needles through thick leather all day since i'm making my own shoes. But it pays off and when they're done i'll let you know.
Food i need during the early stages of the journey is always on my mind and about a week ago I started making trailmix.. Trailmix is a mix of nuts and other ingredients that will give an energy boost during hiking for example. The trailmix I made consists of many different types of nuts mixed with raisins. Some people also throw in M&M's and dried fruits.

Like I sayd before in order to get where I want to go I will have to travel across Germany until I reach Poland and making a fire in the german outdoors is forbidden so I can't realy cook anything until I reach the polish border. That part of the journey will take some time and just living on trailmix for days is not a good idea so I will have to find other 'instant food' sources that does not require cooking and that doesn't spoil easily such as smoked fish or meat. 
Well that's it for now, Next up is The List..  a list of all the items I need to buy or make before I leave..  Take care everyone

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

About my Mora knives

I have two knives that I will bring with me into the bush made by Mora in Sweden.
The first is the Mora Companion (basicaly a new version of the Clipper) and the Mora 164 Crook knife.

The Mora/Erik Frost 164 crooked knife
I buyed this knife soon after I bought the Companion because it's a useful item for making crafts such as bowls and spoons. it's a great tool and it looks great and feels great aswell. The curved blade is made of carbon steel which makes it easy to sharpen, but I haven't felt the need to do that for now.

The Mora Companion
I will use this as my average Bushcraft knife.. For making tools, preparing food and fish and as an axe to chop down small trees and it has countless other uses... If I would have to enter the wilderness with just one of my tools it better be this knife. There are multiple versions of this knife and mine is the MG version with carbon blade. to learn more about it watch this great review/test video I found on the net
I highly recommend these knives and all other knives made by Mora.. For the quality they are ridiculously cheap and they are sold in many outdoor shops.
Why not take a visit at their website..

Making the buddy burner

This is the project that I did yesterday.. making the buddy burner, and I promised to make a quick tutorial.

Items needed:
Scissors, Cardboard, old Candles, a Tuna fish can and finaly and a Heat source (such as a kitchen stove)
Then we cut the cardboard into several strips, these strips should be about as wide as the Tuna can, then those strips are rolled up tight and put in the can.
The Candles are cut into sevaral pieces and crushed.. ready to be melted
Now it was time to melt the candle wax.. I realised that it was better to put the wax into the tincan instead of the red plastic can so I switched and put the cardboard in the red cup. Now just wait for the water to heat up, which will heat the tuna can, which will melt the wax
It's working..
After all the wax has melted we carefully pour it into the red cup (which had become the mold) and I soon realised that I didn't have enough wax.. time to get some more candles..
I found a Black candle leftover that was more then enough to make two burners out of, cut, crushed and melted it and the Buddy burner was ready, now comes the real trick.. getting it out of it's plastic mold.. But with a knife puncturing a few holes in the bottom it will work.
Some Notes: I have seen these items being made in many different ways such as melting the wax not on a fire but on the households central heating system, but that takes a long time and I have even seen people simple putting the wax in a pan and put it on a fire but cleaning the pan afterwards becomes a hell of a job and when candlewax gets hot enough it can spontaneously ignite, something alot of people don't know but I have seen it happening (we had a blast!)
Now you may wonder how long these will burn, I can't tell.. I will be packing these things and use them when i'm on my longterm trip. But some say they last for about 2 hours and others say they last a whole night. But if you know how long these will burn feel free to let me know. These buddy burners can be used to light and warm a tent or any other shelter, to be used as a stove or for sheer comfort at night.
Hope you enjoyed ;)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Testing the gear

So today I figured it might be a good idea to wear all my gear for a minute to find out how comfortable it is so I first put on the clothes.. Camo shirt, camo pants, camo parka and my selfmade shoes. Then the shemagh and finally it was time to put on the backpack... here are the pics..

So if you ever head into the polish/russian wilderness and you see this twisted freak of nature.. relax.. it's just plain old me :)

I was wearing this for about 15 minutes so what are the results.. It gets hot! which is a good thing just not indoors at this moment. The DIY backpack also feels comfortable but then again it's not yet loaded with all the stuff i'll be needing. It will become alot heavier and I just hope the straps will hold all that weight. don't want to be stitching it all back up while i'm not even halfway there.
When I leave I will not be wearing these military clothes, they will be in my backpack because it will otherwise cause unnecessary attention (all that camo.. he's up to something). It also gets pretty hot over here in the month of May so wearing a jacket would be foolish.

When it comes to gear, I feel like i'm ready!!

Diary 11 dec

So whats happening...

Yesterday when I was looking for more camping DIY projects I noticed this video from BackwoodsUnclebob about making a survival candle called the Buddy burner
Dispites it's horrifying name the Buddy burner is a fun and simple project. Now I have made candles before, well from leftovers honestly but I never made them with cardboard. So I collected some leftover candles and some cardboard, melted the wax and I made 2 Buddy burners out of it.
Now why is having a Buddy burner useful?

Well this is one of those items that are only useful to outdoor enthousiasts, especialy those who often sleep in the great outdoors.. It can be used to light the tent but there's enough heat coming out of it to stay warm during winters and it can also be used as a stove (or inside a stove). What the cardboard is for? I have no friggin idea, but I guess it's supposed to make it burn longer.

This is how my two burners turned out (lovely color, ahum.) I'll see how they do in a few months. Dispite the fact that making these things is stupidly simple I will be making a quick tutorial on how I made mine.

How i'm doing so far? Well I guess i'm ok. all I can do is focus on the trip, probably the last trip i'll ever make. But every now and then I do need to force myself to take a step back and relax a little so next week i'm hitting the cinema to see The Hobbit, have to see it because i'm a big Tolkien fan. And last night I watched "Alone in the wilderness", the story about Dick proenneke who lived in a log cabin in Alaska for over 30 years.. awesome story!

But I can't just relax until May because there's still so much I need to learn about living off the land such as foraging.. I realise very well that I do not know as much about wild edibles as I should. and I also still didn't manage to make a fire with the bowdrill.. that has top priority right now.

I also should mention that my computer is infected with some sort of virus and right now i'm on windows safe mode. So if you guys don't hear from me from a while it's because my computer had to be put to sleep. This is the first time in my life that a virus infected my computer and won the battle. Now let me find someone who has a windows cdrom and we're back in business.

Next up: testing the gear I will be wearing

Monday, December 10, 2012

Diary 10 dec

Things are going swell as usual. Lately i'm realy trying to learn everything about edible plants, fruits, roots and flowers aswell as edible insects and bugs.
The snow outside is starting to melt but it did let me catch a cold, but apart from having a running nose I don't feel sick.

Christmas is coming up and my gf asked what presents I would like.. I better ask for something useful for on the road. Something like a military grade Poncho or a second, smaller knife like an Opinel or a Compass... all essential stuff that I need to have before I leave.

My Backpack is finished and it ony needs some further reinforcements.. just in case you've missed it, I had an old camo sporting bag and an A.L.I.C.E. backpack, The Alice pack was to big to use for cycling so I took off all the small parts from the Alice and sew them onto the sportingbag.

Right now it looks almost like a normal Alice pack but more rectangular instead of round and it went from a 100ltr to a more comfortable 75ltr
Well, that's it for now, see ya later folks!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Working with Clay

Now this is something I realy love.. working with clay. Dispite the fun factor I can also see the importance of having clay during a longterm wilderness trip.
Recently I have made various objects such as two pairs of mortars and pestles, 2 oilburners and severals bowls, both from commercial and natural clay.

Now I have a small backyard but there happen to be a clay deposit close to the surface and me and the kids love to dig up the clay and make stuff out of it.

Commercial clay on the left, natural on the right

So what can we make out of clay? Well.. Bowls, Mortars and pestles, Vases, Oilburners, Bricks and Cement, Stoves, Sling(shot) bullets, Cooking plates, Sinking stones and the list goes on.. In some locations entire houses are made out of clay.

Making natural clay is quite simple.. We get a shovel and we dig up the clay, then the clay is left outside to dry in the sun, the chunks are then crushed and any impurities (stones, grass) are picked out and finally by adding small amounts of water we can shape it. once you're done it only needs to be heated in a fire.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Ancient art of Slinging

Ahhh.. the Sling.. my favorite ancient hunting weapon..

People started making slings during (perhaps even before) the Neolithic period as a hunting device but later on during the bronze age peoples such as the Greeks started using them in war and it stayed that way until the dark ages. Nowadays the Sling is used mostly for recreation by few people and it is the national sport of the Balearic islands near the coast of Spain but there are probably still tribes around the world using it as a hunting weapon. Sometimes they also show up in conflict areas such
 as Palestine.

So what is a Sling?
Well, it is nothing more but a pouch with 2 pieces of string connected to it on either side. A stone (or other projectile) is put in the pouch, then by swirling the sling around and letting go at the right time the stone will fly away in a surten direction. The Sling can be considered the ancestor of the Bow.

Types of Slings.
A sling can be constructed in many ways but usualy it involves some type of braiding. But making a sling is pretty easy.. is you can braid someones hair, you can make a sling.. It can be made with most types of string/rope, The one I have made is made from sisal twine but wool is also fine.
If braiding isn't your cup of tea then using 2 shoelaces connected to a piece of leather will do just fine.

Types of Ammo
Round stones from riverbeds is what ancient man used most but after a while people started to use lead by casting it in special molds, the greeks were famous for this. But basically anything that is somewhat round or coneshaped and that has some weight to it can be used as ammo.
There are also items that can be used as safety ammo since slinging rocks can be quite dangerous and you might accidently hit others or even yourself. That's why many people use golfballs.. being hit by a golfball hurts like hell but it wouldn't kill you. I personally use potatoes alot when i'm out slinging in a nearby park or forest.. it's quite fun.

Slinging History
What is amazing to know is that most ancient civilizations have used the sling no matter what continent they are from. Want a quick list of some of these civilizations?
Sure..: The Greeks, The Romans, The Aztecs, The Apache, The Celts, The Saxons, The Egyptians, The Assyrians, The Rodians, The Minoans, The Iberians. And the list goes on and on.. It almost seems asif every country in the entire world has had their own slingers with Australia being the only exception.

Slinging as a sport.. The benefits..
Archery is a very populair sport worldwide while slinging is practiced by the few.
Making a sling is easy and the materials you need to make one are cheap. Ammo for the sling (when using rocks) is even free.. compare this with a bow.. But a sling has one important drawback compared with the bow. Learning to sling takes alot longer then learning archery.. hitting the bullseye of a target takes a long time with a sling, even from a short distance.. the bow clearly wins when it comes to accuracy.

If you want to know more about slinging visit It's one of my favorite websites and it's full of info when it comes to slinging and it has many tutorials on how to make slings.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Diary 6 dec

I woke up today, opened the curtains.. guess what...

Winter wonderland!!.. That realy put a smile on my face. I am the type of guy who hates the cold but what I do love is snow.. it's so beautiful, makes me wonder what the forests look like right now.

My garden right now, the snow is awesome and it covers all the mess as while.. yeah, it's my cat :)
In my last post I talked about making charcloth and I thought; if i'm making firestarters anyway, let's also make some cotton balls then.. so that's what I did.. getting some cottonballs and roll them in petroleum jelly (Vaseline).... it's a sticky bussiness I'll tell ya.
Works like a charm.. estimated burn time: 5 mins
I have been working on making a route and i'm now done mapping. It was a hard job but the mapping part is over so i can now focus on other stuff such as fixing my bagpack and i've also started making some clothing on my own such as a fleece pants that I will wear under my regular pants on days when it gets extra cold.
I am also working on gaining knowledge about tree identification and wild edibles.. don't want to be eating fish and meat all year round.
I was planning to leave next year in secret but i'm beginning to suspect that my girlfriend (if I can still call her that) knows more about my upcoming trip. maybe i'm not being careful enough. maybe i underestimated her, maybe i overestimated myself.. thinking i can just fool everyone.
And if she knows would she care? doubt it, good.. I do not hate her and she does not hate me (yet :)) but there is no love here. It does not feel like a relationship, it doesn't feel like friendship either.. we are just living in the same house, tolerating eachothers presence.... that's it.
We each do our chores, taking care of the kids and as long as she can buy all useless crap from my money she's happy...
... i'm not.. and once i leave her extra money will leave with me.. i'll find someone who would use it wisely, not her and not me either.. I won't be needing it by then.
Aaaarrgghhh... stop thinking about it!  Happy thoughts... *goes into meditation position*
                                             "Ohmm mani padme hummmm..."  
Chilled out? Good!
Well i'm off doing some more sewing bussiness.. it never ends.. Goodbye everyone!

Making charcloth

Bringing a few pieces of Charcloth with you in the woods might one day save your life and when I leave I will brings loads with me..
Charcloth is nothing more but a piece of charred cotton cloth that can be used to start a fire.

I have been doing this many times and here is how you can make charcloth..

Items needed; I piece of cotton cloth, scissors to cut it into pieces and a tin can of some sort with a hole punctured into the top to let the smoke/gas escape.. I use an old airgun pellet tin.. an Altoids tin will do fine... Make sure the cloth is 100% cotton!
Putting the cotton in the tin can
Putting it on a small fire on the kitchen stove and just wait for the smoke to come out of it
 In the outdoors it can be put on any campfire
Once it stops smoking it is done..
After we open up the can we can see all the cloth has turned black
After using a Firesteel, flint or any other firestarting divice on the cloth it starts to glow
Now with the help of some tinder we can start a fire.
With wood you can also use this process when making charcoal
You can use many kinds of tinder for this, natural or unnatural. Yesterday I also took the time to make some tinder out of yute twine.. excellent material when combined with smuldering charcloth

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Diary 5 dec

So what have I've been up to lately..

I have been on google maps yesterday, the whole day.  Like most people I do not have a GPS system on my bicycle, however I also don't have a printer.. well not one that works which is a f*#ked up situation.
So I found myself realising that I would have to write it all down.. the entire route from Holland to Poland! what a joke!! Writing down each and every street, if I would have to turn to the right.. you name it.

So that's what i've been doing yesterday.. writing down the entire route to follow. And I'm still in Holland on paper.. this will take a very long time and it will take many A4's.
Thinking about better options... There are special bikingroute maps I could buy and some of them have routes across Europe but these routes are often made for sightseeing and not for getting from A to B as fast as possible.
Another option is just to buy an Atlas, but these are entire books that take up to much space in my backpack and they only show the major roads.

Damn! why can I just make a route on Google and just print!.. keep on writing I guess..

Other things I've been going is working on my backpack. It's nearly finished but still needs some strengthening. I have also became a member of a Bushcraft/Survival forum because I could always learn more and to share ideas.

That's it for now. I'm off working on the route

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My sources of inspiration

Now you may think that what inspired me to do this was the movie "Into the Wild", it is nowadays the most famous account of a man who left society to live in the wilderness, but no.. The first time I watched that movie was after I made the decision to leave. It was a good movie but I would have handled things differently. Is was a good movie however to show how things should not be done. We probably all remember the scene where he spots a moose. He takes his rifle, aims, but then sees that the moose has a calf. So he dicides not to take the shot... I would have.. At that very moment he was a part of the wilderness, nature, and nature is harsh and to survive one must be harsh.

On the other hand he obviously had the same mindset I have now. Few people want to want to live in the wild and that's something he and i have (had) in common. And you have to respect the man for following his dreams. He died, but if that means he failed is all in the eye of the beholder.. At least he realy lived.
Into the wild

People who became more or less famous for being TV survival instructors were a big inspiration for me, especialy in the beginning when I was just learning about bushcraft and survival. I honestly believe that I have seen every single episode of Ray Mears Bushcraft, Dual Survival and Les Stroud's Survivorman...  These guys were my masters, they have tought me well (especialy the basics) about how to stay alive in different enviroments. But watching how a technique is done is only half of the learning proces.  Just watching Cody Lundin make a fire with a bowdrill does not mean I can do it too.
Cody Lundin from dual survival

Because practice makes perfect, watching a show about survival does not save your live, practicing that what was shown will.
I now more then ever the importance of practicing that what you have learned. Theory is nice but without putting it into practice nothing was learned.

Another source of learning skills are sites like Youtube. It's littered with tutorials on how to survive in the wild and every now and then you will find truly inspiring people.  Recently I love to watch the videos of a man who calles himself "trapperjack" on youtube and he has become an inspiration and something tells me that he spends most of his days in the great outdoors.
Be sure to check him out:

Monday, December 3, 2012

The making of a Billy can

Well, a very simple billy can in this case. but one that does the trick.. pioneer style :)

All I need was a tin can, a piece of metal wire and pliers

All the stuff you need
Making 2 opposite holes near the top
 Shaping the metal wire into a handle
Now I have some to cook with or boil water in for cleaning water or one of the other tons of uses.
I have honestly no idea how long this can will last, this ain't no thick, stainless steel cooking pot but this is how it was done in the old days and I seem to be some kind of a traditionalist. If it breaks down it realy isn't such a big deal, I could easily make a new one from all the rubbish people leave behind in the forests.. it's a curse and a blessing at the same time

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Why I travel by bike

Now you may wonder why I choose to travel by bike.  Well traveling from Holland to Poland with a bicycle seems nuts but cycling this long distance has it's pros and cons.
Let's take a look..

The Pros

  • Traveling costs.. No gasoline, no ticket.. total costs comes down to $0,00
  • Get anywhere.. Going through narrow streets, small sandpaths and alot of of other terrain that is inaccessible by car.
  • Fitness.. Simply because there's no other method of transportation that will keep you this fit.
  • Head straight into the forests.. If I would travel by plain then I would end up in another airport in another city. i'll need to get a map of that city, a taxi and find my way out of the city into the countryside. When I travel by bike I'll probably wouldn't have to enter any kind of urban jungle.

The Cons
  • Traveling time.. Let's face it.. a Bicycle has an average speed of 15mph (24km/h) an airplane such as a Boeing 737 has a cruising speed of 485 mph (780 km/h)
  • The weather.. heading aginst the wind, cold, rain.. these are all things that'll slow you down.
  • Bicycle Breakdown.. A bicycle is made of a few big parts and many, many smaller parts and it breaks down easily. A flat tire, a broken chain.. all scenarios that I have to prepare for. I'll will bring a bicycle-repair-kit with me but there's always a chance that i'll have to ditch the bicycle and go further on foot

The bicycle of my choosing

Well you can't always get what you want and use that what you already have and what I have are 2 simple bike's that are both broken so I either have to fix one of them (maybe with parts of the other) or get a new (or rather used) bicycle. This is a very important problem that needs to be solved quickly.. No bike means walking/hitchhiking a long distance and I do not prefer that method. A brandnew ATB would be best but my wallet doesn't allow it.

Also another reason why I don't go by plane is because I will be taking items with me in order to survive that the average customs agent wouldn't like. Sure, I won't be bringing any firearms with me but a few knives.. yes. I'm even thinking about buying an axe and all these items will raise questions that might get me into trouble. Cycling with all these items threu the open borders in Europe seems the best items.

Diary 2 dec

The everlasting journey seems to be always on my mind, every second, every day.
And it should because time is moving fast. 5 more months. Hope i'll be ready on time because i'm working with a deadline here. Sometimes I can almost picture how it must be.. I can almost see the pine trees in the snow.. The endless silence and peace I need so much.. I shouldn't romanticize the next years of my life and prepare for rough times.. rough but worth it.

At the moment i'm still creating and adjusting my backpack and is is nearly finished.
What it will look like once it's finished?  Well I'll be honest it probably ain't gonna be pretty.  Then again I never wanted it to look nice, I just want it to get the job done! which is; staying on my back and carry my items the next 600 (or so) kilometers.  Once the bag is finished i'll post pictures :)

Lately I find myself sewing like a madman. apart from the bag i'm also working on a woolen hat, pants made of fleece and even leather shoes made from a design that dates back to anglo-saxon england. An extra pair of lightweight shoes is just great. But I also have done other stuff such as making bone needles and more charcloth..... Always busy, no time to waste...

Well it's getting very late so I wish you all good night.  Tomorrow I'll write a section about why I choose to travel such a long distance with a bicycle while a plane or train seems like a better option.

See you then ;)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A quest for Fitness

Planning to bike about 700 km (434 miles) while living a lazy lifestyle is somewhat unrealistic (ahum) so I need to take a critical and firm look at my lifestyle, weight and overall condition.

Conclusion: It's a sad situation.
I'm 1.82 meters (7.1 inch) tall and I weigh about 60 kg (132lbs) if i'm lucky. It has been much worse when I was a kid but it's still very skinny.  Also my breakfast consists of sigarettes and coffee.. as a matter of fact, not having a cup of coffee or a sigarette in my hands is a rare occassion. No wonder my teeth are so messed up! My endurance and stamina also must be pathetic.

If there's a problem don't wine about it, solve it! so here's what i'm gonna do..

"If only I would get all that money back that I spend with buying smokes.. what could I buy?.."
Isn't that on every smokers mind?  I started smoking cigars at the age of 14 (no joke) and that's how all this shit started. I started smoking to prove something to my fellow classmates. it was cool back then. I ended up smoking because I was addicted and now i'm a diehard chainsmoker.
Time to put an end to this. I can't build up my condition with a cig on my lip and there are no tabacco shops in the boreal forest so i'll have to quit anyway.
This will be alot easier.. the addiction is just in my head. If I have no more cigarettes I panic, if I have no more coffee i'll drink water for days if I have to.. Been there before.

There's only one solution if you're skinny like me.. Eat more
I believe smoking is one of the reasons why i'm never hungry. Once i've quit it will be a lot easier to bulk up. luckily i'm the type of guy who will eat about everything and who has a thing for healthy food and a natural hatred for Mc Donalds.

Getting my ass of the couch is also a goal and work on my endurance. I will focus on walking and biking long distances (with and without backpack) as a preparation for my journey. Practice what you preach...


And finaly Strength training.. I do not aim to become a bodybuilder and I don't have to but I do have to wear that backpack all the time and my legs will have to take a beating if I have to bike for days on end. I have some minor fitness equipment... two dumbells, a jumprobe and some other stuff and i'll be focusing on bodyweight training.. sit ups, push ups and such since I don't have the money or time to visit a gym.
Full body workouts without a schedule for 3 days a week to start with is what i'm thinking.


Diary 1 dec

More then a 100 views!

That's not bad is you consider that this blog is still in it's early footsteps with a topic that doesn't appeal to most people. Thank you guys!
I will try to keep on posting on a daily basis with a variety of subjects.

So what have I've been up to lately..

I am started to realise the importance the importance of making a route because I don't know how about you guys but my bicycle doesn't carry a GPS system :)
But hold on! we still have Google maps which is a gift from heaven in a situation like this. So that is what I've been doing yesterday.. finding the best and quickest way out of this hellhole by bike.
From Holland to Poland.. here it is:

Now i'm not a computer expert but i'm sure there's a better way of posting just the map, couldn't figure that out so I went all "print screen" on this.
I have no freaking idea how long it will take me to get from point A to B, and I will often have to take breaks to eat, rest and to sleep of course. I am also in doubt about the amount of food I should take with me. I don't want to be in the centre of Germany biking on an empty stomach. Sure.. a lot of fishing, hunting and trapping equipment but without licenses those activities might get me in jail and I want to obey local laws as much as I can.
In Poland fishing without a license is also illegal but over there no one seems to care about that.

So you got to point B.. now what??

Well.. no idea realy except following the forest that, according to google maps go north untill you reach the Baltic sea. Once I've reached the coast I'll head east again, and finaly I have 2 options..

Head North towards Scandinavia.... In this area wild camping is always aloud and especialy Norway and Sweden are considered real bushcraft heavens.  A drawback however is that to get into Sweden and Norway is that I will have to travel far into the icy north in order to get into the warmer parth of southern sweden/norway as you can see on the picture below.

Second option: Head East into Russia.... Did you knew this?.. Russia has more forests than any other country on the planet. In total Russia's forests cover over one thousand million hectares, or 22% of the world's forest cover, an area larger than the continental USA. That is pretty impressive if I may say so myself so i'm lickely be taking this option.

Well that's it for now.. not realy a Diary entry like usual but an important subject. I'm now off to further on constructing my backpack.