Saturday morning saw me heading south to Cape Fair, Missouri to cut some firewood with my friend Brian. A large white oak had fallen on a friend of his' property and we went down to make it fit in a fireplace. We spent a few hours hacking at it with axes and I got to wield a chain saw for the first time.
The last time I was down there was a few years ago, when Brian and I stayed in the cabin on a weekend fishing trip. I love the place. Just enough land to make things interesting and just enough living space to be comfortable in. The cabin has a single room on the bottom floor, divided into a kitchen and living space with a fold-out couch for sleeping and upstairs is a sleeping loft.
After making it back to Brian's house in Battlefield, I hightailed it over to Sequiota Park to meet my wife Abby and daughter Gwen, they were traipsing about the place with a coworker of hers, Brandon, his little girls and I think a cousin and his little girl. They were having a blast climbing all over the rocks by the pond and checking out the shallow caves.
We also took a little walk up in the woods above the pond. Gwen's first time off paved trails. She did admirably. I'll make an outdoors person of her, yet.
Sunday, I attended the Basic Survival Class put on by Ozark Adventures in conjunction with Hiking the Ozarks and Satori Adventures and Expeditions . It was a lot of fun. After a couple of hours of classroom time, we headed south to Busiek State Forest for some hands-on training.
Given an equipment list of a fire striker, bandana and a water bottle, we were instructed in ways to make a fire, create a water filtration system and build a shelter for escaping the elements. I teamed up with a couple of guys I struck up a conversation with at the parking lot, named Eric and Preston. I think Eric was from the Branson area and Preston had driven up from Harrison, Arkansas.
We managed to pass inspection on each account. The part I was most interested in was the firemaking without use of a lighter or matches. A striker is an interesting tool to learn how to use. Last night, after we'd put the kiddo to bed, I went out into the garage and played with it again. I managed to light up some dryer lint in about 20-30 seconds. Considerably quicker than the fuzzy cedar bark we used in the class. I'll be collecting some lint for future use in an emergency survival kit I plan to put together.
In the Intermediate and Advanced classes, I'll get to learn some animal and fish trapping methods, as well as wild edibles. Looking forward to those quite a bit.