Every year in the port of Naha, Okinawa Japan, the world’s largest rope is constructed of rice straw for the annual great tug-of-war, or O-tsunahiki. Over 600 feet long and six feet in diameter the rope is central to the main event of a 400 year old tradition at Naha, the world’s largest Tsunahiki festival. […]
If you are fortunate enough to spend a week at summer camp as a Scoutmaster here are a few ideas from a former camp director that will make your stay a good one. Any camp director will tell you that the biggest difficulties of any summer season come not from the scouts or their staff […]
Night falls on the first day at summer camp; the big opening campfire is over, the troop has returned to the campsite, the Scouts are preparing for taps. Just after we end the Patrol Leader’s Council a young scout, at camp for his first time, is wandering around the edge of a pool of lantern […]
Campfire Cafe is a television show about campfire cooking. Lots of information on their website including recipes, tips and podcasts. If you really want to do it right, you need to learn about different firewoods, cooking gear, cast iron pots, and accessories that will make the job easier and the cooking experience successful. There are […]
Philmont Scout Ranch is a BSA High Adventure Base offering an extensive program of treks for Scouts. Here is how to rig a 12×12 tarp (a method I have heard called the Philmont dining fly tarp) to stand up to strong winds and rain. This rig will keep about eight people (who get along fairly well) out of […]
A tarp creates an dry island of refuge if it is properly rigged; if not it becomes a flapping, dripping, water-catching pain. Here’s an idea from Cliff Jacobsen’s book Camping’s Top Secrets on rigging two tarps to create a chimney to keep a fire going in the rain. Here’s a view showing how the tarps […]
Normal camping tarps have some weaknesses; grommets may tear out in heavy wind, there are never enough points to tie onto and while most people use a center pole to hold the tarp up it typically falls down when the wind picks up. Cooke Custom Sewing’s Tundra Tarps solve these problems and incorporate several other […]
A nice setup for cooking at a long term camp the Chippewa Kitchen in this drawing is lashed out of eight foot poles about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Naturally you can scale the kitchen to available materials or conditions as you see fit. Note the pot drying rack and worktop. No sooner had I posted […]
Christopher Molloy has published an excellent online edition of ten out-of-print Bushcraft Books by Richard Harry Graves: The 10 Bushcraft Books’ are the seminal texts on bushcraft and this on-line edition (based on the first edition of the book set) has been released to share this unique source of knowledge. Originally written as wartime information for […]
The Ropes and Poles Blog features a friction lock table design that I am anxious to try: “Friction locks the whole table together. There is one rope stopping the entire thing from spreading out and falling apart, running across the table (from left to right,under the table top). No lashings are used at all in this construction.” I […]
I put this booklet together for our scouts when we were working on pioneering merit badge. Knots, lashings and methods that were absent from or poorly explained in the official merit badge book are included. The average merit badge book is rather dismal; hopefully this one is a little more engaging.
Building a campfire is, for many, an elusive skill.
I actually made a canoe paddle, and plan on making some more. My new paddle served me admirably on many miles of paddling over the past seven years. Making Canoe Paddles is as complete a treatment of the subject as one could hope to find. Making a paddle is a challenge but the authors explain every step with well-illustrated […]
Anyone planning a canoe trip of a few days or a few weeks will benefit from studying Jacobson’s careful treatment of the subject: he offers solid, tested techniques and then points out the many ways things could go wrong. He uses stories from his considerable experience to illustrate how important it is to plan carefully, not […]
Kneel always when you light a fire – John Oxenham Sit at your camp fires conscious that it gives us more than heat and light. We have passed on the simple skills required to kindle a warming flame for millennia. We are united with the past around this common hearth gazing into the embers, dreaming dreams. Archaeologists […]
Towers are tired, bridges are boring, camp gadgets are colorless, tripods are trite. Here is something new in improbable pioneering design. Please send me pictures of your completed structure.