Mittwoch, 15. Juni 2022
Dienstag, 14. Juni 2022
The title of the post is insanity.
You know perfectly well, why.
I do not need to go on lengthy about that. Because, well, who cannot relate to the fact that we delve ever more and ever deeper into its dark depths?
Life has become shitty. For you, for me, for most people on Earth, and it is not a secret that it is deteriorating.
You don't need me to tell you that. I do not like to dwell on that.
But there is hope. There is always hope. Never forget that. We will be fine.
We just need to stop believing in do-no-goods, banksters, hipsters and politicians.
Actually, I do not have a political alternative. I have no idea how we can solve all that shit going on in the world. And I can safely say that I have and had no part in it. But that is not helpful, either. I can only say what it is that helps me, and you might guess it.
It is the woods, of course. I find I am spending more time with trees and deer and foxes and hares and robins and thrushes, owls and eagles, bussards and salamanders, toads and axolotls, trout and badger and what have you than I do with humans. And if you do this you realize two things. The first thing is, how toxic the world of humans really is. The second is that it does not matter. Because just fifteen minutes in nature have a great and soothing effect on your soul.
I often sit in the woods carving myself a spoon or what have you. I give myself something to do. I keep learning a lot, every day, and it never ceases to amaze me how much there is still to learn, and that is a very good thing. I concentrate on that.
I got myself a Garberg Carbon, courtesy of www.westfalia.de, who offered me a deal I could not resist. And actually I was a bit shocked by its performance.
Do not get me wrong. I am a knifemaker myself, and while I do not do beautiful, and am my own worst critic, over the years I have learned to make some pretty decent blades for myself. I also do quite a bit of bushcrafty things, nothing fancy, and I am living that way, not doing it, if you get my meaning. I do a fair bit of woodworking and whittling, too. I own a great many knives, and the Garberg always reminded me of the Fjällkniven F 1, and I have next to no funds, so I always was a bit reluctant to buy a knife with a similar concept to that knife.
I was wrong. How wrong I was. ☺️
The first shock I was in for was when I was first given the package. Now I own quite a few Moras, and maybe that sounds nuts, but all of them have that special Mora feeling. You all know what I mean. While they still feel rock solid, they have that light "carry all day without noticing" feeling and the a very nimble balance. When I first took up the Garberg, I nearly dropped it, it was far heavier than I expected. This is not a criticism, by the way, I was just taken unawares. Balance point is a bit behind the index finger. Mora could better this by machining out the hind part of the tang a wee bit more to bring it a bit further towards the index finger to make it even more dexterous, but this is complaining on a very high level.
The package, by the way, comes with a sustainability certificate. That is Mora for you. Gotta love them.
Straight out of the box, sharpness left something to be desired, but just three strokes on a strop fixed that. After that it was scary sharp. Not just shaving, hair popping away in every direction. Awesome.
I harvested Chaga with it and rammed the tip into a piece of aged birchwood and levered it out sideways. It was not even warmed up by that kind of abuse.
I chopped antler with it. Now keep in mind that this is a Scandi grind with just a tiny micro bevel. You don't do this to that kind of grind. You simply don't. It came out with no dents or cracks or anything at all. It lost some sharpness, and that was all. You could still do these beautiful wood lock shavings with it afterwards, and in aged boxwood, which is very hard.
Actually I carved some twenty spoons with it, processed tinder conk, harvested Chaga and used it in the kitchen, used it as a chisel and a prybar. Of course it is not a kitchen laser, but it is still possible to make see - through onion rings and make short terms of taters, veggies and meat. Of course, due to the thickness of the blade, carrots and celary are split rather than cut, but if you adapt a bit, it also is an awesome knife for field cooking. The black coating is as good as new after all this abuse.
To date, I did not have to put anything abrasive near it. Edge retention is very, very good.
The handle to me is a really comfortable outright treat. Due to the almost symmetrical shape it also excels at in-reverse power cuts when whittling, which hints of an extraordinary performance when skinning. The blade shape would also excel at that.
The sheath comes with a rather coarse diamond hone and a fire steel. Both the spine and the protruding piece of tang are ground to 90°, allowing to use the firesteel with great efficiency. The firesteel snaps into a thermoplastic holder, with an awesome fit.
If I need to find anything not so good, it is the retention of the sheath. The knife can fall out when upside down. Given that this is a very, very good knife also in a tactical or military setting, I would suggest Mora could add some kind of mechanical retention device to secure it in these settings.
Actually this is the one knife. You can throw a lot of abuse at it and it is not even warmed up. But it is not a sharpened prybar, either. You can still - with some compromise, of course-use it for cooking tasks.
I am not impressed easily. But I am impressed.
I know some of you might ponder whether to get one. Do (If you can afford it). You will not regret it. I am aware that there are other knives on the market, like the Condor Terrasaur or several Finnish products. They might be good in their own right, maybe better and with a better value for money. I have not yet had the chance to handle them. But this here is not a comparison test, just a review. I do not get paid for it. All I can do is offer you my thoughts on this here knife. And given I have spent a lot of dough on knives, had I had a chance to get my hands on this, maybe it would have saved me some money. Actually, of course, there is a huge gap between, say, a perfectly able Mora companion when pricing is concerned. I, for one, understood the moment I first handled this. While a companion is really tough, too, the Garberg is neigh on indestructable, at least you get the impression. Even to have that feeling in the woods is reassuring and, at least for me, worth one or the other Euro more.
As I said, I can really stand behind this product.
Dienstag, 4. Januar 2022
Now you faithful readers know that I am a big fan of Victorinox knives and especially the forester wood, which might just about the perfect knife for light bimbles and hikes. So when the opportunity arose for Fritz to get one, I suggested he should fire away. He even got it for free. Now he cherishes a lot, and for fear of loosing it, always left it at home.
Whittle a glut or wedge.
With a controlled motion, using one hand to keep the wedge in the crack, turn it towards the top.
Split the branch with the wedge.
Still alive, smithing, leatherworking, knives, hatchets and a bit of woodworking-and a very shitty title for a post ,because it is too long 🤣
So folks, I do not know if you need that, but it is not just about Survival. It is about living. To me, life is good when it can be this way. Most of those things are for free, if you know how to. But even if you don't feel so inclined, a cuppa in the woods goes a long way in keeping you sane.
Please take good care, stay safe and sensible and don't care about every mumbo-jumbo you hear.
Hope to write again soon, yours truly,
Dienstag, 6. April 2021
I ate it with fried nettle leaves, fresh wild garlic and tomatoes, fried walnuts with fried nettle, lesser celandine, wild garlic and ground elder. You can also use chicken spice to make it more chicken - like. Actually it can taste very much like chicken with only a tiny hint of meal flavour. The more Umami you add, the less distinguisheable it becomes from real meat.
For me, it is poverty food, because those steaks cost me from 0.3-0.8€for a whole meal. I also want to try and make "hunger pills" from Seitan.
Actually, I will not stop eating meat, of course. But good vegan food is indeed possible. ☺️ ❤️
Sonntag, 7. März 2021
Went to Witten and passed by the Bethaus smithy. Since Volker has died, the place has changed very much. Now, don't get me wrong, my faithful readers know that the dude sometimes drove me mad. He was quite certainly not a professional. And from a professional point of view, that place has improved hugely. Of course it was only partially accessible due to pandemic restrictions, but someone really knows what he is doing. And actually I was a bit surprised to receive a warm welcome and an invitation.
But there is something missing, not just someone. Now Volker and I did not part ways professionally on the best of terms, because a lie on his part had cost me dearly (financially), but we remained friends. And of course I miss that strange guy. He was a kind and gentle man, and more, he tried to make it work for everyone. He was the heart of the place, a wild and chaotic and unprofessional heart. This spirit is gone for good. Instead, all the cogs are oiled and everything seems to work highly efficiently. Might be working there would be less chaotic, too. But rant as I may have had, now I ask myself if the old way might appeal to me better. It is just a question, not an answer, and given that they do not want me in the first place (at least noone wants to pay for what I do), it is merely academical. Maybe it is a mix of "don't know what you got until it's gone" and "the grass is always greener on the other side of life". Humans, myself not excluded, are strange.
Samstag, 6. März 2021
On the detour then I was in for my treat... Some chunks of frozen birch sap.
It was a really cool outing. Well, pardon the pun. But actually, I could wish for little more. Sipping your sap and your tea from a gukši you have made with your own hands with a knife and a carving hatchet you have forged yourself while preparing the Chaga you have just collected in a dish you have made with your hands is more than just comforting. It is not only strangely soothing in a world gone stark raving mad, it is empowering. Everything of these items was made from junk. From scraps of steel to scraps of wood to food most people do not see. And it is all connected.
We all need to change. Well, I never belonged at all, so maybe I can exclude myself a bit. A bit, because I still have to learn a lot. Most people think this means a loss of quality in life.
Personally I think, the opposite is true. This is how life is meant to be. I do not say this because I were a guru or something. We need less gurus and a lot of more common sense. It is nothing esoteric or philosophical. It is just getting the good stuff in, and then have a cuppa of the good stuff. And the good things are estimated as junk, and noone cares. But I do.
I, for one, came home deeply content. It was a feeling you got when you came home as a kid and got a hot cocoa made by your mother. Only that my mother is dead now and I get that feeling in the woods. There is so much good in the world. We need to learn to appreciate more and learn to be humble and grateful... As we were as Kids, when we got our hot cocoa made by our mothers.
And it feels plain and it feels good.
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