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Skinning My First Rabbit… Join Me in the Fur Shed!

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

Welcome back everyone! After the satisfaction of my getting my first catch, it’s now time to put this natural resource to use. I’m after a pair of rabbit fur mitts for next season. That means getting my first catch skinned out and eventually tanned. Join me in the fur shed. Let’s get to work skinning that rabbit.

WARNING!! This video contains graphic images of animals being processed for fur. Images may include blood and/or animals with their fur and skin removed. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!!!

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Welcome to the Fur Shed.

Ah… the fur shed! With it’s kerosene heater, bottle of whiskey and unmistakable feeling you’ve gone back in time! It’s awesome. Very nostalgic. Furs, traps and gear line the walls, and bits of scrap fur lay here and there on the floor. The fur shed is purpose built, and there is no mistaking what goes on there. This is a man cave, if ever there was one!

Skinning in the Fur Shed

Welcome to Tyler’s fur shed. Tyler was kind enough to let us film this video in his warm and comfortable fur shed. The atmosphere was awesome. Traps, furs, whiskey! It was great!

You can see in the background of the shots above and below, a coyote and two foxes that we had just skinned prior to beginning the rabbit. These were my first canine skinning jobs and I enjoyed the work immensely. It was a great learning experience. These furs were donated as practice furs for me to work on. I have one of the foxes tanned up and hanging on my wall at home now.

Anyway back to business. I admire my catch one last time and then get to the business at hand. Turning that catch into a rabbit pelt.

Im going to be skinning this Snowshoe Hare

Here I am, still so proud of my first trapping catch, admiring the beautiful specimen.

Let’s Get to Skinning .

Now the step by step process is much more fluid in the above video, but here are the basic steps I follow when skinning a rabbit. I’m sure I could break it down into even more detailed steps, but to be honest I feel that would over complicate things. It’s actually not rocket science and you just gotta get in there and go for it. Your first skin or two might be a little jagged but you will learn really fast. It’s a simple learning curve.

Step 1

You need to start somewhere and most trappers start skinning from the hind end. The first thing you need to do is cut a ring around both ankles and remove the rear feet.

Skinning Step 1... Making the Ankle Cuts

The first cut you make is a ring around both ankles.

Step 2

You need to open the pelt up so you can pull it off the carcass. First identify the line from the ankle to the vent. You can see a fairly slight change in the color and direction of the fur on most animals along this line. Use this line as your guide. You open the fur from the ankles to the “vent”. The vent is the skinning term for the poop shoot. But we don’t say poop shoot. We never say poop shoot! Unless we do say poop shoot. In which case we just say poop shoot. Anyways… it’s the vent.

Skinning Step 2a... Identify Ankle to Vent Cut Line

You should be able to easily identify a change in color pattern following a line from the ring cut at the ankle to the “vent” of the animal. This is the line the next cut will follow.

Skinning Step 2b... Making Ankle to Vent Cuts

After removing the feet you now place the knife under the skin. Make a cut, following the fur color line, to the vent. Do this for both hind legs.

Skinning Step 2c... Ankle to Vent Cut Finished

Here is what it will look like after you open the fur from the ankle to the vent. Do this for both hind legs.

Step 3

Now it gets easier. You will feel you’ve really gotten somewhere after completing this step. You’ve already opened it up on one end so now all you need to do is pull the pelt away from the flesh. You can basically think of pulling off a sock. Just roll it down off the carcass.

Skinning Step 3... Removing the Fur

Now that the lower portion is opened up it gets really easy from here. Simply pull the fur off the rabbit as if removing a sock.

Step 4

Remove the front feet and pull the front legs out. The only tricky bit to this part is getting it started. What you need to do is poke your finger through the sinew under the “armpit”. Right between the skin and the meat. Once you have this accomplished you can use the front legs to pull against, removing them from  the pelt. Do this for both front legs.

Skinning Step 6... Pull Out the Front Legs.

Once you roll the fur down as far as the “armpit”, remove the front feet and then pull the front legs out of the fur as if pulling them out of a sleeve of a coat. Do this for both front legs.

Step 5

Now you just have to finish up and cut the pelt free of the carcass. Basically just continue pulling the pelt off as you did before up over the neck and as far up over the head as you can. For species like mink, muskrat, otter and others this is a must. These species must be perfectly removed from the carcass to be marketable. In the case of rabbit, they aren’t even typically sold at large fur auctions, so it doesn’t really matter. I was trying to see if I could do it on this rabbit but I blew it. Rabbit skin is very thin.

Skinning Step 5... Finishing Up Over the Head

This last step is just a way to get all the usable leather and fur you can. Continue to pull the fur off over the head as far as you can.

Step 6

Once you have the pelt free of the carcass you simply split it straight from vent to chin along the belly to open it up… Then open the front legs, identifying the same sort of fur patterning as you did for the rear legs.

Remember to open your pelt up and salt it well to remove moisture and preserve it till tanning. Lay the pelt fur down and salt directly on the bare leather, making sure to cover all areas of the pelt. I did not show this in the above video. I should have, I’m sorry. I will show it in the tanning video I have planned for the near future.

My Furry Prize.

With the skinning done and opened up I admire how clean and soft it is. A job well done I’d say. Typically with farmed rabbits I had been cutting the heads off and going in from front to back, so this was a bit different for me. I’m sure I’ll get more proficient with time.

Beautiful Fur

Again I beam with pride. I have skinned rabbits before, but this was special. I’ll never forget my first catch as a trapper!

So again, I’d refer to the video above for more detail, but there you have it… Rabbit Skinning 101! As mentioned above, I plan on doing a tanning video in the near future. Stay tuned as this future article and video will complete the process of turning my catch into usable fur.

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Snaring My First Rabbit! Come see!

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

I’m so excited right now! You can see it on my face as soon as the video starts! I snared my first rabbit! I got home and got right to editing so I could share with everyone. A pristine snowshoe hare! So white and clean in his deep winter coat. Just beautiful! Join me and see my first catch!

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Making the Find.

So I headed out to check the line again. As a trapper you have to be patient. That comes with the territory. You do your best… then wait it out.

I didn’t know if I would be successful or not. In the interest of getting that first catch recorded though, I took the camera. Man, was I glad I did! After finding a few empty snares, I came around the bend on my little snare line and there… just off to the left under some low cover, was a rabbit in one of my snares! I actually was mildly shocked for a few seconds. It took a moment to register that I had actually made that first catch. I was soo excited!

Finding the Rabbit

Here you see the rabbit just as I found it. Snared cleanly and quickly around the neck.

The Look on My Face!

At this point, after making the find, I set up the camera and began filming. I wanted to let my viewers know I had snared my first rabbit. This was what I had been waiting for! My face beaming from ear to ear I began to express my excitement.

It takes commitment to get into trapping. Here in New Brunswick you have to take a trappers safety and certification course to be legal to trap. I had to travel one hour each way everyday to a nearby town where a course was being held. We have laws on which traps are allowed for specific species, as well as for the seasons we are allowed to trap within. Needless to say getting the education and knowledge to begin an activity like trapping is a lot of work. I was feeling very fulfilled to finally make my first catch. The effort and the time had been worth it. The feeling was memorable to say the least. I’ll never forget it!

The Happiest Smile Ever

This picture was taken from just seconds after I discovered my first catch ever! I was practically bubbling with excitement.

I’m a lot of things before I’m a trapper. I’m a son, a husband, a father, a brother, and employee… you get the point. So to take on a new hobby and really give it your all takes some sacrifice. I’m a beginner with a lot to learn, but catching that first rabbit was a great feeling. You just have to try it.

Hoisting My Trophy

Held up high, my prize files me with a sense of fulfillment and relief that I actually finally had achieved success. I had invested much time in effort to get this far. Very proud moment.

My Prize, A Perfect Snowshoe Rabbit (varying hare).

Fully grown, with a perfect winter coat, my Snowshoe Hare or Snowshow Rabbit, was beautiful. I just call them rabbits typically.  Call them what you will… this one, as far as rabbits go, was a beauty!

For more information on the Snowshoe Hare see the link below.

Admiring My Catch

Just a perfect specimen. I was very proud here, and also very excited to have the camera with me. I was very happy to share my excitement with everyone.

Common Hare

With their winter fur pattern in full effect, these guys are really hard to hunt without a dog to flush them out. If they are sitting still you likely wont even see them.

The season came and went in a real hurry! I hope to get a lot more snares down next season and really make a go of it. For now, I’m just glad to have made this first catch. Looking forward to spring muskrat season now. Stay tuned!

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Checking the Trap Line and Improving the “Funneling”

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

Hey everyone… let’s go check those snares! After my last video I went and placed 7 more snares for a total of 9. I spent a lot more time “funneling” around them to guide the rabbit towards the snares. Let’s go see if my efforts paid off.

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Just a Quick Trip Out to Check the Line.

Working a 40 hour week as many of us do, finding the time to check snares or to have a hobby like trapping at all can be tricky. Many trappers end up running out at night to check their lines. Needless to say this is a bit inconvenient, but one does what one must. I fight on the front lines as a weekend warrior as well!

I put these particular snares in a few days prior and had done a better job with the funneling than in my first few attempts. It really does make a big difference. These being some of my very first snares I’m still learning every time I touch the wire!

Improved Funneling Around the Traps.

For snares to be effective, you really want to do everything you can to direct the targeted species to the snare or trap. This is called “funneling” as it creates a natural guidance towards the snare. In the chance that something does come along near the path of the snare, the funneling will block their way from going around snare. The path of least resistance will be the opening where the snare is.

It’s really easy to do too, as everything you need to do a good job of it is right there in the woods. Branches, sticks, leaves, rocks, anything really can be placed in such a way as to direct traffic towards the snare. Experiment, use what’s on hand. You can’t really do it wrong. You can do it poorly maybe, like me on my first few snares, but any amount of funneling increases your chances.

Use natural funneling

In this instance I used a naturally occurring fallen branch to tie snare to. I also added some additional twigs and sticks to hide things in.

Funneling Around Snares

Using small well rooted trees that occur close together you can easily fill in around the snare.

Thankfully “funneling” is not a difficult task. The more time you spend at it the better your chances and the easier it will be. Just try to picture how the animal might see the ways around the snare and prevent that if possible.

The One That Got Away!

Upon checking one of my snares I found the brass line stretched out as tight as could be and the snare itself was snapped right off the end! There are really only four possibilities.

  1. A predator heard the distress call and came in shortly after and snatched it.
  2. A rabbit got snared poorly, possibly around leg and got away.
  3. A human discovered the catch and took it.
  4. Something much larger found itself temporarily detained by a tiny brass snare.

Now I presume to think a coyote or a fox got it. My reasons? There are a ton of coyotes and fox in my area! Lol. A few centimeters of fluffy powder had fallen that AM. Under this very recent light powder, there was hard packed snow that had previously experienced a mild thaw and refreeze. This would have made passing undetected before the powder fell very easy on top of the frozen crust. Can I say for sure this is what happened… nope! If it did, the culprit must have taken the catch somewhere else to make a meal of it. There was no sign of blood or struggle.

It’s also possible the rabbit got snared around leg only in which case he would easily have been able to escape. This is also a likely possibility. In which case the small loop with nothing to hold it shut would have eventually sooner than later just fallen off.

Then there is the possibility of human interference. Do I think another trapper came and took it? No not really. I mean it’s possible, but it’s a remote spot and only accessible on snow shoes. Seems a great length to go to for a single snared rabbit.

It’s also possible that the aforementioned predator themselves got snagged up and quickly broke free. This also lines up with the hard packed snow conditions. It would have been hard to tell it ever happened unless it had happened after the powder fell.

No matter how you figure it, something got away! I had something in that snare and it was gone. I have been thinking about it ever since, deliberating over the possible causes. You be the judge.

Snapped Snare Line

I can only assume that either the rabbit got leg snared and broke free, or a predator took my catch before I could return.

Future Success?!

I can’t say, but tune into the next article to find out. You’ll be glad you did! And stay close to Outdoor Adventurecraft as we get underway with our Winter Expedition Series.

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Tying My First Rabbit Snares. Come learn with me!

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

Having just taken my trapping course a few months ago, it was high time I got out to lay my first snares! So I headed out on a beautiful -20c Canadian day! I even had a chance to have a fire and fry up some baloney too. I hadn’t had a chance to chill out in the bush for a long time! Join me… learn something and relax by the fire.

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Newbie Disclaimer!

This video captured what where literally my first two snares ever! Before this video, I had only ever read about or seen videos about how to tie a basic snare. I took my certification course recently as required by law here in my province. What you see here is me diving in! I’ve got a lot to learn. I am by no means a source for expert trapping advise. What this video does demonstrate is that anyone, regardless of skill level, who has an interest, can enjoy trapping! Just go for it! Get legal and stay safe!

Just little ol' me tying some snares

Just out on a nice day learning to tie my very first snares. I was very happy to get my trapping hobby started.

How to Tie Rabbit Snares.

A snare is the most basic of traps. It’s both primitive and modern. It’s been used for thousands or years. In modern times snares are often brass, stainless steel or even braided steel wire for larger species. Because of the simplicity of design they can be made simply out of any strong cordage material. Thus the interest shown by the bushcraft and survival community.

All you will need is some snare wire, a pair of wire cutters, and your hands. Let’s get started. Anyone can do it.

Step 1 – Wrap Short End Around a Twig.

This is pretty straight forward. Starting with about 4 feet of wire, take the last 3 inches and make two wraps around a small twig. Some people only use 1 wrap, that’s fine too. I do two wraps because it creates a locking ring to better prevent the snare from reopening.

Create the Snares Locking Loop

Start by wrapping your snare wire around a small twig.

Step 2 – Twist Short End Back Around Wire.

Using the twig with locking loops in one hand and with the tip of short wire and the rest of the wire in the other, simply start twisting the twig. The shorter wire will twist back down around the length of the rest of the wire. It helps to start with the end of the wire and the rest of the length angled apart at about 90 degrees. This method is nearly foolproof and virtually guarantees a tight even bond between the two sections of wire. This method uses the twig as a perfect handle to simplify to job.

After you’ve twisted the short end down the longer end about an inch if you still have extra I just started wrapping it back up towards locking loops. In my beginners opinion this seemed to add friction to the twists and further prevent escape. You want a strong snare.

Form the Snare's Locking Loop

Twist the short end back along the wire ensuring the locking loops wont open back up when snare is under load.

Once you are finished twisting your twig handle till the locking loop is tightly formed and secure, you can simply break the twig at the point where the wire goes around it and presto it’ll pop right out. See above video for clarification.

Step 3 – Thread the Loop.

This is the part that turns your wire into a trap! Once you thread that locking loop with the long end you basically have a slip knot or snare that will tighten on anything that gets caught in it and tries to pull against it. Aim to make your snare loop a little bigger than your fist.

Thread the Locking Loop

Simply bring the long end of the wire back through your locking loop and you should start to see the snare forming.

You can start to see how that second loop acts as a lock now… When the snare is pulled tight, without the second locking loop you have just a strained loop that the long end might move back through. With the second locking loop, when under strain the inner loop is able to bind 360 degrees all the way around the wire thus preventing slippage or loosing off of the snare. Try both and test them by putting a piece of firewood through the snare and look at the results of the second locking loop.

Step 4 – Put a Bend in Wire to Prevent Unwanted Movement.

So now that you basically have the snare finished, you will notice at this point the whole thing just sorta moves around where ever based on the springy nature of the wire. Wire has metal memory and can take some convincing to get to do what you want it to.

I make a gentle round 180 degree bend back along the snare and then a gentle bend 90 degrees up. This creates a pocket in the snare wire for the locking loop to rest and holds the size you set the snare too

Get Kinky With You Snares

You need to bend the snare loop to prevent the locking loop from sliding out of its desired position.

Step 5 – Celebrate your first snare.

You are now a trapper, albeit an inexperienced one who has never caught anything yet! It’s a start and you should be proud! Dance a little jig!

Step 1 – Wrap long end around tree more than once!

You may need to experiment with the right amount of wire to start with to make sure you can wrap around more that once. You want to rely on that friction of the wraps around the tree rather than the twists you place in the wire. Wrap any remaining wire around the tree until you have no less than 4 inches of tag (more is fine) to lock it on to the snare.

Setting Snares

Make sure you put plenty of wraps around the tree you intend to use. Rely on that friction not just the twisted wires.

Step 2 – now twist the tag and snare Together.

One tip I have noticed, is try to engage both wires in the twisting. Don’t simply wrap one wire around the other. Try to make both wires wrap around each other. This can be achieved by angling both wires away from each other 45 to 90 degrees as you wrap them around each other. Get a nice obvious spiral going with the two wires marrying together nice n tight. Again if you get slack, wrap it back towards the tree.

Step 3 – position Your snare.

Set snare opening to just larger than your fist and set about 4 fingers above the ground. This is no hard science. Just try to imagine the size of your target and position of head when coming down the trail. Set accordingly.

Setting Your Snares

How you set your snares is important. I use large fist size snares set about 4 fingers off the surface of the snow or ground. In this set you can see I choose the location because there was already some natural funneling available. This can actually often be the case if you are observant.

Step 4 – Funneling.

In trapping, funneling refers to closing in around the trap in such a way to guide target towards the snare. This increases the odds of a catch. Is it 100% necessary? No. Will you catch more with good funneling? It’s very likely. Use your best judgement. If you have a really obvious game trail that is well traveled, too much change to the scenery may make the target suspicious of the change. You may get lucky with what is called a blind set, a snare set unhidden unbaited on a well traveled trail.

In the above video I lacked much by way of decent funneling. If you check out my next video in the series, you can see much more attention paid to funneling around the snares. This helps to guide your target towards the snare. In the next video I come back after setting out many more snares to check them and to snow the funneling I worked on.

Some Time to Myself! Finally!

Not many snares were set on this my first outing. I wanted some time to myself to relax and enjoy a fire. After a few days, I went back out and put out a bunch more snares. The more snares out the better the chance of results.

Having found a nice piece of dry standing wood, I went to work processing it down. I didn’t need a big fire. Just a small cooking fire.

Harvesting Dry Standing Wood

Getting fuel for a little fire. It’s good to take some time to relax.

I decided to use some dry tinder I had been storing in my bag. It had been in there for a long time and I wanted to cycle it out. I had made a primitive folded pocket for the tinder from a rabbit pelt. It was tied shut as one would a parcel with natural jute twine with a bow on top so it could be opened easily. More tinder can be collected and my stash replenished next time I’m out.

Birch Bark Tinder

I always carry dry tinder material with me. When dry tinder is available at site I prefer to use that, however sometimes I just want to cycle my stash. The oils in Birch Bark all but guarantee a fire.

Using the birch bark from my pack and a brush bundle made from dead spruce and fir twigs I found at site, I was easily able to light my standing dead wood fuel. This gave me sometime to warm up and reflect by the fire. A fire in the woods by myself offers me untold peace and replenishes me deeply. It had been too long and this was much needed. The whiskey I brought added a nice touch too!!!

Reflecting by the Fire

This sorta thing needs to happen often if I’m to be a balanced individual! Seriously, sometimes I just need to stare into the fire and work out my priorities. That’s where it all seems to make sense.

To wrap things up I had a little baloney fry and was able to share a few more thoughts with the viewers of the above video. I thanked them and I thank you the reader here too, for joining me to learn something and experience the outdoors via my adventure on that day. I had a great time, learned a lot, and am happy to share the experience with you as best I can.

Frying Some Baloney

Having a bite to eat in the cold winter air is awesome! It doesn’t matter that it’s just a slice of plain old baloney. To me… in that moment, it was heaven!

Till next time… Don’t eat yellow snow!

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Tracking Small Game

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

I was out hunting for rabbit, partridge and squirrel on a mild winters day so I brought the camera along. I did not have an opportunity to harvest anything on this day,  however I did have a chance to talk a little about gun safety, knife sharpening and tracking small game

While this is no comprehensive guide to tracking, I hope you can pick up a few ideas for your next trip out. The atmosphere was great and the time in the bush was very relaxing. Join me for a beautiful walk in the woods.

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Tons of Snow makes for easy tracking!

Late 2016 has seen an insane amount of snow fall here in eastern Canada. In and around the trees the snow often is 2 feet deep. This was shot in late December, it’s now January as I write this and I can’t wait to see how much snow we get in 2017!

Finding and identifying tracks and game trails is very easy in the snow. Having taken my trapper certification course in the summer of 2016, it’s a great way for novice trackers like me to learn.

Deep Snow

I do sometimes wear snowshoes, but I find them cumbersome for hunting. Needing sometimes to crawl in tight spaces to retrieve game.

On this day it was very warm and I was only wearing long johns and pants, with two layers of wool socks in insulated work boots. Additionally just a t-shirt and heavy sweater. I was actually sweating!

Tips on Gun Safety.

Walking about on uneven terrain with a gun can be very dangerous! It’s important to keep your safety on and your finger well out of the trigger at all times! With multiple layers of crust and differing snow densities, progress was often unpredictable and jolting. You could easily have an accident if not diligent about gun safety.

Gun Safety

Please please please be careful out there friends! One mistake could be fatal. Some mistakes you will not be around to make twice.

Small Game Tracking.

As I progressed deeper into the woods, the game signs became more and more evident. Here’s a few descriptive pictures showing some tips on tracking small game in the snow.

Natural funneling. Tracking Small Game

Notice how game is blocked left and right and passes through center of frame. This would be a great place for a snare.

Game trail near tree. Tracking Small Game

Notice how the snow is packed down into a trail as they move to go around this tree. You can also see under the fresh snow the dirty marks from their feet.

Rabbit Tracks Tracking Small Game

Hopping down the bunny trail! Notice the direction of travel as they land on their front feet first then rear feet before taking next hop. Tracking rabbits is really easy!

Real nice trail! Tracking Small Game

Again, really obvious rabbit trail. You can see the depression and the discoloration very clearly. This tells you that you are hunting in the right area.

Obvious Rabbit Hutch Tracking Small Game

This entrance led into a clump of downed trees and roots. With lots of snow insulating it I bet they are very comfortable in there.

The key to tracking is observation. You need to get used to the typical lay of the land, then look for where it has been changed by the passing of animals. This is obviously way easier in the snow! I had it pretty easy. As I grow in experience, I look forward to tracking in all seasons.

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OneTigris K9 Tactical Vest Review, Plus First-Aid Kit Loadout

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube

Hi everyone! I’m excited to bring you this product review of the OneTigris Tactical Dog Vest and Training Harness. Köpek and I love this product! I hope you can benefit from having a look at it with us.

I also do a load-out of the first-aid kit I put together for one of the included pouches. It’s designed with dogs and heavy trauma in mind and picks up the slack where some smaller kits leave off. Read on below for full article.

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Out for a stroll with Köpek in his new harness from OneTigris

A few months back, I found a nice overgrown path about 20 minutes from town. It’s heavily forested, quiet, and secluded… I have been frequenting it ever since. It’s an ideal place to take a dog for a walk. He can roam free off the leash, since there are no distractions for him.

OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness

Looking very smart and prepared in his tactical harness from OneTigris.

It’s a great trail for me too. It was likely a fire wood cutting road sometime in the last 20 years. Unused now and away from the city and suburbs, it’s and ideal location to play survivalist once in a while.

Abandoned Wood Road

Roads and trails like this can be found just off the main roads almost anywhere, if you keep your eyes open.

A Prepared Dog is a Safer Dog

The primary reason I approached OneTigris about doing this review was my concern for  Köpek’s safety in the woods. First and foremost, dogs have needs just like us. Those being shelter, water, and food. I wanted a way for Köpek to be able to assist me in caring for those needs. Secondly, First-Aid was a concern because, well, simply put, things can and do happen!

The OneTigris Tactical Vest and Training Harness comes with 3 pouches which easily attach and detach from the vest. The vest is built heavy and sewn well. I especially liked the large range of fit adjustment available in the straps. I found the system for attachment of the pouches to the molle webbing is well designed and easy to use.

One pouch I use to store his food in. This container can also double as a water dish. In the other main pouch I built a trauma oriented First-Aid kit.

Food Pouch

This large single section (no dividers) pouch makes a great place to store a meal or two for your pup. The food container doubles as a water dish for convenience.

First-Aid Pouch

Here we see a well divided pouch with many sections, ideal for building a custom First-Aid kit in.

Small Pouch

This additional small pouch makes a great EDC pouch for your dog. You could pack options like a flashlight, fire starters or cordage.

Köpek’s First-Aid Kit

As mentioned, one of the main interests I had in a  harness or vest for Köpek, was to have him carry a First-Aid Kit. One of the included pouches made a great place to start. I used the included subdivided pouch to help me organize the kit.

First-Aid Kit Closed

Here we see the pouch I choose to use to built the First-Aid kit in. I acquired a patch indicating that this was a medical kit. In addition to being functional, it looks awesome!

First-Aid Kit Open

I designed this kit to be primarily focused on heavy trauma or blood loss.

The kit is build to treat heavy blood loss or trauma. It would make an excellent kit, in my opinion, to treat wounds on the limbs or punctures to the chest or abdomen. The kit isn’t complete and will likely undergo many iterations, but here’s the loadout as it stands now:

  1. One 4″x15′ compression bandage
  2. Two 3’x5′ elastic gauze bandages
  3. Five triple layer non stick compression dressings
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide
  5. Polysporin Complete
  6. Quick Clot clotting sponge
  7. Aquatabs water purification tabs
  8. Two Glow sticks
  9. Two small Carabiners
  10. Five 3M Steri-strips adhesive strip wound closures

New training leash from OneTigris

In addition, my buddy Han over @ OneTigris sent me one of their awesome training leashes. The length of the leash is adjustable. The system allows for up to about 10″ to be taken out or added to the leash in 1″ increments. The shock absorbing section of the leash allows for easy training of the dog, providing gentle pressure in the desired direction. Last but not least, my favorite feature of the leash is the control handle near the buckle up close to where it connects to the collar. This allows for close tight control of your dog when needed.

Training Leash

A shock absorbing, adjustable leash with a few great features.

Review summary

After owning this harness for a few months I am very pleased with it! Köpek is very comfortable in it and it looks great on him. It’s built strong, yet light and the fit is outstanding. At $79, the price is great too, especially considering you get three great pouches included with the vest. I recommend this product for sure! THANK YOU ONETIGRIS!

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Bush Camping & Knot Instruction

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

In part one of the video, Jesse my brother in law and I head out for a night in the bush. We cook up some grub, have a drink, relax and get plenty of smoke in our eyes. It was a great night! Come along and join us!

In the second part of the video I get down to business demonstrating the Double Fisherman’s Bend, the Prusik Knot and the Lark’s Head Knot. If you would like to skip straight to the knot portion of the video you can scroll to 9:09 in the video and get right to it. It’s up to you, but you’ll miss a great night in the bush.

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A Chance to Get Away from it All!

It’s nice to escape, even if just for a while! I had an opportunity to get away for the night to do some bush camping, so I took it! It was totally worth it, what a great night! I also took the opportunity to show you fine folks a few more knots.

Join me for a night out in the bush. I promise you will enjoy! Welcome back to Outdoor Adventurecraft.

Hiking In

Being in the Boreal Forest in Canada, our woods truly can be referred to as bush. Thick undergrowth and dense softwood can make travel difficult at time.

Semi-Permanent Shelter

After a little hike in we arrive at my semi-permanent shelter.

Rub a Dub Dub, let’s Cook up some Grub!

You guy’s n gal’s know I love my gruel. This night was no exception. Some deer steak and maple beans were the main course of the evening. I fried up the steak in olive oil and Montreal steak spice, then cut it up into the maple beans. It was heavenly but as Jesse noted, had the appearance of dog chow! Hey, it’s not always about what it looks like, it’s all about how it tastes!

Deer Steak

After fighting with wet wood and finally getting a decent bed of coals, we cook up some grub, deer steak and maple beans! Delicious!

Eating Deer Steak and Beans

Eating our dog food…er… I mean beans and steak! It did however look a tad like dog food, good thing it tasted amazing.

Waking Up is Hard to do!

With a full belly and a little whisky in us, dealing with the smoke burning our eyes out didn’t even seem that bad. It was still nice to eventually get to bed, and climb into the embrace of a gently rocking hammock. We shot out of bed the next morning at the crack of dawn! No not really, it was 9:30 before we got up. Life is hard in the bush.

Hammocks among fir

We stayed up pretty late despite the smoke burning the eyes out of our heads, so these comfy hammocks were very welcome.

Flint and Steel

Got another opportunity to practice my primitive fire making skills.

Purifying Water

I set my shelter about 150 feet back from a small river. It’s nice to have water close by.

To the Business at Hand…

So after waking up… slowly… and getting some breakfast and a hot beverage, I set about the instructional portion of the trip. I had after all come out here to create new content for my YouTube channel. It can’t be all fun and games, can it? So I set about showing a few more knots that could be useful for setting up a tarp on a ridge line. Basic stuff I know, but fundamentals are important.

If you’d like to see how to set up a good taut ridge line before you set up a tarp on it, check my article here…

Demonstrated in this session are the Double Fisherman’s Bend, the Prusik Knot, and the Lark’s Head. Together with a good taut ridge, these knots are ideal for helping set up a tarp.

Double Fisherman's Bend

To make a loop for use in the Prusik Knot, the double Fisherman’s bend works well.

Prusik Knot

The Prusik Knot has been a long time favorite of mine for rigging tarps among other things.

Lark's Head

Here we see the Lark’s Head form after creating it.

Lark's Head Use

The Lark’s Head can be used to hold a button rock or toggle in place in a tarp for easy set up of shelter.

All in all it was a productive and relaxing night escape. Good food, good drink, and good times… what more could you ask for?  See you next time.

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Flint & Steel Fire on the Dungarvon River

Hello again everyone. Ever feel like you don’t get enough practice at your traditional fire making skills? For example flint and steel fire? Join me on this backcountry adventure and let’s practice together.

flint and steel fire

Practicing flint and steel fire along the banks of the Dungarvon River.

The Majestic Dungarvon

This weekend past I was able to get some serious dirt time in the Canadian Boreal Forest. We stayed at a remote hunting camp on the Dungarvon River called The Whooper Hollow Lodge. Only accessible by four wheel drive, over severely washed out roads, it’s blissfully cut off from the rest of the world. It’s closed now but in it’s hay day it was a popular camp for hunters from all over North America to come for guided hunting and fishing in the New Brunswick bush.

Heading west from the camp, Jesse and I found a nice bank along the river to sit and chill out on for a while. A peaceful spot to make some tea and practice our bushcraft skills. This gave me an opportunity to attempt a flint and steel fire. I am still learning the technique, and I can tell it’s going to take years to perfect.

Dungarvon River

On the banks of the Dungarvon River. Famous for it’s Atlantic Salmon fishing! Cut off from regular roadways, the area is pristine and unspoiled.

Using Flint & Steel

The basic premise to flint and steel fire is using a piece of flint to shave tiny pieces of iron off the striker. The tiny filings basically rust so fast they catch fire. There are more in depth scientific ways to explain it, but honestly that’s basically it.

One thing to always think of when starting any kind of fire is advanced preparation. Especially with more difficult methods like flint and steel. You’ll want to make things as easy for yourself as possible to turn that tiny spark into a roaring fire.

Step by Step Instructions:
  1. Prepare your fire pit, kindling and fuel ahead of time.
  2. Prepare a combustible birds nest shaped tinder bundle of dried grass, cedar bark or some other dry highly flammable tinder.
  3. Prepare a brush bundle as an early kindling method for when that tinder bundle catches fire. Brush bundle could be dead fir or spruce branches or some other stiff dry brush material.
  4. Place some char material on flint piece. Holding flint at a 45 degree angle,  strike flint with steel trying to get a spark to form an ember on the char material.
  5. Nurse char ember into the bird’s nest and blow gently to form a bright hot coal.
  6. Move nearly flaming bird’s nest carefully into the brush bundle nursing the coal as you go, ensuring it doesn’t go out.
  7. Blow starting easily then getting stronger as the smoke increases until the bird’s nest erupts into full flame igniting the brush bundle.
  8. Add to fire pit, then pile on small kindling and eventually larger fuel.
  9. Don’t forget to prepare more char material for your next fire.


Striking flint with steel

With char material in place on the flint, hold flint pointed up at 45 degrees and strike down with steel.

dry grass fire starter

Using a birds nest of dry grass to hold an ember in a piece of char cloth.

brush bundle

A bundle of dry brush makes excellent kindling for your newly started fire. This bundle is dead fir and spruce branches.

char material

Preparing char material for your next flint and steel fire.

A Video Demonstration

Check out my new video where you can see this demonstrated! Enjoy beautiful scenery on the Dungarvon river, learn skills and more at Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

OneTigris Review

I was also privileged to bring you guys another OneTigris review! They sent me a beast of a pack!  Check out the video for a full review.

OneTigris Pack

Check out my new bug out/bushcraft pack from OneTigris. I love it! Thank you so much Han@OneTigris

Making Friends

Take a look at this monster. Likely one of the biggest spiders in Canada. More info can be found at…

dock spider

This guy tried to kill me! We call them wood spiders around here. But I believe they are also called dock spiders. This guy was along the river so I guess that name makes sense.

See You Soon

Well I hope you enjoyed your time on the Dungarvon River with us! It was a great day and I was glad to share it with you.

Heading home

Now to trek back to the camp. We found it easiest to just commit early to having wet feet and just walk in the river. Its a great way to stay cool too!

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Two ideal ridge line knots

Two knots that I personally love for tying up ridge lines are the anchor hitch/bend and the alpine butterfly. When combined these two knots provide an ideal high tension ridge line that doesn’t bind and can be easily untied.

Now you can use any number of knots to tie up a line but I personally use these two mainly because of the ease of untying them and I’m able to remember them… lol.

This picture shows a completed Anchor Hitch or Bend it’s also called.

anchor bend knot

The anchor hitch or bend is an ideal high friction knot

Here’s a look at the first major step and then the completed Alpine Butterfly.

Alpine Butterfly setup

The starting setup for the Alpine Butterfly as demonstrated in the video below.

complete alpine butterfly

The Alpine Butterfly when finished. Its a pretty knot actually.

First attach your line to one tree with the anchor hitch, then use the alpine butterfly to tension the line at the other tree and complete by finishing with a second anchor hitch. You can see this demonstrated in my video here…

Please forgive a few errors in terminology. The formation of the knots and demonstration were completely accurate… In a few instances however, when going “under” part of the knots, I was saying underhand. In reality when you bring your working part “over” the standing part, even if you then go “under” and through, you started by going underhand. I’m sure you can see how it can be a bit tricky to use exact term every time. I always want to be as clear as possible. I will improve and get better with each video in this series.

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Emergency food Supplies

Have you ever worried about how you would get adequate nutrition in a disaster or emergency situation? You may not have access to enough food to stay alive! Check out this review of The Survival Tabs, an emergency meal replacement.

Here’s a quote from their website, “The Survival Tabs are meant to keep you alive and going for months at a time. A person can survive 4-5 months by eating The Survival Tabs exclusively. One daily serving of 12 tablets contains 240 calories, which gives the body the basic daily nourishment required when the recommended calorie intake cannot be met. The Survival Tabs eliminate the need to forage for food in situations where you are lost, stranded, or trapped”

I tried them and was impressed with their performance. I was able to put in a full days hard work relying on them as my staple food. I now keep them in my survival kits and bugout bags.

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