120 Minutes. I believe that this is a critical period of time that if you can keep your brain occupied doing something useful you will fare better in a survival situation. It provides enough time to do something meaningful to improve your situation without becoming all-consuming. It is a period of time to make something that can be improved upon later. Its 1/4 of an 8-hour day, a time block many of us are accustomed to.
A few weeks ago I started a new challenge. I based on the two hours I have to spend while Abby is at various band practices. I’m lucky that I only have the one kiddo and not a van full that I have to run from event to event. I don’t like vans…
I have about 2 hours that I can do just about anything I want while I wait. I have used that time to read from my book list in my quest of 15-20 books a month, write my own blogs, booklets, flyers, etc, and mindlessly surf the social media sites. I decided to be a bit more productive and learn a new skill set. I decided to work on mini projects that could be done in short order. Here are the guidelines that have developed out of it:
- Produce something useful for my outdoor life in under 120 minutes.
- All items must be in or placed INTO my pack prior to working on the product (dye is excluded since I already have had one bottle break on me).
- Must be items I normally carry, however exceptions can be made for final look and feel (stamped letters, etc. though I do carry a few stamps but no hammer—use wood to strike/baton)
- Items that do occupy my pack include:
- Speedy stich sewing all
- Leather awl
- Needles including Sail, Leather, Sewing
- 6×6 Denim and 6×6 BDU/ACU
- 10×10 Leather (works as a back-cushion for my Frost River pack)
- Thread: Artificial Sinew, Processed Sinew, Bank Line, Cotton, Nylon
- Bees Wax
- Brads (6-8 #12s), small cutters, and punch
- Leather Punch
- A tool for marking where the thread goes
- a few random stamps like feet and letters for my name
So far I have created a few cool items. They don’t look great since first, I am really new at this (less than 6 produced pieces) and I am working agianst the clock for funtionality and not form.
Learning the basics of doing work like this provides a few advantages.
- A useful skill in the bush
- A psychological advantage if lost of stranded, keeps my mind occupied
- I have stuff I made not bought.
Sample of my 120 work:
I made a Hussif or Housewife Bag before starting this endeavor. a small sewing bag to hold all my stuff in my pack. Still I needed a way to hold all my sewing, leather, and sail needles along with a speedy sticher awl.
Mag Glass Frame
I needed a way to protect my mag glass, my latest fetish for fire starting on days we have sun. I had seen several of these, and though it’s not pretty, it keeps my mag glass well protected. I also made a much uglier sheath for it.
These have been fun to make and making the 120 was not possible until I decided to not use glue and keep it strictly brads and thread to keep the sheath together. Since then I have progress to not using brads on projects. BTW- I do throw in extra leather for sheath projects.
My Tomahawk rides on my ruck sack and I really didn’t like the cheap mask it came with. I made this a few weeks ago while I waited for Abby in the parking lot for band practice. The one item I did not have with me at the time was a snap to close the case. Going down to the local arts and crafts shop to buy one is included in the 120 minutes.