Category Archives: Training Journals

Intermediate Training Journal- Outing #9

I’ve been enjoying adding these to the blog site here— a great reflection of the training I did as well as getting time out in the woods with the family. I had Abby go through the basic certification so I could get an independent validation of her skills. It was fun to watch her skills grow and improve.

24 November 2-14

I still need two more overnight outings which this DOES NOT include- but did want to keep an accurate account of learning.

This one was special because it involves the teaching and metoring of my awesome daughter. Abeni has loved the outdoors since she was walking. She is my warrior princess. On this outing, I set aside many of my own experiments and focused on training her as she is in the pursuit of her Basic Certification.

A wet, sloggy, and cold day was spent on the Black Canyon Resivoir in SW Idaho. Together I taught her the following skills—some of these were common to her—others new—but all needed to be recoded for her to get credit.
Setting a Tarp
Simple Snare
Lanyard for Fire Steel
Custom Fire Steel
Metal Cooking Device
Whipping a Tool and Rope
Char Natural Material
Hat Full of Shavings

Of course–teaching her made me better at them as well

Intermediate Training Journal- Outing #8

Another random (well backward) posting of my training journals–

24 November 2014

I had to do Outing #8/ Overnight #1 twice due to weather and being an awesome husband and rescuing my bride from the recent snow storm and artic blast.
Not only focused on the overnight- I wanted to revisit some of the previous skills I had been learning- knock out a few required and elective classes, and continue my fascination with natural chared materials.

Venturing out to the wet post-snow single digit temps along the Payette River in SW Idaho, I set up on what has to be the world’s largest cobblestone field. I specifically looked for an area that would allow me some solitude- yet not interfere with deer season. It was tough—but I know a little postage stamp area that has limited public access to do this.
On my first trip – I used my poncho as my improvised shelter so I would get credit for that part of the class. On my second journey however I was too excited about using my new BCUSA tarp and stayed in that instead. I will knock out my improvised shelter on another planned trip this week –so not worried about it—I use my poncho and visqueen all the time—so no big deal.

Temps were punishing all week—but I caught a break. Sleeping in a heat wave of 14 degrees at night and 27 as a daytime high…. I caught some relief though— 

I found an old cardboard tube that after unrolling it—was going to use for a fire reflector- and after consideration—opted to use it as my improvised bedding— which was great for several reasons— about a billion cobblestones in my back, a cold damp ground where everything under snow became everything under water, and last….credit for the improvised insulated bed. 

I also worked on Splitwood Fire #4 (video says #3) – opting to use lodge pole.
I tried several other charring experiments including various bark and seed pods. Will post pics later….

Got quite chilly after my fire lost the battle to a down pour about 4 am or so. I did get up from my dry shelter area and fixed hash browns and bacon. I fell asleep for about 5 min while the bacon burned…in my part of the world—we just call it “blackened”.
Headed back into town to grab my kiddo to bring her out to work on her basic skills.
Here are the short vids—will post linger vid and pics later…

On a side note— love my new BCUSA tarp— was the first time I ever used a ridgeline.


Intermediate Training Journal- Outing #7


So there were several mini-projects I had to do inbetween outings. Making dity bags and saws were just part of the skills to better prep me for the outings….

21 November 2014

Cold day–temps have been single-digit. I wanted to do a splitwood fire (#3) in the snow since I had never done that. I had also been wanting to try the axe I just revived as part of one of the electives. I also wanted to try sparking with an improvised device, so I used an old file to strike rock I found along the river, to light a coal in basswood/cotton wood….as well as make new char material. 

I was also in need of a sheath for both my axe and one of my old survival knives.

Fir was wet from sitting in the snow and rain the past week and was kind of hard to get going. Was glad I had made plenty of pencil and 3-pencil sized pieces because it took allot to keep it going. I used bark as a base….since I was able to get down to dirt.

The sheaths were made from card board and duct tape– I got the idea from one of Ranger Joe’s vids I saw this week.


I also got to use the new (to me) axe I hung as part of the exercise.

Sparking the basswood with an old file I cut and grinded worked less than OK…but did the job. I was most proud of the materials I gathered for tinder—mostly grass, but a few seed pods as well.

I cooked potatos in the fire and hung out with the dogs.

Something pretty evident– I need winter boots and pants. My boots were soaked.

I was also pretty proud of the sheaths I had made 

Intermediate Training Journal- Outing #6

Adding to the collection of training journal entries-

2 November 2014

The day started with my kiddo in tow to do a recon of the area in High Valley to see how much snow our training area got. With her a few weeks out of ACL/MCL repair on the knee– I didn’t want her tromping through snow, so we moved back down to the Black Canyon area.

Light winds, but everything was soaked. I had her working on her skills of seting up a tarp and starting a twig fire. I did a split wood (unknown species at this time) fire and finished up my last fire lay— the pyramid…and threw in key hole for kicks.

We grilled some cow on the fire, hung out, discussed music lyrics, and each practiced some of our skills. I did some more experimenting with charring.

Splitwood and Pyramid Fire Lay

Bow Drill Lessons

This is from my original journal posting for advanced training. Since this posting I have gained a valuable friend in James Stone who has taken on the role of mentor in so many things outdoor.

Since this lesson I have become addicted to friction fire and am now in week 10 of 52 doing the minimum one bow drill fire a week and have even been able to do a hand drill fire.

Had to call in a mentor—and very fourtunate to have STONE (James) fill that roll. I used this as time with my other Adventure IQ buddies to get some dirt time. James is able to break everything down so well—he made learning the bow drill fun to learn. I was able to get three fires using the skills he taught me—and all the guys came away with new skills and confidence.

As you will see in the video–  was able to get fire with  
Yucca on Yucca
Willow on Yucca
Yucca on Cottonwood
Willow on Yucca

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Intermediate Training Journal- Outing #5


Still adding more of these as I find them…

A big part of the training course focused around completing task required during your outings. During the intermediate I had to make both a bow saw and buck saw– both of which I still use today. I also had to do some fire craft on this trip

1 November 2014

I have been looking for a day where it was wet, windy and cold. I am using an area along the Black Canyon Resivoir. I needed an area to work in that would be fairly accessible when the snow and ice hits in a few weeks. I had to deal with high winds, and even inds shifting as a front passed through- changing the layout of my shelter.

I chose to fast starting at 2 pm yesterday and not eat while on the trip. I wanted to observe how I would do when hungry. I finished my field problem at 4 pm today and promptly headed to the best buger joint in Emmett. I have done food deprevation when younger, but I wanted to know how my body and mind would react 20 years later…. I get cranky….

For outing #5 I worked on several skills. I really like how these build on each other. I chose to do more charring, work on the teepee fire lay and star fire for one of my required classes, and build a bow saw. I also to really like all those ridgelines I made, and used techniques out of the wrapping class in the Basic course. Also a great day out with my pup.

Pics and Video from today showing my x3 bundles, the saw I built, and my pup loving on me….



Intermediate Training Journal- Outing #4

More of my training postings– on this one I took my buddy Brad, his mom, and family out to Silver City– they had lived in Idaho since the 1950’s and had never been up there— so I used this as an outing since I was teaching the kiddos how to do some bush skills…

26 October 2014

Took some friends out to silver city today since I needed to look at a few new areas. taught the kiddos on the trip how to use fire steel, gather tinder, and where to set up. also taught a few knots and how to twist

Used this as both a teaching opportunity with a buddy’s nephew, collect up some stuff to char and experiment with as tinder…. found a great fallen cotton wood that gave up its inner bark to play with and practice making cordage….

Intermediate Training Journal- Outing #3

More from my Intermediate outings–as a side note– the date is reflective of when I posted online and not the actual date of the event.

All of these outings were a great excuse to get out to the woods and be productive- as well as relax.This is the same way I now manage my time in my BushLab.

25 October 2014

After a good night’s rest at home I hit a new area north of where I live. Its along the high valley road around sweet, idaho. I worked on sheltering, a few lashings, sewing, cooked a meal, and set up a backstop for my fire. I also experimented with nartural tinders to light with my fire steel.

Intermediate Training Journal- Outing #2

Continuation of posting outing from my Intermediate Certification in Bushclass

25 October 2014 (Toiyabe NF Nevada/California)

For outing #2 I was in Toiyabe NF on my way home from a week in California. I did a hunt for materials to char and light— then realized they are in a burn ban so I decided to just hike around. I did find some enormous pine cones to take home for some kind of project. Got some hammock time and did get a few hours sleep for the long drive home (6 hrs in the hammock) Rested I headed on home.