Skills Day 2006

The Manuel Lisa Party completed a skills weekend on January 6th, 7th, and 8th, 2006.  It was attended by Gene Hickman, Walt Walker, Greg Muich, Mike Nottingham, Karl Wessel and guest, Ron Garritson.  The party focused on completing necessary requirements to enable members to finish Bossloper and Hiverano qualifications.  The weekend started with the joyous arrival of friends that had not seen one another for a couple of months.  On Friday evening, we constructed a grass mat with a primitive loom of willow branches lead by Gene Hickman.

   walt loom.jpg (593282 bytes)  

We finished out the evening with a presentation on tracking by Walt Walker and Mike Nottingham.  On Saturday morning, we put the skills to use that Walt and Mike had described so thoroughly the night before.  The use and benefit of a tracking stick were highlighted.

    Karl loom.jpg (541849 bytes)

We continued our primitive skills training with cordage making where we learned from Gene that the key to good cordage is to wind three stands of natural material in one direction first and then the opposite direction around themselves.  We completed cordage from yucca leaves that we processed and linen tow and practiced braiding.  

yucca.jpg (677158 bytes) Yucca Ready.jpg (1014362 bytes) Yucca Cordage.jpg (734172 bytes)  

Rope Making 

Gene&Karl cording.jpg (799146 bytes) karl winding cord.jpg (470052 bytes)  

We then moved on to a discussion about naturally adhesive materials like pine pitch and hide glue.  We made a glue stick from pine pitch and use the pitch to secure an arrowhead in a shaft prior to hafting.

  arrow point.jpg (519926 bytes) wrapping flint poing.jpg (490066 bytes)  

Flint knapping was a crucial part of our education.  

gene knapping.jpg (541687 bytes)  

Using a flint knife to cut willows 

Walt Shard Cutting.jpg (796155 bytes)  

Primitive Fish Spear Construction 

Karl cutting willow.jpg (897148 bytes) gene wrapping spear.jpg (568096 bytes) Gene Fish Spear.jpg (483378 bytes) Karl Fish Spear.jpg (769605 bytes)  

The skills that we learned this weekend are critical in our quest to become self-sufficient in the wilderness.  We will continue our education with primitive traps and shelter building so that we will ultimately be able to construct shelter and gather/prepare food with only materials found in nature.     

MikeLoading.jpg (912992 bytes) Mike Shooting.jpg (826969 bytes)


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