Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Vigu Survival Specialization Part 1/3

My last Vigu courses are coming up, a three course specialization in survival and bushcraft techniques. I would have taken my exam earlier if not for this specialization, which hadn't been arranged previously during my Vigu years and since I really wanted it, I applied for and was granted some extra time for my studies.

The first part was a four day course in ancient techniques, aka bushcraft techniques, in Ödeshög, a bit to the east from Vättern in Sweden. The course took place at Urnatur, and was led by Håkan Strotz, who is a very knowledgeable and inspiring person, with fascinating stories from all over the world. Due to a very busy life currently, I'll just show some glimpses from the course here.

We installed ourselves in a big tipi and immediately started to work on handles for our new knives.

Håkan Strotz

We slaughtered a lamb and learned how to use everything on it for different purposes.

Most of the time we had coffee available.

The blood for the lamb was used for blood pancakes. These were among the best I've ever had.

Håkan shows how to start a fire with a fire drill.

The main back tendon of a lamb can be split into threads, which are very strong and suitable for sewing.

The knive handle is not done, but getting closer. Birch bark can be used to make a sheath.

And a very functional saw, which you can make if you have a saw blade (can be in your belt), a little rope and two nails. The rest can be made fairly quickly with a knife.

My fire drill kit. I managed to start a fire alone quite quickly, though the second attempt didn't succeed. This needs more training.

And a traditional fire iron and flint. A very small spark ignites a piece of amadou, which can be transferred to something giving fire a little more easily, like juniper bark. Quite fun actually.

Fred took it to another level, by starting with a tree still standing. This is harder, but he was met with success.

Food in a cooking pit.

And some roasted lamb.

Just delicious.

A nice evening.

Some ways of joining branches.

Making rope from nettles. The result is surprisingly strong, though my first attempt was a bit clumsy.

A doll might have a little less immediate usefullness, but shows different ways of using the material.

That's it. This was a different approach than your typical survival and bushcraft course, but I confident that we will return to eating lichen in the following courses.

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