Looking to sell a Left-Handed Hawken .54

I received the below notice about a left-handed Hawken gun for sale.  If you are interested, you’re welcome to contact Patrick.

Hello my name is Patrick and I live in San Angelo. The rifle is Italian made and was purchased at Cabelas a few years ago. I’m selling the rifle due the fact that I don’t have the time nor the place to fire the rifle on a regular basis. The rifle was fired approximately 30 times. Many Items come with the rifle. . .

 

The items included with the rifle is as follows, Pyrodex Powder, Measuring Powder Horn, Wad Patches, Shot, Primer Caps, Extra Ramrod, Cleaning Kit & Manuals. Also with the rifle, I’m giving away the 2 half-full antique boxes of 410 shotgun shells shown in the picture… I’m sending what pictures I have, pick out what you need, Thanks Patrick

 

.54 Hawken

He is asking $500 and can be reached at in_nirvana@msn.com

– Many Rifles

Hemp rope resources

I recently grew tired of using the stinky rope they sell at the local hardware stores (also called “sisal rope,” by those in the settlements) in my shelters and was looking for a more period-correct alternative.  Rope is an extra with wedge tents and the like, but is crucial to setting up a good diamond fly or lean-to.   Increasingly, I am going back to my diamond fly days when flying solo at events.

I have heard that hemp rope was more period, but also harder to come by.   It’s also lighter and much stronger.  While searching for the same on the internet, I came across a company that not only offers different diameters of hemp rope, but also hemp webbing and cloth as well.

In addition to their rope, Turkey Creek Trading Company and Forge offers a selection of event and trekking goods – and a good variety of trail foods and dried edibles.

Thinking the breaking load was optimistic (about 3-4 times the strength of sisal rope) I ordered some of their 8mm rope for my diamond fly (803 lbs breaking weight).   Being a fan of spreading shipping fees across multiple items, I also ordered some parched corn for an upcoming pack-in.

The rope arrived and it was dense and extremely strong.  Though it worked great (I could have kept my diamond down in a gale), it was probably overkill.   I am going to order the smaller (6mm – closer to 1/4″, 404 lbs breaking weight), which will pack better and be easier to tie into knots.  They make an even smaller rope at 4mm (3/16″, 215 lbs breaking weight), but I thought this was just too thin . . .

Oh, and the parched corn was great, too.   I am planning on trying out their Salt Cured Bacon at a Fall event, but more on that later.

You can check out their website here

Re-seasoning Cast Iron

I probably should say seasoning cast iron, but when you’ve had an old dutch oven sitting in a shed for the past 3 years, I think it’s more of a re-season.

Back in 2007 when Otter Woman and I were hitching up the wagon to our new encampment, we had quite a few projects that were “in progress” – one of which was an old cast iron dutch oven that we’d recently used at an event. Prior to the move we did our best to remove the petrified remains of my poor attempt at biscuits (fire hardened in the true sense of the word).

About two weeks after our move Little Otter was born and we sort of forgot about the pot. Over the next couple of years we day-tripped into events and the dutch oven slowly migrated around the garage, outside into the shed – and finally onto the back porch where I had to stare my lack of responsibility in the face every time the kids and I went in and out of the house.

To mark my triumphant return to overnight rendezvous’ing, I decided I would clean and re-season that old dutch oven once and for all . . .

Having no idea how to remove 3-year old biscuit carcass, I strolled over to the Interweb and did some searching. I found a few suggestions, blended some ideas and added a few of my own.

Here’s how it worked:

1. Removing the petrified biscuits

I did a few things here – one site recommend a mix of white vinegar and water, so I took a mix of this and with a piece of steel wool, went to town on the rust. As described, it worked out pretty well, but for the old biscuit fossils, I had to get at it with a small crowbar (seriously). After a lot of elbow grease, it finally removed the rock-like dough.

After all of this, I then washed the oven (lid and bottom) with dish soap and water to remove any residue from the operation. I also dried it with a cleaning towel to make sure there was no more water on it.

The dutch oven got a light surface rust immediately after drying, but I figured it would be no big deal after the greasing.

2. Warming the pan

Set the oven to 225 degrees. When the oven is ready, put the dutch oven and lid (separate on a cookie sheet) in the oven for 5 minutes to warm up. When it comes out, it’s plenty warm.

3. First coat of oil

Once the dutch oven was warmed up, I took it out (remember the hot pot holders, she’s warm!) and set the whole mess onto the stove. I took some vegetable oil (am sure bacon grease, or olive oil would probably be fine, too) and coated the whole thing – lid and bottom – and wasn’t shy about it.

After that, let it sit in the hot oven for 30 minutes.

4. Wipe and finish cooking

After 30 minutes, remove the dutch oven from the oven oven and wipe it dry. There may be some pooled oil on the bottom of the dutch oven and the corners of the lid. I used a wad of paper towel to hold each piece up and used another paper towel to dry the dutch oven and re-distribute the oil around it.

When this is done, the dutch oven goes back into the oven oven and cooks for 30 more minutes.

When I finally took the dutch oven out of the oven after the process it looked great. No more rust, no more bad spots – ready to try another attempt at biscuits and peach cobbler.

Even Otter Woman, who is the chief health inspector at our house gave it a passing grade.

Give it a try and you, too can bring back an old dutch oven from the dead!

Townsend’s Traveling Physician

The question invariably comes up about first aid kits for the pack or haversack on period events. Whether or not to carry modern medicine is up to the individual (personal prescriptions are always recommended), but being an EMT, I tend to err on the side of bringing modern medical gear (though hidden in period containers – marked clearly with a red cross).

Jason Townsend and Sons has come up with a period-correct medical kit that is just what the doctor ordered.

Check out the great video below . . .

Late Summer Sale at Historic Angling Enterprises

Just got this email from Claudia about a sale at Historic Angling Enterprises, Paul Jones’ website for period correct tackle from 1400’s to the Mid-1800’s

Here’s the message from Paul:

If interested, I respectfully ask that you take a look at the sale prices on some of my period correct angling items and related goods. The sale ends on September 25, 2009.

www.historicanglingenterprises.com

If you are members of any period reenacting groups or fly tying or other relevant discussion forums, I would appreciate you considering posting and sharing this link. Thank you.

Regards Paul W. Jones

For those of you who’ve met Paul or seen any of his fly-tying or period fishing demonstrations, you know that he really knows his stuff.

This is a good chance to pick up some first-rate, period-correct fishing gear for your haversack or period survival kit.

– Many Rifles

When to not be period correct

One of the great things about the buckskinning hobby (lifestyle?) is everyone can take it as far as they want. There are some folks who love the idea of taking one blanket out into the woods or to an event and just throwing down on the ground. Others really like to bring out their “canvas castles” and set-up a fancy camp that would rival even Captain William Drummond Stewart.

Most events will set the ground rules for what is and isn’t ok beforehand – from primitive pack-ins where one’s accouterments and gear is scrutinized for accuracy to larger public events where pilgrims can walk among veterans in all states of dress.

I try my best to be as historically accurate when attending events, but there are some modern items I alway make sure are on hand – regardless of the time period of the event.

Being a volunteer medic, I always like to make sure I have a few essential items on hand, and I am also very serious about making sure I always have fresh, clean water to drink.

First Aid

No one likes getting hurt and this is my ultra-small list of essentials I make sure are always in my haversack. Feel free to be offended that I bring these out, but please have no shame in asking me if you find yourself needing anything while out on the trail.

Pain meds: Pain meds are good fever reducers as well as their obvious benefits in helping alleviate pain. However there are usually other liquid pain relievers at most events that are probably just as effective. Remember that ibuprofen primarily helps muscle-related pain and acetaminophen not only reduces pain, but also helps with severe itching due to insect bites and poisonous plants (pain receptors are riding on the same nerves that tell us to feel itchy, so it really works), so choose accordingly. I always bring out at least 2 doses of ibuprofen – usually 4 pills.

Allergy meds: I love the spring when everything is blooming and the fall when the weather changes again. Unfortunately these are also my prime allergy times and since I have a habit of throwing my bedroll down on this viney, leafy plant that seems to make my brain try to swell out of my head, I always make sure to pack along at least one Claritin-D.

Anti-diarrheal meds: One of the leading causes of death in the 1800s was diarrhea. Seriously. If you are planning on trying to forage on mystery plants and small, rodent-like animals, make sure that you have some of our modern “miracle” medicine to make sure that you don’t loose a dangerous amount of fluids while out trekking. Pack at least 2 doses of immodium or its generic counterpart.

Roll of medical tape: My theory is that I don’t need to pack along a lot of bandages if I have all of the makings of bandages right there with me. In truth, any clean cloth will do, but I like to have the added protection of completely covering a wound to keep out contaminants and then dealing with it when I get back to civilization. I always bring along a small roll of the waterproof kind.

This isn’t intended to be a primer on wilderness medicine, but the basic rule of thumb is that if you can pack out of the woods in 48 hours that is less time than in takes most infections to set-in from cuts or lacerations – but make sure to wash all out wounds (except serious burns) with clean, fresh water and let dry prior to applying a dressing. Any wound that is serious – that is bleeding that can’t be stopped, loss of consciousness due to trauma, falling from any distance over 6 feet, etc. – should be packed out immediately.

Anyone with known allergies should always bring along their epi pen or inhaler. If you are on regular meds, make sure you bring out those as well. Ten miles away from your car and your cell phone is no place to find out if you really do need those blood pressure meds.

I also really recommend taking a class in wilderness medicine if you are planning on spending any appreciable amount of time in the backcountry. Not only is it good for your own safety and the safety of your crew, but it’s great peace of mind for the family members who worry about you when you are in the woods.

Water purification

While many of us love the romantic ideal of wandering through the woods and drinking from crystal clear streams and springs, the reality is that its just not a good idea.

I have heard two schools of thought on this. One is that the 20th century has gotten us so used to ultra-purified foods and water that we are unable to deal with bacteria and viruses that has really been around for as long as we have – probably longer. The basic idea is that since we are more or less out of the habit of consuming these little nasties, we are basically getting sick with something that we would have already had to deal with earlier in life, in a more primitive time.

The second school of thought is that we are polluting our environment so much more – toxins, heavy metals, cow feces – that there simply isn’t many spots on earth that aren’t contaminated.

To be honest, I think it’s probably a little of both, which is why we have to make sure we can decontaminate all water we use in a wilderness setting.

Filtering water takes the nasties out of the water, while purification kills organisms that are in the water. The important thing to remember is that while purification will work against living nasties – bacteria, viruses, and other baddies – anything that is not alive to begin with – heavy metals, fertilizers, etc. – can’t be rendered inert by the purification process. These elements must be filtered out.

It’s for this reason that I recommend two steps to make water safe in the outdoors – filtering and purification – whether chemical (with iodine tablets or chlorine-based chemicals) or by boiling – which is much easier on the authenticity of an event.

Some contaminants – like giardia for instance – are even somewhat resistant to water purification chemicals and must really be boiled to ensure they are rendered inert.

There are all sorts of smaller water filters at places like REI and in about a million locations on the web. I recommend going into a backpacking store and talking to someone there to get an idea about what to buy. You’ll also want to have someone who can demonstrate how to use the filter as they can be a little tricky when you first start playing with one. Make them do this before you even buy the filter. You certainly don’t want to learn how to use it when your canteen is empty and you are two days walk from the last water source.

The good news is that many backpacking filters are small enough to fit into a small leather or canvas pouch and throw into your haversack. If you are worried about ruining the ambiance of an event, just grab the crew bucket or a tin pot, shamefully walk over to your water source, and then do the filtering away from the rest of the group.

Your crew may not like seeing the plastic device, but you only need to get sick one time to appreciate how great they are. Just remember that filtering is the first step and make sure to boil the water back at camp. Once boiled, you can let the water cool and then add it to your canteen or water container. Some vigorous shaking of the container (make sure the lid is on) helps get rid of the flat taste of boiled water. I think the end result tastes better than using tablets and it’s also much more safer.

Be careful! 🙂

– Many Rifles

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make a Ranger Hat

Part of the fun of moving is seeing how the dogs react to the new environment. Because of the new baby our stuff is more or less in controlled chaos and things that would normally be up from paws and teeth are too close to the ground. The buckskinning room is still in progress . . .

Anyway, I came home the other day to find that one of our dogs, Cheyenne, had gotten her paws on my nice tricorn hat. She managed to chew most of it up, but upon giving it a second glance, it seemed like a good candidate for a modified ranger “jockey cap.”

The work in progress.

Cheyenne – orchestrator of the ranger jockey hat project.

The final product. It needs a plume or some other cool decoration.

Cheyenne will not wear the new hat.

To quote from Zaboly’s excellent Osprey book on the American Colonial Ranger:

Noted one British officer, “Leather caps are much more convenient, & less troublesome than Hats, in our Excursions thro’ the Woods, and by Water.” Another remarked that it was “better adapted to the Hood of the cloake than a Hatt.”

I really did like the tricorn, but I guess this was a sign that I needed to modify the hat for my ranger kit.

All’s well that ends well. 🙂

– Many Rifles