Friday, July 30, 2010
My good friend and fellow veteran, Sgt. Mac over at Bushcraft USA forum Has asked me to post some info on 2 of my favorite fighting knives.
when I first joined the Army back in the 70s the Fairbairn - Sykes dagger was still very popular and a lot cheaper to get than the Gerber copies.
Many of the squaddies in my Recon platoon carried the FS dagger in addition to a USMC Kabar or "hunting" knife of some type and the issue bayonet.
Personally? I had a "demo" pocket knife or a TA29 also.
I guess I was beginning to show signs of my Gear queer addiction,haha.
Anyhoo, Later on in my military career I had the prive
lidge to meet 2 members of the US/Canadian 1st Special service force and these 2 gentlemen told me about the V42 stiletto.
The V42 is based on the FS dagger but was issued only to members of the 1st SSF in ww2.
Of course at the time the V42 was not in production and was difficult to find, so we all stuck with the FS commando dagger.
Personally , I like the FS dagger better due to the thickness of the blade and the weight for throwing. many folks will disagree about throwing this type of knife but that is indeed one of the functions this knife was designed for.
The V42 to me seems to be a bit lighter and i dont really like the leather wrapped handle or leather washer handles these come with. I think the idea of using leather is because these knives were suppose to be employed in colder climates. with leather you didnt have to worry about your hand freezing to the handle as you would with an all metal one.
If you take a close look at the picture in the beginning of this post you will see Bert "Yank" Levy a some what famous mercenary, using a modified FS commando dagger to demonstrate how to take out a sentry. The blade looks a lot shorter that an original issue, it may have been broken at one time and reground.
Ok, so, rather than myself rambling on about these 2 knives I will post some info here from wikipedia for your enjoyment.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
In his book Allied Military Fighting Knives: And The Men Who Made Them Famous, author Robert Buerlein stated basically that the nomenclature on this quartermaster form would lead us to believe that the proper name of this knife is the "Fighting Commando Knife, Type V-42" or converting U.S. Army nomenclature into "English", "V-42 Commando Fighting Knife". This is the proper name, but the Force members referred to it as their "Force Knife". Later on,the knife started being referred to by collectors as the "V-42 Stiletto" even though many, if not most, of the FSSF members never heard the term "V-42" and this what it is called today, rightly or wrongly. Possibly the "42" stood for 1942, the year of the design and the "V" for "Victory"
The V-42 was designed in part by the Commanding Officer of the brigade, Lt. Colonel Robert T. Frederick. Every part of the knife was made with the intent of combat. This knife was the trademark weapon of the Devil's Brigade, and its members were trained extensively in the use of this knife. The profile of this knife is pictured on the crests of the Canadian Special Operation Forces Command, Canadian Forces's Joint Task Force 2 and the one of the United States Army Special Forces.
The V-42 was manufactured in the United States by W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co.. The original leather sheath was reinforced by the troops to include a metal tip, so that the sharp blade would no longer penetrate through and cut their legs. Since the force was originally trained for fighting in cold weather conditions, the sheath was designed long, so as to hang beneath the bottom of their military parkas. After use in the field against the Germans, some unit members purposely dulled the tip of these knives to minimize its habit of embedding into bone and becoming difficult to withdraw.
The V-42 weighs 7 ounces (0.20 kg), with a 7-inch (18 cm) blade and 5.5-inch (14 cm) handle, for a total length of 12.5 inches (32 cm). Its features include a sharp blade and a sturdy handle with a skull-cracking butt, similar to a Dotty Hammer.
A replica version, based upon the original, is now being made by swordsmith Paul Chen and sold through Hanwei. A custom hand-made version made of CPM S30V steel and stacked leather washers with a titanium pommel is offered by Strider Knives of San Marcos, California. Smith Tactical Systems offers an updated version of the V-42, including a thicker blade and kydex sheath. Previous reproductions include one by W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. manufactured in the 1980s and discontinued in 1993.
The Fairbairn - Sykes Commando Dagger:
The Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife is a double-edged knife with a foil grip developed by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes in Shanghai before World War II, but made famous during the War when issued to British Commandos, including the SAS (then its No. 2 Commando). The F-S Fighting knife often is compared to a stiletto, the comparison is misleading, as the stiletto is for stabbing and has a longer, narrower (often triangular) blade. The Wilkinson Sword Company made the knife with minor pommel and grip design variations; currently, the F-S Fighting Knife is of interest mainly to collectors. Because of its sleek lines and its commando association, the OSS, the Marine Raiders, et al., it remains in production to date. Moreover, the knife is so symbolic of British Commandos that a solid gold F-S Fighting Knife is part of the commandos' memorial at Westminster Abbey. The knife features in the insignia of the British Royal Marines, Dutch Commando Corps, founded in the UK during WWII, the Australian 2nd Commando Regiment, the elite United States Army Rangers, and the model for all modern Special Forces, the SAS.
The first batch of fifty F-S Fighting Knives were produced in January 1941 by Wilkinson Sword Ltd after Fairbairn and Sykes had traveled down to their factory from the Special Training Centre at Lochailort in November 1940 to discuss their ideas for a fighting knife.
The F-S Fighting Knife was designed exclusively for surprise attack and fighting, with a slender blade that can easily penetrate a ribcage. The vase handle grants precise grip, and the double-edged blade is integral to its design. Fairbairn's rationale is in his book Get Tough! (1942).
In close-quarters fighting there is no more deadly weapon than the knife. In choosing a knife there are two important factors to bear in mind: balance and keenness. The hilt should fit easily in your hand, and the blade should not be so heavy that it tends to drag the hilt from your fingers in a loose grip. It is essential that the blade have a sharp stabbing point and good cutting edges, because an artery torn through (as against a clean cut) tends to contract and stop the bleeding. If a main artery is cleanly severed, the wounded man will quickly lose consciousness and die.
The Fairbairn-Sykes was produced in several patterns. The Shanghai knife on which it was based was only about 5.5 in (14 cm) long in the blade. First pattern knives have a 6.5 in (17 cm) blade with a flat area, or ricasso, at the top of the blade which was not present on the original design and the presence of which has not been explained by the manufacturers, under the S-shaped crossguard. Second-pattern knives have a slightly longer blade (just less than 7 in/18 cm), 2 in (5.1 cm)-wide oval crossguard, knurled pattern grip, and rounded ball, and may be stamped "ENGLAND" on the handle side of the cross piece. Some may also be stamped with a number (e.g., 21) on the opposite handle side of the cross piece. Above the number may also be stamped a triangular symbol. Third-pattern knives also have a similarly-sized inch blade, but the handle was redesigned to include a ring grip. This ring grip is reputed to have distressed one of the original designers as it unbalanced the weapon and made harder to hold when wet, but it was used by the manufacturers as it was simple to produce. Third-pattern knives may be stamped "WILLIAM RODGERS SHEFFIELD ENGLAND", "BROAD ARROW", or simply "ENGLAND". William Rodgers, as part of the Egginton Group, now also produce an all-black "sterile" version of the knife, which is devoid of any markings showing maker or NATO use. It has also been finely balanced for throwing.
The length of the blade was chosen to give several inches of blade to penetrate the body after passing through the 3 in (7.6 cm) of the thickest clothing that was anticipated to be worn in the war, namely that of Soviet greatcoats. Later production runs of the F-S Fighting Knife have a blade length that is about 7.5 in (19 cm).
In all cases the handle had a distinctive foil-like grip to enable a number of handling options. Many variations on the F-S Fighting Knife exist in regards to size of blade and particularly of handle. The design has influenced the design of knives throughout the many decades since its introduction.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
While I was Buming around town today, I made the hasty decision to stop by Trapper Jons Knife Shop in Sierra Vista, Arizona, to shoot the shit with TJ and any other rascals that might be hanging around the shop.
While I was there TJ asked me if I had any camping gear he could buy or trade from me , so that he could use it on his up coming vacation in the North East USA.
I offered to loan him some gear but he declined.
Anyhoo, I traded some of my camping junk for a SOG "Fusion" Tomahawk, A recent generation USAF Survival knife and a small Army mess kit knife, along with a small light leather sheath . Ill add an Army dog tag chain to it and use it for a neck knife.
Not a bad trade, I look forward to using these items on my next wilderness outing. Ill keep you all posted as to how well they function.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Here is a little more info about the ASEK;
The ASEK replaced the World War II era survival knife which had a number of problems with the leather sheath and handle, the sharpening stone, and corrosion resistance. Requirements for the replacement knife, set by the United States Army Aviation Branch, included tests in:
* sawing through aircraft skin and acrylic glass windows
Required features included:
* a point used to stab
* a hand guard, durability
* light weight
* holes for tying the knife to a stick to act as a spear
Other features, such as an electrically insulated handle, were deemed desirable, but not required. Packaged in the sheath are a special tool for cutting seat belts and a diamond impregnated sharpening disk. The ASEK, made by Ontario, was adopted after trials by United States Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, Massachusetts.
The US Army's Defense Supply Center purchased 11,881 Army ASEKS in 2004 and 2005 for equipping aviation life support equipment (ALSE) vests.
It has a number of features that aid in escaping an aircraft, such as the ability to be used as a hammer to break acrylic glass cockpit windows and cut through an aircraft's aluminium skin. It may also be used as a screwdriver or precision edge marker. It includes a crushed diamond disk sharpener and a separate blade for cutting through seatbelt webbing. The knife is 10.25 inches (26.0 cm) in length, the blade is 5 inches (13 cm) in length, .1875 inches (4.76 mm) thick and constructed from 1095 carbon steel.
During the initial evaluation, an electrically insulated handle was considered to be desirable but not mandatory. The United States Army Aeromedical Research Lab (USAARL) considered the lack of insulated handle of the Ontario knife to be a catastrophic failure of the standard, and Ontario is redesigning their ASEK to meet this requirement.
ASEK: in use
In addition to the knives issued to Army aviation units, the ASEK is available for purchase by individual soldiers in other branches. In October 2005, a platoon of the 3rd Infantry Division on an IED patrol in Iraq was cut off by insurgents and took shelter in a building to wait for backup. The platoon was nearly discovered when the insurgents turned on the lights, but SFC Dillard Johnson, carrying a Gerber LMF II ASEK, was able to cut through a 220 volt electrical line and douse the lights, allowing the platoon to use their night vision advantage to neutralize the threats and wait for evacuation. While SFC Johnson realized the risk inherent in cutting through live electrical wires, he later said "I wasn’t exactly thrilled about having to cut hot lines, but in battle, you do what you have to do."
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Yesterday, I picked up a 20 year old "survival knife" in a trade, made in Pakistan for Frost cutlery.
It is actually a pretty good knife; it has operation desert storm 1991 - thunder and lightning painted/stamped on the blade along with a flag of some kind.
The brass hilt,good edge,string wrapped handle,decent compass,well made sheath, and an intact survival kit in the handle to include matches and fishing gear, needle etc., Mark it as a quality blade.
Its kinda cool, Ill throw it in the box of knives until I can find someone to give it to.
All in all, not a bad trade for an old MOLLE pouch.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Friday, July 23, 2010
One of my favories survival foods in the tropics is Bananas. I also like the flower cooked into a stir fry of made into a salad. I have picked bananas in the wild when exploring the philippines and thailand as well as the state of chiapas in Mexico.
I have eaten bananas boiled, fried, roasted, uncooked, and made into cakes and cookies.
there are several types found all around the world but my favorite is the small red Banana, they seem to be the sweetest of all the types.
Once , while bumming around Mindenao in the Philippines I was in the market and spied a small boy carrying a large bunch or the little red variety, i wanted six or so to eat right away. I handed the boy 2 american dollars which is about 100 pesos. He handed me the bunch of reds, snatched the 2 bucks from me, and took running like he was scalded.
I guess the 2 bucks was a lot of monet to him.
anyhoo, below is a little info for you to enjoy about one of my favorite foods while trekking.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red. In popular culture and commerce, "banana" usually refers to soft, sweet "dessert" bananas. By contrast, Musa cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called plantains. Many varieties of bananas are perennial. Refer to the Musa article for a list of the varieties of bananas and plantains.
They are native to tropical Southeast Asia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. Today, they are cultivated throughout the tropics.They are grown in at least 107 countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fiber and as ornamental plants.
Although fruit of wild species have large, hard seeds, virtually all culinary bananas have only tiny seeds. Bananas are classified either as dessert bananas (meaning they are yellow and fully ripe when eaten) or as green cooking bananas.
Almost all export bananas are of the dessert types; however, only about 10–15% of production is for export. The United States and European Union are the dominant importers.
The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant. Plants are normally tall and fairly sturdy and are often mistaken for trees, but their main or upright stem is actually a pseudostem that grows 6 to 7.6 metres (20 to 24.9 ft) tall, growing from a corm. Each pseudostem can produce a single bunch of bananas. After fruiting, the pseudostem dies.
Leaves are spirally arranged and may grow 2.7 metres (8.9 ft) long and 60 cm (2.0 ft) wide.They are easily torn by the wind, resulting in the familiar frond look.
Banana fruit grow in hanging clusters, with up to 20 fruit to a tier (called a hand). The assemblage of hanging clusters is known as a bunch, comprising 3–20 tiers, or commercially as a "banana stem", and can weigh from 30–50 kilograms (66–110 lb). In common usage, bunch applies to part of a tier containing 3-10 adjacent fruits. Individual fruits average 125 grams (0.28 lb), of which approximately 75% is water and 25% dry matter. Each individual fruit (commonly known as a banana or 'finger') has a protective outer layer (a peel or skin) with an edible inner portion. The fruit typically has numerous long, thin strings (called phloem bundles), which run lengthwise between the skin and inner part. The inner part of the common yellow dessert variety splits easily lengthwise into three strips.
Each stem normally produces a single, sterile, male banana flower, also known as the banana heart—though more can be produced; a single plant in the Philippines has five.
Banana hearts are used as a vegetable in Southeast Asia, steamed, in salads, or eaten raw. The female flowers appear further up the stem, and produce the actual fruit without fertilization. The fruit has been described as a "leathery berry".In cultivated varieties, the seeds are diminished nearly to non-existence; their remnants are tiny black specks in the interior of the fruit. The ovary is inferior to the flower; because of stiff stems and the positioning of the ovary and flower, bananas grow pointing up, not hanging down.
Bananas are the staple starch of many tropical populations. Depending upon cultivar and ripeness, the flesh can vary in taste from starchy to sweet, and texture from firm to mushy. Both skin and inner part can be eaten raw or cooked. Bananas' flavor is due, amongst other chemicals, to isoamyl acetate which is one of the main constituents of banana oil.
During the ripening process, bananas produce a plant hormone called ethylene, which indirectly affects the flavor. Among other things, ethylene stimulates the formation of amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starch into sugar, influencing the taste of bananas. The greener, less ripe bananas contain higher levels of starch and, consequently, have a "starchier" taste. On the other hand, yellow bananas taste sweeter due to higher sugar concentrations. Furthermore, ethylene signals the production of pectinase, an enzyme which breaks down the pectin between the cells of the banana, causing the banana to soften as it ripens.
Bananas are eaten deep fried, baked in their skin in a split bamboo, or steamed in glutinous rice wrapped in a banana leaf. Bananas can be made into jam. Banana pancakes are popular amongst backpackers and other travelers in South Asia and Southeast Asia. This has elicited the expression Banana Pancake Trail for those places in Asia that cater to this group of travelers. Banana chips are a snack produced from sliced dehydrated or fried banana or plantain, which have a dark brown color and an intense banana taste. Dried bananas are also ground to make banana flour. Extracting juice is difficult, because when a banana is compressed, it simply turns to pulp. Bananas fried with batter is a popular dessert in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. A similar dish is known in the United States as banana fritters.
Plantains are used in various stews and curries or cooked, baked or mashed in much the same way as potatoes.
The flower of the banana plant is used in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine, either raw or steamed with dips or cooked in soups and curries. The flower's flavor resembles that of artichoke. As with artichokes, both the fleshy part of the petals and the heart are edible.
Banana leaves are large, flexible, and waterproof. They are often used as ecologically friendly disposable food containers or as "plates" in South Asia and several Southeast Asian countries.
Steamed with dishes they impart a subtle sweet flavor. They often serve as a wrapping for grilling food. The leaves contain the juices, protects food from burning and adds a subtle flavor
I just realized that I have been Blogging for a year as of tomorrow. Looking at my statistics on google analitics, it is apparent that Im not too popular as a Blog.
Seemingly, I am not that interesting. however, ill continue to post from time to time to see if I can generate any interest.
I do appreciate and heartily thank my loyal followers , I appreciate your comments, and emails etc.
thanks, for your benefit, Ill post some decent stuff from time to time.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
After losing my gear to thieves on the El Salvadore Border, I hitched hiked and caught bus rides back to the Guatemala / Mexico border.
Using my debit card I was able to buy a ticket to Mexico City from the Border town Of Tapachula mexico.
I wanted to use my card to save the cash I had on hand for buying food and booze etc.
Once in Mexico City, I found a decent "Economy" fare to Agua Prieta Sonora where I could simply walk across to border back into Arizona , then hitch hike to where ever from there.
Good plan. It was suppose to be a 23 hour bus trip but it turned into a 38 hour horrifying ordeal which was to me the 2nd worst experience I have ever had, 2nd only to being married to my X-wife Chinese green card whore.
Anyway, after buying my ticket, I bought a cup of coffee and 2 empanadas to munch,then walked over to the departure gate and got my first glimpse of the bus I would be taking. It looked like (and was) and old piece of shit.
In the departure area was numerous screaming kids running around - I had a bad feeling that these rug rats were going on this bus also. As bad luck would have it they were!
Worse, several of the annoying little brats sat all around me. Bummer.
Departure time came and went, we finally departed the terminal about 45 minutes behind schedule. Driving out of Mexico city we spent an additional 2 hours in bumper to bumper traffic, once we got going down the highway, the drivers pulled over and went into a store for about 1/2 and hour to buy munchies for themselves.
We started rolling again , after about an hour or so we were pulled over by the Mexico immigration police who check everyones I.D cards. This took about another hour or so.
After taking off once again, the Air conditioning broke down, then the shitter got stopped up and filled the bus with the smell of raw sewage. Wonderful.
The screaming, annoying brats continued to annoy me and everyone else. We rolled on through the night and stopped for breakfast at a road side diner which for me , spelled a major case of montechzumas revenge if I even looked at the food.
This "20 minuto" stop turned into a 1 and 1/2 hour wait. Once we got rolling again we were pulled over by the Mexican immigration police again who took 5 people off of the bus who apparently had fake I.D. cards. they must have been guatemalans or salvadorians. Another hour or so killed.
After numerous stops for apparently no reason, we finally arrived in Chihuahua city. Again the "20 minuto" stop to clean the bus turned into a 1 and 1/2 hour wait. We finally took off after the drivers farted around for an additional 1/2 hour or so.
We drove about a mile down the road where the bus apparently broke down, the drivers and a lot of the passengers got out and took a look at the engine for about an hour or so, then they all piled in again and we drove down the road for another 5 miles or so, then pulled over again.
Again, the drivers and a lot of the passengers got off and looked at the engine for an hour or so, but this time there was a guy selling burritos and drinks along the road, we all bought some food and drinks.
We piled back onto the bus and headed back to town to apparently change buses. For some reason tho, we didnt go to the main Chihuahua terminal but rather, we stopped at the edge of town and proceeded to wait 4 1/2 hours for a different bus to take us the rest of the way.
In due time the "new" bus finally arrived and we all piled in , ready to depart. However the drivers - the old and new ones stood around outside of the bus shooting the shit and smoking for another 45 minutes or so.
From Chihuahua , it was suppose to be a 6 hour trip to Agua Prieta - my destination.
It took more like 8 hours but seemed like forever due to the fact that all of the little hellions on the bus were crying and complaining etc.
After being stopped by both the Mexican army and police who checked the bus and pulled off a few more additional illegal aliens, we finally arrived in Agua Prieta, Sonora where I hired a taxi to take me to the Border where I crossed into Arizona , I took a few minuted to flirt with the 2 very attractive female immigration officers.
From the border, I walked over to Walmart and bought some food for the road. I hiked over to Highway 80 where I hitch hiked over to Sierra Vista, where I am now. Ill go over my gear and get ready to hit the road again on monday or tuesday.
If I head back South again to finish my trip, Ill fly to El Salvadore, and go from there, but honestly? I really got tired of speaking Spanish, and I am definatly not enamored with the latin culture.
I cannot really say where Im heading but, who knows, after all, the world is my oyster.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The other day in Antigua guatemala, I needed a bit of exercise so I headed toward the volcano/mountain in the distance and stumbled onto a coffee plantation. it was a pretty place and and very tranquil.
I sat on a ceder log and watched some horses grazing in what looked like a polo field for a while, after taking a few pics of the horses and the surrounding hills I dragged my ass over to take a look at the coffee plants. I had never seen the plant my favorite beverage comes from before. I was surprised at the shiny/waxy looking leaves and the size of the beans themselves.
Here are a few pics from my walk to the coffee plantation, I hope you all like coffee as much as I do.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Over the past few days while shopping in the central market here in Antigua Guatemala, I have noticed Cargadores at work hauling various goods around for folks using a Tumpline or "mecapal" as it is locally called.
These tumplines are made from everything like leather or rawhide to woven natural agave fibers, or nylon. I watched a cargadore today make a quickie Mecapal from a grain sack to haul pineapples for a lady who paid him a few centavos for his effort.
Most of the cargadores gear appears to be a tumpline, poncho, and a leather belt similar to that which weight lifters use.
I am very impressed by the amount of weight these guys carry at a jog, most of the cargadores appear to be older than me to boot!
I bought 2 "mecapals" and will try them out down the trail.
Here are a few pics of my "mecapals" and some cargadores hard at work.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
For those of you who have been following my trip ,you will know from reading my gear list that I did not bring my old Green river Knife "Old Butch" along on this trip.
Yesterday, while I was wandering aroung the market looking for clothing to buy I saw a box full of knives similar to the green river knives.
I bought one because it was the right size, sharp, had a wooden handle and most importantly - it was cheap.The only thing I do not like is that it is stainless steel.Ill use it for all of my "bushcraft" needs down the trail.
In addition I had to buy a fleece shirt and a light vest, when I pulled out of arizona I had only my armani suit jacket, since guadalajara , Mexico I have been a little chiily, the cool temperatures there, and here in Guatemala really surprises me.For my feet, I bought a pair of cheap canvas high top basketball shoes.
After walking around a while I saw some nice little cooking pots for sale, I like the enameled pots with lids so I bought a 1 and a half liter pot with lid, and a plastic bowl with a screw on lid.
A few days ago I bought myself a light wool blanket also. I have all of the gear ill need except some fishing gear, a machete and a large plastic tarp which Ill buy in colombia.
In a few days Ill leave by bus for Panama, it is suppose to be a 4 day trip but who knows for sure.
Ill update my blog from there when ever possible.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Hello everyone, after 70 hours of riding a bus in mexico I arrived at the border town of Tapachula Mexico. I took a van to the border crossing about 18 miles from Tapachula.
I was on the bridge seperating the 2 countries and about to enter passport control when I spied several folks crossing the river via rafts made of truck inner tubes, bailing twine and oak boards. so , for shits ang giggles, I decided to be a mojado myself and hired a guy to raft me and another dude across the river for 75 Mex pesos.
Right now Im an illegal alien in guatemala, Im currently staying in the 800 plus year old town of Antigua. Ill hang around here for a few days and figure something out.
the bus ride through mexico was long and uneventful. I did see a few interesting things along the way tho.
The first was 3 kids fishing in a canal using "HOBO" fishing rigs that looked like they were made on 1 liter pop bottles,Next I saw several old men selling hammocks of different types.
I also saw an old guy selling a crooked knife similar to a sicle but with a longer handle. there were 2 old guys making rope on an old time rope machine, and selling the rope along the road,it look like it was made from hemp or agave fibres.
There were several Ox carts on the side of the road, each containing several Indians, they all carried mochillas and machetes.
right before I arrived in tapachula, I saw 2 Caracara Mexican Eagles light in a giant hard wood tree. It is the same Eagle depicted on the Mexican flag. I have never seen these birds in the wild before.
Ill be posting a more detailed story on my blog later for those interested.
After my hike up pPataya Vocano tomorrow Ill post a few pics of the adventure.
Remember, any and all donations for travel expenses,internet,visas etc. can be made via the paypal button in the right hand colum of the blog.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Monday, July 5, 2010
I have finally gotten all of the things done that i needed to complete hear in "sorry vista" Arizona, Ill be hitch hiking over to Douglas, which is about 50 or so miles from here. Ill cross over to Agua Prieta, Sonora ,Mexico.
The first stop will be the "Cambio" or currency exchange, then ill hop in a cab to the bus station and buy a ticket for Los Mochis, Mexico. That is the first leg of the trip.
I will not be taking my laptop along with me, so Ill update when ever I can from the road.
Any and all donations can be made via the paypal donation button, found in the right hand colum of the blog.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Today my good friend Matt and I did a hike into Black tail canyon in the huachuca mountains to celebrate the 4th of July, and to check out some new stomping grounds for when I return from my South American adventure.
We parked Matts truck at around an elevation of 4,400 feet and began what at first looked like an easy hike.
The trail turned into a steep rocky and gravel slippery path to follow. We took our time and continued our ascent of the canyon trail. I began to see Ponderosa pines and Box elder Maple and Arizona Maple trees in the distance. These trees indicated that we were getting around to 7000 foot elevation, the temperature was cool with a gentle breeze.
Matt and I were actually cold which is some what amazing for the 4th of July in southern Arizona.As we hiked along we didnt see much wildlife other than birds, we did discover a reliable water source, and there were many different flowers in bloom to include several giant Agave plants. Matt did see one deer, and we heard 2 hen turkeys chirping in the woods.
We stopped for about 20 minutes to eat a few snacks and drink a little water but soon became cold and began to shiver - again, totally amazing for this time of year in southern AZ.
We hiked a total of a little over 4 miles round trip and had an elevation gain/loss of around 3000 feet.
After getting back to Matts "War wagon" we snacked on some chocolate dipped home made pacan cookies and coffee.
Here are a few pics for your viewing pleasure.
Right now Im going to drink a couple shots of rum and toast the USA on her birthday, and toast all of the folks who have served this country past, present and future.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Friday, July 2, 2010
My good friend Trapper Jon asked me to bang out a couple of arrows for him to go along with a "primitive" looking bow that he aquired in a trade.
here are the pics of one of the arrows, it has a reed shaft with a fire hardeded Oak point which would be good for use on birds or fish.
the fletchings were pidgeon feathers i picked up on the street. for the bindings I used agave fibers held in place with plant latex.
the fletchings are in the style of the cherokee or my Aeta Negrito friends.
prior to inserting the tip into the reed shaft i coated it with raw pine pitch then lit it on fire with my bic lighter and inserted it into the shaft.
The Nock , I reinforced with a willow plug which i cut off even with a joint in the shaft. I glued this plug in with raw pine pitch.
to straighten the shaft I used my snaggle teeth in the style of Ishi and got them reasonably straight.
the other arrow is similar but with a broad head made from a flattened spoon.I simply took 2 flatware spoon I found while walking around, and pounded them flat with my ball peen hammer. I sharpened the edges by grinding them on a wet rock. My friend Matt, finished them off for me on a grinder.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Aside from the occasional trip to town for a shit/shave/shower, I spent a total of 65 days camping in the Huachuca Mountains of SE Arizona.
Here are a few pics of my final camp and hike up Cerro hachita(tomahawk hill), some coral bean flowers,my old blackhawk pack etc.
I really like the capacity and durability of the Blackhawk Phoenix pack but the straps are a couple pieces of shit.
I had to modify this one by replacing the original pack straps with a set from a Dana design "Bomb" pack.It is a hell of a lot more comfortable now.
Tomahawk - Scouts out!