Author Topic: Bushcraft101... Book Review  (Read 5466 times)

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Offline Alan Halcon

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Bushcraft101... Book Review
« on: August 20, 2014, 01:36:11 PM »
I bought the kindle version of DC's new book, but after reading it twice... really the second time was more because I thought I missed something.

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front), Save your money go to Starbucks and spend the money on a cup of coffee while you read a copy of Kephart, Kochanski, or Mear's book.

I've done a thorough review, but will not post the link to where it's at, because I don't want to violate forum rules. You can search it if you want.

Suffice to say, the book could have been so much more, had DC not attempted to cram so much info into 296 pages. He could have cut out half the content and expanded on the other half.

So much content was convoluted only illustrations could have helped clarify the lesson, but sadly the book lacks those as well.

As an example:

Canterbury writes?The stake notch, along with the stake?s point, will serve you well for making not only tarp stakes but also trap components. To create this notch, select the material and length desired for the project, and decide the location of the notch. Place the material on a solid anvil, and baton a stop cut (that is, a cut that stops against another cut) one-third of the diameter of the wood at the desired top of the notch. Then, using your belt knife and a knee lever grip, step back about 1″ from the stop cut, and remove material at a 45 ? angle toward the stop cut to finish the notch.

Another example is the pot bail notch

Begin by making two stop cuts one-third of the way through the desired material in an X pattern horizontally. Then, use your knife and a knee lever grip to undercut and remove the bottom or top of the X, depending on the application, to leave a slightly undercut point. If this notch is made correctly, it will hook onto the bail of your pot when made close to the end of the stick or material.

I know what he was talking about, because of experience, not because of how he wrote it. This is a perfect example of where illustrations would have helped.

I showed it to three different people and none of them could figure out what he was trying to get at.... because there were no illustrations.

He also talked about orienting a map and declination, but gave no instruction on how to do it, other than the map will be marked... but there were no illustrations

It goes on and on....

This book is definitely not for the neophyte, and sadly the experienced person will be disappointed.

If he plans to do another book, he needs to ditch the publisher and go self publishing.... He needs to go the same route he did with his own show, so he calls the shots

Don't waste your time and money 

Offline Draco

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 03:25:15 PM »
Thanks for the review.  I wish you had written it the day the book came out.  I could have saved the $9.99 on the Kindle version myself.  I have actually been reading another series of books but I did get through the first chapter.  I am experiencing the confusion of wanting to support a guy I like but not wanting to encourage what I believe could have been better content.

If you are going to write a 101 type book that also will capture the attention of more experienced people you have to give more than just facts.  Participating in Nature by Elpel did a great job with his "day with a bushcrafter" story line.  Cody in his book used humor to keep the reader engaged.  Stroud used personal stories.  Maybe I am talking out of line because I only read the first chapter but I got to say if it did not hook me and grab my interest in the first chapter it will be hard to hold it for a whole book. 


Offline Alan Halcon

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 04:12:37 PM »
I am experiencing the confusion of wanting to support a guy I like but not wanting to encourage what I believe could have been better content.


I agree, Draco. just think of the disservice you are doing to those new and eager to learn. Personal integrity is all we have

today I read this

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition"?Steve Jobs

Offline Alan Halcon

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 04:13:15 PM »
I am experiencing the confusion of wanting to support a guy I like but not wanting to encourage what I believe could have been better content.

I agree, Draco. just think of the disservice you are doing to those new and eager to learn. Personal integrity is all we have

today I read this

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition"--Steve Jobs

Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 01:13:14 PM »
I've had a really hard time finding any books on buschraft that offer anything new or more substantive than the books that are already out there. All of them seem to be the same material retold over and over. I think that's a function of the material being limited. My hope was not that Dave would write something ground braking, but rather than he would make a good compilation of the existing material, and maybe mix it with some of his own wilderness living concepts. I'm disappointed to hear that it's not the case.

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 01:40:25 PM »
I bought the kindle version of DC's new book, but after reading it twice... really the second time was more because I thought I missed something.

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front), Save your money go to Starbucks and spend the money on a cup of coffee while you read a copy of Kephart, Kochanski, or Mear's book.

I've done a thorough review, but will not post the link to where it's at, because I don't want to violate forum rules. You can search it if you want.

Suffice to say, the book could have been so much more, had DC not attempted to cram so much info into 296 pages. He could have cut out half the content and expanded on the other half.

So much content was convoluted only illustrations could have helped clarify the lesson, but sadly the book lacks those as well.

As an example:

Canterbury writes?The stake notch, along with the stake?s point, will serve you well for making not only tarp stakes but also trap components. To create this notch, select the material and length desired for the project, and decide the location of the notch. Place the material on a solid anvil, and baton a stop cut (that is, a cut that stops against another cut) one-third of the diameter of the wood at the desired top of the notch. Then, using your belt knife and a knee lever grip, step back about 1″ from the stop cut, and remove material at a 45 ? angle toward the stop cut to finish the notch.

Another example is the pot bail notch

Begin by making two stop cuts one-third of the way through the desired material in an X pattern horizontally. Then, use your knife and a knee lever grip to undercut and remove the bottom or top of the X, depending on the application, to leave a slightly undercut point. If this notch is made correctly, it will hook onto the bail of your pot when made close to the end of the stick or material.

I know what he was talking about, because of experience, not because of how he wrote it. This is a perfect example of where illustrations would have helped.

I showed it to three different people and none of them could figure out what he was trying to get at.... because there were no illustrations.

He also talked about orienting a map and declination, but gave no instruction on how to do it, other than the map will be marked... but there were no illustrations

It goes on and on....

This book is definitely not for the neophyte, and sadly the experienced person will be disappointed.

If he plans to do another book, he needs to ditch the publisher and go self publishing.... He needs to go the same route he did with his own show, so he calls the shots

Don't waste your time and money

  Thanks for the heads up,  I don't like books that don't have pictures in them either   :taunt:,  but kidding aside I can understand where you're coming from,  personally I had no problem picturing or understanding what you were reading from the book,  it was crystal clear to me,  but then again I'm no newbie, I know and have used the skills,  that does make a difference.
  Young people today in my experience generally have a problem understanding direction for anything that doesn't involve an electronic gadget of some kind,  so having a written direction without a picture or sketch to balance it may be difficult for some people to imagine,  on the flip side of that coin I can't figure out how to work half the functions of my simple cell phone even with pictures.    ;)
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline Alan Halcon

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2014, 08:26:14 PM »
Moe, don't get me wrong, it does have illustrations, in the old Kephart feel. And honestly they worked well where they were added... It helped convey the lesson. The thing is, it would have benefited from more.

Trying to do technical writing is not easy and a picture is worth a thousand words. Unfortunately, because he crammed so much into the book, it means much of the book had abbreviated sections. Moreover, trying to add enough illustrations for all the content only hurt it, because the publisher simply had a picture count and word count he had to stick to.

The book was easily two separate books and then enough attention and detail could have been given to the individual sections, allowing to meet the publishers criteria.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 08:57:47 PM by Alan Halcon »

Offline Draco

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2014, 08:45:10 PM »
This book is a 101 book.  The danger to me is a lot of people are going to say "I understood what he was getting at."  Sure because you know how to do it.  I understood as well.  But it is a 101 book.  Putting yourself in the shoes of someone new to the concepts they are not going to find it very easy to follow IMO. 

Offline Alan Halcon

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2014, 09:03:49 PM »
Draco, and BAM! That's the point.

You actually said more in one sentence than I did in my entire review, lol

Sure, there are things I don't agree with him on, put that wasn't the point of the review. I approached it from the newbie stanpoint.

The gear section was ok... not much to go over, but when the fieldcraft started, that's where more detail should have been left in, or at minimum illustrations.


Offline woodsrunner

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2014, 09:54:04 PM »
thanks for the review Alan....these days reading just makes me sleepy anyway :P...woods
'At play in the fields of the Lord'
Save a Logger...Eat a Tree Hugger!

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2014, 07:14:56 AM »
thanks for the review Alan....these days reading just makes me sleepy anyway :P...woods

  Unfortunately Woods,  you can't make a dull book more interesting,  but if you mix a double of your favorite hard beverage before you start to read,  it'll make your nap that much more pleasurable when the book does put you to sleep.      :cheers:
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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2014, 07:21:03 AM »
 Thanks for the review(s)!


After reading them, I will not waste my time or $$. IF perhaps ,sometime it becomes available for free, then I might look at it, though. Just for shets & giggles.
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline Dude McLean

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2014, 06:47:53 PM »

 a mostly very misunderstood piece of gear is the use of a "tump line" and the info  given in the book is wrong.. DC states to place the strap across your forehead..
 nope,  it is placed on  top of  your head so it lines up with your spine and carries the weight in that manner.. placing the tump line across ones  forehead will throw you off balance and you wont carry a load very far..  and will suffer from a sore neck..  this is a piece of gear that goes back 1000s of years .. I have used a tump line but dont like them , they mess up my hat..

 my dad used them with a pack basket and could go all day .. you place the pack high on your back .. you can do a search for the proper use of a tump line.. . this was in the second chapter.. either a lack of experience or just doing it wrong . Too bad because name recognition will sell a lot of books alone..I also feel the book needed a real editor to help smooth over the many rough spots.. lack of photos and drawings is a major flaw.. I really wish I could give a glowing account but not able too.. at least he made the effort.. but in making an effort one opens up themselves up to the critics pro and con..

 Dude

 Dude
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Offline brush_loper

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2014, 07:15:04 PM »
Thanks for the review on this book.  I have been on the fence and almost punched the button on the kindle edition.  I think I will hold off for the time being.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2014, 07:31:26 PM »
Dude, your post on correct tumpline usage, brings to mind an early 20th century photo in the collection of material on the voyageurs that I viewed at The Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron, Nebraska.  The bandy little French-Canadian voyageurs, who certainly were no strangers to the tumpline, often grew huge bone-spurs or 'bosses' on the backs of their necks.  The photo I saw, showed one such 'boss,' proudly displayed on the neck of one well-seasoned old voyageur that looked to be about the size of a regulation softball!  Not an unusual affliction for those who plied those waters & humped those three 90# pieces that each one of them were responsible for carrying at each portage.
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Offline Alan Halcon

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2014, 07:36:21 PM »
Ok maybe I'm dense and don't get it, but can someone explain this one to me?

"Cubby sets are small holes like pocket sets sometimes used at the base of a tree or log. They are built over a deadfall trap to add weight to the trap
and help disguise it to make it more effective."


I know what a cubby and deadfall trap are individually, but can't picture how it goes, other than to take it verbatim.

Sorry wish there was an illustration that would help

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2014, 07:53:04 PM »

Ok maybe I'm dense and don't get it, but can someone explain this one to me?

"Cubby sets are small holes like pocket sets sometimes used at the base of a tree or log. They are built over a deadfall trap to add weight to the trap
and help disguise it to make it more effective."


I know what a cubby and deadfall trap are individually, but can't picture how it goes, other than to take it verbatim.

Sorry wish there was an illustration that would help

To me.... a "cubby set" = a "hole set".


I have no clue on what that quote is all about. With one thought about a difference in how it was explained.


Editors mistake? Likely....


 I can think of what was trying to be said, but without having the book, or the"before & after" of reading this part of this book. again... I am not privy to that particular "set".


But after having some experence at trapping & snaring, I might suggest that what was trying to be said, was the following:


   Using a "cubby", or "pocket" type set up, underneath your dead-fall set, may attract and add more "attraction" (Weight) to your dead-fall setup."


 Basically meaning that the attraction of a "hole" (Cubby/Pocket) in close proximity to the deadfall may attract more attention due to the "hole" & make your "Dead-fall" set more effective.




  Just a guess,but we eat well, & sometimes make money.
 :)
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline Dude McLean

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2014, 10:00:58 PM »

 Wolfy , those old french boys carried  really super heavy loads , for sure .. tough guys , I would think some damage was done to their backs also as time went on..

 my dad was 5'  6"  .. he could hump 90 pounds all day.. he weighed about 145.. when he had to or rather when he chose to.. I recall as a kid I couldnt even pick up his hunting pack for the back of beyond country.. we would stay out for for several weeks back then.. great times with my dad.. 

 Dude
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2014, 10:27:24 PM »
I'm scared to ask, but have you read Dr. Grace Lee Nute's treatise on the Voyageur?  I believe she was the longtime director of the History department at the U. of Mn. or possibly the State Historical Society.....my mind wanders. :shrug:   

Anyway, she speaks of the many painful maladies that beset the little beasts of burden, from hernias, to debilitating back injuries, broken legs and knees from falls, drownings (most couldn't swim), disease, etc.   A very well done, scholarly history of their lives and how they lived them. :thumbsup:


Sorry for the slight derail....I can't help myself sometimes. :-[     Pitiful! :doh:
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Offline Dude McLean

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2014, 10:40:36 PM »
no have not resad that but will track it down..

 Another thought on tump lines or straps , you can place the strap across your chest it seems to ride on your upper arms and shoulders..

 I have tried that before but did not like it as well.. however now I might try it with my pack basket.. and see how that works..

 I just wish more writers would check what they think is gospel with a few other people .. no one knows everything and sometimes just because we have done  a thing for years, does not mean we are doing it right. DC could have saved himself a lot of grief by doing a simple check.. I was wrong once myself.. I know , I know hard to believe.  :sarcasm: :lol:

 Dude
I have been where the hand of man has never set foot.

Offline woodsrunner

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2014, 10:43:28 PM »
I'm scared to ask, but have you read Dr. Grace Lee Nute's treatise on the Voyageur?  I believe she was the longtime director of the History department at the U. of Mn. or possibly the State Historical Society.....my mind wanders. :shrug:   

Anyway, she speaks of the many painful maladies that beset the little beasts of burden, from hernias, to debilitating back injuries, broken legs and knees from falls, drownings (most couldn't swim), disease, etc.    A very well done, scholarly history of their lives and how they lived them. :thumbsup:


Sorry for the slight derail....I can't help myself sometimes. :-[     Pitiful! :doh:
well that explains a few commplaints ive had lately :rofl:...Dave
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Offline woodsrunner

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2014, 10:49:19 PM »
no have not resad that but will track it down..

 Another thought on tump lines or straps , you can place the strap across your chest it seems to ride on your upper arms and shoulders..

 I have tried that before but did not like it as well.. however now I might try it with my pack basket.. and see how that works..

 I just wish more writers would check what they think is gospel with a few other people .. no one knows everything and sometimes just because we have done  a thing for years, does not mean we are doing it right. DC could have saved himself a lot of grief by doing a simple check.. I was wrong once myself.. I know , I know hard to believe.  :sarcasm: :lol:

 Dude
Don't get me wrong, i really respect DC...but ive heard him make some pretty outlandish and incorrect statements in his early youtube days...woods
'At play in the fields of the Lord'
Save a Logger...Eat a Tree Hugger!

Offline Alan Halcon

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2014, 07:39:11 AM »
MnSportsman,

after some thought, I think what he was trying to say is

cover it over with a cubby, thereby concealing it and making it more attractive to your prey.

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Bushcraft101... Book Review
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2014, 09:02:47 AM »
MnSportsman,

after some thought, I think what he was trying to say is

cover it over with a cubby, thereby concealing it and making it more attractive to your prey.


  You are likely right, Alan.
I have not used a deadfall trap, with a cubby, either below, or on top of the deadfall. But your way of saying( describing) it, is much more understandable to me, rather than the way it was quoted from the the book, particularly without a pic/illustration.


Thanks for the sharing of your thought.
:)


 
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)