More on Making Fire, Last Days to Comment on Sodium Cyanide, Desert Explorer Gear

Even a Child Can Do It

Yesterday was a beautiful 70 degree day in Lafayette, Colorado. My son and I took advantage of the entire day, and towards the day’s end we built a fire in our usual manner- with the bow and drill. And as usual my three year old sat closely and watched as I set up my tools for creating fire. Once I got the spark on the flake of wood I keep in my kit, we transferred it into the awaiting Juniper bark birdsnest. Nico then helped me blow the Juniper bark into flame. After our fire was going, Nico decided that he wanted to give his fireset a try. He asked to borrow my “special rock”, a piece of sandstone rounded in a streambed with the perfect hole in the center for the drill. He explained the ends of the drill, and where they go, he got his gear together and got set up. I helped him wrap the bowstring around the drill and to my surprise he was able to situate himself perfectly, his foot firmly against the fireboard , his body directly over the drill, with his bow moving back and forth consistently. Although he is a little lacking in weight and stamina, I can see that it is just a matter of time before he creates his first fire. I look forward to the day. For more on primitive fire skills, visit the Desert Explorer website. For more on introducing children to the wilderness and teaching them primitive skills, visit the Wilderness Kids page.

Last Days for Comments on Sodium Cyanide and M-44’s

The comment period will end on 05 March regarding the proposed ban on sodium cyanide, Compound 1080 and the M-44 predator control device. If you have not yet commented, please do. To learn more about the proposed ban and what it means, visit the Sinapu blog. Visit the EPA website to make comments- click here for the comment page. (If the page does not load, go to, and type “hq-opp-2007-0944” in the search field.)

These devices pose a serious threat to all animals and humans alike. In recent years there have been a number of instances of humans being poisoned by these devices, both civilians and federal agents responsible for device placement. These devices are placed primarily on public lands and private lands when requested. They have also been placed on private land without owner consent. There are problems with their oversight and the responsible agency, Wilderness Services, a branch of the Department of Agriculture, has failed numerous audits. Regardless of which side of the predator control issues one falls, the fact is that these poisons are lethal, dangerous, and pose a serious threat to the public. For more information and links see our 06 February, 2008 blog post.

Desert Explorer Updates

This week on Desert Explorer I added a Gear Shop page and a page on Homemade Gear. The Gear Shop page lists some of the equipment that I have come to rely on in recent years. I will continue to add to it as I find pieces of equipment that deserve to be there. The Homemade Gear page is barely underway. I have only posted the homemade alcohol stove, and a link to the instructions. Unfortunately the link seems to be broken at present. I will leave it up and check on it in the next few days. The alcohol stove made from two Red Bull cans is one of the most useful and efficient stoves I have ever had. I will add plans soon for a homemade silcloth daypack , a mosquito net, and a simmer plate for stoves without the simmer option. I have made all of these and have had great results in their use. Check back for those updates.

I also began a wildlife page on the Coyote this week. The 06 February blog post mentioned above is also available there.

Summer will be here soon and we will be in the canyons and on the river before we know it- start getting prepared!


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