Looking for a utilitarian way to practice your bushcraft skills during these cold months? Follow along with Ray Mears as he shows how to create a canoe paddle.
Bushcraft is a great way to learn about the natural world and ancient answers to questions about how to survive. However interesting and fulfilling, bushcraft is not always easy.
Bushcrafters often follow JFK’s famous advice about not doing things because they are easy, but doing things because they are hard. The bushcraft way of doing things is a difficult way, but the rewards are generally sweet.
There are some bushcraft projects that offer serious use in people’s everyday lives. One such bushcraft project anyone can undertake is to create a canoe paddle for your next canoe trip.
Watch this video to see how Ray Mears does it.
The nice thing about this project is the utility it offers, which Ray Mears really drives home. Some of the famous survivalists show the hardcore strategies people can rely on, but Ray really elucidates on the most practical bushcraft skills in an easy-going, relaxed way.
One thing I’ve noticed while watching Ray Mears videos, as well as other bushcraft practitioners out there, is the importance they emphasize on the details. In this particular video Ray remarks about how selecting the correct piece of wood is important.
So many people today carelessly pass over the details, but when it comes to bushcraft “the devil is in the details,” as the saying goes.
Experienced bushcrafters learned long ago not to invest the time and energy in a project that won’t turn out. For example, Ray is adamant about choosing the right tree since there is no point in taking the time to create a canoe paddle out of a tree that won’t split, or will crack and break after very little use.
These projects take a little more time to create, but will last if you pay attention to detail.
Good luck as you try to create a canoe paddle on your next foray into the woods, and if you pay close attention to the details of the project you will have a fine paddle to accompany you for years to come.