Cedar trees are some of the most prolific trees in North America. Are you using cedar to its full potential in your camp?
One of the most satisfying transformations that takes place as you learn bushcraft, is the transformation of the world around you. What used to be a row of trees becomes a repository of archery equipment, food, tools, and medicine. The trick is distinguishing each variety of plants and learning their uses. One tree that is currently expanding its range you may find useful is the eastern red cedar.
Red cedar trees historically were most prevalent in the eastern United States, but recently have begun moving west into the Great Plains. They are a tree with many uses, and using cedar trees in your bushcraft practices might be something you are already doing. If not, you are missing out on a versatile resource.
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced woodsman, you might learn something from the Dave Canterbury video on using cedar.
As you can see from the video, Dave uses the tree mostly for fire purposes such as tinder, kindling, and for friction fire kits.
Canterbury focused this using cedar video on fire, but did mention other aspects as well. He mentioned it can be used to fashion archery equipment. Some of the most popular traditional arrow shafts are made using cedar, although the Port Orford variety is the most popular.
In addition to the uses discuss in the video cedar bark can also be processed to make a fine cordage. If you can remove the hard outer bark and get to the fibrous cambium inside, you can twist it just like any other cordage you would want to make. It makes a decent cordage if you know how to get at it.
If you have not been using cedar in your bushcraft projects, keep an eye open for it in the future. It is a great tree for fire, making archery gear, medicinal uses, and cordage as well. Learn to identify it and you’ll realize how abundant they truly are.