October 27, 2002

Autumn, Shelter, Cordage

(Photos and report by Walter Muma)


On Sunday Oct 27, seven people met at a semi-wild area west of Toronto. A warm welcome to newcomers Brian and Doug!

For more information about Shelters & Cordage, please visit the Wildwood Survival website.


We wandered all over the fall landscape, under a mostly overcast sky, with occasional light rain. 

We explored forest, field, and marsh.

Along the way we examined shelter locations, materials, techniques and considerations. We chose to not actually build a shelter, as it would take up most of our time.

We found a freshly-fallen birch tree, and stopped to discuss the uses of birch bark and techniques for making things out of it. Then we harvested some bark.


Rob showed us how to make a birch bark bowl/pot -- or is it a hat?  :)  And a cup as well.

For more info on baskets and containers, see the Wildwood Survival website,
Wilderness Survival - Containers


We practiced making cordage from various materials:

From burdock...


From sedges...


From spruce roots:



And we experimented with other materials as well.


More info on cordage may be found on the Wildwood Survival website,
in the Wilderness Survival - Cordage section.


Along the way we spotted wild leeks hiding under the fallen leaves, still good to eat this time of year.

For more information on wild edible plants, please visit the Wildwood Survival website - Survival - Edible Plants section.


Orange jelly fungus, probably Witch's
Butter (Tremella mesenterica).


A mushroom eaten by a squirrel, still attached to the tree.


We also discussed fire-making techniques, plant and tree identification and uses, did some tracking, learned to identify water hemlock in the fall (North America's most poisonous plant), and more.

For more info on Water Hemlock, see the Wildwood Survival website, Poisonous Plants - Water Hemlock section.


And thanks to Rob who let us in on the secret of making a fire from a can of coke and a chocolate bar!

Oh, you weren't there? Well....the picture gives you a big hint. You probably figured that part out....but what's the chocolate bar for??? (It is used in the process).

For more hints, go to the Wildwood Survival website.


All in all, a very productive and enjoyable autumn day was had by all who attended!

For more information about Shelters & Cordage,
please visit the Wildwood Survival website.



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