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Thread: stinging nettle?

  1. #41

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    Sorry TMD but I got this when I tried to give you some Rep for your post and pics.....
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to themoondancer811 again.
    *SIGH*

    IIRC I just built mine along the instructions for a Digging Stick in Larry Dean Olsen's "Outdoor Survival Skills". I think when I harvested the Spurge Nettle all I had was a Peterson's Guide and that book.
    Last edited by Pocomoonskyeyes3; 01-24-2011 at 12:18 AM.
    Because a survival situation carries an aura of timelessness, a survivor cannot allow himself to be overcome by it's duration or quality. A survivor accepts the situation as it is and improves it from that standpoint. Prologue from Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen


  2. #42

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    LOL Poco. Spreading reputation... are we in high school?

    Oh well, anyhow, I have never been handy at "making tools" as I always had the other male half who did all that burly male stuff. I should try though, being a woman is no excuse!
    Last edited by themoondancer811; 01-24-2011 at 12:32 AM.
    "I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."
    -Henry David Thoreau

    "A gardners best revenge is to eat the weeds."

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by themoondancer811 View Post
    LOL Poco. Spreading reputation... are we in high school?

    I have never been handy at "making tools" as I always had the other male half who did all that burly male stuff. I should try though, being a woman is no excuse!
    Actually I think the "REP" button is a good thing. It is a way to commend folks for making particularly good posts,(You've made a few lately) I have given you Rep recently so I can't give it again until I give a certain number of people Rep (20 I think). You may notice some like Rick,Crash,YCC, and others,have several small green squares under their name. Because they have made many Good or Excellent posts, and have been given LOTS of Rep for those good posts.

    As for making the Digging Stick it really is pretty simple. I'll see if I can't read up on it and then in my own words tell you how it is done. It has been A VERY long time ago but it is pretty Easy, I'm sure I could make one from memory but want to do it as close to that one as possible and maybe make one and take pictures or a video. All you need is a 4' stick, straight, and of the right thickness.... and a knife... maybe a fire if you are going to harden it. Which I would advise if you are going to use it much.... which I think you will.
    Because a survival situation carries an aura of timelessness, a survivor cannot allow himself to be overcome by it's duration or quality. A survivor accepts the situation as it is and improves it from that standpoint. Prologue from Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen

  4. #44

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    I would love to have one that I could figure out how to use, it would make it easier when harvesting a large amount of roots, which I do. Thanks for your efforts!

    As for the rep thing...I still am just getting how the forum works, with my daughters help. I'll catch on to the whole thing eventually! Plenty of time on my hands and I have been LOVING the internet. I guess I didn't know what I was missing
    "I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."
    -Henry David Thoreau

    "A gardners best revenge is to eat the weeds."

  5. #45
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themoondancer811 View Post
    ...being a woman is no excuse!
    Actually, many of the "burly" tasks were done by the women. Tanning in particular (I enjoy tanning) was a woman's job and it is very labor intensive.

    fire-hardening is simply forcing moisture out of the stick, causing the saps and sugars to crystallize, giving a more solid form to the innards of the stick. Try to select a hardwood as it will give you the most durable points, where softwoods will tend to burn rather than harden. Fire is a great tool.

  6. #46

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    Well wouldn't you know it? The one book I am looking for is the only one I can't find!!! It seems I have misplaced my Outdoor Survival Skills By Larry Dean Olsen. Arrrrggggghhhh!!! Looks like I'll have to do it from Memory......
    Because a survival situation carries an aura of timelessness, a survivor cannot allow himself to be overcome by it's duration or quality. A survivor accepts the situation as it is and improves it from that standpoint. Prologue from Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen

  7. #47

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    OK so I didn't misplace it after all, It was just hiding behind the other books on my shelf!

    In Larry Dean Olsen's book Outdoor Survival Skills, printed by Chicago Review Press, it says the following:
    Chapter: Plants
    Section: Harvesting Plants
    Plant part: Roots P.76
    Finding an edible root is fairly easy, but most roots grow deep,and digging them out can be difficult unless one is prepared with a few good techniques. ..... The stick is made from a stave of Hardwood about 3 feet long and 1 inch in diameter. After the bark is removed, the stick is hardened in the fire and the tip is rubbed into a chisel shape on a coarse rock....
    OK to harden in a fire you BAKE the wood by having it CLOSE to the fire but NOT too close. Basically they say "Scorching" the stick 3-4 times with green wood will harden the wood but several scorchings are needed to drive the sap out. I also cut a V notch in the chisel part instead of having it straight across. Also I prefer a 4 foot staff instead of the 3 foot they recommend.(More leverage, and less tiresome) I also use a wider diameter stick about 1 1/2 inches. If you have the time, materials and can spend a little more effort, smear a little pine sap on the chisel and bake it until it is absorbed into the wood and hardens. This will add some durability to it, but do this after the wood is dry and hardened already, so it will absorb the sap some.

    I will "Revive" this thread again after I can make a digging stick and make a video of it. A digging stick of 4 foot can also be used as a walking stick and used to kill any poisonous snakes you may encounter in your outings. It really is a useful survival tool, once you get the hang of it.

    To use it is simple - you push the stick into the ground(Chisel end) close to the root, but not too close. Then you just pry the root out of the ground. MUCH faster and easier than digging... even with a shovel. Of course in rocky ground (Like I have here) it is not as easy as in areas that have soft loamy type soils. Also you will want to harden the staff some along the working end, otherwise it has too much "Give" to it. Just not so hard that it breaks easily.
    Because a survival situation carries an aura of timelessness, a survivor cannot allow himself to be overcome by it's duration or quality. A survivor accepts the situation as it is and improves it from that standpoint. Prologue from Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen

  8. #48
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    In the History Channel TV show series "Digging for the Truth," Season 2, Volume 1, episode 3 "Stonehenge: Secrets Revealed," they show a few uses of Stinging Nettle, how they are debarbed, how it is made into cordage and how it was used as food. You may be able to find it at the library or online. Very detailed usage in making the cordage and stone lifting rope.

    I have often made the cordage from nettles and use it in making some of the rustic furniture I teach how to make. Very important to use good splicing techniques, otherwise very simple and straight forward in its use as a tool. If not allowed to dry out a little first, your cordage will shrink as the cord dries.

    For eating it, I have always debarbed it first then boiled it, added water cress, some crushed green pine nuts. some sasafrass root (very little, one small chip, yes I know the cancer fears of it) and ramps, it made a nice side dish that was tasty and very easy to make.

    The debarbing got me a few times until I got the hang of it, now, very easy to do. The spring and summer here in Ohio, it is all over the place in the backwoods and even urban enviroments at the edges of well watered gardens.

    I also learned how to use it from a National Park Ranger where I was giving a class on Rustic Firniture Making in Cuyahoga National Park. He took me out after the class and showed me a few things he has learned about nettles of various kinds. Very interesting plants and history of use by the various Ohio Native Americans.
    Last edited by OhioGrizzLapp; 02-05-2011 at 08:17 AM.

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