Category Archives: BushClassUSA

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BushClassUSA Assignment – Improvise a Fishing Hook

This BushClassUSA Assignment was to improvise a fishing hook.  I carved a piece of hardwood dowel for the gouge and used jute twine, which I two-strand twisted together, for the leader. The gouge is about an inch long and maybe a quarter inch wide with a small grove cut out for the twine to sit in. Still probably a bit too large but serviceable I think.

BushClassUSA Assignment: Make A Personal Survival Kit

This BushClassUSA Assignment was to make a personal survival kit that would fit into a cargo pocket and reflect the needs of water, shelter, fire, signaling, travel, and sustenance.

Here’s my PSK.  The bag/pouch is a repurposed first-aid kit received as a safety award from work.  It’s fits into a cargo pocket nicely but can also be clipped onto a belt loop as well.

My mora triflex for scale.  Note the REI signal whistle clipped to the bag.

The outer pocket contains a small mirror inside a zip-lock baggie.

Once opened the bag will lay flat.  There is a zippered compartment on the right and a mesh one on the left.  In the center there is a small stretch band.

Contents on the left side and center:  One imitation SAK, 2 glowsticks, 1 lighter, 20 ft. OD Green Paracord, and one altoids tin sealed with orange tape.  More on it later.

Contents on the right side: 1 bandana, 1 small flashlight, 1 1gal. zip-lock bag, 1 mylar emergency blanket in its own sealed baggie.

Now to the altoids tin.  Taped to the top there are 5 waterproof matches, 5 lead sinker weights, one magnetized sewing needle, and two safety pins with 5 fishing hooks attached to each.

Here are the contents of the tin:

Top Row:  1 safety pin, 1 alcohol swab, 2 band-aids, 2 packets of water purification tablets, 1 packet containing 4 ibuprofin, 2 tylenol, and 1 benedryl, 5ft. of snare wire, 1 sewing bobbin full of 10lb test fishing line, 1 wire saw.

Bottom Row: 1 piece of aluminum foil (approx. 10in square), 1 pencil, 1 sheet of paper, 2 button compasses, 3 extra batteries for the flashlight, 1 birthday candle, 1 small firesteel with striker, one piece of charcloth.
Overall I’m pretty satisfied with this kit.  I feel like it covers the basic needs and it’s small and light enough to carry without being annoying.

Some changes that will be made when possible is to exchange the OD green paracord and blue bandana for their orange variety, exchange the picture hanging wire for some proper snare wire, upgrade the wire saw, switch out the mirror with a signal mirror, and exchange the paper and pencil with the write in the rain paper.

BushClassUSA Assignment: Tarp Shelter

We we’re camping at North Willow Canyon for the Fourth of July holiday weekend and I managed to get the Tarp Shelter BushClassUSA assignment finished.

Here you can see the completed project; which stood strong for three days.

I used the RidgeLine I made for the Ridge Line Assignment:Stick Toggles:Two-Half-Hitch knots to secure paracord line to tarp:Tautline Hitch Knot used on the stake end of the line:

BushClassUSA Assignment – Twig Fire

We went camping again this weekend and I finally got a chance to do this assignment.

I gathered all my fuel prep and sorted it into three piles.  On the left we have our pencil lead sized twigs.  In the center are the pencil sized twigs.  And on the right we have the thumb sized twigs.

After gathering the fuel I started working on the platform and brace to build the fire on.  In the fire pit I laid several larger branches across to form a platform.  On top of those I put another two branches to use as my brace.

The next step was to make feathersticks.

Once my feathersticks were in place I prepped a piece of cedar bark and got out my firesteel and charcloth.  I lit the charcloth, put it into the cedar bark bundle, blew that to flame, then placed it in my feathersticks.

That's my nephew and assistant Cole

As soon as the feathersticks were burning good I added a handfull of pencil-lead sized twigs; leaning them against the brace.

After the pencil-lead sized twigs took to flame I added a handful of pencil-sized twigs to the fire across the previous.

Then, after those were burning I added the thumb sized twigs to the fire.


BushClassUSA Assignment – Make a Shelter Ridge-Line

This BushClassUSA Assignment at BushcraftUSA was to make a ridge-line for my shelter kit from either twisted or braided material with a fixed eye at one end.

I chose to use paracord and the reverse two-strand twist method with a whipped eye.  Starting with a forty foot piece the finished ridge-line measured 21 and 1/2 feet long.

This one was a challenge to finish.  My Hands are killing me!