Hi folks my name is Manse from
wilderness pioneers and i’d like to welcome you today to another one of our
videos on primitive skills here at our primitive base camp today in our series of primitive skills the first thing that we will be covering
is how to make a digging stick just using flint and fire to produce an
implement that we can dig up roots and get cordage for future projects digging
sticks really important particularly when we want to find natural cordage
such as routes from cedar and pine rather than using our hands all if we
have a knife using a knife which just end up bunting it we want to make a tool
which can put up with the abuse that we’re going to give it to go into the
ground and expose those roots so today i found this conveniently a forested
section of hornbeam , hornbeam lovely hardwood and as you can see it’s
way too long personally I like a digging stick about
two foot two and a half foot in length and its about the rights sort of diameter ,nice and strong as we know hornbeam as a hardwood so it’s got that inherent
strength within it but I need it cut off around here rather than spending a lot
of energy with a stone tool I’m going to use the fire and get it to burn through.
There are two advantages first little burn it to the length i want secondly it’s also hard in it and the
charred bits that come out we’ll just use Flint to shape it into the chisel
shape that we want as we can see it’s beginning to burn
through their the reason why i put this over these logs is trying to protect the
main stem of my digging sticks so I am trying to focus as much of the heat in
this area that I want burn through and these two which are burning at the
moment are protecting my main shaft of the digging stick but there’s still a
lot of heat coming in so any moisture is being driven out and also the
advantage of that heat it’s beginning to harden there as well ok so it’s been about five minutes or so
there we go we can see it’s burned through now what I need to do is just
cool it down and the way I tend to do is just stick it into the ground near the
fire the residual heat of the fire will continue to harden the wood as well and
it will cool suffocate any embers which are left on the digging stick and then
i’ll give it a couple of minutes pull it out then I’ll get the Flint onto it and
our chisel the front and get it ready in to our digging stick. so that’s been a couple of minutes, I’ll pull this out yep, as you can see still quite hot, so i
need to let that cool down a bit ok this is now cool down to a level
where i can manage it and what we’re going to do is take this point of and
make it a lot more acute very much of it like a chisel shape and that’s will just
make it inherently stronger but I’ve got to get rid of all this charred material
and what I’m going to use is just a hefty chunk of flint , get the angle right that’s mostly charred material off and
what I’m going to try using a different piece of Flint slightly sharper edge and
I just try to chisel it down ok I’m happy with that we’ve got a
slight chisel and still bit of a point on there that may break off but we can
reach sharpen it but that is very very hard i can barely get a nail into that. A
good thing stick for getting the roots out that we need for our cordage for
ongoing project nice and easy as you can see it didn’t take too much effort whatsoever. To recap it’s finding a decent piece of wood that is roughly
about a meter or so maybe a little bit long for me but it will still work I can grip it quite comfortably , it important feature about it is smooth so i’m not going to
get too many blisters if I was really being anal about it i could grind these
little knots down but it will do the job so we’ve burned through it to roughly
the desired length stuck it into the ground to cool it then using our Flint
we just scraped off all the charred material got down to the hardened word
and then using a different flake we just chiseled the end to make it that little
bit stronger to put up with the stresses and strains as we dig into the ground to
expose the roots a simple digging stick doesn’t take too
much effort we didn’t need to use modern tools, a bit of flint and fire and we’ve
ended up with a very useful tool An additional use for this tool as I said
it’s a little bit large for me is it can also be used as a hunting tool such as a
rabbit stick so i’m sure a prehistoric man used to carry one of these around
multifunction tool hunting tool as well as digging to get food cordage or
whatever he needed nice and easy nothing too difficult
about it hope you enjoyed this primitive series and stay tuned there will be many more coming as we
continue on with our projects and we will be using this in our next video
where we will be digging up roots for cordage going on to another project that
will be making

Primitive Skills – Making A Digging Stick

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