Tag Archives: Bushcrafting

Howto Building a Bushcrafting Seat in the woods

In this episode, I’ll show you how to make a comfortable bushcrafting chair out of a few sticks and a little string.

Step 1 – Finding suitable wood

For this seat, we need three wooden poles. These must be stable enough to bear the weight of whoever wants to sit on them. When choosing the pieces of wood, you should, as always, make sure that only dead wood is used. In addition to the aspect of not damaging living trees, it also has a convenient background. With fresh wood, you always have to expect that there is still some moisture and resin in the workpiece and leak out in different places over time. In my search, I opted for secluded beech wood. All bars have a diameter of approx. 10cm are dry and sufficiently stable to hold my weight individually. Of course, rotten wood is not advisable.


Step 2 – cutting the workpieces

For the two outer poles, two branches with a length of approx. 1.50 m to 1.80 m are required. With these two bars, it doesn’t matter that they are straight. Here you can also use slightly crooked workpieces. A wooden rod with a length of 1m to 1.50m can be used for the seat itself. This bar can be a little thicker so that the later seating comfort is a little more fabulous.


Step 3 – smoothing the workpieces

After the branches have all been sawn to the correct length, all protruding branches should be removed. In this step, you can remove the branches with a hatchet and any remaining bark remnants. Removing the bark residues ensures that the pieces of wood used can withstand the weather for longer. Not only does moisture collect under the bark, but also insects will quickly find a new home here. When you have now sawn, debarked and smoothed all three pieces of wood, the assembly begins.

Step 4 – frame construction

The frame structure itself consists of two long rods. For this purpose, these are tied together on one side, similar to a tripod. For this, I use a rope made from natural products such as hemp. Of course, you can also use paracord. However, I advise against it if you do not want to dismantle this seat immediately after use. If the bushcrafting seat remains in the forest, I ask you not to use plastic-containing cords. The connection itself is kept quite simple and essentially only consists of a few loops and a final knot.


Step 5 – the seat

After the two long poles have been connected, this frame should be set up once. On the one hand, you can see whether the newly created connection is holding. On the other hand, you can use the third rod to try out where it should be attached. Once you have decided on a position, you can begin to attach the last piece. To do this, we put the frame construction back on the floor. After the piece has been placed on the two legs of the frame structure, both sides can be connected. It would be best if you made sure that the connections are sufficiently stable and resilient, as this is where the highest loads occur.


Step 6 – commissioning

After all, connections have been made; you can set up the construction and try it out right away. The two long poles are leaned against a tree trunk with the upper part. However, the angle to the tree trunk also determines the seat height and stability.
And the bushcraft chair is ready. The entire construction should be set up in about 15 minutes after the workpieces have been found. The short construction time makes this project ideal for a shared adventure with children.

Have fun with the reproduction.

build a small Bushcraft bench from a log

When I’m out in the forest, I always enjoy having some tools with me. The backpack is certainly a little heavier, but there are countless possibilities. My son was there again on one of my last tours. At the time I write this blog post (early 2021), he is ten years old. It’s always lovely to see the enthusiasm with which new things are tried.
We had set ourselves the goal of building a bank. We had an axe, a saw and a paracord with us as tools.
To find a suitable workpiece, forest areas in which there are deciduous trees are suitable. Conifers are usually not very ideal because they contain much resin. Now and then, you will find places where some medium-sized trees such as birch, beech or oak have been fallen due to the last storm, are relocated. Of course, you have to be careful in such places whether the tree trunks are still under tension. We found just such a place, and we immediately started to sift through the wood. Since the logs had fallen for some time, it was safe to move between them.

What should a suitable workpiece look like?

Trunks that do not entirely rest on the ground are best. These pieces are usually dry and have a firm consistency. If you tap the wood with your fingers, you can hear a bright sound. If the sound is dull or if the wood is a bit musty, it is usually not worth sawing out a piece.
The length can be chosen freely and is only limited by the total weight you can carry yourself. Depending on the length, the trunk section must, of course, have a suitable thickness in diameter. After all, this piece of wood is supposed to withstand the weight of the people sitting on it. The comfort of the seat is, of course, greater the deeper the seat is. If in doubt, choose a larger diameter.
In our case, we have chosen a reasonably short piece of about one meter. The diameter is about 25cm and therefore sufficient for the expected weight.

Sawing the sections

To sit comfortably on the bench, one long side is now removed from the tree trunk piece. The aim is to get a flat surface over the entire width of the beam. So that the stability does not suffer too much, it is advisable not to split the trunk directly in the middle. It is possible to saw off a piece over the entire length, but it is quite a laborious task. I prefer to saw across the workpiece with a saw at intervals of about a hand’s breadth. The cut should be so deep that it corresponds to the portion to be removed.

Manufacture the seat

When the trunk has now been sawed, the tree trunk’s unneeded part can be removed with the axe. It is best to start with a middle segment. I hold the workpiece upright with my left hand and then use the axe with my right hand. By sawing, the pieces come off quite easily. When all segments have now been removed with the axe, the fine work can begin. With the axe or knife, you can now work on the seat as finely as you would like to do it.

Find and saw wood for tripods

The main piece is now finished. Now the pieces of wood are missing with which you can make the two tripods you need. Six sticks of the same length, if possible, with a diameter of about 4 cm or a little more are needed. Of course, you have to take the total weight into account here too.
In our case, sticks a little more than 40cm long and about 4cm in diameter were sufficient. Again, dry and stable dead wood from deciduous trees should be used.

Tie a tripod

To tie a tripod out of three sticks, you need a little bit of Paracord. A 2m long piece of string should be sufficient. I am placing the three sticks next to each other so that there is no space between them. The cord is attached to one of the outer sticks in the middle and then wrapped around all sticks. It would be best if you made sure that the bars stay tightly together. Towards the end, you can wrap the end piece between the sticks a few more times. The end of the Paracord should then be knotted tightly. The tripod is now ready and can be set up.

Assemble the bench

Time for the last work step now. Take the first workpiece and place it on the two tripods. After a slight fine adjustment, the bench should be ready.

Installation

The high point is to try out the bank and see if everything will hold up. All work steps can be carried out in about 30 minutes and are ideally suited as a small leisure project. Besides, there is, of course, the time to find suitable wood is not included.

Make a Temporarily Drinking Cup from Wood and Paracord

Intro:

Sometimes you need a small container to catch a little water, hold small things together, or only a temporarily drinking cup. Today we will look at how a makeshift cup can be made from a round wood piece with simple means. All we need is a saw, a knife and a little paracord. But one thing at a time. Let’s start by choosing the right piece of wood.

Selecting The Right Stick Of A Tree

There are a few things to consider when choosing the appropriate piece of wood. First of all, I would like to ask you to use dead wood whenever possible explicitly. This behaviour is not only for the reason that no trees should be damaged. Even dry deadwood has the advantage that any moisture will not affect the taste. 

Under no circumstances should poisonous woods such as yew be used. Most yew species, such as the European yew (Taxus baccata), contain very toxic ingredients such as Taxin B. Bark, needles, and seeds are poisonous. However, the red seed coat does not contain any toxins. Cases of fatal poisoning by yew trees are known from humans, cattle and horses.


The use of softwood can also be unfavourable, as these woods often have a high resin content. This resin not only sticks the tools used but is also very stubborn on the skin. The resins themselves leave a nutty to very bitter taste that can be very unpleasant.


When the right piece of deadwood has been found, the question of the right size comes up. Here I recommend a portion for the first attempts you can enclose with your hand if it is a drinking cup. Up to this size, the work steps can still be carried out quickly with a relatively small tool. If the pieces are too thick, a more extensive tool is needed rapidly.


The wood should also not have died for too long so that the structure is still firm and not decomposed by insects. If you knock on the piece of wood and make a dull sound, it may have become too damp. Elements of wood that do not touch the ground are usually more suitable, as these are dry compared to those pieces that lie directly on the ground.
In terms of structure, the areas that have little or no knotholes are suitable. Branches that have grown out of the trunk leave most holes in the trunk that are not conducive to a cup’s function.

Saw The Workpiece To Size

When sawing out the workpiece, the length of the palm of the hand, including fingers, has proven to be practical for me. The longer the pieces, the more difficult it is to split them with small tools. The sawing itself should be carried out cleanly so that the edges do not splinter or break off. After the first cut, be sure to check the inside of the wood for damage from insects or fungi. If the tree is already severely damaged from the inside, further use is not recommended.

Split It Into Parts

The piece of wood must now be split into three or four parts. You can use an axe for this. It is also possible to use a knife and a wooden stick as a hammer. Please make sure that it is best to use a full tang/knife.Process individual parts with the knifeAs soon as the three or four parts are in place, you can start flattening the inside. The goal is to have a cavity in the middle when you put all the pieces back together later. So that you don’t accidentally edit the entire length, you can either mark it with a pen or use the saw. With the saw, you can cut the inside where the bottom of the vessel is to arise.

You should not work on the side walls.If you can work very precisely, it may work, but most of the time, the result is bad. Use the structure that resulted from splitting and leave it as it is. This gives excellent results in terms of water permeability.

Assemble And Tie With Paracord

The last step is to put the individual parts back together. It is, of course, more comfortable if you have identified the individual workpieces.As soon as all parts have been brought together, you can start to wrap a piece of paracord tightly around the bottom of the cup. Complete this process with a knot. The same must then be repeated on the top of the cup. When you have everything tightly wrapped, you can start with the first operational test.

Function Test With Water or Coffee

Finally, you can now test the cup by filling it with water and looking for leaks. If you want, you can still seal the seams with liquid wax. In my case, I didn’t do it.Please note that only drinking water is used in the test phase with a cup that is to be used for drinking.Subsequent rinsing is not possible due to the relatively rough wooden surface.

Conclusion

We have now seen how you can make a makeshift cup in a few minutes with an axe, a saw and two pieces of paracord. It is crucial to choose the right piece of wood. Here again, the important note that you must not use poisonous woods.
Have fun!
Cheers Sven