My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

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We made bowls and spoons with coals

This is a great activity and survival skill to practice while hanging out by the campfire and family camping. Fire bowls and spoons are very simple make and is also a great survival skill to know. In this pic you see a bowl that is nearly done, the start of another bowl, a couple spoons, and a straw made out of the staghorn sumac branches that are all laying on top the staghorn branches. Not only is it a great survival skill and survival project to know how to make containers and utencils, but itís also surprisingly easy and fun to do. Once you have a good fire going with some hot coals, use a set of tongs or a few branches (great way to make wilderness survival tongs would be to get a forked branch and a second branch to trap the coals in the fork of the one branch while holding it in place with a second branch. Pic up a small coal and place the hot coal on a little indent or divot youíve made in the wood. Then use the straw to direct your breath on the coal at the point where it touches the wood. If itís dark youíll be able to see the coal light up a bit and then the wood will also. The more you do this, the more it will eat away at the wood. Just direct the coal to burn where you want it to. Make sure you donít get too close to the edges and donít go to deep. Also the blowing on the coal will often cause a flame to come up. Just blow it out and get back to work. With the kids keep in mind that the coal can be blown right off the wood and onto the ground or even a shoe or sock. Make sure theyíre supervised. Once you have a well formed bowl or spoon, you can use a knife or sand and a cloth such as a bandana to smooth it out.

Whatís great about it is that it easy to show others and doesnít take much effort. If your kids are old enough, you trust them and are careful (your responsibility, I am not recommending this for others) it can be another great survival skill while camping kids. My kids and I work on this stuff at many camp fires. It's not about the END OF THE WORLD - It's not about surviving a hypothetical PLANE CRASH - It's about the SATISFACTION YOU GET knowing you can take care of yourself and/or your family in ANY SITUATION, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!

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