|Selecting and Preparing Materials
by Kurt Folsom
During this past winter and spring classes we've learned many lessons about working in
a survival situation, lessons which apply to living and working in general.
One of the most important things I realized is that preparation and care with your
equipment is crucial. The use of an article or tool is only the last step of selecting and
preparing that item.
Selecting should be done with the attitude of a gardener. Weed out that which would do
the most good by allowing other plants surrounding it to grow healthier and stronger. Look
for areas of intense competition and take the one struggling and losing the battle. The
taking of anything from nature is always done with forethought and consideration of what
would do the most good for that particular spot of Earth Mother.
A little extra time spent collecting the best possible materials i's time and effort
saved later in trying to compensate for or iron out flaws. Not to say that you want to
travel for long periods of time choosing equipment in a survival situation, but that
whenever you choose to take something, you should feel that you are doing good by taking
it and that it is a good choice for the article it is to become.
Care must also be taken in the crafting and preparation of your tools and materials.
Again, not undue time and effort, but make it into something you are pleased to say,
"I made this."
This makes excellent practical survival sense, as using well-crafted equipment you
stand a much better chance of being successful than with shoddier equipment. just as
important is realizing that everything we take is a gift from the Great Spirit, Earth
Mother, and everything we share Earth Mother with. To treat a gift such as a hunting
weapon, for example, with disrespect by choosing unfit material and not doing a good job
making your tool is a waste of the material and an embarrassment for the animal it might
Remember that everything we put out comes back and if we put out love, devotion, anger,
or frustration, that is what we will get back. The same laws apply to what we work on and
produce in our lives. The bow, or anything else you make, will, as Tom says, "sing
your song." Let's all strive to sing songs of peace, joy, and love.