Relevant quotes from the book:
On taking care of cast-iron cookware:
If you want your cast-iron pots and pans to stay seasoned, avoid washing them
with soap. (Seasoned means the pores of the iron are saturated and filled with
oil and grease; this makes the cookware nonstick as well as adding to the
flavor of the food cooked in it.) When you're finished cooking with a nicely
seasoned piece of cast iron, wipe it clean with a rag and put it away. If
something gets stuck to the surface or you accidentally burn food to the metal,
fill it with water only and boil it over the fire, then wipe it and dry
thoroughly. Never use a scrubbing pad or soap on cast iron. Most new cast-iron
pans come pre-seasoned. If yours is not, or if you buy used and it is rusted,
clean the rust with a piece of steel wool, wipe down with a heavy amount of
cooking oil or lard, then heat over a fire. Repeat this process as needed until
the oil stands in the pan. At this point, you can pour out the excess oil and
wipe it down as usual.
(Dave Canterbury: Bushcraft 101, p. 95)
On camp hygiene:
Once you have chosen a camp location, you will need to think about hygiene
needs in the form of waste disposal if you are camping for longer than one
night. Urine as well as defecation should be kept away from water sources.
Both need to be kept away from camp so as not to invite bacteria and critters.
Urine is a simple issue; you can just walk twenty steps or so in the opposite
direction of camp and the water source and do the business straight on the
ground or against a tree. Doing the other business, however, can require a
bit more work if the stay will be longer term. If you are only there for a
short period, you can simply dig a hole about 8-10" deep when the need arises
and fill in the hole when finished, allowing everything to decompose naturally.
If you are staying longer, a small, elongated trench may be in order. Dig this
trench a bit deeper. With each visit, cover the deposit; with subsequent
visits, you will move down the trench a bit at a time. Any group including
more than one person camping for a few days will require a more elaborate
system such as several trenches in different areas.
(Dave Canterbury: Bushcraft 101, p. 132)
General personal hygiene:
For personal daily hygiene, I usually use the bandanna in my pack combined with ashes from the
fire to create a quick solution that is antibacterial in nature when a bit of
hot water is added. To make this solution, add white ash from hardwooods to
water, in a ratio of three parts water to one part ash. I have washed my
clothing in this same solution, and it will do a pretty good job when you're
out of soap. This will do for washing, if needed, but simple fire smoke is
antibacterial in nature for the very short term; standing over the fire and
opening your clothing to let smoke in will kill many odors from
(Dave Canterbury: Bushcraft 101, pp. 132-133)
I generally carry a toothbrush because, in my experience, it is far superior
to any plant material or chewed stick for the job. (Plus, the thought of a
splinter in the gums is enough to make the toothbrush more than worth the
weight!) When brushing teeth in the short term, warm water will do a fine
enough job; if grit is needed, mix ashes with water for this as well.
(Dave Canterbury: Bushcraft 101, p. 133)
Figuring daylight hours:
There will be times when you want to know how much daylight you have left.
It is prudent to set camp at least two hours before sunset in the summer
and four hours in the winter, because of supplies needed for a comfortable
night, such as wood. To figure this out without a watch, lift your hand up
with your thumb tucked under your fingers together. Place your hand under the
sun. Every hand you can place between the sun and the horizon line going down
equals one hour, and each finger represents fifteen minutes.
(Dave Canterbury: Bushcraft 101, p. 166)
On the medicinal value of white pine needles:
White pine needles can be made into an infusion very high in vitamin C that makes a good immunte
system-boosting drink. To accomplish this, collect a handful of needles, cut
them in thirds, and place them into 8 ounces of boiled water. Place a lid on
the container and let them steep away from the fire for fifteen minutes. Strain
and drink three times per day in winter or when food sources are scarce.
(Dave Canterbury: Bushcraft 101, p. 170)
On the medicinal use of willows:
Willow bark has been used for thousands of years as a painkiller (like
aspirin). It can be
chewed, or you can prepare a decoction. (...)
Willow is a great water indicator, as the trees require very moist soil
to grow. Tulip poplar is among the tallest trees in the eastern woodlands, and because
it drops its lower branches as it grows, it is a great place to seek
fire-making materials. Other common trees in this family are saw tooth aspen,
quaking aspen, and poplar.
(Dave Canterbury: Bushcraft 101, p. 173)