The Marttiini M571 knife…

The Marttiini M571 knife had somewhat of a cult following while it was in production. Its direct competitor was the Mora 510 or even the Mora #1/#2. The prices were similar of around $10 USD. Ergonomically the M571 won hands down, even though the blade was just a little over 3 inches long. Amazingly, the M571 came with a polished carbon steel blade edge…it’s the little extras that catch my eye. It also felt MUCH better in hand while using than the Moras. The “written rule of bushcraft” stated that you needed a blade that was the width of your palm. Good advice for the most part unless you knew what you were doing when using a knife.

I’m not going to get into the bushcraft aspect and all that it entails…I called it camping since we always did similar things when outdoors. Call it whatever you want.

Since we were dog-sitting this weekend and couldn’t get away, I decided to try my hand at re-handling knives. I had some Cherry, Blood wood and Zebra wood pieces laying around and they were the right size for my intended project. I didn’t take any photos of the process since it’s pretty straight-forward. I measured the blocks, cut a few pieces of leather for spacers, carefully drilled and filed the inlets for the blade tang and then epoxied and clamped everything together. Shaping was done by a bench belt sander to remove the bulk of the wood and final shaping was done by hand with sandpaper. When I was satisfied I applied wood stabilizer and let it dry.

The end results…

Re-handled Marttiini M571. Zebra wood and Cherry wood.
I prefer a plain handle over various contours.
I have large hands so I opted to make the handle longer.
Which looks better? Exhibit A
Or Exhibit B?
I also re-handled an old Mora I had laying around. Blood wood and Cherry.

For working with softer woods the Scandi grind is ideal but here in the Cross Timbers the convex grind reigns supreme. It’s much stronger and holds up better than the former grind, and you remove a lot less metal when re-sharpening. But I always keep the M571 in my pack since I can use it for cleaning small game, whittling or other simple camp chores.

It was a fun project that kept me occupied for a few hours. I was happy with the results and feel it took the knives to a level that was better suited to my needs.

Thanks for reading….


Almost every summer we make a refreshing drink from the Sumac shrub.

Smooth Sumac-Rhus glabra

We have these growing on our property in healthy patches so we use them for their medicinal purposes. I like to experiment with wild edibles and medicinals and according to common sense recommendations I always perform a test by rubbing some on my wrist and waiting several hours to see if there might be an allergic reaction. Then I proceed to the next step. That being said…I am NOT a Doctor or Homeopath so take all of this with a grain of salt and forage at your own risk. I spend countless hours doing research and plant identification as well as looking up any scientific studies relating to the species I am interested in. Research and “dirt-time” are critical components to my hobby.

It gets hot in Oklahoma and I haven’t found a better method to cool off and feel refreshed than drinking Sumac-ade. Of course we could always jump in a lake or stream, but this method has added benefits for us.

In this series of photos I will admit that I collected drupes from the Sumac rather late in the season and these specimens are not in their prime condition. When prime they are a beautiful, uniform red color. I have read on several occasions, that the drupes need to be collected before a rain or a week or two after since the rain tends to leach out the Vitamin C content.

The first step in the process is to properly identify the plant- be 100% positive that it is the correct species.

Collect however many drupes you need for the quantity you’d like to make.
We use a mortar and pestle to gently crush the seeds to help release the contents.
Next we place the lightly crushed seeds into a bowl full of water and let them soak overnight in the refrigerator.
We strain the mixture through some cheese cloth.
Resultant liquid after the first straining.
Second straining. We place a coffee filter over the mouth of a Mason jar and pour the liquid through.
Our end result. Prime drupes processed in a similar manner will have a more reddish tint than ours did.

This creates a tangy and tart liquid that is very refreshing. You can add a sweetener of your choice-organic sugar or locally grown honey if you prefer. We drink it as is.

Current research shows that:

-High Vitamin C content

-Contains Antimicrobial compounds

-Sugar regulating compounds

-Antioxidant compounds

-Boosts good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol

-and several other benefits

We like the tangy flavor and find that it cools us down on a hot day. It takes some effort to make but its worth it for us. On several occasions we have made this in the field just using a bandana. Currently we carry a few items with us to make foraging and using edible and medicinal plants easier…

We each carry a tea ball strainer and biodegradable tea bags in our packs.

Thank you for reading and have a GREAT weekend…

Shore Exploration 11 Sept 2021…

Both of us had a really busy week and wanted to get out and relax for a bit and stretch our legs. The high temperature for today was forecast at 99F so we opted to go early in the morning. This particular area is relatively close to our house and it’s generally quiet without too many people around. We ended up seeing more Whitetail deer than people.

When I’m not fishing, I tend to just roam and explore. As I’ve stated previously, I am always curious about what’s around the next bend or over the horizon. And both of us continually learn something new every time we get out and look around.

The shoreline is covered with Willow trees, Buttonbush and Cockle Burs. We like to pick our way through it all and see the animal tracks and anything interesting we might come across.

Heron track.
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Buttonbush flower.
Halberdleaf rosemallow (Hibiscus laevis)
Rough Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium)
Always observing!

We had fun even though we were only out for about 3 hours. We covered 4.91 miles and collected 8 bags of trash on the way out. I managed to find two other plants I wasn’t familiar with so didn’t include those as it will take me time to identify them. Below I will show 2 books that I use most often. If anyone from Oklahoma is interested-they are available from the Oklahoma State University bookstore.

One of the better books I have seen and used in relation to my area.
Taxonomic key. Not for the easily frustrated!
A few of the things we found (Knife is for scale).
A few feathers we ran across.
The belt-kit I was using. I really like the Maxpedition Roly-Poly Dump pouch. It’s perfect for storing things when exploring or even foraging.

Thank you for reading. When the temperatures cool off a bit we plan on doing more fishing…but until then, we’ll keep exploring.