Urban Scout: Back to the Basics


This week I decided to go back to the basics of Urban Scout, remind myself why and where I came from and do some performance art! So I camo’d up, grabbed my trusty bow-drill and headed out to the Last Thursday event on Alberta Street.

Over a year ago I found a cave on the beach with lots of clay inside of it. This year while passing through that area I filled a 5 gallon bucket with it. It had two different shades/textures. One a grayish rougher clay and the other a smooth and sticky reddish clay. After working it for a while I found that the reddish stuff probably won’t do well for pottery. I couldn’t get the stuff off my hands! Then I realized it would make perfect camo.


The camo worked better than I thought it would. Sticky brownish/grayish clay! It stayed on all night (except where my basket rubbed against my back and shoulders). I heard all the same familiar remarks. Even the “lighter guy” made an appearance in the form of a young woman (in case you didn’t know, “Lighter Guy” refers to the person who will always say, “hey dude you need a light?” and offer a lighter while I work on a bow-drill fire).

I got a lot of compliments on my “outfit”. I even heard several different people call me a “warrior” which I’ve never heard before. Maybe because I look much more muscular these days (pure paleo diet + boxing workout) or perhaps because I finally got the facial camo right… I modeled it off of a guy in the movie “The Predator”.

Hey, remember this little guy:

I went to Molalla the other day and WOW! Look at how my little Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine has grown! If you remember, a friend gave me the tree for a birthday present a couple years back, and then it only stood about 1 1/2 feet tall. Now it reaches almost to 5 feet 8 inches! Crazy huh?


I gave it a little hair cut in the back so I can make a pine needle basket from its needles.


Also, the Camas patch had seed pods this year, with seeds inside!


Rewild Camp feels more and more awesome. My archery skills have improved quite a bit. I plan to go bow-hunting this fall with some friends, so every bit of practice helps. I need to get a much stronger bow for legal hunting however. The one in this photo pulls 35lbs. I need like 50lbs. For more photos and talk about the Portland Rewild Camp click here.


Now on to my Weekly Laundry List:

Last Week’s Personal Goals

1. Soak willows and Ivy to make English Ivy bike basket at Rewild Camp.

WIN. I soaked a bunch of willow and ivy and will post a blog about my trials and tribulations of learning basketry later this week. I didn’t work on it much at Rewild Camp because I didn’t bring enough ivy and I need to change the twining technique that I started with.

2. Make a few variations of stone drill’s

FAIL. I didn’t even think about this one. I’ll add this to this next week.

3. Make a mullet into a paint brush

50%WIN 50% FAIL. I didn’t have the right materials to make this happen the way I wanted. I need hide glue! So I’ll add that to this next week’s list in place of this one.

4. Write my “Hypocrisy vs. Rewilding”

FAIL. Too much time doing fun stuff to sit down and philosophize! You know it.

5. Trap the rat living in the compost

Not only did I trap one of the rats living in the compost, I wrote a blog about it!

Last Week’s Rewild Camp Goals

1. Build a Bow-making tool kit (technique “setup”)

Well, I bought a few machetes for Rewild Camp for bow-making and other odds and ends. I’d still like a few planers to make them look nice.
2. Take pictures of the kits I have built and share them at Rewild.info

FAIL. I’ll do that later this week!

3. Have a barbecue at Rewild Camp!

WIN. I cooked up hella meat on that grill. But no one ate it but me. WTF?

Overall this week felt like a huge success. Especially since I brought back the list mid-week! Just think of all the I could have accomplished had I had a whole week! Now that I do, let’s make this weeks list:

Next Week’s Personal Goals

1. Make “Hide Glue” and blog about it.

2.  Make another stone drill, so that you can…

3. …Finish Cedar Bark basket/quiver

4. Write “Hypocrisy vs. Rewilding”

5. Pre-shape my Black Locust bow

6. Finish up blog on willow/ivy basket

Phew! That looks like quite a list for me. Hopefully I’ll have the time to tackle at least half.

Next Week’s Rewild Camp Goals

1. Take photos of Rewild Camp kits

No rewild camp next week (4th of July) so I’ll get two weeks to do this!

Show your support and appreciation for Urban Scout

7 Comments on “Urban Scout: Back to the Basics”

  1. Cool stuff Peter!! I am coming home to visit this august- lets hang out! Also I am working on a project about Corbett and need some help identifying some plants. Would you check out my blog and help me identify some plants that I posted pictures of??

  2. Great stuff, scout. Inspiring. I also heard your recent podcast interview — the best. Hits on so many levels.

  3. Do you have a DIY instructional on how to make the pine needle baskets? That was something I was recently interested in learning :)))

  4. warrior ! I like it. You are a warrior, you have to be to rewild in a culture of domestication and stick around to help others.

  5. Heyyyyy Scout,

    Great blog, wonderful photos, would also like to know how to make a pine needled basket.

    Good luck with your bow and arrow!