Devin Lavign

pollinator
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since May 01, 2015
Devin likes ...
books chicken forest garden goat hunting solar trees wofati woodworking
uggg...I hate trying to describe myself.

I just recently closed on 40 acres of raw land with an existing pond in the WA Okanogan Highlands. So really looking forward to getting dirty and getting started. Though I am probably going to hold off on planting anything this year and just work on infrastructure and preparing the property for planting next year. I am looking forward to finally put into practice the ideas I have without having to compromise due to it being someone else's land.

Some history and background about me.

I have traveled and lived most of the continental US. So have a decent grasp of the different areas of the US. As a kid I preferred going into the woods to play over going to a park or friend's house. Still I will almost always pick nature if given the choice.

I worked trail maintenance in the Cascades and that was likely my most favorite job ever. I lived, worked, and played in the forests of the Pac NWet. I learned a massive respect for pack goats during this. As they hauled the majority of our gear up the trail every day. Amazing smart animals and I can't wait to get my own goats to enjoy.

I lived and worked at Arcosanti for 4 yrs in AZ. A fun place to meet lots of wonderful people and pick up skills. I have spotted at least one other Arco alum here who I know. Who lived there previous to my time, but who I did meet and hang out with several times both at Arco and to go see him in Prescott.
Pac Northwest
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Recent posts by Devin Lavign

I saw this short film the other night and thought it worthy to share this man's story of turning a wasteland area in TX into an oasis of lushness with only one real tool. Planting grass.



David Bamberger is a wonderful inspiration and steward for the land. I truely hope he inspires more to do and think like him.
My neighbor turned me on to dried wild chamomile he harvests and puts in his trailer to help freshen the air in there as well as help absorb moisture build up.

I tried it in mine and it worked quite well.

Now it took a gallon pot sized amount of dried chamomile, to be enough to really freshen things up in my 25 ft trailer so that might give you a start on how much needed depending on the size and humidity problem in you bathroom. As for the moisture absorption, you need to take the dried chamomile out and dry it in the sun every couple to few days depending on how much moisture you have so it doesn't get moldy. And you need to replace it every moth or two.

But chamomile is a pretty easy plant to grow and it is pretty and it has plenty of other uses. Little warning, German chamomile if left unchecked can spread fast and become invasive. If your harvesting the buds for tea, and the plants as a air freshener dehumidifier though it should never be a problem. But I always like to warn of any invasive potential if it is there.
1 day ago
Awesome Mark, great to hear this thread inspired you to give it a go. Pics or no, it is great seeing someone take a conversation from a thread and be inspired to give a craft a try to see what can be done with their own hands.

Keep at it, learning the craft and your pics might one day inspire someone else to give it a go as well.
2 days ago
Thought I might post this video from one of my favorite youtube channels, this is from a recent Traditional Crafts of Norway series he put out and this one is on basket weaving.

1 week ago

Todd Parr wrote:

Devin Lavign wrote:
Cody literally can walk off into the AZ desert naked with no tools and survive for weeks and months alone. Matt I know from reputation through friends who know him as well as from seeing him on Dual Survival and Live Free or Die. He is a man who argued constantly with his partner in Dual Survival because he was able to set up a comfortable camp over and over again and wanted to stay put, while his partner wanted to always keep moving and get rescued. If not for his partner, Matt likely would have set up a palace in the wilderness and still be living there, and the show would have gotten pretty boring with him eating well and doing just fine and not wanting to be rescued.



I would simply have to see this to believe it.  I lived in AZ for quite a few years and I was very good friends with two men that were on the volunteer teams that went looking for people that got lost or stranded in the desert, and I personally don't believe anyone, anywhere, can go out into the desert and live for weeks without gear.  Most people would be in very bad shape the first day.  Plenty of the people they went looking for were found dead in days.  People coming across the border with food and water die in that heat every day, and they aren't trying to survive for weeks on end, just a few days..



I too lived in AZ for 4 yrs at Arcosanti, which is how I met Cody. Through a friend who lived there before me, and is also a permaculturist. Cody not only has survived in the desert with no tools and nude, but it was one of the tests he put his students from his school there through. I don't agree with this test, and it is actually what made me not go to his school. Cody is what he claims: and expert at survival.

I appreciate your skepticism, however I obviously have experienced and met folks you have not which gives me insights you have not had. Yes folks lived in groups, but most of those cultures had rights of passage involving youths going off and living on their own. Most of those people were able to go off on hunting trips and survive for a week alone. There were tribal explorers who survived alone, traders, etc... Why doesn't someone demonstrate it? Cody and Matt have. So have many others. But the TV folks don't seem to care to show this sort of thing. I would suggest if your truly interested in primitive skills, to go to Rabbit Stick https://www.rabbitstick.com/ ; . You can meet  some to the top wilderness survival folks in the world at that gathering. Folks who do study and use primitive skills regularly.
1 week ago
I really like this guy's organization set up for his wood boiler.



He set up stacks on rails so he could move the wood closer to the boiler as he used it without having to tear down a pile and re stack it. Pretty smart.
1 week ago

Todd Parr wrote:

Devin Lavign wrote:
There are folks who could live well out in these places, in fact Dual Survival had 2 of them. Cody Lundin and Matt Graham could easily survive indefinitely in most of these situations. Matt actually is also featured on Live Free or Die which is a much better reality show. In that show he is in an old camp of his but ends up moving due to the resources just not being there anymore. That is a big thing these shows don't tend to let their contestants do, move to better areas. Hunter gathers lived a nomadic life due to needing to follow the resources. Even in rain forests the hunter gathers moved around as they depleted an area.

So can people do the wilderness survival? Yes they could. If given a large enough area they could wander and search for resources.



The video in the original post talks about exactly this and comes to the opposite conclusion you have.  I agree with the guy in the video that says without modern equipment, and lots of it, it's is probably impossible and even then it is very, very unlikely.  If you have the time, could you watch the video and post your response to it?  I'm curious to hear more details from people that have come to the conclusions that you did.



I did watch the video before my first post on the thread.

Both Cody and Matt are highly experienced and practiced in primitive living. Which is why I cite them as examples of folks who could do it. Neither needs a plethora of modern equipment either, each could do it with no modern equipment. These two folks are not the only ones out there either. They are just the most publicly known. If you went to some of the primitive skills gathering like Rabbit Stick or Glass Butte Knapp In then you might realize like I do that yes some folks can do it. However there is the caveat to them being able to do it. Having a large enough range to allow them to do a a nomadic hunter gather life. With out the ability to range for good resources, no one could do it well. Some areas this could mean traveling a long way from the original position to find a better location. This could be due to sparse vegetation, lack of game, lack of water, or even just being the wrong season and needing to travel to a part of the land that has resources for that season.

Now the average bushcrafter or camper or survivalist, yes needs a lot of modern equipment because that is what they trained for and is part of their knowledge set. But there are still those out there like Cody and Matt who practice primitive skills. I know Cody could do it as I have actually met the man and know well the skill set he has. Cody literally can walk off into the AZ desert naked with no tools and survive for weeks and months alone. Matt I know from reputation through friends who know him as well as from seeing him on Dual Survival and Live Free or Die. He is a man who argued constantly with his partner in Dual Survival because he was able to set up a comfortable camp over and over again and wanted to stay put, while his partner wanted to always keep moving and get rescued. If not for his partner, Matt likely would have set up a palace in the wilderness and still be living there, and the show would have gotten pretty boring with him eating well and doing just fine and not wanting to be rescued.

Why I came to the conclusion I did is simple, the human race is still here is it not? Humans existed longer in hunter gather life than in civilization. Humans are quite capable of surviving and even thriving in the wilderness. What blocks our ability to do so is simply lack of skills and knowledge. If however someone has the skills and knowledge, then it is not so difficult a task. The problem is having a true skilled and knowledgeable contestant doesn't make good TV drama. So these shows don't require the people to be of proper skill level, and likely screen out these people. Just look at some of the people who make it in these shows. Naked and Afraid, there was an episode where they had 2 teams and had them meet up. This probably saved the life of one girl and likely her partner, due to her survival strategy was to let others do everything for her. She had no survival skills really. Or in Alone, how many times do people tap out in the first day? Or within the 1st week? If you can't handle a day to a week then you should not even be on the show, but every season they have these people who are not ready to do what is needed. Worse they are moaning about how much they miss family and friends in the first week of being out there. If someone can't handle being alone for a week, how did they expect to do the show? This is the difference between TV and true survival or primitive skills. TV is looking for drama and yes weakness in contestants. They don't want the best of the best who will easily succeed. They want the emotional breakdowns, the failed survival, the mistakes and goof ups. It makes the show more exciting. But true survival by experts is not filled with this sort of thing.
1 week ago
With these "survival" shows, they are setting people up for failure and inability to thrive in the wilderness.

Naked and Afraid having people without proper clothing immediately puts people at a huge disadvantage. The 1st thing everyone should do in that show is make shoes, but for some reason after the 1st season you don't see them doing that. Foot protection is super important since if you can't move around well you wont be able to gather what you need.

Alone, they drop people in late in the season, when food will be decreasing. So while there might be abundance at the beginning, it tappers off fast as fall heads into winter. Plus with the limited tools/equipment they are at a disadvantage of having less than what someone would want to survive.

These shows definitely set people up for failure. But then without that there wouldn't be drama to sell the show. If people did fine and set up nice homes in the woods and thrived, the shows would flop.

There are folks who could live well out in these places, in fact Dual Survival had 2 of them. Cody Lundin and Matt Graham could easily survive indefinitely in most of these situations. Matt actually is also featured on Live Free or Die which is a much better reality show. In that show he is in an old camp of his but ends up moving due to the resources just not being there anymore. That is a big thing these shows don't tend to let their contestants do, move to better areas. Hunter gathers lived a nomadic life due to needing to follow the resources. Even in rain forests the hunter gathers moved around as they depleted an area.

So can people do the wilderness survival? Yes they could. If given a large enough area they could wander and search for resources.
2 weeks ago
So it has been awhile since I added anything to this thread, but i just recently got some new cool tools that I wish to share with folks.

The Worx Areocart

This is a great multi function tool. While usually multi function tends to mean something does not do as good a job in specific tasks, this is one multi function tool that doesn't sacrifice much for being able to change tasks. While yes it does have some sacrifices for not being 100% dedicated to one task, it isn't that great in sacrifices. In fact these folks actually solve a lot of problems and make some great improvements that make up for the few issues that might seem like sacrifices.



Short Worx video


the Worx rather long video about this


This tool can be expanded further by adding additional accessories. Like a snow plow attachment, a wagon attachment, firewood carrier attachment, etc..

A video of the accessories



Can be found at https://www.worx.com/aerocart-wheelbarrow-yard-cart-wg050.html or https://www.amazon.com/Aerocart-Multifunction-2-Wheeled-Dolly-Wheelbarrow/dp/B00KCIZ5SM or https://www.homedepot.com/p/Worx-4-cu-ft-AeroCart-WG050/205310994


The Superwinch Winch2go

A winch can be a handy item to have on the homestead. But you might not always want it just mounted in one place on your vehicle. Superwinch has a great portable winch here that can be moved and used various ways. It can be transferred from one vehicle to another or used independent of a vehicle, as long as you have a 12v battery to power it. This means you can use it for a lot of different tasks, for getting a vehicle unstuck to moving objects around a work site on your property.





There is a wire rope or synthetic rope version. Both have plus and minuses, if your not familiar do your research to figure out which is the right option for you.

Can be found at https://superwinch.com/products/winch2go or https://www.amazon.com/Superwinch-1140232-Portable-Synthetic-D-Shackles/dp/B0166H2WFG?th=1 or https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200676483_200676483

Next the DR Field and Brush Mower which I actually picked up used via craiglist and immediately was thankful for the investment. If you have woodbrush that needs chopping down, this is a huge time and energy saver. I have a 1/4 mile easement road that I needed to brush the sides of to keep it clear, using a weedeater, lopers, and pruning saws it took me weeks to do the entire 1/4. But in 30 min, withe the brush mower I was able to do that entire thing. I was then able to continue to use this tool to do other brushing around my property clearing woody brush and maintaining the trails I have put into the property, as well as clearing the area I am planning to build my house at so I could get a better idea of the site.







Like the Areocart one of the things that is nice about the DR Brush mower is they have attachments that can add function to this already useful tool. A lawn mower, snow plow/grader, snow thrower, and wood chipper. I picked mine up with the snow thrower attachment, and hope to pick up the wood chipper attachment sometime this year so I can chip up a lot of the dead branches I have all over my property and start covering the pathways and trails with wood chips.



A video about the attachments


Can be found at https://www.drpower.com/power-equipment/field-brush-mowers/ or a local DR dealer, most places you can find chainsaws and lawn tractors you will find these cool tools. And like I did, you might find a used option you can pick up for a good deal.
2 weeks ago
These days I tend to use the proper term, "wood louse" but have used roly poly, potato bug, pill bug. But then I also had a lot of exposure to others as I was born in the midwest then moved to the NW. I would summer in Iowa regularly as a kid, and much of the folks who lived in my town in the NW were from other places. So the name for them was pretty interchangeable with the kids I grew up with.

BTW wood louse are good eating. And one of the easiest to catch survival foods if your ever lost in the wilderness.

This is one of the problems with the grammar sticklers. They forget a living language is still evolving and changing. They want to have everything stay the same and have hard and fast rules, but it doesn't work like that. Language evolves over time into dialects and then slowly changes further into new separate language. For example Old English is so different from modern English that it truly is another language and one we can not even understand.


This chart shows samples of the changes in English. #1 is Old English or Anglo-Saxon (circa 450-1066 CE). #2 is Middle English (circa 1066-1450 AD). #3 is Modern English from about the time of Shakespeare. #4 is another sample of Modern English, but it is more recent than #3.
1 month ago