Thursday, January 14, 2010

How It All Started - Part 1 - Tanning

So, as I've said, I have been fascinated by wilderness survival skills for some time. The path started taking shape shortly after we bought our house. We have always talked about being self sufficient. But one of the first steps was raising meat rabbits.

We were initially given three adult rabbits - two bucks and a doe. Let the education begin. Within four months, the number had grown from three to more than twenty. And, it didn't take long for us to pick up Raising Rabbits to try and figure out how to manage this endeavor.

Over time, we became more skilled at actually harvesting, and controlling the population of, the rabbits. I have never really enjoyed killing animals (I had never hunted) and wanted to use more of each animal than the meat.  So, I began learning to tan the furs.

Not being quite as internet savvy at the time, I relied on Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition.  I also didn't have the equipment recommended, so I fleshed the furs with a butterknife.  I would not recommend this method (I now use one of these).  The tanning solution was a simple alum and salt mixture.  Regardless, they came out great...of course, I still have not put them to any use.


  1. Sorry, I had to delete my other comment. I don't even really remeber those rabbits.... What about Patches, EJ, and Sadie?? I think you can use the internet pretty well now....

  2. Oddly enough, however, even with the butterknife method, we managed to accumulate a nice little stash of ultra-soft hides :).

  3. Hey Fella
    Great start to your blog
    I look forward to reading more


Thank you for leaving a comment on MooseBoots.

If you have not, please follow this blog by clicking the "Follow" button.