Pencils and Early April Camping.

Not pictured: my mandolin and a nice fire.
Not pictured: my mandolin and a nice fire.

I mentioned that a couple of us at Pencil Revolution HQ went camping early last month. I learned a few things about pencils and about camping.

First, if you are prone to cracking fingers (and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, count yourself lucky!), take a fat pencil with you. My pocket-knife sharpened My First Ticonderoga came in handy when I was bandaged one night.

US Army issue messkit with said roughly-sharpened pencil.
US Army issue messkit with said roughly-sharpened pencil.

Also: pencil shavings are way way way more flammable than I thought. Comrade Dan shaved magnesium from a block designed for the purpose of making fire. There was too much wind Friday night (and we were hungry) to get it to light. We resorted to matches. Saturday, just for fun, he shaved a nice pile of magnesium shards into a box of a few months’ worth of pencil shavings from my house. Despite fierce sparking, none of the magnesium lit. But the pencil shavings did, and we lit a fine fire that way — which burned for about 20 hours until we thoroughly extinguished it.

Pencil shaving Tinderbox.
Pencil shaving Tinderbox.

Finally, (and I think I knew this), naturally finished pencils are perfect for camping. They grip well, get nice and dirty, and when you get home, they smell like fire forever.

7 thoughts on “Pencils and Early April Camping.”

  1. Ah, pencils in the wild, al fresco if you please, what a fitting combination. Upon enlargement of your photo I detect the telltale gold band of the Orange Palomino on the left, but just what is that natural grain pencil on the right? I quickly dismissed it as a Forest Choice because they have red erasers, then hazarded the thought it might be a Field Notes round pencil, but that too seems incorrect…the Draplin does have a green eraser, but does not have (per your archives) a green stripe on the ferrule, unless it is a newer version. Whatever it is, the natural woodgrain with the green stripe and green eraser looks great and us well suited for the forest.

  2. John, I could type all that stuff in, or you could just tell me what’s written on the pencil :>) .

  3. Sorry about that — thought the link would work. :)

    They are the Write Dudes USA Green pencil — unfinished cedar, with the print BURNED on! They have a “natural” one you can get at Target, but they’re clear-lacquered, not natural. (Still nice though!)

  4. Thanks! In the back of my mind I remember seeing these somewhere on a blog or in a store but passed up the opportunity to buy them. Why?! They look so cool. That’s me, dumb pencil non-buyer.

  5. My mom used to draw and sketch but I never poked it up. Or I did when I was a kid but never got any enoucragement so didn’t pursue it. Now I sure wish I had! I envy folks who draw and doodle because it leads to great work. Best of luck to you.

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