Do or DIY?

Hand Made Outdoor Kit

Joe O'Leary :: Monday 17th February 2020

I love this time of year! Although the daylight hours are shorter, the weather cold and often damp, it's the perfect season to wrap up warm, batten down the hatches and get craftin'!

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Making fire using just one log, an axe and a fire steel

This is a worthy challenge as it tests not only your skill with an axe but also your ability to make a fire using only natural materials in cold, damp conditions.

Joe O'Leary :: Monday 31st December 2018

Ok, so there was just a very light drizzle in the breeze on this late December afternoon but most natural tinders in the woods capable of lighting from a fire steel spark, were pretty cold and damp...(birch bark would probably still have lit with some preparation). But this was a training exercise! Train hard, fight easy as they say!! When everything in the woods is damp, your best bet is to fall back on standing dead wood – cutting and splitting down a larger log to take advantage of the dry wood inside. This takes more time and effort to process into all the fire making materials you'll need to create a warming blaze, but it's more likely to succeed than fiddling about with cold, damp bark and twigs.

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Bad Weather? Perfect opportunity to practice!

Winter fire lighting tips

Joe O'Leary :: Friday 23rd March 2018

Earlier this week we were hit with an unexpected second dumping of snow. Snow rarely lasts very long in the UK, especially so late in the year so in addition to the standard seeking out of a suitably snowy incline to slide down on our backsides, I seized the opportunity to practice one of the more fundamental bushcraft techniques, lighting fire in inclement conditions. When I first started teaching bushcraft sixteen years ago, I found that having to perform a certain survival skill in front of a group of paying customers was a great way to hone that particular skill under significantly increased pressure! If these techniques are to be of any real use in an emergency then they should be practiced under stressful but controlled conditions. Even then, after time it's all too easy to become complacent. You know where to find exactly the right resources, you've had time to prepare and squirrel away the best bits; even though the materials used are natural and taken from nature, psychologically you're as prepared as you would be using carried perfect man made kit. Every now and again you should stray further outside your comfort zone; a kind of sado-masochistic form of refresher training.

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Two new courses

Ready for 2018...

Chris Booth :: Friday 17th November 2017

New for 2018, two workshops designed as a 'follow on' course to the Bushcraft Weekend.

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Bush Crafts Week

Check out our new course for 2018 - the Bush Crafts Week

Naomi Booth :: Wednesday 1st November 2017

If your dream is to feel completely at home in the wilderness then this seven day course will take you several steps further towards that goal, building on the skills you may already have whilst learning some incredibly handy new ones along the way. Working from a base camp deep in the woods, cooking over an open fire, living and sleeping amongst the very materials you'll be using to create and craft, you'll also gain a far greater understanding of the natural history of woodlands and wood crafts.

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Need a tarp?

Kit recommendation

Naomi Booth :: Monday 1st December 2014

Hello, I'm initially breaking radio silence in blog world with a well deserved kit recommendation in the last few days before Christmas! However, keep an eye on this blog as I'll be updating it regularly over the winter months with articles for anyone interested in traditional skills, crafts, kit advice, bushcraft skills and other adventures. I'll be kicking things off with a series on making your own outdoor gear from scratch.

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Primitive Packs

load carrying equipment made from sticks, skins and string

Naomi Booth :: Thursday 6th March 2014

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All Joe's Blogs

All Joe's Blogs can still be found

Naomi Booth :: Friday 1st November 2013

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