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Survival in the wild with the help of a "Survival Kit"

Survival in the wild with the help of a “Survival Kit”

by Angus ~ 3 May, 2019 ~ one comment

A small tin can carry vital equipment for emergency use in a survival situation.  I spent £22 with Amazon to get Limitless Equipment's "Survival Kit Mark 1", although you could put one together yourself.

The one I bought contains these 10 items: Read more...

Learning to make a hurdle with hazel rods

Learning to make a hurdle with hazel rods

by Angus ~ 10 April, 2019 ~ comments welcome

Dan Watson has been making hurdles for 30 years and reckons there are over 200 hurdle-makers in the UK.  The process is physically demanding but also very skillful.  Dan now uses his own small woodland and in a single day he can make three hurdles - by contrast it took me a whole day and lots of help to get mine half finished - hurdle-making gets much quicker, and neater, with experience.

There are several skilled operations in creating a hurdle.  You start by selecting the hazel rods from hazel coppice and cut them at the base.  Next, you take these branches to your working area and trim off the side twigs being careful to cut upwards to avoid creating tears in the bark.  A base plate is needed with holes and ours had nine so that none uprights could be put into the base making a hurdle six feet wide and eventually about 4 foot high. Read more...

Bushcraft and survival skills at the Ultimate Activity Company, near Hereford

Bushcraft and survival skills at the Ultimate Activity Company, near Hereford

by Angus ~ 28 March, 2019 ~ one comment

I’ve never opened a tampon before, so my newfound friend Tamsin showed me how. Then I started unpeeling it to find it’s really just compacted cotton wool. Tampons turn out to be ideal for lighting a fire if you don’t have matches because they are really compressed cotton wool and can be lit with a small spark. I did have a fire steel in my survival kit box and just like our friendships, we were soon creating sparks and warming up.  We were at the Ultimate Activity Company’s short course on what to do in the wild when things go awry.

Andy, our trainer, with his background as a marine, explained the imaginary position we were in: on a sailing trip eight of us had moored our boat in a sheltered sea loch on the west coast of Scotland and during the night the wind riled up causing the boat to hit a rock. It sank, leaving us just enough time to get off with little more than what we stood up in (along with my survival kit in a watertight tin).   Two of the crew had gone off to get help - leaving six of us to survive outdoors, perhaps for several days. Read more...

Help - they've felled my wood

Help – they’ve felled my wood

by Angus ~ 24 January, 2019 ~ 12 comments

Arriving at our woodland after an absence of some time I was devastated to find that a whole section of it had been felled.  I hadn't given permission and it’s not what I wanted at all.  Hundred-year-old oaks and big ash trees had gone.  Oh, and there were the stumps of those beautiful beech trees which I’d loved.  To tell the truth I was quite emotional.  I cried, and then I was angry.  Then I was frustrated, knowing that whatever the explanation it wouldn’t bring back the trees.  Even if I replanted them - which of course I would - the new trees wouldn’t reach maturity in my lifetime.

The explanation turned out to be as prosaic as it was disappointing Read more...

Tracks,  a new solution for the Small Woodland Owner.

Tracks, a new solution for the Small Woodland Owner.

by Matt Marples ~ 21 June, 2018 ~ comments welcome

As a company,  we strive where possible to give a good access track into the woodlands we bring to market. In some instances,  this means just clearing a ride. However, in some cases,  the areas need more drastic action such as creating areas of “stone” tracks or rides. Normally this is due to areas holding water or ground being prone to deep rutting in winter.

We came across a new problem earlier in the year with a ride that ran in a wood that was deemed to be of particular special scientific interest. Natural England were keen that we did not bring any foreign material such as crushed concrete rubble or even local stone into the woodland. Natural England did, however, agree that the ride was unusable and unless we found a solution it would be a mess very quickly. Read more...

The easy way to processing 40 cubic of logs

The easy way to processing 40 cubic of logs

by Matt Marples ~ 23 May, 2018 ~ 3 comments

When I first moved to Sweden, friends from the UK sent me countless books and magazine articles on the culture and tradition of the log stack. How I would become fanatical about length, order and symmetry of my log shed and how by the end of spring I would be  fitter than at any time of the year. Each year the first job of spring time as winter crawls back is to sort out your log store for the following winter. Living in the Northern part of Sweden, winter is a big thing.  Logs are like currency and timing seems to be everything.

You need to cut your timber, and as silver birch makes the best logs for us, its in the depths of winter when the tree isn’t drawing water. Read more...

The Hangi : a traditional Maori cooking technique

The Hangi : a traditional Maori cooking technique

by David Alty ~ 1 May, 2018 ~ 2 comments

The Hangi is a traditional Maori cooking technique using heated rocks buried in a pit.   I have long wanted to have a go at this ancient cooking technique. When we received an invitation from good friends to join a weekend gathering in the woods I seized the opportunity and suggested a Saturday evening Hangi. Receiving an enthusiastic response I rang a local game dealer and enquired as to the supply of venison. “Ring back next Tuesday when the van is in, if there are any on you can have one.”

Having set myself up for the event, tension mounted as Tuesday approached. Read more...

Building a new 'woodland' teaching area.

Building a new ‘woodland’ teaching area.

by Craig Fordham ~ 2 March, 2018 ~ comments welcome

We’ve been lucky enough to have been residents in a beautiful 100 acre woodland in Ashford, Kent called March Woods for about a year now. My name is Craig Fordham and I run a company called Black Wolf Survival and I’ve been in the outdoor industry on and off for about 20 years mainly specialising in Bushcraft & Survival.  Aside from running sessions for schools, groups and individuals I am also a brand ambassador for Craghoppers clothing and write a few articles for various magazines.

Our basecamp teaching site at March Woods was functional and basic, we’d initially cleared a large enough area to erect a 32ft parachute as a main teaching area and a couple of other tarps we utilise for a kitchen area etc. Read more...

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