Bushcraft Weekend (Day 1)

With the awesome summer we’ve been having in the UK this summer it’s given me the kick in the arse I needed to do stuff.

At the start of July I was tipping the scales higher than I wanted to and I needed to do something about it. I started walked a lot as well as major a major change to my diet.  This has resulted in a 6 kg drop in my weight, I’m damn proud of that.  I plan to keep that up as well.

Anyhow Bushcrafting, I’ve had a fascination with it but rarely had the chance to go out and play.  Well I decided that this summer I would.  I signed up for a weekend course with a company called Woodland Ways. They offer the sort of course I was looking for.  The price and timing was a match for me so I took it.  They offered 2 locations, Oxfordshire it Derbyshire. Both are equally easy to get to from home, however when I called to book I was told that the Oxford location was a lot nicer, who am I to argue.  Alright alright shut it you lot!!!

So that brings us to today, July 26. Right now as type this I am currently laying prone in my sleeping bag, inside a RAB Storm bivvy bag with a self inflating air mattress under me with only a basha (tarp) over me head.  I would love to tell you about how quiet and peaceful the woods are at night, I can’t.  There is an a major bloody motorway about a mile (or less) from here and I can really hear are the cars. Aside from that I suppose it isn’t all that bad.

Let’s rewind a little too earlier this evening.  I arrived at about 1825 tonight at the location and meet up with my fellow bushcrafters. We had s bit of a natter while we waited for a few more to show. At around 1900 everyone was here abs it was time to set out for our area in the woods.  Not far, 15 mins walk into the wood.  My pack weighed in at 14kg (30 lbs in old money).

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The first task of the evening was the required safety brief and general camp info.   The next task was to get issued with it knifes (Mora Frost), saws (Bahco Laplander) and finally our basha with bungees.  We then had to go out and find a place to set up our bashas, which will be our beds for the weekend.

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This is mine, my RAB Storm bivvy bag under the Basha.  I didn’t bother unpacking my sleeping bag until later.

We also needed to go out and collect a load of wood for the group fire.  This is used for cooking, boiling water for tea/coffee, lessons and just socialising.  During this I was unlucky and managed to get 4 or 5 stings from these small wasps, looked a bit like yellow jackets but very small.  Even now, hours later they are still quiet annoying.  Oh well, part of the experience, at least in not allergic to them.

Then the first real lesson of the night, dressing a wood pigeon.  {Facepalm}  Not that sort of dressing, but rather cleaning and prepping them for dinner.  This was the first time I’ve dressed a pigeon, boy it was damn easy. We all had at least one each to clean, only the breast meat is used.  It was sliced up and then into a Dutch oven.  It was basically stir fried with bean sprouts, garlic, ginger and mushrooms.  Yes I even ate the mushrooms too!!! We also had rice to go along with it.  Damn it was soooooo good, I even had seconds!

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This is one of the instructors getting dinner ready.  All of the cooking was done using Dutch Ovens. They had a couple of different sizes and plenty of them.

That is pretty much the end of the first night.  Finished dinner about 10pm I suppose then sat about the fire with most people for a bit then everyone drifted back to the own areas.  That brings me back to the start again.  Here I sit typing this up.

Much like this day, this posting and my hot chocolate are done so it’s time to turn in.

I will have another posting tomorrow and some more pics I hope.

Good night all!

Read about day 2

Read about day 3


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