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  • New year, new changes.

    Posted on by rob

    Now before anyone thinks “Oh man, another one that’s making resolutions to do things they’ll never go through with”, let me say, I DO NOT make New Years resolutions.  Well, not since about 10-12 yrs ago when I made my last one which was to never make another one.  I’ve done very well so far with that haha

    I am however hoping to do some things differently this year, things I’ve not really done in the past and that’s to try and use a paper journal.  I’d like to try and use this journal that arrived today to make various notes and maybe some sketches in (I’m totally crap at drawing so I have no idea how that’s going to go).  Mostly, the book will contain bushcrafty type stuff I expect.   Only time will tell how I get on with that.  It’s a real leather daily use travellers notebook.

    Another item I bought today is more for curiosity than me trying to use it as a motivational tool, and that’s the Hi-Tec Trek Plus activity tracker.   Why not something like the Fitbit?  I don’t know.  They seem the rage I suppose, but the ones with heart rate monitor seem to be more then I’m willing to spend just for casual information.  If I was planning to make a serious commitment to health and all that, maybe the investment might be considered differently.   Anyhow, this one was cheap enough from Go Outdoors and it was a bit of an impulse haha

    Keeping with the outdoor theme that I have planned for 2016 I’ve also upgraded my hand held GPS to something more modern but without breaking the bank.  Some of the ones out there are kinda mind blowing, but then so are the price tags attached to them as well.   I decided to keep it a bit simpler and went for the Garmin eTrex 20x.  I wanted something to use for hikes and geocaching that didn’t rely on my phone.  Why?  Well, mobile phones don’t last long when you’re using it for live GPS purposes outdoors and they’re actually more fiddly as they turn off, touch the screen and stuff happens, apps close, etc.  I love my phone and it does really well, however, it’s just more headache then it’s worth when doing outdoor activities.  Then there is just the risk of damage if you drop it or whatever.  The eTrex is rugged, waterproof and has just one job to do.

    Well, that’s all for this update.  I will be doing some follow up posts on the progress I make with items mentioned.  Give it a few months and I’ll see how I go.

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out the update.

    Tags: GPS, Outdoors, Geocache, Nature, Notebook
    January 02, 2016 at 06:31PM


  • Good-bye 2015 … Hello 2016

    2015 is all but over already … we saw good times, bad times, stressful times and everything in between.

    I had some fantastic outdoor times in 2015 with some great folks that I’d met through YouTube.  I can’t wait to do many more camps with them in 2016.

    Watch this slide show of photos from over the last year (not too many of them I promise)

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    We’d also bought our first house in 2015 and made a big move from Cottenham (where we lived for 10 years) to Swindon.  It was a huge change for us, but all in all I think it was a good change.  It certainly put me closer to the places I wanted to be for my camps.

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    Our new house, but not our car

    Lisa also joined Scouts in 2015 and she’s been loving it.  First with the troop in Cottenham and then joined in immediately with 1st Stratton St Margaret right after the move.  The transition was pretty easy for her and she fit right in pretty much from the start.  I also got much more involved with Scouting myself first as an occasional adult helper in Cottenham and now I’ve started the process to become a Scout Leader.  More news on how that goes in 2016.  We’ve done several scout camps this year and had an awesome time at each and every one of them, and looking forward to many more in the years to come.

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    Lisa getting invested into 1st Stratton St Margaret Scout Troop.

    Emma has also moved from Brownies, which she really didn’t like.  She just didn’t get out of what she wanted.  She’s now in Cubs and will move to the same Scouts Troop with Lisa and myself sometime early in 2016 (once she’s about 10 1/2).

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    Emma getting invested into Cubs

    Work life also saw loads of change, some good, some not so good.  Certainly an increase in stress levels, that has not been fun at all.  But it pays the bills so for the time being I need to just accept it.

    So, what is planned for 2016?   Well who really knows haha I don’t have many plans for the new year but one thing is for certain, I plan to do a lot more camps and get out a lot more.  This includes going out alone more, with groups like the MTFU and Camp Shaky folks and of course camping more with the family (we have a new big tent that we need to use).  I’m also planning to do more training in bushcraft and primitive skills in 2016.

    I’ve already booked one course in Flint Knapping with Hands On Bushcraft and looking forward to that.  I’m also booking a full weekend (Thursday – Sunday) at the 2016 Wilderness Gathering.  Really looking forward to that.  We managed to get there for the day this year and the kids had a good time.  Lots to see and do, too much for one day.  So, next year we’re doing the entire weekend.   I also plan to attend more of the various weekend bushcrafty kind of things in 2016 and take the kids along as well.

    So, now I’ll close this post along with closing out 2015 and wish everyone a very happy new year and hope that 2016 brings so much awesomeness to everyone that they don’t know what to do with the excess.   For everyone I met in 2015 and spent time with, thanks for the great memories and can’t wait to make more in the new year.

    robert-mckenzie_logo
    The logo for my YouTube Channel

  • Bushcraft Weekend (Day 3)

    Posted on by rob

    [This is a continuation from DAY 1 & DAY 2 ]

    It’s the last day of the weekend.  Aside from the horrible rain last night, which finally let up around about 3am, it’s been a fantastic weekend.  I don’t know when I got to sleep and stayed asleep, sometime after 3 when rain finally stopped, but I woke up at around 715am, which was good because we need to assemble about 730 for breakfast and find out what we’d be doing for the morning.  The course ends at noon, so we didn’t have too much time today.

    Read on (it’s a short post this time)…

    Continue reading  Post ID 1886


  • Bushcraft Weekend (Day 2)

    Posted on by rob

    (this is a continuation from Bushcraft Weekend (Day 1) … Please read that first )

    *YAWN* Good morning.  Sleeping was pretty rough.  I think partly because I’d had a coffee about 9pm and a hot chocolate about  around 11, I suppose.  It could also have been just the totally different environment from my normal sleeping quarters haha.  One of the things that kept me up was the sound of the A420 not too far from the camp, also there was some animal out prowling around for about 3 hours making on hell of a racket.  Many of us had compared notes on this in the morning.  As the instructors camp was about 10 mins walk through the woods from us they said they’d not heard anything.

    Oh well on to the day…

    Continue reading  Post ID 1886


  • Bushcraft Weekend (Day 1)

    Posted on by rob

    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!!!

    Continue reading  Post ID 1886