Archive for May, 2009
Of the six free living species of deer in great Britain only the red deer and roe deer are truly native to thie country, and even their populations have, over the years been heavily “subsidised” by introductions from elsewhere. All the other british species are completely “exotic”, with the fallow deer almost certainly brought to this country by the Normans, and three asiatic species, Reeve’s muntjac, Chinese water deer and sika deer, originally introduced towards the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries.
Here is my recipe for nettle soup,ive seen a few recipes but this is my take on it.
Large bowl of nettles.
2 medium fine sliced onions.
2 chopped garlic cloves.
2 medium cubed potatoes.
1 pint of vegetable stock.
300g of double cream or creme fraiche.
I decided to build an ‘A’ frame debris shelter. The reason being that I’ve built several of these before so, know what I’m doing. There are many other free standing shelter designs but, I didn’t think that this would be the time to experiment. Better to stick with what I knew worked and what I was capable of building on my own in the time I had before night drew in. Being winter, the evenings arrived early and fast so I was on a tight time scale.
It took me a while to find the three main pieces of wood I would need to make the ‘tripod’ which would form the basis of the shelter. Two forked branches and one long straight branch. It’s amazing isn’t it… when you’re looking for a piece of wood with a bend in it, every piece of wood you pick up is straight as an arrow. When you need a straight piece of wood, you might as well be searching for the Holy Grail.
In the long ago time, there was a Cherokee Clan called the Ani-Tsa-gu-hi (Ahnee-Jah-goo-hee), and in one family of this clan was a boy who used to leave home and be gone all day in the mountains. After a while he went oftener and stayed longer, until at last he would not eat in the house at all, but started off at daybreak and did not come back until night. His parents scolded, but that did no good, and the boy still went every day until they noticed that long brown hair was beginning to grow out all over his body. Then they wondered and asked him why it was that he wanted to be so much in the woods that he would not even eat at home. Said the boy, “I find plenty to eat there, and it is better than the corn and beans we have in the settlements, and pretty soon I am going into the woods to stay all the time.” His parents were worried and begged him not leave them, but he said, “It is better there than here, and you see I am beginning to be different already, so that I can not live here any longer. If you will come with me, there is plenty for all of us and you will never have to work for it; but if you want to come, you must first fast seven days.”
In the United Kingdom at present land is at a premium. With a population of around sixty million which, is continually growing due to government policy and only 137,745 square miles (including Southern Ireland) making up the United Kingdom, it comes as no surprise that it is not easy to find quiet areas of land in which to practice the skills and crafts we are interested in.
So, how do we go about acquiring some land, preferably woodland to practise our skills in, legally and safely? Well there’s only one thing for it… you need to approach the landowner either in writing, in person or better still both.
Here’s a recipe for a basic, easy to make bannock.
2 parts Wholemeal flour
1 part skimmed milk powder.
Mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, pine nuts etc)
sprouted seeds & beans
Grated Mature Cheddar
pinch of salt & black pepper
Hearty, sustaining & full of protein.
If you fancied it you could add some diced bacon as well.
There where the mighty mountains bare their fangs unto the moon,
There where the sullen sun-dogs glare in the snow-bright, bitter noon,
And the glacier-glutted streams sweep down at the clarion call of June.
There where the livid tundras keep their tryst with the tranquil snows;
There where the silences are spawned, and the light of hell-fire flows
Into the bowl of the midnight sky, violet, amber and rose.
A first aid kit is an important item of equipment, especially when you are using a knife, axe or saw, therefore, it should be carried on your person (I carry a few select items in a pocket using a small nylon, waterproof pouch e.g. plasters, bandage etc, I call this my ‘small cuts kit’ with the main first aid kit in the rucksack). The first aid kit should be stocked to handle every day and worst case scenarios, as typically you will be a significant distance from medical help. The first aid kit shown in the picture contains:
Here’s a short video showing you how to construct a simple bird trap. Please bear in mind that trapping birds is illegal in the United Kingdom (there are a few exceptions but, they are regulated and a license will be required. Pest control etc). This article is for reference only. However, it is worth having this knowledge in case you find yourself in a situation in which this knowledge may help you to feed yourself and in effect improve your chances of survival.
I think Smocks are a really practical piece of clothing for bushcrafters. If you choose one made out of suitable material, they can give good protection from the wind and even light showers. They can help protect your mid layer clothing from dirt, thorns, brambles, twigs and sparks from the fire etc. and here’s the best bit… you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good one.
A Smock as I understand it is a piece of clothing worn as an outer layer which unlike a jacket does not have a full length zip running down the front of it. To put it on it must be pulled over the head. Most Smocks are made of a windproof material and have an integral hood although they are not necessarily waterproof. In general smocks will have several large cargo pockets, ideal for carrying those essential bits and bobs. I always find that the longer I spend out the more pieces of kit end up in my pockets. Pocket knife, paracord, sharpening stone, Spork, compass the list goes on and on.