Sunday, 28 June 2015

Woolsbarrow Fort

Hi Folks
I've been meaning to take a walk to Woolsbarrow Hill Fort in Wareham woods for some time. Today the weather was a bit iffy but I decided to pack the water-proofs and go for it - and I'm glad I did! As I got closer to the site there were a couple of signs along the pathway pointing me in the right direction. Then all of a sudden I turn a bend and I am up on top of it, with wonderful views all around.. I stopped for a quick brew and to take some photo's then made my way onwards. I passed some Foxgloves in flower and took a quick snap. There was a fresh breeze blowing and it helped keep me cool as I marched onwards - I carried a fairly heavy pack to keep myself in trim. I can see me returning to this site a lot as it was a pretty special view and it was surrounded by huge areas of forest.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Bush Chair

One thing I miss when out in the wilds is somewhere to sit, especially when overnighting. I try and find a chunk of tree big enough to roll up to the fire and sit on but its not always possible. So I've been keeping my eyes open for a suitable DIY solution - this is what I have so far. It's a small piece of Nylon with rolls at either end with a length of cord through each end. Essentially a mini hammock. You need three poles about head height to bind together to give you a tripod - the top of your chair is suspended from the top, the lower edge tied off at a comfortable height (about knee height). So far I'm pretty happy with it - I will report back on its comfort and degree of success once I've properly field tested it.
Oh, and apologies for not having a photo of me sat in it - it's not easy to take a photograph of yourself relaxing in a chair :)

Friday, 20 March 2015

DIY Hex Tarptent

Hi Folks
I've been using a Tarp as a shelter over the last year - I like the freedom it gives you and the fact that you are out under the stars at night (while still being able to shelter from the rain!). But you do need trees to be able to erect a tarp easily. I've been thinking about doing some overnighters on the beach so would like to have an alternative when there are no trees to sling a ridge line. I do have a Polish Lavvu which is a great little shelter - the pyramid shape is stable and it needs only a centre pole and a few pegs to put up. But the Lavvu weighs 3.5kg and I really don't fancy lugging that for miles on my back with my Winter sleeping bag and gear. So I planned my perfect shelter......... and this is what I came up with.

It weighs only 950 grams and, due to offsetting the position of the pole, has a nice large area for me to sleep without touching the walls. I used PU Nylon (in Danish camo pattern) and it came out pretty well. There is more information and a dimensions on the BushcraftUK forum HERE
Not to get out there and give it a proper workout!.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Woodgas Stove

I've been intrigued by reviews of the "woodgas stove" - not having to carry fuel for your stove sounds like a big advantage to me. You just burn twigs and sticks, which are in plentiful supply. I paid my £13 and it soon arrived - it is made from stainless steel and folds down to reasonably small size. On my walkabout today I got to try it in anger and it boiled up a mug of water in about five minutes from unpacking it - that's as good as my Trangia but cost nothing to run!

The stove has a double skinned wall which pulls additional air up and into the top of the stove, providing a secondary burn of waste gases. Bottom line, it burns hot and fast - you can see the gas jets in the photo's coming out under the rim.
So I look forward to getting much more use out of my stove - I'll report back on my experiences.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Solo Overnighter

Did my first proper solo overnighter in a favourite spot of mine recently. Unfortunately my usual bushcrafting companion was taken ill at the last minute so I decided to go out on my own anyway. It was an excellent experience - lighting a fire became a much larger worry on my own as it was below freezing and the area I was in was sodden with water. Thankfully I got it up and burning happily - I split some smaller branches in half lengthwise which revealed their inner dry faces.

I have gone over to using a tarp instead of a tent for the last year - it gives you more freedom in where you can set up. And you really can't beat sleeping under the stars - open your eyes and you can see the sky above you and sometimes catch the occasional inquisitive bird or animal checking you out.

A blazing fire - camp TV! There is nothing better :)

On my way back out the next day I passed a few shelters that had been made from natural foliage. I must check them out in more detail next time I am in the area.
I learned a lot on this night out. Being on your own means you must be in control of yourself  and what you are doing. You also need to keep your mind in check - it's easy to worry about things when you are on your own. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to my next trip out.

Saturday, 24 January 2015


It's pretty wet out there - we had a little rain last night and with the ground being so saturated it is flowing in rivers over the ground.

The sun was shining brightly and threw some lovely reflections on the pool at the lower end of the local wood.

Saturday, 17 January 2015


It was freezing cold this morning then it rained......good thing I had wrapped up well. The woods are totally saturated and sticking to a decent path was essential or you ended up having to backtrack due to the depth of the mud.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Watch out for them Widowmakers!

Grabbed another brew while out wandering - love the way the steam floats off in this pic. Found another fallen tree that looked pretty rotten when it fell - check out the stump!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Best Foot Forward..

The wet and overcast sky brought out some interesting colours today as I wandered about. The greens were extremely vibrant - the rotting trunk seemed to be almost artificially bright! I accidentally took a shot of the ground while looking at shots - a happy accident.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Ground Beneath Your Feet

Had an enjoyable bimble through the local wood and heathland this afternoon. It was overcast and the wind had a bitter edge but it was good to get the legs pumping. Everything is so bare at this time of year and you actually get to see the ground a lot more - once Spring starts the open areas all fill up quickly. I took a picture of the ground at my feet - leaves, chestnuts, pine cones and assorted debris. It gives a good picture of the plants and trees in this area.

Friday, 9 January 2015

More Moon....

Managed to get some better moon photo's today - a clear sky made things somewhat easier!

Thursday, 8 January 2015


We've had the occasional bit of sunshine these last days and it contrasts so well with the dark clouds. I was fortunate to have a Chinook pass over while I had the camera in my hands!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015


Nothing dominates the night sky like our companion the Moon. It is a welcome sight on a night-time walk or overnighter. Taking a photo is not easy without a tripod and some camera skills (I am lacking in both) and it amazes me how quickly she dances across the sky.

Another Brew...?

I do enjoy a brew, especially when it's a bit chilly :)

Sunday, 4 January 2015

New Kettle

Spent some of my Christmas pressie cash on a little kettle. It only holds 800ml of water and is a dinky little thing but perfect for use on an open fire (and keeping out bits of ash, etc) as well as on a stove. Tried it out today using my trangia meths stove - brewed up a nice cuppa and took some photo's while it boiled.

New OS Map Changes

I noticed that OS will be introducing chances to the way longitude and latitude are shown on their maps - useful if you use GPS. There is more information here.....

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Bog Walk

Went for a stroll in Ferndown the other day, an area aptly named "Soggy Bog". A walkway has been built on some sections so you can keep foot dry, a nice touch.

Friday, 2 January 2015


It's always a shock to encounter a wild animal larger than a squirrel when out working in the woods (in the UK, anyway!). One of my favourite creatures to bump into are Deer - they move so quietly and it always amazes me how good their camouflage is, even with that white rear end :)

Thursday, 1 January 2015

A New Year

As we enter a new year I wish you the very best and give you the gift of Fire - stay warm and cosy during these cold days.