Emma is one of our Adventure Activities IOW Superstar Trainee Instructors. The following post was written by Emma based on some of the Bushcraft training she recently received in her instructor training.
‘Last week I took a trip down to the woods, which is not normally my hang out spot. A very different view point from my paddle board view or the Freshwater Coffee Shop where I spend most of my time!
The wood had something very different to offer, it was an education let me tell you! Without the protection of my 5mm wetsuit or my Almond Latte I was in for a bit of a forest awakening…
The forest I am referring to was Brighstone Forest, where we regularly bring groups of all types to explore some Bushcraft (Bushcraft is the term used to describe Wildness Survival skills!), normally being an assistant or a helpful hand to these groups I had never truly dived into the brushcaft world… till now!
I thought I would share the 5 things I learnt from Brushcraft training….
- A hashtag is more than just a way of getting likes on Instagram!
A hashtag fire is what I found to be one of the many and easiest ways (In my opinion) to get a roaring fire, that is defiantly an Instagram worthy photo! It is literally a dose what is says on the tin, you start with a layer of larger sticks sitting next to each other all facing the same way. The next layer is the same but rotated 90degrees, just like a hashtag! Think of it like you are setting up a Jenga game. This continues with each layer being smaller size sticks until you are just putting small twigs on the top. You would then layer hay, shavings and cotton wool to finish it off. And there you have a hashtag that will keep you warm and cook your dinner!
- Where you lay your head is everything
One of the many things we covered was wild camping and how to build a shelter that you can survive the night in, and let me tell you a forest mattress is amazing! (Fun fact your body needs to maintain a core temperature of approximately 37oC (98.6oF) to stay warm). When I first started building the shelter I thought using wood on the ground of the shelter was a waste of wood and time, but when taking a break, I wriggled into my shelter and had a sit down, the damp and cold instantly started to creep up my legs. I couldn’t imagine how I would ever stay warm laying on the forest floor all night. However we then learnt that making a bed of leaves and sticks is a far more efficient and comfortable way of spending a night on the forest floor!
- A top tip!
There are some little things that can really help you fend for yourself if you were ever stuck out in the wild. This is one of my favourites…
Waterproof matches! These are so simple and so useful and you can make them very easily at home. All you have to do is take some normal matches and dip the top half in melted candle wax and let it set. If you were planning a little expedition into the wild this is a really easy little technique that keeps your matches dry when the skies decide open on your camp!
- I could have been a carpenter in another life
An amazing thing we were taught was how to carve wood into useful objects, mine was a butter knife. Silly as it sounds it was amazing!! I have never got into an activity as much as I did making my little butter knife. My favorite part was carving detail into the handle to which I added an Aztec style. We also learnt all about the best wood to use, how and where to get it. When asked what I was doing that evening I had to stop myself from saying more carving!
- Know your Bear Grilles from your Ray Mears
Knowledge is everything, there is so much to know and learn in Brushcraft. And each part of my training, whether it be knowing my Ash from a Sycamore tree or knowing how to make fresh drinking water. I feel I have just touch on the tip on the knowledge and I can and will go so much deeper.
So, there you have it my top 5 Bushcraft Tips, it was a struggle to pick just 5. I learnt so much on my course and still have so much to learn and can’t wait to get started on furthering my journey in Bushcraft’
Adventure Activities IOW offer Bushcraft experiences for everyone. Whether you’re a family, party, stag or hen group, school group or just want to learn some nifty skills yourself. Our 2 hour introduction to Bushcraft based in Brighstone Forest teaches you a range of basic woodland survival skills from Fire making to basic tool making!
Special thanks to Adventure Activities and Ed the Tree