Being the first course of the year there was plenty to do; building a new table, setting up benches with timber from the managed plantation, making big tent pegs and cutting timber for the fire. Friday afternoon was spent setting up camp, putting up the parachute, big tarp and or course the on-suite toilet facilities!
After a short tour of the woodland site and a safety brief – first subject of the day was knife skills; safety and the law, then on to cutting techniques, demonstrations and then whittling pegs and making kebab sticks ready for lunch!
Excellent instruction – more than worth going for the weekend, highly recommended
After a cuppa and biscuits, it was on to camp fires or more importantly how to light them successfully using a variety of methods. Whilst we were blessed with good weather, that didn’t go so far as having enough sun for solar ignition, but sparks were all working fire; fire steels and flint against steel, plus batteries and wire wool.
Next up was having some fun with fire-by-friction. After discussion about the components; bow, drill, hearth and bearing block, the technique and a demonstration it was time for the Scout Leaders to have a go. The Scouting motto “be prepared” could have been written just for this task – it’s not always as easy as it first might look, but I was pleased to see some success! And what better way to use those campfires, then to cook lunch – kebabs again; salami, ham, mushrooms, sweet peppers all wrapped up in a tortilla, yummy!
It was good fun – family will be surprise that ‘bushcraft’ didn’t involve eating anything “weird”
Where were we going to sleep? The answer natural leafy shelters and in hammocks. Just a few simple knots for the hammocks and advice on checking they are secure and techniques for getting in and out safely. The natural shelters were a success, the most built on these courses so far, great fun and excellent team work meant a few leaders slept out in these cosy camps.
After a long day, with lots of tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits, it was time for some dinner and a lesson in fish preparation. Trout was on the menu, many people are put of fish because of the bones, so learning to ponass the fish, meant we could just enjoy the lovely trout with out the bones (well almost).
After gutting, filleting and ponassing it was time to cook them over the fire. Served up with salads, they were rather tasty.
Go on the course, I learnt a lot while having great fun, well worth the time, it’s fantastic, superb value!