January 2020 Wild camp: Winter Daypack Challenge

Every now and again I firmly believe that it’s good to test yourself and take a step out of that comfort zone. For a camping enthusiast like me, I think the daypack challenge is a really good way of doing exactly that. I’ve done this a few times now and it’s always proven to be a rewarding experience. 

This time, I’m making the challenge a little more difficult by doing it in the cold winter months.

What is the daypack challenge? Well I don’t know if it’s a thing, but it’s a very simple concept that my camping buddies and I thought up. You head out on an overnight camping trip in which you are restricted to using a daypack sized rucksack (up to 40ltrs) to carry your camping kit. This represents a bit of a departure from the more conventional 60-100ltr rucksacks that many people use, particularly through the colder months. 

This is a challenge that makes you think a bit more carefully about what kit you need to take on your camping adventures. A really important point to note though is th…

A Day in the Woods practicing Bushcraft skills

I thought I'd share a short video that I made while out on a day camp in my local woodlands. In this video; Des and I set-up our tarps, drink lots of tea and cook up some fine food.

I hadn't planned on doing any whittling, but ended up carving a spoon from a lovely piece of seasoned Ash. Unfortunately I didn't get around to finishing it off as I left my crook knife at home, but it will be finished off in my shed or when I next venture out to the woods.

I'll keep this blog post nice and short because I do sometimes have a tendency to go off on one and waffle about every last detail. Let me know what you think of the video, it's not a skill set that comes easily to me, but I'm working to improve and may start to post a few more videos up here.

Happy New Year to you all

December 2019 – A Wet and Windy Wild camp

Ooh I love backpacking at this time of year, there’s the crisp fresh air, none of those annoying insects, the wondrous vistas and the gentle reminder that I’m maturing in years as I wrestle my fully laden rucksack onto my back!
This time, I’m in Essex catching up with my camping buddy, Des (link to his excellent youtube channel below) and our plan is to camp at a nearby spot that he’s found. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t looking great and the location was fairly exposed to the elements so it was essential that I packed the right equipment.

Every time I organise my winter camping kit, I convince myself that I’m packing relatively simple and lightweight kit. But yet I am astounded when I find myself having to shoe horn everything into every available crevice of my 70 litre rucksack. It’s the sleeping bag that does it, my three season sleeping bag seems to dominate the space available in the main compartment of my rucksack. I could gamble and pack my lighter summer sleeping bag, but si…

Making a Collapsible Bow Saw

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck If a woodchuck could chuck wood? As much wood as a woodchuck could chuck, If a woodchuck could chuck wood!
Try saying that after a few beers!
On my last foray into the woods, I thought I’d have a go at making a simple collapsible buck saw that I could use whenever I needed to cut large pieces of wood. I originally learnt this technique at the annual May Day meet that’s organised by the good folks at the Bushcraft magazine and I wanted to try making a saw while ‘out in the field’.
This is quite a nice little project to undertake while you’re in the woods our out on a camp so why not give a go for yourself. Here's what I did:
Tools for the job: Saw – Yes I know you need a saw to make a saw! This may seem counter-productive, but you can make a much more capable saw that can potentially process bigger bits of wood. KnifeCordage – I used 550lb paracord21 inch bow saw blade.2x split rings (these are optional)
Stage one – Wood selection
Head out to the woods an…

June 2019: Curious Cows and Camping…

Cows, I’ve always considered them to be fairly docile creatures. They wander around the field chomp on some grass and generally keep themselves to themselves. Now, I don’t know if the cows on the north kent marshes are eating something they shouldn’t be, but that wasn’t how they greeted me the other day! The bloomin’ things made me wish I was carrying a spare pair of underpants.
Yes, it’s time for another wild camp and this time my plan was to head back down to the marshes for a camp beside the Thames. I wanted to enjoy a nice walk, cook some nice food and take some nice photographs of the wildlife, everything was supposed to be nice. Except it wasn’t very nice at all, those sodd!ng cows scuppered my plans didn’t they! Ggrrr
It’s a fairly easy, three mile walk from the nearest village to the area that I had in mind for camping and I enjoyed my little saunter down to the river. I’ve camped at this spot a few times before and you can read about those trips here and here if you like. In th…