November 2018 Wildcamp: Camping and Catapults.....

Two weeks after my last camp and lucky old me is back out again. This time I’m camping with some friends on the Essex side of the Thames estuary. Our plan was to enjoy a walk along the riverside, checking out some of the military relics along the way and of course enjoy some of the local wildlife.

As is often the case in the run up to a camping trip I find myself obsessing over weather forecasts. Will it rain, what are the temperatures going to be like, what about the wind direction? It is very typical of a Brit to be worrying about the weather! but in this case it’s important in helping me decide what kit to pack and how to pitch my shelter.

The weather was set to be relatively mild (for the time of year) albeit with a reasonable south westerly wind making it feel a bit cooler. The biggest issue though was rain, we were set to get quite a lot of it from 4pm onwards! With this in mind I opted to take my tent (MSR Elixir 2), it is probably my heaviest shelter option but I didn’t mind th…

Book Club: Read all about it....

When I’m sat on the train travelling to and from work, I’m usually doing one of two things…studying the inside of my eyelids or reading a good book. I enjoy the escapism and how a well written book can take you into a whole new world.

I read a lot of different genre’s from the classics to the dark and edgy Scandi crime drama’s. But you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I also love to read about the great outdoors. So I thought I’d put out a slightly different blog and offer up some of my favourite outdoorsy books. So let's get straight into it:

The Wood: The Life and Times of Cockshutt Wood, by John Lewis-Stempel
I absolutely love John Lewis-Stempel’s almost poetic writing style. This is a man who seems to have a deep understanding of nature and his passion shines through in his writing. ‘The Wood’ documents a year of his time managing a very typical English wood. You learn about how the wood changes through the seasons as well as the coming and goings of the local wildlife.…

October 2018 Wildcamp: Camping in a wood with strangers!

There’s said to be lots of spooky goings on at the end of October. Young witches and ghouls knock on strangers doors asking for sweets while others, of a less sincere mind, patrol the streets looking for the next house to egg! It’s a strange time of year indeed!
With this in mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I might have been a little silly wandering into an unfamiliar woodland to meet a bunch of strangers. I didn’t know whether to honour the Halloween traditions by asking them for sweets or throw eggs at their tarps! But all was well as they formed part of a local bushcraft group that I had recently joined on Facebook. One of the great things about this pastime is that it’s never too difficult to strike a conversation with folk that share your interests.
After getting a little ‘geographically challenged’ in the unfamiliar wood!, I called for some help (thanks Chris!) and eventually headed into camp carrying a rucksack which weighed a ton! That’s when you know the cold weather …

September 2018 Wild Camp: Time for a Meal Deal

Anyone that knows me, knows that I like food…….Err hang on a minute, that’s wrong….I LOVE food! I spend my life bouncing from one meal to the next while shoe horning in audacious spurts of exercise in order to keep my obesity levels finely balanced. And so it goes without saying that, for me at least, one of the most thought provoking things to go into my planning for a camping trip is not so much the kit, but of course the food that I want to eat and whether I’ll have enough room in my bag for it!
So what do I do? Sometimes I try to re-create the amazing meals that my wife and I have at home. Sometimes I trawl the supermarket aisles in search of inspiration. And other times I watch countless youtube videos of other outdoorsy folk to see what food they’re throwing down their gullet. All too often I watch these videos and feel a tinge of disappointment when I see them reaching for an ‘adventure meal’. Yes, I’ve tried a few of them and yes I recognise their advantages in terms of weight …