Family Bushcraft Course

Treat someone to a bushcraft voucher

At Wildway Bushcraft we offer a fantastic range of wilderness living and bushcraft courses. From one-day friction fire lighting courses, through to weekend bushcraft courses and even week-long, wilderness living experiences. Wherever you are on your bushcraft journey, Wildway Bushcraft have something to offer you, we even have family bushcraft courses!

Subscribe

* indicates required



Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Wildway Bushcraft:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.


 

Bushcraft courses for children

Bushcraft vouchers

With the festive period coming up fast, we offer a range of bushcraft vouchers - perfect Christmas gifts for the bushcraft enthusiast in your life.

Our bushcraft vouchers are available in amounts from £75 to £185, although if you would like to discuss a voucher for a larger amount, please feel free to get in touch using our contact form or email us on [email protected]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-cddv39' admin_preview_bg='']

Treat someone to a Wildway Bushcraft voucher

[av_button label='Click here' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/bushcraft-survival-gift-voucher/' link_target='' size='small' position='center' label_display=''font='entypo-fontello' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' custom_font='#ffffff' av_uid='av-aoixmt' admin_preview_bg='']

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-9fz2fp' admin_preview_bg='']

What can my voucher be used for?

 

bushcraft voucher


Our bushcraft vouchers can be redeemed against any of our courses, provided that they are redeemed within a 12 month period. So whether you want to perfect your fire lighting skills, brush up on your tree identification, or even go on a canoeing trip along the river Spey then our
bushcraft vouchers are for you.

 

How old do I have to be to join one of your courses?

 

Canoeing preparation

 

Our bushcraft and wilderness living courses are open to anyone from the age of 18 and over. Those under 18 are welcome on most of our courses, provided that they are accompanied by an adult,  although a few have specific age limits. If you would like to know more or have any further questions please email us on [email protected] .

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-5skhid' admin_preview_bg='']

Treat someone to a Wildway Bushcraft voucher

[av_button label='Click here' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/bushcraft-survival-gift-voucher/' link_target='' size='small' position='center' label_display=''font='entypo-fontello' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' custom_font='#ffffff' av_uid='av-aoixmt' admin_preview_bg='']

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-abs7p' admin_preview_bg='']


bushcraft knife

Choosing your first bushcraft knife

The phrase ‘bushcraft knife’ is one that is occurring more and more frequently, but what does it actually mean? In this latest blog, we look at why there is no such thing as a bushcraft knife, how to choose a tool best suited to the job at hand and a look at knife law in the UK.

With that in mind, if you are not already familiar with the ins and outs, read our blog on knife law in the UK here

Read on to learn more about bushcraft, knives and what you should be looking out for.

 

What is a bushcraft knife?

Knives are tools. As far as we are at Wildway Bushcraft are concerned, knives are designed to do certain jobs, provided that they do these jobs then they are good by us. There is no need to fetishize knives; ones that are kept locked up and perfectly clean are for show, not for practical use. We like our knives to be practical, not an object of art. 

choosing your first bushcraft knife


It is really a matter of skill 

Despite the huge amounts of discussion surrounding ‘bushcraft’ knives online, it is really a matter of skill. The highly trained, skilled woodsman who is equally at home in the woods as he is in his living room, can be more useful with a penknife than an amateur with a rambo-esque machete. Keep this in mind when first using your bushcraft knife. Before you get to make the first cut, there is a huge amount of skill involved. You need to be able to identify the best material to use, how to use it and for what ends.

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-fkwtaz' admin_preview_bg='']

Learn knife skills, friction fire lighting , shelter building and more on our
weekend bushcraft course.

[av_button_big label='Click here for more information' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-dwb3mz' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-c7lyij' admin_preview_bg='']

Choosing your first bushcraft knife

Sharpen your bushcraft knife


On all of our courses, our pupils use a
Morakniv Heavy Duty Companion. These quality knives cost about £15 and can be obtained through places such as The Bushcraft Store. These knives have a 3.2 mm wide carbon steel blade and will withstand tough use. Remember though to always use it safely, particularly around children. Our blog on knife safety and children can be read here.  If you are interested, Wildway Bushcraft use Bear Blades, learn more about Bear Blades here.

Subscribe

* indicates required



Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Wildway Bushcraft:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.


Carbon steel and stainless steel bushcraft knives 

Some knives, such as the Mora Heavy Duty Companion are made from what is known as carbon steel, while others are made from stainless steel.  While the pros and cons of each vary from knife to knife, generally speaking, stainless steel knives are easier to sharpen and much better at resisting rust and corrosion than carbon steel knives. On the other hand, carbon steel knives hold their edge a lot better, meaning that they stay sharper for longer, they also get much sharper.  While they need a bit more TLC to keep them in good condition, this is a good thing as it teaches care and responsibility - two things that are important for any serious bushcraft practitioner. 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-aowv63' admin_preview_bg='']

Learn knife skills, friction fire lighting , shelter building and more on our
weekend bushcraft course.

[av_button_big label='Click here for more information' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-962ex7' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-7arsez' admin_preview_bg='']


Learning how to use it effectively and responsibly

Bushcraft knife Bear Blades


If you are over 18, the minimum legal age at which you can buy a knife in the UK, then it is worth learning how to use it effectively and responsibly. So, before you dash off and spend your cash, learn the knife skills that you will need for basic (and more advanced) bushcraft skills on our
Weekend Bushcraft Course, if you can’t spare the time then we highly recommend our One Day Bushcraft Course as an alternative.

 

Learning to look after your knife 

The following blogs will help you to look after your knife, keeping it sharp, clean and ready for action.

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-5kak6z' admin_preview_bg='']

Learn knife skills, friction fire lighting , shelter building and more on our
weekend bushcraft course.

[av_button_big label='Click here for more information' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-4m24wr' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-2yafhn' admin_preview_bg='']


friction fire course

Making your first bow drill

Being able to use a bow drill to create fire is a cornerstone of bushcraft. This method of making fire by friction has been used by humans since prehistoric times since the 4th or 5th millennium BC. The mechanical element of the bow drill gives an advantage over other methods of friction fire lighting, such as the fire plough. 

In this latest blog, we will help you to construct your own bow drill from scratch. Read on to learn more. 

 

Making your own bow drill

bow drill being used in the woods

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-907q16' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Like most things in bushcraft, constructing your own bow drill begins with a deep understanding of the natural world. Being able to identify the trees and understand how and when the different woods from each can be used is a cornerstone of bushcraft.

 

Understanding the component parts 

A bow drill is composed of the following parts:

  • The drill
    The drill is the piece of the bow drill that comes into contact with the hearth and bearing block. It is rotated by the bow itself and more specifically the cord attached to the bow.
  • The hearth
    The hearth is the piece of wood that the drill rotates into, it is a rectangular block in which the drill sits and where the embers are produced.

  • The bearing block
    The bearing block is the piece of the bow drill in which the drill sits. It should be carved so that it fits into the palm of your hand. 
  • The bow
    The bow is the part of this friction fire lighting device which gives the bow drill its name. The cordage or string that you will be using will be attached to this bow, like on a hunting bow. Unlike a hunting bow, the bow on a bow drill should be slightly curved with as little spring in it as possible. The bow gives the bow drill its mechanical advantage.

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-7xsene' admin_preview_bg='']

                   The image below shows the component parts in more detail. 

http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/one-day-friction-fire-lighting-course/
The different parts of the bow drill.

Subscribe

* indicates required



Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Wildway Bushcraft:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.



[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-k27xm' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Choosing wood

Discover our weekend bushcraft course

 

Bushcraft is about living in harmony with nature, not overcoming it. It is about so much more than just survival. Being able to identify and choose woods for a bow drill is a key part of bushcraft, as is choosing wood for your shelter, spoon or anything else that you need to make while living in the woods.

What follows is a list of woods that are suitable for making a bow drill. This list is not exhaustive and is limited to UK woods. The best way to find out what woods work for you is to experiment. Try a mixture of woods to find out what works for you.

  • Elder (Sambucus nigra)
  • Willow(s) (Salices)
  • Hazel (Corylus avellana)
  • Silver Birch (Betula pendula)
  • Field Maple (Acer campestre)
  • Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Learn more about these trees in our blog Choosing Wood for a Bow Drill.

Choosing wood for a bow drill in the UK

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-e0vuy' admin_preview_bg='']

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-266cai' admin_preview_bg='']

                           Learn the art of friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course

[av_button_big label='Click here to learn more' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-4x75mi' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-266cai' admin_preview_bg='']

Carving your bow drill

A bow drill works, as with all friction fire lighting techniques, by rubbing two combustible materials against each other until the material is taken beyond its auto-ignition temperature.  In order to do this, it is important to carve the component parts of the drill correctly.

 

The drill 

The drill should be around 20 cm in length. It should be around 2-3cm thick and as straight as possible. One part of the drill will be in contact with the hearth and the other in contact with the bearing block. The end of the drill that is in contact with the hearth needs to be carved into a blunt point, while the end in contact with the bearing block needs to be carved into a sharp point.  The bluntness of the hearth end increases the amount of friction being generated. The sharp point reduces the amount of friction being generated in contact with the bearing block. 

 

The hearth 

The hearth should be about 40mm wide, 5 mm thick and around 30 cm long. Once the bow drill has been made, the hearth should be broken in by rubbing the drill into the hearth until a charred depression has been created. Once this has been satisfactorily achieved you need to cut the notch. This should be a straight ‘V’ extending from the depression to the outside of the hearth. Underneath the notch, place a piece of bark to catch the coal and the embers.

 

The bow 

The bow, as mentioned, should not be springy. It can be made of any wood that you like and should be about the length from your fingertips to your sternum. The cordage can either be made of any string that you have at hand, or you can make the cordage yourself - you can learn about making cordage on our intermediate bushcraft course.

 

The bearing block

The bearing block works best if carved in hardwood. It should be big enough to fit comfortably in your hand. Carve a small depression into it for the pointy end of the drill. There needs to be as little friction as possible between the drill and the bearing block. Waxy leaves such as holly can be rubbed into the bearing block in order to reduce friction.

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-266cai' admin_preview_bg='']

                           Learn the art of friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course

[av_button_big label='Click here to learn more' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-30ny6i' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-266cai' admin_preview_bg='']

Fire lighting in damp conditions


Introduction to Friction Fire Lighting

Introduction to Friction Fire Lighting: Bow Drills and Hand Drills

 

The history of friction fire lighting is bound up with the history of human civilisation. The ability to light a fire when needed provides security, warmth, the ability to cook food and many other tenements of human civilisation. The ability to light a fire by friction is a cornerstone of bushcraft and a key part of our weekend bushcraft course .  This blog provides an overview of friction fire lighting and an introduction to getting started.

 

 

friction fire lighting with W

A short history of friction fire lighting 

The ability of humans to make and control fire was a huge turning point in human history. There is evidence that humans were able to control fire from about 1.7 million years ago. This control of fire would have most likely been around wildfires.

 

Learn the art of friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course.

 

 

Making fire

The ability to make fire, as opposed to controlling naturally occurring fires, was thought to have occurred about 700,000 years ago. It allowed humans to change their locations, provided security, warmth and lead to massive changes in diet.  The ways in which people made fire was through friction, using devices such as the hand drill or fire plough.

 

Impact on human evolution

The impact of fire on human evolution is enormous. It allowed people to migrate to cooler climates as they were now more able to survive the cold winters. The ability to make fire also provided protection from animals and, it is argued, helped humans to clear out caves prior to living in them. The ability to fire also played a key part in tools and weapon making, as well as ceremonial occurrences and art.

 

An introduction to friction fire lighting

Friction fire lighting is a large and complex topic. The ability to make fire by friction is not something that can be learned quickly or even mastered. Rather it is a lifetime of learning and honing skills. Like anything in bushcraft, the ability to make fire by friction begins with understanding materials.

 

 

Understanding materials

 

Bushcraft in Dorset using a bow drill

 

Being able to identify trees, plants, fungi, animals, etc is the cornerstone of bushcraft. Without the ability to identify the best material for the task in hand, you are unlikely to be successful. 

Suitable woods for the bow drill/hand drill

The following are the most suitable woods for the bow drill and hand drill. For the sake of simplicity and relevance, we are only focusing on European woods.  Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list!

Woods for bow drill

  • Elder
  • Field Maple 
  • Willow
  • Hazel 
  • Oak 
  • Popular 
  • Yew
  • Sycamore
  • Ivy

Woods for hand drill

  • Elder 
  • Juniper 
  • Pussy Willow 
  • Sycamore

Learn more about choosing woods for the bow drill and hand drill in our blog:
Choosing Wood For a Bow Drill

 

 

Bow Drill

The bow drill is perhaps the best-known friction fire lighting tool. It is thought to date back as far as the 4th or 5th millennium. They were used by cultures around the world including Native Americans, Eskimos, and Aborigines in Alaska and Canada

The bow drill has one massive advantage over other friction fire lighting methods - it’s mechanical nature; that is, the drill is turned by a cord, not by the user's hands.

 

 

Making your bow drill

A bow drill works in the same manner as all other friction fire lighting methods. That is two combustible materials being rubbed together until the material is taken beyond its auto-ignition temperature which creates an ember. This ember is then used to ignite tinder.

Component parts of the bow drill

The image below shows the component parts of the bow drill - the bearing block, bow, drill and hearth. We will then look at each of these parts in detail.

http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/one-day-friction-fire-lighting-course/
The different parts of the bow drill.

The Bow

The bow for your bow drill can be made of any wood that you have to hand. As the name suggests it needs to be slightly curved and should be the length from about your fingertips to your sternum.

The Drill 

The drill should be around 20cm in length and between 2 -3cm.  The wood for the drill should be made of one of the woods identified earlier in the blog. The end of the drill in contact with the hearth should be carved into a blunt point, while the end that is in contact with the bearing block should be carved into a sharper point.

The Hearth

The hearth of a bow drill should be made of one of the woods identified previously. It does not need to be made of the same material as the drill. It helps to play around and find the combination of woods that works the best for you. Ivy and Hazel are two types of wood that we particularly enjoy using. The hearth needs to be carved into a rectangle about 4cm wide and 5mm thick. Narrow a depression into the hearth in the centre of the blog then, using the bow, wear down this depression into a smooth bore then cut a V shape extending towards and over the edge of the hearth.

The Bearing Block 

The bearing block can be made of any wood that you have to hand. It should fit comfortably in your palm. You will need to carve a notch into the bearing block for the sharper end of the drill to sit in.

 

bow drill being used in the woods

Hand drill

The hand drill works on the same principles as the bow drill, although it lacks the mechanical advantage. The drill is composed of a drill and a hearth. It works as the drill is spun between your hands and is spun with downward pressure being applied. As the smoke begins to appear, increase the speed until you have produced a small ember.

fire lighting Dorset

The Drill

The drill for the hand drill is largely a matter of personal preference, experience and what type of wood you are using. It should be made of one of the woods identified previously and be between 40 and 75 cm long with a diameter of 9mm to 13mm. It needs to be as straight as possible to work effectively.

 

The hearth

The hearth should be made in a similar fashion to the bow drill but slightly shorter. Once again, it should be made of the same wood as those mentioned previously in the blog.

Friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course

On our weekend bushcraft course we introduce you to the art of the bow drill. If you have never used a bow drill before, we will talk you through how to carve each of the component parts and how to correctly use it. If you are familiar with the bow drill then we can help you to troubleshoot any issues that you are having and give you tips on how to perfect your bow drill technique.

 

 

Wildway Bushcraft Owner John blowing an ember into fire


Bushcraft courses in the UK for family

Wider Bushcraft Learning

Wider Bushcraft Learning

At Wildway we believe that bushcraft is about more than just survival. It is not about overcoming the elements or battling with nature, it is about living in harmony with it. For both children and adults, bushcraft can provide important learnings beyond just the skills needed to light fires or build shelters.  We believe that whether an adult or a child, a bushcraft beginner or an old hand, there is something to be learned from living in the woods, in harmony with nature. This is what we mean when we talk about wider bushcraft learning.

Respect for nature

beautiful woodland

 

Bushcraft teaches practitioners of all ages a deep respect for nature. By learning the names of the flora and fauna around us, their uses and their limitations bushcraft practitioners are more connected with the woods than many other people. Trees stop simply being ‘trees’ and instead become useful sources of sustenance, or firewood, or wood for bow drills. The skilled bushcraft person will also understand how the tree fits in the ecosystem around it and therefore only use its resources in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

 

Connection with nature

Mushrooms in autumn in the UK woods bushcraft courses in the UKAccording to recent reports, seven out of 10 people admit they’re losing touch with nature. And more than a third of parents admit they could not teach their own children about British wildlife.  If people aren’t connected with something then you can’t expect them to care about it. Bushcraft teaches children to develop a connection with nature and look after the planet.

 

Patience and importance of proper technique

Sharpen your bushcraft axe


Nothing in bushcraft can be rushed. It is not about acting without thinking, it is about patience and proper technique. Without patience and proper technique, selecting the right woods, making the right cuts, etc. whatever technique you are trying to perfect is likely to fail. The skilled bushcraft practitioner will approach each task in a calm manner, confident of their skills and ability.

 

Stillness and quiet

Get away from it all on a bushcraft course

Being comfortable in the woods is key to bushcraft. Once comfortable in the woods, the skilled bushcraft practitioner will find stillness, peace of mind and quiet. Something that is so difficult to find in the modern world with its 24/7, always-on culture.  The ability to sit outside and find quiet in the woods is not just a ‘nice to have’, studies suggest that it is also beneficial for your health. It is even thought that regular time outside can reduce stress, improve academic performance and improve mental wellbeing

 


Edible plants UK

Edible Plants in the UK Spring

Spring is well and truly here, despite the recent weather in certain parts of the country. With it, spring brings the chance for the keen outdoors and bushcraft enthusiast to find some of the edible plants that we have here in the UK.

Read on to learn more about some of the edible plants that we have in this country and there uses.

Before we start though, remember, never eat anything that you
have not positively identified as edible.

 

Garlic Mustard 

Foraging in Spring UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garlic Mustard is also known as ‘hedge garlic’ or ‘jack-by-the-hedge’. Its Latin names are Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande (A. officinalis, Erysimum alliaria, Sisymbrium alliaria). The plant is most commonly found in damp shaded areas, such as at the edge of woodlands or in hedges. Typically, it doesn’t spread onto arable land.  

It flowers from April through to May with seeds being shed in July. The plant is edible and is most commonly used as a salad green and has an odor of garlic, a characteristic which is helpful in identifying it.

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-h1c04' admin_preview_bg='']

Join our weekend bushcraft course for an introduction to foraging
Click here for more information

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-36p2d0' admin_preview_bg='']

Wood Sorrel

Edible plants UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Sorrel, or to give the plant it’s proper Latin name Oxalis acetosella grows in woodland, hedgerows and river banks throughout the British Isles. It typically flowers from April through to May although, depending upon the weather it may flower for a second time in the summer.

Although the plant is edible it should only be eaten in small quantities as it does contain oxalic acid which is thought to cause kidney damage. It is recommended that children don’t eat Wood Sorrel at all. 

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-h1c04' admin_preview_bg='']

Join our weekend bushcraft course for an introduction to foraging
Click here for more information

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-36p2d0' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Wild Strawberries 

Edible plants UK

 

Wild strawberries are very different, and in our opinion more delicious, than their shop bought counterparts. Their official Latin name is Fragaria vesca and they produce tiny, edible red fruits.

Wild strawberries in the UK are most typically found in open woodland and scrubland. They particularly thrive in limestone and chalk downland soils.  They are most likely to be spotted from April through to August, it can easily be identified by its tiny heart-shaped red fruits growing on the outside of the plant.

 

Pignuts

Edible plants UK  

Pignuts, properly called Conopodium majus is a small plant with edible underground tubers. It is best to forage Pignuts in the spring as once the leaves and flowering heads die back they leave no above ground presence.

They are most commonly found in open woodlands, hedgerows and dry grasslands. They are a member of the carrot family and have fine and delicate flowers on delicate branched stems when pignuts flower they have small white flowers.

The tubers are edible and are not bad tasting. They are eaten by digging down under the plant and extracting the tuber - typically found about 20 cm under the ground.

Stinging nettles

Edible plants in the UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The much-maligned stinging nettle is actually an incredibly versatile plant in the hands of the experienced bushcraft enthusiast. Found in gardens, hedgerows, woodlands and very many other places the common stinging nettle can be found throughout the UK all year round.  Also known by its Latin name of Urtica dioica the leaves of the nettle are edible and are best picked throughout spring.

For the best tasting experience, pick them when it has dried off after a recent rain shower. The stinging part is neutralized by boiling or blanching it.  After this, the leave can be used as you would do a leafy vegetable such as spinach.

Nettles have very many other uses for the keen bushcraft person. The stems can be used for cordage and the leaves can be used for making tea.

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-h1c04' admin_preview_bg='']

Join our weekend bushcraft course for an introduction to foraging
Click here for more information

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-36p2d0' admin_preview_bg='']


shelter building on our Weekend bushcraft course Wildway Bushcraft

Shelter Building Basics

Shelter Building Basics - What You Need to Know

 

Shelter building is one of the fundamentals of bushcraft. It is often more important for you to find shelter than it is to find food or water. Remember the rule of threes; three hours without shelter, three days without water and three weeks without food. This is obviously an extreme time scale, but it does show the importance of shelter building skills in bushcraft.

 

Basics of shelter building 

Read on to learn more about the basics of shelter building. For the sake of this blog, we are going to assume that you are in the woods with good tools and all the kit you should have.  Find out more about our guide to choosing a bushcraft axe here.

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-19scrw' admin_preview_bg='']

Basics of shelter building

[av_button_big label='Learn the basics of shelter building' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-asm6bw' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

 

 

What does your shelter need to do?

The first thing to consider when thinking about building your shelter is to ask, ‘what does it need to do?’. Think about the weather, how long you are likely to be staying in the area, how many people does it need to protect and how long do you have to build it? Asking yourself questions such as these before you start will save you time in the long run. 

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-z6724' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Shelter building with wildway

 

Location of your shelter 

One of the most important considerations, once you’ve determined the purpose of your shelter, is the location. Long term shelters will need to be closer to a source of water than those that are just being used for a night or two. Your shelter also needs to be in close proximity to the materials that you will need to use to build it. Think about it this way, do you really want to be walking to and from to get water and materials or should you not just bring the shelter to the source. 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-83wy98' admin_preview_bg='']

chose a location for your sehlter

[av_button_big label='Learn the basics of shelter building' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-58p13w' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-e9vq4' admin_preview_bg='']

Time and energy

The amount of daylight remaining and the amount of energy that you have left will also determine the type of shelter you should build. Late in the day and after a long walk you will want to build the simplist shelter possible. You can always work on it the next day if you are staying there for a while. 

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-e9vq4' admin_preview_bg='']

Shelter building from Wildway Bushcraft

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-e9vq4' admin_preview_bg='']

Natural aids 

Having chosen the location of your shelter and decided on what type of shelter you are going to build, have a look around at what natural features there are that could help you. Look for fallen tree branches that could make the basis of a lean-to, are there any caves in the vicinity that could shelter you? Natural features such as these can save you loads of time and make your shelter incredibly stable.  

How to learn shelter building basics 

The best way to learn shelter building is to join a course with an experienced bushcraft instructor. Our Weekend Bushcraft Course is accredited by the IOL and covers all the basics of bushcraft, including shelter building. During the course, we will teach you how to build a shelter in the woods and then give you the option of sleeping in it. If you would rather sleep in a tent or under a tarp then you are welcome to! 

[av_button_big label='Join our Weekend Bushcraft Course' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-2127zw' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

Learn shelter building with Wildway Bushcraft


Making the most of your stove in winter

Making the Most of Your Stove in Winter

After a hard day walking in winter conditions, there is nothing better than a hot brew. That’s why, in this blog, we will be looking at how to make the most of your stove in winter conditions. When we’re looking at winter conditions we are looking at those in places of the UK such as the Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor, and the South West in general. We will not be considering winter conditions in mountainous regions or Scotland where winter conditions can be equivalent to the Arctic. Read on to learn more about maximising your stove use in winter.

 

Key considerations 

Making the most of your stove in winter


This blog is simply an overview of the different types of stoves and their effectiveness in winter. It does not compare stove types nor the enormous number of variations which can impact on the stove’s effectiveness. These variations include things such as, the altitude that the stove is being used at, the type of windshield being used, the temperature of the fuel beforehand, the wind speed/direction and of course the experience of the person using it. 

 

Solid fuel stoves 

Solid fuel stoves use either fuel blocks, such as ‘hex’ blocks or alcohol gels. One of the main drawbacks with these types of stoves is that the fuel is not readily available in your local camping store, nor can you control the heat output of the stove. The fuel is unlikely to be affected by winter temperatures but is obviously prey to the conditions that affect all stoves in winter.

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-21fxpe' admin_preview_bg='']

TREAT SOMEONE TO A WILDWAY BUSHCRAFT VOUCHER.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/bushcraft-survival-gift-voucher/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-gximsi' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-21fxpe' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Unpressurised liquid stoves

Unpressurised liquid stoves, such as the Trangia, typically run on a methanol, parrafin, or kerosene fuels. Typically these have a lower burning temperature than gas or multi-fuel stoves and, once again, the temperature can be hard to regulate. They can be impacted badly by cold weather although there are several things that you can do to improve their performance in winter. These include, insulating the stove from the ground, using more fuel to heat the stove first, keeping the fuel insulated and warm while carrying it and while at camp.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required




 

Gas Stoves

Gas stoves light instantly, without the need for priming, and are largely maintenance free. The fuel for gas stoves is generally widely available and can typically be found in local hardware stores as well as camping shops. Their performance in winter is more to do with the fuel that is being used than the stove itself.  

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-21fxpe' admin_preview_bg='']

TREAT SOMEONE TO A WILDWAY BUSHCRAFT VOUCHER.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/bushcraft-survival-gift-voucher/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-g8jpoi' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-21fxpe' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Butane/Propane

Pure butane is a poor fuel for use in stoves in winter as it stops vapourising (e.g. the gas will remain liquid) at around - 1 degrees celcius. Propane, on the other hand, can be used at temperatures down to - 42 degrees Celcius, making it an ideal choice. However, it is extremely difficult to manufacture pure propane canisters that are suitable for camping. This leaves us with a butane/propane mix, typically canisters of this type will use a 70/30 butane/propane mix.  Even using this mix, however, effectiveness can be reduced in cold weather as the stove empties.

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-21fxpe' admin_preview_bg='']

TREAT SOMEONE TO A WILDWAY BUSHCRAFT VOUCHER.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/bushcraft-survival-gift-voucher/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-dhem0y' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-21fxpe' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Pressurised liquid/multi-fuel stoves

Stoves of this type, such as the MSR Whisperlite, are excellent performers in all but the most extreme conditions.  These stoves can be used with both gas canisters and a liquid fuel known as ‘white gas’, a pure form of gasoline. These stoves, however, can be difficult to use for novices as they typically require priming and can be prone to flare-ups, making them less than ideal for using inside one’s tent.

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-21fxpe' admin_preview_bg='']

TREAT SOMEONE TO A WILDWAY BUSHCRAFT VOUCHER.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/bushcraft-survival-gift-voucher/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-1af2k2' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-21fxpe' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Fires

Cooking on a fire in winter


Provided that you are able to light a fire in winter (have a look at our blogs
here and here) then they can be a great source of heat, light and can be easy to cook on.  However, you do need to be mindful of the environment in which you are having a fire. Provided that you are not in a genuine survival situation where anything goes then you need to consider if you have permission, the environmental impact of having a fire and, of course, how you can have a fire without leaving any trace. 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required




 

Kit 

Below we have listed a few pieces of kit that are essential for going out into the woods during winter or at any time of the year. 

 

Further Reading 

Here are some other blogs that might be of interest, use the arrows to navigate between them.

[av_content_slider heading='' columns='1' animation='slide' navigation='arrows' autoplay='false' interval='5' font_color='' color='' av_uid='av-a3lysy']
[av_content_slide title='Lighting a fire in damp conditions' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/fire-damp-conditions' linktarget='' av_uid='av-9i2i4y']

[/av_content_slide]
[av_content_slide title='Family Bushcraft ' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/family-bushcraft/ ' linktarget='' av_uid='av-7gawaa']
Family bushcraft course
[/av_content_slide]
[av_content_slide title='What to expect on a bushcraft course' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/expect-weekend-bushcraft-course/ ' linktarget='' av_uid='av-5lz7hu']
refresh your bushcraft courses UK Dorset Hampshire
[/av_content_slide]
[av_content_slide title='What the woods mean to Wildway Bushcraft' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/woods-wildway/ ' linktarget='' av_uid='av-e7b0i']
Clothing for winter camping
[/av_content_slide]
[/av_content_slider]

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-21fxpe' admin_preview_bg='']

TREAT SOMEONE TO A WILDWAY BUSHCRAFT VOUCHER.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/bushcraft-survival-gift-voucher/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-362zgi' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-21fxpe' admin_preview_bg='']


Clothing for winter camping

Choosing Clothing for Winter Camping In The UK

In this week’s blog, we will be looking at clothing to keep you warm in winter. There are a huge number of manufacturers out there, each offering a vast, and often confusing, array of garments for winter. With this in mind we will not be looking at specific clothing brands, but rather at one tried and tested principle behind keeping warm in the winter. Read on to learn more of skip to the section that interests you the most.

 

 

What is the layering system? 

Clothing for winter camping


The layering system is nothing new. From the days of itchy vests and seal skin clothing explorers of colder climates and mountainous reaches have been piling clothes on top of each other in an effort to keep warm. There is, however, a lot more to it than just putting on all your jumpers and hoping for the best. 

 

How the layering system works

The layering system is, in essence, comprised of a base layer next to the skin, insulating mid-layer or layers and then a protective outer layer which should be waterproof, windproof etc. While the minimum amount of layers that you want to be wearing is three you can add more mid-layers depending upon the situation. While clothing choice is personal and each one of us will have our preferred brands the principle remains the same regardless of who makes the clothing.

 

Base layers 

Clothing winter camping


A base layer is simply a layer that will sit next to the skin and should be as close fitting as possible. The purpose of a base layer is to wick, or take, the sweat away from the skin. For this reason, it should not be made of cotton - cotton retains moisture and will hold the sweat close to the skin. Typically, base layers are made from Merino wool or synthetic materials, both of which have certain anti-bacterial properties which will prevent one from smelling too much when they return from the wilds.

While it might be tempting to go for thicker base layers in the depths of winter it is important to balance warmth with a risk of overheating. For this reason, it is best to experiment and find the right base layer for you. Read on to learn about mid layers. 

 

What to look for in a mid layer 

A mid layer, or mid layers are essential for keeping one warm when walking or camping in winter. The mid layer acts as the main source of insulation between the base layer and the outer layer. By trapping the heat from your body within your clothes the mid layer keeps you warm. Typical mid layers are made of fleece, which retains its properties when wet, and synthetic materials. Occasionally, in very cold winter conditions a down (or synthetic) jacket can also be worn. A wind and mid layer may help to keep you at an ambient temperature until the rain and the snow really begin coming in, at which point your outer layer can be added. 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-se0dtv' admin_preview_bg='']

LEARN FIRE LIGHTING, SHELTER BUILDING, AXE SKILLS AND MORE ON OUR WEEKEND BUSHCRAFT COURSE.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-qzer4j' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-pgty3n' admin_preview_bg='']

 

What to look for in an outer layer

Clothes for winter camping

Your outer layer is the main source of protection against the elements. They need to be waterproof, windproof and ideally breathable, a combination of qualities that can be hard to come by.  Additionally, this outer layer should come with a hood, one that can be worn over a wooly hat, and provide protection from the elements for your head.  

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-oir3fn' admin_preview_bg='']

LEARN FIRE LIGHTING, SHELTER BUILDING, AXE SKILLS AND MORE ON OUR WEEKEND BUSHCRAFT COURSE.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-lzl7ab' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-l0frqb' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Choosing your trousers 

When it comes to winter camping and walking then choosing your trousers is as important as choosing your top layer. Follow the same principles as those you use for choosing your top layers, pick a good pair of thermals for your base layer, soft yet hard wearing walking trousers for a mid layer and tough, breathable waterproof trousers for your outer layer. Also consider wearing gaiters in winter in order to keep the snow, and general muck, out of your boots and off your trousers.  

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-j3iugj' admin_preview_bg='']

LEARN FIRE LIGHTING, SHELTER BUILDING, AXE SKILLS AND MORE ON OUR WEEKEND BUSHCRAFT COURSE.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-h95fxv' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-fv7tfn' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Headwear and gloves 

Headwear in winter can consist of a warm, wooly hat, or a balaclava in extreme conditions. In instances where there is likely to be a lot of snow, such as in the Scottish mountains, then you might also consider goggles. Gloves are also an essential consideration in winter. Remember to carry several pairs, should you lose one, and use a system of thin, warm gloves under thicker fleece gloves. Waterproof or water resistant gloves should be carried or waterproof mitts can be worn over a pair of warm fleece gloves.

 

Kit 

Below we have listed a few pieces of kit that are essential for going out into the woods during winter or at any time of the year.

Further Reading

Here are some other blogs that might be of interest, use the arrows to navigate between them.

[av_content_slider heading='' columns='1' animation='slide' navigation='arrows' autoplay='false' interval='5' font_color='' color='' av_uid='av-1h6roz']
[av_content_slide title='Lighting a fire in damp conditions' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/fire-damp-conditions ' linktarget='' av_uid='av-bzs3k3']

[/av_content_slide]
[av_content_slide title='Family bushcraft course' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/family-bushcraft/ ' linktarget='' av_uid='av-10erv7']
Family bushcraft course
[/av_content_slide]
[av_content_slide title='Weekend bushcraft course' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/expect-weekend-bushcraft-course/ ' linktarget='' av_uid='av-9mredf']
Weekend bushcraft courses UK Dorset Hampshire
[/av_content_slide]
[av_content_slide title='What the woods mean to Wildway' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/woods-wildway/' linktarget='' av_uid='av-72ycw3']
Weekend bushcraft courses UK Dorset Hampshire
[/av_content_slide]
[/av_content_slider]

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-674iw3' admin_preview_bg='']

LEARN FIRE LIGHTING, SHELTER BUILDING, AXE SKILLS AND MORE ON OUR WEEKEND BUSHCRAFT COURSE.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-3vnzb7' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-301083' admin_preview_bg='']


Clothing for winter camping

Considerations When Camping In Winter

In this week’s blog, we’re going to be taking a look at camping in the winter. Specifically, we are going to be looking at camping in the winter in the lower areas of England, such as the Brecon Beacons and the South West. We won’t be looking at winter camping in the higher areas, such as the lakes or in Scotland where winter conditions approach the positively Arctic. This blog will focus on camping in a normal backpacking tent, e.g. not a heated tent. Read on to learn about camping in the winter. As always, feel free to read the whole blog or skip to the section that interests you the most.

 

Kit for winter camping

Winter camping considerations


When it comes to camping in the winter then a lot of the discussion revolves around the kit. The kit for winter camping runs along the same principles as the kit for camping in the summer. As long as the basic principles are followed then there is no need to spend a fortune on the kit.

Sleeping bag

A sleeping bag for winter in the parts of England that we are talking about needs to be rated down to the minus numbers. While certain people might sleep hot while others feel the cold there is, generally speaking, no need to splash out on anything rated below - 10. The down vs synthetic debate will rumble on, but generally speaking down is lighter weight for fill power whereas synthetic is better in damp conditions. When you’re considering purchasing a sleeping bag you should look for one that is rated along the lines of the EN13537 standards. When looking at the different ratings, you need to focus on the comfort rating, not the extreme or the limit rating. The ‘extreme’ rating is the “temperature at which the average woman can remain for six hours without risk of DEATH from hypothermia - but can still sustain cold injuries” (source: Alpkit). 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-tc55xm' admin_preview_bg='']

LEARN FIRE LIGHTING, SHELTER BUILDING, AXE SKILLS AND MORE ON OUR WEEKEND BUSHCRAFT COURSE.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-2pkf4a' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-q1z9i2' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Work with your sleeping bag

No matter what the rating of your sleeping bag you do need to work with your bag to help it to achieve the maximum possible rating. If possible, don’t compress it to its smallest size when putting it in your bag but instead put it in a larger bag in order to allow the sleeping bag to retain its loft. Keep the bag dry at all times and consider carrying it in a dry bag in order to protect it. Consider wearing thermals inside your bag to boost its rating and never wear your wet day clothes inside the bag.

Sleeping mat

A decent sleeping mat is essential for a good night’s sleep. Your sleeping mat keeps you insulated away from the cold, wet ground. The more insulated from the ground you are then the warmer you are likely to be. Sleeping mats that have large chambers filled with air are likely to be comfortable but may be colder in winter conditions, whereas closed cell mats, like the classic Karrimat, are likely to be warm but uncomfortable. Perhaps it is best to consider a combination of the two types of mats.

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-oacvsq' admin_preview_bg='']

LEARN FIRE LIGHTING, SHELTER BUILDING, AXE SKILLS AND MORE ON OUR WEEKEND BUSHCRAFT COURSE.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-ml6t3u' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-l1yfbe' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Organisation 

 

When it comes to winter camping then a good level of organisation is key to enjoying yourself. Winter conditions in the parts of the UK that we are looking at are likely to be wet, snowy and generally quite grim.  With weather like that, it is important to keep organised, keep your wet and dry kit separate at all times. Store essential items that can be damaged by cold weather, such as phones or water filters, wrapped in something warm, like socks, or stored on or about your person. 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required




 

Tent management

 

Winter camping involves a good deal of tent management. Consider opening ventilation flaps in all but the worst of weather in order to reduce condensation and prevent your sleeping bag getting damp. We will look at how to make the most of your stove in winter in a blog post later this month. If snowfall is heavy then you may need to get up in the night to clear snow off your tent, less it weighs on the fabric and damages it. 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-imf9yi' admin_preview_bg='']

LEARN FIRE LIGHTING, SHELTER BUILDING, AXE SKILLS AND MORE ON OUR WEEKEND BUSHCRAFT COURSE.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-h7wna2' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-gandfe' admin_preview_bg='']

 

Recap 

When it comes to winter camping it is essential to upgrade your sleeping kit so that it is suitable for use in lower temperatures. Don’t just focus on the sleeping bag but also consider the quality of your sleeping mat and thermals. Organisation is also vitally important when it comes to winter camping. You need to keep your wet and dry kit separate and items that can be damaged by the cold wrapped up somewhere warm or on your person. Look after your tent, be careful of mounting snow on the side of the tent and try to pitch it with the end into the wind so as to reduce its impact on the tent. 

 

Kit 

Below we have listed a few pieces of kit that are essential for going out into the woods during winter or at any time of the year. 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required




 

Further Reading 

Here are some other blogs that might be of interest, use the arrows to navigate between them. 

[av_content_slider heading='' columns='1' animation='slide' navigation='arrows' autoplay='false' interval='5' font_color='' color='' av_uid='av-e9u9uy']
[av_content_slide title='Fire lighting damp conditions' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/fire-damp-conditions ' linktarget='' av_uid='av-bwncwq']

[/av_content_slide]
[av_content_slide title='Family bushcraft courses' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/family-bushcraft/ ' linktarget='' av_uid='av-atkoh6']
Family bushcraft course
[/av_content_slide]
[av_content_slide title='What to expect on a weekend bushcraft course' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/expect-weekend-bushcraft-course/ ' linktarget='' av_uid='av-8fuh2y']
Understanding your sleeping kit
[/av_content_slide]
[av_content_slide title='What the woods mean to Wildway Bushcraft' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/woods-wildway/ ' linktarget='' av_uid='av-7u7soa']
Sharpening your bushcraft knife
[/av_content_slide]
[/av_content_slider]

 

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-6dqv4q' admin_preview_bg='']

LEARN FIRE LIGHTING, SHELTER BUILDING, AXE SKILLS AND MORE ON OUR WEEKEND BUSHCRAFT COURSE.

[av_button_big label='CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION' description_pos='below' link='manually,http://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/weekend-bushcraft-course/' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='theme-color' custom_bg='#444444' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' av_uid='av-3ws27e' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_button_big]

[av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center' custom_border='av-border-thin' custom_width='50px' custom_border_color='' custom_margin_top='30px' custom_margin_bottom='30px' icon_select='yes' custom_icon_color='' icon='ue808' font='entypo-fontello' av_uid='av-34gooa' admin_preview_bg='']