Discover our weekend bushcraft course

What the Woods Mean to Wildway Bushcraft

In this blog, we share the following video from Flint and Pine in which John Boe, founder of Wildway Bushcraft, talks about what bushcraft and being in the woods means to him.

 

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What the woods and bushcraft mean to John

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Learn to live in the woods

Learn to live in the woods on our intermediate bushcraft course

This year, Wildway Bushcraft are offering an intermediate bushcraft course. This course gives participants all the skills that they need to live in the woods for a short-medium term. Spend five days living in the woods, learning skills for large game butchery to basket making.

This course is all about unlocking your ability to thrive in a wilderness setting, it is not a test of endurance. We will provide you with food, water, tea, and coffee so you get the best possible outcome from this course. You will cook your own meals in your personal camp or around our communal fire, where we will spend the evenings winding down with a drink and a chat.

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Weekend bushcraft course

Weekend bushcraft course

For more of an introduction into bushcraft try our weekend bushcraft course. This course runs from the Friday evening to the Sunday morning and is a great introduction to bushcraft as well as a way for more experienced practitioners to hone their skills. IOL accredited this course also provides you with an opportunity to come back and take your level two IOL accreditation.

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Truly get away from it all

Canoeing the river Spey in 2018

We’ve just got back from another fantastic canoeing expedition along the river Spey in Scotland.

In case you don’t know, each year we offer a guided canoe and bushcraft expedition along the beautiful river Spey. Paddling from Loch Insch all the way down to Spey Bay and wild camping along the trail. We offer land-based bushcraft courses that paddlers can take part in, but everyone is also welcome to just sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  

These trips are always corkers and this year was no exception. Here’s a selection of photos, images, and thoughts from the trip…

 

Canoeing the Spey

Bush craft and canoeing
Hazel approves of the tarp set up.

Our 2018 river Spey canoeing expedition gets off to a strong start. Tarps are incredibly useful and light-weight bits of kit, we camped under them the whole way. You can read our review of the DD Tarp here, or learn about tarp set-ups here.

 

First fire of the trip

Bushcraft fire lighting on canoeing trip
First fire of the trip

 

There's always something special about the first fire of the trip, even more so when it's on the banks of the beautiful river Spey. Learn more about bushcraft and fire lighting in our blog posts here and here.

 

Last minute canoeing prep

Canoeing prep
Hazel helping out with some last minute canoeing prep.

Just double and triple checking everything before we set off on our fantastic adventure. Learn more about packing for a long distance canoeing trip here.

 

Morning brew

bushcraft and canoeing in Scotland
Can't beat a morning brew.

It doesn't get much better than the first brew of the morning, in a hammock, in Scotland.

Another day on the river

Canoeing preparation
Getting ready to hit the river

After cups of tea, it's time to get on the river. Learn about navigating on Scotland's rivers in this blog post here.

 

 

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Brief pause

canoeing and bushcraft on the river spey scotland
Taking a little break

Just us and the river. You can't beat it.

Stunning scenery

Stunning views from our bushcraft camp
Takes your breath away.
Stunning views canoeing in Scotland
And another shot

 

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Navigation is essential

Canoeing and bushcraft navigtion
Hazel knows where she' going.

Hazel leading the way.

 

Gearing up for some white water

 

This stretch of water is 'affectionately' known as 'The Washing Machine'.

Relaxing on the river

Canoeing on the Spey
Gentle paddling

Some of the guys taking enjoying the river.

 

Dinner is served

Firepot Outdoor Food.
Delicious!

Firepot, who are in no way formally associated with Wildway Bushcraft, produce some fantastic stuff. You can find out all about them here.

The end of our epic trip

Canoeing into Spey bay
The end of our epic trip

Our epic trip ends in Spey bay. A fantastic expedition with a great group of people. If you'd like to reserve your place on our 2019 expedition click on the link below.

BOOK YOUR SPACE ON 2019'S TRIP NOW

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Weather

Bushcraft weather skills

One thing that we definitely have in the UK is weather - and we have a lot of it! Whilst other parts of the world may have more extreme forms of weather, from desert heat to perms-frost winters, few have a more unpredictable or swiftly changing weather pattern than ours. This means that factoring weather into your planning is a big component of successful bushcraft in the UK.

Weather reading

Knowing what’s expected is vital to good survival. Where weather can change quickly - sun to mist, dry to wet - the successful bush crafter will have planned ahead. Check the weather forecast and be aware of changes in clouds, wind direction/speed and air humidity that could mean trouble ahead. The famous movie trick of birds falling silent before a storm is a genuine fact of nature. Using such information to be aware of your surroundings is not just a bushcraft technique - it can make the difference between an enjoyable outdoor experience and utter misery.

Cold weather

The gap between ‘knowing’ how to start a fire and ‘being able’ to start a fire is huge. Theoretical skills are useless in true outdoor situations - learning a fire-starting technique and building your skills through practice and experience is vital. Try one of our Friction Fire-lighting Courses to develop this key life-saving ability. Packing fire lighting equipment on your bushcraft trips will allow you to know that you can start a fire if the weather becomes bad. A camp fire is not just something to keep your body warm, it’s also a way to heat food, to signal to others, and a potent morale booster. Being able to locate and dry tinder is also important, as is the skill of identifying good wood to burn.

Shelter is also necessary. A tarpaulin provides shelter in cold weather and gives a dry area in the wet. Cordage, either carried or made from natural sources, helps build a shelter. A tent is great if you have one, but other forms of protection such as lean-to shelters, pit shelters, tree platforms and even snow caves or trenches are ways to create a safe environment and use your body heat to keep you warm.

Water is vital in cold weather as well as warm, so make sure you remain hydrated whilst working to ensure your own comfort and safety. Don't eat snow, regardless of what you see in films, it will reduce your core temperature to sometimes dangerous levels. Instead, pack it into a canteen and carry it next to your body to melt it, or make a snowball, pierce it with a long stick and place it near your campfire. Ensure the drips melt into a billy or saucepan or even a bark ‘dish’.

Hot weather

The biggest danger in hot weather is hyperthermia, or overheating. Often this is associated with the sun, but that’s not the only risk. Simply put, if the ambient temperature is higher than your body temperature, you cannot cool down naturally by radiating heat from your body - even if you sweat, you won’t cool down. Sunburn can dramatically increase your body’s surface temperature and put you at greater risk of the mental confusion, dehydration and eventual organ failure that are caused by extreme hyperthermia. Whilst this is rare in the UK, it should be considered when spending time outdoors in summer.

Protect yourself from direct sun by wearing, or making, a hat. Use natural shade or create a shelter to protect yourself from the heat of the day and be most active in early morning or late afternoon/evening. Drink more than you think you need to.

Wet weather

Just assume you’ll get wet - our climate makes that almost certain. If you spend more than a few days outdoors every year practising your bushcraft skills, you’re going to get soaked by rain, snow, sleet or mist at some point.

Not everywhere has tree cover, and where there is no tree cover, there is little or no fuel for fires - bear this in mind when planning your trip and carry material if necessary. Wind chill in wet environments can be exhausting. In wet and windy weather, ensure you have suitable clothing and that your core temperature remains high. Mist, snow and even rain can massively affect your ability to see your surroundings, understanding basic navigation, carrying a compass and map, and knowing where you are likely to find shelter can turn bad weather into an adventure, rather than a disaster.