22.4.09

Summers Here

Summer well the warmth of spring has arrived and like a lizard basking on a rock in the firey orbs life giving rays I find my brain coming back to life after a almost forced hibernation.

So where we been and what we up to ??

Courses

Winter WEISS as you probably know dear reader was a great success the best one we've ever run with perfect weather, excellent students and a training team second to none!!

Navigation exercise with the Air cadets was a great event too - really enjoyed that and again many thanks for the invite there.

Also a meet of note was the BES (http://www.bushcraft-educational-society.co.uk/ ) one in Lincs - small unofficial affair but a great chilled out weekend - so thanks Casey for that!

This weekend we start the summer programme proper and I cant wait the woods are calling and my blood is steering at their siren song!!

Kit

Kit wise the winter has come up trumps in a few areas - firstly with the ever rising price of Swedish gear like Fjallraven I've searched elsewhere for functional items and found a few gems.

Firstly the swedish army smock - from Genuine Surplus - a weather weight almost ventile like cotton smock (comes in every colour as long as you want white) which can be simply personalised with the addition of a box of dylon - I've dyed and tried five colours and all work well - excellent item and a firm winter favourite now.




Looking at BDU jackets for the summer lightweight option so watch this space for those.

Secondly Cutting tools - the Fallkniven F1 and A2 both proved to be fantastic tools either coupled witht he british army pocket knife would do you proud but sadly again the strength of the pound has seen the price of these go through the roof and while the A2 is THE knife I would want in a survival situation the £220 price tag means its probably less likely to be available to most. I've re-discovered the good old frosts clipper, the bright orange ones are a great idea especially for emergency use and training being both hi-viz and stainless steel. For the more aesthetically pleasing cutting tool Im presently back using my old Bearclaw bushcraft Double hunter - a simple practical finnish combo again in stainless steel.




*Many people will tell you carbon steel is superior to stainless .............back in the 70's/80's that was the case but today most reputable makers produce excellent stainless steels makering stainless tools better - more user friendly - and cost effective than anything on the custom or hand made market - but a fool and his money are easily parted so many will argue against this I guess - its just my opinion founded on experience not dreams!

The future

To me the recession is both a devil and a angel - its a devil in that many folks are suffering both in bushcraft, survival nd otherwise but its an angel as its allowing many people to rediscovery the outdoors free from the shackles of the commercial cage that wilderness skills had become!!

People are once again realising that skills are more important than kit and skills honestly earnt are worth their weight in gold and never replacable by a expensive knife or smock!!

People are becoming wiser to the way of the woods - the BES forum is now full of experienced outdoors folk who willingly offer good practicle experience based advise. (beware other forums do exist and some may contain nuts!)

For us dear reader - well the future will hopefully hold a expedition or two as trips of a life time are being planned. It will also hold new kit ideas not based on expensive high tech petrochemical by products or the latest must has as seen on the flavour od the month TV personality but based on older tried and tested and perhaps forgotten or other looked ideas and designs .........

The future might hold less courses as both Bearclaw and Survivall adjusts to the new world it finds itself in after a decade of successful courses but the future also holds more exciting courses for the advanced and more intrepide outdoorman - quality not quantity!!

For me the future looks exciting - I, dear reader, will be up hill and down dale as I once more return to hiking (with a wilderness living slant) - Sweden calls with more exciting and adventerious ventures as we, with Nordic bushcraft, design new events for the true outdoor spirited soul.

The future my friends is bright - the future is Hi viz Orange ...........be seen be safe!



No comments: