28.12.10

2011 Ultimate Knife Sale

Dear Reader - as mentioned below 2011 is going to be a big year for me, out with the old and in with the new!!

Sentiment has no place and so I'm selling off the final elements of my knife collection ....... these are my best tools, many hand made for me - all with a history and now some fantastic bargains for you, whether your a user or a collector ........... good luck!

To enlarge click picture - listing top to bottom left to right - if in doubt ask!!

1. Chris Reeve Aviator (top centre) - sold
2. Bearclaw Wilderness knife - (left) - sold
3. Svord Drop point - (right) - £20
4. Hand made Sami (antler, ebony, birch and tin scales) brusselto 7" blade (sheath needs attention) - £75
5 Survivall kukri - last one left with modified sheath. - £55
6. WWII Pilots escape knife - rare - £40
7. Hand made Puuko (antler, ebony, birch and tin scales) - £45
8. Brussellto Bamsen with pistol style sheath (rare) - £60
9 Case scout pocket knife - £25
10. British army knife - £10
11. Wenger Ranger - £20
12. EKA super swede - sold
13. Boker sports man - £65
14. Hand made necker - frosts blade (antler, ebony, birch and tin scales) - £30
15. Vildmark knife - wooden sheath leather stamped with vildmark logo - sold
16. Victorinox voygeur - £10

Postage recorded delivery £5 for sheath knives and £2.50 for the folders and necker ............ I'm sad to see these beauties go so buyers please look after them!

27.12.10

NmUK Temperate WEISS course 2011

Great news the first Temperate WEISS course of Nordmarken UK will be run 2nd - 8th June 2011 for the fantastic price of £650

WEISS Survival Course (Temperate)


The Wilderness Experience International Survival School Summer Course is the first phase of a two part programme designed to equip the individual with all the necessary woodcraft and wilderness living skills needed to overcome any adversity encountered during expeditions, wilderness treks or even their every day life.

Established in 1963 is course has a phenomenal track record of success and is partly run from a purpose built classroom as well as in the verdant wilds of the Swedish boreal forests. For the nature buff the area we use during the exercise phase of this course lays in/around the ‘Glaskogen’ nature conservation area where Elk, Lynx, Wolves, Beaver and even Bears still roam free to this day – A TRUE Wilderness area.

The course is both a challenging yet highly rewarding experience designed to give the more advanced “bushcrafter” a totally unique appreciation and experience which far out strips anything practicable in the United Kingdom. The programmed is comprehensively and intentionally testing and covers the most fundamental skills required of a good outdoorsman. These foundations of knowledge are then built upon giving you the chance to acquire and hone the more advanced and diverse skills taught to perfection.

Some of the more advanced subjects covered include:
•Fire by friction

•First aid

•Normal equipment required for survival techniques

•Wilderness travel

•Survival/Emergency packs

•Strategies for extreme situations

•Search and rescue techniques of SAR’s teams with a liaison exercise.

•Distress signals

•Edible plants and fungi

•How to prepared different types of food using primitive techniques

•How to keep Warn-Dry-Fed – WDF

•How to read a map and correct use of a compass.

•Navigation across rough terrain

•Alternative compass types.

•Self rescue strategies – finding your way to help

•Psychology in emergency situations.

•Team work

•First aid training in wilderness emergency situations

All participants need to have entry level bushcraft know how or have similar military or wilderness living experience prior to attending the WEISS course. It is also essential that all participants are well motivated to learn the subjects covered as this exigent yet highly gratifying course is not just a sort of “holiday with a difference” spiced up with a few adventure activities – it is a absolutely practical, hands on event which will see you gaining a vast array of new and inimitable skills and knowledge.
In very real terms here you WILL learn and use skills which one day could save your life or the lives of those you love. It will also teach you a great deal about yourself making you a stronger person and as such boosting your self confidence and self belief whilst also arming you with a broad array of experience second to none. This is not a soft expedition style camping course it is a hard, gritting realistic course aimed at those who want to test themselves and their skills, it is a course where we set the highest standards and maintain them and as such ALL participants should be aware this is a pass or fail course. Only upon successful completion will you receive the much coveted WEISS badge.

Those who earn the highly prized badge can be justifiably proud of themselves for having joined a small exclusive club of elite international outdoors folk and for having proven both to themselves and their peers that they are capable for achieving the highest levels of bushcraft and survival proficiency thus earning the respect of those who have gone before them and the envy of those to follow.


http://www.nordmarkencanoeuk.co.uk/weiss/weiss-survival-course-temperate/ to find out more

25.12.10

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas and best wishes for the future to all my readers.

Time is the great healer and wisedom comes of age, so let me, on the eve of a new and exciting year put the past behind and look to the future.

I offer my apologies to those who, ever real or imagined, feel I have wronged them and I forgive all those who have likewise wronged me in the years Bearclaw has existed.

Happy Christmas and a prosperious New Year to you all - heres to a schrafty 2011



22.12.10

Axing the Axe ............


The Gransfors Small forest Axe is almost a iconic image associated with bushcraft these days. Made favourite by tv presenter Ray Mears almost every would be woodsman has at some point bought one. Some, if you ever go to the WG you'll seem, even own and feel the need to wear several. But is the axe the "essential tool" some so called experts make it out to be?

After all on my various trips tot he frozen north I've rarely even taken one, and on my trips and courses in more temperate climes apart from demo's I really dont use one ........... so is it so essential? Whats different about my bushcraft to say Ray Mears?


As a soldier to I rarly carried an axe, in fact as a squaddy I never had one - I would and still do carry a entrenching tool however and find this much more useful than a axe and in a emergency it can of course be used to hack wood like a axe.


The reason I rarely use a axe is because I always carry a saw ................ and this one tool, maybe doubled up with a Leuku in the north, seems to me to cover all the options I need!

Of course for the mass production of fire wood for my wood burning stove in Sweden I do use a axe but then I use a bow saw or even a chain saw too - not a folding one - and the axe I use there is a Wetterling Felling axe ........ I'm using full sized tools there and thats the key - when you live the life you need proper sized tools.

So does the axe earn its right to be carried - does its use make its weigh bearable? Or is a folding saw and tough entrenching tool a more adaptable combination for long term or even emergency use in the back woods??

13.12.10

Winter Thoughts

My good friend Preben sent me a picture of my house in Sweden last weekend, all covered in snow and looking like a Christmas card scene.

And that got me thinking about winter travel, bushcraft and the fun to be had when the temperature drops and nature paints her canvas white!


Whether your inside the Arctic circle in Finland


Or in in the Mountains of Norway's Telemark region


Or the snow capped Cairngorms of the Scottish Highlands winter is a great time for the true bushcrafter and outdoors person.

Firstly, and primarily because of the beauty which surrounds us and creates a winter playground of crystal wonder.

Secondly, because the fair weather shrafters are all tucked up at home polishing their shiny kit and tripling their post count on their favourite forums.

And lastly because its in winter time that you need to really be top of your game, especially over extended trips at sub-zero temperatures.

Sleeping out for more than one night requires a good depth of knowledge, a decent splash of self discipline and a better than average understanding of your kit and the basic routines of the winter camp.

Trips and expeditions to Finland and Norway with temperatures down to -42c rapidly taught me the few tricks needed to live comfortably and these skills I have enjoyed teaching to folks who attended our winter WEISS courses over the years.

The futures looking bright too - with better than average snow in the UK myself and Steve are planning a few camp outs just for fun and then early next year we'll be hiking the Wall once more, OK maybe we wont be needing snowshoes and Mukluks for that but the following month its off to Sweden for a weeks winter training so the acclimatisation of the Scottish borders will be welcome!

It always amuses me that so many people seem to panic when the white stuff falls, looking upon it was fear yet for me it never ceases to bring a smile. Firing up that childish twinkle in my eye as I imagine myself part of great adventures ranging from Captain Scott to the Battle of the Bulge with more than a sprinkling of Call of the wild added for good measure.

The quiet of the forest in its winter coat, the clean air, the sudden ease of access to water and the snug pleasure of a warm winter bivouac are all treasures tattooed on my memories - this winter, caste off your fair weather coat and try the secret season for yourself ........... you never know you might even enjoy it!
































9.11.10

THE NEW FIELD KNIFE ............first glimpse


 First picture of the new field knife .................. trials begin next week - watch this space!

7.10.10

Hi Hunny I'm home .......... well back at least - home is after all where the heart is!


Nothing Bushcrafty in this post dear reader just a quick note to let you know I'm back and the trading post is open again!

Although I will add a quick note about the route taken on this occassion - usually I fly to Sweden via Oslo and get the bus which is a easy, convenient budget route. This time I decided to drive - taking the ferry to Ejsberg in Denmark.

For the canoeist who wants to bring his own gear to nordmarken this is a excellent option - and depending on your endurance the scandinavian side can be done is one long drive or broken up into a day or two with site seeing in between!!

The route is simple and well sign posted and the Odense and Malmo bridges are both novel sites to drive over too!

All in all the ferry is a very relaxing way to cross to scandinavian and the drive up to Sweden while around £400 miles isnt hard and is helped by the fact the scandinavian drivers are more polite than in the uk, the speeds are slower and thus more relaxing and there is much less traffic on the roads than in UK!

So another option for the hardy traveller wishing to join us in bushcrafter heaven

24.9.10

Och Varmland jag komma - barra!

Well dear reader I hope my recent short silence hasnt left your life devoid of pleasure ....... Im sure it hasnt after all who could miss my ramblings??

Anyway just a short post to keep you abreast of events as we begin the build up winter!

So whats new?

Well, as reported before we are nearing the final stages of the creation, or recreation of the BFK - trail tools are reaching completion and I look forward to getting out and testing these - with a aim of relaunching the range (with a free lazer inscription service) in time for Christmas.

Secondly I am at present trialing a new item designed by myself which I am calling The Tripod Ring, totally unique to Bearclaw these items are designed for the dedicated outdoors man and while the consept is unique to me these items are so effective I am sure it'll not be long before the masses of imitators out there rip off the design and clones appear ........ but for now its unique to me and until I'm ready I'm keeping the design secret!

Lastly, with interest in Nordmarken canoe UK slowly picking up its a good time to pop over to Sweden for a little vacation and thats exactly what I'm doing today - going over via the Harwich to Esjberg Ferry and driving up country so making a expedition of the thing - sadly a necessity as I need to take over a load of demo items ready for the running of courses for next year from Troll Hem. This will mean as well as Risviken we can now also host events at our new location too! Exciting times - Sweden the home of bushcraft is becoming home to Bearclaw too!!

So thats the news all that remains is to let you all know that so (oct) we will be running the first ever sale at our trading post. This will mean that the items we already sell at unbelievably good value prices offering better vaslue than our competitors will be even better value with free gifts and even free postage where applicable!!

Happy Shrafting people!!

4.9.10

Nordmarken Canoe UK - FIRST BOOKING



Today is an important day for us at Nordmarken UK as we took our first booking. Yipee!

The reason I am telling you, dear reader, this is as its a typical booking and will give you an idea of prices ect.......

So the booking is for -

7 days canoe hire - including all safety gear ect
2 days in base camp accomodation
5 days in wilderness camp shelters
1 120 ltr waterproof barrel
Collection and drop off to Arjang bus dept

And it all comes to the grande total of just £130 which works out at less than £20 per day .........where else could you get a fantastic deal like that??

1.9.10

US army winter survival skills

1955 and yet still pertinent for today!

30.8.10

Generic kit list

A recent new member on BES posted a question about kit - he asked what kit he needed as a newbie to bushcraft and who the best makers are? Suffice to say several replies soon pointed out that you dont really need specialist kit and certainly not brand names ........... the experienced outdoors man selects kit that works and is value for money, its only the inexperienced bushcrafter who follows the trends allowing (they hope) others experience to dicate what should be good clothing ............

Anyway for our friend I made this short video

 

29.8.10

Another bunny wood weekend

Another weekend down in the bunny woods - vermin control never was such fun! Or as tasty!!


Upon arrival I was greeted by a target rich enviroment so before I even hoisted my rucksack onto my back I had potted my first bunny!


But that was the only rabbit I shot the whole weekend as I wanted to conscentrate on snares and as such we put out a total of 16 snares and these took 9 bunnies in a 24 hour period which I thought was quite impressive - we worked a differnet part of the area to last time and I think this was one reason for the success - also due to lack of fresh sign I am almost convinced we harvested most of the rabbits in the old area last time.


I set out a mix of snares, some the traditional english style the rest using the metal tiller stick and I have to say the modern snares were much more effective for me this weekend than the traditional style.



Dinner Saturday evening was a rabbit stew made with some of the rabbits we caught and a variety of veggies form my garden - fresh food, all produced (one way or another) naturally - and very tasty too!!


Of course inthe evening we had a cheese board and this time treated ourselves to a nice bottle of red wine too!

Lastly, it was very noticable how late to rippen the fruit was in this area! Wet weather or a late summer?? I dont know but I think if winter arrives early and is a harsh one then many of the plants and animals in the area might find it hard going especially if by then they havent completed their cycles!


21.8.10

BFK MKII

Exciting news - the BFK could well be back!! British made, with nickle silver butt plate and rosewood scales (lending its Scandinavian style a British flavour)

I'm taking names to work out the level of interest but not, as yet, comitment - if your interested please email me at bearclaw.

In the mean time I am to end trials before Christmas and have the first batch ready for Santa to deliver!!

For those who dont know the BFK below is a picture of the MK I


And best of all I reckon the MkII will even cost less - win win all round!!

12.8.10

Grand KNIFE SALE

Dear ALL,

There comes a time in every mans life when he realises he has to many knives ............ yes sadly today is the day for me "(

But be of good cheer for my hope is that my realisation will benefit you dear reader as I've decided to sell off a few - and now you can snap them up at a bargain price ............ consider it recycling!

 Above are the tools for sale - remember you must be over 18 to purchase any of these.

Items are numbered and below is a brief description (left click on picture for a better look|)

1 - Finnish Double hunter - new (old stock) stainless blades - sale price 35
2 - 9" Nepal service kukri with modified handle - comes new and complete - sale price 35
3 - 12" British army service kukri with modified handle - comes new and complete - sale price 50
SOLD PAYMENT PENDING
4 - Survivall kukri - modified dangle sheath - used - sale price 35
5 - small finnish puukko - 3 inch blade - sale price 20 SOLD
6 - small swedish puuko - stainless 3 " - new - sale price 20 SOLD
7 - chris reeve aviator - rare collectors item - offers only
8 - svord drop point - used - sale price 25
9 - damasscus and scrimshaw viking puukko - sale price 70 SOLD
10 - fallkniven a1 - used - sale price 50 SOLD PAYMENT PENDING
11 - custom F1 - used - sale price 40 SOLD PAYMENT PENDING

All prices in GBP and postage will be 5.99 recorded delivery - open to offers or swaps .............. grab  a bargain - contact me at enquiries@bearclawbushcraft.co.uk

11.8.10

Nordmarken now live!!

Dear Readers, thank you to those who have left comments or sent emails ect regarding the launch of Nordmarken UK - today I'm pleased to announce we have gone live!!

I look forward to seeing you Lakeside!!



Valkommen till oss!!

9.8.10

video clip

I'm toying witht he idea of doing a series of how to videos based around my adventures in Sweden - in the meantime heres a link to a video made some time ago - enjoy




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pernYadTV6U http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pernYadTV6U

4.8.10

whats brown and sticky ............

A stick!

But that is unless its been in the hands of my old friend Tomo. Seems like only yesterday I was teaching him how to carve a spoon one warm sunny day - little did I know the seed I was sowing as now his spoons are spectacular but its his carved walking sticks that shine!

Walking sticks, staffs call them what you will are great items for the hikers and the bushcrafter to carry and use - ranging in use from a walking stick to a bash pole and everything in between.

Tomo's particular skill is in the carving of faces onto the shaft - woodland spirits, Thor or Odin each face has its own character and charm.

If your interested in obtaining such and item or would like a master class to carve your own - drop me a line at Bearclaw Bushcraft.


Tomo's sticks are the two outer ones in the right hand picture!

1.8.10

More cadets .............


This weekend I got to spend time running another bushcraft course for air cadets - this time for squadrons based over in Kent.

I also go to meet a few old friends from the cadets and to share the company of my old army buddy Tomo.


The Majority of the cadets were there doing there Duke of Edingburg awards so werent involved with us but a few lucky guys, some less than 6 months in uniform, got to experience the pleasures of bushcraft.

For these we covered the usual basic skills fire, food, shelter and water as well as the cutting tool skills for axe, knife and saw.

Overall the cadets worked well and a high standard was achieved - the entire weekend was excellent, the weather was humid and the lush folige almost jungle like - the odd shower added to the realism and ensured that the group shelter was well built warm and toasty.


 






As always its a pleasure to teach the next generation the skills of our forebears and a privilage to know they will one day take foreward the lessons taught them to the generations to come. As the song says "children are the future, teach them well"




18.7.10

How many cadets does it take to put up a tent??

Answer see below!


BASIC AND INTERMEDIATE BUSHCRAFT.

This weekend we had another crackingly good bushcraft course for a RAF cadet squadron. The cadets were split into two groups Basic and Intermediate - obviously those with little bushcraft experience were in the basic group while the intermediate group where those who had attended at least one of our previous courses.


.

The basic group covered the key skills - tool usage and safety, game prep, spark and single match fire, basic shelter construction, campfire cookcraft and introductionary lectures in plant id and water collection.


The intermediate group where tested a little more and were expected to proform the basic skills at a high standard. For these the skills included game prep snares, trapping and wilderness first aid.

 

All the cadets had a great weekend and learned a lot. September we see them all back again but this time with a twist we will run them all on a advanced intermediate level where we will test them to discover whose skills are good enough to allow them to advance onto the Advanced bushcrafdt course in February 2011.

3.7.10

Zippo - fire lighter, past and present.


Zippo lighter - the fire starter!

The Zippo lighter has come along way since the war, where its inventor sent thousands of these niffy tools to US troops and Airmen. So successful and popular were they among the forces that in the 40's to US Government bought up ever single one produced to issue them to their troops.

But, pray tell, why?

Well for starters the Zippo is a pretty robust tool - back when I was a smoker I always had zippo close to hand as it was the most reliable lighter I could find.

But now as a bushcrafter I think the zippo's other attributes are more importand - well of equal importance anyway. Reliable ignition is obviously important but also the fact a zippo will run on many fuels - multifuel indeed! I've run mine on zippo fuel, unleaded petrol, vodka and Meth's, oh and parafin ...... all worked!

Randulph Fiennes - correctly points out a Zippo will also run on colemen fuel so for simplicity on expeditions you can run your stove and lighter ont he same fuel!

Further to this even without fuel the lighter will still spark ........ for lighting a trangia or gas stove or even tinder! And where do you get your tinder - the cotton wool fuel tank is packed with it!

A regular multi-utility item with one last trick - it can be lighted and used as a candle too - pretty stable but beware the case can get quite warm (hand warm anyone?)

So forget your matches - your bic - even your fire steel and pack along a zippo - next time you need a fire you might be glad you did!


27.6.10

Bunny Wood Weekend


With the sun blazing down on the glorious Essex countryside myself and an old army buddy Tomo decided to spend the weekend in our Bunny woods.


Friday night I met Tomo in Tillingham and we both enjoyed a cracking cold pint in the local pub before heading off to the woods.


The plan for the weekend was to start controlling the rabbit population with both snares and air rifles so saturday morning after breakfast we prepped our snares and walked them out looking for likely runs and sign of recent usage.



Once the snares were set we bimbled back to our camp and set up a little target range to practice "plinking" with both the air rifle and Pistol as well as a catapult. Plinking is great fun we enjoyed this distraction!!


Overall the snares were a great success we set 12 and took 4 rabbits but all bar two of the other snares had been triggered but failed to catch anything - so we were very happy with the results indeed - we even shared our catch with the local fox!


Great weekend with a good mate - cheese board included!! Looking forward to the next one!


21.6.10

Troll Hem and Nordmarken


Sweden has long been, in my opinion as well as the opinions of other well respected outdoors folk, the best place for the bushcrafter. The right to roam or access laws there married to the large wilderness areas make it a bushcraft paradise - added to the fact its actually cheaper and easier to travel to Sweden than to travel to say, Scotland all add up to a place where wilderness dreams can really come true.

So dear reader VALKOMMEN TILL TROLL HEM ..............my home in sweden.
But that was only half my reason for this visit - the other ............


Well ok not just for the stunning scenery, the crystal clear waters, the clean air and the abundant wildlife - I also went there to tie up the lose ends which needed tweaking before launching Nordmarken UK's new website - http://www.nordmarkenuk.co.uk/ (still under construction) AND to do a little work ..................



The new Nordmarken Canoe UK site will be ready soon offering the english speaking world a excellent variety of outdoor living options ranging from canoeing to Hunting and from Fishing to survival and bushcraft training. Hosted in Arjang at the new and improved Canoe centre at Risviken!!

As always thank you to Preben and Gun for being my hosts - friends and second family!!

Last thought - a man without matches is a man without dinner! ]