The first Bearclaw camp weekend of the year was a small affair (as was expected we didnt expect to many fair weather campers to brave the weather)! Six hardy souls gathered in a woodland lashed by rain and chill winds while pockets of snow and ice hide among the trees and sat snuggly upon a fair few frozen ponds!
What did we get up to?
Lets start with the bad news ....... well we managed to dink the blade of a brand (fresh out the packet) new Bark river PSK (personal survival knife) - dink it not once but twice ........... did we abuse the blade? Nope!! The first dink was acquired while carving a artists fungi to make some amadou and the second (after sharpening out the first dink) was made while carving a feather stick ...................................... sorry but PSK? Errr I dont think so! The owner assures me that ones going back to the company and a refund is wanted!!
Fire lighting was a major, I gave away a load of steels for flint and steel fire lighting so everyone had a play at that ....... and then there was the herculian task of gathering fire wood, sawing and splitting enough to last us the weekend!
Exploration was popular this weekend, I personally found a new badger set with loads of sign of recent usage - which was nice ")
Seasoned pine was foraged for the attempted construction of finnish wood stoves, sadly the pine turned out to be too punky for our basic tools and an attempt with a birch only achieved limited success - a chain saw would have been nice!!
Shelter construction (simplified lean-to) was another task for a very very wet saturday!!
But the star event, as was only fitting for the weather, was our saturday night feast .......... 2 haunches of Venison where brought as well as a variety of garden veggies - a excellent venison roast with roast 'tatties and stuffing was made as a starter, the main course was a huge (I had it for breakfast the next day and sunday evening tea) vension stew with marrow, potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli and pearl barley ................. then as a little extra surprise a cheese board appeared and did the rounds so we finished our winter feast with various cheeses and crackers!! The libation flowed and a fantastic time was had by all the hardy folk there!!
If all Bushcraft camp weekends were as good as this one I'd be a very contented and rotund man! ")
Looking forward to Feb's gathering already!!