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

Answer see below!


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.


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!