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!