29.6.13

A bushcraft trip down memory lane



Found this film on my mate Johan's you tube - and really enjoyed watching it - good memories and the bit where the ice cracks still makes me laugh ............. oh didn't we pooh our pants then ehh!!

28.6.13

Wolf Mega Pack ..................Siberian wolfs!!

'Super pack' of 400 wolves terrorise remote Russian town after killing 30 horses in just four days



Attacks: A hunter holds up the body of a dead wolf after a massive pack of 400 of the animals has terrorised the town of Verkhoyansk in Russia
Attacks: A hunter holds up the body of a dead wolf after a massive pack of 400 of the animals has terrorised the town of Verkhoyansk in Russia
 
A 'super pack' of wolves has been terrifying a town after leaving more than 30 horses dead in just four days.
Four hundred bloodthirsty wolves have been spotted prowling around the edges of Verkhoyansk, in Russia, attacking livestock at will.
Twenty four teams of hunters have been put together to get rid of the wolves, with a bounty of £210 for every wolf skin brought to officials.
Stepan Rozhin, an administration official for the Verkhoyansk district in Russia, said: 'To protect the town we are creating 24 teams of armed hunters, who will patrol the neighbourhood on snowmobiles and set wolf traps.
'But we need more people. Once the daylight increases, the hunters will start shooting predators from helicopters.'
A pack of wolves this size is unheard of, with the animals usually preferring to hunt in smaller groups of just six or seven.
The massive group is believed to be made from hundreds of packs and has left animal experts baffled.
Dr Valerius Geist, a wildlife behaviour expert, said the harsh Siberian winter - where temperatures plummet to minus 49C - had killed off the animal's usual prey.
He said: 'It is unusual for wolves to gather in such numbers of hunt large animal like horses.
'However, the population of their usual prey, rabbits, has decreased this year due to lack of food, so wolves have had to change their habits.
'Wolves are very careful to choose the most nutritious food source easiest obtained without danger - which in this case happens to be horses.
'They will start tackling dangerous prey when they run out of non-dangerous prey.'
Villagers have already managed to snare a number of the animals but the pack is so sizeable that is likely to take some time to deal with.
Verkhoyansk, with a population of just 1,300, is one of the coldest and remotest places in the northern hemisphere and lies within an area known as Stalin's Death Ring, after the former dictator sent political exiles there due to the extreme conditions.
Bounty: Twenty four teams of hunters have been employed by authorities to tackle the wolf pack, with officials paying £210 for every one killed



Bounty: Twenty four teams of hunters have been employed by authorities to tackle the wolf pack, with officials paying £210 for every one killed

Bleak: Temperatures in Verkhoyansk can plummet to -49C and experts said the wolves may have been forced together through a lack of food
Bleak: Temperatures in Verkhoyansk can plummet to -49C and experts said the wolves may have been forced together through a lack of food











 

Copied from the Daily Mail ...................

Survivall says ............

This is a interesting story on its own but maybe more so if we ponder the reasons for the forming of a mega pack after all generally speaking a wolf pack really only a extended family group and the size limited to the amount of available food - if a mega pack has formed is this a reflection on a surplus of its food source??

I guess not as they are reported as killing some 30 horses which indicates them having to hunt game other than their normal prey - if that is the case then it would appear the pack formed for other reasons??

Could this be an important indicator of something more dire??

4.6.13

Going Light weight .......... bushcraft style

Sorry for the lack of posts recently guys but life has been a bit hectic and looks like continuing that way for the foreseeable future!

But whilst tied up with my other duties I have had time to test out a few items and ideas. Now my whole "thing" seems to be a slow but steady drift away from the sit on your ass beside the campfire style of bushcraft, these days I yearn to wander, stealth camp and explore - with my pending move to the new forest I hope to see and do much more of each!

I've been reading a few books about lightweight hiking (as I am planning to do the Fjellraven classic next year for example) and whilst my hiking kit and bushy kit are separate I have spent the last few months making the comparison similar.

I wont go into my hiking rig except to say that my entire kit - minus food and water weighs in at 9 kilo's in a 45 litre rucksack. This kit is a set designed for a minimum of a week outdoors and Omni-seasonal so I'm quiet pleased with it.



But for Bushy my wants and needs differ slightly - for example with stealth camping a red rucksack and a yellow Hubba tent might kinda defeat the object, plus being around a fire a lot the usually light weight synthetics and down garments aren't as desirable.

For bushy I want greens and drab colours and ideally wool clothing - but reading about lightweight hiking gear got me thinking that there is no reason to carry a bucket load of gear for bushcraft either.


My favourite pack still is a ALICE pack but unlike the Large one pictured above which I loaded to bursting point I decided to opt for the Medium ALICE instead.

This achieves two things - firstly the sack capacity is 2,350 ci or Approximately 38 litres and is designed to carry a 50lb or 20 kilo load so this should stop over packing and secondly the external frame allows itself to other applications relevant to a bushcraft life style for example it can be used to carry wood or butchered game with the sack removed.


The medium ALICE isn't the ultimate sack but I am yet to find one of a similar size I like as much - but to make her workable she needs a few mods. Firstly I made my own frame as the original one sucks ............ secondly I attached quick release buckles to the lid straps rather than wrestle with the sliding ones.

Now to the meat of the matter - size and weight, for hiking or going bush if we want to reduce our load we need to observe the rule of the big three - this is the weight of your pack, tent and sleeping bag, these are the main and heaviest items so by reducing their weight the rest seems to be a natural progression - and by opting for a sack of similar dimensions the urge to over load it is gone.

I know, I know the old argument is always well a large pack doesn't have to be full - but lets face facts if your like me you will try to fill it.

Of course those of the bushcrafting community who "like" the expedition style camp and all the glamping luxuries their 4x4 can offer might not understand the "foot sloggers" mentality but personally having done both I can honestly say its their loss.

So what does my new bushy kit weigh?? Surprising 11kg minus food and water, not the 9kg of my hiking rig but then again not the 50kgs or 120lbs I used to hike with when I was a soldier .............


Bushcraft
 
Medium Alice
Wash kit and house wife
 
Haversack for bushy possibles
 
Swiss Army volcano stove - hexi fuel (1x block per meal per day / 4 days x 3 meals = 12 blocks minimum) – Solo cook set - Rations and brew kit – spare matches – condiments etc
2 x folding cups – large/small
Long wooden spoon
SS mora clipper + Sussipuuko (nuk?)
 
Flask *winter as required
4l bladder full or empty as req
Filter system
 
Vango Banshee/ or Poncho
MSS bag (if tent no bivi)
Sleeping mat (if tent no ground sheet)
 
Mountain cap/shemagh/mittens/choppers
 
Blanket (if required)
Poncho or waterproof jkt)
Blanket coat/s (if not worn)
 
Neck knife, saw, cordage, Torch, match safe
Axe
 
Insect repellent
Waterproof socks          
Extra clothing not worn
 
Carried on body
Army clasp knife
Match safe (main) whistle
Plastic Spoon
First Aid kit (white box)

Above is my current packing list ............. it covers all my needs and is my "go to bag" before even my hiking kit as its tough, more versatile and push come to shove could be lived out of for weeks on end ............

Hope these thoughts have been entertaining and maybe a little useful in some way.