So i've been doing some bushcrafting, picking some stuff up from youtube and trying it out in the garden (my neighbors like me so much ) and the "Kooiberg" etc etc. This weekend i took it up a few notches though and went on a bushcraft/survival course which was great fun, a great experience and in some cases a bit of an eye opener. With a small group and two instructors we spent the weekend (friday evening till sunday afternoon) in the woods with minimal means (knife or two, firesteel, a "sleep system" which was a hammock, tarp and sleeping bag for me) a pot, mestin or billycan, and a spoon/fork..or spork.ow yeah and one set of spare clothing in case of emergency
Dinner on saturday was "provided", lunch and breakfast you had to provide yourself (so i took dried sausages, noodles in a pack, and some biscuits with a shalve life of like 10 years, and coffee of course).
The instructors kept us quite busy naturaly with all kinds of challenges, not the least proving you can make a fire with alternative means before being alowed to use the main fire for cooking ( in my case firesteel + birch bark and firesteel + feathersticks)..funny to see a few guys fail on that when they suddenly where under pressure of actually having to make a fire with for instance birch right now, where as the evening before they had no probs whatsoever. As one of the instructors said, because they have to do it NOW, they stop thinking and make mistakes (principle of survival = STOP ..Stop, Think, Observe, Plan)
Sunday afternoon we got instruction of making a friction fire, though all, including me, but one failed miserably on that
All in all we covered:
- Knife/axe skills and Safety
- Fire...lots and lots of fire
- woodcarving various bits
- making a fishhook (part woodcarving)
- cooking without a pot (part woodcarving ..see where this is going)
- building a shelter from natural materials (more woodcarving )
- making thread (not exactly woodcarving but i did use my knife for it)
- Tools like digging stick, something to strip the outer layer of roots etc (yes woodcarving )
by this time various students were seriously complaining about "woodcarving"
- a figure 4 trap (more woodcarving )
- friction fire ( all together now...woodcarving!! )
and tons of other litle instructions tips and experiences...At no point in time any task was really exhausting, but all day you are always on the go, preparing someting, learning something, something you know the intructors will make you use that morning/afternoon/evening or the day after. Needless to say when I got home last night it was lights out! (and even this morning my mind was anywhere but at work )
The knife I had custom made for myself not to long ago proved an absolute treasure and worth every penny I spent on it (One of the instructors was also the guy that designed it, so i was bound to be a great bushcraft knife..and no he did'nt cut me any slack cus i bought the knife from him )
Next november they have an Xtreme course, not sure if i'll do that one, since crossing a small canal mid november without a boat seems less of a good idea right now (not to mention even less gear aka no hammock, tarps tents etc etc), however if i ever want to sucessfully complete WEIS it is a course i will have to take, to prepare for it.
I didnt think about pictures much but i did make some..so here they are.
Ready to go in
My place to sleep
Creating your own saw
Cooking without a pan
Figure 4 deadfall trap
A fishhook ( we are all men here so yes a big hook cus we only catch huggeeee fish..i actually never caught a fish in my life )
Making fire..and more fire and did I mention fire?