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  • UPDATE - The main upgrade is now finished. The site should now be functioning as normal, I will be making tweaks over the weekend, particularly to look of the site. If you notice something is broken or have any comments please let me know. Many thanks Matt (Lithril)
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    Wood ears

    No matter how long you cook them, they won't lose their crunch. I leave them on the tree
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    What next- locusts?

    My grandad, being more efficient than sporting, used to use a dab of superglue to hold the peanut on the trap.
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    Plant archiology

    Dendrochronology is the study of tree rings. A more productive year means a wider ring, and you end up with a record of past conditions that you can understand climactic conditions from. The dendrochronological record goes back thousands of years more or less unbroken, and can be used to date...
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    Elderflower ID

    From the IS pictures, I'm pretty confident that's elder. Useful features to see are the toothy edge to the leaves, and that the leaves are opposite each other on the stem. Have a read of this...
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    Planning Family walks in forest of bowland

    Yup. Lovely treat at the end of a walk.
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    Awesome youtube channels

    Some of my favourite YouTube channels are on that list. Cody'slab is also worth a watch, as is Taofledermaus
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    Drop spindle with stone weight.

    Best guess for that particular bit of rock is a mixture of calcite, baryte, possibly some others. It looks a lot like the gangue (useless bits) from a hydrothermal deposit. If you can scratch it with a fingernail, if the scratch shows white, and if it fizzes in contact with acid, it's calcite...
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    Nato watch strap query

    The extra bit under the watch, that the main strap threads through is there to stop the watch from sliding up and down the strap, as I understand it.
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    Win A Banjo

    I'd donate a quid to win a banjo. My wife would love it!
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    Emergency wine

    I tried the malbec the other day. It's ok, but I couldn't honestly say it's good. It seemed a bit thin. £2.45 per pouch I think, in Morrisons. The other thing is that they were loaded onto one of those vertical hanging strip things, through a hole In the tab at the top. Looks like people like...
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    Mud. I loathe you.

    Mud glorious mud, Nothing like it to boil the blood. Winter's unbearable, My lawn is terrible! Came back from a walk with the dog Looking like I've trekked through a bog. Sticky, filthy mud. Very sorry for the poetic skit, I'm not trying to wind you up, but I couldn't resist a little rhyme. I...
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    Slow cooker.

    It's worth remembering also that slow cookers work a bit differently to cooking in the oven. In the oven, hot air across the food browns it and develops different flavours. In a slow cooker, the only flavours you get out are the ones you put in at the beginning.
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    Sleeping Bag In a Can

    Here's a video of one of these being opened: Edit: looking at the specks on the lid, looks like it's the actual tin from the first post that he opened!
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    So what was in your Christmas stocking?

    I was lucky enough to get a Kelly kettle and a good for my Barbour raincoat from my parents, and a new pair of boots, some wooly socks, and some cold-weather trousers from the in-laws. So now I get to go out with all new gear :)
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    Comfort food choice for snow/icey weather

    Yesterday's dinner was turkey lasagne, made by my wife, which was a lovely thing to come back to at 9pm when it was utterly freezing. She made the whole thing from scratch, even the cheese sauce. I'm well proud of her :) Tonight, beef cheeks braised for 3 hours in red wine, beef stock and...
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    Ahem, the survival stick.

    Wow. That's certainly an object...
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    Free food everywhere!

    My favourite country park is full of blackberries at the moment, if I'm lucky I'll get a chance to snag some. I got some oyster mushrooms from a downed tree yesterday, so that's breakfast sorted, and I know where there's an apple tree that's usually productive.
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    Safest places to live post apocalypse ......... Just a bit of fun

    Well, Stanlow is only a few minutes drive from here, so home's a non-starter. I'd say Anglesey is a good choice, but RAF Valley's got to have a few kilotons pointed at it. I reckon Land's end is a good spot, or the South end of the Llyn peninsula.
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    *The* Gift-It-On Thread

    Next up, a gas stove, like this one: I stress, it's NOT an MSR stove, I got it from Wilko last year. Looks similar to that one is all.
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    *The* Gift-It-On Thread

    This is so true - I'd passed up the pouch previously, as I didn't have any use for it, but a friend of mine is collecting PLCE pouches for some charity work he's doing in Africa. Each pouch is getting filled with some trauma bandages, a tourniquet and first aid shears and is getting sent off to...