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    Saving what's left of our wild land

    If you want wilderness you may have to go to Scandinavia, but at least here in the UK we do have 'wild land' where the imprint of man is light, perceived wildness is high, and the area is remote. Most of these places are in Scotland. They are shrinking fast. The proportion of the country without...
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    Bear Grylls new survival show...

    Had a newsletter email from the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, with this at the bottom: And finally... We're not endorsing Bear Grylls, or his next TV programme, but we've been asked to pass on this appeal for people interested in taking part. Do you think you could survive as a...
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    The Navigator's Dozen

    Useful online tutorial on navigation in mountain country:
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    Great service from Alpkit

    I'm very impressed with Alpkit customer service. The battery case lugs sheared off my Gamma head torch after about 2 years use. I posted it back to Alpkit on Wednesday at 4pm. At 9am on Saturday it was back, as good as new. Very impressed with the company. The kit is good, the prices are...
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    Feral by George Monbiot

    We've had a few civilised and well-informed debates on 're-wilding' on BCUK. For anyone interested in the subject, I strongly recommend this book. It's probably the best book on this subject to date. I've done a review on the Amazon website...
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    Tips from the field

    Tips From The Field I am no expert, but I have made a good few expeditions, either on foot or by Canadian canoe. Here's a few things I've picked up. I make no claim to originality, as a lot of these come from fellow BCUK members. I promise that everything is grounded in experience. For...
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    Three for Two - trail food and maps

    Going on a trip in a few weeks so was buying some essentials. Waterstones are currently doing a '3 for the price of 2' deal on OS 1;25000 maps, maybe the 1:50000 too. Tisos are doing a similar deal on trail meals (Wayfarer, Mountain house) etc - it's the cheapest one you get free of course.
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    Bear Grylls Survival Academy

    If you thought Woodlore courses were expensive... £3K for 6 days in Scotland. Hmmm...
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    Your own island

    Bargain at £3 million...
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    Rannoch sunset

    I wrote a piece about Rannoch Moor for the Scottish Book Trust/BBC 'My Favourite Place' competition. Thought some folk here might be interested:
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    Heads up - diamond engraving tool

    You know the situation - you're at a meet, put down your Gransfors small forest axe by the woodpile, go for a brew, and then find your axe is amongst sixteen identical models left by your fellow outdoorsmen. Well, the obvious answer is to get some more distinctive kit, but here's an...
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    'Complacent' hillwalker rescued Man rescued from summit of Ben Ledi. The news report said he'd been travelling light, but in this case without map food or compass. He built a snow hole near the summit but had to be walked down by mountain rescue. From the report...
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    New Year Weight Loss motivation thread

    I see from the new year resolution thread that there's a few of us planning to shed some kilos in 2012. The psychologists say that one way to increase motivation and compliance is to tell people what you're going to do - you then feel kind of obliged to follow it through. That's one reason why...
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    Antarctic job vacancy

    Many years ago I nearly applied to work as a British Antarctic Survey doctor, but then I met this nurse and ...well, other things took priority. Would still love to go. I see the Antarctic Heritage Trust are offering a 5 month assistant post in the Antarctic summer at Port Lockroy...
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    Foundation Amateur Radio Course in Scotland - any interest?

    I'm currently in the process of becoming a registered instructor for amateur radio licensing courses, as part of my role as a civilian instructor in the air cadets. It might be possible for me to run a Foundation Licence course for other groups too. It would involve ten hours of instruction...
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    Siva Solar 1 AA battery charger

    Here's one for the photographers and GPS users. Waterproof solar battery charger. Charges 2 AA batteries - either NiCd or NiMH. 1.2 watts. Delivers 300mA at 4V in bright sunlight. Has straps and rubber suckers so can be fixed to a rucksack or any smooth flat surface. Nicely made - the...
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    Mors Kochanski booklets

    Up for sale is a set of 14 different wilderness skills booklets by well known expert Mors Kochanski. Titles are: The Night Sky 21 Native Wild edible Plants (native to Canada, that is!) The 2 kilogram survival kit field manual Tools of survival and survival training Top Seven Bush...
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    Classic Marbles Expert Knife

    Here’s something that doesn’t come up for sale often: the ‘Expert’ outdoors knife, made by Marbles Sporting Arms, Michigan. This is the exact model of knife recommended by (and used by) the American wilderness guru Calvin Rutstrum. It is pictured in his classic book ‘The New Way of the...
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    Air Rifle, Titanium stove, Enzo knife, Grohmann knife, Silva compass

    Having a clear out. Crosman 766 'American Classic' .177 air rifle. Pump up pneumatic. Recoilless. Hardwood stock. Trigger shoe (removeable). Crossbolt safety catch. Nice basketweave leather sling by Price Western Leather. Variable power: 2 pumps for indoor shooting, the maximum 10 pumps...
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    The Possibles Pouch

    I’ve seen various takes on the ‘possibles pouch’ – so here is mine. It’s not a survival kit – I don’t think such a thing is very relevant to the UK, where outdoor deaths are mostly down to intercurrent illness, slips and falls, drowning, carbon monoxide...