A sneaky one nighter

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John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
Having become thoroughly depressed with the weather and not having the opportunity to get any overnight woods time since November (that must be a record for me!) PLUS being frustrated in my plan to get a mid week outing to the woods by an inconvenient trip to ther doctors to get an eye problem sorted, I jumped at the opportunity to get a night in the woods Friday to Saturday (I just got in!).
With the awful weather (a village near here has had over 80 day of rain - we are not much better off) the woods were soaking and the forecast was for "Wintery Showers" including electrical storms - but I wanted some tree time!
I went to my "Small Woods" perm where I had recently built a new table, chair and bed frame and took far too much kit (just to be on the safe side ... and to test some in really bad conditions...
Clothing worn
Aldi Merino long johns
Silk and wool mix thermal long sleeve top
Swanni shirt
Darn Tough socks
5.11 Evo 6 boots
Ventile trousers
Bergans wool jacket (worn in the evening chill
Home made "Ventile-esque" jacket
M43 cap
Home made sheepskin hat (only worn in bed
Craft stall hand knitted "rare breeds" wool gloves
Merino Buff (only in bed)

Clothing carried just in case
Home made Bush shirt
Aldi thermal hiking trousers
Spare socks
MOD poncho
Waxed cotton blanket/tarp/groundsheet
None of this was used :) Overkill!

One reason for the overnighter was to try out my new bed

Tripod stretcher bed with the bed tube made from an MOD Desert Basha sewn up one side with paracord
Aldi self inflating mat
Bilmo 4x3 heavy canvas tarp
small "landing pad" groundsheet
Snugpak Hammock Quilt - hence the hat in bed - no hood on the quilt!
French inflarable pillow
Stainless steel waterbottle - for use as a hotwaterbottle in bed!
Work area cover - an old 4.5x4.5 silnylon tarp I had Kathmandu Trekking make for me in 1999 - and then added extra guy points to myself

Charity shop cast iron frying pan
Home made billy can (from an old biscuit barrel)
Crusader mug
Kapilka cup (for medicines...)
Home made spoons
Wooden bowl and plate (gifts)
Coffee filter and metal fork to make the filter sit on the Crusader
Trangia Triangle and meths (not used - just backup)

Dave Bud Fire Steel
Biker French Tommy Hook
Peltonen knife
Laplander saw
Princeton Tec torches and lantern

Odds and ends of Ratpacks plus some eggs.

Project kit
Work gloves and canvas for collecting brambles
Tins and Tea Towels for making Charcloth.

And other odds and ends....

Straight after work on Friday (about 10 am - did the early shift again...) and braving blustery winds and wintery showers I dashed into the woods and set up camp. The damp meant the fire took ages and lots of TLC to get going - even my tinder was damp! - but eventually I had a hot brew and started playing with char cloth and bramble basketry. Lunch was "Bashed Egg" wraps (half way between an omlet and scrambled eggs and the afternoon was spent trying to make something from the brambles I had collected, getting in more firewood and finishing the charcloth (I did four syrup tins worth - 4 tea towels).
This is the first time I have tried using brambles for weaving so late in the year, normally doing my baskets as soon as the fruit harvest is over ... the brambles seem less supple and I struggled! The resulting basket is far from the prettiest I have made (and that is saying something) but should be usable....
Once the evening fell and the light was done I had an early dinner (Chilli con Carne) and read until an early bed.
The bed proved a success - well ELEVEN HOURS kip proves something! - and the morning soon came around.
After breakfast - Eggs Bacon Beans - I pootled around in the woods for a while then slowly broke camp and headed home ...

Although the night was not too cold the wind chill made it seem so and the winery showers were pretty frequent. The Quilt was only just warm enough but my other kit made up for it and I was never uncomfortable or in need of the "Spare " kit I carried in.
Now to air the kit. clean the pots etc ready for next weekend! :)


Anyone for sailing?
Mar 5, 2008
~Hemel Hempstead~
Sounds like just what you needed John :)

I'm in the same boat of not having been able to get out since mid November and it's looking like I won't be able to until early March either :(

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
I try and make at least one bramble basket - normally "bucket" style or "Melon" style .... there are lots of brambles here and basket making helps keep them down, keeping my paths free at least :)
The bramble baskets last well (not as well as willow:)) and even some I made over 4 years ago are still in use ... handles tend to go first but would seem easy enough to repair/replace.
Making them needs a bit of space!


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 22, 2006
Sounds great John, My winter trips seem to all be vicarious this year so thanks for writing it up!

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
I forgot to report - my original Tripod Chair on site broke - one of the seat supports broke just beyond the lashing point on the upright... I Jury Rigged it with firewood and home twisted Sisal rope - and my original "Bush Throne" stick chair finally died.
I first made this chair in 2009 or 2010 as a stool with a low back but later added a high back.
The high back broke in 2014 and the chair became a stool again, then a lower stringer broke and the stool became a side table. Unfortunately, now one of the seat supports has failed and the whole thing is unuseable...
This 4 months of constant rain and wind has played havoc with the furniture in my basecamps!
Ah well - more projects for my next trips out :)
Bush Chair (2014_12_26 19_57_08 UTC).jpg
002 (2015_01_01 06_41_25 UTC).jpg
008 (2015_01_01 06_41_25 UTC).jpg
002 (2) (2014_12_26 19_57_08 UTC).jpg


Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
Cheers for posting that up Mr. Fenna, I thoroughly enjoyed that and could feel that you did too.
You say your basket is scrappy but I think it has an organic quality to it and like it. The camp is looking good, especially considering the battering it must've been taking of late.
Cheers again.

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.

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