Bushcraft Club Ireland

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Crapbag

Member
Hi Guys,

Well we just had a great weekend in Cavan. We headed up on the Friday afternoon to get set up early to have all Saturday to play around. We made good use of the time. We got lots done including a ground oven, chair making, glue making, knife making, tracking and some edible food identification. All together it was a hugely constructive weekend and personally I learned loads.

My first task was to construct a chair, with having back trouble at present I needed it. It held up very well and last all weekend. In fact I stashed it for next time we went out there, it worked that well.



Our mission this weekend was to successfully cook a lamb joint in a ground over without getting food poisoning. We built the ground oven and prepared the fire for the stones. The stones had to be white hot and quite large to retain the heat for any length of time. (Avoid shale porous stones that contain natural fissures. These tend to crack and spit)



Next we set about making some pine resin glue. This worked quite well, we extracted the resin and added to fat and used charcoal as a temper.



The end result wasnt bad but might have done with a little less fat as it took a while to set.



I wanted to make a knife out of natural material this weekend. My initial experiment was with antler. I heard antler was tough to break. Guess what, it was and it made it difficult to work with. Burning through it would have made more sense but I needed the shards to work with.



Instead I decided to use the bone from the roast as it broke more cleanly and gave me what I wanted, a nice flake. Its tough to sharpen though. The antler can be used for flint napping now anyway



We made the ground oven and the roast was a great success. Im not a big fan of lamb but this was the best lamb I had ever had. The meat was nicely done and very moist. Big hit with everybody







We had the roast with a wild garlic stew and primrose tea (all collected locally)



We got more done than I could put in a post really.Some of the other stuff we did included, collecting birch poly pore, tinder fungus, rabbit tracking and more. It was a fantastic weekend and I hope all our weekends are this educational and worthwhile.
 

Roibeard

Member
Nov 8, 2007
36
0
31
waterford/Cork, Ireland
Looks like a class gathering.

The ground oven is such a great method for roasts.

I notice in the pictures the ground where the oven was built was very peaty.

Did you have any problems with the ground smoldering from contact with the hot rocks?
Its a problem I have noticed before but I guess its only a real danger after prolonged dry weather in a rare Irish summer. I reckon sand would be the best for simply holding the heat.
 
Jul 21, 2008
2
0
Navan
Yeah what great weekend, all we were missing was the Easter Bunny.

The oven worked a treat. After we dug the pit, we laid some moss to act as installation between the hot rocks and the peat soil and after the joint was covered with the hot rocks we put another layer of moss and then beried the oven pit for 4 hrs. It was the best joint I ever had so juicy. After we had a few sample slices we made Lamb stew with a bit of wild garlic hmm my mouth has just started to water now
 

Crapbag

Member
Looks like a class gathering.

The ground oven is such a great method for roasts.

I notice in the pictures the ground where the oven was built was very peaty.

Did you have any problems with the ground smoldering from contact with the hot rocks?
Its a problem I have noticed before but I guess its only a real danger after prolonged dry weather in a rare Irish summer. I reckon sand would be the best for simply holding the heat.
Yeah this is a very good point rob. The embers from the previous night were still plentiful when we got up the next morning to pack up. I had to dig almost 1 and a half feet below the fire line to ensure that all sign of the fire was gone. It wasnt so much the peat but the combination of peat and aerated soil that was the problem. The embers held and would smoulder deep into the soil, as they had the oxygen to last. In drier circumstances this would be a big problem. Normally we protect this very fragile ground with a layer or green wood and green shrubs and then rocks but we had to borrow one or two of them for the oven. It took me a good 45 minutes to ensure the fire area was clear. The oven pit wasnt too bad at as there was no direct heat on it

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I can't believe I missed it.Oh well theres always next time.
Dont worry Tony, we did notice your absence but we will be out again soon I hope. I want to acheive as much everytime I go out. We just gotta set ourselves goals when we go out, something everyone would like to have a bash at. Thats why this weekend went so well, that and the resources the land had to offer

Donal
 
Looks like a class gathering.

The ground oven is such a great method for roasts.

I notice in the pictures the ground where the oven was built was very peaty.

Did you have any problems with the ground smoldering from contact with the hot rocks?
Its a problem I have noticed before but I guess its only a real danger after prolonged dry weather in a rare Irish summer. I reckon sand would be the best for simply holding the heat.

Hi Roibeard.
A group of us had a camp cookery day back in January and had no problems cooking a leg of lamb in very wet and partially frozen gorund. Even after 4 hours (in which the lamb was perfectly cooked) the rocks were still extremely hot and much too hot to touch with bare hands. Sand probably would be a better insulator, but unless you are planning to roast a very large joint or a whole animal then I don't believe that insulation would be a problem.
 

irishlostboy

Nomad
Dec 3, 2007
277
0
Eire
was a great trip out. much thanks everyone. hopefully it will keep going so well for the summer. here are some more pics of the trip out. thanks to Donal, Shane and Keara. cant wait to get out with you all again soon.


cooking dinner


an irish kebab. lol.


keira carving.


there were loads of frogs.


the location is beautiful.


pork on the hoof.


was a relaxing time.
 

preacherman

Full Member
May 21, 2008
307
0
Cork, Ireland
can you lads keep me informed of any gatherings, Im working in County Down. At a communion this wekend but very interested in joining ye if thats ok?
Hi deepforest2501, if you check out the club website you can sign up. Once you have signed up you will be on the mailing list and will be contacted about all events. The club is only beginning really but has already met a good few times since last summer.

This is the website http://www.irishbushcraftclub.org/
 

Crapbag

Member
Well we had another great weekend in Cavan. The more I use the area the more I love it. The weather had threatened how much we'd get done but luckily it only rained on the Saturday morning. Still we would be able to do a good bit even with the rain. First task was to get the steak and start to jerky it over the fire. It took most of the day for them to dry but they were great. Smoked and salted, they were much tastier than any I had done in the oven



I brought down some bannock mix. Although a bit doughy to touch, they turned out very tasty.



I wanted to experiment with purifying water. So we gathered some of the most stagnant filthy water we could find. I used a sock, some moss, charcoal, stones and grass to make a filter.



It worked quite well, to make it perfect, just use 2 sock filters. The water came out alot better than it went in, almost completely clear with only small bits of charcoal showing, which would be ok to boil id say. Tony got working on making a primitive bowl



Using embers from the fire, he got a perfectly shaped bowl. He then heated some stones up to boil the water. The granite worked very well, though the quick immersion in the water caused them to crack. Thankfully Granite doesnt seem to spit with it cracks. It didnt take too many stones to get it to a rolling boil



So with your socks and a fire, you can manage to purify even extremely dirty water :)

Myself and Jim work on a Debris hut while Tony work on the bowl. I always like building these, although they are a bit of work. Here Jim tries it out for size



We touched on other such useful areas like; Bluebell glue, more foraging, water collection from a tarp, fire management, cordage and an Elder straw. Unfortunately the camera ran out early, so not everything was documented. Although a quite relaxed weekend, we got alot done and the weather turned out to be great
 

deepforest2501

Tenderfoot
Oct 10, 2007
65
0
Northern Ireland
Hi deepforest2501, if you check out the club website you can sign up. Once you have signed up you will be on the mailing list and will be contacted about all events. The club is only beginning really but has already met a good few times since last summer.

This is the website http://www.irishbushcraftclub.org/
Cheers, I just sent them an email requesting they add me to their mailing list. Heres hoping to meet you soon. Thanks for the advice. Alan
 
M

Mouldsy

Guest
Looks like a great time was had by all, thanks for sharing guy's
Davy
 

Lore

Tenderfoot
Dec 19, 2003
91
2
Co Meath, Ireland
Great weekend. Time just seemed to go so fast. Before I knew it , it was about five o clock on Sunday and time to go home. I see that the members of the NIBA were making a shelter probably the same time as we were making ours. It just goes to show that great bushcrafters think alike. The food was great and the conversation around the campfire on Sat night was a right laugh, thanks lads. I used my group buy hammock and found it very comfy. ( Not my first hammock or my first night sleeping in one just my first night in the Nomads Land one) Gets a thumbs up from me. Keep up the good work both North and South. Or should that be South and North.
Tony