No gear weekend full report

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mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Before I start as I don't like typing long things on my phone and that's where the pics are most will be added later. Apart from a couple I emailed to Steph on day 1. Here goes.

I arrived at a familiar site to me, it's the woodland area of a farm I shoot regularly. A small wooded area known locally as the scope, im not sure why. I was dropped off wearing a cotton t-shirt, with a light woolen jumper over the top, dickies work pants I use for DIY, and a pair of 8 eyelet Dr Marten boots. In my pocket, I have my phone, keys, cigs and a disposable lighter. I had been briefed ahead of time I was not to light the fire with the lighter and was only for smoking.
After a quick scout around, I saw a pile of fallen or cut logs, I decided it was suitable to build a shelter, I took a walk around and started snapping dead branches, and collecting windfall to try and waterproof the shelter. Best result (i thought) a good sized lump of a fetiliser bag! Set up a very basic very messy lean to/a frame hybrid shelter. And covered in leaves. That took up maybe the first 4 hours or so, and by now I was getting peckish.
After only a few yards of walking I found a large bramble bush, heavy laden with surprisingly ripe fruit ready to pick
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. A couple of Apple trees, inadvertently planted by passers by tossing Apple cores it would seem by placement (near to roads) with a good amount of smallish apples. A few plumb trees, presumably planted in the same manner as the apples, again with a decent amount of plums. Fruit salad for lunch.
While on my little foraging trip I set out 5 UK legal, brass wire snares. As a fairly experienced hunter, I knew how and where I had former success with snares and knowledge of how to recognise runs in current use from older runs or ones Used by other critters.
Back to the shelter. I started lighting the fire, and had surprising difficulty, it would seem I have come to rely on firesteels and friction fires aren't the easiest without a knife. Since the lighter was looking too tempting.I decided to remove temptation and break it beyond use, now if I wanted another cigarette I had to have a fire! After about another half hour of effort I managed a usable ember, tipped into the dead grass tinder I had been drying in my pocket, for a flame and fed it twigs and larger windfall until I had a reliable fire. Snapping up wood is much harder than using an axe or machete!
Had a little light drizzle at around 6pm, but nothing major. I decided to go and pick myself some wheat to try flour grinding. Easily done between 2 flat rocks onto my t-shirt to a coarse flour. I mixed in a little of my fruit and transferred the mix into an empty can I came across earlier. Give it a mix with a little stream water with a stick, et voila! A simple bread like dough that cooks up on a stick just like bannock. If all a little firmer when cooked and would have been better with butter.
While walking around I came across a piece of scrap iron, I few inches long, with a rough edge on it, I assume it to be a piece of long forgotten farming tool. After a while sharpening on a stone from the stream I had a usable edge, now I have a shelter, food, fire and a knife. On the right track
Had a first night check of my traps, not a sausage! But in fairness they hadn't been out long and I was hopeful about having some luck with them in the morning.
I crawled carefully into the shelter, as it was beginning to rain, after feeding the fire some thicker logs I had dragged from further away to try and keep it burning as long as possible. Only 1 or 2 drops of water came through the shelter, and I would call that acceptable for a temporary shelter (another mistake I will discuss later) took some getting comfortable on my leafy bed, but eventually got set and drifted off to sleep.
Day 2, woke up reasonably early, after rolling onto a large rock before dawn when I restocked the fire with some larger sticks. The fire was still usable. Managed to get it going properly again with next to no effort.
Time to check the traps. Amazingly enough, 3 rabbits! Got them back to camp and prepared them with my new "knife" and started cooking rough cuts kebabed into a stick over my fire. Roast rabbit for breakfast! Not too shabby if you ask me. I set the other brace aside for later covered in large leaves to stop flies.
My little iron knife made my life so much easier, I was now able to baton thick logs, whittle sticks and the like. I joked in a text sent home that I had named it Wilson and formed an emotional attatchment to it, that's more true than I thought because I brought it home!
Around tea time I had a little more forage, more berries apples and a few mushrooms. I don't usually trust myself to pick mushrooms, but I was poitive about the edible status of the. Carved up the rabbit to roast the same way rubbed with blackberry as a little flavour experiment, very pallitable indeed. And boiled up some nettles, not quite so pallitable!
I saw black clouds flashing in the distance, and the heavens opened. Biblical rain and lightning overhead, I covered up my fire with the remainder of the fertiliser sack hastily put over the top with 4 small sticks. And loaded it with sticks. Time to take shelter.
Lying in my shelter listening to the thunder and heavy rain, I felt myself very relaxed and comfortable, I was quickly asleep.
Later in the night, the wind and rain took its toll. A drip, right into my face, coming from the fertiliser sack I used as extra protection. I stripped down to my undies to keep my clothes dry and fumbled around in the dark to hastily pile sticks and foliage into my shelter (this is it in the morning!)
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not pretty but effective. The natural parts never flackered and i think the sack acted as a wick.
Woke up this morning feeling fine, still warm and dry, fire still embering. And had a little breakfast of more of the basic fruit bannock.
Checked the single snare I had reset and had another rabbit, so if I wanted to stay out another day I and plenty to eat.
Got home, dove in the shower and told the missus basically what I've written here.

What I learned.
Nature knows best, the only thing that let me down where synthetic fibers, wool and natural cover kept me dry and warm while a PU sack leaked badly.

That EDC knife in your pocket, is completely and utterly useless. A none locking sub 3" blade would have done me no favours, apart from possibly skinning and even that can be done easily with anything sharp if you have practiced the skills. Of anything, it would have taken more effort to try to cut things than snap them. An SAK with a small saw may have been of a some use, but my little spyderco grasshopper is basically useless in that situation.

A torch is an important EDC. Nothing fancy, and nothing that takes batteries. Get a cheap wind up and it'll serve you well. I very much missed having light

I need to stop smoking, every time I took time out to have a smoke would have been better used elsewhere, and keeping them dry became a priority and constant worry. Plus I've wanted to quit for some time.

You know more than you think, it's amazing how much stuff I must have learned without realising, silly things that made my life easier, edible plants etc. Although I fully intend to learn much more about that.

My kit is wrong, after much deliberation, a chainsaw chain with webbing handles will be more useful than a bow or folding saw imo, and can be carried daily. I also need to pick axe or machete and not take both, it's a waste.

Litter is your friend, when I see empty tins in the woods it annoys me normally, but if you're without a pan they're a genuine option. One man's trash and all that.

Be careful, a few minor nicks I usually would have put a plaster on have been filled with dirt, it probably won't come to anything but in a survival situation it could. And I now see a box of antibiotics as a possible FAK item if youre in that situation.

I need to learn to make cordage, I missed it so much and had access to as many nettles as you can shake a stick at so no excuse.

I bloody love this piece of random rusted metal, it's going to get ground into an actual knife this week!

Carry tissues or toilet roll, while large and sturdy enough to get the job done, the doc leaf is a little depressing to look at as an option.

Last and most important, trust your skills knowledge and instinct. Of you're confident enough to even consider it, odds are you'll manage no bother. I intend to make these trips a seasonal challenge for myself.

Thanks for reading chaps and chapettes. Any questions fire away I've had to try to condense my rambling (although I having done too well) so may have missed something!
 
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mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Ps. Some of the pics are rather lo res. My phone likes to change its mind with the camera when battery gets low

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
8,656
4
52
Pontypool, Wales, Uk
Great eport. it sounds like you know what you are doing and took appropriate actions. There were a few times in there that I thought "I wouldn't have thought of that!"

In one of your earlier posts you mentioned using some flexible bark to gather waters. Can you clarify that for me, as it caught my attention.

Great stuff. :You_Rock_
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Great eport. it sounds like you know what you are doing and took appropriate actions. There were a few times in there that I thought "I wouldn't have thought of that!"

In one of your earlier posts you mentioned using some flexible bark to gather waters. Can you clarify that for me, as it caught my attention.

Great stuff. :You_Rock_

Thanks hatvestman. Just gos to show that messing around in the woods teaches you what to do! I'm no hardcore survivalist and managed to stay comfortable and would confidently have stayed out there.
I picked up a piece of fresh cut. (not by me) log and the bark came off in a sheet, I had been playing around with it and was able to depress it enough to hold around 100ml of water at a time, albeit leaking from more. Picking rocks from the fire I was boiling it that way but to be honest wasn't a viable option and the old fosters can was far easier and more effective. Maybe if I was to learn to weave and work with bark it would be though
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Any ideas on this little guy?
ea8fcd4e9cc218ba5b78d079c12b015d.jpg

Kept hovering around and it sat like that next to me for a good while before fluttering off. Just curious as I know you're knowledgable on these things
 

dewi

Full Member
May 26, 2015
2,644
5
Cheshire
Nicely done... sounds like you had plenty to eat and lived pretty comfortably by all accounts.

Have you taken a picture of your 'Wilson'? (That sounds wrong!)

One of the things that alters the experience is the litter you can pickup and use... in an environment with no litter, I should imagine it'd be a much harder challenge.

If you had to choose 5 items to take now, how has this weekend altered your choices (if at all)?
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Nicely done... sounds like you had plenty to eat and lived pretty comfortably by all accounts.

Have you taken a picture of your 'Wilson'? (That sounds wrong!)

One of the things that alters the experience is the litter you can pickup and use... in an environment with no litter, I should imagine it'd be a much harder challenge.

If you had to choose 5 items to take now, how has this weekend altered your choices (if at all)?

No hardship in it realistically. Other seasons may be more challenging and I fully intend to have an Autumn and winter section up when the time comes. If you know what to look for nature will provide.
I have popped Wilson in the shed, but will take pictures tomorrow before and after I make it a little more usable.
That's an interesting one dewi.
1 I would say a torch for definite.
2 corage or the knowledge of how to make it
3 gloves, picking nettles without is savage amusement.
4 a machete, small knives can't do what a machete can do.
5 probably a sling shot. They're quet, easy to get accurate with and effective. The amount of woodies that sat overhead was too much to ignore as a food source
And they're very different to what I once classed as important like tarps hammocks and sleeping bags
 

dewi

Full Member
May 26, 2015
2,644
5
Cheshire
Interesting... would you replace number 2 with a cooking pot of some sort if you had the knowledge to make cordage?
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Interesting... would you replace number 2 with a cooking pot of some sort if you had the knowledge to make cordage?
Honestly I wouldn't, and may in fact stop taking one at all. They aren't totally nessicary and are bulky. And are easily improvised. If I learned how to make it I would replace 2 but I would probably say with an empty single duvet cover or something similar. The leafy bed technique worked flawlessly for warmth and even comfort but I did end up with dried leaves and twigs EVERYWHERE so would have been nice to have them covered over
 

bopdude

Full Member
Feb 19, 2013
2,918
164
55
Stockton on Tees
Great write up Mick, sounds like you had all that you needed, shelter / fire / food, no mention of drinking water ( or did I miss that ) I assume you drank from the bark container ? Anywho, thanks for the report, looking forward to seeing Wilson, before and after :)
 

Gaudette

Full Member
Aug 24, 2012
872
17
Cambs
Inspirational stuff and thanks for sharing. This has reminded me that I want to learn how to make cordage and how to use natural fibres. Thanks


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mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Great write up Mick, sounds like you had all that you needed, shelter / fire / food, no mention of drinking water ( or did I miss that ) I assume you drank from the bark container ? Anywho, thanks for the report, looking forward to seeing Wilson, before and after :)
There's a small fresh water stream that runs through the farm and woods. I was using the bark at first then moved onto using the tin can.

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
If you wore an extra pair of thin cotton socks in, could use one, would that be cheating lol seen some mosses used as filters. what were you thinking of ?
The stream is sand/silt bottom, possibly using some of that with pounded ash/charcoal from the fire. It's something I'll have to work out before hand
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
85a23fa16467073e655f7674f7a3a474.jpg

Meet Wilson. There where several holes in the back end one with a rusted bolt and wingnut through it and it sat next to a bigger piece of rust. I'm assuming a plough blade tip, or possibly an old tiller
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
a846a0c25c7ce5e0ce956db86cbad550.jpg

That's the handle part. Unusual how it's thinned and cut making me think it's designed to sheer off
 

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