What have you done in 2018?

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White bear (Admin)
Apr 16, 2003
So, I've been pondering on the last year, wondering what I've done new, what's changed, where I've improved or got worse etc, and I thought it would be a good question for here on a bushcraft front. I know we've got 6 weeks left in the year but a bit of reflection now will help with getting on next year, well, that's my thinking!!

If you've done anything that's new this year let us know, if you've learned a new skill or had a new experience it will be great to hear about it. We're all aiming to be better so there's bound to be things from this year that qualify.

We had the Autumn Moot, that was a new one for me and a great experience, it will also be a great springboard for next years Autumn Moot.
I got back in a hammock for a week, the first time in years I've been in one and it was brill, a couple of days getting used to it again but all good.

I've swum in the sea more this year, I decided earlier in the year I needed to make more use of where I live (West Wales) and so I've got in there more and feel the better for it! It means my plans to canoe around the coast a bit and camp out are closer than they were last year!

How about you?
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Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
Last January I went abroad for the first time in over twenty years to sweden for a week in off grid cabin dogsledding snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Ice fishing was supposed to be on the agenda but the lake was unsafe so sadly that did not happen. It was a one off adventure. Next year I have lots of plans but usually they don't work out....we will see.
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Apr 19, 2018
(West Wales)

You are so lucky ... I love west wales. Spent a huge chunk of my youth based round Newgale and Broadhaven and St Davids through the summers and autumns. The best surf in Britain, and warm too :)

Had a few minor victories at work, but the best thing was the arrival of April in May. She's a lovely border collie - very beautiful, very noble, very cooky ... well, they all are :)

She is such an outdoorser ... mind she gets walked to death by the kids. It is freezing cold outside at the moment. She way prefers to be out there in repose, watching the squirrels and thinking eccentric thoughts than snuffling around the fire
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John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
Oh - I have not done much....
Lost 1/3 of my body weight, re-educated my muscles (1 hour before breakfast every day doing physio exercises) and turned down knee replacement surgery.
I quit writing for magazines - that was getting boring and payed too poorly to make it worth while - rekindled my love of sewing (out of need as my weight loss saw me drop from XL to Med and none of my clothes fitted any more and not having much money I cannot afford to buy good quality kit!) and got back into theatrical work (for fun) - my next role opens next Wed in The Attic Theater, Newcastle Emlyn.
I also took a lot of time off work, helping see my Aunt through the end of terminal cancer ... which was a bit of an education on many levels - and also attended 2 Moots - which was a bit of an education too - but more fun!
I am looking forward to a slightly less busy year next year - but also attending three Moots ... in lots of new, Designer Made outdoor kit :)
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Feb 10, 2016
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I have learned which ones of the various sea weeds are tasty ( and eatable), I have learned a couple more ways to cook Limpets,
Discovered that they are very tasty raw with a bit of lemon juice concentrate.
Learned how to catch those tasty seagulls.
Learned how to bait a bottom line specifically for halibut, something I have been wanting to learn and do for many years.

Discovered that despite surgery my knee will never get better in function that it is now. Sadly no more mountain walking with heavy backpack. Ever.
Rediscovered the joy of sitting outside, turning some cheap frankfurters partially into charcoal and drinking beer from a can, huddled under a blanket.

The best of all, having our son moving back with us after 10 years outside the Island, being schooled, Uni, working in Canada.....he was 13 when he moved away.
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
I'm trying to complete some carvings and some blade workings.
Kind of nice to pick up where I left off. Desperately trying NOT to start anything new.

Sick enough from late December/17 to stay in the city for 63 days before I saw my own kitchen again.
I don't ever need to repeat that.

Met a local Mohawk native the other day. Gave him a crooked knife and a full wild turkey (Merriam sub species)
feather pelt, wings and tail fan (nice 25 lb bird that I shot 5? years ago.
His art work is pretty good. Looking forward to seeing what he does with the feathers.


Mar 21, 2018
Bomber county
I started the year recovering from yet another round of major back surgery that, like Janne, has taught me that my hill walking days are over (not overly impressed with that at the grand old age if 38 :banghead:). Used my time off work to get back in to photography and then in May made my first knife which seems to have become an all consuming hobby. Took my daughter out camping over the summer for the first time and cooked over the campfire which was a wonderful experience for both of us. Hopefully things will move onward and upward in 2019 as long as my friendly butcher (sorry I mean surgeon) doesn’t pull any surprises on me when I see him in a couple of weeks time :biggrin:
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Full Member
Oct 30, 2003
Not a great deal, there never is.

I got involved with the street tree protection group in Sheffield

I discovered that I could indeed upcycle old 13 amp plug pins into beer bottle openers

In a few weeks I'll have been round the sun again, which should not be taken for granted.



Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
Learnt how to ride a recumbent bicycle then toured on France with the family and the recumbent. That was fun.

Helped train the puppy we got towards the end of 2017. Well I watched as it somehow just picked up what we wanted it to do while we were basically passengers in the process. That in itself I think is an achievement even if it's more our dog's success than ours.

Right now I've decided to get into drinking less coffee and switching to various teas like yerba mate and perhaps pine needle tea instead.

Then there's the end of year ski trip to Norway. A first for me.

All these things are new to me but nothing to do with Bushcraft.

BTW did I say our 5 year old son did a first. That was to try and make a shelter out of whatever he found in a wood. Not elegant or even much of a shelter but we had not much time for it and there wasn't much material lying around for it. Still we all had fun.
Sep 16, 2013
Rochester, Kent
This year has been a busy one for me.

  • Completed a major renovation of the ground floor of my Victorian house, restoring the open fire places in the process (really enjoying that now that the colder weather has arrived!)
  • Renovated the garden too, giving me more space to mess around and grow some of my own veg!
  • After losing my running 'mojo' over the previous winter and piling on the weight (I blamed it on the beast from the east), I gave myself a good telling off and spent much of the summer trying to regain my fitness. Only now can I say that I've gotten back up to fitness with my running and am hell-bent on maintaining that through this coming winter. The weight is coming off too!
  • For the second year running, I have somehow managed to stick to my goal of camping out at least once a month. This has really helped me through some testing times in which I've had to deal with a lot of work related stress.
  • I have ventured out of the woods and really enjoyed three hikes and wild camps on the local marshland.
  • I have continued to practice bushcraft skills when out and about (this will always be an ongoing process). This year I have focussed more time on tree & plant identification.
  • Enjoyed meeting and camping with some new bushcraft/outdoors enthusiasts from my local area. I look forward to doing some more camps with them next year.
  • Read more books, watched less telly!
  • I am very proud that I have been able to keep my blog running and share some of those posts with the good folk on here. I was worried that my initial enthusiasm with the blog would wane. But I am loving it and really enjoy the creative process of writing about my adventures, injecting some humour and imparting a little bit of knowledge along the way. I have lots of plans and ideas over the next year to keep the blog interesting.


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
Every time I see one of those weird bicycles I think of the damage they would do to my oil sump if I hit one,
At least you see them unlike uprights!

Seriously, I don't get close passes when on a 'bent like I do on an upwrong. Although France is great for cycling. Motorists respect cyclists and accept they have their space on the road too so they overtake like they do other cars with space between them. If only the UK cottoned on to that fact.

BTW you would probably need sump protection if you went over my 'bent. It's German engineered touring rig which means it's solid. Recumbent riders have named it after a wwii German vehicle that I can't remember the name of. I think it's the truck with front wheels and a half track but I could be wrong. Got panzen in the name.

If you're ever around North Lancashire you're welcome to try it out Janne!


Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
I finished off walking the Cape Wrath Trail, going from Kinlochewe to Cape Wrath in just over six days. The purpose was to raise money for the Royal Marsden Hospital and I can finally say to those that sponsored me: mission accomplished! During my time walking ever northwards and westwards, I fell in love with Sutherland and Wester Ross and am currently in the throes of buying a cottage there. Having lived in a number of different places over the years, I have finally found a place which feels like home. Sadly, work will keep me away for a proportion of the time but the intention is to keep it ticking over through week-long holiday lets.

I rediscovered a love of skiing after a rather dire, fallow period in which I just didn't 'get it' or enjoy it. For some reason beyond my ken, it is back on the list of things to which I look forward. Bring on the snow!

Apart from continuing to enjoy the woods and countryside locally and trying to learn the taxonomic names of local plants and trees, it has been a year of spoon making, teaching children the rudiments of bushcraft and getting out as much as is reasonably possible.

I hope next year will bring about an improvement in my shoreline foraging skills, greater familiarity with Sutherland, including its forests and a few more Munros; I would like to get fire by hand drill and spend more time working with wood, producing spoons, kuksas and bowls for practice and presents; some more time in the canoe would be good, too: it has an embarrassingly thick layer of dust on it at the moment!


Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
I managed to graduate. (And I got a First for my Dissertation; never mind anything else)

I managed to get on a Postgrad course.

I am now struggling.

But I hope to become an Archivist. That way, if any of you ever need to find out anything you will come to ME.
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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
Well done you.

What postgrad are you doing? Taught or research? Will we be calling you doctor tengu in 3 or 4 years?

I've done a postgrad, taught masters. It might not be original research (there was some) but it's still a challenge at times.

Whatever you are doing I wish you success in your endeavours.
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