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Thread: North of the wall

  1. #1
    Natural Born Bushcrafter saxonaxe's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
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    Sussex coast
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    North of the wall

    In the winter of 2015 I was offered the use of a cottage that an old friend had recently purchased. I declined use of the cottage but obtained his permission to camp on his land which formed part of the owned plot. I posted on the forum at the time (under planning) and recently I travelled North to spend 6 nights camped at the cottage. Days were spent making basically circular exploratory walks from base camp into the quite remote countryside of the area. Nothing spectacular, about 10-12 miles a day, but the terrain can be testing of personal fitness.

    The cottage in February..



    And as I first saw it after driving from home on the South Coast a week or so ago.



    I really don't care for long journeys on four wheels, I much prefer my Motorcycle but a weeks supplies plus camping gear offered the prospect of this old codger trying to coax a heavy Moto Guzzi over some pretty rough tracks, so four wheels it was...



    OK, look away now Bushcraft gourmets and wilderness Chefs...



    The cottage is isolated meaning a re-supply would be a logistics headache, so I took all I needed.


    This promised to be a sheltered position out of a surprisingly (July) chill wind coming down off the surrounding hills.



    I had a nice view from camp and the neighbours were friendly and seemingly unafraid of the strange character who lived in the green tent.







    For meals/brews I used a little wood gas stove which is handy and allowed me to burn either foraged wood or the fuel I use most with this stove...Pussy Cat litter..



    That small plastic jar holds enough fuel for 5 or 6 burnings, bearing in mind I don't make Bushcraft Souffles or knock up the occasional 5 course meal. I open the rat-pac packet, chuck it in the mess tin, wait for it to bubble a bit and that's done for me....
    Ally mess tins too...I'm gonna die!!!



    Back to the cat litter...this stuff..must be wood based obviously.



    I fill a plastic 1 litre milk bottle with cat litter and pour.. approximately..100 Mil of paraffin in on top. Give it a shake and leave it to absorb the Paraffin. This allows me to light the cat litter without tinder, simply put a match to it and you're in business. A bit of blackening shows on the cooker but is easily cleaned if you wish to, and the litter makes a convenient, transportable fuel in poor wood foraging conditions.



    An idea of the surrounding countryside..







    The sky in the last photo bears a mention. This is not an area where you can afford to get caught unprepared. Even in July the wind was chill at times and the rain quite sudden in coming down off the hills. This is not an area where hordes of walkers "Do" the tourist trail and Park Rangers have to repair eroded footpaths. There are way marks...Ha! but the "Way" isn't that obvious...



    This was one of the more obvious footpaths...





    The Magnetic variation is currently just less than 2 degrees West for the area so I allowed 2 degrees knowing that if I failed to apply it I could be 35 metres off my objective after one Kilometre. Not a problem, but after 10 K in poor visibility of say 150 metres??
    There are places where it would be unwise to be lost in poor visibility..



    The drop here is sheer from an almost flat area of marshy ground.

    My days were spent just wandering really, a Bergan with all I needed if caught out overnight, work a course out on the map and off for the day.



    The very feint track left of centre? Follow that just over the hill and you're in Scotland..




    Some sights along the way..



    Valley full of Foxgloves.



    I don't recall ever seeing pure white Foxgloves in the wild before.



    Brew stop with Basha windbreak.



    The old Sheep Folds are works of art..



    A Curlew getting upset because her nest was close by to where I was walking.




    Blimey!! That's a big Rabbit!!



    Ah! stand down on the Bunny sighting..



    The forum tells me I've reached the limit for images, so I've omitted some and cut it short, but that's most of the write-up I said I'd do when last on the forum. So promise kept, and that's it from me for a good while. Whatever path you follow, travel safely all.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  2. #2
    Samuel Hearne
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    Sep 2011
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    Very nice thank you for sharing.

  3. #3
    Natural Born Bushcrafter Woody's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
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    Between Savernake forest and Avebury stone circle
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    Cool post!
    Sounds like you had a great trip!
    Shame about leaving the Guzzi behind ...

    Cool tip on the paraffin soaked cat litter... thanks.
    (Wonder how you found out that it works...😁lol)


    Cheers

    Kind regards
    Last edited by Woody; 10-07-2016 at 10:18 PM.

  4. #4
    Tribal Elder BJ's Avatar
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    Shropshire
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    Peace and tranquility, lovely to see these places still exist where you can roam to your hearts content.
    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”

  5. #5
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    Nice one
    Victory awaits the one, that has everything in order - luck we call it
    Defeat is an absolute consequense for the one that have neglected to do the necessary preparations - bad luck we call it
    (Roald Amundsen)

    Bumbling Bushcraft on Youtube
    Nordisk Bushcraft - The Nordic bushcraft blog and forum

  6. #6
    Native Peaks's Avatar
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    Derbys: Matlock-ish
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    Great report - enjoyed reading it

  7. #7
    Woodsman Pootle's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
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    Kernow
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    Great report and lovely pictures as usual. Thank you.

  8. #8
    Ranger OakAshandThorn's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
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    Connecticut ~ New England
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    That area has some spectiacular scenery...you lucky man .
    My blog, New England Bushcraft

    "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
    ~ Abraham Lincoln

    "Be prepared, not scared."
    ~ Cody Lundin

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