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Thread: A Bushcraft day with the little one...( Warninglong postand picture heavy!)'ve

  1. #1
    Natural Born Bushcrafter Woody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Between Savernake forest and Avebury stone circle

    A Bushcraft day with the little one...( Warninglong postand picture heavy!)'ve

    ...been warned! ( Post title continued..)

    Finally I managed to get some time for just me and the little guy ,( and Ozzy the dog) and we couldn't have picked a better day.

    Lovely weather, we had scouted our perfect (off the beaten path) location on a previous walk , close enough to the van (1 mile approx.) yet far enough from the main path and away from walkers , dogs and other curious creatures.

    The Owl and the Rapa Nui sculptures should keep an eye out for us ...

    So we checked our chosen spot for "widow makers" and other perils and after a close inspection, it was fine!
    Surrounded by old sweet chestnut and ash trees, we know this spot will be prime location for picking chestnuts when they come late summer/autumn, and also found a new stash of cramp ball mushrooms waiting to be harvested...but we'll leave these for when we run out.

    So first things first, a brew!
    Ovaltine (no affiliation) is the favourite at the moment so we cracked on...

    we got some fallen ash logs to split and some various fallen twigs, mainly cherry and there was no lack of dry grass and bracken for the tinder bundles.

    My trusty Buzzard knife that very kindly Mick91 gifted me a while ago, performed flawlessly to split those ash logs.
    I would post more pics, but I've reached the post limit...

    I had tried set the bar high for the day, we were going to try and light a fire using primitive skills and materials only...
    However at this stage , little man was getting hungry and his focus was on getting the brew on and the sarnies on the go... So I let him choose the method.
    Ferrocium rod and Maya tinder was his first choice .
    Luckily, another very generous member of Natural Bushcraft forum , David-JAFO had gifted us with some Maya sticks and a brand new LMF ferro rod amongst various other bits and pieces...

    The little guy cut some shavings off the Maya with his opinel and cracked on.

    No success. So I persuaded him to try it on top of a brazing mat to stop the burn on the log and to persist and scrape plenty of the Maya dust tinder onto the shavings...
    That didn't work either ...
    so we got a little lump of chaga tinder (that David had also sent ) and crumbled it on top of the shavings...

    ...And then we got an ember!
    Delight and excitement filled his eyes and quickly he reached for the dried bundled he had cleverly prepared before...

    And after blowing on the ember a few times , the bundle got really hot ! He quickly put it on the hobo stove, but as you can tell by his expression he felt that heat on his fingers...

    Now with the thin twigs over the top and getting the bigger ones ready he blew a few more times and the whole pile just lit up!!! He had made fire!!!

    On with the well deserved brew and sandwich , (and a little burn cream on his fingers)

    His hard work had paid off! That was the best cup of Ovaltine he had ever had!

    Time to enjoy the silence, but the local woodpecker had better ideas , although I couldn't see him , his drumming was echoing all around us... A tawny owl was also tweettwooing away, even though it was broad daylight, but apparently they do that sometimes...

    Little man didn't want to stop it there...
    He had agreed to let that fire die off as we didn't need a fire really, we were just honing skills and besides at that stage it's just too easy to keep it going...

    So we waited a while for it to burn out , and we proceeded to gather more twigs and learn how to make feather sticks!
    He lapped it up and his sharp opinel did indeed do very well, although he's had a bit of practice by shaping spears out of hazel and constantly whittling sharp sticks... As you do when you're 8years old.

    His first attempt at feathering ...

    He did about 3 of those...

    I thought that was good enough and so we proceeded to discussing the next method of generating a spark...
    Again, thanks to our Scottish friend , we were spoilt for choice...we had iron pyrites, marcasite , quartz , and a very good quality Hudson Bay carbon steel , that is perfectly shaped (oval) to shield his fingers from the sharp edges of the flint , or in this case Quartz.

    So quartz steel and charcloth was the next choice, as the chaga was just too easy...

    (My rationale was really trying to give myself plenty of time to file a sharp edge on the marcasite and pyrite to strike it with flint... So no steel involved.)

    Took a few attempts to get the position comfortable and keep the teased cloth on the lump of quartz, but within minutes we had ember!

    By then I had only managed to get the file out ...

    so I thought we'd try yet another tinder...
    Crampball mushrooms or King Alfred's cakes as we call them down here...
    Same system , steel but with a small flint this time...

    This took quite a bit longer but to my amazement in less than 5 minutes we had another ember!!!

    So this time I let him put the "cake" in the bundle so we could start another controlled burn...this time I would hold the bundle as to save his fingers from another burn...

    After a couple of blows I put it in the basket ( 2 steamer from wilkos) where he could then burn his feather stick and poke around a you do...

    A happy little chap he was, like a pig in the proverbial...
    He now knows how hard it is to light it, how hot fire is and easy it is to burn yourself!
    He also now knows not to light it on the floor, as the whole forest floor is a giant tinder bundle at this time of year... And I explained about the Leave No Trace ethos and why we were doing it like we did (brazing mat, stainless steel basket with feet and on top of a dead log).

    All in all a very enlightening experience and very pleasant for both of us, little dude obviously chuffed to bits about making fire , like in the olden days...
    And a proud dad of course.

    Time to lift the anchor and set sail, leaving no trace of any of our escapades...
    I showed him how to hide the ashes but only after getting them wet and cold enough ...and to remove any debris/rubbish around.
    This is how we left it , just like when we found it...

    He wanted to leave one of his feather sticks up on a log ...

    ...but I bribed him with some chocolate and just discarded the stick .

    On our way back we passed some blackberry bushes and so foraging was inevitable...
    And although not quite ready , some of the berries were actually ripe which is early for the time of year I think...and tasty they were too...

    I'm pleased that we finally found time for ourselves , to play in the woods and do some man stuff , as sometimes life just gets in the way and more often than not work and school just hold us back and eat away at our golden years...
    Last edited by Woody; 18-08-2016 at 09:08 AM. Reason: Sorry it's a long post, apologies about the title... Can't change it now?

  2. #2
    Natural Born Bushcrafter Woody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Between Savernake forest and Avebury stone circle
    Also just a quick but massive thank you to both David and Mick who kindly gifted us with no intentions of retribution or recompense and additionally provided us with loads of information on how and when to use these correctly and adequately.
    Your gifts are really appreciated and we'll treasure and use them as our special treats for father and son time...for a very long time!
    Thank you very much from me and the little man !

    Last edited by Woody; 18-08-2016 at 12:39 AM.

  3. #3
    More than welcome mate awesome to see its being used and even better that you're passing on the addiction!

  4. #4
    One with Nature
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    "Always remember, no matter where you go there you are."
    hello Woody & Woody Junior,
    ..& they call themselves amateurs?? LOL there's certainly no need for thanks just to see Woody Junior having a fabulous time & honing the Bushcraft skills is all that is required. T.Y for sharing what looks like an awesome day (under statement) with the forum.

  5. #5
    Natural Born Bushcrafter Woody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Between Savernake forest and Avebury stone circle
    Thanks guys, we had a great time, will be doing some more mini adventures for sure...

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