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Bushcraft & Survival Skills - Issue 72 - January-February 2018

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How to
make an
Ulu style
knife
Celebrating Canadian Canoe Culture - Richard Harpham
10
Navigation
Techniques
Winter
Salve
Recipe
Bushcraft
on a
Budget
Top Ten Ways to Boost Your
Bushcraft Skills Through 2018
How to Make a
Collapsible Pot Hanger
Preserving Wild Woodland Game
WIN
A DD Frontline
Hammock
A Parley with Adventurer
Ed Stafford
Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine
for living life outdoors
Issue 72 Jan/Feb 18
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Cover Image
Cooking food in a pot on campfire by Marlla Bolko
REGULAR
The Small Print
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Editor
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Richard
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bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 3
REGULAR
Winter Warmth and Smiles
In the blink of an eye, summer and autumn have departed for another year and winter returns.
Winter is one of my favourite seasons, time to reflect and set new goals, spend time with family over the Christmas
holidays enjoying what for me is the most dynamic of seasons. I love winter for its ever-changing days, with crisp
frosty mornings and beautiful crimson sunrises that can transform into the occasional gloriously sunny day.
As I am editing the articles for the next issue of Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine, I feel excited at the breadth
and range of topics diligently prepared for you. This issue features another smorgasbord of articles to inspire and
ignite your passion for the great outdoors.
Kick starting this issue is Paul Kirtley?s Top Ten Ways to Boost Your Bushcraft Skills Through 2018 (p8) which ties
into that goal-setting vibe that we all feel at this time of year. Nick Allen provides a snap shot of 10 Navigation
Techniques you can try (p18). Former SAS instructor Lofty Wiseman is back with another amusing and informative
article on the importance of breathing in a survival situation (p24). I have recently been reading Douglas Preston?s
true story of The Lost City of the Monkey God ? a search for Ciudad Blanca in the Honduran Jungle. The book
explains how an ex-SAS team helped keep all the expedition members alive, dodging all manner of hazards including
the territorial Fer de Lance snake. It reminded me of the unique survival skills Lofty and his colleagues have
developed.
We are delighted to have interviewed British explorer Ed Stafford (p28), asking some of those intriguing questions
you have always wanted to know. Ed is speaking at The Bushcraft Show 2018 so get your tickets early and spread
the word! My ?Celebration of Canadian Canoe Culture? and recent canoe trip to Ontario is on page 44. Continuing the
international theme, Tim Gent sensitively writes about the Sami people of Northern Scandinavia (p58), whilst Jonas
Taurek shares his travels to the wilderness of Mongolia (p72). There are more ?how-to? projects with Ian Nairn?s
?Bushcraft on a Budget? Pemmican (p66), Ben and Lois Orford?s guide to making a traditional style Ulu style knife
(p78) and Ben Abbot?s latest challenge to make a collapsible pot hanger (p94).
As always we hope you enjoy the magazine and use it to hone and develop new skills. We hope your New Year?s
Resolutions provide more adventures and time in green spaces. Finally, I am off on a 600-mile ski expedition in
Canada?s frozen wilderness, following in the footsteps of the late Alex Van Bibber. I hope to be able to keep you
updated on my journey via the magazine's social media.
Wish me luck and see you in the great outdoors.
Rich
Editor
Richard Harpham
Editor
richard@bushcraftmagazine.com
Richard
4 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
REGULAR
Regular
4
6
20
54
56
Editorial
Readers? Letters
In the News
Subscription Offer
Next Issue
Features
8
17
18
24
28
36
38
44
56
58
66
72
78
85
94
Top Ten Ways to Boost Your Bushcraft Skills Through 2018 by Paul Kirtley
The Bushcraft Quiz by Nick Allen
Natural Navigation Techniques by Nick Allen
A Breath of Fresh Air by Lofty Wiseman
A Parley With Ed by Olivia Beardsmore
DIY Hammocks & Tarps by Richard Dalton
Preserving Wild Woodland Game by Fraser Christian
Celebrating Canadian Canoe Culture by Richard Harpham
Back Issue Bonanza
Sami by Tim Gent
Bushcraft on a Budget ? Pemmican by Ian Nairn
Jonas? Travel to Mongolia by Jonas Taureck
How to make an Ulu style knife by Ben & Lois Orford
?Seasonal Awareness? Winter Salve Recipe by Naomi Walmsley
The Good Life by Ben Abbott
reviews
71 The Art of Fire Book
92 Woman in the Wilderness Book
Competitions
6
35
71
92
Send in your Readers? Letters
WIN DD Frontline Hammock
The Art of Fire Book
Woman in the Wilderness Book
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 5
REGULAR
Letters to the Editor
MAD AS A HATTER
Hi Richard,
First let me say thank you for an excellent magazine, I look
forward to getting each issue.
I particularly enjoyed the article in Sept/Oct 2017 on hats.
As a hat wearer, I can attest that getting used to wearing
hats takes more than just a few minutes, but I also agree
that the benefits of wearing a hat that suits your activity
and the weather are legion. As a result, I have a range of
hats, from wool flat caps, through Panama hats brought
back from Ecuador by my sister-in-law, fedoras, to heavy
felt outback hats, which are all worn regularly, as I rarely
leave the house without a hat on. As a youngish man in
my 30s, I do get some odd comments, but equally quite a
few of my work colleagues and friends have started
wearing hats too.
My wife has drawn the line at me getting a pith helmet
though, unfortunately. My next purchase will likely be a
Tilley hat of some description, to wear when kayaking, and
that brings me to my next point.
I enjoyed your article on canoeing and kayaking in Britain,
but would suggest a similar type of article on waters to
explore by canoe or kayak on the island next door. We
have everything in and around Ireland, from different types
of rivers, to small and large freshwater lakes and loughs, to
sheltered sea loughs to open sea to paddle on. And we're a
pretty friendly bunch to boot.
Keep up the good work on the magazine.
Kindest regards,
Stefan Pynappels, Newry, Northern Ireland.
A Ridgeline Igloo
Windproof Fleece
Top worth � is on
its way to you!
Hi there Stefan
Thanks for your letter, I'm glad you are enjoying the magazine. As a man of many hats too I am glad you liked the article.
It always amazes me that a simple thing like a hat can mean the difference between a happy experience or not in the
great outdoors. My hats range from caps (most days) to beanies (winter work) through to Seal Skinz wide brimmed hat
for sea kayaking.
I de?nitely agree about creating an article about Irish paddling opportunities with some charming and unique paddling
trips. I have paddled a few loughs in Ireland on the West Coast near Ballintubber Abbey, as well as sea kayaking from
Scotland to Ireland, landing on Rathlin Island after a tricky crossing in rough seas! I have a big ?bucket list? of Irish
paddling on my list, including the infamous Liffy Descent and also paddling Clew Bay with its legend of 365 islands.
Maybe we will catch up for a yarn on the water at some point or perhaps at The Bushcraft Show 2018. Good luck with
increasing the hat collection.
Best wishes and happy paddling,
Rich
6 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
REGULAR
CAMPING STOOL
CREATIONS
Dear Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine,
I am relatively new to reading your magazine but tend to find a lot of great ideas within its pages. In Issue 68 I was
particularly taken with the article on camping stools by Ben Abbott.
I thought it was a very simple idea and was keen to try it out. As a Scout Leader, I am always on the lookout for
something new to try with my Troop and this seemed the perfect task.
We gathered the materials and had a practice before spending 2 weeks sewing the seat (for many, the first time they had
used a sewing machine!), practicing knifework to make the legs and practicing sheer lashings. While the Scouts were a
bit sceptical at first, they soon decided that it had been a fun project and were almost as proud of their accomplishments as I am.
Thank you to Ben and to the magazine for the idea and the instructions and I am looking forward to our next project!
David Hall
Scout Leader 9th Bradford North Scout Troop
Hi there David,
A Surprise
Package of
Bushcraft Goodies
is on its way to
your troop!
Thanks for your letter.
We are all delighted to hear that Ben?s article provided inspiration for your Scout Troop. Hopefully you will also ?nd some
great ideas in future editions.
As a former Scout, Venture Scout and then leader, I often use skills I learnt a very long time ago in Scouts. Part of the Scout
magic is the ability and opportunity to introduce young people to life skills and traditional skills. An additional bene?t these
days is that these craft projects and Scout challenges are a break from the digital overload many young people face.
With each letter we receive from Scout groups I genuinely get an uplifting feeling that it is still providing life changing
opportunities for young people. Keep up the great work. Hopefully we will see you at The Bushcraft Show 2018. Do come
and connect with our team.
Thanks again,
Rich
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 7
Feature
Top Ten Ways
Paul Kirtley is the owner and
author profile
To Boost Your Bushcraft
Skills Through 2018
Chief Instructor of Frontier
Bushcraft, one of the UK?s leading
Bushcraft schools, which he
founded in 2010. Also a Mountain
Leader, Paul was previously
Course Director at Woodlore. In addition to training and
working with Ray Mears for 10 years, Paul has also
worked alongside arctic survival expert Lars Falt,
tracking authority David Scott-Donelan and canoe
maestro Ray Goodwin.
8 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Moving from one year to the next is often a time of
reflection. What did we do in the last year? How did we
do? Did we reach our goals? What do we want do
achieve in the coming year? Where do we want to go?
In terms of bushcraft skills, some of us can have lofty
goals, while others don?t really think of wilderness skills
and structured self-improvement in the same mental
space at all.
Over the years, I?ve tried and failed at enough activities,
as well as achieved varying levels of success in
numerous goals, to gain some understanding of what
Feature
?Might teaming up with a friend help
you make the bushcraft breakthroughs
you are seeking in the coming year?"
makes for sensible goal setting for the coming year.
Given that I am an outdoor professional in various
different interlinked areas - a mountain leader and a
canoe leader as well as a bushcraft instructor - I have a
broad understanding of what works in terms of
efficiently and effectively moving your outdoor skills
forwards over the coming 12 months.
Guiding Principles
Little and Often
there is truth in this. Easy, simple techniques and tricks
can be gained in a day. Everything else takes longer. If
you attempt to master something in a day, you will fail.
Big goals, hard skills and large subject matters can be
difficult to get your arms around. They can be daunting.
The sheer scope of getting to grips with them can put
you off before you start. The answer here is little and
often. Chip away at the block. Don?t bite off more than
you can chew in any given day. I saw a sign in a gym
the other day, which stated ?In a year?s time, you?ll wish
you started today?. This is not quite a Zen koan but it is
certainly worth pondering.
Rome wasn?t built in a day, so goes the old cliche. But
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 9
Feature
Work on Your Weaknesses
We all like doing things we enjoy. We are not so
attracted to doing things that are hard. Moreover, we
tend to enjoy things we are good at. Here, then, it?s easy
to create a positive feedback loop. We get stuck in a
comfort rut of doing stuff we are good at. We stay away
from things we are bad at (or not yet good at, if you
want to frame it more positively). Learning anything
worth learning is necessarily hard. It?s certainly harder
than sliding down the well-greased groove of something
we are already good at.
The way we expand our overall capability, however, is to
spend a large amount of time working on our
weaknesses (which is hard), while spending a small
amount of time on maintaining what we are already
good at (which is easy).
?Work on your weaknesses.
How good are you at making
feathersticks?"
Don?t Set Your Goals Too High
Goals shouldn?t be too easy, otherwise they don?t really
stretch us beyond what we can already do, and we stay
in our comfort zone. Equally, our goals should not be so
pie-in-the-sky that we don?t believe we?ll ever attain
them. It?s well documented that setting the targets for
sales teams too high can be counterproductive (see
'Five Ways that Higher Sales Goals Lead to Lower Sales',
Harvard Business Review, September 2011). This is
basic human psychology and it extends to other fields
of endeavour. The trick is to set short-term goals at a
ridiculously achievable level, then repeat the process
regularly, building on the small thing you have already
accomplished. A simple example is to break down the
goal of learning 52 knots into learning a new knot per
week, with 7 days to concentrate on each one.
Work on Processes As Well As
Results
When setting goals, we have the tendency to focus on
the outcome. I?ll use bow-drill friction fire-lighting as an
example. Someone has the goal of creating a fire by
bow-drill. This is an outcome goal and the outcome is
fire by friction. A higher goal would be to consistently
produce fire by friction using a specific species of wood.
This encourages consistent achievement rather than
doing it once. Doing something once is not mastery, by
the way. A higher goal still would be to consistently
produce fire by friction using a range of different
species of wood.
10 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
The linkage between all of these goals is process. It?s
often process that is neglected. On an Elementary
course, I will demonstrate making a bow-drill set, then
proceed to use it to generate an ember, before taking
this ember to some natural tinder materials, which I will
blow to flame. Students will then try to replicate the end
result (flame) as rapidly as they can. This will involve a
lot of grunting and sweating with sub-optimal bow-drill
sets they have made. This is despite us adding to the
basic demonstration with an explication of the pieces of
the set as well as specifying ideal dimensions for them.
Focus on the processes - selecting high quality
materials of a good consistency (not too hard, not too
soft), making the drill straight and perfectly round, sharp
at the top, blunt at the bottom, as well as ensuring the
tinder bundle is dry, consisting of sufficiently fine
materials and in large enough in volume. These are all
parts of the process which lead to greater success in
the desired end result. Consistently applying the
processes also results in greater consistency in the end
goal. The willingness to focus on processes is
important, not just the desire for the end result.
Ten Areas To Work On In 2018
In interacting with many people each year, both in
person as well as online, certain patterns emerge.
People are lacking in confidence in particular areas or
are lacking in capability because they lack knowledge in
particular areas. Based on these insights, here are ten
areas I think most people would benefit from spending
time on during the coming year...
At the heart of Bushcraft is a practical study of nature.
To be able to use any plant or tree for any purpose, you
first have to identify it. Granted, many woods will burn
quite well, but beyond identifying a material as dead, dry
wood, there is some nuance required, even within the
context of burning fuel. Which woods burn quickly,
producing a lot of flame for quick boils or signal fires,
which wood generates a lot of sustained heat and
embers, which woods produce less smoke, for use
within shelters, which woods are good for smoking
meats and fish, which woods are best avoided for any of
the above? In order to apply this knowledge, you have to
be able to identify the relevant species. And that?s just
some aspects of burning wood.
That?s before we get into which species are good for
bow-drill friction fire, which are good for hand drill,
which trees and plants provide good materials for
fibrous tinder bundles to take your ember to flame.
Which trees have bark that is suitable for making
containers and baskets? Which trees and plants can
yield fibres for making strong, durable cordage? Clearly,
when foraging for plant foods, your identification skills
must be solid. Nothing should be going into your mouth
for ingestion unless you are 100% sure of what the
species is. Yes, a practical skill level is required to apply
bushcraft skills, but the fundamental skill, the part
which comes first in any of the processes mentioned
here is the correct identification of the relevant
resource.
?At the heart of bushcraft is a study
of nature, natural resources and
how to identify them"
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 11
Feature
Tree and Plant Identification
Feature
Understand Water Puri?cation
(Properly)
I receive a lot of questions regarding water. Some
people won?t camp out because they worry about
water. We need 3-5 litres per day and if you are going
to spend any time moving through a landscape,
camping out, even for a night, you need to get to
grips with water purification. You need to
understand the five contaminants which might be
present in water - turbidity, protozoa, bacteria, viruses
and chemical pollutants - and the different protocols
for dealing with any combination of them. It?s not
difficult if you strip it down to first principles and
make the effort to understand the problem you are
trying to solve in producing potable water for
yourself. A bit of research and you will be up to
speed. Then you can start to apply this knowledge
on your overnight camps.
?Build up an understanding of the
pollutants you can face in the water you
source, as well as a solid set of protocols
for dealing with them"
Wild Camping
You need to get out there. More often. Land access
does get in the way. I?m not discounting this. But it is
possible to find places you can go regularly to camp in
the woods. Also, in the UK, there is an established
culture of wild camping on the elevated ground of hills,
moors, fells and mountains of this varied isle. Yes, you
might have to modify the way you set up your tarp. Or
you might have to use a tent in some places. But just
get out there. Walk into the wilds, set up camp and
spend the night there. It?s good for your bushcraft soul.
So, promise me this, whatever level of experience you
have, plan some nights out over the coming year. Some
of you have never spent a night out before. There?s
nothing to be frightened of (or ashamed of). The best
sleep I have is outside. There is nothing to worry about.
Plan some overnighters. If you are more experienced,
plan to camp out for at least a night or two each season
- spring, summer, autumn and winter. If you are used to
camping in the woods, get into the hills. And if you are
used to camping in the hills, find some woods to camp
in and have a campfire.
?Extend your wild camping experience in 2018. Camp somewhere unfamiliar
or using equipment you have not used before. Extend to the four seasons too? "
12 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
MREs, boil in the bag, sausages and beans, these
seem to be the lowest common denominator. You
can vary your campfire food so much more, though.
Even with very basic cooking equipment, you can
create delicious one-pot meals from fresh ingredients. These can be purchased and taken with you.
Later, as your ID skills improve, you can add foraged
ingredients. In a single stainless steel cooking pot or
billy can over the campfire, I can cook a meal some
people would not think of producing at home.
Indeed, I have taught people to cook meals over a
fire, who have never cooked anything other than
ready meals at home. If you want to accelerate your
cooking abilities, then of course lots of cooking
outdoors will help, but also consider experimenting
with recipes at home. Pretty much all of the recipes I
cook on expeditions were practiced at home first,
then taken to the woods and cooked over a campfire,
simplified and optimised for the context.
?Build your camp?re cookery skills from
the basics up to more elaborate meals.
Anything you can cook at home, you
can cook in the woods? "
Include Wild Foods
This follows on from the previous sections with regards
to tree and plant identification as well as campfire
cookery. Once your ID skills are up to scratch and you
can cook, then there is nothing to stop you cooking with
wild ingredients found while out and about. This isn?t a
new concept. Indeed foraging for wild foods is an area
of interest that has received a lot of attention in the last
decade or so. There is a lot of goodness out there in the
woods, fields and hedgerows. Of course you need to be
careful not to poison yourself. With respect to this
point, the species to concentrate on are the poisonous
species of trees and plants that look similar to edible
species. This may sound obvious but this is where you
are most likely to go wrong. There are many species of
Anyone who has come on a canoe trip with me can
tell you how much flavoursome good food can be
produced in an overnight camp. Then, of course, you
can go large. Adding more complex meals to your
repertoire, roasting joints of meat - over the fire or in
Dutch ovens - creating elaborate multi-pot meals,
baking bread, Yorkshire puddings... anything you
might think of taking out of a recipe book at home
can be done on the campfire by building up
experience, step by step, over time.
?Start your wild food journey with easily
identi?ed species and build from there"
trees and plants which are edible in some way. There
are some notoriously poisonous plants which look
nothing like edible species. It?s the poisonous species
that look like edible species which cause the issues and
there are not so many of those. If you fancy foraging
some wild edibles, a good place to start is easily
identifiable berries. The best berries tend to be tasty
straight off the bush, require little or no processing and
can be collected legally in good quantities. And if you
want to start to include them in your campfire cooking,
how about adding some blackberries or blaeberries to a
bannock or muffins?
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 13
Feature
Camp?re Cookery
Feature
?It?s hard to beat the taste of
freshly caught and quickly
pan-fried trout"
Go Fishing
Even among most relatively experienced foragers,
fishing is not a well-developed skill. Of course there are
many skilful anglers out there but they tend to focus
solely on fishing. The challenge for you as a bushcraft
person is to build up the fishing skills to be able to
augment all the other ways you might have of feeding
yourself from the wilds. Besides, it?s hard to beat fresh
fish pan-fried or cooked directly over the fire. All
freshwater fish are edible. Some taste better than
others,Yellow
though. Fish
a great
source of protein and
FlagareIris
?owers
essential fatty acids. While there are rules around
fishing inland and typically a licence is required, fishing
around the coast is generally less regulated and is a
great way to augment your diet. Find a friend or
colleague who is an angler (you are bound to know
someone who goes fishing) and get them to take you
out and show you the ropes. Even if you are fishing with
barbless hooks for catch and release, you are gaining
experience and developing a skill set.
Natural Navigation
Fundamentals
Moss on trees. Termite mounds. There are plenty of
snippets of pub knowledge around natural navigation.
Finding your way through wild country without map or
compass (or GPS) is a different matter though. It?s a
daunting prospect. The fundamental building blocks of
understanding you should have for natural navigation
are relatively straightforward to determine, though. First
off you should understand the motion of the sun. What
does it do each day? Where does it rise, where does it
set, when is it at its highest point? How do these things
vary through the year? You can begin to understand this
14 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
through observation (little and often) and perhaps a
little reading. Then understand what the moon can tell
you about direction. Understand that the illuminated
part of the moon is illuminated by the sun. If you
understand the motion of the sun then even when it is
below the horizon, the moon can help you a good deal if
you can relate the two. The moon has its own cycle,
completed over 28 days. Again, being out, observing little and often - will help build up a mental database of
observation. Then you have the stars, some of which
are the next brightest objects in the night sky after the
moon. Some of these can be very useful to you. Finally,
in each hemisphere you have a star or constellation that
gives you one of your cardinal directions - Polaris in the
north and the Southern Cross in the south - from which
you can ascertain the other directions. Build up a
familiarity with all of the above building blocks of
natural navigation and then finding your way without
map or compass - day or night - begins to seem a lot
less daunting.
?Build on your knowledge of the motion
of the sun by observing the illumination
of the moon"
Feature
Fire Lighting
Fire lighting is a big subject. It?s a major cornerstone of
bushcraft and survival. There is much to learn. We all
have our favourite ways of lighting fire. My advice for
improving your abilities is to work on areas you don?t
normally use. Bear in mind my comments in the
introduction to this article with regards to working on
your weaknesses. We all have them. Which areas of
fire lighting are you least comfortable with? Work on
those. Are you any good at feathersticks? Feathersticks not only increase your range of fire lighting skills
but practising the technique of carving them also
improves your knife skills. I understand you might never
use bow-drill on a canoe trip, but being good at taking
an ember to flame to an established fire makes all the
rest of your firelighting better and more certain. Or mix
things up a bit, by trying techniques in ways you?ve not
done before, for example a two-person bow-drill. Team
up with a friend and work on the possibilities.
Explore Natural Materials
Beyond Fire
I mentioned above, that once you get beyond burning
dead wood, identification of natural materials becomes
more nuanced. So does some of the processing.
Exploring the world through learning how to identify,
process and use natural materials is a very rewarding
one. This also gives you a host of practical skills, the
ability to fashion items for your own use and a reduction
in dependence on manufactured goods. Start by
learning some basic methods of how to make cordage
from natural fibres, then explore the range of fibres
available to you. Some will be present year-round,
materials you?ve
?Light ?res using
"
never used before
others will be better used in spring, others more
available in the autumn. Again this is one of those little
and often skills. You can also extend into using bark for
containers, solid or woven. There are endless avenues
to explore in using natural materials and this study
definitely puts the craft in bushcraft.
?Explore the selection, processing and use of as many natural materials as possible"
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 15
Feature
Knots
Along with tree and plant identification, an area in which
many people lack confidence is knot-tying. There are a
couple of elements to this. Some people genuinely
don?t know many knots beyond how to tie their
shoelaces and don?t know where to start. Others among
you might have learned how to tie a few knots but don?t
really know how to apply them. First, I would recommend learning how to tie knots such as overhand, figure
of eight, reef knot, bowline, clove hitch, round turn and
two half hitches, fisherman's knot, and maybe some
useful tarp knots, then looking for ways to include them
in everything you do. Can you use one of them to attach
a lanyard to a pocket knife? How about attaching a
guy-line to the tape loops on your tarp? What about
creating a tripod from which to hang a Millbank filter
bag? Learning knots is not as painful as you might think
if you take it slow and steady. Learn one or two a week
then look for ways to use them in everything you do.
Play around with them and make them yours.
ots, one at a
?Learn the basic kn any ways
m
time, then ?nd as ssible"
po
as
em
th
to apply
A Final Point - Aim For
Re?nement
There?s a difference between just doing something and
doing something well. I refer back to my bow-drill
example earlier in the article. Focusing on detail is very
important in order to achieve success in some areas. In
other areas, refinement and attention to detail don?t
necessarily dictate the dividing line between success
and failure, but they do make a big difference to
efficiency or reliability. There?s also a physical aesthetic
which is pleasing from a well-made spoon or pot hanger.
Once you have the basics in place, go for refinement, go
for finesse. It?s what makes a true bushcrafter.
?Aim for re?nement in
all of your bushcraft"
16 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
REGULAR
The Bushcraft Quiz
Q1. What name is given to the dark, starless area
immediately southeast of the Southern Cross?
Q6. The Siberian Hitch is good for attaching a rope to a
?xture e.g. securing a ridgeline to a tree for a shelter.
What other name is used for the Siberian Hitch?
Q2. What name is given to the ?re made for cooking,
similar to a Dakota Fire Pit but with a ?chimney?, that was
used by the Hudson Bay Company at its trading posts?
Q7. In tracking, what name is given to the animal or
human being hunted or pursued?
Q3. What chemical compound is noted for its use in
cleaning wounds and as a ?re starter when combined
with sugar?
Q8. Scots use the term ?guddling? for this type of food
procurement. How is it more commonly known and
what is it?
Q4. What name is given to a length of wood which is
shaved to produce a number of thin protruding curls
and enables ?re starting with damp wood?
Q9. This fruit provides a spicy, aromatic ?avouring in
foods and provides the main ?avour for gin. What is it?
Q5. The Barrel Cactus of North and Central America can
be used as a navigational aid. How is it otherwise
known?
Q10. Amanita muscaria is a poisonous fungus and
recognisable as a large white-gilled, white-spotted,
usually red mushroom. How is it better known?
Answers found on p22.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 17
Feature
Natural Navigation Methods
Crescent moon
The crescent moon can help in estimating
direction but it is not the most accurate of
techniques. An imaginary line is drawn
between the points of the two horns of a
crescent moon and continued to the horizon.
This point will be roughly south in the northern hemisphere and roughly north in the
southern hemisphere.
Plants and trees
Trees and plants are affected by wind direction
but are also heavily in?uenced by the sun.
Their growth is greater on the sunward side, i.e.
south if in the northern hemisphere, as they
strive to maximise sunlight. Felled trees will
show this growth pattern too with their rings
being more pronounced on the sun side. There
are some plants, such as the Elephant?s Trunk or
North Pole Plant (Pachypodium namaquanum)
in South Africa, which are great direction
indicators. In this case its head points or bends
northwards. The Barrel Cactus or Compass
Plant (Ferocactus cylindraceus) in North and
Central America, leans towards the southwest.
Moss and lichen grow on the shaded side of
trees, rocks or walls. This would generally
suggest the north facing side but shade can be
given by woodland or other natural or
man-made features. Like many other indicators, look for exposed features to make your
judgement.
18 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Feature
Wind direction
The prevailing wind in the UK is from the
southwest and this affects a number of features
which can help to calculate direction. For
instance, windswept trees will lean away from
the wind, therefore most windswept trees will
lean towards the northeast. Powdery snow will
often form dunes or drifts that are parallel to
the prevailing wind direction, although wind
direction during such conditions may be
different. In desert areas dunes will form at
right angles to the prevailing wind. For
instance, if the prevailing wind is from the east
the dunes will run north to south. The horns of
the crescent shaped Barchan dunes will point
away from the prevailing wind. Find out about
the prevailing wind direction for the area you
are in, as it varies according to the latitudinal
belt.
Spider webs and creatures
Spiders spin their webs in more sheltered areas.
This means that in relatively open areas, webs
will be generally found where there is shelter
from the prevailing wind. In the UK the
prevailing wind is from the SW so webs should
appear on the NE facing side of trees and other
vegetation. If there are a lot of broken webs it
may suggest a recent change in wind direction
from the prevailing. Small birds, animals and
insects tend to nest or burrow in shelter and
away from the wind on the leeward side of
hills. This should indicate a vaguely northeast
direction in the UK.
Rocks and puddles
During the day, the heat from the sun warms
up whatever it is shining on, even if it is
overcast and this is most likely to be the south
facing aspect of a feature in the northern
hemisphere. A large bare rock will feel much
colder on the shaded side.
Similarly, the sun will affect puddles of water.
They will dry up more quickly on the southern
side of trees or hedges where there is more
direct sunlight, than on the northern side.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 19
News
Tim Gent releases new
Camp?re Cooking book
Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine?s Tim Gent has
released his second book, Camp?re Cooking. Tim, who
writes regularly for our magazine, is a quali?ed
archaeologist and spends much of his time canoe
camping and exploring with his wife Susannah. Tim?s
?rst book Canoe Camping, also published by Pesda
Press, has been the go-to book on all things related to
canoeing, camping and outdoor life.
Meet the
author
Tim shares his passion for cooking over a wood ?re.
All aspects are covered from selecting and preparing
the fuel, to lighting and tending the ?re, cooking
techniques, even favourite recipes.
Signed copies
of his books
will be available
at The Bushcraft
Show 2018
Because backpackers need to travel light, while campers using a canoe or truck can afford to take more
equipment, Tim suggests suitable kit and cooking techniques for these different modes of travel.
Whether you are planning extended backwoods trips, or simply an adventure with your children in the
back garden, this book will be an invaluable companion. Canoe Camping can be ordered from Pesda
Press, Wordery or Amazon? or your local bookshop of course.
Adventure Uncovered
Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine were invited
to one of Adventure Uncovered events in London.
The evening was a hybrid between a conference
and an event with a host of unique and authentic
speakers. Adventure Uncovered is about
adventure with a purpose, not about conquering
nature or ?ag planting world records. The line-up
of speakers included Hugo Tagholm, chief executive of Surfers Against Sewage, Alice
Gartland from A Lotus Rises, the open water
swimming collective for women, and others
representing various conservation projects and
wilderness expeditions with a purpose.
You can sign up for an occasional newsletter from
Adventure Uncovered who will be running more
events and activities. They also have a series of
interesting blogs online.
Visit www.adventureuncoveredlive.com
20 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
The Scottish Government has just announced it will introduce a deposit scheme on single use
plastic containers. It is time that the rest of the UK followed suit. Greenpeace is calling for the
introduction of a countrywide scheme. The facts - 16 million bottles get thrown away in the
UK every day. Countries like the Netherlands have already introduced a deposit return
scheme and have seen up to 95% recycling taking place. Don?t miss your chance to support
Greenpeace's campaign for the scheme to be extended throughout the UK and help stop
plastics polluting our oceans:
News
REGULAR
Bottle Deposit Return Scheme
https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/support-bottle-deposit-scheme
Gove does good
Michael Gove, Minister for the Environment has passed a new bill to eliminate the use of
pesticides that harm our dwindling bee population. You can do your bit to help speed up the
process by planting ?bee friendly? wild ?owers in your garden and local hedgerows.
Forestry Commission Grant for
Woodland Stewardship Creation 2018
From 2 January 2018, landowners can apply for up to �800 per hectare to plant and protect more
trees under the Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation Grant ? a scheme to help landowners
make the most of their land and reap the bene?ts of woodland creation. Hopefully with some
collaboration locally, the bushcraft community can take advantage of this opportunity to develop more
green spaces.
Visit: www.forestry.gov.uk
Editor Rich gears up for
600 mile Ski to the Edge Project
Editor Rich Harpham is hitting the trail for a 600 mile ski and snowshoe
trek in Canada, from Mayo in the Yukon Territories to Norman Wells.
The trail follows in the footsteps of the late Alex Van Bibber, acclaimed
outdoorsman. Alex's 1943 expedition was part of the war effort aiming
to ?nd a route for a new oil pipeline, it saw his team endure 42 days of
polar conditions with 12 days at minus 40.
Rich, his brother Matt and former Royal Marine Simon
Reed are no strangers to the Yukon wilderness but this will
be their biggest challenge to date. You can follow their
expedition with updates on Bushcraft & Survival Skills
www.richadventure.com
Magazine Social Media pages and also via Rich?s website
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 21
Forest Enterprise Scotland is on the search
for eight new Modern Apprentices to begin a
career in forestry. The apprenticeships are
learn forestry skills, ranging from tree
planting, felling and forest surveying right
through to organising community recreation
events. Based in the south of Scotland, the
successful apprentices will receive on the job
experience and training with a Forest
Enterprise Scotland team.
For more information visit:
www.dgwgo.com
The Bushcraft Quiz
Competition
Winners?
Frost River Isle Royal Pack
Karen Tew
A Pair of Frost River Accessory Bags
Steve Burgess
Petromax* Rocket Stove
Gary Machen
Beaver Bushcraft Sharpening Kit
Sean Bowley
The Urban Woodsman Book
Felicity Green
Spon Book
Jason Meadows
22 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Answers to the questions on p84
A1. The Coalsack
A2. Yukon stove
A3. Potassium permanganate
A4. Feather stick or fuzz stick
A5. Compass cactus
A6. Evenk knot
A7. Quarry
A8. Tickling or fish tickling. It is using the finger
to gently rub the belly of the fish before catching it.
A9. Juniper berry
A10. Fly agaric or fly amanita
REGULAR
News
Modern Apprenticeship for
Budding Foresters
We have a huge range of products from great brands for the Bushcraft Enthusiast,
available to buy online, over the phone, or in our amazing high street store in
Enfield, Middlesex.
The Bushcraft Store is
leading the way in
bringing you some of
the top European
brands.
We stock a great
range of leading
products.
www.thebushcraftstore.com
Culver Nurseries, Cattlegate Road, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 9DS
Tel: 020 8367 3420
Your one stop shop
for Bushcraft!
Feature
Lofty Wiseman served with 22
author profile
A Breath Of Fresh Air
SAS for over 26 years, rising to the
rank of Sergeant-Major. He ran the
SAS selection course and the
Survival School, ensuring that the
standards for the SAS remained
high. After he retired, he wrote The SAS Survival
Handbook, first published in 1986. Selling over 2 million
copies, it has been translated into 19 different languages
and adapted for the Collins Pocket Guide and iPhone App
selling hundreds of thousands each year.
Flying at 12,000 feet in the bowels of a transport
aircraft, tension runs high. To jump onto an unmarked
drop zone (DZ) at night gets the juices flowing. Aircraft
have a smell of their own, a mixture of avgas, hydraulic
fluid, with a hint of rubber and webbing. Fourteen
anxious men also have a smell of their own. Huddled
together, laden down with equipment, the combined
smells of aircraft and men contributes to a heady
atmosphere to say the least. When the aircraft
decompresses so do the bodies of all on board. Gasses
fill the aircraft , and often last night's dinner or the early
morning breakfast, which makes conditions underfoot
tricky. Everyone is praying for the doors to open
allowing a rush of fresh air to purge the aircraft.
Jumping was the easy part of the exercise.
24 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Breathing is something we take for granted as it is an
automatic process that we are doing all the time. It's
only when we struggle for breath that we become aware
of its importance. A lot can be gained by understanding
the process of breathing, which can improve our health
and keep us safe in a survival situation.
We say we can go three minutes without air, three days
without water, and three weeks without food, with no
damaging long term affects, so clearly air is our top
priority. Whether you've been bitten by a snake, suffered
a gunshot wound, or are drowning, you are in danger of
respiratory failure. The moment the brain is denied
oxygen, you are in trouble. Three minutes is the given
time before brain cells start dying, which is irreversible,
but this can be contradicted.
There is a condition known as ?the mammalian reflex?,
which traps air in the brain. It is particularly active in
babies. A man survived under an ice-covered river for
twenty minutes and was successfully resuscitated with
no ill-effects. I tell my students that we are all the same
regardless of where we come from and if he could do it
we can all do it. I don?t recommend practicing this
however. But it?s reassuring to know that this can be
achieved and helps strengthen our ?will to live? if we ever
find ourselves in a similar situation.
.
Always take a deep breath before entering water. This
could be before the boat capsizes, the ice breaks, or a
fall from the bank. Try to enter feet first which will help
prevent the air being knocked out of you.
Breathing keeps the body supplied with oxygen and
carries away carbon dioxide. Oxygen is needed in the
blood to carry nutrients around the body, replenishing
the cells and taking away waste products. Any exercise
causes oxygen consumption to rise rapidly, as well as
exposure to cold, fever, fear, anxiety, or even eating. The
brain uses over thirty percent of oxygenated blood in the
body. This is vital to ensure the body functions
correctly.
Make sure the air you breathe is pure. Living in confined
spaces can be hazardous to health. Snow caves are
lifesaving but unless ventilated are fatal. Burning fossil
fuels uses oxygen and unless there is a constant
resupply of air, all available oxygen in the cave will be
expended. Incomplete combustion produces carbon
monoxide. This deadly gas creeps up on the victims
luring them into a state of drowsiness. Memory and
judgement is impaired and it is likened to the effect of
too much alcohol. If the stove is burning with a yellow
flame, this a sign of incomplete combustion, adjust it so
it burns blue. Always have a candle in a confined space
and this will warn you of a lack of oxygen. When it
starts flickering, and the flame grows taller before
extinguishing, it?s time to ventilate your shelter.
Check your ventilation hole regularly especially after a
fresh fall of snow. Someone should be awake at all
times monitoring this.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 25
Feature
There is a technique which enables us to hold our
breath longer under water, called ?hyperventilation?. It
entails deep breathing and forcibly exhaling rapidly for a
few minutes. This reduces the amount of carbon
dioxide in the lungs. This could be beneficial if you have
to dive in water to retrieve a lost item.
Feature
In a smoke filled room the only good air is four inches
above the floor. If you are in a burning building, don?t
open any doors or windows to clear the smoke, this will
only fan the flames. Drop to the floor, covering the nose
and mouth with a cloth.
If exploring underground, be aware of the dangers of
carbon dioxide, methane and Hydrogen Sulphide which
are fatal. Carbon Dioxide can accumulate in limestone
caves or old mine shafts. It is odourless and will
extinguish a flame, justifying the use of a candle.
Anytime you are feeling restless or drowsy, a deep
breath of fresh air is priceless. Breathe in through the
nose for a count of five, hold the breath for a count of
five, and then breathe out forcibly through the mouth
depressing the diaphragm, emptying the lungs
completely. Continue until you are refreshed. This
technique can be adapted to help calm you down,
overcome fear, and focus on a problem.
Be aware of any restrictions that may affect your
breathing, any pressure on the chest will do this. The
danger of getting buried in an avalanche is asphyxiation. If you are in danger of being buried in snow or a
mud slide, try to remain on the surface using a
swimming motion to remain horizontal with your head
above the surface. As you come to a halt bring up the
knees and clear a space around you relieving the
pressure on your body. Cover the nose and mouth with
your hands to prevent swallowing any mud or snow.
If you are ever in a position where you are trapped down
a hole and a rope is lowered to you, tie the rope so it will
26 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
not impeded breathing. Just tying the rope around the
chest is not good enough, especially if the wrong knot is
used. I remember rescuing a lad in the Brecon Beacons
from an old lead mine. He tied the rope around his
chest and left his pack on. The moment we started
pulling, the knot tightened around his chest forcing a
pair of binoculars that were hanging around his neck, to
dig into his chest. He was only half way up when his
pack jammed on a rock and the screams echoing in the
darkness were reminiscent of a scene from a Dracula
movie. We had to lower him and reluctantly I had to go
down and secure him correctly.
One way to tie a rescue rope is to make a stirrup at the
end of the rope to place a foot in, and this will take most
of the weight. Make a loop for the wrist about five feet
above the stirrup and use the free hand and leg to keep
clear of any obstacles as the rescuers pull you up. A
bowline is a good knot for this, learn to tie one.
The airway is the number one priority when dealing with
a casualty. Obviously, if they are shouting and bawling
their airway is open, but in an unconscious victim make
sure they are breathing. Clear the airway of any
obstruction like broken teeth, or vomit, then maintain
the airway.
So next time you are sitting around the camp fire
wondering why the smoke always follows you, be aware
of what we take for granted, FRESH AIR. I recommend
abandoning the office, getting out of the house and
seeking lungfuls of fresh air. It clears the head,
stimulates ideas, and solves problems. All worries are
forgotten with a breath of fresh air.
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with Ed
by Olivia Beardsmore
Olivia Beardsmore
author profile
Feature
A Parley
Ever since Olivia discovered she
could walk, the outdoors beckoned
her and became her playground.
Her pioneer spirit took her to
Caithness in the Scottish
Highlands, referred to as the UK's last wilderness. Daily
life consisted of using bushcraft and survival skills
including heating and cooking with a solid wood burning
stove. Rearing their own livestock and growing and
foraging for food was an essential mode of living and in
some instances an adventure. Olivia has travelled to
many countries, living amongst different nationalities
and cultures such as Native Americans and the Massai
of Southern Kenya. She is the co-founder of Bushcraft &
Survival Skills Magazine and is passionate
about keeping these survival skills alive.
Ed Stafford literally walked into the history
books when he became the ?rst person to walk
the length of the Amazon River. His seemingly
impossible epic adventure took two and a half
years to achieve. Ed wrote on completion: ?It
was over. Nine million-odd steps; over 200,000
mosquito and ant bites; over 8,000km walked
over 860 days, about 600 wasp stings; a dozen
or so scorpion stings; 10 HD video cameras; six
pairs of boots; three GPSs and one Guinness
World Record.? Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes
said of Ed's achievement: 'Truly extraordinary?
in the top league of expeditions past and
present'.
Ed's experiences have taught him about how to
face seemingly impossible challenges, manage
resilience and risk, and about working with
others. It has also given him respect for other
cultures and the natural environment and, of
course, motivation and an ability to stay
positive when things are relentlessly tough.
Ed is speaking on the main stage at The
Bushcraft Show 2018 and will share his
account of an expedition that Michael Palin
described as ?Totally, completely and utterly
mad? and Bear Grylls says is ?One of the boldest
jungle journeys ever undertaken?.
28 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
I asked Ed a few questions in advance of his visit to the
show, along with a couple from our readers, which will
give you an insight into the public and private life of Ed
Stafford. If you have a burning question you wish to ask
Ed, make sure you have it ready for The Bushcraft Show
2018.
Do you have a nickname and how did you get it?
?Psycho? in the Scouts.
Feature
What gave you the inspiration to walk the
Amazon?
When you were a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
I wanted to do something massive. I was bored of
leading groups of people to the jungle on gap year
breaks and wanted to set myself a big challenge that
made me grin. I was looking for expedition reports of
people who had travelled the length of the Amazon and
began to realise that no-one had ever walked it. A
world-first would enable me to potentially get the whole
trip sponsored and the seed was sown.
A soldier. But I did that and it wasn?t the world I?d
imagined. I never really relaxed in the strict atmosphere
and never actually blossomed as a young officer. I
would say I was a bit rubbish at my job and the
commanding officer laughed when I told him I was
leaving responding, ?that?s probably for the best Ed!"
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 29
Feature
Out of all of your life experiences, which has made
you question your skills and ability to get through
it?
Being stranded Naked and Marooned (for the television
series) on an island somewhere between Fiji and Tonga.
Sixty days of isolation isn?t an insignificant time and I
had no idea as to the effects that solitary time would
have on me. I was overwhelmed from day one and
hugely struggled to simply sit with myself. In the end,
my unconscious strategy to spend time alone was to
make a schedule so busy that I hardly had any time to
think. Looking back, this was a crude way of not facing
up to some stuff that was going on inside me, but I had
a fair bit on my plate surviving and filming a series for
Discovery Channel, so I dealt with it all by keeping busy.
When you were faced with being marooned naked
on a desert island for two months for the show,
what was your biggest challenge and did this
challenge encourage you to make adjustments in
your life back at home?
Well leading on from the last answer, I did consult some
Aboriginal Australian friends of mine and they gave me
lots of tips to help me deal with the time alone. They
believe we all have three brains: the gut being the
biggest, the heart and the emotions being the middle
brain, and the logical brain being the smallest and least
significant brain. The latter is called "Ngan Duppurru? in
their language, which is also how they would describe a
fishing net that is tangled and beyond repair ? ?F*****?
as they would say. If I was to live in this smallest brain
on the island I would be wracked with fears and
anxieties. If I managed to come from a deeper place
and not get tangled up in thought I would be ok. Easier
said than done.
How has raising a baby compared to your survival
challenges?
glad it took me so long to get married and have kids - I
certainly wasn?t ready before.
Sleep deprivation has meant that it actually has been
quite challenging. He?s a great boy but he doesn?t like
sleeping for long periods. I feel like I?ve grown into the
role of being a dad and am very ready for the job. I?m far
more self-aware than ever and understand myself
enough to know that I can be responsible and
emotionally balanced enough to bring Ran up well. I?m
You have travelled all over the world and seen
many a wonder and devastation. If you could make
a difference in the world, what would you do and
why?
30 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
The overriding issue has to be sustainability. If we can?t
all live on this planet in a manner that looks after
resources and other species, then we?ve not got long
the floating hand drill method of fire by friction. I had it
all fairly good a few years back but I?ve been lazy and
my hands are "laptop soft". I used to think it was just
Star Trek-loving geeks who could light a fire with two
sticks. I scoffed at it a bit as a superfluous skill in this
day and age. But through the programmes I have
realised I still need to learn and my viewpoint has
shifted completely. I think making fire is a lovely skill to
have and it gives me huge levels of confidence to be
able to go into locations with nothing but my bare hands
and know I?ll be okay. It's primal and, when it goes well,
it?s the best feeling in the world to make an existence for
yourself out of nothing.
Do you feel your military experience significantly
prepared you for the expeditions and challenges
you have undertaken?
What is next on your list of adventures?
I have to say that my time in the military has less and
less influence over my life. It initially gave me the belief
that I was well trained enough to be able to handle
scenarios on expeditions. But before long I developed a
more relaxed and open mindset to working in remote
locations with local people. The Army take their own
approach to things, but it?s nice to be able to adopt a
more worldly approach and understand things from a
different perspective.
The next series is nuts. I can?t speak about it but we
start filming in January for Discovery Channel. It?s
going to be a big shift from what I?ve done to date and
has camera crews involved in order to capture all of the
action but its upping the ante once more and should be
very, very entertaining.
What is one bushcraft or survival skill you would
like to learn or develop?
Right now I?m trying to crank out an ember a day with
How do you feel that these adventurous
experiences have changed you?
I?m nearly two decades older than when I started so this
could just be me maturing but I certainly feel less need
to beat my chest and show off. It?s a young man?s
game, all that. Now I think that I?m privileged to be able
to put myself through all these survival challenges and
be humbled time and time again and therefore keep
learning. It keeps me grounded and it keeps me young
too. I?m no longer the centre of my world - my wife and
little boy have crept their way in - but due to the lessons
I?ve learned on expeditions I now feel ready to be a good
Dad.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 31
Feature
left. I?m not a doomsday prepper though. I believe that
population pressures will lead to solutions and attitude
changes. It?s unlikely to be an Armageddon but there
will be dramatic change. Attitudes are already evolving
but the way the whole global economy works, they will
have to shift before we can settle on this planet.
Ironically, the people who I think we can learn huge
amounts from are under threat right now. Indigenous
tribes the world over understand living sustainably and
it also has a lot to do with a spiritual connection to the
planet. Ridicule me if you want through your ?Ngan
Duppurru? brain but anyone with a soul knows it to be
true.
Feature
What advice would you give to the younger
generation who would like to follow in your
footsteps?
Never listen to the nay-sayers. There will always be
people who want to tell you it?s impossible - irrespective
of whether they know anything about what you want to
do. It?s how people are - especially Brits. Trust yourself
? have confidence in yourself. No-one else really
matters but you and your inner belief.
Is there something you take with you one every
expedition other than your recording equipment?
It used to be a knife or a machete. But having done over
200 days of being in the wilds without either, I can
honestly say that I?m okay with nothing. It was a shift in
approach that freed me up. Rather than thinking ?how
am I going to make a knife?? it was more "how could I
make this without cutting anything?? Bending, abrading
and just plain leaving it as it is have all been strategies.
The most important tool I use these days is meditation.
It allows me to come from a deep instinctual place and
not panic and rush around like a headless chicken. And
it?s very portable!
32 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Who is your inspiration in life?
My first Sergeant Major in the Army was called Mark
Hale. He was a big man ? a rugby player ? and had a
huge scar across his face from fighting as a young man.
He was also a devout Christian and was doing a
Master?s degree in Psychology. He wasn?t any typical
squaddie - that?s for sure - and he had an aura of
confidence about him that was extraordinarily
reassuring. I would have done anything for him - a really
inspirational man. Sadly he died trying to rescue
another solider in Afghanistan whilst I was in the
Amazon. If I need to know how to act in life I often think
?what would Mark do?? He?d do the right thing - always.
Feature
Questions from our readers:
Austin Lill Thank you for being a Scouting
ambassador. Are you planning to do any outdoors/
how-to articles for Scouting magazine or even some
skills videos on the Scout Association's Youtube
channel?
I do what I?m asked to do by the Scouts. We?re trying to
do a little more and more over the months and years but
it?s about finding the right way to integrate the Scouts
into what I do. The most important role I have isn?t
recruiting Scouts (we have HUGE waiting lists), it?s
getting adult leaders to volunteer and stay with the
organisation - that?s where Scouts needs to focus.
Martin Edwards Watching all the TV shows that
you do you seem to not have any concerns about
drinking straight from streams and water sources
without sterilising it ?rst. Although it's not shown
on TV do you ever get ill from doing this?
I was on antibiotics after all eight episodes of the first
series of Marooned. It?s not ideal and I?m sure my gut
bacteria has taken a hammering as a result but I wanted
to do it for real and so I had to take the risk. I don?t
advocate this at all but thought it was worth it at the
time to make authentic TV. Often the problem is that
not only have I not got a fire going in the first few days
but also that I don?t have a vessel to boil water in. It?s a
bit of an unsolvable problem.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 33
WIN
A DD Frontline
Hammock
To enter the competition visit:
www.thebushcraftshow.co.uk/competition
Tickets
On Sale
Now!
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26th-28th May
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READER?S Article
Richard Dalton
author profile
DIY
Hammocks & Tarps
In my late 40?s. Spent 16yrs of my
life in the Royal Engineers
travelling the world, including
doing Arctic survival. Since then
I?ve tried to get outdoors as much
as I can. I have always had a keen interest in the
outdoors, all the way back from when I was about 12,
sleeping under the stars and eating beans around a fire.
These days my old bones don't like the cold, hard floor.
Making hammocks and tarps was never planned, it just
came about. I?ve never been taught to use a sewing
machine, so if I can do it, it can?t be that difficult.
Some years ago my body decided it was getting too old
to sleep on the floor anymore. A number of my friends
had hammocks of various types and makes, so I
decided to give hammocks a try. I went out and got
myself the one that most people seemed to be using,
but unfortunately after only using it twice (both times I
ended up just laying it on the ground) I knew that I?d
never get on with it. So back on the ground for me, well
a camp cot and polish mattress anyway, but it wouldn?t
fit in my rucksack when I was out for one nighters.
36 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Eventually a friend said I should try a ?real hammock?, a
wide body 11 ft gathered-end thing. A week or so later,
on said friend?s advice, I ordered a DutchWare hammock
with fixed ridgeline and continuous loops and fitted my
own knotty mods.
Amazing! The first night I used it I slept 9 hours straight
through and I hadn?t done that for a number of years,
even in my own bed at home. That was it, I was hooked!
also have one or two hammocks for people to try out
and feel the comfort. So come along and have a look
and a chat. Even if you think you?re happy with your
current hammock, you never know. And you may be
able to give me tips on how to make mine better, or give
me ideas for modifications. See you then!
Richard will be putting on a display of DIY
Hammocks and Tarps at The Bushcraft
Show, Derbyshire, on Sunday 27th May
from 10am to 5pm.
I have since made about ten wide body 11 ft gathered
end hammocks in various set ups, summer, winter and
even a modular one for myself (for all year-round use).
All made on the dining room table, each one getting
easier and easier. I have also made about five winter
tarps (of my own design) with doors. Have a look at the
photos for inspiration.
At The Bushcraft Show in May I will be putting up a
couple of different setups for people to look at and
hopefully find the inspiration to make their own. I will
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 37
READER?S Article
The down side of ordering kit from the U.S. is the cost of
delivery and the import tax, but you do get very good kit.
I looked at the hammock construction and thought
?that?s pretty simple, surely I could do that?? And yes I
could, with a fairly cheap household sewing machine
too! I began making a few which many of my friends
use now. Then I looked at the lightweight tarps you
could get from the U.S. but again there was that
postage and import tax on top. But being a bit of a kit
snob, I decided I would only use the best materials if I
was making things for myself or friends. No matter how
hard I looked I could not find similar materials (strength,
size and colour options) in the UK or Europe.
by Fraser Christian
author profile
Feature
Preserving
Wild Woodland
Game
Fraser Christian is the founder
of Coastal Survival, and a qualified
skipper and commercial
fisherman. He is also a fully
trained chef and nutritionist, with
a serious passion for wild food,
herbal medicines and outdoor cooking. Fraser began
teaching bushcraft and survival skills to his local scout
group over 25 years ago, and has subsequently been
lucky enough to fish, hunt and forage professionally.
Having recently immersed himself in the philosophy of
?practice what you preach?, he now lives completely
off-grid, spending his days either on the coast or in
remote wild woodland, actually living the life that others
teach.
38 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Con?t is often made with duck legs and
is something I was privileged to learn
whilst living in the Pyrenees
mountains. The meat is pre-salted
which both draws out the blood and
aids the preservation process. I like to
add a touch of ?ve spice for enhanced
?avour. Essentially, after the meat is
salted it is allowed to rest for an hour to
allow the salt to be absorbed before
being placed into a meat pan
containing pre-heated fat. It is then
cooked slowly for several hours until
the meat falls readily off the bone. The
meat is then completely removed from
the bone, placed into clean jars and
covered with hot fat. During the
cooking process any scum (often blood
deposits) which may have formed on
top of the fat, is removed with a spoon.
Although the con?t I learned how to
make in the Pyrenees mainly used
home reared ducks, which were well
fed and full of fat, the wild game
version of this dish often requires us to
use some other fat. This can be either
pre-saved from a previous process or
bought in. During the last Game
Cookery Course we used beef dripping
instead of duck fat as it is
approximately a quarter of the price
and I was interested to see what
?avour beef dripping would impart to a
mixture of wild hare and duck leg
con?t. The result of using the beef
dripping was just amazing taste wise,
and economical with it.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 39
Feature
Whilst we have many ways of
preserving wild game, meat or ?sh, in
my experience, in the depths of winter,
one of the most delicious and
rewarding has to be a method called
Con?t. This is from the French word
con?re, which means to preserve.
Feature
Here's how to make your own confit:
1) Take the legs of any small game. As
these will be tougher, they will require
more cooking than the tender
muscle-laden parts of the animal.
After removing the feather/fur and
feet and skin, rub sea-salt and a touch
of 5 spice into each piece (you will need
approximately 1 tablespoon of salt and
one teaspoon of spices for every 500g
of meat).
Cover or ensure that ?ies etc., cannot
get to the meat and leave for an hour or
so, this way the salt and spices will
infuse the meat.
2) In a pan with a strong base (a Dutch
oven is ideal for this cooking method)
melt down the beef dripping or fat then
40 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
add it to the meat. There should be
enough fat in the pan so that all of the
meat is slightly covered. Start with half
the weight of fat to meat and add more
if required.
3) Cover with a lid and simmer very
gently for approximately 2 hours, or
until the meat can easily fall from the
bone. Remove any scum from the top
of the fat as the meat cooks.
4) Now completely remove the meat
from the bone and press it into clean,
sterilised jars. Fill each jar until it is
about two thirds full, then cover the
meat with the hot fat until the vessel is
completely full.
Feature
5) Finally, cover the jar with a circular
piece of clean cloth and secure with
twine or a rubber band or, if using a
Kilner type jar, check the rubber seal
and engage the locking mechanism.
Voila!
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 41
Feature
This wonderful dish is simplicity itself and is just as easy to make in the woods as
it is in a fine dining kitchen. The result is consistently exceptional and it can be
eaten cold or added to a stew whilst you are in the wilds. Confit spread on toast is
perfect!
Bon appetit!
42 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
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Canoe Culture
by Richard Harpham
I have paddled canoes and kayaks for as long
as I can remember, a lifetime of exploring,
from ?lilly dipping? gentle rivers to paddling
hard in white waters. It is said that America
was built by people on horseback. By contrast,
Canada was de?nitely founded by pioneers
travelling and trading by canoe. I was ecstatic
to be exploring Canadian Canoe Culture.
My recent trip to Ontario, Canada with my wife Ashley
Kenlock, to research and embrace Canadian Canoe
Culture was without doubt a dream come true. The
brief to immerse ourselves in their canoe history would
involve visiting the world?s largest canoe museum in
Peterborough, Ontario, racing in the world?s longest
unsupported wilderness race, The Muskoka River X,
wilderness paddling and that was just the warm up.
The cherry on top being a stay in Canada?s best
eco-cabin in Temagami Park.
On reflection, what followed was one of the most
heart-warming, inspiring and energising adventures we
have ever experienced. It fuelled our passion for
paddling to another level.
44 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Richard Harpham is a human
author profile
Features
Celebrating Canadian
powered adventurer who has
completed over 9,000 miles of
expeditions and journeys by kayak,
canoe, bike and on foot. His
expeditions have seen him cycle
and kayak London to Marrakech, cycled the Sahara by
Fat Bike, Canoe the Yukon River and sea kayak 1000
miles from Vancouver to Alaska. Closer to home he runs
Canoe Trail Ltd, an adventure and watersports business
with his wife Ashley in Bedfordshire sharing their passion
for paddling and the great outdoors. Canoe Trail runs
programmes for many corporate clients as well as the
Princes Trust, Duke of Edinburgh and ?Adventure School
?for Sport England helping teach practical and life-skills
to young people.
The Canadian Canoe Museum
What more did they need to say than ?Would you like to
visit the world?s largest collection of canoes and
kayaks?" This has been on our bucket list for over a
decade and it certainly didn?t disappoint. The museum
and its archives hold canoes and kayaks of all designs
from all over the world, dating back as far as 4,000 years
old.
The evolution of construction versus the longevity of
design was incredible. Early canoes and Inuit kayaks
with similar hull shapes to the latest technology, were a
stark reminder of our rich heritage.
Features
The museum is currently looking to relocate to a new
purpose built premise with better climate control for the
artifacts and is raising money to facilitate this. If you
would like to donate, or just look at some of the
museum's exhibits go to: www.canoemuseum.ca
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 45
Features
Algonquin Park
We were welcomed and hosted by Randy Mitzen from
Algonquin Outfitters, who is another man who lives and
breathes the world of canoeing. Randy has been a
guide, outfitter, photographer and the heartbeat of
canoeing in Algonquin for many years. He told me that
he loved canoe paddles and their significance to
paddling memories and trips. He did comment this may
have gone a little far when he realised he had over 130
46 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
paddles in his collection!
Despite some sleepy heads from our flight we were up
at 6am for a trip to explore Algonquin Park with
Algonquin Outfitters and their Premium Canoe Package.
This involved using one of their aluminum fast boats to
shuttle us into a remote area of the park. Our destination was the superbly named Hailstorm Creek, a regular
haunt of the moose population in the park. The park is
two hours from Toronto with a good bus service
allowing access to this wilderness area.
Algonquin Outfitters are a big set up with a very
personal and friendly approach who are able to provide
all your paddling needs for short and long trips. We met
a couple of English guys, Bill Dodsworth and Paul
Merchant, who had hired a car to come and paddle in
the park. This had been on their bucket lists for some
time. They had been surprised to see a ?black dog?
swimming across one of the lakes. They were even
more surprised when it turned out to be a black bear!
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 47
Features
The light and mist on the water provided the theme for
this adventure trip, incredible reflections, beautiful light
and scenery everywhere we looked. After a white
knuckle ride into the creek we were dropped on a sand
bar to explore at a more leisurely pace. Ten minutes
into our paddling stride and we were watching a pair of
otters playing on their homemade slide into the water
before going back to slide in again. We followed the
meandering creek chatting, watching cormorants fish
and sunbathe, enjoying the world class scenery and
great company.
Features
Muskoka River X
The Muskoka River X series is a brilliant series of
traditional wilderness races by canoe, kayak or SUP.
Without doubt it is the most welcoming and friendly
race I have competed in, with plenty of encouragement
and banter from competitors and supporters alike.
There are different races throughout the year with a 24
hour endurance race in circuits as well as the Musokoa
River X Sprint and Classic, 50 and 80 miles respectively.
The route has plenty of wilderness and tough portages
(waterfalls, dams and obstacles) to carry around.
I was racing with Hap Wilson, a Canadian paddling icon,
environmentalist and author of many guidebooks. We
only had time for an hour long warm-up paddle together
the day before from Algonquin Outfitters at Oxtongue
Lake to Ragged Falls. Not the best preparation for an
48 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
80 mile race with 20 challenging portages, paddling
lakes and rivers during daylight and darkness! We were
kindly equipped with a brand new Swift Canoe, 18ft
6inch Keewaydin racing cruiser. The all-carbon
outfitting and carbon Kevlar finish make for an excellent
fast canoe which was incredible comfortable. Although
not an out and out racing canoe we kept pace with
faster boats and overtook plenty.
It is fair to say that our approach to the race was
?gentlemen racers? which resulted in a tortoise and hare
approach with fast cadence paddling and overtaking,
followed by leisurely portages and planned food stops
utilising our stove. We even spent time playing the
harmonica! This might have reduced our overall speed
and record breaking ability but it did not diminish our
Features
enjoyment. The 80 mile race follows the same course
as the 50 miler before looping back in a giant ?horseshoe? shape back upstream. Only in Canada would you
paddle a race up and down stream with portages up to
1700m over hills. It?s brilliant and changes your
perspective on new journeys across old lands. The race
start resembled a post apocalyptic scene with paddlers
racing across Fairy Lake through mist with an eerie
sunlight. The river section downstream was lovely with
some interesting portages around beautiful waterfalls
and other features. As we reached the 50 mile mark it
seemed we were on the homeward leg. Paddling
upstream in the dark presented a few issues including
snapping a paddle on the rock garden in one white
water section. Portaging the big dam with many steps
and an inconvenient chest-height barrier was a little
tricky.
The final portage back onto Fairy Lake was exciting, the
end was in sight, despite the pockets of heavy fog. A
slight loss of bearings meant we did a little detour but
what would you expect of gentlemen racers? We
retraced our steps and arrived back to Huntsville Dock
pleased with our completed mission. The post race
banquet was worth a mention and continued the
friendly, community approach. Prizes and swag galore
and plenty of humour. It was a brilliant example of
Canadian Canoe Culture to be made to feel so welcome.
You can find out more about the race series @
http://muskokariverx.com/
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 49
Features
Temagami
With the race done with minimum fuss and maximum
enjoyment it was on to the next element of our
adventure, Temagami. We were excited to be exploring
the world?s largest white pine forest with Hap and
Andrea (and Oban their collie). Hap is the author of nine
guide books which document the history, wildlife and
trails throughout the park and many other areas.
We had a ?down day? to recover from the race and do
considerable ?admin? including washing, packing and
prepping. To access the park we were using Lakeland
Airlines with their aptly named, Beaver Float Plane - ?The
bushplane of choice!? Having spent years on expeditions with float planes landing and flying over me I was
truly buzzing to be flying into the wilderness with our
canoes strapped to the struts.
Hap and Andrea departed first with a roar of the engine,
out over the lake system whilst we waited full of
excitement for our turn. Soon enough we were strapped
into the little plane and flying above the tree tops. It
was intoxicating. We landed smoothly on a lake literally
in the middle of nowhere with a 60km paddle to Cabin
Falls Eco Lodge on the agenda. We loaded kit from the
plane, basking in the warm sun and paddled into the
distance.
Our mode of transport were two brand new Swift
Canoes straight out of the factory using their carbon
Kevlar technology. I have paddled a lot of boats in my
time but they are surely are the ?Rolls-Royce? of canoes
#acanoeforlife.
We made land a mile or so later, full of autumn joys and
paddling promise. We crossed a small sandy spit to
investigate an old cabin which needed some TLC.
Onward we paddled, towards one of those beautiful wild
campsites inviting adventurous types with its large
ancient rocky shelf. We accepted the invite and made
camp. Hap and Andrea came into their own with a host
of tasty morsels fit for any banquet. I am pleased we
brought the MSR Elixir 2 tent with its geodesic design,
as it stood proud on the rocky outcrop.
Given the ?Indian Summer? and our sweaty attire we
opted for the obvious solution and embarked on the first
of many memorable wild swims. This one was
orchestrated in shifts as we skinny dipped and swam
around the bays and temples of rock. As the sunset
showcased the full repertoire of vibrant colours, we
swapped more stories of trips and adventures nestled
by the camp fire. Already away from digital inputs and
demands, we were reconnecting with our inner dreams
and ideas.
50 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Features
Morning brought more culinary delights, with waffles
and maple syrup heated on the reflector oven and
?cowboy coffee?. The mist over the water burned off
quickly as the sun declared its intent to stay golden.
More reflections, on the water and within ourselves,
as we paddled along winding marshland, smaller
lakes and connecting rivers. Periodically, we reached
a portage trail around rapids or waterfalls. It was
bizarre how a calm lake would transform into a
raging torrent of white water with little or no warning.
The portages were traditionally Canadian in style
with large boulder fields and uneven trails around
said obstacle.
We quickly became adept at balancing the light
weight Swift Canoes on our heads, (well shoulders)
and trekking through the scrub. Some rapids were
runnable although the carbon shiny boats and ?boney
waters? made this a slightly more nerve racking
experience. Reading the water is a skill like riding a
bike and we were soon running chutes and swifts
confidently. Our next campsite was chosen for its
vantage point over a rapid. Our teamwork and
routine was synchronised into a smooth operation to
light the fire, make camp and cook. Then came the
obligatory wild swim after the hot day's paddle.
The warm weather highs stayed with us as we
paddled on towards Cabin Falls, on our holy grail of
paddling trips. More portages, rapids, beautiful
scenery and great company made us feel blessed to
be in this wild paradise. We lined a couple of rapids
(a traditional skill using ropes to guide the canoes)
through the fast turbulent water. Finally one last
portage and we would reach our destination.
Nothing could have prepared me for the incredible
setting and scenery of Cabin Falls Eco-lodge. I have
traveled and explored many places around the world
but is surely the most idyllic and yet rugged home
from home, ever.
The original cabin (the only one in the park for 60
miles) was built in 1931 by Robert Cleveland, and
maintained by the Dirty Dozen Club for a number of
years. Hap came across the cabin on a canoe trip in
1970 and he and Andrea bought it in 2000. Since
then they have restored the cabin, adding three more
cabins, boardwalks over the falls and various home
comforts, including a wood-burning sauna. The
plunge pool is the ever present waterfall with its
grumbling undertones and mesmerizing glistening
flows. This became our swimming pool and we rode
some sections and chutes in rubber rings and tyres.
The next few days formed the most perfect retreat,
with wild swimming and hiking the trails around the
rivers and mountains flanking the cabin. Personally,
we found a peace that we had been missing in our
busy lives.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 51
One of the most remarkable chapters in the evolution
of the area and cabin is that Hap and Andrea have
been instrumental in saving this incredible area from
clearcut logging. What a legacy! Also worth a
mention is that everything that has made Cabin Falls
a deeply spiritual retreat was carried in by float plane
and then by canoe and portage. Many tonnes of
equipment and materials, including fridges, stoves
and mattresses have been carried here with blood,
sweat and tears - an incredible feat.
Our trip was coming to an end. We had extended our
family with kindred spirits, Hap and Andrea (check
out his books on the area) and witnessed some
incredible wilderness that they helped save. Our final
stop was to visit Alex Mathias, First Nation elder who
shared his stories of growing up in Bear Island. It
was good to know we were paddling with his
blessing on his people?s traditional lands. Alex is the
last member of the Ojibwe people who is fluent in
their language. This provided a poignant reminder of
the price of progress of the modern world. He has
also been a key activist in protecting the forest from
decimation.
We dipped our silver wings and roared back over the
tree tops leaving this incredible place that is firmly
lodged in our hearts. We will be back in the future to
run retreats for our customers to help share this
place in a respectful and authentic way. We came to
find Canadian Canoe Culture and left overflowing
with inspiration and warmed hearts for new paddling
expeditions and trips. We had the privilege to paddle
and share the trip with many incredible pioneers and
outdoor people, including Steve Bruno and Trish, the
army of racers, Randy and Lynne from Algonquin
Outfitters and of course Hap, Andrea and Oban who
shared their world with us. The journey doesn?t end
here, it is merely a rest stop before paddling on.
Rich, Ash and the Canoe Trail team will be returning
to this spiritual place next year. If you are interested
in joining us then drop us a line.
info@canoetrail.co.uk
52 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
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Photographs by Tim and Susannah Gent
Tim Gent - Happiest living in a
author profile
Feature
S醡i
tent somewhere close to both sea
and mountains, Tim paddles and
clambers in search of our
remaining wild and inspiring
places, documenting these
experiences so that others might be encouraged to
follow. A very enjoyable role of course, but one also
undertaken in the belief that a better understanding of
these fragile landscapes might offer the best chance for
their survival, and ours.
While honing the skills needed to operate effectively off
the beaten track, many of us look to accounts of lost
societies for inspiration. Or we might study the
experiences of existing wilderness-connected cultures
in such far off places as South Africa, Australia or the
Amazon. We needn?t cast our gaze nearly so far. One
population is still deeply connected with all aspects of
the landscape they inhabit, and they live in western
Europe.
Our first encounter with the S醡i took place after a
chance visit to Jokkmokk, sat just above the Arctic
Circle in northern Sweden. We?d only dropped into town
for food supplies before heading off in search of our
next canoe camping opportunity. While there, we heard
about a reindeer lassoing competition, and drove down
to the local school to watch an extraordinary display of
animal handling skills from all ages.
I suspect a bright red van sporting British plates is
pretty hard to miss up there, particularly with a 16-foot
canoe strapped to the top. So perhaps it wasn?t too
surprising that, parked in our van close to a lake near
town, we were recognised by some of the reindeer
lassoists. . As we watched, an aluminium boat filled
with chattering children was heading out towards deep
58 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
An hour or two later, as the boat returned, the father at
the stern pushed the outboard tiller hard over and they
swung towards us. Amidst cheery discussions about
where best to camp, we were offered two perch. In
return, we dug out a part-eaten tin of Cadbury chocolates. It was only years later we learnt that a gift of fish
was once a traditional S醡i offering to visitors. Just
chance in this case I know, but looking back it still feels
comfortingly apt.
So who are the S醡i?
Pick up a tourist pamphlet, or check a website or two,
and the story seems pretty simple. Along with the
obligatory photo of a couple in traditional blue clothing,
will be the explanation that the S醡i are nomadic
reindeer herders from the far north of Scandinavia. To
some extent this is true, but a more realistic picture of
the multifaceted S醡i is much more complicated? and
far more interesting.
For a start, and despite considerable academic debate,
nobody really knows where the S醡i come from, or even
when they arrived in the far reaches of north-west
Europe. The likelihood, as with so many population
groups, is that there never was one single place of
origin. Recent genetic studies (舠a Johannson and
others, European Journal of Human Genetics, 2008)
support a growing picture of groups arriving as part of
many different migrations, from many different
locations across Europe and Asia.
Humans are known to have moved north at the end of
the last glaciation, arriving to exploit newly available
land almost as soon as the ice retreated.
Archaeological material from what is now Norwegian
Finnmark, right in the north of Scandinavia, has been
dated to about 9,000 BC. Traces of human occupation
suggest a gradual move west into northern Finland and
the Kola peninsula over the next thousand years or so,
with a drift inland into Sweden by around 7,000 BC.
Quite when these people can be said to have become
S醡i is harder to say and, I would argue, this is largely
irrelevant. As the archaeologist Marrianne Skander put
it in 2006, while excavating in Tana, right up in the north,
?I cannot say the S醡i lived here, but I can say we have
a settlement of the ancestors of the S醡i.? Even by the
strict rules of archaeological material classification,
distinctive artefacts show the S醡i were certainly
present in the Varanger area of Finnmark before 2,000
BC.
So?a Jannok, S醡i singer, civil rights activist and environmental campaigner
(thanks to Border Music, photo by Chloe Lodge)
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 59
Feature
water, a small forest of fishing rods waving overhead.
Hands were waved too.
Feature
Releasing a lasso at the 6th World Reindeer
Herding Congress lassoing competition
What is obvious then is that the S醡i are the indigenous
people of Scandinavia, having lived happily amongst the
fells, lakes and rivers of the area long before the modern
nations that make up the region were even considered.
Before competition for land and resources from
incoming groups resulted in the S醡i being pushed
north, the archaeological record indicates they covered
a broad swathe of the Scandinavian peninsula, at least
as far south as Hallingdal in southern Norway.
This picture of a phased arrival, from different locations
over a significant period of time, might help to explain
the marked variation in S醡i language. While distinct
cultural and economic similarities exist across the
whole of S醦mi, the area the S醡i call home, their
language is far from uniform. Very different western
and eastern S醡i linguistic groups sit to either side of a
line running roughly along the border between Finland
and Russia. Even within these two blocks a number of
languages have also evolved, often not mutually
understandable. A Southern S醡i speaker, from say
Norway in the western group, may be able to converse
with some success with a Swedish Ume speaker from
just over the mountains, but probably not with a
someone speaking Pite from the next valley north. Not,
sadly, that they are likely to have this opportunity.
After decades, even centuries, of what can only be seen
as deliberate attempts by modern states to irradiate
60 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
these S醡i languages, there are almost no Pite or Ume
speakers left. At the last count the number could be as
low as 20 each. The Kemi and Kainuu languages from
the Kola eastern group have already gone, with the last
speaker of Akkala is believed to have died as recently as
2003. In 2010, the Russian newspaper Pravda reported
that only two elderly Ter speakers remained.
Today, Northern S醡i, with perhaps 20,000 speakers
across northern Norway, Sweden and Finland, is the
most widely used. Southern and Lule S醡i in the west,
and Skolt and Inari in the east, are probably spoken by
not more than 2,000, 600, 450 and 300 people
respectively.
When we were last in S醦mi, sat on a hill eating dried
reindeer and smoked salmon, our host providing this
generous meal explained how he was trying to
catalogue the Pite language while it still holds on. After
singing a Joik (a traditional S醡i song) as the sun sank
beyond the mountains, he taught us the Pite word for
reindeer lichen - vistte (sounding like vistair). Even
knowing that single fragment from such a vulnerable
language feels a great privilege. At the same time this
is a grave reminder of the appalling situation that
surrounds these unique and ancient means of
communication.
Then there?s the reindeer. And while herding these
superbly adapted deer is still central to much of S醡i
culture and identity, portraying them only in this light
does tend to hide a few important facts.
When the ancestors of the S醡i first moved into the
land released by that retreating ice, it?s very likely they
were following the reindeer. With fairly fixed migratory
patterns, their movements were easy to predict, making
them equally easy to hunt. Big, and therefore offering
plenty to eat, reindeer also come wrapped in some of
the warmest fur known to man. All very appealing in
these sometimes extremely cold environments. At
some point, to keep up with their quarry, and quite
possibly before anyone else, the S醡i adopted skis.
But of course like any hunter-gatherer culture, these first
people of the European north exploited whatever else
was available too, trapping and hunting what wandered
or flew, fishing for what swam. These early S醡i also
collected berries and nuts, dug up roots, even ground up
tree bark (see www.woodlanders.com episode 13). In
short they behaved as any pre-agricultural community,
becoming deeply familiar with every aspect of their
environment.
Explaining a shift to reindeer herding, the current belief
is that these hunters first found they could lure reindeer
closer to the bow or spear by using captured animals as
decoys. After that, it probably wasn?t long before they
discovered the whole herd could be controlled, at least
as much as was needed to live comfortably off the
results. Whether this semi-domestication happened as
the result of natural events, uninfluenced by the outside,
or, as some suggest, that pressures from incomers was
already forcing a change in tactics, is uncertain.
Whatever the cause, about 500 years ago the classic
nomadic character of S醡i life was forged, yet further
bound to the reindeer.
An engraving from Olaus Magnus' 1555 book
Historia, with a very stylistic depiction of S醡i
hunting reindeer on skis. The artist?s idea of the
L醰vu, probably based on third-hand reports, can
be seen on the left.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 61
Feature
Mother and calf
Feature
Not that it stopped them fishing of course, either in
freshwater or at sea, or trapping and hunting beaver and
other mammals, catching geese, or collecting blueberries. Portraying the S醡i of the past only as reindeer
herders is like suggesting that all Texans ranched cattle.
When farming began to make its appearance a couple of
hundred years ago, along the Atlantic fringe of what was
later to become Norway and to the east on the Bothnian
coast, the S醡i took that up too, raising cattle and
sheep and utilising the resultant meat, dairy products
and wool.
A reindeer herd close to the border
between Sweden and Norway
They were also trading, presumably exchanging such
exotic items as reindeer and beaver skins, perhaps
walrus tusk, for the English wool broadcloth that would
feature so colourfully in their dress. The S醡i took a
fancy to Scottish plaid too, eventually altering the hues
and patterns to make a cloth of their own. From
Southwest England, and possibly from an early date,
they also imported the tin that forms an essential part
of the pewter wire that decorates their kit. Recorded
boat building skills suggest the S醡i may well have
been collecting these materials themselves. Some even
argue the Vikings first learnt their famous shipwright
abilities from these seagoing fishermen and traders.
Of course amidst all this diversity, reindeer herding
continued to form the economic and spiritual core of the
S醡i world, woven inextricably within a complex animist
and shamanistic view of the world. Following the herds
on their cyclical migrations between feeding areas, the
S醡i travelled on foot, or using those skis, their portable
home of spruce poles and skins, the L醰vu, towed
behind specially trained deer. Others carried their
limited range of household items and working
equipment, each carefully evolved to suit the environment and transportation methods.
Today, engagement with reindeer herding is far from
universal, with perhaps only 10-15% of S醡i owning and
managing reindeer, and then often only as part of a
mixed livelihood. Even where herding is still central to a
family?s activities, very few employ those traditional
nomadic practices. Many now live in one place, visiting
their herd by skidoo in winter, or on quad bikes, even by
helicopter, in the long bright day that is summer. Yet I
suspect almost all S醡i feel at least some level of
attachment to these animals.
Knife with an engraved reindeer antler
handle and sheath by Kjell 舓e Kitok
Birch and reindeer antler drinking
cup by Sven 舓e Risfjell
They certainly retain a strong connection with the land.
Many S醡i continue to fish, setting nets by boat in
summer and angling through holes cut in the deep ice of
winter. Hunting and foraging is still popular, and
something of a frenzy takes place each year as the
Luomi, or cloudberries, growing across the boggy
grounds of fell and forest turn from red to gold.
S醡i handicrafts, or duodji, are also bound strongly to
both the reindeer and the natural resources of the
surrounding hill and forests. Antler, leather and fur from
the herds feature strongly, the antler often engraved
beautifully, the incisions stained with charcoal. Wooden
cups, or guksi, are amongst a range of traditional
containers carved from birch burls
(see www.woodlanders.com - episode 14).
62 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Spruce roots are used to cover bottles or provide
strainers for cheese making. Knives with birch and
antler handles are forged with iron from the neighbouring hills. The S醡i have been noted blacksmiths for at
least a hundred years.
Today, the S醡i number somewhere around 140,000
Feature
Northern S醡i dress, worn at the 2017
International Reindeer Herding Congress
individuals. In purely numerical terms that makes them
a very definite minority within their own land. And while
this is probably not the place to try to present the
current situation, and as a largely uninformed outsider I
may not be best person to comment, that fact speaks
for itself. One only needs to take the most fleeting
glance at history, or towards other places around our
globe still populated by indigenous minorities to begin
to imagine what that might mean. What I can say is
that as we?ve move around the area, meeting S醡i
individuals from communities spread across northern
Scandinavia, the same stories are told, and they are
rarely comforting. Even population numbers are
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 63
Feature
uncertain, as through the 20th century many S醡i
parents, fearful of the implications in an unfriendly and
discriminating world, hid their identity from their
children. Many Scandinavians, including descendants
of those that emigrated across the Atlantic in search of
a better life, are not even aware of their origins.
The S醡i evidently still have many struggles. Their
original religion and spiritual beliefs have been all but
destroyed by centuries of suppression, and they have a
fight to even retain the more widely spoken of their
languages. In Sweden, the S醡i were only recognised
formerly as an indigenous people as late as 1977. The
constitution didn?t acknowledge them separately until
2011. It is still almost impossible to send your children
to a state school that teaches in a S醡i language.
But beneath concerns that must be evident to anyone
with a respect for these resilient people is a recognition
that their attachment to the land, to the trees that grow
on it, the rivers that flow through it and the animals that
feed amongst the berry bushes, is a force to be
reckoned with. While many S醡i today might be as
likely to work for a company conducting cold-weather
vehicle tests, as to herd reindeer, to cast a film as cast a
net, that deep and almost ageless connection provides
an immense strength. When called upon, it manifests
itself in a clear approach to life, supported by enduring
skills in hunting, fishing and herding, carried out amidst
what many might consider a pretty unforgiving
environment. This is also a life still embellished by
simple yet beautiful arts and crafts, both enduring and
evolving, each born out of the land itself. We
undoubtedly have much to learn from them.
Pressures on the land over which they run their herds,
and the rivers they fish seem only to continue as
demands on the natural resources increase. Ever
expanding mining concerns and hydroelectric schemes
cast a shadow of real fear over all who wish to see this
land unspoilt, and the interconnected lives of their
original inhabitants flourish.
As part of their response to these threats, the S醡i
people have established parliaments in Norway, Sweden
and Finland. Attempts have also been made in Russia.
Depending on the attitude of the national governments,
these bodies possess varying levels of actual influence.
Since 2011 the three existing parliaments have been
united within a single S醡i Parliamentary Council. I for
one can only applaud any attempt to give these
institutions greater power and autonomy.
The S醡i now also have a flag. As a small sign of
solidarity this blue, yellow, green and red symbol of the
S醡i people sits on the back of our van. Having only
just returned, the dust of S醦mi still covers it.
The spruce frame to a L醰vu, sat by a lake,
awaiting the return of its owners
Bushcraft and Survival skills? If anyone can claim an
expertise in those two areas, it must surely be the S醡i.
The S醦mi flag, on the back of our old
Transporter
64 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
While travelling through the glories of S醦mi, Susannah
and I have had the great fortune to meet some
wonderful people. At the time I had no plans to write
this article, but the more I learnt from these generous
individuals, the more it felt like something that needed
to be done. At the inevitable risk of missing someone
out, I would like to offer my particular thanks to the
following: the staff of the Silvermuseet in Arjeplog
(www.silvermuseet.se), Mari-Ann Nutti of the S醡i
Duodji Samesl鰆dstiftelsen in Jokkmokk
(www.sameslojdstiftelsen.com), the artist and Lule
S醡i language ambassador Katarina Kielatis, Sofia
Jannok, singer, civil rights activist and environmental
campaigner (www.sofiajannok.com), the staff of the
Riddo Duotar Museat, Kautokeino
(www.rdm.no/english/kautokeino_bygdetun/), and Olve
Utne, musician and Pite S醡i language defender. Of
course, while much of the inspiration for this article
rests with them, any errors are all mine.
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Budget Pemmican
Hello again and welcome to another
Bushcraft on a Budget article. In this
article I want to show you how I made
some provisions that I will be taking
with me on my snowshoe trip in
Sweden. At the point you are reading
this I may still be there or may have
already returned. This food stuff is the
amazing Pemmican.
Pemmican is essentially dried, ground
meat mixed with animal fat and makes
perfect sustenance for cold climates
where the body needs a good source of
fats and proteins. Here is some history
about pemmican.
Pemmican is a concentrated mixture of
fat and protein used as a nutritious food.
Historically, it was an element of
Canadian cuisine in certain parts of the
country. The word comes from the Cree
word pim頷k鈔, which itself is derived
from the word pim�, "fat, grease". It was
invented by the native peoples of North
America, who would air dry meat,
pound it to powder with stones and mix
with animal fat. Pemmican was widely
adopted as a high-energy food by
Europeans involved in the fur trade and
later by Arctic and Antarctic explorers,
such as Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton,
Fridtjof Nansen, Robert Falcon Scott, and
Roald Amundsen.
(Information from Wikipedia).
There are also many more recent historical records of
pemmican being used and being a ?superfood? and the
best option for ultimate nutritional value.
Many Polar or Arctic explorations relied on the use of
Pemmican not just to feed the men on those expeditions but also the dogs. It was found that ?dog
Pemmican?, made from beef and not actually dog meat,
which was classed as lower quality Pemmican to be fed
to the dogs, was too high in protein for the dogs and not
the best form of feed for them. There is even an
66 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Author Profile
'Make do and Mend' is Ian's Philosophy. He is a
dab hand at all things creative, and would be a
match for any skilled seamstress! His innovative
ideas can save you pounds, showing you how to
make kit from things that you might find lying
around. He also has a long-standing interest in
and extensive knowledge of woodcraft and
green woodworking, which, combined with his other skills, makes for some
great money-saving tips!
IAN NAIRN
account of members of Ernest Shackleton's 1914?1916
expedition to the Antarctic resorting to eating dog
Pemmican when they were stranded on ice for the
winter, affording them much more benefit than feeding it
to the dogs.
If like me, you read many of the older books on outdoors
travel, camping and woodcraft, such as Nessmuk?s
?Woodcraft and Camping?, or Horace Kephart?s ?Camping
and Woodcraft?, or Ellsworth Jaeger?s ?Wildwood?
Wisdom you will find they all mention the virtues of
Pemmican. Even today it can be found mentioned and
held in high regard in books such as Ray Mears?s
?Northern Wilderness? and his latest book Out on the
Land. Pemmican is also recommended in the book I
have been referring to for much of my snow travel
information, ?A Snow Walker's Companion?, by Garrett
and Alexandra Conover. With all these older and more
recent books singing its praises it just seemed the
logical choice for me to have a go at making this to take
with me.
The basis is always a dried meat mixed with animal fat.
Traditionally this would have been Bison, Elk or Deer
meat air dried and then ground using stones and mixed
with rendered animal fat, usually from the animal the
meat came from. Later versions saw the addition of
dried fruits and berries to add flavour and carbohydrates. For my version I am using beef steak, blueberries, cranberries, nuts and beef dripping. I am also using
modern kitchen appliances to make this, (as opposed to
using stones!)
Ingredients:
eak
? 1lb lean beef st
ies
s fresh blueberr
et
nn
? 2 small pu
(approx. 500g)
amia nuts
rries and macad
be
an
cr
d
ie
dr
g
? 1 ba
(250g)
250g
? Beef dripping
? Sea salt
pepper
? Ground black
? Soy sauce
sauce,
? Worcestershire
? Ginger,
? Garlic
? Cinnamon
skey
? A ?dash? of whi
1. Steak
2. Slice it thin
4. In bag with marinade
5. Marinade ingredients
3. All cut up
To start with I bought a large steak, some fresh blueberries and I had a bag of dried cranberries and macadamia
nuts. I trimmed much of the fat off the steak as this helps with the drying process. I then cut it into very thin slices.
This was going to be my dried beef or jerky. I made up a marinade sauce for this to soak in overnight. The marinade
using the ingredients above makes jerky that I really like, but it may not be to your taste. If in doubt just use salt,
pepper and a bit of Worcestershire sauce. It's best to experiment and find a mix you like. Put the thin strips of meat
into a zip-lock bag, add your marinade and then give it a good shake and mix it all together, place it in the fridge and
leave overnight.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 67
Feature
So why is this such a superfood for the cold
environments? Well I won?t go into a whole chemistry
and biology lesson here but basically, in the cold you
burn far more calories and on a sled expedition you
need to carry or pull all your kit and food with you so you
really want the most bang for your buck. As far as
nutrition and calorific value go, fat is a concentrated
energy source that supplies nine calories per gram.
Carbohydrates and protein, on the other hand, provide
only four calories per gram each, so it makes sense to
increase your fat intake and burn calories obtained from
fats. Also, once made, Pemmican keeps well in the right
conditions - possibly indefinitely.
Feature
6. Blueberries in dehydrator
7. Dehydrated blueberries
8. Drying off meat
9. Meat strips in dehydrator
10. Dehydrating meat &
berries
11. Jerky done
Whilst the meat was marinating, I put a sheet of baking paper on my dehydrator shelf (to stop the berries falling
through) and put the blueberries in and switched them on to dehydrate overnight. In the morning they were still
not quite ready but the meat had marinated nicely, so I put the meat onto 3 dehydrator trays and left the berries on
the top one to go back in a bit longer. In the meantime I put the bag of dried cranberries and nuts in the food blender
and blitzed it.
12. Blitzing fruit & nuts
13. Jerky in blender
14. Jerky blitzed
When the meat and blueberries were dried fully I blitzed these separately in the blender too. The meat took quite a
while to break down to a fine powder, I sharpened the cutting blade on the blender which seemed to help somewhat,
but take your time and make sure you grind the meat down nice and fine. Once done, I placed all the dried
ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mixed them well together.
68 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
15. Beef dripping
16. Melt the dripping
17. Mix in the melted dripping
Once fully mixed together I spooned it out into a baking tray. If you line the baking tray with greaseproof paper, when
the mix has set it will be easy to remove. Flatten and smooth the mix out as much as possible, trying to make it nice
and evenly spread out. Now just allow this to cool and set. Once set I cut it into blocks using a pizza slice wheel. I
took it out of the tray and bagged it in a zip lock bag, after trying a small bit of course.
I think it is an acquired taste, it?s certainly not unpleasant and I can see the massive benefits this food will provide in
the cold environment it?s going to be used. It is not something I would sit and eat in one go, like I can with jerky. It
can be eaten straight or mixed in with cooking to form a fatty gravy but it?s perfect for providing those much needed
calories and fuel when out in the cold.
18. Pressed into baking tray to set
19. Cut into blocks.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and let me know if you have your own recipe for Pemmican or Jerky that you
would like to share.
Until next time, keep whatever bushcraft you are doing, On A Budget.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 69
Feature
I also put my beef dripping, chopped up, into a pan to melt slowly. Take care not to overheat this, you just want it to
melt and not start to cook. Once the dripping was melted and the dry mix all blended together I poured the melted
dripping slowly into the dry mix and combined it all together with a wooden spoon. Don?t use your hands as you are
pouring hot fat in this mix and it will burn you. Make sure the mixture is well mixed together, not leaving any dry
areas. You want this to be firm and moist throughout, but not a sloppy mix.
The Art of Fire
by Daniel Hume
But for mine and later generations, the widescale
introduction of central heating in the second half of the
20th century means that fire lighting is no longer a
universally held skill.
These are things Daniel Hume discusses in this book,
but he also adds wider context by looking at people
around the globe who still retain these skills. This is
what one would expect from a writer who worked at
Ray Mears' Woodlore School of Wilderness Bushcraft
for many years, serving as the Head of Operations
there for the last six.
Various types of friction fire lighting are explained,
along with other methods such as electrical and
chemical means, plus of course firesteels and other
sparking methods. I was pleased to read about
throwing sparks using bamboo, as I had learned it was
possible in a book called ?Stranger in the Forest? by Eric
Hansen (a good read by the way), but I did not know
how.
Sections on tinder, embers, fire set-ups and care
complete the practical elements and small sections on
fire creation stories and wild fire add to the picture.
?Fire is mankind?s oldest energy. It must have left a love of
?re inside human genes?, is the quote which opens this
book. The quote is by Lars Mytting who wrote
Norwegian Wood and it reminded me of an exchange
with my father over 30 years ago, as we sat side by
side, very late one summer night, staring into the
dancing flames of a bonfire. "What is it about fire?" I
asked, as much a statement as a question. After a
pause the Old Man signed heavily before replying, "I
don't know, but it's something. Something old."
There is something about fire that connects us with
our ancestors. And not just our distant ancestors. I
have lived most of my life in houses with an open fire.
And many of those years where it was the only source
of heat. So, from about the age of 8 I have been
lighting fires to keep warm. For my parents? generation
this would have been pretty usual. For my
grandparents? it was entirely normal, so that the ability
to light a good fire quickly would have been as normal
as knowing how to tie shoelaces.
author profile
This could have been a very matter of fact book, but
the author knits it all together in a narrative that links
in his various trips and experiences, to make this both
an enjoyable read and a useful reference piece.
Chris Eyles
Walking, camping, fishing,
geocaching, investigating plants
and animals and just wombling in
the woods are all things you will
find Chris Eyles doing whilst trying
to pass his love of the outdoors on to his young son, who
often proves better at them than his dad. Chris also
aspires to write a book for children about the folklore of
trees.
WIN
A Copy of
This Book
Email: competitions@bushcraftmagazine.com or post
in your details for a chance to win. (See T&Cs Page 3)
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 71
REVIEW
BOOK REVIEW
Feature
author profile
Jonas Taureck?s
Mongolia
Roadtrip
Jonas Taureck grew up in a
village near the city of Hanover.
There he learned outdoor life from
scratch. After finishing school,
Jonas and his friend Micha went
on a trip through several African
countries, driving an old Magirus Deutz truck. The trip
helped raise awareness of AIDS in Africa and was the
first of a number of adventures. Back in Germany, Jonas
moved to Magdeburg for his studies and soon
afterwards founded a company. He still loved the
outdoors and in 2006 Jonas bought the Petromax brand.
Today Jonas and his wife Pia Christin head Petromax
together as a team.
Outdoor cooking at its best
72 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Everyone has at least one daredevil friend. For
Jonas Taureck, CEO of Petromax, (the German
experts for grilling and outdoor cooking, fire and
light, bushcraft and survival), his friend Martin nicknamed Elwis ? fits this catergory perfectly.
When Elwis decided to drive an old Russian UAZ bus
all the way from Germany to Japan and he asked
some close friends to join him, it was clear that
Jonas would not only be on board for a few days but
that Petromax would also become sponsor of Elwis?
crazy trip, supplying him with some useful outdoor
cooking gear that came in handy on the road.
Feature
1st morning
When I decided to spend a few days with Elwis in the far
reaches of Mongolia I had no idea what I was getting
into. My adventure to the East started off on 14
September 2016 when I arrived at Genghis Khan Airport
in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Elwis, together
with two other close German friends, Steffen and Silvio,
came to collect me. They had just finished several
repairs on the UAZ. Together we got supplies for the
road and then headed east to the Genghis Khan Statue
Complex.
At this point you should know that a vehicle such as an
UAZ bus is neither elegant nor comfortable and rather
prone to lots of breakdowns and repairs on the way. So
the most important question to ask before going on
such an extended trip is: Can I get spare parts in any
country I pass through and will I be able to effect the
repairs myself? In that case it is important to
understand that the UAZ is very popular as well as
common in eastern countries and also drives well in
offroad areas. In addition, Elwis is a great car
mechanic. So - problem solved.
As I had never been to Mongolia before I did not know
that it is a vast but sparsley populated country
squeezed in between Kazakhstan, Russia and China.
The Mongolian Empire used to be one of the biggest
empires of mankind. The Mongolians were horsemen
Stuck in the sand
and normads and today only a few ancient monuments
still point to the splendour of former epochs. The
Genghis Khan Statue, an equestrian statue consisting of
250 tons of stainless steel, is one reminder of the
country?s glorious past.
After the first night overlooking some beautiful tundra
landscape in Gorkhi Terelj Park we had to redo the
sponsor stickers on the UAZ bus as the reserve wheel
where they were formerly displayed, had fallen off in the
vast slopes of the Mongolian tundra.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 73
Feature
ening
First ev
Second ev
ening
The UAZ is a common car in Mongo
lia
For supper I wanted to make a dish in Elwis? Petromax
Dutch Oven: meat in a pot is usually my speciality!
Mystery meat from the local store was quickly bought.
Unfortunately, we slightly misjudged the amount of
wood needed for cooking which resulted in a cast-iron
pot full of charcoal meat with bits of raw meat in the
centre. So, that night it was canned snacks for
everyone instead!
The next morning, I made some campfire breakfast with
beans, bacon and eggs on the Petromax Atago to make
up for the slightly ruined supper of the night before. No
hard feelings! Our tour continued through the national
park: pristine nature and the Indian summer season
revealed the pure beauty of the surroundings. Here and
there the bus passed a yurt, known in Mongolia as a Ger.
We spent the night on the banks of a river where there
was no possibility to find a route through without
four-wheel-drive. Thank goodness that it worked when
we needed it!
On the following morning, ice covered the tents and
Steffen declared that his cheap tent was not made for
this weather as he stated that he almost froze to death.
Elwis only replied that there were still some spare
sleeping bags in the bus?
74 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Golden G
obi beer
A few days later Silvio tried to organise his flight back
home but failed due to bad mobile connection in this
mountainous region. Elwis had the great idea to create
a hotspot with his mobile phone. He attached the
phone to a camera drone and let it rise to 100 metres
above ground. Connection between the phones was
awesome, however network access was still not
possible. On the same day Steffen got a sore throat. As
we passed a sign on the roadside, warning everyone to
beware of the Marmot plague, Steffen was sure that he
would soon die from that disease. I must admit that we
might have slightly intensified his anxiety because we
pointed out to him that we would never be able to reach
a hospital in time. Fortunately, it turned out that Steffen
had just caught a bad cold.
We returned to Ulaanbaatar for Silvio to catch his flight.
The many ancient vehicles on the roads and the
constant smell of burned waste in the air strongly
reminded me of African cities. At night, I received an
insect bite on my arm that only stopped swelling after
two whole days. Later, we started our long-planned
drive towards the Gobi Desert. When we left
Ulaanbaatar the UAZ bus was sprayed with disinfectant
? which was just the moment Steffen stuck out his
head for some fresh air!
Feature
Flaming Cliffs
Feast in the
wilderness
When we drove on the highway into southwest direction
we passed countless slopes from times before the
highway had been built. We were obviously the only
tourists on their way to the desert and ominously,
clouds gathered in the sky. At the last petrol station
before entering the desert we filled any spare canisters
with petrol ? better be safe than sorry!
dutch oven in the Atago with the Petromax convection
lid and let the meat simmer along. Only two hours later
the delicious smell of meat, onions and garlic made our
mouths water. Within 30 minutes all three of us sat
around like stuffed racoons and watched the fascinating
vastness of the desert from our place on the dune. A
perfect evening!
Since my arrival in Mongolia the diet of Elwis and
Steffen had become much more diverse as they had
formerly mainly lived on biscuits and fizzy drinks. I
ensured that we had regular (outdoor) cooked meals.
We spent the next night in some hills, the landscape
was becoming noticably rougher with less vegetation.
After the usual morning repair session of the UAZ bus
that was always performed by Elwis, we drove through
endless mountain ranged slopes towards the Gobi
Desert. When compared to rattling along those
nerve-wracking corrugated tracks, it turned out that
sand was rather a nice alternative to drive on. As the
evening arrived we finally reached the desert and
immediately got stuck in the first field of soft sand.
However, taking some air pressure from the tyres solved
this problem.
On the next day we went looking for fossils in the
Flaming Cliffs of Bajandsag. That night I was desperate
to call home as I waited for some important news. After
speaking to my wife, I knew for sure: I would soon
become a dad! That night we had a can of Golden Gobi
beer each ? for me the ideal way to mark the occasion.
My second meat in a pot in the dutch oven was a much
greater success than the first. With a handful of
charcoal that Elwis had found in the bus I placed the
The following morning, we drove back to Ulaanbaatar.
Driving through the desert at night is not recommended
as you can easily overlook cliffs or big holes ? and an
axle can break faster than you can say Jack Robinson.
Taking the first shower back in a hotel in the city felt like
heaven to me and when the towel rapidly turned from
white to off-white to reddish-brown it surely had been
high time. After another day in Ulaanbaatar, Steffen and
I flew back to Germany. Elwis and the UAZ bus stayed
behind for the remainder of the trip to Japan. There was
some trouble with the bus's oil he had to investigate
before he could set off. However, Elwis is a pro
mechanic so we were not worried about him or the bus.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 75
Feature
Ghengis Khan Statue
After a stopover in Kyrgzstan: ?What kinds of tea do you
have?? ?We have tea!? arriving in Germany felt somehow
strange to me. I had travelled far and had gathered so
many impressions that I needed some time to adjust to
being home again, especially to sleeping in a proper bed
and having a built-in shower and a real fridge for the
food in the house. When travelling I often feel as if time
flies but once back home it turns out that not so much
time has passed after all. I did dwell on that thought for
a while longer?
Should you wish to learn more about Elwis? crazy trip
from Germany to Japan, please visit his blog Double
Front Light:
http://doublefrontlight.com/
or follow him on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/doublefrontlight/
76 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
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Feature
How to make an
Ben and Lois Orford live and
author profile
Ulu style knife
work from their home in
Herefordshire. With their
backgrounds in green woodwork
and traditional woodland crafts
they make a range of handmade
woodcraft tools, bushcraft knives and leatherwork for the
discerning outdoors enthusiast. Their combined
experience and passion for their craftbmakes them keen
to pass on their knowledge and skills.
We thought it would be a nice project to make a simple
Ulu style knife in this issue. The Ulu knife is traditionally
associated with the Inuit and the tribes in the colder
northern climates. This distinct curved edged knife can
78 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
be great for food prep and skinning due to the curved
blade that fits right into the palm of your hand for
incredible control and leverage. It also has great use in
the workshop as it?s perfect for leatherwork and is very
similar in design to the traditional leather knives used
around the world even now.
The thing that is so interesting about this style of knife
is that it shows the evolution of the knife. If you look
back to some of the very early stone blades that have a
similar curved blade shape, these too would have been
gripped in a similar manner between the thumb and
forefinger in the palm of the hand. It?s interesting to
think that even when access to steel for a better long
term blade became available, the blade shape remained
Feature
1. Making the pattern on some cardboard
2. Check the shape with the antler for
the handle
The finished Ulu, both practical
and a pleasing use of materials
and while a simple wood or horn grip was added, not
much else changed. A sign of a good design.
We are going to make our blade from some offcuts of
carbon tool steel, but there is nothing to stop you using
some recycled steel such as a file, handsaw or even an
old circular saw blade. Using the circular saw blade
with the teeth removed would make a perfect curved
edge with very little material needing to be removed.
Mark out the shape of the blade you want onto some
cardboard first. We are making ours with a 4 inch
cutting edge and an overall height of 3 inches from
cutting edge to the back of the handle. You don?t want
to make the blade too long or you will lose the control
which makes the blade shape so useful. With the
template shape made, now mark it out onto the steel
and cut off the excess material with a hacksaw. You
may find that using a drill or hole saw will make nice
curved edges to the blade, this will make it easy to clean
up and make the knife more comfortable in use. You
can choose to have the handle material pinned or
riveted to both sides of the tang. If you are doing this
then you will need to make the profile of the handle as
you want it to be at this stage. We are going to add a
natural piece of antler to ours so we are making it with a
tang that is 30mm wide and at least 25mm long. Using
this method of construction does make it a little easier
and also allows you to keep the rustic shape of the
antler too.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 79
Feature
3. Cut the antler to length
4. Mark out the pattern on
the steel
5. Rough cut the shape
6. Using a grinder to pro?le
the blade
7. Use ?les, Dremel or
grinder to smooth the
curves
8. Check how it feels in the
hand
9. Mark out the centre line
With the blade rough cut to shape we can smooth up
the profile with a file or a grinder. Using a Dremel with
some small sanding arbors will allow you to clean up
the curves and make a nice smooth finish. You also
want to break all the hard edges off the outside profile
so that it is nice and comfortable in the hand when
being used.
We can then start to work on the bevel - the main
advantage with this style of blade is that you have no
plunges to get neat and tidy, as the cutting edge runs
the full length of the blade. The plunges are the
sections where the cutting edge finishes and turns into
the tang of the knife. On a conventional knife these can
often be difficult to get neat and symmetrical on both
sides.
The best way to do the bevels is to mark the middle of
80 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
the blade with a set of dividers. Score a line marking the
middle, or ideally two lines, from each side leaving an
edge of about 1mm, this will be sharpened away after
heat treatment. You can then use the dividers to mark
how high you would like the bevel up the face of the
blade. The higher this is then the thinner the edge will
be. Ideally we are aiming for about 12 degrees on each
side of the blade, although the thickness of the blade
steel you are using will change the height of the line.
We are using 3mm thick stock so marking a line about 6
mm up will give us the correct 12 degree angle on each
side.
You can then clamp the blade onto a piece of wood held
in the vice and use some hand files to remove the
material. If you prefer, you can use an angle grinder, or
even a belt grinder if you have access to one.
Feature
10. Mark out the height of
the bevel
11. Using a ?le to shape the
bevels
12. Using a grinder to make
the bevels
13. Drill the holes for the
pins
14. Mark it with your logo,
or name
15. Heating the blade in the
forge
16. Getting it up to temperature
With the blade ground or filed to shape we can then
think about the handle. Either way you have designed it,
it will help to have some holes through the tang to allow
for some pins to go through the handle material to help
hold it securely in place. These need to be drilled now
as when we heat treat the blade then the steel will
become too hard to be able to drill. Check the size of
the pins you are using and drill the holes accordingly.
Brass or copper will work well, or even some nails with
the heads removed work well as pin stock. Make sure
you hold the blade securely in the vice when you drill the
holes and test the pins to make sure they aren?t too
tight. If you need to, you can easily make the holes
slightly larger at this stage.
If you are happy, then add any logo or makers mark and
think about heat-treating the blade itself. If you have
used some recycled steel then this may differ slightly
due to the type of steel it is. With simple carbon steels
like files, plane blades and the O1 tool steel we are
using, we need to heat it up in a kiln, forge or even with a
gas torch until we have at least the cutting edge red hot.
We actually need about 800+ degrees Celsius for O1 and
we can check the temperature with a magnet if needed at the correct temperature it will lose its magnetism.
When you have checked the temperature, heat it again
and ideally hold the temperature for at least 1 to 5
minutes to allow the heat to saturate the steel and then
we can quench it in some oil. Vegetable oil works well
and is less nasty to use than engine or heat treating oil.
You only need to quench the edge itself and leave the
rest in a fairly normal state, but if it is too difficult to
heat only part of the blade, then quench the whole
blade.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 81
19. The temper colours
showing on the blade
20. Using the tang to mark
out the mortice on the
antler
21. Starting to drill the slot
for the tang
22. The holes joined up to
make a slot
23. Test the blade for ?t
24. With the holes marked,
drill the pin holes in the
handle
25. Test the pins for ?t
Remove it from the oil and carefully wipe the steel. You
can then test the edge with a file to see if it?s hard. If it
is, it will skip off the surface and sound very hard with a
sharp ring to it. If it is too soft the file will bite into it
and it won?t have the ringing sound. We then need to
temper the hardened steel, you can either do this by
heating the back of the blade near the tang with a blow
torch and watch the colour of the steel change. The
colour we need is a dark straw colour which normally
gives you around the 58 to 59 on the Rockwell scale of
hardness for carbon tool steel. The more accurate way
to do it is in your home oven set at about 230 degrees
Celsius and left for at least one hour.
82 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
When this is done we can remove it from the oven and
let it cool and then use a wire brush to clean the
surface. Then refine the cutting edge with a file and
sandpaper or a grinder. It will now be harder than when
we first started working on it, but softer than when it
was fully hardened, as the file should now cut it,
although it will be slower to remove the steel. When you
have got it down to a cutting edge, you will start to
create a burr, this is a good sign that we have a zero
edge to the bevel and can hone and sharpen it easily.
Don?t hone it yet but cover the edge with some tape to
protect you while making the handle. It is up to you
Feature
18. Temper the blade with a
blowtorch
17. Test if its hard with a ?le
Feature
26. Mix up some epoxy and
apply to the mortice
28. Cut or grind the pins to length
27. Lay the blade upright
while it sets, yes this is a
tray of rice!
29. Using a ball peen to
round the heads of the
pinsr
30. Nice domed pins
what material you use for the handle, but we are going
to use antler as we think it will look in keeping with the
style of the knife. Select a piece of antler that has a
good comfortable shape when held in the palm of the
hand. A nice gentle curve is what you are looking for,
this will give a great ergonomic handle without having to
do a lot of work. When you have selected a good piece,
mark the position of the tang on the underside of the
handle. Next, mark the width of the tang and drill a
series of holes to create a mortice for the tang.
Measure the tang of your knife and select a drill bit the
same size. Hold the antler in the vice and drill along
your centre line. You may find the drill will want to
wander slightly, so take your time. Ideally it is best to
use a pillar drill for this to keep it centered. Don?t drill all
the way through the antler, we want to create a blind
mortice. If you decide you want to drill all the way
through it is not a problem but it won?t be as
comfortable to use.
You may need to use a file to clean up the slot and keep
trying the tang into the hole to get a good tight fit.
When you are happy, mark the position of the holes in
the tang onto the outside of the antler. These are often
difficult to line up so make sure you mark them as
accurately as possible. Drill through the antler through
the holes in your tang and then out the other side. You
can then try your pins for fit and make sure it all goes
together nicely. You may need to ream the holes slightly
to help them line up. If it all fits together nicely you can
then spend a little time cleaning and sanding the antler
to make it feel nice in the hand. Spend some time
rounding the ends and taking off any hard edges, this is
easier and safer to do now before fitting the blade.
With this all done we can assemble the Ulu blade into
the handle. It is always good to use a little good quality
epoxy glue to help seal the tang into the mortice. Make
sure your glue has at least a 5 minute cure time as if it
sets too fast it can be difficult to get it all together in
time. Mix the glue and add some to the hole and
carefully squeeze the tang into the hole, any excess glue
should ooze out. You can then put the pins through and
clean up the excess glue off the handle and blade. Let it
sit until the glue has fully set, you may need to lay it with
the blade sitting up in the air to stop the glue running
out as it sets. You can then trim the pins off almost
flush to the antler, leaving 1mm sticking out so we can
then peen them over with the hammer. Make sure you
support the pin on a lump of steel or anvil when you
peen them over.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 83
The perfect project to test the knife on is to make a
leather sheath for your new Ulu knife!
31. Holding the Ulu, the antler
sits well in the hand
84 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Feature
Then remove the tape from the edge and sharpen it up.
Give it a test run and see how it performs, it will take a
little practice as it is very different to a conventional
knife - you tend to have to use your wrist slightly more in
a rocking, slicing action.
Features
?Seasonal Awareness?
Naomi Walmsley
author profile
Winter Salve Recipe
Naomi has been teaching
Bushcraft and outdoor skills for
the past 10 years. While she
always had a passion for
adventures outside, Naomi was
inspired to create Outback2basics after a 5 month
primitive living course in 2010 that culminated in a full
Stone Age wilderness immersion in the US. She is an
NCFE level 4 qualified Bushcraft instructor, with Forest
School leader qualifications and a constant passion to
learn more!
I have spent several years living and working in various
locations in Canada. With my Dad being Canadian and
my passport stating that half of me is, I have the benefit
of being able to come and go as I please to visit its
majestic mountains, its vast forests and its wild sea
vistas. One of the things I particularly love about this
country is the manner of its changing seasons. In
Canada the seasons seem to be so assertive, so
obvious, that the air itself seems to change colour and
texture. The landscape changes from soft and inviting
to hard and forbidding with awesome displays of
changing hues and shades. Coastlines and mountains
can even seem to change shape. I also admire the way
the people who live there are able to adjust their lifestyle
as each season presents them with its characteristic
weather patterns. Most Canadians enjoy year-round
outdoor recreation and are ready for the transition from
lake swimming to skiing, when it is time to put away the
flip flops and break out the sheepskin-lined boots.
The UK also has an abundance of clear and wonderful
signs of the changing seasons, although perhaps not as
intense and overwhelming as those found in parts of
Canada. Autumn?s arrival is one of my favourite times
of year in the UK because of the wonderful exhibitions
of colour in woods and hedgerows, especially those that
the maple (Acer) family offer us. My heart literally sings
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 85
Features
as I see the avenues of oranges, reds and golden
yellows. I just want to collect each brilliantly red leaf to
take home to swoon over. Hawthorn and bright ripe red
holly berries mark winter as well as the welcome first
frost on the ground, officially allowing me to don my
bobble hat and gloves, while indoors the smell of mulled
wine and minced pies is like a winter perfume. The first
sightings of lambs and bluebells marking spring are an
absolute joy to me and feel quintessentially British and
the gorgeous patches of wild flowers with their blues,
pinks, yellows and whites dancing in the meadows are a
clear and splendid sign of summer approaching.
But these seem to be only signs of beginnings, not
fundamental changes in the way the landscape changes
or the way people respond to the conditions in which
they find themselves living. For most of us, our lives
entwined with daily routines, the changing of seasons is
marked by a change in outfits, for example in the
choiceof what seems to be more seasonal footwear, but
not much else.
86 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
When I lived in Canada, on Vancouver Island, I used to
hear people ask one another what they were going to do
this winter, this spring etc. It surprised me to begin
with. Why would they do anything different? But for
some people, especially those that lived a more
self-sufficient lifestyle, the changing of seasons meant
a complete change in lifestyle. The seasons literally
dictated their daily chores, their weekly tasks. When
you depend on nature you have to be aware of all that
each season offers and what implications that will have
in the future. Several of my friends use an entire season
to prepare for the next and concentrate on nothing but
that. Foraging when plants and berries are abundant to
preserve, drying, pickling and canning for the leaner
months, hunting deer in open season, rendering fat to
make candles to light up their homes during the shorter
days. I loved watching this cycle of preparation, in awe
of their awareness of all that the seasons would bring
and what nature can offer to assist.
Features
Most of us, sadly, do not live our lives so in tune with
the changing of seasons. Instead, the pace of our
lives is mostly governed by the demands of our jobs
and our homes. My own situation is an example: I?ve
been so busy this year with guiding our newest
recruit, baby Wren, through her first year, while trying
to meet the deadlines of the publishers of the book
I?ve been writing and expect to publish in the spring,
that I?ve let the seasons come and go by without so
much as picking one elderberry to make my usual
syrup to boost the immune system.
I have shamefully not picked one hawthorn to dry for
tea. Only one batch of wild garlic pesto sits lonely in
my freezer and I think I need to be honest and say I
don?t think my garden is just resting after all, I think
I?ve actually killed all of my herbs and plants, rather
than picking them to dry to preserve for making into
balms and syrups. So with a guilty feeling in my
heart I set about thinking what I could do redeem my
?seasonal awareness status?. I know that even if my
mind is not aware of the changing seasons, my body
is. It aches from the cold and from working hard all
summer and autumn.
So what could I make from nature?s larder now that
could help ease my body?s ailments, as well as to
ease my state of mind? I look around. What do I
see?
Without moving too far I can see a wispy willow tree
still growing strong. I see not all my herbs have
completely left me - a little rosemary and bay are left,
winter?s hardy herbs. I see a few last resilient
marigolds refusing to be beaten just yet and in the
distance I can see some of my favourite trees,
Western Red Cedars.
Fortunately, even in the winter months, there is still
life among the evergreens. Not only do conifers help
lift the spirits with their fresh, invigorating fragrance,
evergreen salves have traditionally been used to
ease aching muscles, as a chest rub for easing
congestion, and to help heal dry skin.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 87
Here?s my
recipe for
evergreen
and rosemaryinfused salve
with a heated
twist.
88 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Salves are easy to prepare at home using dried herbs,
oils and wax. The skin absorbs the medicinal properties
of the herbs through the oil, while the wax provides skin
protection. Perfect for a winter salve. And this one,
with the right balance of essential oils should add a little
heat to the skin, assisting with relaxing any tight
muscles.
Ingredients:
oil (instructions
d
se
fu
in
n
ee
gr
? 1 cup of ever
below)
ax
the
? � cup of beesw
nal but all add to
o
ti
p
(o
s
il
o
al
ti
? Essen
ch of
medicinal
heat): 10 drops ea
d
an
t
en
sc
s
it
,
mphor,
properties
, peppermint, ca
n
o
am
n
n
ci
s,
tu
eucalyp
vender.
er
rosemary and la
cepan of hot wat
u
sa
(a
p
u
t
se
er
? Double boil
l on top)
and a glass bow
rs and labels
? Tins or glass ja
Features
So just like peering into a kitchen cupboard searching
for inspiration from a few random ingredients, I have the
perfect recipe to convert guilt into proactive action! I
can produce a winter warming muscle balm made from
garden leftovers and seasonal greens - ?yum!? With a
few additions from my essential oils kit I think we?ll
create a new seasonal favourite.
Features
How to:
1. First you?ll need to infuse your oil.
Oils you can use:
? Extra virgin olive oil
? Almond oil
? Coconut oil
? Sunflower oil
? Rapeseed oil
Collect your pine needles (I used Scots Pine, but you
could use others such as Spruce needles or Cedar, just
make sure you know exactly what it is you are picking
as there are one or two poisonous ones that would not
be good to use on your skin). Pick a couple of really
good handfuls and 1 or 2 good sprigs of rosemary.
Allow them to dry out on a window sill for 2 days.
2. When dried, cut or chop your needles into small
pieces. This allow them to release all their goodness
into the oil. I also used some dried juniper berries,
which I crushed in a pestle and mortar. Juniper's
medicinal properties make it useful for treating aches
Essential oils
Cutting pine needles
Letting pine
needles infuse
and pains in the body and it also aids the elimination of
toxins.
Fill a jar with your herbs and needles and pour your
chosen oil over to cover them. Seal with a lid.
Infusing oil with pine
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 89
Features
Pouring infused oil
3. Place the jar in a warm, dark place (you can cover
with a tea towel if you don?t have such a place) and
store for around 4-6 weeks. It?s good to give the jar a
good shake when you think about it. After the allotted
time, strain through a muslin cloth. Discard the herbs
from your infused oil.
Squeezing muslin
Tip: It is possible to speed up this infusing process ? you
can use the ?hot method? instead. Place the dried herbs in
your glass bowl, cover with your oil and place on top of a
saucepan of boiling water. This is your double boiler (make
sure your bowl ?ts tightly on top of on top of a saucepan of
boiling water. This is your double boiler (make sure your
bowl ?ts tightly on top of your saucepan). Gently heat your
oil mixture for 4 hours with the water on a constant simmer
underneath. You will need to keep checking your water so
that it does not boil dry and add more when necessary.
Allow to cool before straining.
4. Now place your infused oil and beeswax in the top of
your double boiler over a low heat until the beeswax is
just melted. Remove from the heat immediately and stir
to blend.
90 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Melting Beeswax
Features
5. Add your essential oils. The list below are just
suggestions but each has its own beneficial medicinal
properties.
oils
Adding essential
? Eucalyptus: Anti-inflammatory - decreases swelling.
? Cinnamon: Anti-inflammatory - increases circulation.
? Peppermint: Anti spasmodic - helpful in treating
muscular and joint pains by relieving muscle spasms.
? Camphor: Anti?inflammatory - decreases swelling.
? Rosemary: Stimulant and analgesic - helps to relieve
pain.
? Lavender: Anti-inflammatory and calming.
6. Pour your mixture into your tins or jars and allow to
cool and harden. Label and store in a cool dark place
(out of direct sunlight). Your salve should last up to one
year. Apply to sore muscles and enjoy the scent of
winter.
Tip: If you ?nd your salve isn?t as strong in any one scent or
does not heat up as much as you would like it to, it is
possible to add back to your double boiler set up and
re-melt, adding in additional oils.
Not only will your seasonal awareness status be
restored but others will be impressed (fooled) with your
winter proactivity! You?ll smell like you?ve been out for
days or even weeks, foraging deep in the woods to
collect the lasting smells of winter.
Pouring
oil into
jug
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 91
Woman in the Wilderness
by Miriam Lancewood
washing her hair with it, rather than swigging it down
like a cocktail, a la Bear Grylls!
The couple start out on the cold western part of the
island, moving around various mountain huts and
returning to base every three months or so to resupply.
They then explore the dryer east side in an old Toyota
truck. Along the way they experience a lot of natural
beauty, but also some pretty extreme weather, including
a storm that brings one metre of rain in two days and
other trials like a reoccurrence of Peter?s malaria.
Finally, they decide to walk the Te Araroa trail, which
spans 3,000 kilometres from the top of NZ?s north island
to the bottom of the south island. Most ?through hikers?
take a brisk 3 to 5 months to complete the walk, but the
couple progress at a more nomadic contemplative pace.
Hunting and foraging to complement their limited
shop-bought supplies, it takes them a year to complete
the journey.
There were a couple of what I would describe as
ethereal moments in the book, which made me raise my
eyebrows and I think that some might not appreciate a
few of the more introspective paragraphs. That said,
this is overall a warm and engaging story of a
remarkable couple and one of those books that it's easy
to lose yourself in.
Despite its title, this is the tale of six years in the lives of
two remarkable people, carving out a unique lifestyle for
themselves, living amongst nature in an amazing part of
the world.
After leaving her job at a school in New Zealand, the
Dutch-born author, together with her Kiwi husband set
off to live in the wilds.
Peter, who she met whilst travelling in India, is thirty
years her senior, and so it is Miriam who takes on the
role of hunting. It?s quite a shift from living as a
vegetarian in Holland to hunting with a bow in the bush
of New Zealand's south island and she meets with a lot
of failure. But she eventually becomes a proficient
hunter and tracker, later swapping the bow for a rifle, on
the grounds that it?s more humane.
In addition, the pair learn and polish their foraging and
outdoor skills. Miriam even cures her dandruff with her
own urine. I should point out that she does this by
92 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
author profile
review
BOOK REVIEW
Chris Eyles
Walking, camping, fishing,
geocaching, investigating plants
and animals and just wombling in
the woods are all things you will
find Chris Eyles doing whilst trying
to pass his love of the outdoors on to his young son, who
often proves better at them than his dad. Chris also
aspires to write a book for children about the folklore of
trees.
WIN
A Copy of
This Book
Email: competitions@bushcraftmagazine.com or post
in your details for a chance to win. (See T&Cs Page 3)
Ben Abbott is a 14-year-old boy
author profile
Feature
How to: make a
collapsible pot hanger
who lives in Cambridge and is
passionate about bushcraft
and the outdoors. He can typically
be found at the bottom of the
garden, or in the woods close by
practising his skills. He has very tolerant parents who put
up with the resultant wood shavings, mud and smell of
smoke. Ben?s passion for bushcraft was sparked age 4,
when he received his first pen knife and his Mum
enrolled the family onto a Ray Mears course, concerned
to ensure Ben retained all his fingers. Thereafter, Ben
discovered the Bushcraft Show, which he has attended
as an annual pilgrimage. Ben is a prodigious reader of a
wide range of books and blogs on bushcraft and
dventuring, and as a member of his school?s outdoor
exploration society, he gets to share this interest with his
peers.
While I love sitting around a ?re,
talking, whittling or just thinking, I also
love to cook over a ?re. My uncle used
to cook food in embers, using his ?potjie?,
or dutch oven. He would serve a
generous line-up of curries and stews,
which I happily recall the sight and
smell of. Every year my mum?s family
stay with us and we make ?potjie?
outside, in winter and the family
reminisce about all things South
African!
These experiences have inspired me to
explore ways of cooking over ?res and I
would like to share one commonly
-used method with you here.
To me, this method can enable you to be
self-suf?cient when outdoors and it
reduces the amount of ?kit? you have to
pack because you should be able to ?nd
all the materials you need around you.
Alternatively, you could make this at
home and take the pot hanger with
you.
94 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Feature
1.
2.
Tools needed:
a knife and a saw.
1. Firstly, you will need to
?nd two straight
branches; each of which
needs to have a second
branch growing out of it, at
roughly a forty-?ve -degree
angle, to enable you to cut it
to create a ?hook?, as depicted.
2. Once you have cut the
sticks, and fashioned the
?hooks?, you can then strip
the bark from the outside of
each stick.
3. You can use the back of
the knife to scrape off any
excess.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 95
Feature
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
4. Both of your sticks should now be
stripped.
saw cuts across the now ?attened surface
with a space between them, of about 3.5cm.
5. Towards the non-hooked end of one of
the sticks, about fourteen centimetres from
the end, carve a deep notch into the stick.
8. Flatten out this space, between the two
saw cuts, so that you have a ?at ?shallow?.
Your stick should now look like the image
in No. 8
6. Once this notch has been carved, cut
along the length of the stick towards the
end, to create a ?at surface, level with the
base of the notch.
7. Proceed by making two fairly shallow
96 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Repeat the same process on the other stick,
making sure to use the same
measurements as they will need to
interlock later.
10.
11.
Feature
9.
12.
13.
9. Carve the notch.
10. Flatten out the surface.
11. Make the two saw cuts and then ?atten
out the ?shallow? between them.
12. Both your sticks should now ?t together
well with a nice gap in the middle between
them.
14.
branch or piece of wood and saw off a short
section, about 7cm in length. This will soon
hold the hanger together.
14. Using your knife, baton the 7cm piece of
wood into a rectangle, to the same width
and thickness as the gap between the two
sticks. Insert this rectangular ?wedge? into
the gap, to lock the two sticks together.
Your stick should now look like this.
13. Now you need to ?nd a slightly thicker
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 97
Feature
15.
16.
15. You will end up with the two sticks
?locked? together with a hook at opposing
ends and faces. This enables you to
suspend your pot or kettle directly over the
?re with one hook, while hooking the pot
hanger onto an angled branch or onto a
tripod, over the ?re.
16. The ?locked? sticks should look like this.
17. The ?nished pot hanger.
Right, time for that brew!
98 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
17.
an newspaper Pravda reported
that only two elderly Ter speakers remained.
Today, Northern S醡i, with perhaps 20,000 speakers
across northern Norway, Sweden and Finland, is the
most widely used. Southern and Lule S醡i in the west,
and Skolt and Inari in the east, are probably spoken by
not more than 2,000, 600, 450 and 300 people
respectively.
When we were last in S醦mi, sat on a hill eating dried
reindeer and smoked salmon, our host providing this
generous meal explained how he was trying to
catalogue the Pite language while it still holds on. After
singing a Joik (a traditional S醡i song) as the sun sank
beyond the mountains, he taught us the Pite word for
reindeer lichen - vistte (sounding like vistair). Even
knowing that single fragment from such a vulnerable
language feels a great privilege. At the same time this
is a grave reminder of the appalling situation that
surrounds these unique and ancient means of
communication.
Then there?s the reindeer. And while herding these
superbly adapted deer is still central to much of S醡i
culture and identity, portraying them only in this light
does tend to hide a few important facts.
When the ancestors of the S醡i first moved into the
land released by that retreating ice, it?s very likely they
were following the reindeer. With fairly fixed migratory
patterns, their movements were easy to predict, making
them equally easy to hunt. Big, and therefore offering
plenty to eat, reindeer also come wrapped in some of
the warmest fur known to man. All very appealing in
these sometimes extremely cold environments. At
some point, to keep up with their quarry, and quite
possibly before anyone else, the S醡i adopted skis.
But of course like any hunter-gatherer culture, these first
people of the European north exploited whatever else
was available too, trapping and hunting what wandered
or flew, fishing for what swam. These early S醡i also
collected berries and nuts, dug up roots, even ground up
tree bark (see www.woodlanders.com episode 13). In
short they behaved as any pre-agricultural community,
becoming deeply familiar with every aspect of their
environment.
Explaining a shift to reindeer herding, the current belief
is that these hunters first found they could lure reindeer
closer to the bow or spear by using captured animals as
decoys. After that, it probably wasn?t long before they
discovered the whole herd could be controlled, at least
as much as was needed to live comfortably off the
results. Whether this semi-domestication happened as
the result of natural events, uninfluenced by the outside,
or, as some suggest, that pressures from incomers was
already forcing a change in tactics, is uncertain.
Whatever the cause, about 500 years ago the classic
nomadic character of S醡i life was forged, yet further
bound to the reindeer.
An engraving from Olaus Magnus' 1555 book
Historia, with a very stylistic depiction of S醡i
hunting reindeer on skis. The artist?s idea of the
L醰vu, probably based on third-hand reports, can
be seen on the left.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 61
Feature
Mother and calf
Feature
Not that it stopped them fishing of course, either in
freshwater or at sea, or trapping and hunting beaver and
other mammals, catching geese, or collecting blueberries. Portraying the S醡i of the past only as reindeer
herders is like suggesting that all Texans ranched cattle.
When farming began to make its appearance a couple of
hundred years ago, along the Atlantic fringe of what was
later to become Norway and to the east on the Bothnian
coast, the S醡i took that up too, raising cattle and
sheep and utilising the resultant meat, dairy products
and wool.
A reindeer herd close to the border
between Sweden and Norway
They were also trading, presumably exchanging such
exotic items as reindeer and beaver skins, perhaps
walrus tusk, for the English wool broadcloth that would
feature so colourfully in their dress. The S醡i took a
fancy to Scottish plaid too, eventually altering the hues
and patterns to make a cloth of their own. From
Southwest England, and possibly from an early date,
they also imported the tin that forms an essential part
of the pewter wire that decorates their kit. Recorded
boat building skills suggest the S醡i may well have
been collecting these materials themselves. Some even
argue the Vikings first learnt their famous shipwright
abilities from these seagoing fishermen and traders.
Of course amidst all this diversity, reindeer herding
continued to form the economic and spiritual core of the
S醡i world, woven inextricably within a complex animist
and shamanistic view of the world. Following the herds
on their cyclical migrations between feeding areas, the
S醡i travelled on foot, or using those skis, their portable
home of spruce poles and skins, the L醰vu, towed
behind specially trained deer. Others carried their
limited range of household items and working
equipment, each carefully evolved to suit the environment and transportation methods.
Today, engagement with reindeer herding is far from
universal, with perhaps only 10-15% of S醡i owning and
managing reindeer, and then often only as part of a
mixed livelihood. Even where herding is still central to a
family?s activities, very few employ those traditional
nomadic practices. Many now live in one place, visiting
their herd by skidoo in winter, or on quad bikes, even by
helicopter, in the long bright day that is summer. Yet I
suspect almost all S醡i feel at least some level of
attachment to these animals.
Knife with an engraved reindeer antler
handle and sheath by Kjell 舓e Kitok
Birch and reindeer antler drinking
cup by Sven 舓e Risfjell
They certainly retain a strong connection with the land.
Many S醡i continue to fish, setting nets by boat in
summer and angling through holes cut in the deep ice of
winter. Hunting and foraging is still popular, and
something of a frenzy takes place each year as the
Luomi, or cloudberries, growing across the boggy
grounds of fell and forest turn from red to gold.
S醡i handicrafts, or duodji, are also bound strongly to
both the reindeer and the natural resources of the
surrounding hill and forests. Antler, leather and fur from
the herds feature strongly, the antler often engraved
beautifully, the incisions stained with charcoal. Wooden
cups, or guksi, are amongst a range of traditional
containers carved from birch burls
(see www.woodlanders.com - episode 14).
62 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Spruce roots are used to cover bottles or provide
strainers for cheese making. Knives with birch and
antler handles are forged with iron from the neighbouring hills. The S醡i have been noted blacksmiths for at
least a hundred years.
Today, the S醡i number somewhere around 140,000
Feature
Northern S醡i dress, worn at the 2017
International Reindeer Herding Congress
individuals. In purely numerical terms that makes them
a very definite minority within their own land. And while
this is probably not the place to try to present the
current situation, and as a largely uninformed outsider I
may not be best person to comment, that fact speaks
for itself. One only needs to take the most fleeting
glance at history, or towards other places around our
globe still populated by indigenous minorities to begin
to imagine what that might mean. What I can say is
that as we?ve move around the area, meeting S醡i
individuals from communities spread across northern
Scandinavia, the same stories are told, and they are
rarely comforting. Even population numbers are
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 63
Feature
uncertain, as through the 20th century many S醡i
parents, fearful of the implications in an unfriendly and
discriminating world, hid their identity from their
children. Many Scandinavians, including descendants
of those that emigrated across the Atlantic in search of
a better life, are not even aware of their origins.
The S醡i evidently still have many struggles. Their
original religion and spiritual beliefs have been all but
destroyed by centuries of suppression, and they have a
fight to even retain the more widely spoken of their
languages. In Sweden, the S醡i were only recognised
formerly as an indigenous people as late as 1977. The
constitution didn?t acknowledge them separately until
2011. It is still almost impossible to send your children
to a state school that teaches in a S醡i language.
But beneath concerns that must be evident to anyone
with a respect for these resilient people is a recognition
that their attachment to the land, to the trees that grow
on it, the rivers that flow through it and the animals that
feed amongst the berry bushes, is a force to be
reckoned with. While many S醡i today might be as
likely to work for a company conducting cold-weather
vehicle tests, as to herd reindeer, to cast a film as cast a
net, that deep and almost ageless connection provides
an immense strength. When called upon, it manifests
itself in a clear approach to life, supported by enduring
skills in hunting, fishing and herding, carried out amidst
what many might consider a pretty unforgiving
environment. This is also a life still embellished by
simple yet beautiful arts and crafts, both enduring and
evolving, each born out of the land itself. We
undoubtedly have much to learn from them.
Pressures on the land over which they run their herds,
and the rivers they fish seem only to continue as
demands on the natural resources increase. Ever
expanding mining concerns and hydroelectric schemes
cast a shadow of real fear over all who wish to see this
land unspoilt, and the interconnected lives of their
original inhabitants flourish.
As part of their response to these threats, the S醡i
people have established parliaments in Norway, Sweden
and Finland. Attempts have also been made in Russia.
Depending on the attitude of the national governments,
these bodies possess varying levels of actual influence.
Since 2011 the three existing parliaments have been
united within a single S醡i Parliamentary Council. I for
one can only applaud any attempt to give these
institutions greater power and autonomy.
The S醡i now also have a flag. As a small sign of
solidarity this blue, yellow, green and red symbol of the
S醡i people sits on the back of our van. Having only
just returned, the dust of S醦mi still covers it.
The spruce frame to a L醰vu, sat by a lake,
awaiting the return of its owners
Bushcraft and Survival skills? If anyone can claim an
expertise in those two areas, it must surely be the S醡i.
The S醦mi flag, on the back of our old
Transporter
64 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
While travelling through the glories of S醦mi, Susannah
and I have had the great fortune to meet some
wonderful people. At the time I had no plans to write
this article, but the more I learnt from these generous
individuals, the more it felt like something that needed
to be done. At the inevitable risk of missing someone
out, I would like to offer my particular thanks to the
following: the staff of the Silvermuseet in Arjeplog
(www.silvermuseet.se), Mari-Ann Nutti of the S醡i
Duodji Samesl鰆dstiftelsen in Jokkmokk
(www.sameslojdstiftelsen.com), the artist and Lule
S醡i language ambassador Katarina Kielatis, Sofia
Jannok, singer, civil rights activist and environmental
campaigner (www.sofiajannok.com), the staff of the
Riddo Duotar Museat, Kautokeino
(www.rdm.no/english/kautokeino_bygdetun/), and Olve
Utne, musician and Pite S醡i language defender. Of
course, while much of the inspiration for this article
rests with them, any errors are all mine.
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Budget Pemmican
Hello again and welcome to another
Bushcraft on a Budget article. In this
article I want to show you how I made
some provisions that I will be taking
with me on my snowshoe trip in
Sweden. At the point you are reading
this I may still be there or may have
already returned. This food stuff is the
amazing Pemmican.
Pemmican is essentially dried, ground
meat mixed with animal fat and makes
perfect sustenance for cold climates
where the body needs a good source of
fats and proteins. Here is some history
about pemmican.
Pemmican is a concentrated mixture of
fat and protein used as a nutritious food.
Historically, it was an element of
Canadian cuisine in certain parts of the
country. The word comes from the Cree
word pim頷k鈔, which itself is derived
from the word pim�, "fat, grease". It was
invented by the native peoples of North
America, who would air dry meat,
pound it to powder with stones and mix
with animal fat. Pemmican was widely
adopted as a high-energy food by
Europeans involved in the fur trade and
later by Arctic and Antarctic explorers,
such as Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton,
Fridtjof Nansen, Robert Falcon Scott, and
Roald Amundsen.
(Information from Wikipedia).
There are also many more recent historical records of
pemmican being used and being a ?superfood? and the
best option for ultimate nutritional value.
Many Polar or Arctic explorations relied on the use of
Pemmican not just to feed the men on those expeditions but also the dogs. It was found that ?dog
Pemmican?, made from beef and not actually dog meat,
which was classed as lower quality Pemmican to be fed
to the dogs, was too high in protein for the dogs and not
the best form of feed for them. There is even an
66 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Author Profile
'Make do and Mend' is Ian's Philosophy. He is a
dab hand at all things creative, and would be a
match for any skilled seamstress! His innovative
ideas can save you pounds, showing you how to
make kit from things that you might find lying
around. He also has a long-standing interest in
and extensive knowledge of woodcraft and
green woodworking, which, combined with his other skills, makes for some
great money-saving tips!
IAN NAIRN
account of members of Ernest Shackleton's 1914?1916
expedition to the Antarctic resorting to eating dog
Pemmican when they were stranded on ice for the
winter, affording them much more benefit than feeding it
to the dogs.
If like me, you read many of the older books on outdoors
travel, camping and woodcraft, such as Nessmuk?s
?Woodcraft and Camping?, or Horace Kephart?s ?Camping
and Woodcraft?, or Ellsworth Jaeger?s ?Wildwood?
Wisdom you will find they all mention the virtues of
Pemmican. Even today it can be found mentioned and
held in high regard in books such as Ray Mears?s
?Northern Wilderness? and his latest book Out on the
Land. Pemmican is also recommended in the book I
have been referring to for much of my snow travel
information, ?A Snow Walker's Companion?, by Garrett
and Alexandra Conover. With all these older and more
recent books singing its praises it just seemed the
logical choice for me to have a go at making this to take
with me.
The basis is always a dried meat mixed with animal fat.
Traditionally this would have been Bison, Elk or Deer
meat air dried and then ground using stones and mixed
with rendered animal fat, usually from the animal the
meat came from. Later versions saw the addition of
dried fruits and berries to add flavour and carbohydrates. For my version I am using beef steak, blueberries, cranberries, nuts and beef dripping. I am also using
modern kitchen appliances to make this, (as opposed to
using stones!)
Ingredients:
eak
? 1lb lean beef st
ies
s fresh blueberr
et
nn
? 2 small pu
(approx. 500g)
amia nuts
rries and macad
be
an
cr
d
ie
dr
g
? 1 ba
(250g)
250g
? Beef dripping
? Sea salt
pepper
? Ground black
? Soy sauce
sauce,
? Worcestershire
? Ginger,
? Garlic
? Cinnamon
skey
? A ?dash? of whi
1. Steak
2. Slice it thin
4. In bag with marinade
5. Marinade ingredients
3. All cut up
To start with I bought a large steak, some fresh blueberries and I had a bag of dried cranberries and macadamia
nuts. I trimmed much of the fat off the steak as this helps with the drying process. I then cut it into very thin slices.
This was going to be my dried beef or jerky. I made up a marinade sauce for this to soak in overnight. The marinade
using the ingredients above makes jerky that I really like, but it may not be to your taste. If in doubt just use salt,
pepper and a bit of Worcestershire sauce. It's best to experiment and find a mix you like. Put the thin strips of meat
into a zip-lock bag, add your marinade and then give it a good shake and mix it all together, place it in the fridge and
leave overnight.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 67
Feature
So why is this such a superfood for the cold
environments? Well I won?t go into a whole chemistry
and biology lesson here but basically, in the cold you
burn far more calories and on a sled expedition you
need to carry or pull all your kit and food with you so you
really want the most bang for your buck. As far as
nutrition and calorific value go, fat is a concentrated
energy source that supplies nine calories per gram.
Carbohydrates and protein, on the other hand, provide
only four calories per gram each, so it makes sense to
increase your fat intake and burn calories obtained from
fats. Also, once made, Pemmican keeps well in the right
conditions - possibly indefinitely.
Feature
6. Blueberries in dehydrator
7. Dehydrated blueberries
8. Drying off meat
9. Meat strips in dehydrator
10. Dehydrating meat &
berries
11. Jerky done
Whilst the meat was marinating, I put a sheet of baking paper on my dehydrator shelf (to stop the berries falling
through) and put the blueberries in and switched them on to dehydrate overnight. In the morning they were still
not quite ready but the meat had marinated nicely, so I put the meat onto 3 dehydrator trays and left the berries on
the top one to go back in a bit longer. In the meantime I put the bag of dried cranberries and nuts in the food blender
and blitzed it.
12. Blitzing fruit & nuts
13. Jerky in blender
14. Jerky blitzed
When the meat and blueberries were dried fully I blitzed these separately in the blender too. The meat took quite a
while to break down to a fine powder, I sharpened the cutting blade on the blender which seemed to help somewhat,
but take your time and make sure you grind the meat down nice and fine. Once done, I placed all the dried
ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mixed them well together.
68 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
15. Beef dripping
16. Melt the dripping
17. Mix in the melted dripping
Once fully mixed together I spooned it out into a baking tray. If you line the baking tray with greaseproof paper, when
the mix has set it will be easy to remove. Flatten and smooth the mix out as much as possible, trying to make it nice
and evenly spread out. Now just allow this to cool and set. Once set I cut it into blocks using a pizza slice wheel. I
took it out of the tray and bagged it in a zip lock bag, after trying a small bit of course.
I think it is an acquired taste, it?s certainly not unpleasant and I can see the massive benefits this food will provide in
the cold environment it?s going to be used. It is not something I would sit and eat in one go, like I can with jerky. It
can be eaten straight or mixed in with cooking to form a fatty gravy but it?s perfect for providing those much needed
calories and fuel when out in the cold.
18. Pressed into baking tray to set
19. Cut into blocks.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and let me know if you have your own recipe for Pemmican or Jerky that you
would like to share.
Until next time, keep whatever bushcraft you are doing, On A Budget.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 69
Feature
I also put my beef dripping, chopped up, into a pan to melt slowly. Take care not to overheat this, you just want it to
melt and not start to cook. Once the dripping was melted and the dry mix all blended together I poured the melted
dripping slowly into the dry mix and combined it all together with a wooden spoon. Don?t use your hands as you are
pouring hot fat in this mix and it will burn you. Make sure the mixture is well mixed together, not leaving any dry
areas. You want this to be firm and moist throughout, but not a sloppy mix.
The Art of Fire
by Daniel Hume
But for mine and later generations, the widescale
introduction of central heating in the second half of the
20th century means that fire lighting is no longer a
universally held skill.
These are things Daniel Hume discusses in this book,
but he also adds wider context by looking at people
around the globe who still retain these skills. This is
what one would expect from a writer who worked at
Ray Mears' Woodlore School of Wilderness Bushcraft
for many years, serving as the Head of Operations
there for the last six.
Various types of friction fire lighting are explained,
along with other methods such as electrical and
chemical means, plus of course firesteels and other
sparking methods. I was pleased to read about
throwing sparks using bamboo, as I had learned it was
possible in a book called ?Stranger in the Forest? by Eric
Hansen (a good read by the way), but I did not know
how.
Sections on tinder, embers, fire set-ups and care
complete the practical elements and small sections on
fire creation stories and wild fire add to the picture.
?Fire is mankind?s oldest energy. It must have left a love of
?re inside human genes?, is the quote which opens this
book. The quote is by Lars Mytting who wrote
Norwegian Wood and it reminded me of an exchange
with my father over 30 years ago, as we sat side by
side, very late one summer night, staring into the
dancing flames of a bonfire. "What is it about fire?" I
asked, as much a statement as a question. After a
pause the Old Man signed heavily before replying, "I
don't know, but it's something. Something old."
There is something about fire that connects us with
our ancestors. And not just our distant ancestors. I
have lived most of my life in houses with an open fire.
And many of those years where it was the only source
of heat. So, from about the age of 8 I have been
lighting fires to keep warm. For my parents? generation
this would have been pretty usual. For my
grandparents? it was entirely normal, so that the ability
to light a good fire quickly would have been as normal
as knowing how to tie shoelaces.
author profile
This could have been a very matter of fact book, but
the author knits it all together in a narrative that links
in his various trips and experiences, to make this both
an enjoyable read and a useful reference piece.
Chris Eyles
Walking, camping, fishing,
geocaching, investigating plants
and animals and just wombling in
the woods are all things you will
find Chris Eyles doing whilst trying
to pass his love of the outdoors on to his young son, who
often proves better at them than his dad. Chris also
aspires to write a book for children about the folklore of
trees.
WIN
A Copy of
This Book
Email: competitions@bushcraftmagazine.com or post
in your details for a chance to win. (See T&Cs Page 3)
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 71
REVIEW
BOOK REVIEW
Feature
author profile
Jonas Taureck?s
Mongolia
Roadtrip
Jonas Taureck grew up in a
village near the city of Hanover.
There he learned outdoor life from
scratch. After finishing school,
Jonas and his friend Micha went
on a trip through several African
countries, driving an old Magirus Deutz truck. The trip
helped raise awareness of AIDS in Africa and was the
first of a number of adventures. Back in Germany, Jonas
moved to Magdeburg for his studies and soon
afterwards founded a company. He still loved the
outdoors and in 2006 Jonas bought the Petromax brand.
Today Jonas and his wife Pia Christin head Petromax
together as a team.
Outdoor cooking at its best
72 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Everyone has at least one daredevil friend. For
Jonas Taureck, CEO of Petromax, (the German
experts for grilling and outdoor cooking, fire and
light, bushcraft and survival), his friend Martin nicknamed Elwis ? fits this catergory perfectly.
When Elwis decided to drive an old Russian UAZ bus
all the way from Germany to Japan and he asked
some close friends to join him, it was clear that
Jonas would not only be on board for a few days but
that Petromax would also become sponsor of Elwis?
crazy trip, supplying him with some useful outdoor
cooking gear that came in handy on the road.
Feature
1st morning
When I decided to spend a few days with Elwis in the far
reaches of Mongolia I had no idea what I was getting
into. My adventure to the East started off on 14
September 2016 when I arrived at Genghis Khan Airport
in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Elwis, together
with two other close German friends, Steffen and Silvio,
came to collect me. They had just finished several
repairs on the UAZ. Together we got supplies for the
road and then headed east to the Genghis Khan Statue
Complex.
At this point you should know that a vehicle such as an
UAZ bus is neither elegant nor comfortable and rather
prone to lots of breakdowns and repairs on the way. So
the most important question to ask before going on
such an extended trip is: Can I get spare parts in any
country I pass through and will I be able to effect the
repairs myself? In that case it is important to
understand that the UAZ is very popular as well as
common in eastern countries and also drives well in
offroad areas. In addition, Elwis is a great car
mechanic. So - problem solved.
As I had never been to Mongolia before I did not know
that it is a vast but sparsley populated country
squeezed in between Kazakhstan, Russia and China.
The Mongolian Empire used to be one of the biggest
empires of mankind. The Mongolians were horsemen
Stuck in the sand
and normads and today only a few ancient monuments
still point to the splendour of former epochs. The
Genghis Khan Statue, an equestrian statue consisting of
250 tons of stainless steel, is one reminder of the
country?s glorious past.
After the first night overlooking some beautiful tundra
landscape in Gorkhi Terelj Park we had to redo the
sponsor stickers on the UAZ bus as the reserve wheel
where they were formerly displayed, had fallen off in the
vast slopes of the Mongolian tundra.
bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE | 73
Feature
ening
First ev
Second ev
ening
The UAZ is a common car in Mongo
lia
For supper I wanted to make a dish in Elwis? Petromax
Dutch Oven: meat in a pot is usually my speciality!
Mystery meat from the local store was quickly bought.
Unfortunately, we slightly misjudged the amount of
wood needed for cooking which resulted in a cast-iron
pot full of charcoal meat with bits of raw meat in the
centre. So, that night it was canned snacks for
everyone instead!
The next morning, I made some campfire breakfast with
beans, bacon and eggs on the Petromax Atago to make
up for the slightly ruined supper of the night before. No
hard feelings! Our tour continued through the national
park: pristine nature and the Indian summer season
revealed the pure beauty of the surroundings. Here and
there the bus passed a yurt, known in Mongolia as a Ger.
We spent the night on the banks of a river where there
was no possibility to find a route through without
four-wheel-drive. Thank goodness that it worked when
we needed it!
On the following morning, ice covered the tents and
Steffen declared that his cheap tent was not made for
this weather as he stated that he almost froze to death.
Elwis only replied that there were still some spare
sleeping bags in the bus?
74 | bushcraft & SURVIVAL SKILLS MAGAZINE
Golden G
obi beer
A few days later Silvio tried to organise his flight back
home but failed due to bad mobile connection in this
mountainous region. Elwis had the great idea to create
a hotspot with his mobile phone. He attached the
phone to a camera drone and let it rise to 100 metres
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