All the main elements of bushcraft knowledge, survival techniques, campcraft and handicraft are inter-woven with fun games, workshops, challenges and discussions, all underpinned by a theoretical understanding of science and nature.
One of the most important requirements for survival is protection from the elements. Wind, rain, sun, and wild creatures are all threats from which we need protection. Man made Bivvis, Bashas and Tarp's are slung in a variety of ways with the positioning optimised according to danger, weather, topography, flora and fauna. Familiarisation with Knots, bends and hitches is included here. Natural materials from the surrounding woodland are also used to build shelters, forming structures from logs, branches, leaves, brackens and ferns, moss, turf or even snow and ice to make igloos and snow caves.
Both theoretical and practical aspects of fire lighting are explored here encompassing history, geology, physics,chemistry,even touching on aspects of social anthropology for interest! The many applications of fire are discussed whilst using a number of different methods to produce flame and make it work safely in our favour.
Foraging and Camp cooking
The woods and countryside of Great Britain can yield a bountiful supply of food plants for nutrition as well as for medicinal use particularly in the late summer months. Nuts, leaves, fruits, berries, roots and shoots are available to supplement the diet. Learning to recognise the edible and identify the inedible or toxic is a crucial part of survival in the wilderness. Forage and collect a whole variety of naturally occurring foodstuffs to cook in myriad ways on your fires enjoying such delicacies as Primrose tempura, Birch sap, Bramble or Pine needle tea, stewed Nettle and Cleavers, Blackberry pancakes, Cob nuts, Pine nuts Beech nuts, Acorn coffee and Burdock root to name but a few.
Water collection and purification
Water, vital to life itself, is high on the survival list of priorities. No matter what the environment or time of year, finding, purifying and storing water is imperative. After a short theoretical discussion, a mix of knowledge, ingenuity and inventiveness are pressed into action in the quest for valuable water. Whether digging a gypsy well, building a solar still, melting Ice or using plant transpiration techniques, water is collected, filtered and sterilised using the various methods learned in this section. A nice cup of nettle tea and a biscuit is on offer for the adventurous!
Creative crafts, wood working and design
Practical skills such as charcoal making, or rush plaiting/willow weaving to create simple basketry, wreaths or head dresses. Whittling and carving to make staves, tent pegs, bows, arrows and toy swords are also popular workshops which are conducted in small groups under close supervision. Face painting using clay, charcoal, chalk and other natural pigments is standard practice as is sign writing and decoration to embellish dens and camps. Other creative design projects can arise 'spontaneously' at any time such as building large working sun dials, (then learning about celestial matters and direction finding using the sun and stars) or improvising oil burning lamps from limited available materials. Knot tying and pole lashing to make tri-pods, pot hangers, animal traps, litters for dragging injured persons or simple rudimentary furniture are more examples of the creative possibilities explored in this section.