Archive for the Articles Category

Sharpening Bushcraft Knives and Axes – a 2018 update

Sharpening Bushcraft Knives and Axes – a 2018 update

We cover knife and axe sharpening at different levels on our bushcraft and campcraft courses, and it’s one of those subjects where the course participants ‘lean in’ to the topic – most of those who attend the course have tried to sharpen their own equipment and had, shall we say, a variety of results? Continue reading

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Can you eat mussels straight from the beach?

Can you eat mussels straight from the beach?

When you teach people about foraging and ‘wild food’ you often run the risk of sounding negative or over-cautious about the potential hazards that come from eating shellfish, or fungi,or whatever else it is that you are solemnly warning people about. I do this with good reason – people are paying to attend on of our North Wales foraging courses to learn more about the subject, and I have a duty of care towards them as an instructor, and just as a (mostly?) decent human being. That said – there IS a difference between laying out the potential risks and telling somebody that they shouldn’t/can’t do something. Continue reading

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Why tracking doesn’t work for misper SAR in the UK

Why tracking doesn’t work for misper SAR in the UK

Here we go… this post will attract a minimum of two types of response:

1. “you don’t know what you’re talking about, if your skills were as good as mine you could follow a flea across a glacier”
2. “tracking is too slow/doesn’t work/is overrated”

Well, quite.

Both views have some validity, and that’s the point of this post.

Tracking, within the context of SAR/non-combat scenarios, is often represented by evangelists who want to present tracking as a panacea to locating any human OR by those who have sworn off it having tried the techniques (sold to them on a course) on a live operation and found that it just slows everything down and eats up resources. Each side will defend their own hilltop to the last man – neither attitude being actually that helpful to achieving the end goa Continue reading

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2018 UK Knife Law Changes

2018 UK Knife Law Changes

In the past weeks the news has featured several stories on UK knife crimes, knife law and the perception of knives as weapons as well as tools. This was followed by the announcement of a new Offensive Weapons Bill which will begin the process of changing of what is considered a legal knife, where they can be used/carried by the general public and how they can be acquired.
Last year a consultation on offensive and dangerous weapons was published, which caused a lot of discussion online from knife makers, owners and collectors from all sectors.

Whilst this is currently a bill (not yet an Act of Parliament, see the differences here) it is likely that some significant changes are coming for those who collect knives or purchase them for outdoor use. Continue reading

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GPS, Smartphones and Operational Security – is Strava the only problem?

GPS, Smartphones and Operational Security – is Strava the only problem?

The recent hullabaloo over the Strava heatmap reminded me of a strange case from a few years ago…
If you have any kind of interest in GPS, fitness apps, unusual maps or just technology news then you were probably at least vaguely aware of a story about the fitness app Strava and some analysis of the heatmap they published last month. This publicly-viewable heatmap of anonymised user data isn’t new – but the last update was from 2015 data. The 2017 data release included over 1 billion activities and 10 terabytes of raw data. The total distance clocked up was 27 billion KM – 180 times the distance from the Earth to the sun. It’s an impressive piece of user-generated information and it’s quite good fun to see which are the most popular routes to the summit of Snowdon, or the tracks made by people swimming, kayaking or SUP’ing in Llyn Padarn.

There’s also potentially a bit of a security risk – but that’s something I’ve got prior experience of, and it’s still a potential problem for those who work in ‘sensitive’ areas of the world. Continue reading

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The mystery of the Cwm Tryfan ice axe

The mystery of the Cwm Tryfan ice axe

The trip to the summit and back was uneventful (apart from my stirring rendition of Auld Lang Syne on the South summit), but as we descended the path out of Cwm Tryfan alongside the stream leading to Gwern Gof Uchaf something strange occurred… Continue reading

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What’s with all of the gun videos recently?

What’s with all of the gun videos recently?

What’s with all of the gun videos? Is Original Outdoors a gun channel now?

Well… No. But for the UK it’s closely related to one of the subjects that we ourselves are closely associated with – foraging and wild food.

Due to a number of UK laws the most accessible, legal and ethical source of wild meat for the keen forager is probably via a sub-12ft/lb air rifle. It’s potentially a huge subject with a lot to explore, and to be perfectly honest there is a lot of very poor information online.

We are pulling together a series of videos running through the basics of buying, owning and using an air gun in the U.K. which we can refer our customers to in the future – but rest assured we’ll also be creating more mountain, survival, bushcraft and other wilderness skills content in the coming weeks. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Choosing an Air Rifle Scope

VIDEO: Choosing an Air Rifle Scope

Choosing an Air Rifle Scope Over the last 12 months or so we have made a couple of visits to Tonys Camo in Saltney to take advantage of his generosity and create some short videos on buying an air rifle, choosing an airgun caliber and how to

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Do I need to bother with bow drill?

Do I need to bother with bow drill?

Bow Drill Skills: Are they worth learning? One of the skills most associated with the world of ‘bushcraft’ is that of making fire by friction. The image that normally accompanies that description is somebody crouching over a contraption that looks like a fiddle crossed with a rolling

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How to save yourself – a tale of survival from a friend

How to save yourself – a tale of survival from a friend

How to save your own life A tale of everyday survival from a friend If you have attended one of our courses or engaged me in conversation about the idea of survival training or prepping for potential survival situations then you will probably remember my having some

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Intruders at camp!

Intruders at camp!

Intruders at camp! Well, they were there first so… We have a few trail cams set up at the sites we regularly use for training courses – to keep an eye on equipment we leave there and catch those who occasionally visit with less than honourable intentions…

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Wild Camping in Snowdonia during a storm!

Wild Camping in Snowdonia during a storm!

Wild Camping in Snowdonia Wind, rain and a microadventure in Snowdonia Rhian and I head off one evening for a wild camp on the side of Moel Siabod in northern Snowdonia Richard PrideauxRichard Prideaux is a partner of Original Outdoors and our lead instructor. For more than

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How to put together a first aid kit for the outdoors

How to put together a first aid kit for the outdoors

How to put together a first aid kit outdoors Wilderness personal medical kits How do you put a first aid kit together for the outdoors? Or a bushcraft first aid kit? Are first aid kits for mountain biking different to ones for kayaking? Carrying a first aid

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The Bushcraft Points System

The Bushcraft Points System

Richard PrideauxRichard Prideaux is a partner of Original Outdoors and our lead instructor. For more than a decade he has worked in outdoor education, expedition leadership, safety and management, mountain rescue and SAR and coaching and personal development. He has also worked with international restaurants and chefs

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Crib Goch – a realistic view!

Crib Goch – a realistic view!

Richard PrideauxRichard Prideaux is a partner of Original Outdoors and our lead instructor. For more than a decade he has worked in outdoor education, expedition leadership, safety and management, mountain rescue and SAR and coaching and personal development. He has also worked with international restaurants and chefs

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UK Knife Law Explained

UK Knife Law Explained

UK Knife Law Explained for the Outdoors UK legal carry law discussed with a former police officer What can I carry in the UK? Is my knife illegal? What knife can I carry for bushcraft? The above is a good example of questions we’re asked with regards

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How to camp in the woods – a time lapse tale!

How to camp in the woods – a time lapse tale!

How to camp in the woods Setting up tarps and living by firelight with Kevin Field In this short time lapse bushcraft instructor Kevin and I set up two DD Hammocks 3mx3m tarps, light a fire between and settle down for the night in a simple woodland

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On the loss of a friend.

On the loss of a friend.

On the loss of a friend Over Christmas I said goodbye to one of my best friends. If you attended one of our courses between 2010 and 2013 there is a very good chance that you would have met him – Sam, my huge (50kg) and bear-like

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The role of Mountain Rescue

The role of Mountain Rescue

The role of Mountain Rescue? What job should UK mountain rescue teams be doing? Below is a quote from the wife of a UK Mountain Rescue team member, posted on the Facebook page of a regional newspaper on a story about Police pay: It’s an interesting one.

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Doug’s Green Woodworking Books

Doug’s Green Woodworking Books

Doug’s 5 Favourite Green Woodworking Books As part of my work with Original Outdoors, Richard asked me about the Green Woodwork books that I thought were worth recommending to everyone and which ones were my favourites. This lead me down a road of looking out many of

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VIDEO: How to zero an airgun scope

VIDEO: How to zero an airgun scope

How to zero an airgun scope Setting the sights on your target Tony from Tony’s Camo and Airgun Centre in Saltney comes back for this second video on the use of airguns. In the shooting range adjacent to his shop he shows me how he teaches people

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UKH REVIEW: Exped Scout Hammock Combi

UKH REVIEW: Exped Scout Hammock Combi

Exped Scout Hammock Combi All in one hammock, tarp and bug net Our friends at UKHillwalking.com sent us the Exped Scout Hammock Combi to review – to find out what we thought you can read the full review HERE. Richard PrideauxRichard Prideaux is a partner of Original

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Snugpak Torrent Jacket and Travelpak Sleeping Bags

Snugpak Torrent Jacket and Travelpak Sleeping Bags

Snugpak Torrent Jacket and Travelpak Sleeping Bags We went back to the Outdoor trade Show at Stoneleigh Park to chat with a few of our favorite brands – and the first we bumped into were Snugpak. Snugpak are known for their sleeping bags and insulated clothing but

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How to sharpen an axe!

How to sharpen an axe!

How to sharpen an axe! In another of our series of tutorial videos with green woodworker (and axe hoarder) Doug Don we look at his technique for sharpening axes, using inexpensive materials and a technique that can learned easily and done safely. It’s a longer video, but

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How to make a mallet!

How to make a mallet!

How to make a mallet! Green woodworker Doug Don from Heartwood Treen shows us how to make a useful camp tool in a few minutes using a green piece of wood, a saw and an axe. A mallet can be made quickly if you have the right

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How to make a spatula (flat spoon)

How to make a spatula (flat spoon)

How to make a spatula (flat spoon) In this video I spend some time in the woods with Doug Don learning how to split down and process a log into a useful kitchen implement. Even if you aren’t interested in making a spatula there is a lot

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Visiting Fortis Clothing

Visiting Fortis Clothing

Visiting Fortis Clothing Last month I was down in Cornwall and Devon doing some promotional work and foraging around on the beaches of the south coast – and I couldn’t resist diverting to Axminster on the way home to drop in on Fortis Clothing, a family-owned and

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What are the best plants for natural cordage?

What are the best plants for natural cordage?

What are the best plants for natural cordage? A resource list of plants that can be used for natural cordage This is a guide we have put together to list the best plants for natural cordage, based on our own experience. Sitting next to a campfire slowly

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VIDEO: How to rig a tarp

VIDEO: How to rig a tarp

VIDEO: How to set up a tarp in the woods Simple rigging for a DD Hammocks tarp In a two part video I share how I set up my DD Hammocks 3m x 3m tarpaulin for wild camping and general camp use. It’s a quick, simple and

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Equipment for Sharpening Knives and Axes

Equipment for Sharpening Knives and Axes

How we sharpen knives and axes – the equipment we use We use a variety of metal cutting tools on our bushcraft and wilderness skills courses, and on our own trips. Knowing how to safely use a cutting tool is only part of the skillset you need

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Original Outdoors is an established outdoor activity and training provider in North Wales.
We are passionate about the outdoors and share this through our training courses, activity days activity days and outdoor services.

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