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Course report – Wild Camping Weekend June 2018

Course report – Wild Camping Weekend June 2018
Course Report - Wild Camping Weekend Photos and notes from our June 2018 Snowdonia Wild Camping Weekend Last weekend I was joined by Richard, Allan and Amy for our 2018 Mountain Wild Camping course in the hills of Snowdonia. This course has two learning outcomes - planningRead more...

Elderflower Foraging Recipes

Elderflower Foraging Recipes
Elderflower Foraging Recipes A selection of our favourite foraging recipes for Elder flowers As I write this I can look out of the office window and see literally hundreds of elderflower heads in the hedgerows surrounding the neighbouring fields. The late snows and dry spring of 2018Read more...

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

Why tracking doesn’t work for misper SAR in the UK
Why tracking doesn't work for Misper SAR in the UK (And why every SAR team member needs to learn basic tracking skills) 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 skillsRead more...

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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Our 2018 course dates are online!

Our 2018 course dates are online!

The 2018 Courses are now live! Around this time of year I normally find myself pretty much locked in the office working out course dates and descriptions for the courses next year. We’ve found that a good number of our course participants attend our courses after receiving

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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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Private Expedition Training in North Wales

Private Expedition Training in North Wales

Private Expedition Training with Mike and Wayne In the winter of 2016 I was contacted by a gentleman (Mike) who was enquiring about the possibility of some bespoke private training. Funnily enough, Mike had found us through the review of the Katadyn Gravity Camp Water Filter we

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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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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

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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
The Bushcraft Points System Making sure you don't fall foul of the internet police In this video, Kevin Field joins me for a brief explanation of what the internet Bushcraft Points System is, and how you can make sure that you maximise your points and avoid theRead more...

Crib Goch – a realistic view!

Crib Goch – a realistic view!
Crib Goch - A realistic view Scrambling on Crib Goch with a GoPro The knife-edge ridge of Crib Goch is a legendary route in the mountains of Snowdonia - and for good reason. In parts it really is less than a metre wide and with a dropRead more...

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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REVIEW: Fortis SAS Waterproof Smock

REVIEW: Fortis SAS Waterproof Smock

I like this coat. I wear it pretty much every week and it has been deep into the mountains, dragged through forests and buried under piles of kit. But it has some serious issues…

Back in the middle of 2016 we visited the Fortis Clothing factory shop and this is the coat I walked away with. I wanted an all-round tough outdoor jacket, and the Fortis SAS Smock fitted my needs. I ended up with one of the last with the older ‘Country Covers’ branding, Fortis being the new name for the family business run by Oliver Massey-Birch, but as far as I can tell this is the same build and design as the current Fortis SAS Smock. It’s worth noting from the outset that I have sewn a patch onto the arm pocket, through the outer pocket layer only. Continue reading

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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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VIDEO: How to choose an airgun

VIDEO: How to choose an airgun

How to choose an air rifle Buying your first airgun Tony Dobson from Tonys Camo and Airgun Centre in Saltney kindly gave us some time to explain the basics of buying an air rifle in the UK. The video details the different types of air rifle commonly

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Moments – Doug’s Acorn Whistle

Moments – Doug’s Acorn Whistle

Doug’s Acorn Whistle Instructor Doug Don hijacks the Foraging and Wild Foods Course to show off the shockingly loud whistle you can make from the cup of an acorn. This was shot on the last Foraging and Wild Foods Course of 2016

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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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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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Foraging with 16 Hospitality

Foraging with 16 Hospitality

Foraging with 16 Hospitality On Tuesday we were joined a by a group from 16Hospitality, owners and operators of pub, bar, hotel and restaurant businesses in North Wales and Cheshire. We had been approached by Operations Manager Matt Parker to create a unique foraging and wild foods

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Hunting for the Welsh Bigfoot

Hunting for the Welsh Bigfoot

Hunting for the Welsh Bigfoot with The Unexplainers About a year ago we were contacted by a production company producing a show for BBC Radio Wales to provide some training in tracking for the two presenters on a show called The Unexplainers. This isn’t too unusual for

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Outdoor First Aid Course Report March 2016

Outdoor First Aid Course Report March 2016

Outdoor First Aid Course Report March 2016 we’ve been working witht he team of volunteers at the Brymbo Heritage Project near Wrexham for over 6 months on a few projects, but the one that has really inspired us has been the pilot of a new outdoor qualification

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Beware the GWR… The rise of the Facebook guides

Beware the GWR… The rise of the Facebook guides

Beware the Guy With Rucksack (GWR) We’ve seen a troubling rise in online groups taking people into the mountains without training, experience or any of the necessary skills over the last couple of years. There is a term in commercial photography, particularly the type involving models –

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Weekend Navigation Course Report February 2016

Weekend Navigation Course Report February 2016

Over the past two days I was joined by George, Chris and Barley in the hills of North-East Wales and the Clwydian Range AONB for the first Weekend Navigation Course of 2016. Continue reading

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