Sunday, 17 October 2010

Forgotten blog!

For some reason I thought I'd closed this blog down?? But here it still is thankfully! It's been over a year since my last post, but here we are again. I've been out and about over the summer, exploring the locality.
Found some beautiful ancient woodland that's managed by the National Trust with some interesting history relating back over 100 years. Saddlescombe Farm was once the home to the Knights Templar. The woods to the the north 'Newtimber Hill' is really my sort of thing. Being ancient woodland, it has a totally different feel about it. Sings a different song if you like!

Then on the flip side, I was out looking for a section of woodland closer to home to practise in and for more of a regular overnighter spot.

This should have tipped me off! Fly tipping to the extreme. But it showed quite a bit of promise so I cracked on.

It just got worse really. Not sure if is just laziness or loss of connection to the natural world or what? Blimey!
Not been back since that day, but something tells me I should. May have to get onto the local council to see if a clearance of the area is possible... will have to see. It's one thing moaning, another thing to do something I suppose!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Stealth plans...

After my rather cold weird birth into the world of the Hammock I have purchased a foam/foil mat that is quite large. This should fit the whole length & width of the hammock, toasty! The last normal foam mat kept slipping around.

There is also a new area I want to scout out before the weekend with a view to a little stealth action Saturday night, cant wait ;o) Just been doing a little recon with Google earth first....

Monday, 14 September 2009

Hammock Review...

Well firstly let me say I have never put up a hammock before! I know it's not rocket science lol, but all the little tips and tricks were unknown to me. I did watch videos by Mike Dixon and Pablo on YouTube before going to get an idea of set up etc.

The hammock comes in it's own stuff sack, which is about 19" long. This is quite long, it's due to two lightweight bars that give the mosquito net shape. Could remove these and use twigs to reduce length...

Comes with "Storm Rings" to stop water wicking down the webbing in bad weather. May do the carabiner mod to achieve the same result but give more flexibility.

The netting at the top is fine enough to keep out the midges. The main part of the hammock is two ply, the sleeping layer is smooth T170 nylon, and the base is T210 waterproof nylon. It is zipped to allow a sleeping mat to be inserted.

I have always slept on the ground, with or without a tent/tarp so being strung up in a tree was very weird! Swinging all over the place trying to get the zip shut lol. I have a tendency to move around alot at night so I woke myself up swinging a bit. Will have to adjust how I sleep...
On removing the foam mat I did discover a bit of damp condensation between the mat and the waterproof bottom, but this did not affect my sleeping bag in the top section in any way.
So all in all for a first hammock that cost £30 I cant complain. The quality was allot better than I expected for the price. If I do fall in love with using a Hammock I may invest in a "DD Hammocks" version in the future, but no rush. This one should last me a while.

It was nice just to get away, even if it was just for a night! Went to a Glamping site with my kids a while back and it was like a manicured hell lol (with hot showers) people everywhere, no trees! But they enjoyed it. So It was good to get back to woods and detox ;o)

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Green Hornet Jungle hammock.

Well I'm off up to the family farm in the Lingfield area with a mate to camp in the woods overnight. Got a new hammock to test run. It's a Tenth Wonder Green Hornet (new version) and heavy tarp. I have been a ground dweller for years so it will be interesting as I have never been in a hammock before! So will do a few pic's and a short review.

Need to get away for longer alone soon....

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Knots and digging stcks...

I have to go through my local city to get to the nearest expanse off public woodland. Two buses, then up through a smaller wood to get to the walkway in the pic. It always takes my breath away, a horizon of tree's. Much of England was wooded at one time, and all this bushcrafting stuff was just the way of life back then. Harder, but so much simpler...

Got myself a walking staff on the way up, something I've been missing recently. Shaped the bottom to make a digging stick, saves carrying a trowel or spade. Can be used as a tarp prop too. Which leads me on to my latest budget purchase, a 9'x12' polyethylene tarp, just a cheepie off of ebay to start with. Also got some 550 paracord. Been trying to learn various knots, never really iterested when I was a kid. On reflection thats probibly why everything used to fall to bits lol! So had a go at a few whilst up there, there is a link here to Outdoor Idiots very good tips and knots.

I found the adjustment to the woods happend quite rapidly this time, hearing more of the wildlife moving around, noticing more. Had to tread sofly and carefully, not like the other few people I saw up there! But there you go.
On leaving and re-entering town, noise overload! Quite shocking, dont reolise when your in it all the time! Did my head in at first...

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Wax & Itchy feet...

Saw a design for a Survival cooker, which is just a large candle really. So I thought I would give it a go, made some waterproof matches while I had the melted wax too. After boiling the water in a pan, then floating a bowl in the water to melt the wax in also, there you go.

Just an old Tuna can. After all that effort with the wax I just saw a post on a web site describing using a microwave to melt the wax! Why didn't I think of that! lol Alot less effort. But that's why I love this joint sharing & learning.
Also the rubber bands burn for ages if I need to start a real fire too...

Been getting itchy feet, time to go Walkabout again. I was going to say the call of nature, but it sounds like I need the toilet!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Gear, Kit, Tools, blah blah...

Took the whole Swedish Army Trangia kit with me yesterday, very bulky! Usually just take the brass burner unit and a couple of tin cans for a days scouting. But you don't find these things out unless you try I suppose.
I used to use a Trangia 27 set years ago, which was very reliable. No moving parts to break or corrode. I have loads off billy cans/pans & was just looking for the brass burner originally. After a web search, this set turned up slightly cheaper than the standard burner on its own.
The whole unit is compact for what it is, but adds quite a bit of weight for a days trek. A couple of days or more, no problem. The billy's are perfect for use over an open fire too, with hooks & eyelets on the handle for a wooden extender. Very tough though, probably outlast me!
The knife I was using is a Mora Clipper with a carbon steel blade. Dirt cheap, easiest knife to sharpen I have ever used! Take me a couple of mins to get it razor sharp. I used to break knives with a part tang on a regular basis in the old days, so I was a little hesitant about this one. But it has held up.
The second knife I originally purchased as a back up, is the Mora No.1. When it arrived and I first held it, it just seemed right! The handle is made of Birch and it just feels good to have wood in my hand. The blade is again Carbon steel, the weight feels good too. So this is my main knife now.