Primitive fire lighting

After learning the knack of a few methods of fire lighting I’ve decided to remove the ‘good ole faithful’ ferro rod from my fire lighting kit and replace it with a more traditional method.
I took my son a few years ago on a bushcraft course with woodland ways and they showed us many different fire lighting methods, it was great for my son and also helped me out by improving my technique.

I had ago at igniting a spark using flint and a steel striker but have never got around to adding one to my kit.

So I discovered beaver bushcraft through the magic of you tube when I was researching methods and techniques and what a fantastic selection of goods they produce and sell.
2 days later a great little steel striker, flint, charcloth and amadou arrived at Home.

I am very impressed with the items they sell. I have been looking for a brass Hudson Bay tinder box for ages and much to my delight they also sell these.

The Hudson Bay Tobacco Box had been used as a tobacco box and a tinder box too. When exposed to sunlight, it was possible to ignite a fire through the sixfold magnifying glass lens.

The lens was hidden underneath the small lid. During twilight and darkness the tinder material (not included) stored underneath was used. A day off arrived and it was out into the woods with the dog to have ago with the flint and steel. Using a piece of charcloth (charred cotton) on top of the flint the steel is struck downwards to create a spark to create an ember on the charcloth to put in my nest of dried bracken and birch bark.
Once the best of tinder is alight it’s then easy to start your fire. Great products would definitely recommend a visit to their website.

www.beaverbushcraft.co.uk

Some photos from beaver bushcraft website.

Leather crafting

I enjoy working with leather, I can’t say I’m brilliant at it but it is something I enjoy.

I’ve been making sheaths for trauma shears (tuff cuts) for a while and wanted to try another project.
So watching a YouTube video I saw how someone had put a leather collar on his axe and I thought I’d give it a go. I had some off cuts so made a collar and fancied making a sheath for it.
Firstly I cut a template with a piece of card and started to put the sheath together which hasn’t worked out to bad.

Day Bag


I love spending time in the woods. Here is a list of what goes in my Day bag (give or take a few bits depending on what I am planning to do).
I generally take my dd frontline hammock and tarp really just to practice using in various different ways and the rest of the items

  • Bushcraft axe
  • Pukko knife
  • Bahco Laplander saw
  • Folding bow saw
  • Kuksa
  • Fire lighting kit
  • Fatwood and tinder
  • Coffee making kit and a cup-a-soup
  • Swiss army stove
  • Sit mat
  • First aid kit

It’s really just a case of streamlining kit some times stuff goes in and then other stuff comes out. I like the Swiss stove as I basically carry a bottle of water and the means to make a brew and it’s not excessively heavy

The cup for the Swiss stove is big enough to hold a tin of beans etc so is big enough to make a meal in.

Can’t get enough stoves

I always end up thinking “that would be helpful” and end up buying another stove here is a review on the stoves I have used. I have in my arsenal loads of different stoves and they all have there advantages and best conditions to use them in.

Swedish Army Trangia
These stoves are a brilliant piece of kit so versatile in a bushcraft environment but they are quite heavy.
There are many variations of these from many different armies from around the world but the Swedish version in my opinion is the best and most versatile.

The whole kit packs into itself containing a small pan, larger pan with handle that can be hung above a fire, alcohol burner, wind shield and alcohol bottle. It is so versatile the small pan has metal loops where a stick can be slipped in to hold the pan over a fire, the base of the small pan can sit into top of large pan and when the small pan has coals placed in it it allows baking.
The windshield can be used to hold tinder etc to heat when no alcohol available.
So in any situation food can be cooked or water boiled.

Wood Gas Stove

it is designed to burn wood more cleanly than any open fire due to its secondary burn. This means more heat and less soot from a few twigs. It will also burn solid fuels (like hexamine) or meths in a Trangia-style burner. The stove packs down small for compact packing, with space inside for fuel & firelighting gear. What’s more, the whole lot packs into a billy can.
Wood-gas stoves create conditions where ‘primary air’ partially combusts wood gas, then inject pre-heated ‘secondary air’ into the top of the combustion chamber to mix with the remaining smoke, resulting in a very hot, clean burn and quick and easy lighting.  Only downfall is the constant re-fuelling of small sticks.

Swiss Army Stove

The Swiss Army Volcano Stove is a military surplus stove kit that comes with a canteen cup, an aluminum insulated bottle with a cork, and a multifuel stove.

The canteen cup holds two cups of water while the aluminum bottle holds just over a liter.

The aluminum bottles cork is not the ideal way to cap a bottle, but it is functional. If you want, it’s easy enough to replace the bottle with one that has a screw top.  There are 4 features that I like about the Swiss Army Volcano Stove:Multifuel simply means that it can use multiple sources of fuel to burn.

Boy does this little stove deliver in that department! The Swiss Army Volcano stove works with solid fuels like Esbit and Trioxane solid fuel tablets.

You can also put gel fuel burners like Sterno, and alcohol burners like the Trangia Spirit Alcohol Stove inside it.

None of those fuels are my favorite though. My favorite fuels are those that you can forage at the last minute when you don’t have a ready made fuel source. It will burn twigs, leaves, bark, pine sap, and any other fuels you are able to find around your camp.

This Stove is Lightweight The Swiss Ranger Stove (another name for this stove) is made of lightweight aluminum and weighs in at only 14 ounces.

It’s not doesn’t fall in the ultralight class of stoves, but is still lightweight enough to appeal to most minimalist hikers and survivalists. For under a pound, it sure has a lot of function and versatility!

Jetboil

Being 1L it provides a good balance between size/weight.  The neoprene outer keeps it nicely insulated, allowing you to hold it whilst brewing up without burning your hands/gloves (useful on small alpine ledges) and doubles as a cup (good weight saving).
The There is also a pot stabiliser available separately, meaning that when you’re wanting to go gourmet you don’t have to use the 1L pot provided and can instead use any standard wide base pan – this makes it a far more versatile ‘take anywhere’ stove. For those that haven’t used a JetBoil before be warned – things burn fast! If you’re looking at doing anything much more complicated than boil water or make soup/cous cous  then take heed.
Whilst the addition of the colour change heat sleeve – which turns from clear to yellow whilst boiling – may have good shelf appeal I am skeptical of its practical value whilst in use. Nonetheless, I can’t really complain as it looks nice, doesn’t add much (if any) weight, as is all-in-all a useful feature.
The Flash features a piezo igniter, something of which I am a great fan. It always feels like a faff to carry/rely soley on a lighter and the convenience of a single push button is unbeatable.
The downside is when they don’t work and this was something the previous version had issues with – the igniter flimsy and prone to breaking (it did on me half way up El Cap). Fortunately a lot of thought has clearly been put into its design, it looks/feels much more robust and is recessed to prevent accidental damage. That said, I’d always carry a lighter just in case.
The second upgrade is the adjustment dial, which has been changed from a small knob to a much larger – and more usuable – wire, therefore making it much easier to use with gloves on (and more easy to adjust accurately in general). This has a positive impact for those looking to actually ‘cook’ in the JetBoil as it allows something close to simmering to be attained. I think the jetboil is a great piece of kit for heating water but for cooking MRE’s I wouldn’t want to use it.

Kelly Kettle

The Kelly Kettle is a family invention dating back to the 1890’s on the west coast of Ireland. It burns any naturally flammable material – twigs, grass, leaves, pine cones, etc.– and is able to boil water extremely fast, even in poor weather, which makes it a great off-grid cooking tool.
One of the best things about the Kelly Kettle is that you don’t have to store fuel. The energy is provided by burning twigs or dry grass; even in an urban setting these things can be found in a yard or local park. With another cooking device wood or propane might need to be rationed in a emergency situation, but with this handy little kettle stove all you have to worry about rationing is the food.

Bush Box