Spoon carving from a Bushcraft perspective with Jon Mac...
I am a spoon carver who lives and works on Dartmoor in Devon.
I carve spoons and Kuksa from green wood, using the three principal bushcraft tools. The knife, Axe and hook knife. I find spoon carving gives me a greater understanding of these tools as I can demonstrate a precision of craft in the finished spoon. I have developed my own spoon carving knife 'The MaChris' which is made by 'Chris Grant' a fantastically talented bladesmith.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Keith's Rescue Kit...

A few weeks ago I posted a story detailing a new coat I had recently been given, and I gave some information about what I keep in my pockets. Well, this got me thinking about what the men and women of my old search team carry in their Burgens. I gave my best friend Keith a call and asked if he wouldn't mind coming over for a chat about his kit and let me photograph it for this blog. 
He readily agreed ...


The team Keith belongs to is part of an association of Mountain Rescue Teams situated up and down the country.  The teams have developed from an ethos of mountaineers rescuing themselves and each other. As time passed this led to M.R.Teams formerly establishing themselves. Every team member, excluding the R.A.F Team members, work free of charge. Their funding is raised through charity events and donations. Keiths team, Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team (Ashburton)  will conduct professional searches in varied areas. Dartmoor is a wild and windy place and the team members are expected to accurately find their way around in all weathers, especially at night. The lowlands around the moor offer terrain covered in forest, farmland and waterways. The rivers here in Devon often turn to foaming torrents after rain and the team also have specialist canoe rescue units and river search capability. On many occasions the team has helped trapped drivers when the county has suffered heavy snowfall. They are often called in to search local conurbations as well....

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The equipment I have photographed is Keith's personal kit, each team member will carry equipment similar to this, bought and paid for by the individual member. The Paramo jacket Keith is wearing is presented to the team member on satisfactory completion of a vigorous training program. More on that later.To this he will marry a good pair of Gore Tex salopetts or trousers and a good pair of gaiters. The kit carried will change with the search circumstances and terrain....

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All his kit is laid out on a closed cell foam mattress, this is carried in case the team have to bed down for the night or a casualty is found and needs insulating from the cold ground....

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He will also carry a sleeping bag and bivvi bag...

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Along with these larger items Keith will carry spare cloathing.
A Buffalo cloathing system shirt and jacket are a popular choice, along with a light weight puffa jacket, the light blue on the far right of this picture ( I blame the camera man )....

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Smaller items are just as important...

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Hat, gloves and spare gloves, spare dry socks...

Each individual set of kit is packed into smaller dry sacks for extra protection from the elements.
These are then packed into a large dry sack within a Berghaus Burgen. , these multiple bags will also act as buoyancy within the Burgen in case of a mishap when crossing or working near water...

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Keith and his team mates have to find their way around on a search with pin point accuracy. They also need to make their presence known to the missing person and signal in case of difficulty...
Here you can see a Silva compass with a 1:25000 roamer scale and a waterproof map and back-up map. These maps negate the need for a map case and you can mark straight onto them with a super fine indelible pen. Maps tend to move around in a case leading to any marks changing position...

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 A hunting horn which will be blown periodically during the search in the hopes that the conscious missing person will hear it and respond. A very loud modern plastic distress whistle (a plastic whistle is much preferred to a metal whistle especially when the temperature drops, and peas are definitely out) A G.P.S for navigational back up, and the yellow card is a waterproof aid memoir for radio codes...
Allied to this Keith will need a strong search torch L.E.D.Lenser and Petzl are a popular choice...
A sturdy knife, waterproof maps, cylumes, for marking equipment dumps and general lighting needs, he also carry's a red cylume for signaling....

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And the very important and constant friends, surgical rubber gloves and resuscitation shield...

 
It is very important not to contaminate or be contaminated when working with a casualty.
A personal first aid kit is also carried by each member. This will be augmented by team first aid equipment when deployed on a search...


I almost forgot the waterproof notepad. This is used for taking notes during wireless communications, missing persons information and useful for taking details of grid and vitals when you find. An important addition to anyone's kit...


When a team member is 'called out' it will be unclear as to the duration of the job. Some sort of food ration must be packed. As you can see, a ration might involve cooking for the longer jobs...


But these rations can be augmented with a pasty and dried fruit bars for the smaller town and village searches...


A recent move by those that run the military helicopters that are used to move the teams around means that each team member must wear some sort of 'Hard hat' before enplaning...

The goggles are to keep debris from the eyes when the helicopter lands/takes off...


On a final note.
I asked Keith to show me a K.I.S.U or Bothy bag...


We asked some intrepid dog walkers to demonstrate...


Place a mat or Burgens on the ground for insulation...


Clamber in and sit on some of the fabric to keep the shelter from blowing away...


The warmth of your bodies and your exhaled breath will keep you good and comfy...


Even 'POPPY' enjoyed it...

Thanks goes to my old mate Keith and the help of ...
Annie...
Beth...
and Chrissy...

D.S.A.R.T is a registered charity.
Registered Charity No 1106098

    

YOU CAN FOLLOW THE TEAM VIA THEIR  
FACE BOOK
PAGE... 
There you will find all manor 
of updates and photographs...
While your there click the 'LIKE' button, the team would love to have your support.

Look out for the
Everyclick
Logo 
On their Page...

When you use this search engine to trawl the web a donation will be made to DSRT Ashburton, It can also be used to make direct contributions to sponsored events etc.

Enjoy...