Wednesday 8 February 2017

Spooncarving at The Wilderness Gathering.

I've just received my invitation to 


I'll be there with everything needed to carve spoons in the wild.
This year the show will run for five days and I will be demonstrating and taking questions throughout the event, barring the odd coffee break.


If you've never been to the Gathering before and you love nature and the outdoors, then we have the family show for you - Wilderness Gathering, a unique Bushcraft event, is the longest running and still the original festival of bushcraft, survival and primitive living skills.
The Gathering has become a social event and brings together families and friends, all those interested in Bushcraft and Wilderness living skills to enjoy a weekend of knowledge sharing in a relaxed and family friendly atmosphere.

TICKETS: There are just two types of ticket you can buy to attend the Gathering, the Weekend ticket which is all-inclusive unless otherwise stated (e.g. Masterclasses) and the Day ticket which gives you access to the site - individual courses are extra. There are no tickets available for just 1 night or 2 nights camping
DAY TICKETS: 0900 to 1700 on either Thursday 17th, Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August 2017. Day ticket includes entry to the show either on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, participation in events and demonstrations. To attend Bushcraft courses which run on each day is an additional £10 per course per person.
WEEKEND TICKETS: from 1400 Wednesday 18th to 1700 Sunday 20th August 2017. Weekend ticket includes five days of woodland or open field camping with toilet and shower facilities, all the bushcraft courses and activities for all the family throughout the whole of the weekend, including Music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and storytelling around the central camp fire.
LOGS: Ed Knight will be on site touring the camping field and parking up in the farmyard, so if you run out he has a ready supply at a reasonable price.


Where is it?


Nearest train station: Gillingham
The Bison Farm is very accessible from the A303, please look out for our signs to help you find your way to the Gathering entrance.
Please do not arrive prior to the Gathering opening day on the 18th August 2016 to avoid the disappointment of being turned away.
Arrival on the 18th August is restricted to weekend ticket holders only, day visitors can visit the Gathering either on the Friday 19th, Saturday 20th or Sunday 21st August 2016 only.
You can find more details by following the link

So, with any luck I'll see you there..... J

Sunday 5 February 2017

Swedish Snow smock.

The Ventile smock that I bought from Roger Harrington (Bison Bushcraft) ten or so years ago has finally reached it's last adventure. A good innings for a smock used in the heat of summer and the chill wind of winter, it's been on many adventures both down here in the Westcountry and the highlands of Scotland. It repelled wind, mist and gave protection from the midge. It'll be sorely missed.
I would like to buy a replacement from Roger but he no longer produces the garment.
I happened to be in Exeter the other day and popped into visit Mr 'E' at Endicotts.
I asked Kevin if he could supply me with a lightweight smock that I could wear all year round. Perhaps something pollycotton that would be suitable to keep a breeze at bay on a warm summer day over a cotton T shirt, but also something that would repel a cold wind while wearing a fleece or wooly pully in the winter. 
I own a genuine snow smock from the Swedish military which sports a neck opening, a pull over smock, which is absolutely wonderfull for wearing over a down jacket on the coldest day but not very useful on a warm day.
Kevin disappeared for a moment and returned with a bundle of clothing. Some replacement wool socks, I buy two pairs a year, and a new, lightweight, Swedish snow smock!


As I mentioned above, this smock is lighter than the older spec full canvas pullover smock that is known and loved by all. It is a jacket with button closure and overlapping wind break.
The jacket is sold in it's usual colour, slightly off white snow cam.


I bought a Toffee Brown dye from Dylon.
I washed the garment then dyed it whilst it was still damp.
Once it was dyed I replaced the white buttons with something more suitable.
None of these procedures are difficult, it just took a little time.

The smock has two huge pockets, waist draw cord, crotch strap for windy days which will also solve your clothes riding up whilst sleeping problem, a voluminous hood with its own drawcord so you can cinch it down to your favourite fur hat. I replaced the original cord on the hood with a flat ribbon. Also, button down wrist closure.
The pockets are large enough to take a O.S laminated map folded ready for use, and the pockets sit below your hip belt, this is a dream come true for those of you who navigate in a proper fashion with map and compass.


You can see in the above photograph the overlapping front closure.
And the wrist closure detail in the photo below.


I must admit I've only had this jacket a week or so,  I've used it for local walks and a wintry walk on Dartmoor. The snow smock did in-fact work in so far as it induced a huge drop in temperature followed by a sharp, windy blizzard.


It's also very quiet.
I will buy a wash in water repellant which, even if it doesn't make the coat waterproof, it will improve drying time. Not forgetting, I bought this as a windproof breathable garment, not a raincoat.
I'm looking forward to the summer now and I'm sure I will be comfortable on my new adventures.

You'll find more information

Thanks to Endicotts for supplying the jacket and Sarah, my lovely wife, for taking the photos.

Thank you.

Carving a Dragon Kuksa.

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