Sunday, 9 August 2009

Woods August 2009

Took the boys up the woods today for a  day out, youngest got the fire going with his flint and steel kit, although we did have to baton a few small logs to get to the dry wood inside to use as kindling due to the sheer amount of rain we have had recently rendering all the sticks and twigs we would normally use damp and almost useless.

Once we had the fire going, it was time to start making a shelter for the August project on BCUSA, we made a small shelter from hazel wands lashed together with honeysuckle cordage, the leaves and twigs we cut from the hazel was used to add the first layer of thatch to the shelter, makes more sense to use this resource than to gather lots of twigs to add a lattice work, on top of this we added copious amounts of bracken, eventually we will add another layer of debris in the form of dead leaves to make the shelter both insulating and waterproof.

To gather the bracken we used our poncho's as bags, all we did was to secure the sides of the poncho's then piled in as much bracken as we could, it certainly made the task of gathering materials easier as we were able to bring back good loads of bracken on each trip, by doing this we soon had a good thick thatch on the shelter, to the point where if you sat at the back of the shelter you really could not be seen, i took some video footage of the boys in the shelter and had to use the low light infra red setting to be able to see them, as the camera couldnt see them using regular settings.

It took us around two hours to make the shelter from the time we started to gather the hazel wands, to the time we had completed the thatch, to be perfectly honest, you could sleep in it now and have a comfortable night, but I want to add another layer of debris just to make sure it's waterproof, hopefully we will be able to get this final task done fairly soon.

Having made the shelter, we just hung around camp, the boys chilled out in their hammocks whilst I, being the type of person who always has to be doing something, made an adjustable pot hanger for use with the fire, normally we just use a tripod made from locally available materials, but it's always nice to refresh your skill sets and keep them up to date.

As time was now getting on, we let the fire burn down to nothing but ash, doused it with what was left of our water, tidied the site up and then headed out of the woods back to the car and home, all being well, we will be back up the woods again fairly soon.