Essential Skills for the Season Ahead

The following post was written by Woodlore Fundamental Instructor and Quartermaster, Keith Whitehead:

Last week saw the members of Woodlore’s field staff gathering in East Sussex for their annual training week. After a winter apart, this was an opportunity to meet once again, share stories, reaffirm friendships and get down to the serious business of preparation for the coming year. Every member of the team is expected to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to the subject that inspires us all and we were not left disappointed by the level of professionalism, leadership and skill that is the mark of our team.

Ray teaching during staff training week

Ray spoke to his field staff about the importance of first aid in wild places

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How to Sharpen a Knife at Camp

Keeping your tools sharp is important for several reasons. Not only does a sharp tool make carving one of the greatest joys of bushcraft, it is also safer. When working with a blunt tool you have to exert more pressure; this increases the chance of a slip and means that any ensuing cut will be more severe. As such, the ability to sharpen your tools to a razor’s edge is an essential skill. This classic clip from the Bushcraft Survival days shows Ray’s preferred method for sharpening his knives whilst at camp:

In addition to the above video guide, we’ve also included Ray’s written guide below, taken from Essential Bushcraft:

How to Sharpen a Knife - Essential Bushcraft Continue reading

Watch ‘Emptying the Skies’ Online

In 2014 Ray Mears was invited to a private UK screening of the independent film Emptying the Skies. The documentary highlights the great threat that is currently faced by migrating songbirds, which are being killed in vast numbers as they fly across southern Europe. Due to their status as a French culinary delicacy, millions of small birds are being poached each year, fetching large sums of money on the black market.

Based on a widely republished article for The New Yorker by best-selling novelist Jonathan Franzen, Emptying the Skies aims to raise awareness of this devastating environmental tragedy and the journey of those risking their lives to stop it. This squad of pan-European bird-lovers are waging a secret war against the poachers, disrupting illegal trapping to free as many birds as possible. Continue reading

‘We Belong To It’ – A Short Film of Ray Mears in Northern Ontario

We Belong To It, a short film featuring Ray Mears exploring Ontario by canoe, recently won top honours in the Canoeing category at the 10th annual Reel Paddling Film Festival 2015. Created by Goh Iromoto, this wonderful film follows Ray as he journeys into the heart of Wabakimi Provincial Park in northern Ontario, Canada. We Belong To It explores the visual beauty of the Boreal forest landscape, and delves into Ray’s reflections on nature, and his mastered skill set in bushcraft. Continue reading

Ray Mears to Appear at Keswick Mountain Festival

Ray Mears has been confirmed as the Saturday night speaker at this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival, where he will be giving two talks from the revered Theatre By The Lake.

Ray Mears, Keswick Mountain Festival

From their 400-seat Main House, Ray will be sharing tales from his time spent surviving, and observing wildlife in some of the most beautiful and challenging wilderness areas of the world. These talks will take place at 17:15 and 20:15 on Saturday 16th May 2015. For more information, or to book your ticket, please click here.

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A Fantastic Course Offer From Woodlore

We are delighted to be offering a discount of 20% on all new bookings on the Introduction to Bushcraft course, a saving of £60, until 14th March. Please take a look below for how to claim this fantastic offer:

Special Offer for February

Introduction to Bushcraft course Special Offer

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Winter Camping

It’s all too easy to slip into hibernation mode at this time of year, especially if you’re fortunate enough to have a decent log fire roaring away at home. But we shouldn’t forget the unique experiences that winter camping has to offer us all, as fellow Woodlorean Garry Dutfield shows us here. Grisedale-Tarn-Akto-Camping-Winter-1

Garry recently spent three days hiking and lightweight camping in the snow-covered hills of the Lake District, pitching his Hilleberg Akto Tent in a superbly picturesque spot beside Grisedale Tarn. Continue reading