That coat saved my life!

The following post was kindly sent in this past winter by Woodlore customer Chris Rusby:

The Swazi/Ray Mears Tahr Anorak

The Swazi/Ray Mears Tahr Anorak

Dear Ray Mears team, a little ditty for your day:

I recently purchased the excellent Swazi/Ray Mears Tahr Anorak and started to piece together a bare essentials bush-craft kit, after weeks of YouTube research. It all fits into a small satchel, plus, due to a forecast of 2 degrees, I took two sheep skins and a wool blanket in a water-proofed back pack.

The big day, I set off on an 18 km hike across a torrentially lashed, gale-force, foggy North Yorkshire Moors to an isolated woodland, where I was to rendezvous with a friend. Plans were flawed and this never came to pass, and after hours of EXHAUSTIVE searching for my friend in non-stop rain and wind in the dark, my self-preservation kicked in; tired, cold, drenched from the legs down and inexperienced (first time bush-crafter!) I set up a tarp/hammock camp and fire with the last of my strength. Everything then went well and I emerged bright and breezy the next morning. Sun-shine and everything!

It turns out my friend who came in a car (so I knew he would be OK) alerted Search and Rescue, but after my wife told them just HOW MUCH! Ray Mears I have been watching and that I had the Swazi coat they let me be. This all sounds irresponsible of me, and it was. I now have a deeply humbled view of nature and our fragile place on this planet. I thought this feeling, which Ray and others speak of, would slowly grow inside me as I made the transition from armchair bush-crafter, to hands-on practitioner, but it hit me in the face like a giant cosmic slap!

I guess this is kind of a confession and I do feel silly, but that coat saved my life! It was faultless in the most savior conditions! I’m humbled, inspired and cannot wait to get back into nature, I think I’ll drive next time!

On a serious note, I do understand the dangers, very, very much so.

Chris Rusby

5 thoughts on “That coat saved my life!

  1. Colin Frost

    Great effort Chris, it just shows that with some knowledge and a positive mental attitude this stuff really works! That said goin’ bush with good quality gear makes life a whole lot easier.

    I have a Swazi Wapiti coat and it has kept me warm and dry on Sambar hunts in the Victorian Alps mid- winter -8 degrees, wind and rain. I won’t go bush without it.

    Swazi gear is not cheap but you can’t buy better.

    Kind regards from down under.


  2. sherffsambarnell

    I had an experience similar to yours the second time I went bushcrafting. Now Ten years of bushcraft later I look back on it and realise those wet windy 24hrs taught me a lot. My kit hasn’t changed much since them but my knowledge has increased greatly. Keep getting out.

    Winner of ‘Comment of the Week’


  3. Sean Glass

    Great short essay there. Once you get a little nature you can’t get enough! 🙂 Glad you’re safe and well though, it’s surprising what can happen to you even comparatively close to civilization!


  4. Ciaran Rooney

    Wow! That’an incredible story Chris, Wind & Rain is very tricky and quite dangerous weather and in the dark double so. You jumped right in a deep the deepend bud so the rest of your hikes will be quite more layed back i guess 🙂



Join the conversation:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.