The following review is easily the toughest test we’ve seen of one of our favourite group shelters, the Bergans Lavvo Tent. Pitched in the vast wilderness of the Cairngorm mountain range in the midst of Hurricane Bertha, the Lavvo became a welcome shelter for Julian and his team at Cairngorm Wilderness Contracts, a company dedicated to maintaining safe access routes throughout the mountains and wilderness areas of the UK.
The team’s Lavvo Tent, pitched on Cairn Gorm Mountain
Hi there Woodlore team,
Firstly, a huge thanks to you all for a top notch service once again. We order quite a lot of gear online for our company and for our own personal use, and yours is by far the best service we have ever had; consistently good and very fast, thank you.
Our latest purchase was of a Bergans Lavvo 4/6 Person Tent – fantastic price and a great bit of kit. As a company that specialises in hand-building mountain paths, mainly in the Cairngorm Mountains Range, we are out there in all of the worst weather that comes with working on the highest area of land in the UK!
The Bergans Lavvo could not have arrived at a more opportune moment; the day after receiving it, the tail end of Hurricane Bertha hit, and boy did it hit! Torrential rain and very high winds with gusts of around 80+ mph and a pretty cold wind chill, gave us and the tent a stern test… Continue reading →
It’s been a while since we shared any of your creations, so we thought we’d come back with a bang. Australian customer Richard Spencer displays not one, but two of his knife handles, made using the classic Hand Forged Knife Blade:
What’s better than one of Julius Pettersson‘s blades? More than one! I am very lucky to have two of them:
A fine-looking pair of hand-finished knives
The lower blade is set in the traditional way, with antler segments separated by some oiled birch in the middle and the tang hammered at the end. This was great fun, but it is possible to avoid all the filing and drilling – start haunting second-hand market stalls…
I found the top handle in a car boot sale. The blade to which it belonged had rusted very badly and it took almost no effort to remove the old corroded loose tang and so rescue the horn, alloy and some of the leather segments.
There’s a section of epoxy putty behind the guard to get the spacing right and there was a very large hole in the horn handle, so the Pettersson tang had to be set in epoxy, but it is rock solid. The nicest thing being that the old handle has been given new purpose.
I got back today from my Introduction to Bushcraft course, taught by Keith and Mark.
I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the course, how much I learned, and home much stuff I thought I know that I unlearned! The pace and content of the course was ideal, and I have nothing but praise for the skills, patience and friendliness of both Keith and Mark.
Client shelters on the Introduction to Bushcraft course
In terms of expectations, the washing facilities were rather tough – but then I guess you don’t yet have the mastery over the weather!! Ice cold water (with ice crystals!) in a bowl.
The packing list was very useful, and I came more prepared than required, which is far more preferable to the alternative. So, I’ll be looking at the other courses available, and will now be trying to persuade a few friends to try it too.
Here’s another fantastic knife from one of our customers; we particularly like the compass detail on the butt of the handle:
Around a year ago I purchased a Julius Pettersson Knife from you. What a fantastic blade. As a chef I use quality carbon steel knives every day, and this is certainly a great blade. I waited so long to find the right materials in which to make the handle. I was able to obtain from a friend a nice burl piece of Tasmanian myrtle beech wood for the handle, along with pieces of fake ivory for the ends and spacers.
It’s always a pleasure to hear from our customers around the world, especially when they’re in the thick of it and putting their kit and clothing to the test. So it was great to receive the following message this week, courtesy of Kristian from Denmark:
It is now 4 years that I have been using my Swazi/Ray Mears Tahr Anorak. I’m here in Alaska, and recently I’ve been on an expedition on Kodiak Island, crossing the island on foot. And I pretty much live in the jacket every day. I’m writing this just for you, because I am a happy customer 🙂
Here is a picture of me and the Swazi in the Kodiak wilderness:
Kristian in his Swazi Tahr Anorak, on Kodiak Island
Next stop – to cross New Zealand on foot in October, with only flour, rice, water, a rifle, knife and, of course, my Swazi Tahr Anorak.
Here’s my meagre attempt at doing this blade justice. I caught the knife handle-making bug from one of those birch and antler kits – wow was I chuffed with the result… at the time! Now I see the tiny misbalance and subtle vulgarity of my naivety. Damnit, and I was so happy too. Many knives later, I’m kidding myself I can do the truly beautiful Julius Pettersson blade. I nearly cried when I first saw it in my hand (great delivery service by the way)…
Steve Watts’ Julius Pettersson Knife
I am afraid that I did the deceptive Brass and Linseeded Hickory. I was tempted to crudely mark my name into the wood like on all of grandfather’s tools that I used to make it. I am sad I won’t see how it looks in 50 years, I think the ol’ fart woulda liked it.
The following entry was kindly provided by Woodlore customer David Jack:
I finished the handle for my Julius Pettersson Knife Blade a couple of weeks ago, and thought I would share the results. I took the knife out for the weekend and it’s a real step up from my Mora Clipper Knife. It’s the traditional Saami design with antler and birch bark spacers, however I used Alder root instead of curly Birch for the wood.
David Jack's Julius Pettersson Knife
It was over a year from deciding to make it to completing it, but it was a constant little project I spent my spare time on when I liked, and a really great way of bringing some bushcraft inside (without making too much mess!).
I’ve already started to make my firesteel out of some of the leftover Alder, and recently received my Large Crooked Knife Blade, so I don’t feel lost when I can’t get outside to do bushcraft (although hopefully that won’t happen too much considering what the weather has been like!) .
Many thanks to all the Woodlore team for the inspiration and the usual outstanding service!
Here are some lovely words and pictures from Woodlore student Tom Wilson, who attended the Woodlore Fundamental Bushcraft course on 27th May this year. He felt inspired on the train on his way home to write the following:
A leaf litter shelter built on the Fundamental Bushcraft course
From the tarps and the shelters we did rise,
With stretches and yawns, our smiles reached to the eyes,
And so one by one we all made our way,
Back to where last night our fire was laid,
Awoken the embers from their ashen bed,
To their breakfast of wood, good, dry, wholesome and dead.
The following post was kindly supplied by Woodlore customer Kelvin Wong, who used the Julius Pettersson Knife Blade to create his own custom Bushcraft knife:
I’d thought I’d share some photos of my new Julius Pettersson knife. It is my first attempt at knife handle making and I’d love to hear what you think.
Kelvin Wong's finished knife
I used reindeer antler pieces, purple and white liners, and a piece of dyed box elder burl, with nickel silver end cap and bolster. The end piece of antler was a bit small and didn’t polish up as pearly white as the front piece, but I am still quite happy with the results.
Any comments/advice on how to improve would be appreciated!
In early 2011, Thalia Georgiou took her first steps into the world of Bushcraft by joining Ray Mears and the Woodlore Team on our Arctic Experience Expedition. Her time spent in the wilderness of Northern Sweden helped Thalia to gain not only new skills, but a greater understanding of the isolated environments of the world and the peoples who call these places home.
Upon returning to her life in the UK, Thalia took this newfound appreciation and put it to use, travelling to Canada to help support a number of First Nation and Inuit communities. Hers is a fantastic story of how even a short time spent in the wilderness can be both humbling and incredibly inspiring, and it is moving to hear how Thalia has used this boost to provide help to others: