I have been using Gransfors axes for many years now and there’s no doubting the quality of what you get. Hand forged in Sweden by blacksmiths of great experience they are tools to use, cherish and pass on. What comes out of the box however, may be a little different from the nurtured and well-worn implements that you will see put to work by our instructors.
From time to time people comment that the helve on the axe that they have just bought doesn’t display the patina that they may have seen on other axes and this is true. Gransfors make strong working tools that are good to put to their intended task from day one but it takes time for your axe to pick up the distinctive marks and wear that make it your own.
Our outdoor team spend much of the course season out in the woods where they rely on their clothing and equipment through all weather conditions. Every now again the team express a real passion for a particular product and recently Fundamental Instructor Keith Whitehead has been very impressed with his Littlbug Junior Camping Stove. Here is a review he has put together for us:
Earlier this week we invited you to send us your questions for an interview with one of Woodlore’s Fundamental Instructors, Keith Whitehead, about our courses. Many of you kindly took the time to submit your excellent questions, and yesterday Keith sat down to answer them:
Question: After just completing the last course of the season I finally understand what you and the other instructors have been saying when quizzed about the Journeyman. “The more you put in, the more you get out.” I put a lot into the course, physically and mentally, but I got a lot more out of the Journeyman, including good friends and an unforgettable but tough and rewarding experience. Dan, Keith and Rob, thanks for all your help, encouragement, support and sense of humour.My question to you, Keith – After the Journeyman and the obvious positive experience and impact it had on you, what course/adventure/challenge did you undertake next and why?I’m really interested to know how the Journeyman experience contributed to what you did next, plus I’m looking for something else to do after next year and you haven’t steered me wrong yet. 😜 – Chris G (WINNER OF KEITH’S FAVOURITE QUESTION)
Answer: Hi Chris, I’m glad that you enjoyed the Journeyman; you and your team did very well! Just like you, the course set me thinking very deeply about my approach to the outdoors and about what I would like to do next. I think that it is the subtle differences that really show through: you have a better idea of priority, you realize the importance of looking out for others and taking in the slack when you need to and you have a much better understanding of how to prepare for future trips.As far as what I decided to do next, I made the decision to make teaching and working in the outdoors a full time occupation. This in turn led me on to learning more advanced skills in the Arctic and here in the UK. I think the key is to use the skills that you have learned to pursue what you are passionate about. Once you have identified what that is, you can move forward better prepared and continue the learning. That’s something that never stops!
“Scotland is the perfect location in which to host the final courses of Woodlore’s 2015 UK course season. The stunning woodland of Perthshire has a very different feel to our usual forest home in the Weald, and certainly puts an edge on the courses that we run there. There is a sense of urgency as the red squirrels scamper about, making ready for the winter, and the fallow begin to rut, occasionally bellowing their presence through the mists that hang low in the trees.
There is urgency too in the students who build their homes and begin to gather the essentials that will sustain them through the coming week on our Journeyman course. All those who attended our Fundamental Lochside and Journeyman courses this year had a taste of this beautiful place, and some even enjoyed an unseasonal spell of very warm weather! Well done to all, but especially to those who attended the Journeyman course – it is an achievement to be proud of.”
– Keith Whitehead
Keith Whitehead, one of our Fundamental Instructors, has very kindly offered to participate in an interview this week, in between his busy quartermaster duties, preparing for our winter expedition in Canada, and taking some time off for a well-earned rest. So, if you have any questions you would like to put to Keith for a short interview about the Woodlore course season, or anything else relating to our courses, please post it in the comments section at the bottom of this article. Alternatively, you can post your questions on facebook or twitter using the hashtag #AskWoodlore.
The interview will take place on Thursday 29th October, so please get your questions to us by Wednesday 28th October at 5pm and a selection of them will be answered by Keith. We look forward to hearing from you.
The person who asks the best question, as chosen by Keith, will receive a £20 Woodlore voucher.
We recently ran our first Camp Craft course of the season in a beautiful piece of countryside, close to the historic town of Battle in East Sussex.
As part of the preparation for the course, our most senior instructors Dan Hume and Keith Whitehead had been busy practising the splicing and whipping techniques that they’d be passing on to those attending. Learning traditional skills such as these is what makes this course such an enlightening and rewarding experience.
In January we invited you all to take part in an interview with one of Woodlore’s Fundamental Instructors, Keith Whitehead. Many of you got involved and kindly sent us your questions, which we then whittled down to the best 10 entries. During a break from preparing for this year’s course season, Keith sat down with us for a chat and gave us his answers:
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.
Some of you dedicated Woodlore blog fans may remember an interview that took place with Dan Hume back in August 2011, that comprised of questions asked by you. This year we are offering you the chance to put questions to our recently appointed Instructor Keith Whitehead. Keith has very kindly offered himself up as an interviewee, and will be answering a selection of your questions on topics chosen by you.
The following post was written by Woodlore’s Quartermaster and Aspirant Instructor Keith Whitehead:
I’m sometimes asked during the winter months if things at Woodlore are quiet. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s true that our UK season has wound down following the end of the Journeyman Course, but there is still work to do and adventure to plan.
One of my first tasks as Quartermaster is to organise the course equipment so that it is ready for the next season. This, as you might imagine, takes some time and, sometimes, during the process of organising and sorting through the stores, I come across a lost gem that sparks the imagination. One such gem is an old catapult. When I first set eyes on it, there was a glimmer of a memory from years ago and I recognised it as being the same item pictured in The Survival Handbook, written by Raymond Mears in 1990. I received the book as a present soon after its publication and was immediately enthralled by it. This was to be one of the stepping-stones that led me to Woodlore and started my journey with the company. Continue reading