Tag Archives: outdoors

2020 Course Dates are Now Available to Book

Our Woodlore courses due to take place in 2020 are now available to book on the website. We have many of the old favourites in the schedule including Fundamental Bushcraft, Traditional Living Skills, UK Woodland Navigation Family Bushcraft and Tracking.

Lighting a fire on the Fundamental Bushcraft course

In addition to some of the more regular courses we also have some new ones taking place this year including the Woodlore Bush Chef with Ray Mears and the Autumn Fungi Forager. The Emergency First Aider course is also back on the schedule after a short hiatus.

Autumn Fungi Forager

If you would like an insight into what happens in the Woodlore camp during our courses take a look at our video from the Introduction to Bushcraft course….

How to Cook Outdoors: Moss-Steamed Trout

How to Cook Outdoors: Moss-Steamed Trout

In this edition of our outdoor cooking guides we focus on the method of steaming your food between two layers of moss. While not often seen, this technique happens to be one of the simplest ways of cooking in the outdoors, particularly with fish. It requires very little in the way of utensils or equipment (which also means minimal washing up), and is very hygienic.

To us though, the greatest benefit of using this method is the way that it leaves you feeling truly immersed in the outdoors. The act of reeling in a fresh catch and cooking it just minutes later over the campfire, using little more than the materials nature provides us with, gives a profound feeling of self reliance and respect for nature that is hard to match.

This particular dish requires just two ingredients – trout and wood sorrel, the latter being a very pleasant stuffing when working with fish. In order to cook this meal, you must first prepare a hot fire with a good bed of embers, preferably of oak.

Ingredients:

  • 2 x trout
  • 1 x handful of wood sorrel

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How to Cook Outdoors: Elderflower Fritters

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At this time of year the hedges are blooming with elder, and the flowers are now at their prime. It is a wonderful sight, and for generations countryfolk have used the plant to make cordials, champagne and wine, amongst many other uses, and for many it is seen as the true taste of the season. In this article we demonstrate how to make one of the tastiest and easiest dishes of the summer.

The flowers, berries and finest stems next to the flowers are safe to eat; simply take care not to consume too many of the larger stems, as this can cause an upset stomach.

The dish shown here would serve three to four people.

Ingredients:

  • 20 x elderflower heads
  • 4 x handfuls of flour
  • 1/2 a handful of sugar
  • 4 x tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 x egg whites
  • Water

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How to Make Your Own Cooking Tripod

Last month we shared our guide on how to cook a Hunter’s Stew in the outdoors, in which we suspended a small Dutch oven over the campfire using a tripod made from natural materials. For those who haven’t made one before, here’s a quick guide on how to make your own cooking tripod.

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The various ways of suspending a pot over the fire are almost endless, but the adjustable tripod hanger is one of the simplest and most effective options, particularly when you encounter hard or rocky ground. Not only is it a practical tool, it is also an elegant addition to any camp. Requiring only basic tools and a few simple skills, it is quick and easy to make.  Continue reading

How to Cook Outdoors: Hunter’s Stew

How to Cook Outdoors: Venison Stew

When we hunt for our own food, we can rest assured that the animal has led a free and natural life, that has come to an instant and humane end. Deer have been hunted in the woodlands of Britain for thousands of years and, as such, their meat forms a very natural part of our diets.

Venison is one of the leanest and healthiest of red meats, and a casserole provides a great way of cooking it outdoors. The Hunter’s Stew is a hearty, warming meal that is perfect for the cold evenings of winter and early spring. The dish shown here was cooked in a small Dutch Oven suspended over the fire, and served two people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 x small venison steaks
  • 1 x handful of flour
  • 1 x knob of butter
  • 1 x large onion
  • 2 x cloves of garlic
  • 6 x rashers of bacon
  • 1 x handful of mushrooms
  • 2 x sticks of celery
  • 2 x carrots
  • 1/2 bulb of fennel
  • 1/2 bottle of Merlot
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • 1 x sprig of thyme
  • 1 x tablespoon of honey

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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

Fitness isn’t Just for Gym Bunnies

Woodlore Senior Assistant David Southey, trekking near the Devil's Kitchen in Snowdonia

Woodlore Senior Assistant David Southey, trekking near the Devil’s Kitchen in Snowdonia

You’ve skied a full day, flattened out a platform, set up your camp and set off to find, fell, retrieve and process your firewood for the night. Sat in your warm tent drinking a brew, you look over your route for tomorrow, then tea and bed, waking when it’s your shift to stoke the stove.

Fitness enables mental alertness, the capability to make quick decisions, problem solving skills and the ability to cope with fatigue. Physical robustness isn’t just about being the fastest or strongest; it’s one of the keys to the backcountry. Being able to carry out demanding tasks with ease means you’re less likely to make a simple mistake which could have serious consequences for you and those in your charge. Continue reading