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:
The following post was written by Woodlore’s founder, Ray Mears. You can now watch Virunga online, via Netflix.
This week I was privileged to attend the London premiere of a new feature-length documentary. Surrounded by a packed house, the Curzon cinema on the Kings Road was the venue for what can best be described as a phenomenon. I sat enthralled as the audience around me laughed, gasped and cried; two ladies beside me were so moved that they sobbed uncontrollably in floods of tears. At the end of the screening the titles rolled to cheers and rapturous applause. The film is Virunga.
“It is a true story; a story happening now; a story that all who care about nature should take an interest in. I urge you to watch it.”
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.
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
Here at Woodlore HQ, we’ve asked the members of our full-time team to pick their favourite courses and kit from our range, to find out just what it is that makes them so good. Company director Steve Gurney picked his 5.11 Rush 12 Backpack:
I have owned my 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 Backpack for over two years now. I purchased mine before Woodlore stocked them, but I liked and trusted 5.11 gear so it seemed a sensible choice to go for a 5.11 rucksack. The Tactical Rush 12 seemed to be just what I was looking for – a discreet, smart, functional and good-sized day sack. Continue reading
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
When it comes to cold weather clothing, we’ve always been firm believers in the layering system; opting for a separate base layer, mid layer and outer jacket offers far more flexibility than your all-in-one padded coat and, of course, means that you can use the garments individually at different times of the year. There are plenty of options when it comes to mid layers, but these are the three you’ll find on the Woodlore Team the most:
1. Swanndri Ranger Bushshirt
The Swanndri Ranger Shirt belongs to a very special group of garments which Ray Mears and the Woodlore Team rarely leave home without. Despite retaining the same, simple design as the 1913 original, the Ranger Shirt is as relevant to today’s outdoorsmen as it was a century ago. Made from 100% New Zealand wool, it provides excellent warmth as well as protection from wind and rain. And, while perfect as a mid layer, its rugged build means that you will use it just as much as your top layer when the winter chill begins to relent. Look no further than the front cover of the Ray Mears Outdoor Survival Handbook to see that Ray has been putting Swanndri shirts to the test for over 20 years.
When dressing for the cold, a mistake that people often make is to simply throw a fleece and a warm jacket over the top of their regular T-shirt. The problem here is that your standard cotton T-shirt offers very little in terms of insulation and – what’s worse – often has very poor breathability. Throughout the day the T-shirt tends to soak up any perspiration, leaving you with a cold, damp layer right next to your skin. It’s surprising just how much difference a decent base-layer can make to your overall warmth, and with the natural wicking ability of wool, you’ll find yourself dry and comfortable all day long. Here are three of our favourites:
1. Icebreaker Oasis T-Shirt
An extremely lightweight T-shirt made from 100% merino wool, the Icebreaker Oasis Short Sleeve Crew makes a fantastic base layer for year-round use. Thanks to the superfine merino wool used by Icebreaker, this base layer is softer against the skin when compared to many other woollen garments, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin. It has been ergonomically shaped for a more comfortable fit, resulting in the perfect base layer for active use such as cycling, running or hill-walking.
As we all know, one of the most important factors when venturing out in cold conditions is to take care of your extremities – that is, your head, hands and feet. Body heat is lost at a much faster rate from these areas than elsewhere on the body, so it is essential to protect them with some decent headwear, gloves and socks. Today we’ll be looking at some of our favourite winter hats.
1. Possum Fur and Merino Wool Beanie Hat
First up is the modern classic that is the Possum & Merino Beanie Hat. Made in New Zealand as a by-product of their Possum Control Programme, this beanie makes an environmentally sound choice while providing you with a luxuriously soft and warm bit of headwear. The fur of the possum features a hollow core, and it is this detail (shared only with the polar bear) that helps make this hat even more insulating than traditional 100% woollen versions.