The WolfSpyder Knife is an exclusive collaboration between Ray Mears and the prestigious American knife makers Spyderco. It is the first ever folding knife to be designed by Ray Mears, and is available to order exclusively through Woodlore. For full details, please click here.
The following post was written by Woodlore’s Head of Operations, Dan Hume, with regard to this year’s annual staff training in East Sussex:
This week saw another successful passing of the annual field staff training at Woodlore, and our dedicated team of instructors are now poised and ready for the exciting course season ahead which begins with the first British courses early next month.
As our clients will attest, many of the bush skills Woodlore teaches are perishable and so even the fundamentals of bushcraft must be practiced regularly to avoid deterioration. Every year the team gets together to both catch up with each other after the winter and to maintain, refresh and extend their knowledge of a selection of crucial skills. And this year was no different.
This time we concentrated on a small but important selection of subjects; cordage making was the first, being much more of a challenge outside of the summer months due to the availability of suitable materials. Nevertheless, we went out into the forest to collect natural fibres before turning them into beautiful and functional cord.
We then looked at several trapping techniques gathered from around the world, from Africa to Scandinavia and of course here in Britain too. Travelling in the wilderness is made far safer if knowledge of how to feed a party is possessed by those involved. It is similar to first aid knowledge; you hope you never have to use it but it is there if you need to rely on it. It also breeds confidence as you relax in the knowledge that you can look after yourself and those accompanying you in a crisis.
Aspirant Instructor Sarah Day prepares a warming meal for lunch in the Dutch oven
The wait is over – we are pleased to announce that our UK courses for 2016 are now available to book on our website, so why not start or continue your Woodlore journey…
We are also giving away a free Petzl Headtorch with every 2-day or week-long UK course booking made by 31st October 2015. Please read our previous post for further details.
The serene loch in Scotland where the Journeyman takes place
How often do you yearn for something truly inspirational to shake up your life and open the door to a new and exciting world of adventure? For Woodlore instructors Dan Hume and Keith Whitehead, this is exactly what happened when they first made the decision to book onto a Woodlore course. They found the passion, insights and skills that are the gateway to the wilderness beyond our courses and on to their own trips and expeditions. We invite you to take your first steps in to the wilderness with Woodlore.
“In the time since I started exploring the natural world, I have had the privilege to witness more of its variety and splendour than I could ever have imagined. Woodlore has taken me on a tremendous journey that has really only just begun. Why not start yours now and see where it takes you?” – Dan Hume
“Woodlore put everything together for me and from the minute that I walked into the woods, everything made sense. The outdoor world is now a far more vibrant place and there is a lifetime of learning and adventure ahead of me.” – Keith Whitehead
A stunning landscape in the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, Canada
Following on from our recent article in which Woodlore Instructor Keith Whitehead answered your questions, we thought we would keep the ball rolling with a new interviewee. This time around we’re giving you the chance to put your questions to Woodlore Aspirant Instructor Sarah Day.
Woodlore Aspirant Instructor Sarah Day
To put your question to Sarah, simply 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. All questions must be posted by midday on Friday 1st May, and a selection of them will then be put to Sarah.
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.
Ray spoke to his field staff about the importance of first aid in wild places
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 Senior Assistant Mark Booton:
I am, if I’m being entirely honest, not a natural when it comes to carving. It is one of those Bushcraft skills which I need to work on. The fact that I find it challenging strengthens rather than diminishes my will to improve, and also heightens the enjoyment and satisfaction I feel when I carve something that I can be proud of.
I put down my knife and finish sanding my second Kuksa, a traditional wooden cup crafted by the Sami people of northern Scandinavia (my first attempt didn’t quite turn out as planned – my wife now very kindly refers to it as the ‘olive dish’!). I can remember the pride with which I took home my first carved spoon after attending the Fundamental Bushcraft course back in 2010. The fact that the spoon was not very good (misshapen and not symmetrical!) didn’t matter. I had toiled over it, sweated and bled (a little!), and eventually after several hours of sawing, carving and last-minute sanding produced something that, for all intents and purposes, resembled an eating implement… okay then, a spoon!
A Kuksa cup carved by Woodlore Senior Assistant Mark Booton
Today marks the 50th birthday of Woodlore’s founder, Ray Mears. In honour of this special occasion, the Woodlore team commissioned the work of a master hand engraver to produce a set of custom silver cufflinks, etched with the classic Woodlore logo.
Ray Mears opens his present from Woodlore
Happy 50th Birthday Ray!
Ray’s one-of-a-kind Woodlore cufflinks
On behalf of the entire Woodlore team, we would like to wish Ray a very happy birthday; here’s to many more years of adventures!
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.
Keith Whitehead, working a deer hide during the Journeyman course
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 →