Last Friday evening I left work and headed down the M11 to Hoddesdon, to help teach Sea Cadets bushcraft and outdoor living skills as part of there Expedition Leaders Assessment, at the invitation of my friend George and the London North East District Sea Cadets.
I arrived just before dark, to a deserted campsite, so walked around to find the best location to set up, under a dense area of Holly. I found the two longest logs I could find and put them parallel to each other and then filled the space between with 18 inches of leaves as a mattress. The picture below was taken the following morning hence the compressed leaves.
My Reindeer skin provided additional insulation
and then I used my summer bag and bivy bag from the US Sleep System.
As the evening progressed cadets and leaders arrived, as did a large number of Police cadets and leaders using the site at the same time as ourselves. It was a good chance to catch up with old friends (I ran a course for some of the instructors 18 months ago) and make new ones. Advertised as “one of the UK ‘s leading bushcraft and outdoor skills instructors” I felt a little nervous on Saturday morning but thankfully I would be working with “one of the UK’s second best bushcraft instructors”……… ;>)
After breakfast we started the day with shelter building. We split the cadets into two groups and made two different shelters
One group made a lean-to
The other group made a kennel shelter
After lunch we spent the afternoon teaching firelighting. Methods included firesteel, flint and steel, bow-drill and pump-drill.
This is Chris who at 14 is one of the most enthusiastic students I have ever had and already posses a variety of skills.
He achieved his first fire using the bow-drill.
Unfortunately I had to depart late afternoon (missing out on navigation, tracking and cooking over/in a campfire) to travel to rural Norfolk for a very special event which I will write about next time!