Another successful basic course in bushcraft done! Because this was a small group we could hold in our basic camp in Etnedal.
Preparing the camp, a bit different than normal, by making a couple of benches. A bigger and saver fireplace because of the long dry season we have this year. Moreover because of that we couldn’t make fires outside the camp, the risk of forest fire was and is way too big.
Even in the in the camp, we were only allowed to make a low and small fire, just enough to cook and keeping the mosquito’s away. As you can understand an all-night fire was not an option as well. That is why we made the fire place bigger and dig it out at start deeper, so we could make different layers of sand and rocks at the bottom and the sides. This way we are sure the fire will not travel undergrounds and startup a fire far from us.
But a bigger fireplace doesn’t mean by definition a bigger fire, no on the contrary just a bigger surface to keep a small fire safe.
Then we used moving blankets and foam roll mats on the sleeping places, so we could use some of our hammocks to create a bug free sleeping area, this time of the year we have a lot of mosquito’s and sviknott flies, I think in English they called midges, they are small and a true pest to have around. But the hammocks worked great and everyone had a good night rest.
What we did this weekend that started on Friday night and ended on Sunday afternoon?
After introduction and picking out the sleeping places we made some warm drinks above the fire and we went over the ground rules and the safety rules. Then we started with teaching them mine 3 most used knots with rope, of course there are many more good knots to pick from, but I prefer those ones because they are fast, strong, and easy to loosen in every weather condition. Do you want to know which one? Then join one of our classes. But they are used to setup rig lines, hammocks, binding things safe and strong but easy to use. Once you figured out how they work.
The next day was filled with first of course breakfast, coffee or tea, cleaning up and washing the dishes in the river with only natural means. Building a simple and fast toilet, how to use safely an axe and a knife, and bring that in practice with cutting a cooking spatler from a log at start, to forming a plank to the final spatler. Then Lunch
Further how to make a fire, because of the risk of forest fire, we kept it small and only used a ferro rod, we spoke about the tree rules for making fire, to get the right tinder(sizes) and how to prepare everything before we make a fire. We spoke about the many ways to make fire in different weather conditions, and the different of tools and ways to start them. From friction to chemical fire, from lighter to ferro rod etc.
They all at start found out that even I let it seem very easy with a ferro rod, that it was quiet a challenge, and not so easy to do. But in the end, everyone could make sparks and make a good fire.
Then we spoke about good fire wood in all weathers, and they had to find some dead-standing tree’s and cut down two of them and bring them back to camp, where they had to saw in smaller pieces we could use in the evening.
Time for dinner, I made a big pot of bush-stew right above a small fire, while the rest had some time for themselves. Most of them went to the waterfalls and had a great time.
After dinner some hot beverage and of course marshmallows, and a great time learning things from and over each other. And of course, we tried the ferro rods again, because they all want to have the same result as me, a one stroke fire… LOL it was nice to tease them a bit. We tried the knots again, and with some beers ( just for the Adults) the time flew by, till it was bedtime!
The last morning… ‘time flies when you have a good time’ They all had a hard time to wake lol, but then they had to make their own breakfast ‘bannock bread’ a bush bread that you mix with water in a zip-bag. And then bake in a pan above a fire. The good part was of course eating it together with coffee or bush tea, or just some juice. After cleanup we made some hobo stoves out of a tin can, so that you in a survival situation something got to cook on and feed it with only small twigs, and the day ended in a small water cooking Competition on those stoves, with lighting the fire with a ferro rod and finding the right tinder and fire wood suitable for this stove.
Well time flies as said before and then everybody helped to cleanup the camp and bring the gear we used up! We drained the fire place in water, so we know for sure there was nothing left glowing and we spread the ashes mixed with water.
The feedback was that everyone comes back for part two, making shelters, base camp, friction fires and practice everything that they had learned this time.
I am glad that everyone had a great time at Scandic Bushcraft!