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Friday, 5 August 2016

Father and Son Bushcraft Weekend

A couple of weeks ago I took Michael to Riddy Wood for a Father and Son overnighter, partly to make some preparations for the family Bushcraft event that we ran last week, but mainly just to spend some time together and to build the 'yoda hut' that he has been wanting to build for some time. 

You remember Yoda's mud hut from Star Wars right? Well we had thought about making a very close replica using the clay that is plentiful in Riddy Wood but we decided in the end, partly in the interest of time, to make use of some of the elm logs we coppiced last October. 

Elm logs stacked after coppicing last October 

If you remember this elm is a bit of a conundrum for us as it can't be moved off site without being stripped of it's bark and as a lot of last seasons coppice wood was elm and we don't have time to strip all the bark right now we've got a lot of wood that isn't going to be used strait away. Elm however is a fantastic timber for construction, it's very resistant to moisture and can withstand repeated saturation and drying, so much so that it used to be used for pilings for jetties and to build lock gates.

Oxford Canal at Marston Doles - geograph.org.uk - 432841
Massive gates like these, which needed to hold back tonnes of water and last for years used to be built of elm.
Picture by; Maurice Pullin [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

So having rejected the idea of a mud hut Michael and I decided to build a cabin out of elm logs;


Making sure it's going to be long enough for Michael's bunk


Michael did a lot to help with his cabin.
  



It's getting taller...

...and taller.

The first bunk is in, and Michael had to double check it was strong enough.


We had to have a break at midday so Michael could prepare our lunch




Having a snack on the top bunk.

Almost full height and the ends have been neatened up. 

The door went in towards the end and Michael swept out all the sawdust and offcuts.

Two bunks installed and just the roof to go ready for Michael and Lillie to spend their first night in the cabin at the family bushcraft event.

We had a great time together and really enjoyed building his cabin, it certainly isn't a model for great log cabins but it was great fun building it and Michael and Lillie loved sleeping in it last week.  





  

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Bushcraft Family Event

 

This time last week we were relaxing after the first BushcraftEducation family bushcraft event held at Riddy Wood.

Michael and Lillie got to spend a few nights in their new cabin during the family bushcraft event. Check the blog in the next few days for an account of my Father and son trip to the woods with Michael to build this cabin. 


We had a great time delivering it and hope that everyone who was there enjoyed it too. 

We made willow whistles (you can find instructions on how to make one yourself here)

We played with some clay and made beads, bowls and 'tree faces' like these. 



We did some baking in our new ovens and lasty Tuesday night we baked pizza for fifteen people. So much for 'roughing it'.

We also spent some time learning to identify some of the different trees that grow in Riddy Wood, to practice tree ID yourself check out some of these tips on identifying tree species just from their bark and twigs. Being a bushcraft event there was plenty of fire lighting, on the first day the challenge was set to light a fire with nothing but a knife, axe, log and single match. That proved a challenge for some and hopefully drove home the lesson of just how important it is to put time and effort into preparing your fuel and tinder, but the next day we progressed onto firesteels and fire by friction. All in all the event was great fun and we look forward to more in the future, we have one coming up at Halloween, book now to guarantee a place. 



We got some great sun sets while we were at Riddy Wood for the event. 
  

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