Friday, 14 October 2011

Finally The Rain Stops... Time For A Walk To Buzzard Wood

After several days of terrential rain, yesterday it finally stopped, the sun came out and I seized the moment and went for a walk to my favourite local bushcrafting spot, Buzzard Wood.

I really enjoy going for my local walks, as it serves many purposes. Firstly I am getting fresh air and exercise, which as we all know is good for you, so I'm onto a winner before I even start.

Secondly I get to know my surroundings better and over time become more familiar with whats around me. Things such as edible fruits, tinder sources, potential camping spots etc.

When you are out on a walk I think it is important not to just put your head down and march from one point to another. You should take your time, look around you and try to find new plants, fungi or wildlife that you come across in the hedgerow.

Take good quality photos, to enable you to look back at them when you get home. Try to identify them and discover if they have any edible properties, medicinal uses or other uses, such as firelighting.

Build up a database of your findings, categorising them into plants, fungi, trees, birds, insects etc. Doing this will help you learn as you go and it WILL stick in your head, ready for the next time you are out.

Depending on how far you are walking, you can brush up on your navigating skills. You don't have to have a gps, map, compass etc. Just a simple printout of the area you are walking in, kept in a protective wallet, in case it rains.

And so, I set off on my walk, with a full 35 litre Karrimor rucksack, as I intended to shoot several videos of my newly acquired Trangia Triangle and 12cm Zebra Billy Can, which I was eager to test out in the field.

Due to the recent heavy rain, the ground was very wet and I was glad for my British Army Canvas Gaiters, which have served me well since I bought them. As always, I was on the lookout for different plants, fruits and fungi and I wasn't let down, as they were plentiful.

I came across Hawthorn Berries, Sloes, Crab Apples, Blackberries and several different species of fungi. Not to mention the abundance of wildlife, such as Wrens, Jays, Pheasant, Cormorants, Tawny Owl, various butterflies and of course squirrels.

Having walked just over an hour, I reached my destination, Buzzard Wood. This isn't its real name, its just a name I christened it when I first discovered it a few months ago. This was a simple idea I picked up from a Youtube friend, who names all his woods that he visits. Mainly to conceal the location identity, as when you find a nice secluded spot, you like to keep it for yourself,even though other people think exactly the same when they are there too.

Once in Buzzard wood, I setup a simple base camp using my British Army Basha and some camo netting, just so that I blended into the woodland. I unpacked by rucksack and made a start with some new videos for my Youtube channel (JesterBushcraft).

Today, I was filming a field test of my new Trangia Triangle and 12cm Zebra Billy Can. And I have to say it worked brilliantly. Easy to setup, simple to use, sturdy and packs away into a very compact drawstring bag.

The Zebra Billy Can was also a success and I managed to cook myself some noodles with vegetable soup and of course a brew to wash it all down.

I always like to shoot as many videos as I can when I'm out, as I never know when I'll next get the chance. I think its important to keep my regular (And loyal) subscribers updated with new videos. They have taken time to visit my channel and leave quality comments and feedback. So I think its only fair I respond with more info, reviews and tutorials.

So, in addition I did videos on my Victorinox Trailmaster, A New Kitchen Kit and Map Ideas.

After a couple of hours in Buzzard Wood and a close encounter with a Tawny owl, I packed up my camp. Made sure I had left no trace of being there and set off back home.

By this time the sun was out and it was getting quite warm, so I rolled up my sleeves and plodded on across the fields and woodland, taking more photos of more different species of fungi etc.

I arrived back at my car ,having done a 5.17 mile round trip and was quite pleased with my days work.

I think it does you good to have "YOU TIME" away from the rat race, collect your thoughts and enjoy what you have around you and sometimes, closer to you than you think (Tawny Owl, virtually on my shoulder)

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