Fire by hand drill

Fire by hand drill

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Pignuts are up

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Sunday, 17 February 2013

Enjoying the outdoors with infants.

I got this macpac baby carrier. It is super comfortable for baby and daddy. It have a fully enclosed rain cover and sun shade. There is about 20l worth of storage under the seat and even a mirror on the waist band to check on the kid. The unit is self supporting so you can load and unload without hassle. My baby always fall asleep so it must be comfy and warm even on cold windy days like today. macpac are a kiwi firm and make great gear. This is basically a very high end backpack with full back systems and straps with a little pouch added. I carried my daughter for around 3 hours today with a few nappy stops etc and have to say it is as comfortable as any backpack I have ever used. Also I personally hate prams bevause they limit where you can go so this solves the problem.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Got this from a mate!

Not sure what to make of it yet.  It is very blunt indeed but very comfortable to hold


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Monday, 11 February 2013

Water collection in a survival situation Part 1 Fast or Slow


I am on a bit of a intensive study session at the minute. My topic of choice is water procurement and purification.

Imagine you are out on a hike in warm weather. You have a full water bottle, more than enough for the day, and are well hydrated. You feel strong and decide to head to a view point you heard about a few miles off the trail. You don't have a map but you know the area well.

The climb to the view point is brutal and you are sweating buckets. You reach a place which looks like what was described and stop for a drink only to discover that your bag was not closed properly and your water bottle has dropped out. Oops.

Anyway you feel thirsty now and are still sweating and breathing heavily. Dehydration is now well under way!

Oh well, back down the trail keeping your eyes open for the water bottle. Your head starts to hurt a bit and you feel much more tired than you did before. Concentration is ebbing a bit and you begin to question if you are on the right trail.

You know you need to drink something but you keep going because you know that you have water in the car. A few hours later you realise that you did take the wrong path but know the right way now.
Your headache is pounding, your eyes and mouth are dry, you feel terrible.

The sun has gone down and you start to feel really cold. Water is an important part of heat generation. You dont have the energy to keep up a brisk pace and stop by a small stream.

You try to remember the rules about wilderness water sources. Its hard to think straight when your head hurts so much.

The water looks very clean and you can see the bottom. You lie down on your belly and drink deeply. You instantly feel better. It is pitch black now and you get out your warm layers and wrap up warm. It will be light in a few hours and you can find the car and get home. You are not expected back until tomorrow anyway and it will be a bit of an adventure to tell your friends about. You drift off to sleep.

Upstream the dead deer carcass continues to decompose in the stream. A few rodents are gnawing at it and save some time by defacating and urinating at the same time. This lovely cocktail flows down stream.

The next morning you wake up with a bit of a stomache cramp which slowly gets stronger. You are seating profusly. you feel a very sudden urgent need to poo and run begind a tree just in time to shoot a line of diarrea out all over the ground. Then you vomit.

You have been infected with a waterborne nasty. The short time it took to produce symptoms suggests you drank a lot of it.

You lie in pain waiting for the next dose of diaorrhea steadily losing what little water is left in your body.

Basically you are in seriously deep shit both metaphoricaly and physically.

There is lots of confusing and contradictory information on water collection.

If water appears visually clean it is often said that fast moving water is best and slow moving water is bad.

This is not correct.

Nature has a number of ways to purify water before we even get near it.

Solar radiation is a powerfull force for purification of water. In fast moving water this force never really gets a chance to work as the water is constantly moving and is churned up. In slow moving or still water the sun can penetrate the water for a few inches and interfere with the microorganisms biological processes

Fast moving water stirs everything up and holds onto anything it encounters carrying it down stream. Contaminants dont get a chance to settle and end up in your water bottle.

So slow with flow is the way to go as a first step.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Agnews Hill and some useful winter plants Part 3

I climbed out of the forest and continued to climb higher onto the moor. There was still some un-melted snow in places.
A small plunge pool had formed from the melting snow. I took the opportunity to take a drink using my Lifesaver
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A razor sharp Flint fragment which showed it had been worked. It may well be a tool thousands of years old.
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Some random pics. What can I say my Fallkniven S1 likes having her picture taken. I like the mushroom photo too.

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I came across the tracks of a Hare. I was able to follow it for some distance across the snow pack and in the end I saw it sitting on a rock in the distance.
Another indication of direction using the wind.
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Looking over the valley.

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Sheep horn but no sheep!!

Overall an interesting day indeed.

Agnews Hill and some useful winter plants Part 2

Bittercress growing in a ditch. A peppery delight. A very distinctive shape.
A Goat Willow or Sallow growing in a firebreak,
A great place to look for kindling is in the lower branches of Spruce. Often a completely dry bundle can be found even in the heaviest of down pours.
Ground Ivy was in plentiful supply. A good herb for a tea.
My gear for the day.
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I came down to the lakes edge and found the a few old shotgun shells. There where plenty of ducks about too.
My Maxpedition KISS versipack
The very distinctive Common Sorrel. Another zingy plant.
A winter Daisy rosette, edible.

Agnews Hill and some useful winter plants Part 1

It was a beautiful sunny winters day so I quickly got my gear and went for a long walk up onto the Antrim Plateau. I walked through a large Spruce forest and found some interesting things along the way.
I also got to try out my Lifesaver bottle which I have been wanting to try for a while.
Here are some pictures.
After entering the woodland I realised that I had not had a drink in many hours and my lips were dry- a sign of dehydration for me. I went to a nice mountain stream and filled my life saver bottle to get a drink. The bottle can be submerged because the mouth peice is protected by a watertight cap. However i would not submerge it in water i suspected was really bad because there is not high a chance of cross contamination in my opinion.
Another water source which I did not partake of and I am sure you can see why.
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Lots of wind damage had occurred. The trees all pointed in one direction away from the prevailing winds which is a very useful indication of direction----if you know the direction of the prevailing winds of course.
The stream widens in places and I have often bathed my feet here on a warm day.
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I came across more wind thrown trees. This time a line of mature Beech which I have known for over 20 years. It is a shame to see them uprooted like this. One Beech had lifted a stack of forestry timber up on its root plate forming a ready made shelter. It was fantastic and would have been great after about 1 hours work. I think the fact that the roof is made of 1 ton of timber is something to consider though.
A ribwort grew at the side of the shelter. It can be eaten and is a powerful medicine plant. The leaves can be chewed up and put on wounds as a poultice.
Birch bark- collect while you find it as Birch as rare in this area. I filled my pockets to use later as it was slightly damp.
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Wood sorrel a nice refreshing taste like apple peel and a useful source of vitamins in winter. Grows in the shade.
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I came across this encampment if it can be called that. The usual ring of stones and rubbish strewn everywhere. I found a rubber inner tire which made me thing the builders may be mountain bikers. I took the rubber because it is a great fire starter. The shelter was held together with green, cheap paracord.