Walking (and surviving) at Glenmore

I realise I am very fortunate to work in one of the loveliest spots in Scotland at Glenmore, at the foot of the Cairngorms mountains and in the heart of the Caledonian Pinewoods. This weekend I had a fantastic time working with a great bunch of people. I organised a Woodland Survival ‘themed’ weekend, where the customers participated in about 16 hours of activities relating to navigation, survival and bushcraft. We practised basic navigation using a map and compass; built survival shelters; found and purified water; made cord from roots and nettles; and tried lighting fires with a bow drill.

While out in the woods close to the camp site we were lucky enough to spot this wee fellow in the trees. This is not a rare occurrence as I’m fortunate to see red squirrels each day at Glenmore.

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We also watched two roe deer grazing about 100 metres away from us on Saturday evening while out practising our map and compass skills.
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A bimble in Culbin

Enjoying a walk at Culbin Forest

Neil took a day off work yesterday to help me celebrate my birthday. After checking the mountain weather forecast we decided against going up a hill and headed for a bimble around the woods at Culbin.

Culbin Forest was once a vast area of shifting sand dunes and was the largest area of open sand dunes in Britain covering 3,100 hectares. The land was purchased by the Forestry Commission in the 1920s and afforestation began. The forest helped to reduce the drift of the 7 km long sand bar, which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
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Paracord (survival) bracelets

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Continuing on my bushcrafts theme at the moment I ordered some military-issue 550 paracord. This is cord with a rated strength of 550lbs (250kg) and is constructed of a flexible outer cover, which contains 7 white nylon cords. It can be used for everything from rigging a tarp for shelter, to repairing a broken rucksack strap, to tying sticks together to make shelter. The inner core can be removed to use as thin string for a fishing line, etc.

As well as just chucking one 15m (150ft) length in the bottom of my rucksack, I thought I’d have a go at making a ‘survival strap’. Survival straps are woven/knotted items made from paracord and which are part of your everyday kit – worn or carried. They an be unravelled to provide a short length of paracord to use in an emergency.
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My hobo woodburning camp stove

My hobo woodburning campstove

Following on from several comments on blogs recently about (purchased) wood burning stoves, and a wish to try some more bushcraft skills, I thought I’d have a go at making a basic woodburner. This is a simple ‘chuck wood in and let it burn to produce heat’ model, not a fancy schmancy gasification thingie.
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