Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine – Issue 78 – Jan/Feb 2019
Winter is often seen as the time of year when we become like bears and retreat into hibernation mode. And while there’s a certain smug pleasure to be gained from watching the wind and rain hammering against the windows while we stay tucked up in front of a roaring fire (or radiator), it’s not long before I find myself screaming on the inside, clawing at the walls and frantically trying to come up with plans to get outside and cure myself of the dreaded cabin fever.
With the correct mindset and equipment there’s absolutely no reason why bushcraft shouldn’t be a year round activity. Indeed, some of my most memorable wilderness experiences have been during the colder months of the year, when I’ve really had to work at keeping myself warm. If you ever find yourself lacking the motivation to leave behind your home comforts in favour of the exhilarating challenges of the outdoors, it’s worth remembering the old adage ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing’.
Winter for me is the best time to head to the hills, and over the past few weeks I’ve been spending quite a lot of time in the mountains of Snowdonia, as well as the Brecon Beacons. Developing the skills of navigation using a map and compass really does give you the freedom of the hills, and all that fresh air and exercise helps keep the winter blues at bay.
But here in Wales there are days when the rain seems to come at you from every direction, and no matter how hard I try, I just can’t muster the enthusiasm to go out and play. These are the days to repair and sort out kit, pour over maps and guidebooks, and dream about the new adventures yet to come.
In this issue, Lofty Wiseman shares his experience (page 34) and advises us to practise what we’re bad at (for me that will be understanding computers), and Paul Kirtley discusses the lessons to be learnt from snow walking and camping in winter (page 72).
Ian Nairn demonstrates a great indoor project by making a tree of life pendent (page 80), while Naomi Walmsley looks at the benefits of winter warming teas (page 22).
Torbjorn Selin shares his New Year’s camping resolution with us (page 26). Laura Bingham highlights the importance of our friends the bees (page 30), while her hubby, Ed Stafford, discusses that all important substance, water (page 68).
Also, Tim Gent describes his experiences of helping to build a traditional Sámi dwelling (page 44), and I’ll be visiting Devon, and one of the last remaining traditional oak bark leather tanneries (page 85).
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