Thursday, 15 November 2007

Dandelion poem

I have an obsession with dandelions at the moment and in my search for knowledge I found all sorts of wonderful and interesting facts and recipes for this humble plant including this poem

To a Dandelion.

Blessings on thy sunny face,
In my heart thou hast a place,
Humble Dandelion!
Forms more lovely are around thee,
Purple violets surround thee,--
But I know thy honest heart
Never felt a moment's smart
At another's good or beauty,--
Ever at thy post of duty,
Smiling on the great and small,
Rich and poor, and wishing all
Health, and happiness, and pleasure,
Oh, thou art a golden treasure!

I remember years ago,
How I longed to see thee blow,
Humble Dandelion!
Through the meadows I would wander,
O'er the verdant pastures yonder,
Filling hands and filling lap,
Till the teacher's rap, rap, rap,
Sounding on the window sash
Dreadful as a thunder crash,
Galled me from my world ideal
To a world how sad and real,--
From a laughing sky and brook
To a dull old spelling-book;
Then with treasures hid securely,
To my seat I crept demurely.

Childhood's careless days are o'er,
Happy school days come no more,
Humble Dandelion!
Through a desert I am walking,
Hope eluding, pleasure mocking,
Every earthly fountain dry,
Yet when thou didst meet mine eye,
Something like a beam of gladness
Did illuminate my sadness,
And I hail thee as a friend
Come a holiday to spend
By the couch of pain and anguish.
Where I suffer, moan and languish.

When at length I sink to rest,
And the turf is on my breast,
Humble Dandelion!
Wilt thou when the morning breaketh,
And the balmy spring awaketh,
Bud and blossom at a breath
From the icy arms of death,
Wilt thou smile upon my tomb?
Drawing beauty from the gloom,
Making life less dark and weary,
Making death itself less dreary,
Whispering in a gentle tone
To the mourner sad and lone,
Of a spring-time when the sleeper
Will arise to bless the weeper?

Source: "Canadian Wild Flowers," by Helen M. Johnson.

I have never before boiled dandelion greens. They smelled surprisingly like spinach while boiling and completely lost their bitterness in the process. They were so delicious on their own as a boiled green that I plan to continue harvesting them with vigor for what remains of the growing season and eating them as-is with a dash of salt and sprinkle of oil.


by Susan Campbell

If you are ever in Greece, you will see that bakeries offer Hortopita (Greens Pie) much more often than the famous Spanakopita (Spinach Pie). I think this gives them the flexibility to use whatever greens are available, including spinach no matter what the season.


  • 2 lbs edible greens (untreated garden dandelions work nicely, but any leafy green at hand will do)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into a 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 fat leeks, white, and light green parts only, cut into 1/4 inch slices and cleaned
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb feta cheese, crumbled between your fingers
  • 1 package filo dough, thawed
  • Approx. 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil


Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Bring 1 quart of water to the boil. Add the greens in bunches. Cover the pot and bring back to the boil. Cook until tender (3-4 minutes ). Drain and as soon as the greens are cool enough to handle, squeeze as much water out of them as possible. A lot of moisture in the horta filling will make the bottom of the pie soggy. Place them in a large bowl. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and add the onion. Once the onion is transparent, add the leeks and cook until everything is completely wilted. Add this to the spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste. Crumble the feta between your fingers and add it to the vegetables. Mix everything.

Photo by Susan Campbell

Set up your work station with the 1/2 cup of oil, a pastry brush, a large, ovenproof dish (any shape or material) and the unrolled filo. Cover the filo sheets with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Brush the dish with a thin but even layer of oil. Brush a small amount of oil on the first sheet and lay it in the dish irregularly, with an angle sticking out of the dish. Proceed with the next oiled sheet and lay it with an angle sticking in another direction. Continue this way until you have used up 2/3 of the sheets and they are arranged with edges overhanging on all sides of the dish. Why? **See Below.

Photo by Susan Campbell

Place the horta filling in and spread evenly. Cover with more oiled sheets, this time folding over any and all corners and fitting them into the shape of the dish rather than letting them hang over the sides. Once you've used all the filo sheets, fold the uneven edges back on top of the pie and brush with more oil. This will make a shiny, brown finish once the pie is baked. Prick pie with a fork in several places to keep it from ballooning in the oven.

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown with darker brown edges of some of the top pieces. Remove it from the oven, and let set for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

** Just before you put this into the oven, you will fold these edges back on top of the pie to make a beautiful effect like crinkled-gift-wrapping. This also helps hide mistakes. Any broken filo dough, no problem, just layer it along with everything else and nobody will know!

Photo by Susan Campbell

Some traditional options: You may add up to 1/2 cup of fresh dill and/or parsley and/or up to 5 eggs to the horta filling.

Other options: Your choices of what else to add are limited only by your imagination. Some Greeks make this type of dish with any leftover vegetable.


Robert McDowell's Herbal Treatments
24 December 2006

Herbal Help for Humans and their Companions

"Blissors not stressors",

The nervous system can take a battering at Christmas. This is a time of year that can be very stressful and difficult socially, travel wise and also financially.

When suffering from anxiety, depression or feeling tight and stressed you need to consciously focus more on "Blissors not stressors", address each one of the following areas to achieve a more balanced and happy life. Ultimately we have to remember to nourish all our senses. Creative activities and nature walks are some of the best ways to achieve this. Look at:-

Stress Management - yoga, breathing, meditation.
Exercise - gentle and daily.
Nutrition - Eat "SLOW" foods ie seasonal, local, organic, whole. Cut back on alcohol and coffee.
Social/ Spiritual - relaxing with friends and family, acknowledging beliefs and life philosophies.
Education - ongoing interest and motivation in learning.

Home Remedies - Dandelion.....don't go past the Simple Dandelion

Dandelions have a thick tap root, dark brown, almost black on the outside though white and milky within, the long jagged leaves rise directly, radiating from it to form a rosette lying close upon the ground. The leaves are shiny and without hairs, the margin of each leaf cut into great jagged teeth, either upright or pointing somewhat backwards. All parts of the plant contain a somewhat bitter, milky juice (latex), but the juice of the root being still more powerful is the part of the plant most used for medicinal purposes.

Young Dandelion leaves make delicious sandwiches, the tender leaves being laid between slices of bread and butter and sprinkled with salt. The addition of a little lemon-juice and pepper varies the flavour. The leaves should always be torn to pieces, rather than cut, in order to keep the flavour.

The dried Dandelion leaves are also employed as an ingredient in many digestive or diet drinks and herb beers.

Dandelion Coffee is a natural beverage without any of the injurious effects that ordinary tea and coffee have on the nerves and digestive organs. It exercises a stimulating influence over the whole system, helping the liver and kidneys to do their work and keeping the bowels in a healthy condition, so that it offers great advantages to dyspeptics and does not cause wakefulness.

Dandelion is very nourishing and high in vitamin A. It is a blood, kidney, and liver cleanser and tonic. Dandelion is useful as a diuretic and one of the best natural sources of potassium. This makes it an ideal balanced diuretic even with oedema related to cardiac conditions. Its cholagogue action makes it an ideal remedy for inflammation and congestion of the liver and gallbladder. Dandelion root has a significant cleansing action on the liver and stimulates bile production. It is also mildly bitter and a gentle laxative.

Dandelion's bitter taste stimulates bitter receptors in the mouth and by reflex activates the entire digestive tract and the liver. It increases the flow of digestive juices thereby improving digestion and assimilation and enhancing the appetite. Dandelion cleanses the liver by increasing bile production and flow through the liver. Thus giving support to the liver's work as the major detoxifying organ in the body.

Dandelion root is one of the best detoxifying herbs. As is works on the liver and gallbladder to help convert waste products it also assists the kidneys to remove the toxins through urination.

Pick and eat a young leaf as you walk past - each time!


Ask your relatives if they have any experiences with the Dandelion. Remember that it originally came from Asia where it played an important role in both food and medicine. Arabian physicians, even before the year 1000, used this plant as a medicine. The Dandelion has not established itself in the wild in the Southern Hemisphere. Dandelions made their recorded appearances in Canada with the French in the 1700’s where it was used in salads and as a health remedy.

This plant also appeared in New Mexico, USA when Spanish people brought it over for a medicine and food source, they called it chicoria. Germans brought the plant to Pennsylvania in the 1850’s and used it as an early spring infusion of nutrition and vitamins. The English also brought the plants over to cure liver problems and other illnesses. Native Americans soon started to see benefits from the plants and started to grow them for the same uses as others. The plant is grown in India and is used mainly for a remedy for liver problems. Most recently the dandelion root is being grown and exported to Russia for use in medical remedies.

Interesting Facts

The word Dandelion comes from the French name for the plant dents de lion. This means teeth of the lion and refers to the jagged edges of the leaf of the plant.

The other French name for this plant is pis-en-lit, in English this means wet the bed. Dandelions deserve this name because their greens, when eaten, remove water from the body. So eating the greens could cause someone to well… you can guess the rest. Not recommend for a bedtime snack.

The dandelion first came from Asia but it now calls the entire planet home!

Each year fifty-five tones of coffee substitutes made from roasted Dandelion roots are sold in England, Australia and Canada.

The Dandelion provides an important food source to bees. The pollen from this plant helps bees out in the spring because it flowers early and the flowers continue through to the fall providing constant food. In fact no less then 93 different kinds of insects use Dandelion pollen as food.

The Dandelion seeds are important food to many small birds.


Sunday, 11 November 2007

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

By John McCrae 1915

Sunday, 16 September 2007

My New Blog Site

I felt the videos were a a bit too much here so i decided to set up a new blog dedicated to the free on line videos.
Nomad Of Soul Web Videos

Thursday, 13 September 2007


Just a few more, I've started on the big list which i will post here soon

Being Your Own Wilderness Doctor: The Outdoorsman's Emergency Manual E. Russel Kodet & Bradford Angier (0671785494)
Jack-Knife Cookery - James Austin Wilder (1929 ISBN:0936226951)
Your Own Resources - A practical book for the self-sufficiency people in Australia - Compiled by Michael Richardson ( 0868240060 / 0868240087)
Wilderness Cookery - Bradford Angier (1961)

Books Of Interest
A Last Wild Place - Mike Tomkies (0224022199)
Born On Snow Shoes - Evelyn Berglund Shore (1955ed
/ 0963651188)
Call Of The Wild - My escape to Alaska - Guy Grieve (0340898240)
Cottage Book, The - The undiscovered country diary on an Edwardian Statesman - Sir Edward Grey (0297607529)
Good Life, The - Dorian Amos - (1903070309)
Into The Wild - Jon Krakauer - (0385486804)
Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer - (0330353977)
Seeking Robinson Crusoe - Tim Severin (0333905555)
Voyageur - Across the Rocky Mountains in a Birchbark Canoe - Robert Twigger (978-0297829812)

Tuesday, 11 September 2007


All descriptions are taken from the magazine's website.

Bushcraft: OUT OF PRINT (Only 6 issues were printed the 7th was PDF only)
Bushcraft, is an A5, high quality, full gloss magazine so it's easy to carry and it's going to last. Best of all - it's cram-packed with great content from experts and enthusiasts who just love the outdoors.

Bushcraft magazine is dedicated to life in the outdoors and obtaining all you can from it. Bushcraft is the art of confidence in the outdoors obtained through the study of age old skills and wisdom, enabling you to
make the best use of modern technology without becoming dependent upon it for your enjoyment of the natural world.

Things have come a long way and over the coming months and years the magazine will grow and evolve. The input from you the reader, is hugely valuable in making it a great magazine and we welcome feedback so that we can keep the tweaking and refining process ongoing. The Bushcraft UK website and Bushcraft the Magazine will complement each other in a very real way, so that there's more information, knowledge and skills readily available to all.

This magazine is written for you, enjoy it.

Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine: (DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS ONE))

Interest in bushcraft is at an all time high, its profile being raised by the new availability of information and of course the Ray Mears television series. Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine is a valuable resource; enhancing your existing knowledge, teaching you new skills, answering your questions and keeping you up to date with courses and equipment suited to bushcraft use.

Throughout the pages of Bushcraft & Survival Skills magazine you will find Regular and Feature Articles on subjects such as Tracking, Knives & Axes, Foraging, Flint Knapping, Fire Lighting, Wood Lore and Surviving in the Wild, alongside 'How to...' articles showing you how to make your own kit and projects that use natures resources. There are Book Reviews, Course Reviews & Kit Reviews to help you select and buy wisely, Course, Schools & Store Directories telling you what's happening and when along with where to go for training and kit, Reader giveaways and Competitions enabling you to get hold of some great kit. Most important, is a chance for you to have your say! We welcome readers questions to put to our ‘Ask our Expert’ panel, send in your ‘readers letters’, articles and photographs, this magazine is yours, own it!

The Bushcraft Magazine: (VERY GOOD FOR A UK MAG)

The Bushcraft Magazine is the first UK magazine to deal with bushcraft as a subject in its own right. Covering a wide range of bushcraft topics from Arrow to Yarrow, it is printed quarterly.

Backwoods Home magazine: (NOT READ IT YET)

Want a more self-reliant lifestyle for you and your family? Backwoods home magazine can help you achieve it. Every issue is packed with solid, practical, hands-on information on a wide range of self-reliance topics. (Backwoods Home Magazine, E-Edition)

Backwoodsman Magazine: (VERY GOOD)

The Backwoodsman magazine is a bi-monthly publication dedicated to the preservation of Old Frontier living, primitive hunting and fishing, tool and weapons lore, and wilderness survival. Each issue is packed with information, projects and adventures associated with this unique period of North American history.

The Bulletin of Primitive Technology: (ONE OF THE BEST)

The purpose of the Society of Primitive Technology is: 1) to promote the practice and teaching of aboriginal skills; 2) to foster communication between teachers and practitioners; and 3) to set standards for authenticity, ethics and quality. The Bulletin is to serve as a means of accomplishing these goals.

Statement of Purpose: The primary activity of the organization is to promote the practice and teaching of primitive technology. Promotion entails both educating and informing any and all interested parties on a wide range of primitive/aboriginal life skills as well as setting standards for authenticity, ethics, and quality. Aboriginal life skills are defined here as those traditional technological skills which primitive peoples of any location, from the equator to the arctics, East to West, and of any time period, Paleolithic to post-contact, practiced or are still practicing, in order to perpetuate or to improve the quality of their lives. Generally this definition embraces pre-literate, pre-industrial lifeways, although some such traditional life skills may occassionally be found interwoven with advanced technological societies.

Because of a rapidly rising interest in primitive technology, among technologically advanced peoples, as a means of improving the quality of life on earth today, both advocationally and vocationally, the time came for an organization to be created to help mobilize this interest and promote the above activity. Accordingly in 1988, a proposal for an organization to be formed the following year was distributed to national leaders in the field. In November of 1989 a meeting of these leaders was held (at the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia, NC), a Board of Directors was created, and a society was formed. A statement of purpose was drafted and a means proposed for implementation of the society's goals. Since then, annual board meetings have been held each year at varying locations around the country to facilitate the maintenance of the society. To date, this has included incorporating with non-profit status and the creation of four publications, the Bulletin of Primitive Technology, the short-lived Primitive Technology Newsletter, and our books Primitive Technology I: A Book of Earth Skills, and Primitive Technology II: Ancestral Skills. The Board of Directors and its appointees are the ones responsible for implementing all of the above.

The principle purpose of the organization, therefore, is to try and help improve the quality of life of its members by providing access to the knowledge embraced by the field of primitive technology.

Earth Garden: (NOT READ IT)

Welcome to Earth Garden magazine, Australia's original magazine of
alternatives for country and city. Now in our 35th year!

Wilderness Way Magazine: (VERY GOOD)

In Wilderness Way , you will learn primitive skills that have been used for thousands of years, yet forgotten by our modern culture. Wilderness Way magazine opens a door to a simpler time and the techniques of how man lived. Inside you will find secrets to making friction fires, primitive shelters, plant cordage, atlatls (spears), birch canoes, teepees and much more.

You will learn techniques of falconry, using medicinal plants, flint knapping, animal tracking, food cooking and preservation, and primitive weaponry. You will read tales from the past; Rendezvous Era, Fur Trade Era, Indian lore and more...

Monday, 10 September 2007

Rush hour on a Russian Highway

Have a look at this powerpoint presentation from Australianoutdoors, even those with Chelsea tractors would think twice. (you can download a free powerpoint viewer from Microsoft)

Survival IQ

SurvivalIQ provides information, resources, strategies and techniques you need to know whether you're preparing for a back country camping trip or the Green Berets.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Sunday, 19 August 2007


Have a look at BushcraftUK for a great selection of free PDF books
'The 10 Bushcraft Books' by Richard Graves
This document courtesy of David B. Macpherson provides an excellent introduction to the subject of tarp shelters. He provides a wealth of valuable and useful information on their use and construction, covering everything from the most basic immediate action shelter to sophisticated structures.
U.S. Army Field Manual, No. 21-76, Survival
Bowditch -The American Practical Navigator - Free PDF's to aid your navigational skills
Metsä - Forest - Skog - Wald - A DVD about Finland's sustainable forestry: forest resources, their use and management.
FM 55-501 Marine Crewman's Handbook - Some interesting stuff can be found within this.
U.S. Army Survival Manual FM 21-76 - Includes updated versions.
Free books on Nuclear Survival - I know, a little extreme, but you might learn something new.
Wild Food Plants - A site with vids all about wild food

Our Wild Indians - Colonel Richard A. Dodge - I was looking to see if a could find a cheap copy but then found it free in pdf format. This book is quoted in the excellent book 'Nature is your guide' by Harold Gatty (you can find this in the list below). Here's the quote "The old guide Espinosa, from whom I learned the the rudiments of plains craft, told me that when he was a boy-prisoner among the Comanches, and the youngsters wished to go on a raid into a country unknown to them, it was customary for the older men to assemble the boys for instruction a few days before the time fixed for starting.
All being seated in a circle, a bundle of sticks was produced, marked with notches to represent the days. Commencing with the stick with one notch, an old man drew on the ground with his finger, a rude map illustrating the journey of the first day. The rivers, streams, hills, valleys, ravines, hidden water-holes, were all indicated with reference to prominent and carefully described landmarks. When this was thoroughly understood, the stick representing the next day's march was illustrated in the same way, and so on to the end. he further stated that he had known one party of young men and boys , the eldest not over nineteen, none of whom had ever been in Mexico, to start from the main camp on Brady's Creek of Monterey (a distance of over 380 miles as the crow flies), solely by memory of information represented and fixed in their minds by these sticks."

Friday, 17 August 2007

DVD's Of Interested.
Dersu Uzala (You cant go wrong with Akira Kurosawa) (here as well)
Black Robe (Amazon link)
Quest For Fire (Amazon)
Walkabout (Amazon)
Atanarjuat (Amazon)
Kon Tiki (Asda)
Anasazi - Hisatsinom: The Ancient Ones
Metsa - Forest - Skog - Wald
The Great Canadian Wilderness Series:
Across The Great Divide
Land Of Extremes
The Wild Shore
(check ebay for these, i got mine for a quid each)
A few more books but the last for a while.
Bush Tucker Field Guide - Less Hiddins (1741170281)
Campcraft and Wilderness Skills: Essential Skills for Surviving in Remote Terrain and in All Climates - Camping, Cooking, Building Shelters, Using Tools and Much More - Peter G. Drake - (1844762149)
Being Your Own Wilderness Doctor: The Outdoorsman's Emergency Manual - E. Russel Kodet and Bradford Angier (0671785494)
The Complete Wilderness Training Book - Hugh McManners (1564584887)

Sunday, 5 August 2007


Bushcraft, Survival and Primitive Living Skills
Algonquin Birchbark Canoe, The - David Gidmark(0852639406)
Arctic Survival Manual - BMEWS (158963800x)
Australian Bushcraft - M. W. Plate (0701805714)

Australian Bush Survival Skills - Kevin Casey (0958762813)
Axe Book, The - Gransfors Bruks AB
Backcountry Handbook, The - Mother Earth News (0671657917)
Best Of Woodsmoke,
The - A manual of primitive outdoor skills - Richard L. Jamison (0882908049)
Bush Arts - Mors Kochanski (0919433499) (2 Copies)
Bushcraft - An Inspirational Guide to Surviving the Wilderness - Ray Mears (0340792582)

Bushcraft - Outdoor skills and wilderness survival - Mors Kochanski (1551051222)
Bushcraft - The Complete Guide for Bushwalkers, Campers and All Outdoors Enthusiasts - Bill Stoate (0670903108)

Bushcraft - The best selling guide to surviving the wilderness - Ray Mears (0340825162)
Bushcraft Skills And How To Survive In The Wild - Anthonio Akkermans (184476270x)
Bushcraft Survival - Ray Mears (0340834803)
Bush Tucker Map & Guide - Where to find bush tucker and how to identify it - Les Hiddins (0670892017)
Campcraft & Wilderness Skills - Peter Drake (1844762149)

Cloudspotter's Guide, The - gavin Pretor-Pinney (9780340895900)
Collins Guide To Animal Tracks And Signs - A guide to the tracking of all British and European mammals and birds - Preben Bang & Preben Dahlstrom (0002161060)
Combat Survival Course Notes - Paladin Press (08736421200)
Commando Survival Manual,
The - Hugh McManners (0751300837)
Complete Book Of Outdoor Lore - Clyde Ormond (0060714409)
Complete Book Of Outdoor Lore And Woodcraft - Clyde Ormond (0060149620)
Complete Guide To Sharpening, The - Leonard Lee (1561581259)
Complete Outdoor Handbook,
The - All the skills you need to make the most of outdoor life - Raymond Mears (0712648593)
Essential Bushcraft - A handbook of survival skills from around the world - Ray Mears (0340829710)
Essentials Of Map Reading - A.G.F. Elwood M.A. (No ISBN Printed 1942)
Explore Wild Australia with the Bush Tucker Man- Les Hiddins (1741170567)

Knot Book, The - geoffrey Budworth (0716007045)
Knots And Their Uses - Insrtuctions for selecting and tying 50 of the most useful knots - Geoffry Budworth (0753709961)
Mountaincraft & Leardership - Eric Langmuir (1850602956)
Naked Into The Wilderness - Primitive wilderness living survival skills - John & Geri McPherson (
0967877776)(and here)
Outdoor Survival Handbook - Raymond Mears (
Nature Is Your Guide - How to find your way on land and sea - Harold Gatty (
Natures Ways - Lores, Legend, fact and fiction - Ruth Binney (0715324179)
Need To Know? Outdoor Survival - Be prepared with all the best survival techniques - John 'Lofty' Wiseman (0007216653)
No Need To Die - Real techniques of survival - Eddie McGee (
Northern Bushcraft - Mors L. Kochanski (0919433510)
Open Air Scrap Book For Girls And Boys - Malcom Saville (No ISBN Printed 1945)
Participating In Nature - Field guide to primitive living skills - Thomas J. Elpel (1892784122)(and here)
Planning A Wilderness trip In Canada & Alaska - Keith Morton (0921102305)
Primitive Living, Self-Sufficeincy and Survival Skills - A field guide guide to primitive living skills - Thomas J. Elpel (1592282083)(same book)
Primitive Outdoor Skills - More wilderness techniques from woodsmoke journal - Richard L. Jamison (
0882902636)(and here)
SAS Escape, Evasion, & Survival Manual, The - Barry Davies BEM (0747531447)
SAS Personal Survival Handbook, The - Urban survival skills from home security and safety to self defense and first aid - John 'lofty' Wiseman (0006532381)
SAS Survival Handbook, The - How to survive in the wild, in any climate, on land or at sea - John 'Lofty' Wiseman (
SAS Survival Handbook (New edition), The - How to survive in the wild, in any climate, on land or at sea - John 'Lofty' Wiseman (0007158998)
SAS Survival Handbook, The - Learn the skills of the world's elite forces - Peter Darman (0752521772)
Seashore - Quick guide to identifying plants and animals - Collins GEM (9780007178599)
Stars - The easy guide to identifying constellations - Collins GEM (0007178581)
Survival Handbook - A practical guide to woodcraft and woodlore - Raymond Mears (1856481808)
Survival Handbook,
The - Self Sufficiency for everyone - Michael Allaby (0333187865)
Survival Handbook,
The - Training and techniques for the survivalist - Aitkin & Muston (1850791716)
Survival Training And Techniques - John Muston (0853688117)
Take The Survival Challenge - Jim Aitken (0853689725)
Tracking: A Blueprint For Learning How - Jack Kearney (
Watching Seashore Life - Andrew Cleave (0727820303)
Weather - How to observe and predict the weather - Collins GEM (9780007190225)
Weather Watch - Dick File (1872180124)
Wilderness Survival - Field guide - Tom Brown (0425105725)
Wildwood Wisdom - Ellsworth Jaeger - (0936070129)
Woodlore For Young Sportsmen - Survival in the wild and hints on hunting - H., Mortimer Batten (9781406799019)
Woodsmoke - Collected writtings on ancient living skills - Richard & Linda Jamison (0882906119)
World Of Survival - Ray Mears (000716369x)

SAS Survival Guide - Collins Gem (0007183305)

A Cook On The Wild Side - The Indispensable Guide To Collecting & Cooking Wild Food - Hugh Fearnly-Whittinstall (978075221152)
Cooking on the Wild Side - Albert Tailon/John Cook (1414058772)
Food For Free - Richard Mabey (9780007247684)
Food For Free - Richard Mabey (0002201593)
Food For Free - A fantastic feast of plants and folklore - Collins GEM (0007183038)
Food For Free - A guide To The Edible Wild Plants Of Britain (1st Ed) - Richard Mabey (0006334709)
The Backpackers Cookbook - A Practical Guide To Dining Out - Dave Coustick (1897784384)
The Poachers Handbook - Ian Niall (No ISBN Printed:1950)
The River Cottage Cookbook - Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall (0002202042)
The Wild Food Year Book - Country Kitchen (1873098847)
Trail Food - Drying & Cooking Food For Backpackers And Paddlers - Alan S. Kesselheim (0070344361)
Wild Food - A Unique Photographic Guide To Finding, Cooking And Eating Wild Plants, Mushrooms And Seaweeds - Roger Phillips - (0330280694)

Mushrooms and Other Fungi of Great Britain and Europe - Roger Phillips (0330264419)
The Mushroom identifier - David Pegler & Brian Spooner (1850763615)

A Dictionary Of Plant Lore - Roy Vickery (0198661835)
Botany in a Day - The Patterns Method of Plant Identification - Thomas J. Elpel (1892784157)
DK Pocket Encyclopedia Of Herbs - Lesley Bremness (0863184367)
Field And Woodland Plants - W. S. Furneaux (No ISBN Printed:1911)

The Hamlyn guide to Edible and Medicinal Plants of Northern Europe - Edmund Launert (0600372162) (2 Copies)
Plants With a Purpose - Richard Mabey - (0006355552)
Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe - David Sutton (1856971554)

A photographic guide to tress of Britain and Europe - Paul Sterry (1845170393)
Collins Tree Guide - Owen Johnson(0007207719)
Field guide to the trees and shrubs of Britain - readers Digest (0276425073)
Trees in Britain, Europe & north America - Roger Phillips (0330254804)
Trees - Colins Gem (0007183062)

Building A Low Impact Roundhouse - Tony Wrench (1856230198)
The Complete Yurt handbook - Paul King (1899233083)
The House That Jack Built - Yurts, tipi's and benders - David Pearson (1856751422)
The Indian Tipi - It's history, construction and use - Reginald & Gladys Laubin (0806122366)

17 Mors Kochanski's Pocket Books
UK Special Forces Selection: Pre-aptitude training manual (Given by a friend who's in the TA SAS)
Bushcraft No8 - Snares and Traps - Richard graves (Found on ebay - reprint)
Hand Drill Fire By friction - Primal Creations
Sea Survival - Practical course notes - Royal Yachting Association
Secrets Of The Fire Drill: Notch construction - Rob Chatburn

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Bushcraft & Survival DVD's

My library so far. (Where it says VHS & DVD the dvd is self made, converted from vhs, none of the vhs tapes are available on dvd as far as i'm aware)

Alone in the Wilderness

Bush Tucker Man
From Arnhem Land to the Kimberley Ranges
From the Rainforests to Cape Town
8 Classic Stories of survival with Les Hiddins

Basic Bushcraft & Survival

Backpacking made easy (VHS & DVD)

Guide to camping (VHS & DVD)

Hoods Woods
The Woodsmaster series:
1 Spark Based Fire starting
2 Survival Shelter & Priorities
3 Survival Kits
4 Navigation & Travel
5 Traps & Trapping
6 Primitive Weapons
7 Jungle Living Skills
8 Tracking
9 Primitive Knife Making
10 Survival Camping
11 Solo Survival
12 Vehicle Survival
13 Desert Survival
14 Crafts For The Field
15 Sticks, Stoves and Stitches
16 Buffalo Butchers 1
17 Buffalo Butchers 2
Volume 1 - The Home
Volume 2 - Away From Home
Cave Cooking
1 In The Woods
2 Going Dutch
3 Frocks, Fat And Food
4 Messin' With Meat

John 'Lofty' Wiseman
Outdoor Survival - SAS Survival Techniques (VHS & DVD)

Military Wilderness Survival

Naked Into The Wilderness Series
Construct The Asiatic Composite Bow
The Primitive Bow & Arrow
Deer From The Field
Primitive Fire & Cordage
Brain Tan Buckskin
Breakin' Rock 1
Breakin' Rock 2
Primitive Semi-Permanent Shelters
Primitive Wilderness Skills, Applied

Ray Mears
World Of Survival Series 1,2 (Self Made DVD)
Extreme Survival Series 1,2,3
Bushcraft Survival Series 1,2
Country Tracks (Self made DVD)
Eco Sleep System
Real Heroes Of The Telemark (Self made DVD)
Trips Money Cant Buy (Self Made DVD)

The Alaska Wilderness Adventure (VHS & DVD)

Survive & Thrive - 50 Outdoor Skills

Rediscovering The Old Ways
Fire Vol1
Fire Vol2

Remote & Wild - Alone In Northern Kimberley

Thomas J. Elpel
The Art Of Nothing Series
Volume1 Three Days At The River
Volume2 Mountain Meadows
Volume3 Mountain Lakes
Volume4 Canoe Camping

Mors Kochanski
Wilderness Living Skills Series
Clothing And Sleeping Bags
Bush Knots
Blades: Sharpening And Safe Use
Sticks As Tools And Implements

SFAT - Getting Back To Civilization

Off The grid

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Artist's Conk Stove

I found an Artist's Conk (Ganoderma applanatum) fungus in the woods and decided to try using it for a stove.

I Hacked away the top with a lump of flint to get a flat surface ( the underneath was flat but decided that would give better stability on the ground, i didn't want my pot spilling water).
To save time i used some potassium permanganate and glycerol to get a hot coal going.

I filled my pot with tap water and then left it, after about 8 minutes i added a makeshift lid.

After an hour I still didn't have any boiling water, the water was very close to boiling point, plenty of steam and small bubbles, this was the state it reached after half an hour but failed to go any further. After one hour the conk had pretty much consumed itself.

So my stove was a failure, it failed to bring water to a rolling boil but it would of been fine to heat food so it's back off to the woods to try again, my stove was completely energy inefficient so I need to try a different method.

Friday, 30 March 2007

Carn Meini

Site Name: Carn Meini Alternate Name: Carn Menyn
Country: Wales County: Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro) Type: Ancient Mine or Quarry
Nearest Town: Newport Nearest Village: Mynachlog-Ddu
Map Ref: SN145325 Landranger Map Number: 145
Latitude: 51.959955N Longitude: 4.701252W


Rocks of the Ordovician period were formed between 500 and 440 million years ago. Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks from this period are found in Pembrokeshire. It was a period of volcanic activity, when land emerged from the sea by the up thrusting landscape features, Carn Llidi and Penbiri are remnant s of volcanic activity.

Ordovican rocks occur across most of north Pembrokeshire, especially around the Preseli Hills, where outcrops of igneous rocks push up through the Ordovician sedimentary strata. Metamorphic rocks such as shale and slate also occur. Fossil graptolites, a marine animal, are found in both sedimentary and metamorphic rocks in the area.

Poor acid soils are associated with Ordovician rocks. An environment of windswept moors, rushes, heathers and few trees is a typical landscape. Buzzards, in search of rabbits, wheel above land suitable only for hill grazing.

Carn Meini, a dolerite outcrop on the Preseli Hills, is the source of the bluestone at Stonehenge. How the stones reached there, by man or geological forces, is still under debate. The dolerite was used for making axes in the Neolithic period. The local shale splits into slabs or ‘rab’ useful for building walls or roofing. Slate quarrying was once an important local industry, its products were used to roof the House of Commons.

Bedd Arthur

Site Name: Bedd Arthur Alternate Name: Arthur's Grave, Beddarthur
Country: Wales County: Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro) Type: Stone Circle
Nearest Town: Cardigan Nearest Village: Crymych
Map Ref: SN131324 Landranger Map Number: 145
Latitude: 51.958588N Longitude: 4.721549W

Stone Circle in Pembrokeshire. This so-called stone circle lies overlooking the Bluestones outcrop of Carn Meini. It is actually oval or horse-shoe shaped leading to speculation that it may have been this site which influenced the original horseshoe of Bluestones at Stonehenge.

Translated as 'The Grave of Arthur', it comprises thirteen small standing stones along with two or three more now fallen. Some believe it may be a henge - as it lies adjacent to the ancient trackway which runs to Carn Meini (and then on to the hillfort of Foel Drygarn) this would make sense. Access is via this ancient trackway (now a public footpath) with a reasonably gentle walk over from Carn Meini.

The prehistoric site of Bedd Arthur, (Arthur’s Grave) lies on a hillside, across the valley from the infamous Carn Menyn. Some call it an oval stone circle, some see it more as two parallel stone lines, closed at one end. It has even been suggested that its horseshoe shape was the inspiration for the innermost circle at Stonehenge. The bluestones used for the inner circles were from Carn Menyn just across the valley, and skeletons of men found at Stonehenge have been traced to this area, who knows. One thing is for sure, whatever its significance and purpose to our ancestors, Bedd Arthur is an exceptionally enigmatic and tranquil site today.

But not much use for shelter.