It was constantly raining on this trip but finding dry wood was fairly easy in this forest. There was plenty of dead standing beech trees and lots of fallen ones on the ground. After a quick splitting wood session I got to the dry wood inside. The wind helped by blowing the fire into life for me. There were plenty of Harwood tree stumps to help get the sawing and splitting job done. Because of the wet conditions, I had to hurry making the fire so my freshly split dry kindling wouldn’t became a sponge for all the rain and moisture. A small pyramid of twigs over the lit kindling, helps protect the fragile early flames from the rain drops that could extinguish it, before it has built enough heat and force to sustain itself in this weather.
I treated myself to a juicy steak with bacon, broccoli and parmesan sauce. Simple food with few carbs. Carbs usually make me hungry again after 2 hours of eating. The protein and fat do their job, keeping hunger at bay for hours on end. For me, it’s the perfect body fuel for a cold night in the woods. It is a bit challenging cooking in this weather, it takes patience and a good attitude. Nature has a way of teaching you these things on these trips, weather you like it or not.. Once the food is ready though, it’s extra gratifying.
On one of my last wilderness trips I managed to loose the wooden dragon pot hook I carved some time ago. With all the constant raining on this trip and staying put at camp, I decided to make a new one. This time I opted for a sea horse motif. Again, a solid beech tree stump made for the perfect “workbench” to get the hook blank axed out into rough shape. I would say 50% of the work was done with the hatchet and the rest with my neck carving knife. Having an auger to drill the holes helps but it’s not a necessity. I am very happy with the result.
Painting on this trip was only possible thanks to my trusty poncho by using it as a make shift shelter from the weather. I love how versatile that thing is. Me and my painting were protected from the constant wind and rain during all the 4 plus+ hours it took to complete it.This is one of the reasons I usually prefer ponchos over rain jackets. It’s far more versatile, and with a rain jacket you usually end up wet if you exert yourself anyways. After the challenging painting session, freshly popped popcorn over a campfire was a real nice treat. After a long day I had sausages and eggs for dinner but was too tired and hungry to bother filming it.
I’m playing another flute I made at home on this video, this one is in the key of F# with a haunting soothing sound. The birds joined in on the forest song. Thanks for watching – Ric
GEAR I USE
PAINTING ON THIS VIDEO
meat, broccoli, bacon, cream, parmesan cheese, pop corn
BUSHCRAFT AND CAMPING TRIPS
WILDERNESS PAINTING DEMOS
Behind the scenes and best moments shots: