‘Wild Guide’

September 21, 2013-49

I have spent the weekend pouring over ‘Wild Guide’. It covers Devon and Cornwall indepth but also Dorset and Somerset with special sections on Dartmoor, Exmoor, The Quantocks, The Mendips and more. Continue reading

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Becoming Ray Mears.

There are a few things about camping that just give you that satisfying outdoorsman feel.  Yes, during the week you may be a computer programmer, stay at home mum or part time blogger but once you hit that campsite you become intrepid explorer, woodsman, botany expert Ray Mears! Continue reading

Portable Fire Pits

There are a fair number of campsites which allow campfires only off the ground.   Some of these sites provide or will hire you a  fire pit (a good little money spinner for the hard working campsite owner). However, others such as Porth Joke and Burnbake (both campsites I would really love to visit), do not offer the required apparatus. Thus, I have been having a sneaky little look at portable fire pits. Continue reading

All I want for Christmas…(the gadgets)

The summer camping season seems a long time away but I am already idly daydreaming about next year’s perfect camping spot.  In this utopian vision I have a few little added camping gadgets.  Perhaps you could add these to your christmas wish list or buy them  for the camper in your life!

The kelly kettle is a wild camping classic.  It will boil water in approx 5 mins with a little fuel such as twigs or pine cones. Incredibly efficient and no need to carry liquid or gas fuel.  Perfect for a ‘wild’ cup of tea.

Click to buy on Amazon

Small ‘Trekker’ Kelly Kettle® Alu. (0.57 Ltr / 1 pint) £36.95 on Amazon

A really good penknife is invaluable! The Leatherman Wave is perhaps the best multi tool on the market.  Well appointed, incredibly strong but compact, a truly satisfying thing to own. Its features include a saw tool, as well as a couple of blades and the pliers are unbelievably useful in so many situations.

Click to buy on Amazon

Leatherman Wave Multi Tool with Leather Sheath £84.99 on Amazon

If this seems a little much have a look at the Victorinox Nomad.  A funky design, a bit more simplistic in terms of the tools provided but a very handy tool for camping.

Click to buy on Amazon

Victorinox Nomad £20.32 on Amazon

I know most people will have matches or a lighter to light their fire but admit it a Firesteel is much cooler! A pretty inexpensive piece of kit and apparently this is the one that Ray Mears recommends!

Click to buy on Amazon

Swedish Army Firesteel £13.99 on Amazon

Maglite have always made excellent quality torches.  The LED version is no exception but the added benefit of fantastically bright LEDs which will last for sooo much longer than the traditional bulb and won’t run the batteries down.

Click to buy on Amazon

Maglite  2DCell LED Torch  £22.43 on Amazon

And finally… How about some real camping luxury. Proper coffee.  The Handpresso is the ultimate portable coffee maker, this version can be used with pods or ground coffee. Brilliant.

Click to buy on Amazon

Handpresso Wild Hybrid Espresso Maker for Ground Coffee and Pods £89.64 on Amazon

Some great ‘Nature’ books!

If you and your family enjoy spending time in the great outdoors it is worth investing in a few books to encourage your children to engage with what they are seeing  and to help you answer those tricky ‘What’s that purple flower?’ questions.

‘Usbourne Spotters Guide to Nature”

Click to buy on Amazon

  • A  guide to most common flowers, trees, birds and insects with an easy to use layout.
  • Acts both as a reference guide and as a ‘bingo’ where things can be ticked off when they have been spotted.
  • Ideal for children aged 6 -10.
  • Fairly bulky, not too big but not pocket size either.
  • Lovely clear illustrations and extra information about things like bird migration, identifying trees etc.
  • Rolls some of the other Usbourne guides into one, so good value from £7.67 on Amazon.

‘I SPY Nature’

Click to Buy on Amazon

Click to buy on Amazon

The ‘I SPY’ books are a great classic some of us will remember from our childhoods.  They are small and portable with the added ‘Bingo’ element.  We have ‘I Spy Nature’ but I have just noticed the box set which at only £6.20 for 4 books and a notebook in a sturdy box seems an absolute bargain.  Could be a perfect stocking filler!

  • A simple mostly pictorial layout.
  • Great for 4-8 year olds.
  • It will help your child engage with nature but don’t expect an in depth guide.
  • An absolute bargain at £2.50 for the single book.
  • Perfectly portable size, even for little hands.

‘Food for Free’

Click to buy on Amazon

Ever fancied a little foraging whilst on a walk or camping?  You’d be amazed at how much edible stuff you pass by.

  • This great, classic guide is now available in the ever handy Collins Gem size.
  • It advises what to look for, where and what to do with it once you have found it.  I always take it with me.  One day we will make an entire Ray Mears style meal.  In the meantime it’s just fascinating to know what is out there!
  • Did you know you can eat goose grass (you know the sticky stuff you can hilariously stick to the back of your friend’s jumper), ground elder and cow parsley!
  • Only £3.74 for a Gem edition or £16.24 for a luscious, hard back edition to keep at home.

Click to buy on Amazon