25 March 2010

Camping back in 2008 (Laughton Forest) Dec 5th - 7th

Well December has arrived yet again.. and just like last year I'm out and about in the sticks doing a spot of camping , seems a little colder than last year but that's not a problem when you have a nice burning fire in front of you. On this occasion two of my best mates joined me for the weekend one of which we haven't seen in a while as he lives down south so was nice to have him up north once again.
As you can see in the picture above it got a little frosty the ground was hard and any puddle you could see was frozen , nice to see the sun out as well even though it was only short bursts it made it feel that little bit more pleasant. We arrived on Friday just before midday i think and made our way into the woods fully loaded with brew material and plenty of stew to be cooked ready for the winter weather.
We didn't venture too far into the woods as we were in a little bit of a race against the sun setting because at this time of year its pretty much dark by half past four. but not only that we had to set up camp with our tarps in the best spot we could find and also stock up on some serious fire wood for the cold nights ahead.
So the tarps were up and we were now making our sleeping arrangement comfortable by insulating the ground where we sleep and also blocking the areas at each end of our tarps with dead branches and lots of pine needles which were everywhere on the floor so no shortage of materials for insulating our shelters.
Soon after.. a pit was dug for the fire and fire wood was collected , didn't have to travel too far for the firewood and there was plenty of dead birch, pine and beech that we could collect. The fire was then lit using birch bark and small twigs along with a trusty fire steel, it took a couple of attempts to get going but we cracked it in the end. Not long after we all sat there enjoying a nice hot brew in front of a lovely fire. Afterwards a tripod was then made with a dangling hook for the billy tin to sit on as we we had a lovely beef stew to cook for later that evening and trust me it was really nice.
Later that night i attempted to make a paiute deadfall trap with three shaved sticks and a bit of string for the trigger . it was my first attempt at the trap so was just practicing it with a heavy log and it worked very well too . As well as that i attempted to make an ember using the bow drill method but unfortunately it all went tits up for me lol i think i need a little more practice on that one " i will succeed ".
The night was pretty cold but the warmth from the fire kept us all pretty warm , maybe a lil chill in the morning but soon warmed up by getting the fire going again. So morning it was and time to break open the bacon lol nothing better than the smell of bacon in the morning, as well as a warm drink along with ya feet out over the fire.
Unfortunately during the second day my friend started to feel pretty ill and instead of making things worse and staying for a second coldish night he decided to go home and get himself better , we had a great first day we all enjoyed it and was a real shame to loose him in the camp but what can you do when your not well.
Later on we had a few rearrangements with the tarps as there were now 2 of us not 3 we didn't change a great deal just moved our shelters closer so we could both be closer to the fire, also adjusted the roof tarp above and made a little wind barrier next to the fire to stop the wind blowing in as much , it was pretty snug to say how cold it had already got at this time it was a lot colder than the previous night. More yummy stew was made later on in the night followed with plenty warm drinks along with more fire wood collection and we needed it alright lol.
Next Morning was a cold one it frosted everywhere so i stayed in bed a little longer it was very cold i got up late morning. We had some more bacon butties and brew and then decided to begin to pack up ready for home. I really enjoyed myself this weekend despite the cold it was nice for all 3 of us to be out in the sticks again and i can see us returning soon.