Sunday, 9 October 2011

Basket making

We had a great day with Clive Lyttle from  Welig Crafts making baskets at his headquarters in County Down.
Here's a few pictures from the day.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Endicotts Army Surplus

Stuart, Davy, neil and myself travelled to exeter at the end of July for a weekend tracking course with Shadowhawk tracking school. The only way for us to get there on time was to fly which left us with the problem that there are certain items that cannot be taken on a plane. Now exeter i discovered has more than its fair share of outdoor shops but none are as famous in my opinion as Endicotts army surplus. A few of us have purchased items from Endicotts in the past so we weren't going to pass up the chance of visiting the store and meeting kevin and his FART team first hand. When we arrived in Exeter we had a few hours to kill before we got to the meeting place of our tracking course so off we went rucksacks and all to find Endicotts. It isn't the biggest store in the world but Kevin has certainly packed it all in. Never have i seen a store with such a variety and the phrase 'child in a sweetie shop' comes to mind as the four of us drooled over Kevins wares! Not only does he offer such a wide range of gear both old and new he also welcomes his customers very well indeed as we had hardly steeped over the door jam when he offered us our first cup of tea. after a quick chat and a tour of the shop we enquired as to the best place to eat in the town , Kevin not only pointed us in the right direction but he also stored our rucksacks and contacted a local cab firm to arrange our onward taxi how is that for service! Before we left i did manage to have a chat with one of the FART team members who turned out to be kevins father in law hard at work down the back.

Having a look around the shop.

Me chatting to the shop floor staff, a bit of a language barrier (he couldnt understand my accent).

It really is unbelievable how much gear there is in this shop.

Stuart, Kevin Endicott, Neil, Davy and me posing for a quick snap before we left.

A really big thank you to Kevin for giving us such a warm welcome and helping us out on the day. If you are in the search for any army surplus equipment check out his online site at or give him a call on 01392 433 331 and remember to say the NIBA sent you!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Pine Resin Glue

Hi folks, just a short write up on making pine resin (pitch) glue. On Saturday past i spent about an hour and a half collecting resin from spruce and managed to gather only but a fistful but not deterred i was determined to make myself some natural glue for my fish hooks.

Today i set about using my gas camping stove and a bean can to heat the resin gently to turn it to a liquid form. The chances are you will not get pure resin straight off the tree as i found mine was full of debris that had fallen from the canopy above, needles, bark, insects etc. To get rid of this matter i used another bean can and simply drilled holes in it to make a simple strainer and a third bean can below this can to collect the now 'clean' resin

First burn of the pine resin into liquid for note a split stick for a handle, very handy

You now take the liquified resin from the first burn can pour it through the strainer into the collection can. Be quick here as the resin solidifies soon after coming off the heat and i cant stress enough to be careful not to get burnt by the resin a pair of gloves should be used if your not too sure. If your resin solidifies place it back on the heat to melt it down again.

Next you will need dry charcoal ground down in a pestle and mortar to a fine powder. You will also need dried grass matter ground down and to get this i collected pre ground grasses in the form of deer dung as the works done for you! This has to be dried and ground down also. For quantites i used 5 parts pine resin to 1 part charcoal and 1 part grass matter just add these to the pine resin and mix thoroughly and its pretty much done. You will now need a stick to roll the resin onto and you will need to keep putting the mix back on the heat to prevent it solidifing while you get it rolled on the stick

Roll the glue on a rock or cold surface to make it harden quicker then pop it back into the mixture for a few seconds then out and roll it onto the stick, repeat this process until you have a nice big ball on the end of your stick which can be heated over a fire on the trail and applied to whatever you need to stick for example fletching arrows, applying arrowheads, fish hooks, temporary field repairs, the uses are endless.


Fish Hook
Fish hook complete with pine resin to both strengthen it and waterproof it for use

Many thanks, sorry for some pic quality and lack of them as i didnt really have much time to stop and take them as you will find out,

Davy K.                             

Monday, 11 July 2011

NI-Wild Forum Day.

We had a great day with the good people from the NI-Wild Outdoors forum who came along to Carnfunnock for a Bushcraft day.
our thyme for the day was "Fire"
Firstly Paul and Andy took them for a walk around Carnfunnock's extensive grounds to identify good sources of tinder and kindling, explaining the importance of good preparation.
 After that, it was back to camp and everyone had a go at lighting their fire with only 1 match.
After a demo of good match lighting technique (yes, there is such a thing) there were plenty of successes  at the "One Match Challenge"
(I'll refer to everyone in the pictures by their NI-Wild forum names)

Samm gets the fire going with her single match

Next on the "To Do" list was to make Feather Sticks and then get them lit using only a "Fire Steel"
Suspect Monkey carving his feathers.

We demoed Fire using a battery and Steel wool, Potassium Permanganate and Glycerol, and traditional Flint and steel.
Grace lights her "Char Cloth" using flint and steel.

Finally, we had the Bow Drill fire by friction
 Andy from the NIBA shows how to blow a Bow Drill ember to flame.

Oisin tries the Bow drill

Kat showed great perseverance to finally, after  much trying, get her ember.

Suspect Monkey blows his ember to flame

A hearty Lunch was enjoyed.

Everyone got involved in the day's events, and she did have a go at the bow drill. It was tiring work!

Thanks from all of us at the NIBA  goes to NI-Wild forum for such a fun day.
Hopefully we'll all get together again soon.

A few more photos from the day