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Wednesday 29 May 2013

Best Bushcraft Folder - The Eka Swede 92

People often ask what the best Bushcraft folding knife is and while opinels, swiss army knives and other folders all have their place, the best Bushcraft Folder by far is the EKA SWEDE 92
It's a solid folder, built as tough as you would need for time in the woods, and has natural Bubinga wood or rubber handles, it also comes in a flourescent yellow handled version too, it's blade is 12c27 steel, which is a superbly reliable stainless steel, easily sharpened and holds a great edge, and it's also got that all important scandi grind which most woodsmen seem to favour!
it's got a great big chunky grip, and an incredibly strong lock which is released by pushing the exposed tang at the back of the handle, a great idea which means there is virtually never a locking failure, also if you look at the overall shape it's actually got that Nessmuk style to it!!
the wooden handled version is slightly chunkier than the rubber handled one, but both are comfortable in hand and over long usage.

Sunday 26 May 2013

Sea beet in Butter

one of the most common seashore edibles and good cooked or raw
pick a load of leaves and wash them in fresh water
coarsely chop them up
put them in a pot with a little water and simmer gently, drain the water and add a little butter
put out into a bowl and eat.. however after all that, I prefer them raw!

Thursday 23 May 2013

Portland Spurge.. Maybe?

We went out with a very knowledgable friend lately to try to find some unusual spring plants along the coast and we came across this one

Now we both knew that this was a spurge but we weren't sure which one, he thought it was probably Sun Spurge and I thought more like Portland Spurge.
When I checked the habitas website I found that Portland spurge is very rare in Northern Ireland and only found in two places, however one of those places listed was exactly where we spotted this one, so I'm hopeful that this is what we have found... regardless of the variety all spurges are very poisonous and should not be handled without due care and especially do no get any sap into your mouth or an open wound.

Saturday 18 May 2013

Dandelion Cordial

This is a nice spring drink and one you can use to get your own back on all those pesky weeds from the garden!

pick around 60 dandelion heads

put them in a pot with citrus fruits of your choice, I tend to use oranges as lemons or limes tend to over power the delicate flavour of the dandelions

add sugar and enough water to cover all the ingredients, and slowly bring to the boil until all the sugar disolves, then leave it for 24 hours to settle

add 2 parts water to 1 part cordial for a lovely delicate spring libation

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Red Rock

Went out today to find some good rocks for my fire kits, flint is every where here so I like to look for different rocks that do the same job
some nice lumps of jasper and just one piece of chert
not many pieces but enough to make a kit or two.

Sunday 12 May 2013

Champ - Bush Food

This is a particular dish enjoyed in Ireland normally using potatoes and scallions but I thought I'd make it in the woods with wild garlic

 get some wild garlic and coarsely chop it up

put it in a pot with some milk and cook it gently so that the milk absorbs some of that beautiful garlic flavour
then add in some dehydrated potato flakes and you're ready to go, a gorgeous meal for a woodsman.

Wednesday 8 May 2013

The Spatuloon

This is a handy wee utensil to make when you're in the woods, it works like a spoon and a spatula, hence the name! It works very well for both circumstances provided you're not trying to eat soup, and is a very simple carving project
this one is carved from sycamore
you can obviously make them any size or shape you want but I normally make them quite small
it's made with a slight bevel underneath to allow it to be used as a slice or spatula, and to enable it to be angled when scooping, it also needs to be small enough to fit your mouth!!
you could carve one in about 15 minutes and it has a surprising number of uses.

Saturday 4 May 2013

Wild Leaf Salad

Went out the other day and made myself a little salad, there's plenty to choose from and I could probably have made this 2 or 3 times over using different ingredients each time, anyway here it is
 salad included dandelion, wood sorrel, wild garlic, primrose flowers, dock, opposite leaved saxifrage.. it takes a strong palate to eat this salad, the flavour is explosive but delicious!

Wednesday 1 May 2013


The winds up here in the North of Ireland have been incredibly strong lately, always a time to worry if you want to set sail or go deep into the woods, last thing you would want is to camp under a widowmaker! There was one tree I always admired in a place where I walk, it is a huge sycamore and I'm sure was a couple of hundred years old, well I walked past it today and here it lies..
cleft completely in three parts, I could only imagine the devastation if someone had been underneath it when it came down
such a mighty beast fallen by nothing but air!!
did it make a sound when it fell????