contact us at Buzzardbushcraft @

Tuesday 30 December 2014


This is often used in Northern England in Dock pudding, even though it's not a dock leaf as we know it, it is in the higher classification of polygonaceae, though it certainly looks somewhat similar.
you can see that the mature leaves are similar to dock leaves though the very pronounced heart shape and the ribs enable it to be distinguished,

The little spike of pale pink or sometimes white flowers are a simple distinguishing feature when the plant is in bloom

and the leaves... they are somewhat bitter at this stage though much more palatable when younger and narrower. They can be eaten raw but are better treated like spinach and cooked with a little butter, when I tried it I found the centre rib needed to be removed to make it easier to eat though this wouldn't be a problem when the plant is used when young.
Medicinally the root is a powerful astringent, and is used in the treatment of reducing inflammation in throat and mouth. It is also used in the treatment of diarrhoea and is an effective coagulant.

Thursday 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

We would just like to wish all our fellow outdoorsmen and women a very happy Christmas and a very peaceful new year
May old grudges be forgot and new bonds forged, and may peace and friendship find a way.
this years wreath was made from dogwood, yew, cyprus, holly, cotoneaster, wild rose and sequoiadendron.

Monday 22 December 2014

Bushcraft 101 by Dave Canterbury

It's Dave's newest book and I thought I'd give it a passing review.

For those of you who have been watching Dave's videos for years you're not going to find much new material, it's a condensation of some of his knowledge confined into paper format.
It follows the standard format for a bushcraft or survival book, taking about tools, skills and basic common sense practise. It's an enjoyable read though for those of us who have been practising these skills for years it's unlikely you'll find anything new or remarkable inside. What it does do well though, is go over the fundamentals that we all take for granted and we really should revisit more often than we do. It's well led out, drawings are clear though basic and information is concisely portrayed. It would be a great book for beginners or preppers who might want to carry one in their B.O.B..
For the rest of us, it's good to see him put his knowledge into the printed word and it will occupy an important spot in your bushcraft library.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

More Problems with Lowa Boots

You may remember I posted a while back about the soles coming off my lowa's, I figured it was just bad luck so I bought another pair, brand new, the desert version and I've been wearing them for the past 8 months, well guess what

I don't think I'm particularly hard on my boots, as you can see the uppers are still in good condition

the genuine article

but look what happened, on both boots, the sole started coming off again.Well that's it for me and Lowa's, for the price they cost and the length of time they last they are definitely not worth it I'll never go near them again.. .lesson learned the hard way!

Sunday 7 December 2014

Mora Pro C Robust Knife in the flesh.

Although not supposedly due out until 2015 there are a few of these floating about if you can get them.. After the pictures I posted a while back I'm happy to say the knife is slightly better in the flesh than it looked on paper

it's actually a sort of browney bronzey colour in real life, handle is comfortable though the front guard is too large for me and I think I'll have to trim it down, blade is stubby at about 95 mm but about 25mm wide

as you can see the blade is about 3.2mm thick and unfinished so will need squared off for use with a ferro rod, though that's not such a problem.

in the hand it feels nice though those of you with really big hands might find it uncomfortable (I've size 10 hands), if feels like a good quality knife and should stand up to lots of abuse

cons?,,, well it's got a damn big gap (nearly 1mm)  between the blade and the handle, this has me concerned as to just how well fixed the blade is to the handle. I'm not as worried about the bacteria build up inside the handle as I am about water ingress and this being a carbon blade the ultimate rust that will follow eventually causing the blade to fail, this serioulsy needs to be rectified if this is to be a contender as a field knife for outdoorsmen, it's a pretty big problem that Mora really needs to resolve urgently.
I'll fill mine with superglue but it's really something that shouldn't need to be done on a brand new knife.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Ray Mears Style Parang

These are great parangs, based on the style Ray used in one of his programs. They are available with wooden or plastic handles, but the wooden ones are nearly double the price of the plastic handled tool, so it's hardly worth it is it?
Here they are, very weighty and quite comfortable in the hand, though the point of use tends to be slightly forward of the handle so I think I'll wrap that in tape to make it easier on the fingers.

here's the handle, it's ok but could be easily modified if needed
these are hand forged in Bidor in Malaysia, if it doesn't have the stamp with the crossed swords on it then it isn't the real thing.. Their price is incredible cheap but shipping is a killer so if you do order them make sure you get 2 or 3 at a time to make it I just need a jungle to enable me to put these to use!!

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Purple Toadflax

This is one that had me confused the first time I spotted it, I thought it was purple loosestrife when I first saw it, though it wasn't near water and was much smaller in size
unusual looking plant, but when you see it up close you can tell that it is related to snapdragons

it's a non native originally imported from the Mediterranean as it has mild medicinal properties though it is poisonous to livestock and so I'm sure to us also if not prepared properly.

Once used for scrofula and hepatitis and even as an enema, it has fallen by the wayside as a medicinal though it is of great benefit to our native moths being a great plant for Lepidoptera species.

Thursday 13 November 2014

New Mora Knives for 2015

It was to be expected that Mora would expand on their range of basic knives, like those mentioned a few months back, we have more to add to the collecton
The Mora heavy duty, the same style as the basic models released this year but with a thicker blade, that will keep a lot of people happy but for me it still lacks a decent point and the grind is too obtuse, looks good but no cigar.

Does the new mora remind you of the knife above ?
and the rope version with a serrated blade, there will also be the usual flex blade, chisel point etc, though I think the ones above will appeal most to outdoors men..
But when all is said and done most people I talk to still want the original 510 back, with the 2,5mm blade, high grind and plastic handle, it was an iconic knife and Mora should really consider bringing it back.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Mushroom Poisoning, Horse mushroom Yellow stainer

It's the most common occurance of mushroom poisoning in the UK, and it's so easy to make the mistake
often found in hedgerows and open fields, horse muhrooms are delicious and i've often had a great feed of them, but just as often been caught out.

They look so edible, lovely brown gills and a ringaround the stem, but sometimes all is not as it seems, to tell the difference between edible horse mushrooms and inedible yellow stainers, simply either bruise the cap, or slice the stem
If it stains a vivid yellow chances are it's a yellow stainer, it's hard to see in this picture but this was very yellow when cut.
To make things even more difficult, some horse mushrooms can turn a little yellow, but only slightly, if it's a vivid lemon yellow, best disgard them as you've most likely picked yellow stainers
if in doubt leave it out.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Spearmint, a late season treat.

I was quite surprised to see this plant growing quite well just about a week ago, maybe not flourishing just as much as it would during summer but still doing quite well, the leaves initially caught my attention
the usual distinctive mint shaped leaves but you can see the more lime green than olive green colour found on water mint

and it was even in flower, though starting to die back a little, here it's easy to see the Spear shaped flowers from which it gets it's name.
The scent is much milder than that of water mint but it is really pleasant when crushed and makes a beautiful tea that soothes and relaxes.

Thursday 30 October 2014

Fine Harvest, Foul Winter.

What a year it's been for fruit, nuts, berries, and general harvest all provided from mother nature.

Hazel nuts, these were gathered in the space of 5 minutes from a single branch of a Hazel bush, the best nut harvest I can remember.

Damsons, this bucket weighed 13lbs and we ended up gathering 3 buckets, from just two trees and that was only the ones we could reach!

Wild apples, looking at them in a bag doesn't do the size of the harvest justice so here's a pic of a single tree were the branches were so laden they were nearly breaking..
we know a place where the Damsons and Wild Apples grow side by side, so an hours picking resulted in a fruit harvest greater than any I can remember.

And the reason for such a substantial bounty? Well the old saying is fine harvest foul winter, the idea being that nature provides such a bounteous harvest to enable all the animals to get through an upcoming deep, dark and cold winter.. 
Is this year to be a real bad one, low temperatures, heavy snow and hardship for all the animals? Time will tell I guess, but if nature is providing for a really hard winter remember the animals, put food out for the birds, the voles and hedgehogs and all our little friends, they will find it tough enough and I'm sure would be glad of any help we deign to provide them.

Sunday 19 October 2014

Ikea Hobo Firepit - Barbecue

The little Ikea cutlery drainers are often modded to make great little hobo stoves, however they make a large collander that is great for a small firepit for 2 people in a place that doesn't allow open fires and it also doubles as a decent bbq..
It's actually about 11 inches high and about 9 inches across, it's very light in weight and made of stainless steel
I fitted a simple removable grill to it and with all the drainage holes around it , it acts like a superb bbq, funnelling the heat straight up yet getting a great burn time from the charcoal
It can cook 4 large burgers at one time, nearly a dozen sausages or two large fish fillets, remove the grill and it works very well as a fire pit, enabling you to use forest floor debris to create a great wee fire that would easily keep 2 people warm, replace the grill and you can fit 2 size 12cm zebra billy cans on it..
it's basically a big brother to the hobo stove!!

Monday 13 October 2014

Busy Times

We've been extremely busy of late, hence the lack of posts on the blog which I hope to remedy over the coming months, with lots of interest from families and kids, as well as groups it's great to see people show such an enthusiasm for bushcraft, foraging and the outdoors.
recently we spent our time in the outdoor classroom
bits and pieces set out for a show and tell
lots of interest, when there was only supposed to be twenty, we ended up with 52 in one workshop!!

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Cabelas dump Joe Teti

Most of you who have been following the Buzzard blog for a while will be aware of Davy's and my dislike of Joe Teti, he never should have replaced Dave Canterbury and as you will have no doubt seen Dual Survival has crashed and burned since he replaced Dave.
I'm sure you're also very well aware of Mykel Hawke's problems with Teti where there have even been alleged threats from Teti towards Hawke. It now seems that some of these allegations made about Teti are true as Cabelas have just dropped their sponsorship deal with Teti after a number of things have come to light in recent days, it seems Casio, another Teti sponsor, are also thinking of dropping him.. and where is the Discovery Channel while all this is going on? Nowhere, that's where!! They're keeping their heads well below the parapet after all the pomp and ceremony that he was introduced with now has come back to bite them!! Sorry Discovery Channel but there were numerous posts on your site saying Teti was not the one and that we all wanted Canterbury back, you should have listened to us!!!!!

Anyway, below is a link describing in better detail a little about what's going on, I'd encourage you to read it and try not to gloat too much.. The link will take you to the Military Times website.

Sunday 5 October 2014

Mushroom foragers take care...

It's mushroom foraging time and it's always easy to get it wrong if you're not highly experienced, as a matter of fact although the season has only started there have already been 84 known cases of mushroom poisoning.. Also it's becoming so concerning that the National Poisons Information Service have just issued a press release regarding harvesting wild mushrooms.. I'll not repeat it here in full but would encourage you to follow the link and give the information a quick read over.. remember "if in doubt, leave it out!"

Monday 29 September 2014

A Foragers Stick

The one thing I always carry when I go out is a stick, I've been carrying them for as long as I can remember, all started by my grandfather who always carried one too. However the type of stick I carry now has evolved over my years in the woods to become something particular which I call a Foragers Stick.

I use it not just for walking but it also serves a purpose

It has evolved to be an extension of my arm and to further my reach, so it measures from the ground to my elbow

It's head has some form of a hook to bring down branches or apples, this hook can be antler, horn or wood, but I prefer one carved out of all the same branch so there is no join at all.

It's tip is fitted with an alpine ferrule, to enable it to be used as a digging stick, I've lost count of how many times I've used it and it has proved useful

again, one piece sticks tend to be stronger and more durable but it's entirely up to the maker. I like sticks with dog legs and nobbles, it makes them unique and gives each stick character, I always find that sticks that are as smooth as snooker ques tend to be spiritless..

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Blackberry Ice Cream

I picked some blackberries from the hedge in my back garden

just enough for a small amount of coulis

reducing the fruit with some sugar

strained to just leave a nice rich blackberry sauce

ice cream in the machine and chilling

and sauce added to make a gorgeous blackberry ripple ice cream.

Friday 29 August 2014

Mora 511 Allround PRO C

The allround 511 is not the only budget model that's been released it's also got a posher big brother the Pro C , and here it is

There are 2 differences between the basic model and this one, both easy to see, one being that this model has a rubber cover over the handle and second that the blade is considerably wider that the basic model.

when I say rubber, it's not really rubber but the same material that you'll find on  lot of mora's, like the robust and companion, it's very comfortable and very grippy, feels good in the hand and looks very well indeed.

exactly the same sized handle as the basic 511 and also uses the same sheath, (which is actually quite nice, it's not black but almost a dark gunmetal bronze, looks really well).

Again the same thickness of steel, 2mm, but a chunkier blade that makes it feel more resilient and a better bushy blade.

It's a nice blade, but this is where the comparisons with Hultafors will start, their heavy duty knife is very similar to the Pro C but with a thicker blade that a lot of bushcrafters would prefer so I guess it basically comes down to personal preference, the thinner blade is nicey slicey, the hultafors heavy duty would be more robust, the only 2 things I would change about the Pro C are I would make the blade 3mm, (with the corresponding deeper grind) and give it a better point, A good point on a bushcraft blade is something that is often overlooked.

New Mora Allround 511

You heard it mentioned previously that Mora was releasing a couple of updated models, the 511 being one of them, well here it is

nice looking knife

big chunky handle and the usual blade shape, the blade is 91mm long and 2mm thick, personally I still think the blade is just slightly too thin for this knife.

It's handle is chunkier than the earlier models and it feels very comfortable in the hand

the only thing I will say is that it feels slightly unbalanced due to such a big handle and thin blade but it's still a very user friendly knife.

you can see the scale in my hand here, I do think like the older 511 models that it would be a more comfortable user if the front guard was taken down a bit, but as we all know this will give problems with sheath retention..
Still, a very cheap knife and a good user, I can see it becoming a bushcraft favourite.