Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New gear and experiments

Christmas yielded a impressive amount of new kit for me to play with and try out. Its also a good opportunity to get some testing/play done. I firstly wanted to get a proper fire going as it had been a long time since I did one with just traditional setups, no firelighters, no liquid fire starters, no matches or lighters either. Just Flint n' steel.

From the start I set myself some goals I wanted to try out the crusader cup and get a brew off it as well as play with a pot hanger type setup. This was in the back yard so no really big fires. I opted for a Stainless Steel tray as I didn't want to scorch the path or grass around the yard.
Rules were, Start fire using traditional methods, and boil enough water to make a brew. No cheating.

Pot hanger setup was simple, I had seen it a couple of times in pictures and on a RayMears DVD as well. So I had a good idea on what I wanted. A pot hanger consisting of just 3 sticks one with notches in it so I could adjust the height from the fire. (Heat control) , a Y shaped one and a long one to keep the pot hanger on. Underneath the fire would be created.... duh.

Luckily I had gathered to natural materials the previous week that I collect for the purpose of starting a nice fire. Had loads of small matchstick sized twigs, then pencil sized then bigger. Birch bark was used to catch sparks form the flint which took straight away. More bark had been already prepared so I quickly got it all burning and the twigs went on. The fire was going :-)

The cup with its handle was next, and after a little while I had it all cooking nicely. Something about a fire on a cold night that does more than warm you. I could watch a fire going all night, very hypnotic. The main fuel I had (which turned out to be only just enough) was going and the water was heating up nicely. After a period of time passed (I kinda lost track) my water was ready and I made myself the first brew ever using this method. And do you know what it was the best cuppa I'd had for a long time. Maybe it was the teabag, maybe it was setup and actually going from nothing to having hot water from natural fire? either way it was a pretty sweet cup. Beats the kettle anyday.

Lessons learnt? Need an axe for chopping wood for Prep :-) , also better to get more fuel than you really need, just in case. I only just had enough (no big fuel anyway).

Sucessful night I'd say, was very pleased I managed to get a fire going and try out the Crusader cup at the sametime.

Just another step closer.



Pablo said...

Hi Ferrol
Good reading. I like to see how others learn bushcraft and the kit they use. Interesting stuff. Keep going.

ferrol said...

Thanks Pablo, will be doing a kit post soon. Happy New Year!