The chaps rocked up to our classroom in the forest and undertook their second day’s training – concentrating on: using ferrocerium rods to strike sparks to ignite cotton pads and the foraged dry tinders and kindling they’d collected.
Each team’s task being to light a fire for the furnace kettle, boil the water to a rolling boil and make drinks for the team and to clear away and leave no trace of their fire making.
Next up was to create their own cordage; nettles were cut and prepared by separating out the material to create strands to be dried for future cordage making! meanwhile we used raffia strands to demonstrate the techniques to make cordage, the learners then made their own.
Next up was using their cordage to learn 5 knots of note and for future use in their bushcraft endeavors.
After lunch, water extraction, filtration and dealing with turbidity, bacteria, protozoa and viruses were dealt with by means of demonstration followed by their creation of an ‘in-the-field’ water filtration system using ‘a found’ plastic bottle which they packed with charcoal, sand, grave, earth and dried grasses.
The rest of the afternoon was given over to the construction of a natural shelter, using bracken for general covering purposes, over a matrix frame of hazel and willow with Y-sticks and a ridge pole of hazel as the shelter frame!
Not only were they making good use of bracken for covering the shelter but they participated in some fantastic conservation of the woodland by the removal of an invasive plant type!
Fantastic day folks, see you again next week for Part 3 of your John Muir Award.