Tapping Birch Trees in the Spring.

Its that time of the year when for tapping birch trees. 

Winter is trying to release its grip on Northern Europe, with the odd slip of a frost and recently a lot of rain coming of the land and flooding the river valleys.  

It is also the time when nature starts to wake from its winters sleep and life starts to flow through the veins of animals and plants. Continue reading “Tapping Birch Trees in the Spring.”

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Foraging for edible Fungi

A day out in the woods after a very damp couple of days means foraging for edible fungi if conditions are good you are sure to find some fungi.

foraging for fungiBefore I start this isn’t a post to help you identify fungi, I know what I know and I keep to that.  If you are not sure then leave them in place.

If you want to learn about edible fungi then get on a foraging course, buy a book and ask for assistance on some of the Facebook groups or online forums.

I stick to what I know and keep to that.

A day off means walking the Dog and doing some king of micro adventure, today was foraging and a great day it was.

Perfect conditions, rain recently, damp and warm over night meant there was fungi everywhere.

I started off in an area I have been foraging for fungi previously and I had seen fungi there a couple of days previously.

Straight away I was onto Slippery Jacks.  Its really frustrating when you find a perfect looking fungi only to cut it and find it maggot riddled.

So the trick with fungi is to harvest them as early in the day as you can.

Walking deeper into the Birch forest I started to see hundreds so started to carefully select the best.

There was also some Penny Buns around, I love the smell of these and they can grow quite big.  So after filling the cloth bag full I decided to harvest some fatwood from a stump and get a brew on the go before heading off back home for the daily chores.

Searching for edible fungi

If you are interested in foraging for edible fungi there are plenty of videos on Youtube but I cannot stress enough the need to be 100% sure what you are picking.

Please have a look at some fungi identification books.

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Micro adventure wild camping on a beach

Micro adventure wild camping on a beach.

I always say try to fit work around your life and not the other way around and with me working a shift pattern which is different to friends that enjoy the same mentality towards life and same interests it is rare that we get the time to catch up and head out for a micro adventure.

This night was one of those rare occasions when the planets where inline and we could do a Micro adventure wild camping on a beach.

So a late start we got the beach around 19:00 with a few dog walkers still about we assessed the area to find there was a bit of ground swell and the tide had been nearly up to the cliff so sleeping on the beach was a no go.

A little while later we had found a space within the bracken that we could setup our tents and get stuck into our micro adventure wild camping on a beach. Micro adventure wild camping on a beach

Micro adventure wild camping on a beach

Camping on the cliff

DD hammocks 3 x 3 tarp setup as a shelter.

I had planned to hammock camp but brought a sleep mat on the off chance I would be able to hang so used my 3×3 tarp to make a shelter to sleep in.

This setup is really versatile but does leave the opening at the front open to the weather.

I had thought about this the other day and quickly had a go at developing a door using my poncho which worked really well so I am happy to use this setup whilst walking the lakes later in the year.

https://sjohav.se
Mosquito Repellant https://sjohav.se

 

 

 

I thought I would take this opportunity to try a product I was sent from a company in Sweden called Sjö och Hav that produces eco friendly products such as mosquito repellent, soaps and shampoos that are perfect for use in an outdoor environment actually in any environment as they are all biodegradable.

sjohav.se

The mosquito repellent was nice smelling, not oily like some of the ones with a high percentage of deet and felt really refreshing to put on.

That’s all ok but the main thing is do they stop those devil worshiping blood sucking, tiny, flying insects.

I always get bitten nothing has really stopped me getting bitten but that night I was bite free and considering I was sleeping in an open shelter I think it done a great job.

So hats of to Sjö och Hav tack så myket it works!

Their items can brought online although website is in Swedish it can be translated through Google.

Steak dinner

With shelters setup our Micro adventure wild camping on a beach was in full flow,  it was time for a beer and get a fire built.

Using a traditional flint and steel striker, charcloth and birch bark it wasn’t long before the steaks where on the go (apart from mine that got dropped in the sand).

I can deal with a bit of grit but pebbles are a different story.

Fed and watered well the beers start flowing we are discussing lightweight options and realise that the weight we where carrying was down to the amount of beer we where carrying.

About midnight we hit the hay and I was very comfy on my Expedition downlite.

Next Morning.

At about 04:00 I woke up and looked out the shelter to see someone walking along the beach.  I thought he’s keen, got up for a wee and realised it was my Kiwi counterpart so I decided time to get up.

Eagle Products
Sun rising over the North Sea. Eagle Products 75cl Camp Kettle.

It was an amazing sunrise, the fire didn’t need relighting just a helpful push to reignite and coffee was on and then the bacon.

Lol still trying to move the tree with his Jedi powers.

Once we where fed I had a quick dip in the sea and started to pack up.

The only downfall with using a tarp like this for shelter is the fact that it condensates dramatically as there is little top ventilation which has me thinking do I need a tarp tent?

But then that’s more kit! The idea is to carry the correct kit to be able to hammock camp and floor camp if needed. I had taken under blanket and quilt for hammock so slept in them.

Ideal setup would be…

  • Hammock
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleep mat
  • Light weight Tarp

With this setup I can cover both tree dwelling and floor dwelling if the need arises but having to put up with a wet tarp in the morning.

By 07:00 we where packed up and heading back before people started walking along the beach.

It is such a shame that we have to resort to stealth camping in the UK we left no mess, looked like we hadn’t been there at all and took what we brought in but this is how it is.

If you like your micro adventures then try this Micro adventure wild camping on a beach

http://betweenthetrees.xyz/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/img_0175.mov

Time lapse of sunrise.

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Micro adventure-river paddling

Micro adventure-river paddling A quick over nighter down the river Waveney.

We are lucky being so close to the coast and right on the doorstep of the river Waveney an evening paddle down the river cannot be missed.

Kit all packed in the car for a overnighter we leave from the sailing club at Beccles and head down towards Geldeston.

Micro adventure-river paddling
Micro adventure-river paddling

The plan was to stealth camp on the river bank as I had previously seen an area.

Now wild camping in the uk is not the norm.  There are only a few places where this is legal or a blind eye is turned such as Dartmoor or certain places in Scotland.

We are unfortunate not to have the ability to wild camp but lots do and are very caring about the places they camp and I wish it was so that we could but hey ho it’s the UK.

Canoe all packed

Setting Off on our Micro adventure-river paddling

So canoe loaded with supplies we head down the river from Beccles towards Geldeston.

This is where the river ceases to become navigable to boats and home of the Geldeston Locks a fantastic Pub.

We did cheat as we took the battery powered trolling motor which sits on the side of the canoe.

This is great for getting back from the pub or assisting when the boys are ‘too tired!’.

We where lucky as we had accidently timed it perfectly as the river was on the flood so it was easy paddling down for our Micro adventure-river paddling.

The Camp

The place I had thought about camping on was a no go so we had to revert to plan B at the three rivers campsite.

Initial plan was to setup a shelter using the canoe and a dd hammocks tarp.

I had a configuration in my head and it went ok considering it was my first time with this configuration.

Camp made

The idea was to Peg the tarp at two corners behind the canoe. I would then bring it over canoe and support with two paddles supported by guy lines.

This worked well but canoe needed supporting with two poles at a slight slant to stop it from moving.

We had taken our frontier stove to Cook of instant noodles and a handful of polish sausage to grill over the flames.  

Anevay.co.uk

The frontier stove I brought about 8 years ago from Anevay and has been the talk of many a campsite over the years even made a camping magazine at one point.

Camp made and food on the go.

So we cooked our food and the boys filled themselves up on s’mores and within 10 minute the little one was asleep outside.

Sleeping outdoors

It is amazing how this one sleeps so well outdoors.

I took my Uco Gear candle light which I absolutely love using.  With a 9 hour candle this gives just enough light in case the boys wake up.

Some of my gear taken

Early rise in the morning, breakfast cooked and camp packed away.

Back down the river to load everything onto the car and head home.

This little trip was only about 18hrs in total but it was a great little trip

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Eagle Products 0.7l Kettle review

0.7l Eagle Products Kettle

I’ve seen many of these kettles posted by people in Scandinavia on Instagram and always thought they look great and then a few months later there is one in the hands of the postman.

Kettle being used over open fire.

They are designed and made in Norway by a company called Eagle Products The produce some fantastic outdoor products and have resellers across the globe. In the uk Ray Mear’s Woodlore is a reseller. These kettles come in 3 sizes 0.7l, 1.5k and a massive 4l. A well proven, solid and durabable kettle made from stainless steel. The lower section and base of the kettle is copper coated to ensure an efficient heat distribution and heating process over a stove or flame.

This kettle features two handles for a more secure and stable fixture when cooking over a fire. It can be used suspended above all types of outdoor heat sources, including a stove, bushbox and over a camp fire. The kettle comes in a nylon bag which will prevent the rest of your kit getting black with soot. These kettles can be purchased online from www.woodlore.co.uk

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