Simple things become fond memories

Children these days have so much, such a bigger connection worldwide, no need to move from one room, gadgets everywhere, they can become fixated onto what we think is an absolute waste of time like these YouTube channels that they sit and watch/listen to whilst playing games and to what benefit?
My youngest is a nightmare to motivate with all of this mush and fodder available to him at the press of a button but get him outside and he is in a different world, the world I grew up in where the simplest things become an adventure that you will remember and give valuable lessons.
This day we woke up early and like someone addicted to smoking he reaches and grabs one of many gadgets and sits in bed getting his first daily fix.
I shout to him “get dressed we are going out”. He’s up and dressed for some outside action and says “I haven’t had breakfast yet”
“We are going to make it in the forest” I reply.
So a 15 minute journey and we are out in the woods smashing ice on puddles until we get to an area I found the other day where there is a hunting platform and a good view of the marshes.
So it’s time to make breakfast I have brought with me fire kit, wood gas stove, oats, milk and maple syrup. First task I teach him how to prepare a tinder bundle made up of Birch bark we harvested on a previous trip and Bracken. So the next lesson is using a knife on a Gerri Todd teaching him not to push to hard and within 5 attempts the tinder is alight and he uses the saucepans lid to put the tinder into the stove and add the pieces of wood to create a heat to cook his breakfast.

Such a simple little micro adventure but has taught him a lot.
We played in the forest for a while, had soup and coffee together, made sure we cleaned up and headed back.
Excursions like this cost next to nothing, the adventure can be extended to spend some time on animal tracks, whittling, knife use and anything else that will help our children grow up similar to us.
Where we had no connection to the world apart from an AM radio, 4 channels on the tv and weekly magazines.
We spent our time covered in dirt, fish slime, grazes on knees, up trees, wet shoes after falling in dykes and went home having fantastic adventures.
Find time to give our children the chance to benefit from the outdoors it doesn’t cost much.

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Jerky

dehydrator beef jerky

I absolutely love jerky it’s so versatile and perfect for snacking when out fishing, hiking or at work.
The word jerky comes from the Quechua word ch’arki which means “dried, salted meat”.  All that is needed to produce basic “jerky” is a low-temperature drying method, and salt to inhibit bacterial growth. I use a dehydrator to slowly dry mine.
The method I use is as follows but you can vary the marinade which I do by adding more spice which stops the children from eating it all!
Find a lean cut of beef I find that silverside is the best cut, out it in the freezer for a few hours just to make it easier to slice.
Slice into thin steaks no more than 10mm, trim all the fat and gristle of it it then cut into long strips against the grain of the meat (otherwise it will be really chewy) then set aside and prepare to make the marinade.
Marinade
1 large ziplock bag
Worcester sauce
Teriyaki sauce
3 x garlic cloves
Liquid smoke
Coriander seeds
In the ziplock bag empty the hole bottle of teriyaki sauce, a good shake of Worcester sauce, smash the garlic cloves and about a teaspoon of liquid smoke and the same of coriander seeds.
Put the meat strips into the bag and make sure that the marinade is touching all of the meat by massaging the bag once all of the meat is in the bag.
Leave in the fridge for 24hrs turning the bag a few times and massaging the meat.
When you’re ready to start drying get everything laid out.
Lay out some kitchen roll, take meat from the fridge and I find wearing latex gloves saves a lot of mess.
Lay the meat on the kitchen roll, when the kitchen roll is full of meat, lay another piece on top of the meat and pat it down.
Remove the top layer of kitchen roll and get ready with your rub. I use Nando’s peri peri rub but use whatever you like. Sprinkle over meat then pat down with kitchen roll again then gently remove strips and place on the dehydrator tray making sure there is space between each piece of meat.
Once all of the trays are full turn dehydrator on full for about 4hrs then I leave over night on low then in morning it all done.
Make sure that the jerky is cool before bagging.
I vacuum pack some bags so it last longer and leave a big bag for Work and for the kids they prefer jerky to all this dreadful snacks available to them.

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Micro Adventures

We are all limited with time due to work, family and other time consuming things, so utilising what precious time we all have to spending it with our families which then gives great memories and also teaches the little ones a thing or two.
I have recently been spending more of the little spare time I have more effectively by creating little micro adventures for us all to enjoy.
Micro adventures are a great way at utilising time for yourself giving you more time to really relax and unwind by doing things instead of wasting that precious time.
So I plan micro adventures for myself and also for the family. Not every member of the family will enjoy the same adventure. So as I work shifts I plan ‘me time’ when the wife is at work and the kids are at school.
Turn a dog walk into a lunch and a coffee in the woods or on the beach.
Even if you haven’t got a dog a walk out will do great for your mentally. I have a Day bag I use which houses everything I need for a micro adventure. I carry a tarp, fire lighting kit, wood gas stove, pot, water bottle, coffee making kit, snacks, length of paracord, knife and my wood carving tools.

I’ll then walk the dog and spend some time just relaxing between the trees making a brew and pretending that I’m good at carving.
Even throw up a tarp and practice fire lighting skills, the last dog walk out I took my youngest and we lit a fire using Birch bark and a fire steel so he learnt how to use natural tinder to light a fire.

Micro adventure can be anything really: geocaching, foraging, animal tracks, wood carving, paddling down the river, outdoor cooking etc.
We regularly go to the beach after school and will cook our meal on the beach just to be outside.

Fishing is a great way to get out and spend sometime outside. I will carry a fishing bag and walk the dog along the river and spin for pine whilst walking along. It’s not always productive but get to see loads just standing there and walking along the river

A jetboil in my bag and some coffee adds a little more to the adventure.

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