Frequently Asked Questions


Welcome to our FAQs page, where we have gathered together all of the most frequently asked questions that Woodlore receives. Before contacting us with your enquiry, please read this guide first.

Contacting Ray

Q: How do I contact Ray?

Woodlore receive many hundreds of emails and letters each month asking to talk to Ray and ask his advice about a range of bushcraft issues. Needless to say, Ray is often away leading expeditions or is busy researching other work. This means that Ray cannot answer every request. The Woodlore office will pass your requests to Ray, if he is available, so please visit our contact page to send your email in the first instance.

Q: How can I get Ray's autograph?

Nowadays, Ray is often too busy to fulfil the many autograph requests that he receives. However, at this time, all of the books written by Ray in our Online Shop come individually signed by Ray. Please visit the Books section of our shop to see the available titles. Please note that these exclusive signed copies are only available through Woodlore.

Making payments to Woodlore

Q: Which payment methods do you accept?

We accept all major credit and debit cards (AMEX, VISA, MasterCard, Maestro etc.) You can make payments for courses and kit online, via our secure payment interface, or by calling us and making a manual payment over the telephone, or you can send us a cheque.

Please do not send credit card details via email. Telephone or fax us card details if you really need to send them.

We also accept PayPal payments. When checking out please click on the "PayPal" bar and you can enter your details. Please note that we do not accept PayPal e-Cheque payments.

Woodlore are part of the VISA and MasterCard Secure system that adds an extra level of security for credit card holders.

Delivery times

Q: How long does delivery take?

We aim to dispatch all orders the same working day, providing they are placed before 14:00 PM. However, please note that our offices are closed on weekends, so any orders placed after 14:00 PM on Friday will not be dispatched until the following Monday.

Certain high-value items are dispatched via Special Delivery within the UK; if this is the case, it will be clearly displayed in the product description. These items will be dispatched in accordance with the above, and will arrive the next working day.

For all other items, please see the following approximate delivery times:
  • UK: 1 - 3 working days
  • Europe: 3 - 5 working days
  • Rest of the world: 5 - 7 working days

Technical questions

Q: When I try to check out, my basket is empty

You may not have cookies enabled. Cookies are small pieces of information that persist throughout your visit to We use such a cookie to hold the contents of your shopping basket, and this form of cookie is temporary; the cookie is deleted when you leave our website.

Please note: Making a "trusted" site in your web browser will also allow cookies to be used for the purposes of accessing our site and online shop. Any third-party Internet security software you have installed may also block cookies.

Note: Privacy software installed on your computer may block cookies and/or your referer address. If you are having problems with your order basket, or if a security message appears upon checkout, please ensure that is "trusted" by your privacy software. Examples of popular privacy software include the McAfee™ Security Centre and Norton™ Internet Security packages.

Email questions

Q: Why do some of my emails "bounce" from your address?

We scan all incoming messages for spam, as well as other offensive content. Our filters may be isolating your message and rejecting it because a specific phrase in the body or subject of your message is also one of our filtered keywords.

Please also note that we prefer plain-text emails, as opposed to HTML-formatted emails, if at all possible. If you cannot get an email to be accepted, please telephone us.

DVD Issues

Q: Will your DVDs work outside of the UK?

The majority of our DVDs are produced in the ALL-REGION format, allowing them to be played worldwide. However, as our DVDs are produced in the UK, they are made using the PAL encoding system. This system is used in large parts of the World, including Europe, Australia and much of South Africa and Brazil, among many other countries.

A different encoding system, called NTSC, is used by most of the Americas, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The majority of DVD players in these regions will be able to play our DVDs without any problems. However, a small proportion of DVD players (mostly produced for the US/Canadian markets) are made in a way that they will only play DVDs produced in the Region-1 or NTSC formats, meaning they will not be able to play our DVDs.

If you are in an NTSC area of the World, we recommend that you check your DVD player's region and format settings before purchasing our DVDs.

Q: How can I get a Woodlore brochure?

Woodlore (paper) brochures are no longer being released (as of January 2005) as they become out-of-date too quickly. Please visit our Online Shop, which always had up-to-date kit information.

Online Ordering questions

Q: Is your Online Shop safe?

Yes. We use page encryption (via a secure certificate registered to us) that allows payment details to be encrypted between you and our website, ensuring that no information can be intercepted in transit. You can verify our certificate by clicking on the padlock icon in your web browser, which indicates you are on a secure page. Furthermore, no credit card details are stored on our computers.

Q: Is there an actual Woodlore shop that I can visit in person?

No. We only offer kit and courses for sale via our website, and over the telephone.

Q: Is there a printed/paper catalogue?

No, only our website. We can also help and advise you with queries for kit items if you contact us by telephone.

Q: Where do you ship to?

We ship worldwide. See also our delivery section.

Q: What about taxes and delivery charges?

Both are calculated at the time of checkout, and are based upon your shipment country. Some countries are UK VAT tax (Value Added Tax) exempt, e.g. the USA and Australia, whilst others, such as EU member states, will pay VAT. Some European countries are also exempt from VAT - please see at the checkout stage of your order what taxes and delivery costs are applicable. Some of our items are already VAT exempt, e.g. food items, childrens' items and books.

Q: What freight handling company do you use?

We mainly use Royal Mail, but some orders may use other freight companies. Please check with us, especially if your order is not to the United Kingdom or Europe. Deliveries are also registered and a tracking code may be available.

Q: How do I enquire about my order?

Please email or phone our office, and please make sure that you quote your Netbanx or manual order code, so that we can find your order details. Failed orders are best handled by calling your bank, as we do not pass or fail orders (your bank does this).

Q: Where is my invoice?

A link to your Woodlore invoice is included in your email confirmation and printed receipt, which will be posted to you. This can be viewed online and requires your purchase code. If you need your purchase code, please contact Woodlore to verify yourself beforehand.

Q: An item is out of stock - when will it be restocked?

We may not have an exact date for restocking, so it is best subscribe to our mailing list to be kept informed of newly stocked and restocked items. It is also a good idea to visit our Online Shop regulary.

We also have a stock notification feature to alert you when new stock is added for a particular item. Wherever you see the "Out of Stock" message, click on the Notify button and enter your name and email address to sign up for a notification.

Q: Why does my online purchase fail?

Firstly, please understand that Woodlore are not told why a particular transaction fails; it is the aquiring bank that are declining the transaction, and not Woodlore. Please check to see if all details are correct, particulary that your name is spelt as printed on the card. If the purchase is declined again, consider using another card.

Multiple failed purchase attempts will just be blocked automatically, so please resist repeat orders after previous failed attempts. You may want to contact your bank if your card is rejected on multiple occasions.

Q: Why does my online purchase require additional information?

Depending on the payment card that you use, some banks require additional security information. This is because Woodlore have enrolled in the VISA™ and MasterCard™ Secure scheme. This system asks you for additional information at the time of payment, such as a special code which only you know and which will be known to you by an additional look-up card supplied by your bank. If you do not know this information, please contact your bank in the first instance. You can also make a manual order with us, remember.

Woodlore want to make sure that your credit card is used only by you, and not by someone else.

Q: Can I send credit card details in an email to you?

Please do not do this. Emails are not secure and your message may pass through dozens of computers on its way from your computer to us. Please telephone or fax details to us, never email them (not even in multiple emails.)

Q: Do I have to order and pay for my goods on-line?

No. If you are concerned about paying on-line, or if you do not have a suitable credit card, we are happy to take orders over the telephone manually. Please see here for our contact details.

Q: If I cancel an order can I put the money towards something else?

It is best if we actually cancel and refund your order first, and then create a brand new order.

Mailing List questions

Q: How do I activate my email address in your mailing list?

Every email sent for inclusion in our mailing list has first to be verified. All email addresses go into a queue that is automatically erased seven days after your first application is made.

We will send an email to the address specified, containing instructions that need to be carried out in order to verify the address actually exists. To verifiy an email address, enter the unique link provided by us in the email sent to you into to your web browser (some email programs will show the address as a link which you can click on, others may need to cut-and-paste it into their web browser) and the address will be verified. Verification is required because we receive many hundreds of non-existant addresses.

It is important to ensure that you enter the address we provide on one line and with no spaces. Most problems with the address are caused by the line containing the address breaking on to two lines. Just join the lines together when entering the address in to your web browser, being careful not to add (or lose) any characters in the process.

Q: I've lost/forgotten my mailing list email address? What now?

Just sign up again, and use a different address. It would help if you can email us any clues as to your identity, so that we can erase the old mailing list record.

Q: Why have I not received an email from the mailing list?
You have probably misspelled your email address, or you may be running anti-spam software that has intercepted the message. Please ensure that you wait at least 48 hours before signing up again. If you lose your original sign-up email, please email us and we'll erase you from the system to allow you to sign up again.

Q: I've lost my mailing list password. What now?

See here.

Q: How do I unsubscribe from the mailing list?

See this page. You will need your password (see question above).

E-voucher questions

Q: What is an 'e'-voucher?

While the majority of vouchers on the market are paper-based, and must be used in-store, Woodlore vouchers are e-mail based, allowing them to be used online at your convenience. Because of this, you will receive details of your voucher by e-mail only, and not via a paper-based voucher in the post.

Q: How do I use an e-voucher?

E-vouchers can be purchased from our online shop in the same way as normal items of kit, the difference being that you will obviously not be charged for delivery. Once you have placed your order, your unique voucher code(s) will be sent to you instantly via e-mail. This code can then simply be passed to your recipient by e-mail, allowing them to use each voucher online as soon as they wish.

To use your voucher online, simply select the items of kit you would like to purchase as normal. At the checkout stage, scroll down to the "Voucher Payments" section. Highlight the voucher code you wish to use from your e-mail, then copy and paste this into the "Voucher Payments" field. Click on the "Update Total" button, and your voucher value will be deducted from the cost of your order; you can use more than one voucher per purchase.

Please note: It is unlikely that the value of your voucher will exactly match that of your purchases. For this reason, you must complete your order by paying any remaining balance using your credit/debit card (we are unable to give voucher credits). However, if your checkout total equals the value of your voucher, you will be permitted to check out.

Q: Can I use e-vouchers for course payments?

Course bookings can be made using these vouchers by phoning the Woodlore office on 01580 819668.

Workshop questions

Q: Is Ray Mears leading a particular course?

Ray normally attends expeditions. Woodlore have a fully trained team of instructors for most courses. For a definitive answer please check our website for the relevant course. Course leaders for each workshop will be shown. If a course has TBA (to be announced) please call us for more information. Because of Ray's busy schedule, he does not lead all of the Woodlore courses.

Q: Are deposits refundable?

No. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.

Q: Can I transfer from one course date to another?

Yes, subject to availability of places. Please note that there is also a £25.00 administration charge to move course dates.

Q: How do I get on to one of your courses?

Woodlore courses are frequently booked up very quickly. Registering for course cancellations via our mailing list is a good way of getting the occasional last-minute place on a course when a cancellation occurs (see below). Cancellations do occur, so consider signing up.

Booking your place via the website is the fastest way of securing a place. Please note that there is no paper-based list for people awaiting courses - the workshops page has all up-to-date booking information and availability in the first instance.

Q: How can I see a schedule all courses currently being run presently, and in the future?

See the workshop calendar.

Q: Where are the courses held?

Woodlore hold courses in the United Kingdom and abroad (mainly for expeditions). A general area should be given on the course description page of our website, e.g. East Sussex. Once we have received your final payment for a course we will send out full joining instructions and directions to the course site.

Q: When do I get final details of a course?

Once we have received your final payment for a course we will send out full joining instructions and directions to the course site etc. However due to a variety of factors, such as weather and travel issues - which may also be beyond our control - final course information may take longer to be released. If you are worried about your plans please contact us for assistance.

Q: Can I find out about future courses that are not yet advertised?

Subscribe to our mailing list and keep watching our website for new announcements. We cannot tell customers about course dates in advance until they are actually published on our website.

Q: Is it possible to pay a deposit to guarantee a place for a course not yet advertised?

No. See below.

Q: I can't see a particular course - when is the course next being run?

Please subscribe to our mailing list and any new courses will be brought to your attention. See the FAQ above.

Q: How do I book multiple places on a course?

You could load the course booking/payment page in multiple web browser windows, and then submit each one after the other, or you can call us to make a block-booking (or family booking.) Only individual bookings are taken online to give as many individuals the chance to book courses as possible. Please call us regarding bespoke courses for larger parties. We can arrange special events for large groups of people on a bespoke basis.

Q: What equipment do I need to bring on my course?

See the downloads page for detailed pre-course information for all of our courses. If your course is not listed it is because course requirements may change last-minute, so please contact Woodlore directly in this case.

Q: How do I respond to an email cancellation?

Very quickly! Email cancellations happen when a customer cancels their booking. The cancellation list is large, so be sure to book the place online as soon as you can after receiving the cancellation notification. If you email us asking how to book the place, chances are that the place will be booked by someone else. Sign up for cancellations here.

Q: How can I move dates on a course?

You can move dates if the course you are moving to has places. Please note that there is an administration charge for moving course dates. Please read our Terms and Conditions for more information.

Q: How do I cancel my place?

If you want to cancel your place, please email or phone us in the first instance. It would be helpful if you could provide your payment code (Netbanx code, or manual purchase code) to allow us to find your booking information more quickly.

Please bear in mind that there are strict cancellation rules in relation to customer refunds. Please read our Terms and Conditions for more information.

Q: Do I have to do the Introduction to Bushcraft before I can attend the Fundamental Bushcraft Course?

No. The Introduction to Bushcraft course is recommended as a taster for those who are unsure if a full week’s course will suit them. You will learn the basics of Bushcraft which will hopefully whet your appetite for more!

Q: Do I have to do the Fundamental Course before I can do the Journeyman Course?

Yes. This is a prerequisite for attending the Journeyman. It is important you master all the bushcraft skills needed to survive in the wilderness for three days with just your cooking pot and knife!

Q. I am a vegetarian. Do I have to supply my own food on your self-catering courses?

We are happy to supply a vegetarian option on the courses where we cater for you i.e. Introduction and Fundamental. If you have a more limited diet or have food allergies we would be grateful if you could supply your own food.

Q: How do I give feedback on a course?

If you have attended a Woodlore course, we would love to hear your feedback on it, whether good or bad. Please visit our Course Reviews page to submit a review about a course that you attended.

Q: How do I get in touch with other worshop attendees?

There are strict data privacy rules that prevent us from ever divulging contact details of our course attendees. If you wish to stay in touch with them, the best way is obviously to ask for their details during your course. Failing this, you can contact Woodlore to see if we can get in touch with the person(s) concerned. Alternatively, you may want to start a blog or other personal web page that we can then direct other people to. Many past students have started photo galleries and blogs for this purpose.

Q: Can I take photos and publish them?

We would ask that all such photos and other information are passed by us first so that we can authorise this. Please respect the privacy of other workshop attendees by asking us first.

Equipment questions

Q: Will your leather sheaths fit my knife?

All of our leather knife sheaths have been designed to fit the original Wilkinson Sword Woodlore Knife, but will also fit our 25th Anniversary Woodlore Knife and The Ray Mears Bushcraft Knife.

If you wish to purchase one of our sheaths for a different knife, it is very difficult for us to simply say whether or not it will make a perfect fit. To make things a little easier for you, we have provided some of the key dimensions of the knives that our sheaths are designed to fit:
  • Handle length: 110 mm
  • Blade length: 110 mm
  • Blade depth: 28 mm
  • Blade thickness: 4 mm
  • Maximum circumference of handle: 86 mm
Q: Do I have to buy lots of specialist equipment for the Arctic Course?

No. You don’t have to spend a great deal of money on new equipment, especially clothing. Many items can be found in any good Army Surplus store.

Q: What equipment do I need to bring on my course?

See the downloads page for pre-course information.

Q: How can I purchase the Woodlore Knife?

The Woodlore Knife is a much in-demand hand-made item, and there is a waiting list for production. Please note that this knife is only obtainable by adding your name to this list, and purchases are strictly limited to one per customer.

Q: How long is the Waiting List for the Woodlore Knife?

After careful consideration, we have decided to update our estimated waiting times for the Alan Wood-made Woodlore Knife:

For those customers who have added their names to our Waiting List since 2008, the waiting time is likely to be around 10 years plus.

For those customers who have been on our Waiting List for longer than this, the waiting times that you were originally provided with will now, regrettably, likely be a number of years off. As soon as we have any news on your knives we will contact you immediately.

We are very sorry for these delays, but it is unfortunately out of our hands.

If you are a new customer and would like to be added to our Waiting List, please contact us with your full details; we will then confirm your place on our Waiting List via e-mail.

Camping questions

Q: My Child has been given a camping kit list for his forthcoming Scout camp. Can you provide the items he needs?

We think that you will find almost everything that your child needs for their Scout camp in the Woodlore shop. If you refer to this page - Camping Gear Essentials - there are some useful suggestions for suitable camping gear for any camping trip.

We also provide a really useful general purpose Camping Equipment Checklist that you can use for any camping trip as an 'aide memoire' to avoid overlooking any essential camping items.

Q: Where can I camp to practice my bushcraft skills?

First and foremost, you must seek permission of the landowner where you intend to camp or light fires etc. In the United Kingdom, the Forestry Commission may be able to assist you with finding suitable campsites, but there are strict rules which must be followed at all times.

If you are trying to find a private location to build a shelter and light a fire etc., always ask the landowner in advance - you may be pleasantly surprised to find that they will give permission. If not, keep trying until you find a suitable location - there's no harm in asking.

Unfortunately, we cannot give any advice on precise locations where you can practice your skills, simply because we do not have the necessary authority to tell you. Likewise, we cannot give out details of Ray's filming locations due to privacy concerns.

Selling Woodlore items on eBay

Q: Can I sell Woodlore kit items on auction sites e.g. eBay™?

Many Woodlore items are resold on auction sites such as eBay™, and there is no problem with doing this just as long as the following rules are adhered to.

If you wish to use the trademarks "Ray Mears" or "Woodlore", please be aware that these names can only be used in context to genuine branded products sold by Woodlore Ltd and must not be used for any items that are not connected with us.

If you are selling a DVD or Book authored by Ray, then there is no problem using an item description such as "Ray Mears Bushcraft", but please do not create false endorsements such as "Grid Reference Finder / Ray Mears" or "Ray Mears Cutlery Set." If an item has been purchased from Woodlore (or via then please quote only the item description. Please note that we have an automated process for actively scanning and reporting all trademark violations, as well as sales that are using Ray's name for false endorsements.

Woodlore are members of eBay's VERO programme and can have items removed from auction very quickly. Repeated VERO violations will lead to a permenant ban of that eBay member.

If in doubt, please contact us for clarification in the first instance.

Q: Can I re-sell Woodlore workshops on auction sites e.g. eBay™?

We do not permit our workshop places to be re-sold on auction sites, such as eBay™. The reason for this is that Woodlore have cancellation and waiting lists in place for our workshops, and to circumvent these by offering places to bidders on an auction website would be unfair to other people who are waiting for a cancellation.

Ray's earlier TV programmes

Q: Where can I purchase Ray's "Tracks", "World of Survival", "Heroes Of Telemark" and "Trips Money Can't Buy" programmes?

Unfortunately these programmes are not available at the current time. You may find some on websites like YouTube, however. Good luck.