Welcome to our blog; the official source for news on Ray Mears and Woodlore Limited. Here you will find all the latest goings-on from our world; be it news of Ray Mears’ latest television series, book releases and lecture tours, behind-the-scenes reports from our Bushcraft courses and expeditions, or updates on new kit, special offers and exclusive giveaways.
Take a look around, get involved with your comments, and then – most importantly – get back outdoors!
Your jacket is often your first line of defence against the elements, so it’s important to choose one that isn’t going to let you down. Woodlore stock a wide range of premium outdoor jackets – here are just three of our favourites:
1. Swazi/Ray Mears Tahr Anorak
First in line is the legendary Swazi Tahr Anorak – an unmistakable bit of outdoor gear that has become Ray Mears’ firm favourite over the years. Originally designed for use by the farm workers of New Zealand (a people who see more than their fair share of rain), news soon spread of its unrivalled wet-weather performance and the Tahr Anorak was quickly adopted by Bushcraft enthusiasts and outdoor professionals around the world. With its extra-long cut, world-renowned hood design and highly breathable AEGIS fabric, the Tahr is the cream of the crop when it comes to staying dry.
For anyone interested in buying a set of Ice Bear Japanese Waterstones, the following video guides from Ray Mears may prove to be very useful. They’re especially helpful if you are not already familiar with the different techniques involved in using these larger benchstones.
First up is the Ray Mears guide on how to sharpen your bushcraft knife:
Second is a guide for owners of Gransfors Axes:
The following article was written by Aspirant Instructor Rob Bashford about a recent coast to coast journey he undertook across the top of Scotland:
The plan was simple. To cross the Northern Highlands of Scotland on foot from West coast to East coast, a distance of some 65 miles.
Packing for a trip is an art and my girlfriend and I were striving to achieve the right balance between light pack weight, safety and comfort. This means thinking hard about what items are really essential and those which can be considered a luxury. On this note, we opted to carry bivi bags and a tarp, rather than a tent. As someone who has spent a lot of time under tarps in the woods, I know they are a fantastic way to sleep out and I was keen to experiment with pitching my new Hilleberg tarp in the open terrain of the Scottish Highlands.
The first of the Woodlore UK courses took place over the Easter bank holiday weekend. Here is some feedback from client Stuart Mason after he attended the Woodlore Introduction to Bushcraft course:
I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the course, how much I learned, and home much stuff I thought I know that I unlearned! The pace and content of the course was ideal, and I have nothing but praise for the skills, patience and friendliness of both Keith and Mark.
In terms of expectations, the washing facilities were rather tough – but then I guess you don’t yet have the mastery over the weather!! Ice cold water (with ice crystals!) in a bowl.
The packing list was very useful, and I came more prepared than required, which is far more preferable to the alternative. So, I’ll be looking at the other courses available, and will now be trying to persuade a few friends to try it too.
With the promise of a light dusting of snow in the air, the Woodlore Team gathered in the beautiful woodlands of East Sussex. Hundreds of miles away from the Arctic camp that we occupied just a week or so before, the English weather seemed determined to remind us that it could put on its own show and provide the sort of challenging conditions ideal for trimming our skills, ready for Woodlore’s 30th Anniversary season.
Training week is a very important fixture in the team calendar and provides an opportunity for us all to refresh friendships, brush-up on skills and come together in the environment that we are so passionate about. This year our focus was on renewing the team’s first aid qualifications and so, under the instruction and guidance of Jamie Cooke, Woodlore’s outdoor staff reminded themselves of the essential nature of this essential wilderness skill. The application of realistic scenarios ensured that the adrenaline kept pumping and Jamie’s humour and outstanding teaching ability made sure that what was learned held fast in the memories of the participants. Anybody attending one of Woodlore’s medical courses will be able to vouch for the unique ability of this kind of training to make things stick!
In amongst the fast-paced learning provided by Jamie, the team had other essential tasks. New course sites had to be readied, changes made to camp and the skills of the woodsman honed, ready to ensure the highest standards for the coming year. In amongst the blizzards, cold, rain and occasional sunshine, the team atmosphere was one of excitement and good humour, boosted by great food and better company. At the end of the day, the fireside beckoned and stories were shared as we all reminded ourselves why we love our job so much. Ready for this years’ exciting courses, we look forward to welcoming you into our family.