Tuesday, 26 January 2021
- The Fire-Bow.
- The Hearth (Base)
- The Bearing-Block (Top Piece).
- An emergency blanket.
- Three tent-pegs (small ally).
- Two fire-lighters.
- A spoon (for the tea).
- Two Tampax (emergency fire-lighting).
- Two small night-lights.
- A Poncho (taken from the Bug-Out Bag in which there is already a tarp).
- A stainless-steel mug (used for boiling the tea on the small stove, and drinking it). Tea-bags and sugar inside the mug.
- A small collapsible survival stove in which are 4 fire-lighters and cotton wool.
- A plastic container with fire-lighting kit (eco-friendly lighters, cotton wool and two small sticks of fat-wood).
- A small lock-knife.
- A compass.
- A pencil-sharpener (used for small pieces of wood for making shavings for fire-lighting).
- A mini tin opener.
- The car-tidy which fits on top of the bag.
In one of the side compartments are some tarp-clips and elastic-balls which fit through the tarp-holes to save wear.
- A climbing strap.
- Waterproof Matches.
- A mini-survival tool.
- A rucksack rain-cover.
- A Survival Knife.
- A Silky Pocket-Boy Saw.
- A second survival blanket.
Sunday, 24 January 2021
This is not a comprehensive list but a short list of the shrubs and trees that are well known and easily identified. Some care is needed with certain types so please read this carefully, and do a check on these before eating.
The young leaves are edible, and the sap can be tapped in the early spring and drank as a refreshing and healthy drink. (Will look at this later in the spring and show how it is done.) The best way to use these is by using an infusion for a tea, which is also true of the Beech and Pine.
The young leaves are edible.
The long needles of pine are easily recognised; these are best used as an infusion to make a cup of Pine Tea. Tastes very good actually, and is very high in Vitamins A and C.
The Pine-Cones contain nuts so wait until fallen from the tree and collect the nuts for eating.
This is one that needs a little care: the nuts of Sweet Chestnuts are edible, whilst the nuts of Horse Chestnuts are not edible. Horse Chestnuts are 'conkers' and have a smooth casing for the nuts, Sweet Chestnuts are the 'Christmas Chestnuts' and have cases with close-knit spikes.
Sweet Chestnuts are also identified by the 'tip' which can be seen in the above photo. The leaves are different too. Below are the NON-EDIBLE Horse Chestnuts and their Cases (which are less spiked).
Later in the year the Elderberries can be collected and eaten, or made into a jam; again, do not use the stems, just the berries. Make sure the berries are ripe before picking.
Well-known and easily recognised. The young leaves can be eaten, and of course the blackberries picked and eaten around August-September. You need to catch these before it gets too rainy since they soon go mouldy and wilt. Make sure the ripe ones are picked.
As kids we used to have Rose Hip Syrup in winter months because of the high Vitamin C content; but care is needed with this one. Cut the fruit in half lengthways and scrape out the inside entirely. This is because the insides have an irritant (used by kids when they stuck these down the jumper, and they really do itch). So take out the insides entirely and cook down the outside making a paste.
Crab Apples are just wild apples, but they are smaller and they are bitter so they need careful preparation. Pick the apples and peel as usual, chop into pieces and boil in a little water until the water has evaporated. The paste left is good to eat (with sugar maybe). On this subject there are a great number of apple-trees in the wild now, many at the roadsides which suggests people throwing their apple-cores out of car windows. Although I would condemn the throwing of rubbish out, apple-cores are a good thing since they grow into apple trees.
There are certain very easily-recognisable plants that have edible properties, though some of these need careful preparation. I though that I'd look through these because they are so easily recognised that no mistakes can be made in picking them, though care is always needed. Before eating anything please ensure that you know what you are picking. As I said, some need careful preparation so read this through; some plants have certain edible parts too. This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but I have chosen the most well-known types to be safe.
COWSLIP - PRIMROSE.
Cowslips grow wild in various locations and can be found on hills and in the woodlands, as well as grown in gardens. They are easily-recognised by their flowers (usually yellow when wild) and the distinctive leaves. All parts are edible.
ROSEBAY WILLOW-HERB (FIREWEED).
These most often grow in parts of woodlands that have been 'managed' (i.e. cut down), and also along the sides of paths in woodlands, as well as in other areas. The leaves and roots are edible; young plants are best though you need to learn to recognise these properly. (The seed-tops that appear after flowing - in the late summer/early autumn - make good fire-starters.)
This is so well recognised as to be no problem in finding; it has sharp needles for leaves and stems. It is the root that can be eaten.
Another recognisable plant and so well known and widespread that no-one would miss it; if you are not sure run your hands along the stems (only joking). Obviously, since the leaves and stems do sting badly this needs to be cooked, for it looses its sting then.
These are like the 'Stinging Nettles' but do not have the sting; they can be white, red or purple flowered. They are usually much lower growing. The leaves are edible.
Clover is readily recognised by the leaves which are either three-leaved (usually) or on the very odd occasion four-leaved.
The leaves have a distinctive 'chevron' and are thus very easy to recognise; the flowers can also be white. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.
Burdock has very large leaves and distinctive purple flowers. It is a large plant and easily recognised.
The roots of burdock are what you need to get, and these can be over a foot long so they need care in digging up. They can be eaten raw or cooked.
The leaves and the flowers can be eaten. The above is called 'Wild Garlic' and has the distinctive smell so cannot be mistaken. Another variety is shown below -
*** A word of caution - never plant wild garlic or garlic chives straight into your garden. I did this some 20-odd years ago in my small front garden, which is now covered in wild garlic, even growing through the grass (and into the next door's garden!). Put these into large pots and make sure the seeds do not fall everywhere.
The poppy is so well known and so easily recognised, and the seeds are the edible part. The seed-heads are shown below -
Break open the seed-pods when they are dry enough; the seeds are filled with goodness.
These plants are so well known and easily-recognisable that no-one should go wrong. But please do a thorough research before collecting and eating, to see what are the best parts to eat and how to prepare them. I am going to do a thorough 'Food from the Wild' later in the year, taking many photos to show them far more clearly.