Guerilla Survival

Guerilla Survival

Wednesday 27 January 2021

The Storm-Kettle

This one is the smaller MKettle which makes around 2 cups of tea or coffee; the Kelly-Kettle is a bit larger. This one is smaller and can be put in a small pack, and it has a rubber outer cover which allows handling it when hot. Another advantage of this one is that it has a rubber plug and can be filled with water and carried thus, having the water at hand.

***Note - those are not my finger-nails!!!

This is the kettle in its bag, and extras can be packed in the base of the kettle and in the bag itself. 

The advantage of the Kelly Kettle and MKettle is that they work by having two outer layers which are thin and when filled with water heat up quickly. The chimney in the middle provides the heat as well as from below.

Small pieces of fire-starter were put in the base to start off with; then small sticks are put on. After the kettle is put on the base small sticks are fed through the chimney, keeping it going. It burns quickly so have a supply of sticks ready before starting.

The great advantage over camping-gaz stoves is that the gas tends to freeze up in the canisters in cold weather, whereas the Storm-Kettle, using solid fuel, has no such problems, and heats a good deal quicker. And once bought the fuel is free since it is wood collected from the site. 

Tuesday 26 January 2021

Rope Work - Videos


These videos were done years ago. We used climbing-rope with a Figure 8, and a sling, although in the later part we did away with the sling and just used the rope. This was on the South Down on chalk. 

Chalk Rocks - 1

Chalk Rocks - 2

In this last one you can hear the 'Old Bill' (Police Helicopter - 'Bear-in-the-Air') in the background; and my big mouth! 

Stags in the New Forest

This last one I've thrown in for luck; we camped in the New Forest and were woken early in the morning by the stags make a racket. 

Two Tarp Shelters



The first is a large tarp shelter which has loads of room underneath: this is some 6' x 6' tarp and can be used as a shelter for a base-camp or just to get everything under cover

As you can see this has steep sides to keep the rain running off, but it is easy to lift the two sides up to get more room, or alternatively to lift one side up and make the other side more vertical and thus make a wind-break. Note: From experience from one night held in a similar shelter at a Midwinter Folk-Moot the latter way seems to hold the smoke inside the shelter. 

Another angle to the same shelter.

This is a more expensive and professional tarp with tabs on the side to tie down with; they do last much longer than the cheap tarps. 


This is one of the cheaper tarps which is smaller, but can be used in a different way by creating a ground sheet; the tarp is folded over to form the ground-sheet.

Both of the above are very fast and simple to put up and tale down; this one is useful for sleeping in. 

Videos - Shelter-Fire & Winter Survival.


Building a Shelter

Lighting a Fire

The stalks of dead stinging-nettles make very good starter-kindling, and we have used them on this video. The kids did the fire-lighting here since I have been out with them since they were young and tried to encourage them to learn survival and camp-craft. They are all grown up now but will remember these things and find them useful in later life (or maybe sooner than later as things are today). 

The next two videos feature a winter day on the South Downs where we did some survival training by putting up a shelter and lighting a fire. Here we used the stalks of dead stinging-nettles. 

Winter Survival - 1

Winter Survival - 2

The site we used at the bottom of the South Downs was an area where someone had dumped two plastic garden chairs; not good for the environment but we used them to create a camp. This shows how so many things are thrown away but can be used for useful purposes. 

Natural Shelter


Whenever we can we should look ahead and be prepared by taking with us the equipment we would need in an emergency. However, on the very odd occasion, even if this is only once in a lifetime, we may need to build a shelter out of what there is in the area around us. This post attempts to show how this can be done, even though it may not be 100% watertight.

Shown here is the front of a survival shelter built around a fallen tree (from the storm of 1987); this I will go through with you now.

The top of the shelter is made using around 3" to 4 " logs placed in parallel over cross-pieces.

The back is that of the fallen tree blown down in the storm. The sides are also made with logs and covered with leaves and evergreen cuttings, both of which help to keep out the wind and rain.

The front of the shelter has a hole through which you crawl inside; this has enough room for one person to sleep in. 

It is wise to practice making shelters like this because you might one day have to make something to shelter in when an emergency comes. Try to work out a plan of the build before you start.

PLEASE NOTE - We see so many 'natural shelters' built around woodlands these days, mostly no doubt children having fun, but some of which are downright dangerous. Using 6 inch diameter logs or above is rather stupid unless they have been freshly cut, and even then no recommended. Used here are no more than 3 - 4 inch logs because they are dead-wood and safely stacked. As 'survival' has become more commercialised we get so many trying to build them, most of which would be less efficient than sleeping under a sieve! This one was used later and was waterproof. 

Woodland Edge Camping Stove

The Woodland Edge Camping Stove is a heavy stainless-steel stove that comes apart and fits into a bag. This is rather heavy but could be carried in a rucksack, though I usually carry this in the truck when I use this. It is quite simple to fit together and is very strong.

The stove can be used open-topped as in the top photo, using a mess-tin to cook food (rice here). Or it can be used with the grill (supplied) to cook meat, which is very easy.

In this instance I used some charcoal bricks that I carried in the truck with the stove, but wood can be used to save taking these along. 

The third way to use the stove is for heat, since it has a small chimney that can be added to the top cover. It has a stand to lift the whole thing off the ground; I put on some bricks found in the woodland. Below is another angle showing the chimney a little better. 

The whole thing is quite easy to assemble (providing, of course, you do not lose the instructions as I have done); I had not used it for years and had to work it out again. 

****Note - The assembly is not difficult but until it is put together it tends to fall apart at some stages, so be careful since it can give a good pinch. Also, the legs have to be bent in to get them on and they are very strong! 

This is a good, strong stove and will certainly cook small pieces of meat, cook in a mess-tin or saucepan, and take a small frying-pan. Obviously, being small, it can only cook using one pan at a time, so not for a full fry-up. 

I have not used the heater as yet but I would think that to do so would mean using good quality (local and not from China) charcoal, otherwise it would need filling with wood every few minutes. Charcoal should burn longer. 



Warning - These are shown as methods of making snares for use in an emergency: they have been made and built in order to know how this is done. Leaving these unattended for 'practice' is totally irresponsible and should not be done. The idea is to know how and where they should be built, which will serve as knowledge if you find yourself in a survival situation. 

This is simple to make and needs only two upright sticks and a cross-piece; the snare is attached to the cross-piece which also holds a bent twig that springs upwards when the prey gets into the snare. 

This is how the cross-piece fits to the upright, cutting about half-way and cutting the crosspiece to slot in. 

The snare should be placed on a rabbit-run or near to the base of trees for squirrels. This is just one example of how to build a snare-trap. 

The Need-Fire


Fire-by-Friction is one of the oldest ways to start a fire; it is very hard work but can be done if you can keep up the pace with the fire-bow. Below are the parts used for this -

  • The Fire-Bow.
  • Spindle.
  • The Hearth (Base)
  • The Bearing-Block (Top Piece).
The Spindle must have one end sharper than the other; the sharp end fits into the Bearing-Block and the rounded end fits into the Hearth. The Bearing-Block end should be lubricated by rubbing green leaves on it; the Hearth end, of course, needs the friction so should not be lubricated (or it will not work). 

Modified Version - 

Fire-Drill Kit

The above is a modified Fire-Drill Kit using a straight piece of wood as opposed to the 'bow'; this does not need to be as long and is tied in a different way which makes it easier to use, and, of course, easy to carry in a bag. 

The Fire-Bow Drill

More Fire-Lighting Tips

With practice fire-lighting becomes second-nature; the problem lies when it has been raining or snowing, in which case everything is wet. In this case here are a few more tips -

Place 1 inch sticks on the wet ground and put the tinder on top of the sticks; this helps to insulate from the ground and the logs burn from underneath as well as on top. The dried pine-needles on the right light well and can be put on top of the tinder in a bundle. It is then advisable to have bundles of larger different sized woods to place on top as you go.

Tip - Put larger twigs on, then another layer of smaller twigs at the same time; this tends to burn a lot quicker. 

Tip - Always gather enough starter-wood to keep the fire going otherwise the fire may burn down quickly and go out again. Make sure you collect various different sizes and put them in some sort of order (like the above - sort of). 

Tinder - The bundle here has mainly Rose-Bay Willow Herb (Fireweed) mixed with slivers of Birch Bark. A tip here is to collect some of this on a warm, dry day and keep keep it dry for later use. Always think ahead to a time when it may be wet and no dry tinder can be found. Be Prepared!

A Fire-Shield or Fire-Reflector can be placed behind the fire; this one has been done by using upright sticks about 6 inch apart, bound at the top by bungees. Some say that these do not reflect heat, but whatever the case it keeps the wind from coming from the back. I have experimented in the past with a reflective survival blanket placed over the reflector and held tightly, and this does seem to have more reflective properties. 

Here a light metal grill is placed over two logs and a small Kelly-Kettle base lit underneath the grill. One important point, use wet logs or soak the logs if they are as close as the above. A small metal grill can actually be carried with you, perhaps smaller than the above. 

Tip - If you can get hold of a small metal dish of some kind, small enough to carry in your kit, then use this since it would be a little bigger and take a larger fire. This would be more efficient, and get larger logs to hold the grill a little higher from the flames. Given such a set up you could cook burgers or steak on such a small fire. 

The Criss-Cross Fire burns very well and is quite easy to set up and start; it has a base-layer on which is placed the tinder, and this is fired up and a bundle of kindling placed on top. As this burns place larger and larger sticks one going oine way and the next row the other way. 


In this post I want to look at a different method of carrying equipment, this time using a Snugpack survival bag and a bum-bag, one of each going over each shoulder and crossing and the back. This makes for a lighter set-up than the Bug-Out Bag. One thing that I should like to say is that when setting up a Bug-Out Bag there seems little point in it sitting around doing nothing until you need it in an emergency. The different set-ups are designed for constant use in practice, and then the equipment is tried and tested, and we are learning at the same time. 

The above Snugpack Survival Bag is from an old photo from years ago when I first got these; with the children now grown-up and doing their own things I can use their stuff myself. On the above bag is a basha which fits perfectly on the top, and this is much larger than the small tarp in now carry for day-trips. 

The above photo shows the Snugpack at the back, and the bum-bag at the front; this is a bright red colour and is alright for training, but black or green would perhaps be more suited to a time that  we would not wish to be easily seen. On the top of the Snugpack I have strapped an old car-tidy used for putting plants in the truck; this is used as a 'bed' for Sam (the dog). 


In the front pocket of the red pack are -

  • 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.

Notice how I have put some of the small stuff in mini freezer bags which keeps things apart in the bags, and is so easy to get to then. 

In the main compartment of the red bag are the following -

  • 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). 


In the above photo are small items that fit into the front compartment, and the car-tidy -

  • 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 the mini-pouch fitted to the front of the Snugpack is a Garmin GPS & 4 Batteries. Also a storm-lighter.

In one of the side compartments are some tarp-clips and elastic-balls which fit through the tarp-holes to save wear.

 In the other side compartment are -

  • A climbing strap.
  • Para-cord.
  • Waterproof Matches. 
  • A mini-survival tool.
In the main compartment are -

  • A rucksack rain-cover.
  • A Survival Knife.
  • A Silky Pocket-Boy Saw. 
  • A second survival blanket.

On the outside of both packs are 4 small carabiners and a stronger climbing carabiner, as well as a para-cord bracelet (for spare para-cord in an emergency). The only thing left off the photo is a water-container which will be needed to carry enough water for a couple of cups of tea. There is room in the red bag for some snacks.