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travel
A BIRD IN
Fancy getting a bit
closer to nature?
Anna Maria Espsäter
tries her hand at
THE BUSH
bushcraft.
Why on earth was I squatting in the woods turn the somewhat soggy heap into a nice, signalling to helicopters if lost or stranded
of West Sussex, desperately trying to set fi re warming fi re of our own. My group was less by using a CD or mirror; packing all-
to some tampons, while surrounded by a lucky - or should I say skillful - and we purpose dental fl oss for sewing, hanging
group of rather good-looking women? The watched in awe as the others soon had the things and of course fl ossing; and checking
time had come for me to test my bushcraft fl ames going, while our own efforts came to out the much-talked-about she-wee, for
skills on a one-day women-only course! nothing (despite the tampons and cotton those moments of sheer wee
The morning had started down in wool as back-up). When you fail, resort to desperation.
Arundel, where we gathered in the rather teamwork, we decided, and so added our Just as we were having a laugh and
unglamorous surroundings of the railway pathetic pile to the other’s. “You rescued our getting cosy and relaxed around the fi re it
station car park. Just a short drive, however, fi re by adding more material,” said Beata, was time for the fi nal challenge. We had
105
and we found ourselves in the West Sussex a Polish fi lmmaker, but I knew she was an hour to construct and hang up a
countryside, traipsing through muddy fi elds telling fi bbies. hammock, set up a water fi lter through
to a tipi-like construction in the woodland. Undeterred by this defeat, I wrestled with gauze tape, collect the water, put it
When we arrived, one of our course leaders the next task – knife skills. Having managed through the fi lter and then boil it. To wo r k ,
had a roaring fi re going and the kettle was to get the knife out of its sheath I was idle hands! Amazingly, the six of us
on. Sitting on logs around said fi re, sipping tea determined to make a better go of the tent managed to get things sorted in no time
or hot chocolate, the six of us contemplated peg carving task. I did keep all my fi ngers, and it was only yours truly who failed
what lay ahead; in a day we were meant to even having something vaguely similar to an miserably in her task by getting mud in the
acquire some basic fi re-making skills, knife improvised tent peg in my hand by the time clean bucket and therefore not having
skills, learn essential travel tips, make a shelter the delicious lunch, cooked over the open anything to put the fi ltered water into...
and purify water. fi re, was ready. How could you get so hungry The day passed quickly and soon it
After a quick briefi ng session we set to just from a bit of carving and wandering was time to say our goodbyes. I trundled
work on the fi rst task: fi re-making. This is around the woods? back to London, now confi dent that I
where the tampons came in – they burn Lunch successfully munched – the easiest could at least set fi re to my tampons with
remarkably well when shredded. Along with task of the day – we stayed by the fi re to ease and confi dence.
the different types of material from dry soak up some savvy women’s travel advice
leaves and greenery, to smaller twigs and from Becci, the well-travelled brains behind For the bush craft and travel survival course
larger pieces of wood, we did our utmost to the Girls Travel Club. We learnt about check out: www.girlstravelclub.co.uk.
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