Update from Gordon
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER UPDATE
September saw the start of the ‘build up” period in the NT where the cooler “bearable” weather of the dry season slowly gives way to rising heat and humidity levels without the relief of rain. Every living thing, plants, trees, birds, animals and insects are all crying out for a drink during this uncomfortable time before the rains finally come.
Darwin Middle School 3 day Basic Bushcraft Survival Course (3-5 September)
BSA ran a private 3 Day Basic Course for Darwin Middle School from 3-5 September at our Howard Springs venue.
It was a very good course and all 15 students got a lot out of it. Subjects covered included survival priorities and psychology, important equipment and how to use it, safe use of cutting tools, modern fire lighting methods using natural tinder, construction of emergency shelters, finding water and making it safe to drink, useful edible and medicinal plants, natural navigation using the sun and the stars, how to signal for help and be seen, and camp cooking methods in which the students cooked their own bush meals.
Our expedition style camp also allowed students to gain an insight into what it would be like to live in a base camp in the wilderness, managing things such as camp hygiene, a bush latrine and camp shower.
A lot of the BSA subjects were also mapped against the Australian school curriculum in the NT, a big thank you to Amanda for doing that.
Thanks to Sophie, Amanda and all the students at Darwin Middle School for making this a very enjoyable and successful course.
Darwin Middle School Students learning about natural navigation
DMS students learning how to make damper to cook in the coals
Photo’s of the Darwin Middle School 3 Day course can be seen on the Gallery page of our website
Darwin 3 Day Basic Bushcraft Survival Course (5-7 October)
BSA ran its second public 3 Day Basic Course for the year at Woorabinda Scout Area in Howard Springs.
Although very hot and humid, students worked hard to achieve all the course aims, objectives and timed deliverables needed to complete this course.
Thanks to Lynette, Tom, Kelly, Rebecca, Perryn and Julie for attending this course.
Practicing for the 5 minute fire test
Water from trees using a transpiration bag
Photo’s of the October Darwin 3 Day Basic Course can be seen on the Gallery page of our website.
‘Fun in the Parks’ School Holiday Program
On the 11th October Gordon conducted a bushcraft survival workshop for Darwin Council’s ‘Fun in the Parks’ school holiday program. Children aged between 7 and 11 were exposed to a demonstration of bushcraft skills and basic survival tips in a fun and interactive way to help them stay safe in the bush and gain a respect for nature and traditional living skills. Click here to see the news article.
Sydney 3 Day Basic Bushcraft Survival Course (19-21 October)
The first Sydney 3 Day Basic Course was held at Ingleside Scout area on October 19-21.
Ingleside Scout area is a beautiful area that adjoins Kur-In-Gai Chase National Park in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Weather conditions were quite changeable for the weekend with huge storms on the second night. This put students' fire making and shelter building skills to the test in real time which gave an added level of urgency and realism. Students negotiated the interruptions from the weather well and achieved all course aims and outcomes.
Thanks to Johan, Belinda, Jonathan, Willem, Joanne, Skye and Coby for making the first Sydney course a success and we look forward to seeing you again on our next course.
Setting up an improvised potholder to boil water
Setting up improvised emergency shelters using garbage bags and space blankets
Filtering water through Milbank bags in order to purify through boiling
Photo’s of the October Sydney 3 Day Basic Course can be seen on the Gallery page of our website.
“The Living Room”
On Fathers day (Sep 2nd), The Living Room episode, where Gordon showed Chris Brown (Bondi Vet), how to survive in the outback for 24 hours using minimal equipment, was aired on Channel 10.
To see this episode please visit here or to see The Living Room Factsheet with all the details visit here.
In between running BSA courses Gordon was busy as usual, either doing army courses or patrols with Norforce or tour guiding for Darwin tour companies, taking visitors on camping expeditions into Kakadu National Park.
Many of the skills of bushcraft are perishable and require further practice beyond your completed course in order to “own them” so that they are second nature to you. Doing something once or twice does not make you an expert, you have to practice and rehearse several times over for that skill to become part of your repertoire…“What you don’t use you lose!”
A lot of people find it difficult to find the time or the place to continue their bushcraft training after their course finishes, so at BSA we invite all students who have already attended our 3 Day Basic Course to attend another 3 Day Basic Course at the child rate (half price) in order to further practice and consolidate their skills before attending or waiting for an Intermediate Course. You can either attend again for the full 3 days or attend part of it at an arranged daily rate.
Gear and Equipment
LEDLENSER MH8 head torch
Recently I decided to try a different kind of head torch after being continually frustrated with the many brands of head torches out there that I have been using for years. Having to always continually change batteries (3-4 AAA) after the light and focus seem to diminish after only a few hours or simply not having enough spare batteries is frustrating. Some brands are also quite confusing to use with the number of clicks and combinations needed to turn on different beams, but the main annoyance was that the red light filter on the particular model I was using was way too bright…especially for military use, so I had to always put black tape around the filter to diffuse it.
I decided to give something else a go and decided to try the LEDLENSER MH8.
The MH8 only has one lithium-ion battery and that is USB chargeable, so you can charge it in the field if you have a small solar panel. It can also take conventional disposable batteries as well.
It has a removable lamp head so it can be used as a headlamp or handheld light.
It has 4 different strengths of white light from low to high plus strobe.
The torch also has a hand adjustable focus which focuses the beam exactly where you want it.
It has 3 different coloured filters (red, blue, green) that are subtle and just right for military use, but the main highlight for me being the actual quality of the beam. Due to the technology, which I won’t go into here, the quality of light exceeds anything I have seen with a head torch. Basically it is a great torch that is perfect for outdoor use and outlasts all the others I have been using.
Ledlenser has many different models and sizes, although it is a bit confusing which ones are which but the MH8 is perfect for my uses and it also comes in black and green so that keeps the “camo” police happy. https://ledlenser.com.au/collections/headlamps/products/mh8-green. For a limited time use the promo code bushcraft and receive 20% off.
I have also been able to get a great deal for my subscribers on some of the gear that I have always used as part of my kit through Gearsupply.com.au. Receive 20% discount when using promo code bushcraft . If you would like to purchase many of the items that I have organically used as part of my kit list for years, please visit gearsupply.com.au and receive up to 15-20% off the Indicated price.
Gordon will be leaving to travel overseas from the end of November 2018 and will return to Australia in March 2019.
2019 Mora Knife Adventure and Dave Canterbury visit
We are pleased to announce that next year in early August, as part of the Moraniv Adventure, Dave Canterbury will be coming out to Australia for the first time.
"Mora Knife Adventure", an authentic and popular outdoor event held in Mora, Sweden, the birthplace of Morakniv is coming to Australia for the first time.
During the 3 day adventure, workshops on different areas will be held, in everything from woodcarving to bushcraft and survival skills.
Dave Canterbury is the Official Morakniv Global Ambassador and has more than 20 years of experience of bushcraft and survival skills. He’s the founder of the popular Pathfinder School where he holds courses teaching basic skills that are invaluable if you suddenly find yourself alone in nature. His books have been on the New York Times best-seller lists and was co-host on Discovery Channel’s “Dual Survivor” as well as his own TV series.
BSA will also be getting Dave along as guest Instructor on a couple of specially put together Bushcraft Survival Australia Courses to be held in different locations.
Thank you all for your continued support this year and we wish you a very merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you again in 2019.
2019 Course Dates
12-14 April – Sydney 3 Day Basic Bushcraft Survival Course
20-21 April – Sydney 2 Day Junior Bushcraft Survival Course
7 - 8 June – Darwin 3 Day Basic Bushcraft Survival Course
15-16 June – Darwin 2 Day Junior Bushcraft Survival Course
20-21 July – Darwin 2 Day Junior Bushcraft Survival Course
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