Scout Bushcraft Camp 2018

We’ve arranged a semi-wild bushcraft camp for the Scout section (as this is a more advanced camp it is not open to Cubs) overnight Saturday 25 September, provisionally starting at midday (to be confirmed) and departing midday Sunday 26 September, at Ashbourne Woods – a wonderful woodland campsite at Rattery, South Brent TQ10 9JZ – click for map.

We’ll be sleeping out under tarps and prepping and cooking all our food over campfires. Scouts will arrive Saturday morning and spend the day setting up their tarps and sleep systems and honing their bushcraft skills – including campfire lighting and cooking, food prep, knife skills and whittling. There is plenty of space for wide games in the surrounding woodland.

The cost, including campsite fees, evening meal, breakfast, snacks and drinks is £20. To book your place, please download and complete the Activity Information Form and return to me with cash or cheque (payable to Bridestowe Scout Group) by Wed 22 September at the latest. See leaders if you need a paper form.

We will provide tarps and groundsheets for group use to keep everyone dry. Scouts will need to bring their own sleeping kit (advice below). We don’t have hammocks for group use, but if Scouts want to bring their own, they are welcome to do so (but see advice below about keeping warm in a hammock).

Kit List

Please read this carefully

Packed lunch for Saturday
Cake/biscuits as contribution to camp stores (optional but always very welcome)
Warm outdoor clothing (think layers)
Hat, scarf, gloves
Waterproof coat
Outdoor shoes (walking boots or wellies)
Personal wash kit
Torch (check the batteries!)
Sleeping kit (see below)

(We have cutlery, plates, mugs, etc for group use)

Sleeping Kit: The weather is often still mild by late September – but not always. And it’s colder than you think outside at night. Also, when sleeping out in the open, you’re more exposed to the effects of wind chill. A flexible sleep system, based on layers and working from the ground up, is the best way to keep warm at night when three season camping.

Sleeping on the Ground: Sleeping bags rely on loft to keep you warm by trapping body heat. They provide minimal insulation when compressed (ie. underneath your body weight). Good ground insulation is the key to staying warm when sleeping in the open in cooler conditions. An insulated sleeping mat makes all the difference. Alternatively, you can enhance a cheap sleeping mat by buying a simple foam mat to go underneath and/or layering blankets on top of the mat. Piling layers on top of you will make no difference if you aren’t well insulated from the cold ground below.

Sleeping in a Hammock: If you’re bringing a hammock, you’ll be off the ground but instead you’ll be exposed to cold air circulating underneath the hammock. The same principle applies. Piling layers on top will make no difference without some extra insulation underneath. Most sleeping mats are too stiff to use in a hammock, unless you have one of the more expensive models that lies flat. Blankets work better. Some hammocks (such as DD Hammocks) have an optional underblanket that attaches to the underside, which is the most effective way of insulating a hammock.

Layering a sleep system: If possible, start with a warm winter weight sleeping bag. If it’s cold, you’ll struggle to stay warm in a thin, summer weight sleeping bag. But if that’s all you have, you can enhance it with extra blankets and the second element of a three season sleep system, clothing. Think warm fleece, tracksuit bottoms, thick socks, hat and gloves. All these layers trap body heat and can significantly improve the performance of your sleeping bag.