What do we do with our Weekends?

We like to get outside and do stuff.

On our weekends, we undertake a real mixture of activities, partly driven by the location, partly by the weather.

Though the content and experience for each course is different, they contain the same benefits, all focused at helping us to escape from the Wilderness of Modern Life, into the Wild.  All our weekends are based on this idea, and on things that help us to ‘Protect‘ ourselves, ‘Improve‘ our abilities and “Recharge‘our vitality.

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”

John Muir

American naturalist and author

Protect

Removing the negative things that drain our vitality and passion, and stop us from being self-confident and happy.

Improve

Doing the positive things that increase our capacity for vitality and positivity, and increases our self-worth and confidence.

Recharge

Taking time away from the pressures of Modern Life in order to let our vitality naturally re-fill.

Getting away

Escaping from from the environment that is causing the problem is an important first step in combating stress and depression.  This means disconnecting completely, including things like the mobile phone and most importantly social media.

We totally disconnect from the outside world, we will provide an emergency contact number for cases of genuine emergency.

Getting out, into the Wild

For us, this means being completely off-grid, with no electricity and no man-made shelter, off the beaten track and far enough away from civilisation that we have peace and quiet to enjoy our natural surroundings.

Getting some new skills

Getting the opportunity to learn something new: a great technique for alleviating stress is to totally take the mind off the problems at-hand, to give the brain a chance to rest, to see the problem from a distance.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is to is to learn a new skill, especially something practical, dextrous and physical that fully engages and stimulates all the faculties.

Getting to meet other Men

Meeting men of  from different ages, races, abilities and walks of life is important if you really want to get a perspective on what’s going on in your life.

Every Man that comes on this course makes new friends, and often with the last person they would expect to.  Not only does it give us the opportunity to learn from other Men about how their life challenges them, but to overcome many of the stereotypes that we hold concerning people who are ‘different’ from us in some way.

Getting some exercise

We appreciate that men come in all shapes and sizes and have differing levels of stamina and strength. The exercises we undertake allow those with youth and vigour to let off steam, and those with more grace and serenity to work up an appetite. All the activities encourage working together as a group, sharing expertise and learning together.

Getting some good food

We make sure we have plenty of time on our weekends to get together and make a meal together.  This is an ancient ritual performed by tribes of men all over the world from the dawn of time.  Bringing and preparing ingredients and adding them to the communal pot to feed the group.

The focus of our menu is on good quality food, with plenty of variety: Healthy and Plentiful.

Getting a chance to talk

Getting a chance to talk about what is going on is one of the most important aspects of reducing the causes and effects of stress and depression.

Having the chance to talk about the challenges and fears that confront us, with an impartial and non-judgmental audience. The audience could be an individual person to an entire group, in an informal or more formal setting. No man is ever forced to talk, but every man is given the chance to talk in an environment of mutual trust and respect..

The types of weekend we run.

The courses we run take place throughout the year and are typically held over a weekend at a number of beautiful forest locations around the British Isles.

These locations are off the beaten track, and often a way from ‘civilisation’, the objective being to completely disconnect from the Modern World for a period, off-grid and off-net, thriving as a group of men in the Wild.

Intro Weekends

These weekends are designed to help Men to get comfortable with being in nature, spending time ‘under canvas’, getting the hang of the basics so that they are comfortable making a shelter and fire, cooking a meal and all the little things that make the difference between and ordeal and an adventure. We look at the skills needed to go into the Wild alone, to spend a day, evening or even overnight, so that when the world becomes too much for them, they have everything they need, both mentally and physically, packed and ready to go.

Seasonal Weekends

These weekends are about sharing the different challenges that come from being ‘under-canvas’ at the different times of the year, and how best to prepare for and adapt.  This is not ‘survival training’.  It will provide training and insight in to what to take – and what not-to-take, and how to set up a safe, secure and comfortable shelter whatever the season.  We will also look at what things the different times of year have to offer, such as foraging for seasonal food.  These courses ensure that a Man is always equipped to escape into the Wild at all times of year.

Adventure Weekends

These weekends are about taking what we have learned in the Intro and Seasonal weekends as a basis for Improving our skills and recharging our vitality. The weekends fall into four types:

  • Explore: set out to explore a totally new place in the British Isles.
  • Education: Learn ancient skills and trades from true Craft-Masters.
  • Environment: Working as a group of Men to do something good for the environment.
  • Escape: A simple weekend where we simply enjoy being in the wild.

Intro Weekends

This weekend will help you to get the most out of being in the Wild, so that you can escape to it whenever you feel the need to be away from the Modern World. It will provide you with the simple skills and tools that you need to be comfortable and safe in nature, and is an ideal introduction to the wider world of outdoor skills known as ‘Bushcraft’.

This weekend will help you to get even more out of being in the Wild, so that you can find your ideal spot, and then spend longer there, even venturing to camp overnight if you so desire.  Being completely alone for an evening, with your camp fire for comfort and no distractions from the Modern World.

Seasons Weekends

This weekend will help you to get the most out of being in the Wild in the Spring. It will extend your Bushcraft skills to provide you with the more advanced skills and tools that you need to be comfortable and safe in spring time.

The season tends to be very changeable, with sudden rain-showers interspersed with cold snaps and sudden hot-spells.  This weekend will show you specifically what you need to pack to ensure you are prepared for the worst, and able to make an appropriate shelter for the conditions.  Once we’re set up, we’ll set off in search of food and resources to make our adventure more comfortable.

This weekend will help you to get the most out of being in the Wild in the Summer. It will extend your Bushcraft skills to provide you with the more advanced skills and tools that you need to be comfortable and safe in the hotter, dryer months.

The season can be changeable, with sudden rain-showers interspersed with scorching hot days.  This weekend will show you specifically what you need to pack to ensure you are travelling light and yet prepared for the ‘British Summer’ should it come.  As droughts are increasingly a challenge, we will look at how to find and prepare water, make a light camp and find and prepare food from the summer’s bounty.

This weekend will help you to get the most out of being in the Wild in the Autimn time. It will extend your Bushcraft skills to provide you with the more advanced skills and tools that you need to be comfortable and safe as the days get shorter.

The season is changeable, with hot days followed by cold nights, and the potential for strong winds and storms.  This weekend will show you specifically what you need to ensure you are prepared to weather Autumn storms, and safe in the changing environment.  We will look at harvesting and preparing food for use in the colder seasons, use of axes, and making a simple bow and arrow.

This weekend will help you to get the most out of being out in the Winter, the most challenging season to be in the Wild. It will provide you with more advanced skills and tools that you will need to be comfortable and safe in cold and stormy weather.

The season can very changeable, with stormy conditions, very low overnight temperatures, snow and ice.  This weekend will show you specifically what you need to pack to ensure you are prepared for sub-zero temperatures, how to get warm, stay warm and sleep warm.  We will also look at the more challenging aspects of making and maintaining a fire in low temperatures and a much more substantial shelter using the available natural resources.

Adventure Weekends

On these weekends we will have the chance to explore an area of the United Kingdom that is completely unknown to us.  We will select the location by looking at a map of the British Isles and choosing places with interesting topography, which is close to a wild campsite that we can use.

The purpose of the weekend is to simply explore our destination, build a map of useful information (such as resources, terrain etc) and practice our Bushcraft skills in places which have new challenges and environmental factors.  In some cases we will be hosted by the land-owner who will show us specific aspects of the land and share their knowledge of it’s features.

On these weekends you will have the chance to do exactly what you want, as long as it doesn’t involve anything with a Wi-fi connection, or preferably a battery, with the exception of head-torches.  We will gather a s a group of men who simply want to enjoy being in the Wild, with a great opportunity to practice our Bushcraft, read a book, learn a new skill or be creative.

There is ample opportunity for Men to share their skills with other men, or work collectively on improving their skills (the bow-drill is a particular favourite), or simply be alone with their own project.

On these weekends you will have the chance to learn a new skill, or develop that skill if you have previous experience, on an environmental project somewhere in the UK.  We will camp on or very close to the project site, the idea being that the person or organisation with the environmental need provides us with private use of their land in exchange for our Man power and skill.  

The subject of these weekends will vary, but all will involve learning a skill and practicing it, such as dry-stone walling or laying hedgerow:  all these skills will impart a sense of achievement and pride in work which will last another generation.

The focus of these weekends is about learning and becoming proficient in a new skill, so that you can integrate it into your future adventures, or begin a whole new hobby or practice.  An example of such a skill is basic knife-making where we would learn how to cut and shape a steel blank, edge it and form a handle and then finish it.  Such a skill could easily develop into expertise in different types of steel, materials and forms of handle, and so-forth, and a veritable cottage industry of production and sale at future Bushcraft shows.  Or it could be simply enough to learn the basics and be content.