kit

Berghaus the outdoor clothing/equipment people are running an online competition at the moment based around the question – “What does adventure mean to you?”

Competition aside, it’s a question that interests me because I think my life is one where we seek adventure albeit at a low level, lower even than Alastair Humprey’s Micro Adventures. Nano-Adventures perhaps.

I say we because Little Boots is most often my partner in action where adventuring is concerned. So undoubtedly the place to start with that question, as far as I’m concerned was to put it to Little Boots.

The answer I got was -

“Bushcraft and tying knots and things. And firecraft. And setting up camp.”

An interesting answer. We have probably used the word bushcraft whilst wombling around and doing stuff in the woods. Tying knots is something LB has been interested in for a while, and is accentuated by the current craze for loom bands. Firecraft is a word I’d never use, and I think must have come from the Bear Grylls book that LB takes on every camping trip.

But it’s good to know that my child equates the word adventure with being outside, and doing outdoorsy stuff.

For my part I would answer the question “What does adventure mean to you?” by saying it’s something to do with the spirit of life itself. The things that make you glad you are alive, even if they are tough going along the way. The things that make up for all the rubbish of modern times we have to endure.

Recent adventures include a hilly, five-mile yomp through woods and fields to a remote pub with a wood-fired pizza oven, another trip where we slipped across a railway at a crossing that I’m still unsure we should have used and battled through chest-high nettles the other side, a three a.m start to cycle to the water on the opening day of the fishing season and a virtually sleepless night in a small tent in the woods during the worst thunderstorm to hit the county for a good few years.

Fun, exciting and perhaps slightly dangerous experiences that will live in the mind as well as the heart for a long, long time.

That’s what adventure means to me.

 bookyates 

Last year I subscribed for a book and it was really nice to be one of the first to get my hands on a new piece of writing by angling guru Chris Yates.

The book was The Lost Diary and I have to admit that raising subscriptions for a publication did seem to me a bit old-fashioned, mainly I guess because it’s something I associate with Victorian times. But the more I thought about it, it seemed like a really good thing., after all so many books are published that I think have no real market and are just bought for the sake of it – usually as a gift.

How many of us have received a “humorous” or “little-known facts” book on our chosen hobby that is useless and terrible and immediately binned, or sent to a charity shop?

There is also an added perspective that “The public want, what the public get” with a lot of books being published with publishers deciding what readers want, rather than vice versa. Or so it seems to me.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying I’m going to put my name down as help kickstart Dave Hamilton’s prospective Wild Ruins book.

Go here to see what I’m on about.

 

books trade

bag kit

Almost eighteen months ago I posted about equipment/kit lists and putting something together for the wombling expeditions that Little Boots and I regularly undertake.

Just recently I’ve put those thoughts into action. I had been taking a rucksack with us, but it was a bit too big for what was needed and the tendency in having a big bag is to take far more kit than you need, so the first thing was to get a smaller bag and I wanted something that’s worn over the shoulder for speed of access.

This is what I ended up with, it’s a Finnish army bag, which is about a foot square and has some useful internal pockets. The rucksack, which gets taken on all sorts of trips including shopping, school and work and so needs constant loading and unloading.

The idea with this bag is that it has a dedicated purpose and so is always ready to grab and go. That means apart from adding food, drink and almost always a camera it’s always got the kit in we need in it ready and waiting. I made a list of the things we always take, the things we often take and the things we sometimes take. I then thought about the things we never take, but should, or perhaps have talked about whilst we were out (for example the torch, for looking down holes and exploring in dark woods). From all these things I put together an inventory of what needs to go in the bag.

A few wombling escapades should shake out whether we have all we might need, not enough or too much.

 

gungho

Another piece of street art. This time of a soldier by Endless.

As you will see the trooper has Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Luis Vuitton logos on his uniform; no doubt a commentary on branding and sponsorship that’s endemic in the modern world.

It’s not particularly original and puts me in mind of the sort of thing that used to appear 25 years ago in 2000AD’s comic spin-off Crisis.

 That aside it’ got an awful lot of detail in it for a stencil. It’s found on Shaftsbury Avenue, just south of the junction with New Oxford Street.

Nearby the same artist has put up a pair of faux Nazi eagles on some doors. I’m not sure what the message is there – I don’t imagine it’s a fascist statement, but I’m a bit lost on that one I must admit.

eagle2

eagle

 

A seasonal piece of street art on a sign in Exeter Street, Covent Garden.

I’m not certain, but I think it might be by Clet Abraham.

easter

 

Just treated the handle with walnut oil – brought it up very nicely. 

It’s sat in front of me now and I think it’s worth a smile of self-congratulation.

000 at last

 

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