In June 2014 I loaded the Landrover with my tipi poles threw the canvas in the back along with other items of gear for a weekends camp. My aim during the weekend was to do a walk on the Saturday around Grizedale Forest and follow one of the trails and also learn some new skills. The campsite I choose allows campfires which is what I wanted, I could cook all my meals on the open fire. I took along my Frontier Wood Stove so I could cook inside the tipi should the weather turn.
Camping in the Tipi is fun, and does attract some attention. We take a ground sheet and a carpet from an Outwell tent to spread out on the floor of the tipi, this makes it very comfortable. I use a camp bed with a sleeping bag with a blanket and take some sheep skins for Oakley. Saturday brought some mixed weather, usual Lake District day sun shine with occasional heavy downpours. That wasn’t going to stop Oakley and I having fun. We packed a day pack and set off into the forest and found a trail, we had a map from the visitor centre showing the different routes but we also had an OS map and compass. The sun came out and we had some great views from the trail across the fells. Oakley can seek out water any where so we stopped to make a brew and Oakley could have a swim or get dirty.
Once back in camp I collected some nettles and I wanted to have a go at making cordage. Taking the stems I removed the leaves, I did wear gloves for this task. The stem can be split length ways very carefully and I hung them to dry, I experimented making different thickness of cord and adding pieces together to make longer sections. I found quickly that drying them to long did not help twisting the nettle stems into cord.
I lit the fire to make the evening meal, I had some corn still on the cob so I added a little butter and wrapped them in fresh dock leaves washed in water. I laid one straight on to embers and an other on a bed of grass to steam the corn. It was fun trying new methods and I found the bed of grass a more better method. Sunday morning and I planned to have a lazy morning in camp and cook a full fry up on the camp fire.
I collected the materials I needed for making a bow drill, from the woodland around me. I had taken a piece of dry wood to make a base board should I struggle after the weekends rain. I wanted to use some cordage I made for the bow string, but my skills need to be improved first. I brought some cord in my kit to use. After a few attempts I got an ember and achieved fire in the tinder of dead grasses I had dried. It was a great feeling making fire in this way.
Oakley and I had a great few days in our tipi, and learned some new skills. We both slept well that evening.