27th October 2021
A full day of fire-starting, whittling and shelter building with our head bushcraft expert - Jay.
Join us at 7th Rise for one of our one day adventure experiences. Set in our oak woodland hidden on the banks of the river Fal - prepare for a day of rewilding. Learn primal skills of fire-starting, whittling and shelter building and connect with your natural environment. Our expert instructor - Jay - will guide you through the techniques you can use to use only the materials which surround you. Swap the city for the woods, screens for the trees, plastic for the dirt. All ages and genders welcome. Bring a packed lunch. Hot and cold drinks provided.
Adult / General Admission £40
Please use the booking function below or contact Izzie for any enquiries
One adventurer's account:
"It’s a dewy, sun-dappled morning, I amble down the track that leads to the old fisherman’s cottage, the heart of this sanctuary. Camouflaged by weather, time and trees, this 3-storey mammoth, is lost in a sea of woodland and tranquillity. There’s a growing smell of woodsmoke and an accompanying morning chorus of bird song calling through the canopy above.
On closer inspection the firepit is not alone, a figure emerges from the smoke and I introduce myself to Jay - 7th Rise’s very own Ray Mears.
There is no bravado or intimidating energy, just casual relaxed introductions and a seat by the fire. Slowly the participants in today's bushcraft caper appear and we huddle around fire as moths are drawn to flame, an evolutionary and time honoured gathering place. No-one has done a course like this before, and there’s a quiet anticipation; in a modern digitally overpowering world do we have what it takes to survive the day? We tramp into the surrounding woods in single file before being directed to split into two opposing lines and stand-off, face each other...and then yell tribal chants at one another… each line trying to outdo the other - instantly we’re a bunch of giggling kids and age a lost meaningless number, and so began a day of us all re-finding our inner child and woodland spirit.
On the bank of the Fal, hidden amongst trees and sat on a ring of upturned logs, we were presented with knives to begin our first lesson; whittling and knife care. I’ve often dreamed of whittling elaborate figurines while being trapped out in the wilds, but knife in hand and now faced with my first task of building a peg for a hunting snare, turns out a peg isn’t as easy as I’d presumed, I quickly shelve dreams of whittling whales and seals for the time being and concentrate on my task of a ridged straight 4 inch peg. We’re instructed with zeal and enthusiasm and infused with a healthy respect for the knives we’ve been entrusted. “Remember blade away from you, and always kept on you, lose your knife and you’ve lost yourself”. 2 minutes later I have put my knife down as I hunt out a spot for a snare, and I definitely know where I’ve left it...definitely…
The morning proceeds to pass in a heady excitement as one seemingly simple task builds on another, before the mornings out we’ve made our own string from an array of local plants, whittled pegs, devised and loaded our little snares and ensconced the surrounding hillside with a rabbit’s worst nightmare, only to realise the photographers dog is about the size of a rabbit, and how many snares did we make again?
Now we have our imaginary game in hand, we are all successful survival enthusiasts, but we have a dilemma - we need fire to cook our trappings. Our next lesson has us identifying the elements of a successful fire, and what would be best sought out from nature’s larder to feed our fledgling fires. In pairs, we gather our graded kindling and then armed with our magnesium fire starters, we scrape indiscriminate sparks onto carefully constructed tipis. The smile from those tendrils of flame, are never lost and once we successfully have our fire roaring, we then help the younger elements of the pack get their signal fires lit.
The day is flying by and the afternoon brings us more games, and the final test: shelter building, fire building and trap setting…all in 20 minutes. We scamper off again in our pairs, to seek out the best real estate for our den building escapades. A fallen tree and upturned root base suddenly seems like an excellent home, funny how in a couple of hours I’ve reset my expectations of what constitutes a desirable shelter. The next 20 minutes sees a mad flurry of on the fly design, leaves pile up and branches rib out a cave-like-hollow in our dead tree, our neighbours being 20 years our junior seem lost and dazed by the size of construction, but hell we’re kids as well today and haven’t they heard of survival of the fittest? 20 minutes we stand next to our townhouse, fire pit and handy garden snare. We tour one another’s shelters and introduce the reasons behind our choices, and attempt to impress upon our gathered kin the merits of his or her shelters.
The day has grown long and the shadows lie around us, the last rays of sunlight breaking through from the horizon, we are a tired collection of smiles, faces covered in the mud from our earlier lesson in the art of camouflage and subterfuge, but not one person holds a worry, our day of bushcraft has whisked us from the day to day and rekindled a much needed connection to the simplicity that only nature allows."
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27 Oct 2021 - 27 Oct 2021