This summer Beacons Field Studies are offering the chance for your family bubble and maybe some firends to design your own bushcraft sessions at venues in and around the Brecon Beacons. Just pick the activities you’d like from the menu below and we’ll build your day or half-day around you. We’re keeping it to family and friends for now to keep things as Covid secure as they can be, so that there aren’t issues with sharing toilets or equipment and social distancing can be more relaxed. It also means you get to have a fantastic family day together in the great outdoors, doing and learning what you want to do, in a way that’s tailored to you.
Sessions start at £75 for a half day session for your bubble of up to six people, including adults and children. Suitable for ages 5 and above, and we expect an adult(s) to stay with children, ideally take part, or at least stay on site for safety reasons. If you choose not to take part, we can at least provide a comfy place to watch and access to a kettle and hot drinks. Current venues are Trewern Outdoor Education Centre in Cusop near Hay-on-Wye with other options in the pipeline.
~ Menu ~
Fire! Learn to light fire using a range of techniques and materials from primitive to modern. We might use sparks or friction, sunlight or electricity to get a few different types of tinder to light (or at least try to!), maybe even make firelighters and learn to build the right fire for your needs. We’ll also show you how to keep you and the environment safe, and what to do when the fire is finished. Could also involve some simple cooking, such as boiling a kettle, toasting marshmallows, popcorn, dampers or similar.
Backwoods cooking. Having learned to build and light a fire, we will prepare a meal using simple materials. It could be making a foragers soup, making a cake, pizza, chocolate oranges or something more advanced: the sky is the limit! There may be an additional charge to cover the cost of supplies for this activity.
Shelter building/tarpology. Providing shelter is one of the basic needs for survival, and there are so many ways you could go about it. We could build shelters from all natural/found materials, or get into the science of making a range of shelters from a tarp to compare their merits. If you wanted it could even become competitive, and it’s up to you whether you want to test their weather-proof properties!
Pioneering. This is the skill of building structures or gadgets from poles and string to make camp more comfortable. We’ve made tables, benches, washstands, welly racks, flag poles and even bridges before, plus there’s always the possibility of a ballista building competition.
Foraging. Learn to identify a few common safe foods to eat for free. Whether it be leaves, flowers or fruit, there’s usually something you can find to eat in the woods. Some taste good raw, while others might be better in an herbal tea or an ingredient in something we cook together. We’ll show you how to gather both safely and ethically.
Tracking. This could be one of two things: laying a trail for others to follow, or looking for wildlife tracks. Either way, this activity will open your eyes to the signs and symbols of trail finding, and you may never walk past a puddle in the same way again! Some venues also lend themselves to a little natural navigation and/or geocaching.
Whittling. Simply using a knife to fashion useful or decorative items from wood, whether that be musical instruments, tools, or figurines. Only suitable for older children, or those with some experience of using knives.
Exploration. A walk with us as your guide. We never know what we might find, but there’s always something interesting to find out or look for.
Anything else?! Is there something bushcrafty/outdoorsy that you’d like to try that isn’t listed here? Team building? Problem solving? Navigation? First aid? Talk to us and we’ll see what we can do. Open to creative/crafty ideas too.
All of the above could work as half day activities, and some could be extended to a full day in their own right, but in general a full day would mean a combination of a few activities. You could combine a session of foraging/tracking/exploration with a quick firelighting or cooking session when you return, or spend the whole day on site, building fires, cooking, whittling and building shelters: it’s your choice, just have a chat with us and between us we can put a great day together. Please note: while we do have some flexibility, session programmes need be arranged and agreed upon by both parties in advance. We are willing to take bookings up to 24 hours in advance.
At time of booking all participants will be sent our risk assessments, which include our Covid-19 procedures.
All participants should be free from Covid-19 symptoms, should not have been contacted by test and trace or otherwise be self isolating, and agree to inform us if symptoms develop within 14 days of your session. During the session our intsructor will endeavour to maintain social distancing as much as possible. Hand washing facilities/hand sanitiser/wipes will be available and easily accessible.