This Week’s Show 12th April 2008



It’s a packed show tonight starting with The Country Food Trust and What They Do, then the Wilderness Gathering 16 to19th August 4 Days, Wild Garlic Butter, Pine Needle Tea, Dandelion Coffee, Dandelion Fritters, Catapult Hunting and UK Law, Fear and What It Does, The Zip Lock Bag Omelette, Being Prepared, My Survival Fishing Kit,

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Nuclear Survival Course FB

My Book

Paul the owner at the Northern Shooting Show has very kindly given me two free entry tickets to give to two lucky winners of this small competition.

To enter all you have to do is like and share the post on my FB page marked The NSS Competion.

The show on the 12th and 13th of May at the Yorkshire Show ground in Harrogate will encompass all aspects of shooting, and includes airguns, specialist outdoor clothing/ tactical clothing ,military surplus stalls, accessories, game bird/ pigeon preparation demos, Woodland Ways have demonstrations on game prep fire lighting etc.

The Pheasant Casserole and Partridge Curry MRS Review

The Coury Food Trust and What They Do

In simple terms, they are a charity food producer making top quality protein based food which they donate to charities who feed people in need. The charity is funded by individual donors, corporate supporters and charitable organisations.

They started by speaking to charities that told them they get a lot of nutritionally low value food – but very little meat and they had little chilling or freezer capacity. They knew there were affordable, plentiful and nutritional meat sources available which they could turn into meals and they worked with charities on the product design.

Currently they have two products, The Country Casserole, a nutritious and warming pheasant casserole and The Country Curry, a mildly spicy partridge curry.

In 2016 they produced 20,408 meals and in 2017 they produced 100,000 meals. These meals are donated to those in food poverty either directly to people in need, charities who feed people in need or through amazing charities like FareShare who distribute food nationwide to other charities.

They wanted to increase thier financial sustainability, so, they sell our meals on the basis that for every meal purchased another will be distributed to someone in poverty. The charity is not for profit so all money raised from selling our produce goes back to feeding more people in need. Currently they sell to supporters, online and are looking at farm shops. They also sell or aim to sell at events such as Fairs, Country Shows and Music events.

The Partridge Curry was very tasty indeed if not a little hot/spicy, but warming and filling when eaten with rice.

The Pheasant Casserole did not disappoint either, I love it very tasty and filling when eaten with mash.

These meals are not only worth in they are as MRE’s are supposed to be filling, easy to store (room temp) easy to heat and for everyone you buy you know that the Country Food trust will donate a Partridge Curry or Pheasant Casserole to a person in poverty, what a great idea.

The Pheasant Casserole and the Partridge Curry from The Country Food Trust (meat supplied by

Wilderness Gathering 16 to19th August 4 Days

The Wilderness Gathering has over the years become a firm date in the diaries of those who enjoy bushcraft, nature and wilderness survival skills.

The previous ten years have seen this event grow from a small event in one field with some traders and schools sharing bushcraft skills and knowledge to a festival of wilderness living skills encompassing bushcraft/survival and woodland crafts.

The show has grown into an event with something for all the family with stories and music by the campfire in the evenings and skills workshops and activities throughout the three whole days of the festival.

The Wilderness Gathering has without a doubt become the premier family event for all those interested in bush crafts and the great outdoors.

The show has bushcraft clubs for all age groups of children to get involved in plus more activities for all including den building and wilderness skills classes for all.

There are hands on demonstrations of game preparation, knife sharpening, basha and boat building, bowmaking, greenwood working, archery and axe throwing and primitive fire lighting to name just a few.

There are talks on survival phycology, classes on falconry and wilderness survival fishing. All of these skills are there for everybody and anybody to participate in.

You can probably pick up information on nearly all the skills needed to live in the wilderness and prosper at The Wilderness Gathering.

There is a wealth of good quality trade stands that are carefully selected to be in theme for the show selling everything from custom knives to tipis and outdoor clothing to primitive tools.

The organisers have even laid on a free service bring and buy stall where you can bring along your used and unwanted kit and they’ll sell it for you.

There are local scout and explorer groups onsite promoting the World Wide Scouting Movement as well helping out with some of the classes and site logistics.

The catering is within the theme of the event with venison and game featuring on the menus plus organic cakes and drinks.

The woodland and open field camping facilities (with hot showers) giving you the option to visit for the whole weekend or just to attend as a day visitor.

Check out or call 0845 8387062 you really won’t regret it.

Wild Garlic Butter

Now, are you ready for the easiest recipe ever? To make your own wild garlic butter, all you’ll need is:
250g Butter
1 Shallot
1 tbsp chopped parsley
4/5 wild garlic leaves, washed
Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz until combined. Season to taste.
Now roll it up in to a sausage shape and wrap it in “cling Film” and put into the freezer. When needed simply slice off as much as you want.
Or cut sausage into slices and separate with greaseproof paper.
This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for two weeks.

Pine Needle Tea

I thought that would introduce you to a simple tea that is delicious, healthy and a great immune booster.

For those of you who are new to the world of plants, a safe and simple tea can be made from the common Pine trees that surround us.

Pine Needle Tea has long been a favourite of traditional and indigenous peoples, both for its refreshment and for its medicinal values. You may not realize that Pine Needle Tea contains 4-5 times the Vitamin C of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and is high in Vitamin A.

It is also an expectorant (thins mucus secretions), decongestant, and can be used as an antiseptic wash when cooled. So not only does it taste good, but it’s good for you!

Each variety of pine has its own flavour to impart, so experiment and see which needles you like best. And feel free to mix and match!

Just remember that while all Pines are evergreens, not all
evergreens are Pines! So head out to the local woods or park, positively identify your pine trees, bring back some needles and give this one a try!

Here is how to make Pine Needle Tea:

Collect a small bundle of green needles, the younger the better. (A small handful will be plenty.)

Remove any of the brown, papery sheaths that may remain at the base of the needles. (They just pull right off.)

Chop the needles into small bits, about ¼ to ½ inch long.

For a Refreshing Tea:

Heat about a cup of water to just before boiling.

Bring water almost to a boil

Pour the hot water over about a tablespoon of the chopped

Allow to steep (preferably covered) for 5-10 minutes, until the majority of needles have settled to the bottom of the cup. Enjoy your delicious tea!

Dandelion Coffee

Having washed the roots thoroughly roast them until they have changed colour from being off-white to light/dark brown.

Then crush/blitz I to a powder.

For each 8 oz of water you are making, use 1-2 teaspoons of the roasted root.

Add the root to simmering water and continue to simmer while covered for 7–15 minutes

The resulting brew will be darkly coloured.

I enjoy my dandelion coffee with cream, and many people enjoy adding honey as well.

Dandelion Fritters

This time of year, one of my favourite activities is making and eating dandelion flower fritters.
The simple dandelion is one of my favourite herbs.

Did I just say herb in reference to dandelion

Yep!  This plant is tenacious, despite many peoples best efforts to eradicate it from their lawns, and thankfully so since she has so much to offer.

But, I was going to tell you about fritters.

First of all I love gathering the dandelion flowers – just the tops for fritters.

Pick them in the sunshine when they are open, and when you have time to make the fritters right after gathering.

Bring your flowers inside, wash well, find a bowl, and mix together one egg and one cup of milk.
Stir in a cup of flour and your fritter batter is ready to go.

Catapult Hunting and UK Law

It is completely legal to shoot rabbits with a catapult with the intention to kill. So if you are looking for dinner you can use a catapult, it is legal.

However you must:

Have permission from the landowner to do so first!

Be proficient enough to be able to kill, and must use suitable projectiles to ensure this! For example steel ball bearings.

Intend to kill.

It is also important to note: The Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996 which makes it an offence to injure, maim, beat with sticks, torment, burn, wild animals etc. .

In other words not to kill but merely to cause suffering.

Therefore if you are seen shooting at a rabbit time and time again without killing or stunning the rabbit only hitting it, this could be seen as contrary to this act, and would need to answer for it, possibly in court.

Therefore power, accuracy, using adequate and suitable projectiles, and at a range whereby an accurate shot will kill, is vital to be and be seen to be within the law.

Anyone hunt with a catapult?

When I was younger I used to make my own catapults and hunt rats, squirrels and pheasants with steel bearings.

I was playing out in the snow today with my hand made EL Cocodrillo Catapult from and was amazed that I was back to grouping bearings in a 1.5 inch group at 20 yards again in no time.

Think I will have to practice some more and maybe have a hunt on the tree rats around here.

This catapult as with all of Elite’s catapults is designed to fit into your hand and feel like it is supposed to be there it is so easy to use.


Use an old cardboard box, full of crumpled papers such as computer paper, newspaper etc., and take a couple of drawing pins, staples or tape etc. and fasten a target on the box – and shoot away.

At the end of the session, you can take out the papers and shake them lightly, recovering your ammo – for your next volley.

Be sure to try various distances, and various sizes of ammo, and varying weights – practice as much as you can before actually going out hunting.

I usually like a bull’s eye of about two inches square, with the target placed about 10 feet away to start, and then extend my distance out to twenty five yards.


Firstly, be ethical, and practice at home with your catapult before venturing out in to

the field to hunt for rabbits, grouse, pheasants, pigeons, squirrels etc.

We want good clean killing shots. As well, be ethical, and take only shots at close range, learn how to hunt various animals, so that you get very close to them before taking your shot.

Nearly any ‘small game’ can be shot and killed effectively at close range with a catapult, but rabbits & pheasants are likely the easiest because they often ‘stand still’ and will allow a catapult hunter to get within several feet allowing for an excellent shot.

Often these animals will hold tight for a second and even a third shot if need be. Your adrenaline will be surging – and you will experience ‘buck fever’ so – beforehand – practice, practice, practice!

Get as close as you can to your quarry, and by using the same catapult draw technique that you use for target shooting, but with the heavier hunting ammo, draw back, taking aim at the head of your target/quarry, and let fly!

Pigeons, especially in barns can also be great sport, in that one usually has an excellent shooting opportunity, and you won’t put holes in the roof, either. Most farm folk don’t like pigeons in their barn: pigeons are carriers of much disease!

Small glass marbles (like you played marbles with, as a kid!) work well for this plinking, and is a cheap source of ammo that is obtainable by all. I don’t recommend using them for hunting purposes.

Fear and What It Does

What can freeze a human being on the spot, erase the memory of every plan, cause a heart attack, and possibly dirty your pants as well? Fear. You’ll notice it’s a four-letter word and should be treated as such.

It is insidious, diabolical and sneaky and can really turn rock-solid men or women into melting crying wimps.

Fear is usually the result of some sort of sensory overload – something you see, hear, feel, even imagine- that sets off a string of involuntary responses in your body.

You can learn to identify it and manage it, but you cannot control it unless you eliminate the source of the fear and thus the fear altogether.

There are different levels of fear as well, from low-level anxiety to all-out panic attacks.

Your body has different levels of involuntary responses to each.

It can be very helpful to know what your body is doing while you’re going through such episodes, so that you can plan to be prepared during anything.

For the purposes of this article – keeping yourself alive in a survival situation- we’re going to focus on a genuine, heart-stopping event of fear – like a terrorist attack or a wild animal attack.

Events that you hope to never encounter, but when you do, you “will” be afraid.

It is important to realize that all human beings are susceptible to fear and it’s okay. God designed our bodies with responses to keep us alive.

But these same responses, if we’re not aware of them and educated, can create a survival dilemma.

So, let’s look at what happens in our bodies when the terrorist attacks and think through what we can do to best maximize our survival potential considering these phenomena. What goes on when the panic button goes off?

The terrorist attacks (and I want to say, THIS is my own personal nightmare scenario) having lived through the “troubles” in N.I. I have seen many bombs explode, seen and heard gun fights and lived through uncertainty for many years.

The first bombs where frightening and we where scared, but as time went on we became used to them and in fact got annoyed when TV programs where interrupted with requests for shop owners to return to their premises.

You see the fear was in the uncertainty not the explosion itself.

Right away you will have a racing heart rate, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) goes hog-wild by immediately releasing tons of stress hormones- called adrenaline – into the circulatory system.

This is a reflex. You can’t control it.

The chemical cocktail is the basis for the body’s fight-or-flight- mechanism and is characterized by several factors including an increased heart rate (from 70 beats per minute to more than 200 in less than one second), increased cardiac output, higher blood pressure, and increased blood sugar.

Blood is diverted from organs to the larger muscle groups, resulting in increased strength capabilities and enhanced gross motor skills while the breathing rate accelerates, thereby transporting greater amounts of oxygen to the newly recruited muscle fibers.

At the same time, sweating increases to cool the muscles. Minor blood vessels in the arms and legs constrict to reduce bleeding from potential injuries, digestion ceases, and muscle tremors take over.

The pupils dilate, reducing depth perception, while axillary muscle performance takes a nosedive, creating blurred vision. And, as if this isn’t enough, the field of sight narrows, producing tunnel vision.

To a greater or lesser extent, time appears to pass more slowly, called the tache-psyche effect, allowing for increased reaction time to perceived emergency.

So, if you wind up outdoors faced with your real fear, you better have thought out a plan of action beforehand, wouldn’t you say?

You can’t see well, your judgement is impaired, your circulatory system could be messing with your core body temperature, putting you at risk, and you have no fine or complex motor skills.

One thing he adds later, is that you also lose parasympathetic nerve system control – read: bowel control. Down in those war trenches it got nasty…

Think through all your gear in your pack. What kind of fire starter/s do you have packed? Things that need fine motor skills to get a fire going? How about your shelter?

Complicated or simple? Always consider the worst-case scenario and using these facts about your body in crisis, plan for survival!


The Zip Lock Bag Omelette

And this is what you will you will need:

A large size plastic freezer ziplock bag for each person

A permanent marker

2 eggs per person

A large pot of water

Tongs optional

Ideas for ingredients to add to your Omelet:

 Precooked meat
(bacon, sausage, ham)


Any kind of green pepper, sweet or hot pepper





Salt and pepper, or seasoning of your choice

Diced Tomatoes

Any foraged foods.


Break your eggs into the bag add your ingredients, now squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible and zip it shut.

Move the ingredients gently around to ensure they are mixed then add the bag into the boiling water for about 13 to 15 minutes. Job done

Being Prepared

A popular misconception about being prepared is that you are preparing for a total, catastrophic meltdown that throws us all back to the stone age.

One minute we’re living, the next we’re running around in chest rigs and getting into fire fights with those who would take what we have.

A SHTF event can be anything from an aggravating annoyance to what I have just described.

You can move or leave if it’s a localized event so it’s not SHTF

There are any number of scenarios where this simply isn’t true medical issues, family responsibilities, jobs, resources, quickness of weather events, etc. can all conspire to prevent you from dashing off to safety.

And even if you could, I can’t think of a worse case of the poop hitting the ventilation than having my home destroyed or a family member killed.

Minor things like flat tires are so easy to deal with that they aren’t SHTF events

Really? Your car gets a flat in a coned off work area on the motorway, it’s hanging out into a lane of traffic and the flat tire is on the traffic side.

As those cars whiz by your head please explain to the class how you aren’t in a bad situation.

Take it a step further. Now it’s your wife or daughter. When they call you on the phone in hysterics just tell them to suck it up and how “minor” the situation is.

Let me know how it turns out.

You break your leg. Not a SHTF event, right? What if you just started a small business? You have three contracts at different places and are a one-man operation.

Now you can’t work, can’t bill and can’t make money. Oh yea, your contracts will likely replace you with someone else.

Call me crazy, but something like that seems bad, no?

Because a situation is minor for you doesn’t mean it will be minor for all in your care.

Furthermore, any number of circumstances can ambush you to turn a minor event into a
full blown catastrophe.

You go out to dinner with the family. You are on the way home and find your house has burnt to the ground.

A chemical truck spills and releases toxic gas into the air. You must leave and leave right now.

You have just enough time to grab your family but must leave your dog standing on the front porch.

A major blizzard snows in your elderly father. His power goes out and he needs his insulin to survive.

There is no way for him to leave, and very little chance of someone getting to him.

You move into a dream home for which you have saved your entire life. Six months later an earthquake damages it beyond repair.

You then find out your cut-rate insurance doesn’t cover the damages and you don’t have
the money to fix your house.

You are on the way to take your oldest son to college. As you pull out of the driveway the phone rings. It’s your boss and you’ve just been fired.

Now sure, those are fabricated situations. But you can’t deny that in each one of them some level of crap has solidly hit the fan.

If I prepare for Mad-Max I’m prepared for all of the smaller things that could happen

People who focus on Mad-Max also tend to focus a lot on MRE’s and guns.

They also tend to overlook little things like tire repair kits, quality foot ware, cooking equipment, how they will take care of bodily waste, etc. etc.

While you are planning for your trip to live in the woods, did you remember to buy rock salt so when your driveway is a sheet of ice you can get out?

You know what else they tend to overlook?

Training. Yea. really important to know how to do stuff, not just have all the gear and no idea.

It’s just too easy to get wrapped up in the fantasy land of becoming a wandering one-man army in your brand new multicam kit and your 1000-yard rifle when all you think about is SHTF.

Trust me, it will cause you to overlook a simple preparation along the way.

My Survival Fishing Kit

Many commercial survival kits contain a few small hooks, tiny, weights, and a short length of lightweight fishing line.

With some live bait an amateur could use that miniature fishing kit to catch a few small fish for food.

However, small fish contain very little meat and it would take many of them to make a meal.

There will be many setbacks, such as broken lines and lost hooks. A tiny fishing kit of this type might help catch a few small fish, but it isn’t going to do much good in a real survival situation.

Further, most would not know how to use that gear to catch fish when live bait is unavailable.

I love fishing and I wanted to design a survival fishing kit for myself, a kit I could have fun with as well as a kit capable of providing fresh food in a survival situation.

It stands to reason that commercial fishing line will be far better than any fishing line I could make in a true survival situation.

Generally speaking, a half-mile of commercial fishing line weighs only about one-quarter of a pound, can be contained on a spool the size of a human fist, and costs less than a typical fast-food lunch.

With the internet and a little surfing you can source cheap line in fact some is free if you pay shipping.

For me it is simply a must-have item for fishing kit.

Fishing line is available in many different strengths and styles. For example, a hooked quarter-pound fish tugging on a small 6-pound test monofilament line will probably not cause it to break, but the line will likely snap if you have hooked a twenty-pound fish.

Abrasion from jagged rocks and underwater obstructions will also weaken a fishing line, as will fishing in extremely cold water.

Having a stronger fishing line than you expect to need is the key, but smaller fish can become “spooked” by a strong large-diameter fishing line. A fluorocarbon line can overcome this problem as it is nearly invisible in the water, but small-diameter fluorocarbon lines can still break when big fish are hooked.

In a survival situation a person would want to catch fish of all sizes so a versatile line is needed.

Chosing the best all-purpose survival fishing line is a matter of personal opinion, but I would recommend a braided line which generally has 3-5 times the breaking strength of a monofilament or fluorocarbon line.

For example, a braided line having a 50-pound breaking strength can have a line diameter equivalent to a 10-pound monofilament or fluorocarbon line. Even with mild abrasion damage, such a strong braided line would continue to be useful for fishing as opposed to most lightweight monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line of equal diameter.

Remember the weakest link in the set up is at the knot which ties the line to the hook, a fact which is especially true for braided lines.

I suggest having pre tied hooks to line with you, it’s a lot easier than than trying to do this with freezing cold fingers.

Fishing hooks can be crafted by hand from wire, wood, or bone with unpredictable results, but off-the-shelf hooks are far superior in strength, sharpness, design, and function.

Plenty of straight hooks in small and large sizes as well as medium-sized treble hooks are also must-have items for survival fishing kits. Both modern-day fishing line and hooks are so useful, effective, dependable, and affordable it makes little sense to be without them and try to make your own.

From a minimalist perspective strong fishing line and hooks are the two primary items in my fishing kit and I would be content just having that. However, I can greatly improve my kit without adding much bulk by including the following:

Multi-tool containing pliers and a single-edge knife blade (for hook removal, scaling/cleaning fish, and crafting artificial lures)

Container with lid (such as a small tin or margarine tub, used to contain the miscellaneous hardware noted below, also useful to hold live bait when needed)

Many large and small paper clips, safety pins, rubber bands; as well as a few strong finishing nails (miscellaneous useful hardware)

A small pack which will be useful for storing the entire fishing kit

Of course, a telescoping fishing rod and a reel can be useful too, but they are bulky and can break fairly easily.

I have the Pen Fishing Rod and Reel which I really love to fish with.

Other fishing kits use a small hand-held stick (or dowel rod) so the line can be retrieved by hand in the same way as when flying a kite.

I also have a small assortment of plastic baits, spinning lures, but don’t go overboard as the kit should be as compact as possible.

There are many ways to catch fish using hooks and line, one of which involves live bait.

Anything can be used as bait: worms, crickets, various bugs of all types, as well as pieces of raw meat. Small fish can be used as bait to catch larger fish.

Food such as fruit, bread, and kernels of corn can attract fish. Simply attach the bait to a hook which is tied to a line and cast the baited hook into the water.

Don’t expect instant results as several hours might pass before you catch a fish, if at all.

Use a short length of nylon cord to retain captured fish by feeding one end of it into the mouth of the fish and working it out through the gills. Allow the captured fish to remain in the water while securing both ends of the nylon cord on the shoreline so the fish do not swim away.

If weight is needed to keep the bait on the bottom of the water then rocks can come in handy for this purpose.

Using a separate three-foot strand of nylon cord, repeatedly wrap and tie the rock into a cocoon of sorts which can easily be tied to a baited fishing line.

I do not use floats as are not usually needed to catch fish, but when necessary they can be fashioned from nearly any piece of buoyant material.

The small paper clips and safety pins can help serve as attachment points for weights and floats while the large paper clips can be used to create artificial lures.

There are two main types of artificial lures we can easily craft using common and natural materials. One is a weighted jig we can bounce on the bottom of the lake to imitate the actions of a frog or small fish.

A lure is not live bait, but with some practice we can convince predatory fish that it is alive.

Using a large straight hook and a rubber band, tightly bind a pea-sized rock near the eye of the hook. Within the many folds of that same rubber band attach several 2” pieces of nylon cord and fray the ends to create multiple separate strands of loose fiber.

These loose string tips will mimic hair or phalanges and add a bit of realism to our artificial lure when it is in the water.

Attach the lure to the fishing line, cast it into the water a fair distance from shore, and allow it to descend to the bottom.

Lightly tug on the fishing line every few seconds so the jig rises up from the bottom about 6-12” and then allow it to fall back to the bottom again. Repeat this fairly slow process until you have fully retrieved the lure, then cast it back out into the water and repeat the retrieval process again.

During the retrieval process, keep your eye focused on the fishing line at the point where it touches the surface of the water.

If the fishing line appears to be moving quickly in an unexpected direction chances are you have hooked a fish, so tug hard on the line to set the hook.

A jig is especially effective in places having lily pads or lots of underwater grass where larger fish might be hiding.

From my own personal experience using this technique, I have hooked several fish in 24 inches of water or less with some hooks being set when the jig was a few inches from the shoreline.

Another type of artificial lure we can craft is a plug which appears to swim in the water rather than bounce on the bottom. Slide a treble hook onto a large paper clip, tightly wrap a rubber band around the paper clip several times so the hook won’t slide off, and fasten the other end of the paper clip to the fishing line. Although small and very simple in appearance, fish can be enticed to believe this lure would make a good snack. Additional bulk material and weight can be added as desired.

Just about anything can serve as a plug, even an old metal bottle cap. In that example, fold the bottle cap in half using pliers (printed side out), use the nail with a “rock as a hammer” to create a hole on each pointed end of the folded cap, affix one end to a treble hook while the other end is tied to the fishing line. This kind of lure works better in streams and rivers as the moving water will help keep the lure in a near-constant swimming motion which can attract fish.

This simple fishing kit can offer numerous other fishing possibilities, especially when combined with objects found in our surroundings.

Having so many hooks, strong line, and nylon cord you could also create a trot line having many baited hooks. Bait a dozen hooks, tie them to 12-inch lengths of fishing line, and tie each of those pieces of fishing line to a 15-foot length of nylon cord at one-foot intervals. Secured in the water using a stake at each end, a nylon cord trot line can capture multiple fish even when it is left unattended for several hours. (NB illegal in the UK)

A decent and useful survival fishing kit need not be large or expensive, but it should be better than one which can fit inside the handle of a survival knife.

I say buy a good supply of strong fishing line and hooks as making these items by hand would be unnecessarily frustrating and time-consuming in a survival situation.

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