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Spring Cream – Essential European Blossom Identification

Spring Cream – Essential European Blossom Identification

Spring is a time of great change. The dormancy of winter gives way to energetic new growth. In this period, the dark skeletons of deciduous trees begin to show colour and movement, and when you look closely there is some fascinating detail to complement the obvious beauty. One of the aspects of spring that is most obvious and most pleasing on the eye is blossom. Here I look at a range of common and widespread European species of tree that produce profuse blossom and examine the similarities, differences and unique characteristics of each to help you identify them…

Catkins In Common: Distinct Features Of Three Widespread European Trees

Catkins In Common: Distinct Features Of Three Widespread European Trees

The vibrant blossoms of spring, such as on cherry trees, are obvious, particularly when these blooms are shown off to their best in bright sunshine. The flowers of other trees, however, are less obvious, especially when they are less obviously flowers. In this article I put a highlight on the flower structures of three very widespread and common European tree species, along with related details, that will help you identify these species in late winter and early spring – a time when the easiest identification features (their leaves) are not yet present…

PK Podcast 038: Justin Barbour On Exploring The Wilderness Of Newfoundland And Labrador

PK Podcast 038: Justin Barbour On Exploring The Wilderness Of Newfoundland And Labrador

In the Spring of 2017 Justin and his dog Saku set off on a a traverse of Newfoundland. Starting on snowshoes and hauling a sled, Justin switched to backpacking and pakrafting once the conditions allowed. 68 days and 700km later, Justin and Saku had crossed the island of Newfoundland from West to East, beginning on the Gulf of St Lawrence and ending up in Cape Broyle on the Atlantic Ocean. Justin joins me on Paul Kirtley Podcast episode 38 to talk about this and other adventures he’s had in his native Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada…

Ten Ways To Boost Your Bushcraft Skills Through The New Year

Ten Ways To Boost Your Bushcraft Skills Through The New Year

Moving from one year to the next is often a time of reflection. What did we do in the last year? How did we do? Did we reach our goals? What do we want do achieve in the coming year? Where do we want to go? In terms of bushcraft skills, some of us can have focused or even lofty goals, while others don’t really think of wilderness skills and structured self-improvement in the same mental space at all. But if you want to improve your bushcraft skills through the coming year, here’s ten suggested areas to work on, as well as several over-arching principles to keep you on the right path…

PK Podcast 035: Anna Lewington On Adventures In Ethnobotany And The Bounty Of Birches

PK Podcast 035: Anna Lewington On Adventures In Ethnobotany And The Bounty Of Birches

Anna Lewington, ethnobotanist and author, joins me to talk about adventures in the Peruvian Amazon, writing the seminal book Plants For People, being an inspiration for the Eden Project, being part of the BBC’s Rough Science series, reviving traditional rush crafts, documenting food plant festivals and her latest work, Birch, a new book that is a celebration of the practical and cultural importance of the birches…

PK Podcast 034: Lou Rudd On The Motivation To Traverse Antarctica Solo, Unsupported and Unaided

PK Podcast 034: Lou Rudd On The Motivation To Traverse Antarctica Solo, Unsupported and Unaided

In this episode I am joined by Louis Rudd, MBE. This interview with Lou was recorded in late October 2018, shortly before he departed for Chile and then onto Antarctica to attempt a solo, unsupported and unaided crossing of the Antarctic Continent via the South Pole. This means simply manhauling everything he needs for the trip, accepting no assistance and not using any aids such as kites to pull him along. It’ll be entirely under his own steam. This is a challenge no-one has previously successfully completed…

#AskPaulKirtley 79 – Sharpening Stones, Boreal Cutting Tools, Quilts vs Bags, A Small Rant Plus An Important Announcement

#AskPaulKirtley 79 – Sharpening Stones, Boreal Cutting Tools, Quilts vs Bags, A Small Rant Plus An Important Announcement

In this episode of #AskPaulKirtley I answer questions about axe stones and keeping them in shape, using a parang in the boreal, quilts vs sleeping bags. demographics of bushcraft course participants, when to use the finer side of a sharpening stone, visiting North American bushcraft festivals and shows. At the beginning of the show there is an important announcement and part way through I also have a bit of a rant….