#AskPaulKirtley Episode 56 – Fire Reflectors, Sleep Rotation, Tarp Set-Ups & Kit Weight, Plants As Insect Repellents and Healing Agents

by Paul Kirtley

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Paul Kirtley delivering AskPaulKirtley episode 56

In this episode of #AskPaulKirtley I answer questions about what plant can be used for midge repellent in the UK, processing horse’s hoof fungus, tarp set-ups, kit weights and load outs, sleep rotation for fire watches, the efficacy of Platago major as a healing agent vs yarrow, as well as having a bit of a rant about fire reflectors…

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Links For This Episode of #AskPaulKirtley

The Paul Kirtley Podcast

Bog Myrtle As Insect Repellent

How To Deal With Creepy Crawlies When Camping

Bog Myrtle Balm

The Frontier Bushcraft Blog

The Easy Way to Use Fomes Fomentarius as Tinder

A Bushcraft Camping Outfit – Equipment for Living in the Woods

How To Pack A Bushcraft Camping Outfit

Surviving A Winter’s Night in the Northern Forest: How To Build An Arctic Lean-To

Arctic Lean-To Revisited

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Leave A Comment…

Leave me a comment below. Let me know what you think of this episode. I read every one.

But remember if you want to ask a question for a future episode, don’t do this in the comments below, do it in one of the ways explained HERE.

What Is #AskPaulKirtley?

#AskPaulKirtley is my Q&A video and podcast series that aims to answer your questions about bushcraft, survival skills and outdoor life.

The idea here is partly to take the strain off my email inbox and get answers out to people in a more timely fashion.

Rather than send an answer to just that one person, I’d like others to benefit from the answers too. So, just in the same way I’d previously write an email answer, here I’m going to speak the answer (which is much quicker than me typing out an answer, so I’ll get more questions answered as well as benefiting more people).

Click here to find out the different ways you can ask me a question.

Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog:

The River Crake Canoe Caper

Lightening The Load pt 1 – Tarp & Bivvy Sleep Systems

Lightweight Tarp And Bivvy Set-Up

Do Tarps Keep You Dry In The Rain?


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Paul Kirtley is an award-winning professional bushcraft instructor. He is passionate about nature and wilderness travel. In addition to writing this blog Paul owns and runs Frontier Bushcraft, a wilderness bushcraft school, offering bushcraft courses and wilderness expeditions.

Latest posts by Paul Kirtley (see all)


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Walmsley

Dear Paul,

Do you ever run courses in the North West or even Yorkshire or the Lake District?

I am considering attending a basic 2 day course with my son (age 14), but the South West is too far to travel.


Paul Walmsley


Paul Kirtley

Hi Paul,

At present, we only run our weekend courses at our Sussex site but we may extend to a northern venue too.

Warm regards,



Danny Barrett

Another great episode paul,thanks for answering my question.Had a great time on the elementary wilderness bushcraft coarse which you ran at frontier bushcraft.i highly recommend it to anyone that wants to excel at bushcraft skills.thanks again.


Paul Kirtley

My pleasure Danny.




philip morley

You’ve made some really good points about fire and tarps. I still like to play around with various ideas with pitching a tarp, some better than others but none-the-less, my own take on it.
Thanks again for an excellent Q & A episode.



Paul Kirtley

Hi Phil. I’m always interested to hear what solutions people come up with.

Warm regards,




Hi Paul
You make a lot of sense as usual. I really appreciated your in-put about keeping fires alight during sleep periods. As an older man I wake up a lot through the night so fire no issue. Yes drying wood and kindling/tender important on an on-going basis! Keep up the great work you do-appreciate the videos and photos of UK wild lands and flora.
Kind Regards
Jim Pacific NW


Marcus Eistert

Thank you for your comment about that stupid video wave about fire reflection walls! Of course a double lean to construction or a laavvu or Sami kotta offers a heated room. But a Garden Fence in such a distance is idiotic! The only reason can be to hide the fire. But the second lean to is faster done, especially if it is constructed in a V-angle with the closed side against the wind a good option.

Your jacket interests me, the waffel structure looks light and warm under a cotton ore Goretex outer layer. Who is producing it?
Best Regards


Paul Kirtley

Hi Marcus,

It’s good to hear from you. Thanks for your comment. I like you characterisation of the fire reflector as a “stupid garden fence”. I may have to borrow this description 🙂

The jacket is the Alpha jacket from Helikon-Tex.


Warm regards,



Andrew Martyn

Really enjoyed this podcast , very interesting and some good info. Good to have a rant now and again ..


Paul Kirtley

Glad you liked it Andrew. Thanks.


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