Making A Leather Belt – Part 2

•December 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Leather Belt - TemplatesFollowing on from the tutorial on how to make a leather belt, I have decided to share with you the templates that I use for the buckle end, and the tail end of the belt.

As I mentioned in the original post, the ‘rule of thumb’ that I use for determining the length of blank required was: waist size + 10in (waist size being “I wear 32in trousers”)

This will only work if three conditions are met:

  1. You are using a 1.5in wide blank
  2. The buckle end has a 3.5in overlap
  3. The tail end is 4in from the last hole

Continue reading ‘Making A Leather Belt – Part 2’

Making A Leather Belt – Tutorial

•December 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Handmade Leather BeltI’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time, so here goes…I’m going to show you how I make leather belts.  There are numerous methods for achieving the same goal, but this method is my own adaptation of reading endless tutorials, articles, and forum threads, as well as watching numerous videos freely available on the web.  It is not intended as final ‘one shoe fits all’ method – use it as a stepping stone to develop your own methods and see what works for you.  Ok, here we go…

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Making A Ripstop Nylon Stuff Sack

•November 27, 2011 • 1 Comment

After much time spent experimenting and tweaking, I now have a design of stuff sack that I’m happy with.  In this post I shall be showing you how I make them, with some helpful tips along the way.

These are not difficult to make – a little tricky in places, but if you know how operate a sewing machine, then you’ll be just fine!

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Paragliding in the Lakes

•July 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

ParaglidingThis is another exerpt from our recent holiday in the Lake District.  Apologies for the late arrival of this post.  As instructed, I rang the paragliding school at 9am sharp to discover if today was going to be flyable.  The weather has been a little hit and miss so far, but luckily, it turns out that it was a perfect day to fly.

After a short drive up to Castlerigg Stone Circle I met up with Gordie Oliver from Air Ventures (  I thought we were flying from here, but it turns out he simpley uses this as a meeting place, and to assess the weather (it has good views of the surrounding fells).

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Skiddaw – A Baptism Of Fire

•June 21, 2011 • 1 Comment

Recently, while on our annual holiday, we decided that the time had come to attempt something a little different…..ascending the mighty Skiddaw.  Whilst it’s not the highest summit in England, it does boast a 3053ft (931m) elevation.  This makes it the fourth highest in the Lake District (the highest being Scafell Pike, which incidentally is also the highest in England).

At 1pm on the dot, on a sunny Sunday we set off on foot from our Cottage in Millbeck, following the Allerdale Ramble route (‘ramble’ invites positive thoughts on what lay ahead – a nice Sunday stroll – how wrong could we have been!).

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Rab Sleeping Bags – A Comparison

•June 6, 2011 • 2 Comments

As part of my ongoing quest to streamline my gear, one of the key things for me was the weight and bulk of a sleeping bag.  It is probably one of the most important pieces of kit that you will ever carry, and as such, quality is paramount.

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Understanding The Great Outdoors – Part Two: The Wilderness Experience

•June 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

As stated in Part One, we don’t have a lot of “wilderness” in Britain – certainly in terms of the scale of wilderness which ecopsychologists in the USA talk of. What areas there are, with perhaps the exception of the far north-west of Scotland, are already under tourist pressure, and much of the rest of the country has been re-modelled by modern agriculture since the 1950s. Even so, there are pockets that you can find where, if only fleetingly, you can experience a clear contrast to the patterns of modern life; watching the sunset or sunrise, listening to insects and birds, or, when camping over-night far away from the most urbanised areas, perhaps seeing the night sky in all its brilliant detail for the first time.

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Understanding The Great Outdoors – Part One: Wilderness – a problem of definition

•May 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Firstly, let me apologise for the lack of posts on here recently.  Life sometimes takes us in many different directions, and as such Ive been more than a little busy!

Below is the first article in a series based around understanding the great outdoors, and the effects it has on those who undertake ventures into the wilderness.  It is an extract from a publication by FRAW (The Free Range Activism Website).

The Free Range Network’s ‘Great Outdoors’ initiative encourages people to camp outdoors because it is a means to learning the skills to live with less material goods. However, it also creates in us, through practical experience, a sense that we are each capable of leading such a lifestyle. As William Cobbett stated more than a hundred and eighty years ago, “’Health, peace and competence’, one of the wisest of men regards as the only things needful to man; but the two former are scarcely to be had without the latter”. Our hope is that the ‘competence’ that we can develop through simple ‘rough’ or ‘wild’ camping can enable us all to find health and peace in the coming strife of the global energy crisis.

Continue reading ‘Understanding The Great Outdoors – Part One: Wilderness – a problem of definition’

Lathkill Dale – Sunshine Picnic

•May 4, 2011 • 1 Comment

A few days ago my nearest and dearest suggested we go for a picnic to make the most of the lovely British weather we’ve been having recently.

After a brief brainstorm we came up with Lathkill Dale.  We last visited the Dale a few years ago (also in Spring), and was amazed with the amount of wildlife, and history that surrounds it.

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Custom Hammock from

•April 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This review is written by Steve aka Silverhill Forge.

I’ve been using hammocks for a while now, preferring them to ground dwelling in all but the coldest depths of winter, and it suits me just fine. Like many tree-dwellers, I started with the DD Frontline, which is an excellent piece of kit, robustly made and with a bargain price tag……….However…..I soon developed a roving eye for other designs.

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