Kayaking, Navigation and Bushcraft: Accelerated Instructor Training 2016/17 – Week 5

We wrapped up with extra layers, filled flasks and braced ourselves for a week of Kayaking, Coasteering, Navigation and Bushcraft.


Land & Wave Accelerated Instructor Training – People, Places, Activities

We’re on week 5 of our Instructor Training Course and the weather has been beautifully frosty, sunny and clear, perfect for adventures on the sea and in the woods.

We wrapped up with extra layers, filled flasks and braced ourselves for a week of Kayaking, Coasteering, Navigation and Bushcraft.

  • Kayaking – BCU 2*
  • Coasteering – NCC Guide
  • Bushcraft – BBA Level 1
  • Navigation – South West Mountain & Moorlands (SWMM)


Kayaking – BCU 2*

This week saw three incredible Kayaking days and a whole load of smiling faces returning with tales of waterfalls, waves and wonders. We kayaked at Bramble Bush Bay tucked out of the wind to practice skills for 2* Assessments.

Everyone came back very happy with the day’s accomplishments and brimming with excitement to head out the next day on the sea journey. The destination of choice was Jack’s old faithful route – Kimmeridge bay and along to Egmont Point and it was amazing…


We were blessed with a clear sunny winter’s day and perfect moderate water conditions,  setting off and tracking distance along the Jurassic coast. A quick diversion was made after spotting some waves that looked perfect for surfing – highlights from the surfing session were Fenella with an excellent low brace side surf  and Erin with loads of time underwater but always a smile on his face.

Next up on the weeks adventures was the discovery of the waterfall at Egmont Point that provided the setting for some music video action – keep your eyes peeled for the great unveiling soon.


Navigation – South West Mountain & Moorlands (SWMM)

This navigation session fell on the first official day of Winter and the first real frost we’ve had on the Dorset coast. It certainly made for spectacular views as the team spread out along the Purbeck Hills and it was definitely the chilliest day out we’ve had yet. There were definitely a few red nosed faces that returned back to office to gather around the radiators and mugs of tea to thaw out.


Starting the day at Kimmeridge Quarry car park we split into pairs and set out on pre planned routes. Instructors Paul and Sam began with a journey to get them started and then let them work out a route to the check point in Corfe Castle. Erin and Sam were particularly quick on their feet and reached the meeting point first. Sophie and Matt stopped off at the bakery on the way and failed to bring treats for the rest of the group.

After all successfully meeting up we got cracking with some camp craft skills and set up a variety of tents – something that will be a vital part of future D of E trips and other expeditions we embark on. This week’s session is gearing them up for our expedition in Week 7 which will really put them through their paces.


Bushcraft – BBA Level 1

It was a cold, crisp wonderful day in the woods, the winter sun was angling through the last vestiges of foliage and casting tunnels of light through the wood smoke.The first hour of each bushcraft session is spend practising skills learnt the previous session; on Tuesday that meant group worked on lighting fires and building shelters.The focus of the day’s session was the ‘Fur, Feather and Fish’ module of the BBA level One Award; we gutted and prepared trout. Some of the prepared fish was then cooked in a hangi, some was ponassed. Check out our video of ponassing trout…

Preparing awesome food is a very important part of bushcraft training, everyone loves to be full of delicious fodder cooked on the fire, especially on a cold day in the woods. After lunch we moved on to the ‘feather’ section of BBA and the delved into the finer details of pheasant plucking. We went through different ways of presenting plucked carcasses; for roasting, crowns and boning out.We finished the day, wonderfully, working with knives and wood, making spoons; a spectacular way to finish a day in the woods.


This week we’re meeting three more of the lovely trainees…


Curtis Andrews – 21

Why did you choose the course? I went a few courses when I was younger with the Princes Trust which introduced me to the outdoors with weekends spent gorge walking etc. I then went onto work at PGL but wasn’t able to develop in my role there which was really important to me. I eventually want to end up working at the Princes Trust and doing for others what it did for me. This courses means I’m on route to do that which is exactly what I was looking for! 

What have been the highs of the course? I know it’s the common answer but everything! It’s been really great and continues to be so. A highlight for me is definitely Kayaking though, especially now I’ve mastered my rolling. I’m really pleased about that and can’t wait to try it out some more.

What have been the lows of the course? The post wetsuit chill isn’t something I particularly enjoy, it keeps me really warm in the sea which is great but nothing prepares you for that first unzip. I’m looking forward to Spring and a change in air temperature for sure.


Matt Gibb – 19

Why did you choose the course? I’ve always loved the outdoors and wanted to live a different life of not being behind a desk in an office, but outside doing something different everyday. After starting university in America I knew it wasn’t for me so came back and saw this course as the route to that life. I’d eventually like to go on to do my Ski-Instructor qualifications and switch between seasonal jobs making the most out of summer and winter fully.

What have been the highs of the course? I’ve really enjoyed everything about it but would have to say that Climbing has been a highlight for me. Out of all the activities it’s something I’m really taken with – it was the first time I’d climbed outside and I’m hooked for sure.

What have been the lows of the course? The cold is definitely a battle but it’s expected with the timing of training and never ruins a session just challenges you.


Summer Barr – 18

Why did you choose the course? I grew up in the Mediterranean and spent nearly all my time outside doing sports. I went on to take a sports course at college and looked for the next step to start a career in the outdoor industry. I too want to do my Ski-Instructor qualification after this but want to be able to vary my career which this course will do.

What have been the highs of the course? I’d have to agree with Matt and say everything, there’s not an activity that I don’t like. I’d have to agree with him again though and choose climbing as a personal favourite.

What have been the lows of the course? Definitely Dancing Ledge hill, I know it’s been mentioned before but after a long session out coasteering it’s a battle to pull yourself back up there sometimes.

03 December 2016 by Phoebe Webster

Preparing awesome food is a very important part of bushcraft training, everyone loves to be full of delicious fodder cooked on the fire, especially on a cold day in the woods

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