Bush-Craft Survival Day (aka Zombie prep)

As part of my new “get yourself out there and do stuff” attitude, I booked myself on to a Bush-Craft Survival course with Yorkshire Dales Bush-Craft. This one in particular took place in Skipton Woods, which, to be honest, is an incredible place to have a wander around in just for the sake of it.


Today was all about surviving. Now I know that one day, maybe not too far in the future, we will be faced with the zombie apocalypse. And I am preparing myself for this undeniable event.

I have noticed recently that the people I have accepted in to my life will serve me well when catastrophe strikes. I don’t believe this to be a coincidence, I’m sub-consciously checking out their abilities and if they’re not worthy, they will not make the cut. So if you have nothing to offer in the way of keeping us alive in an apocalypse then we can’t be friends. I’m sorry.

(If we’re already friends then you’ve obviously passed the rigorous recruitment process that my brain has made up. Well done!)

Anyway… basic survival skills are a must for anyone. Unless of course you currently spend your days planted on your sofa watching day time TV, eating Greggs. You’re zombie fodder and for this, I thank you.

You just never know what might happen in the future and you should always be prepared, as my good friend Lynne always (annoyingly) says…

“Prior preparation and planning, prevents piss poor performance” 

and that will be my Zombie Apocalypse motto. I’ll have it printed on t-shirts and everything!

Also, just as a tiny side note, if you’re one of those people who just does not want to have kids but people keep pestering you about it just tell them it’s all in preparation for when the zombies come, you can’t be carting kids around in a zombie apocalypse. However, you could adopt some kids, preferably over the age of 8, they’re big enough to hold a weapon so they can join your zombie killing team and you won’t be that emotionally attached to them if they get bitten. Win-win!

Well there we have my reasons for wanting to learn survival skills and a little extra info to prepare yourselves for impending doom.

Survival Day!

I’m not a born leader. In a group of people there will generally be someone else who wants to take charge and I will let them. (They’re probably going to get eaten first because they’re cocky, so I just leave them to it. Once they’re dead I will happily step up and take charge if nobody else wants to.) My point is that I will hang around in the background in a group of people I don’t yet know, sussing out who these people are and whether or not I like them and of course whether or not I can put them to good use on zombie day.

Most of the people who were participating today passed the zombie test. Basically they have a skill that will come in handy or I like them and by “like them” I mean they must have done or said something super impressive for me to want to have them with me when it’s zombie killing time.

I am very much aware that this post is very ‘zombie heavy’, that wasn’t my intention. I intended to tell you about the Bush-Craft Survival Day I attended. Both are equally important.

So this survival day was in the depths of Skipton Woods, oh so many miles away from any form of civilisation and it really was a matter of life and death that we get this fire lit and that shelter built before we perished.

That is all a total lie. Apart from the bit about being in Skipton woods. Maybe.

I had so much fun on this survival course, I made damper bread, which is basically just flour and water; throw it on your hot plate and ta-dah! I did discover that I will probably starve if we all have to eat our own pieces of damper bread as my hands are ridiculously tiny and my piece of bread was about the size of a matchbox. We threw in some chocolate chips and marshmallows for good measure and it was delicious!

We then had a go at building a shelter from fallen branches, twigs, leaves, leftover damper bread, the souls of others who came and perished due to not being able to light a fire using the bow method… anything we could find really. And ours didn’t fall over at all! Not once. Okay so it fell over once.

As well as making damper bread and building shelters, we also gutted and cooked fish, tried out damned hardest to light a fire using the bow method, we lit fires using flint and kindling and all round had a pretty bloody good time. There are plans and talks of a bespoke survival weekend which I can’t wait to go on. It may well be the death of me but I’m going to have fun anyway, just you try and stop me!

The Bush-Craft Survival course gives you all of those basic survival skills that you just might need, maybe, at some point in your life. Again if you’re one of those TV watching Gregg’s eaters then maybe not but I am sometimes in situations where I might need to build a shelter or light a fire. Okay so I don’t go hiking in the Rockies but you can just as easily get lost up Snowdon or in the Dales and I’d feel much more prepared and a little bit safer knowing I had some basic survival knowledge and now I do! So thank you to you lovely people, the participants who all clearly knew far more than I did and Johnny the organiser dude who reminds me very much of Rimmer from Red Dwarf, and that is not the insult you might think it to be… I look forward to destroying the zombies with all of you.

“Not knowing was hard. Knowing was harder” – Toni Morrison


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