Summer holidays … gotta love them.
I thought I’d take the kids wild-camping (or as us of a certain age know it – camping) and things were looking bleak.
The night was chosen, and the bags packed.
And it rained. In fact, it didn’t just rain … it rained. I thought I was going to have to buy a boat, not a tent.
So we cancelled that night and picked another. These weather apps are bloody amazing. Never has it been possible to have so much incorrect information to hand about the weather at any one time.
Anyway, night chosen and it had to be stuck to, rather than face the looks of trembling disappointment again.
So off we went, to the deepest darkest depths of rural Dumfries and Galloway, with the fine Scottish sunlight falling from the sky in an almost horizontal direction. Yep, it was bloody raining again.
Pride before a Fall and all that
I had mentioned to Jen, my wife that I was considering buying a bag of dry firelogs to take with us. These are bricks of compressed wood chippings that have a burn life of about 4 to 6 hours. We were going overnight, so a bag of 6 was going to be more than enough.
After a stern talking to, where my male pride was dented with taunts along the lines of “Bear Grylls can light a fire with a dishrag and a damp boy scout” I caved and decided that we would use the resources that nature provided; camping in a wood the bounty should be plentiful.
And it was.
To say the branches laying around was water-logged would not do it justice. You could wring the water out of it, and what wasn’t wet, was still growing.
Cheat? Or Get Eaten Alive by Indigenous Wildlife
BBQ lighting gel may be suitable for lighting BBQ’s, but it’s chuffing useless at lighting wood that’s been underwater more times than HMS Astute.
After a couple of hours of giving the midges a free meal, I’d had enough … and the kids weren’t fairing too well either.
Out came the special pot … chaffing gel. You know, the stuff they use in restaurants to keep your food warm.
As a fire lighter, it is bloody superb, it really is. Built the fire around the tin, lit the gel and off it went.
And because the wood was soaking wet – possibly deck planks from HMS Astute – we had a great little smoky fire, and the midges had to feast on what ever it is they eat when there isn’t a human about.