My post Covid resolution was to stop waiting for people to be available to do things with me and ‘just do it’! So I signed myself up for a bushcraft bakery day.
The day was wonderful and despite being nervous about going along by myself I had a brilliant time. Yorkshire Dales Bushcraft has a number of basecamps, the wilderness bakery day took place in woodland just outside Harrogate. The address was a little tricky to find but there was a member of the team stood in the gateway directing us in to a small field where we parked and then pointing us in the direction of a small track that headed through the woods towards base camp. It was very easy to find, you simply followed the smell of the campfire!
Basecamp is a clearing with a campfire in the centre. We set up our chairs around the campfire or claimed one of the hammocks that had already been set up for us and made a start on the bottomless hot drinks.
The group was made up of a mixture of people, some were forest school leaders, some had been on previous courses with Yorkshire Dales Bushcraft and there were others like me who were just interested in learning some new skills. Some of the group had come in pairs and others were there by themselves, everyone was friendly and the group got on really well.
We started with introductions to the instructors Millie, Rachel and Renuka. First up was cinnamon rolls; made with pre-made puff pastry and filled with a choice of apple, cinnamon, sugar and raisins all baked in dutch ovens over the campfire embers.
While the cinnamon rolls were baking we went on a foraging walk with Renuka, she pointed out various edible leaves and berries and explained the medicinal benefits of them. As a group we gathered a selection of things for making a herbal tea back at basecamp. Despite it being September we still managed to find lots of edible things in the woods and had some interesting discussions about some of the mushrooms that we found.
Lunch was mini pizzas with the dough made by one of the group and topped with a selection of toppings put out for us to choose from, again cooked in dutch ovens over the fire while we sat and chatted.
After lunch we had a choice of making bread or joining Renuka for a mindfulness session. The mindfulness session is not something I would normally go for but it was actually really lovely. We sat in a small clearing in the sunshine, full of pizza and tasted the tea we had foraged and brewed earlier. There were no sounds other than the sounds of the woodland and it was just incredibly peaceful.
To finish off the afternoon we made scones that we te with jam and cream and chocolate dough balls. The day should definitely be called ‘Carbs around the campfire’!
The beautiful September weather definitely helped things but the day really was idyllic. I have always found that food tastes better when cooked on a campfire and eaten outdoors, it was so lovely to slow right down and just sit around the campfire and chat. There was lots of opportunities to try new things and ask questions during the day but you could equally just sit back and enjoy the atmosphere and eat the food.
Useful things to know:
Tea, coffee and unlimited hot water are provided throughout the day.
There is a compost toilet on site that has the most fantastic view!
It’s useful to bring a cup, plate and camping chair for your own use during the day.
Dress for all weathers as the day is outside and there is limited shelter.
Full details of all the course and activities that Yorkshie Dales Bushcraft run can be found here, they even run kids’ holiday clubs.
My Bushcraft Bakery Day was in October 2022.