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Bush Mechanics – Skills for Vehicle Dependent Expeditions

This course will aim to develop a mindset of mechanical sympathy; helping those dependent on motor vehicles in remote areas to both reduce the chance of mechanical failure and find creative solutions to unexpected mechanical emergencies.

This course isn’t focused on providing a list of set solutions to specific problems, but rather to provide you with the knowledge and confidence to develop your own solutions to mechanical failures in an austere environments; understanding that you often don’t have any choice about the vehicle you use and that when the time comes you probably won’t have a chest full of tools and a bag of spare parts.


The ethos is very much, “what ever gets you home”, by employing solutions that would have dealership mechanics muttering profanities, and drawing inspiration from the bush mechanics the world over who can seemingly fix anything anywhere, with just a hammer and a length of fencing wire.


Rather than looking at the fantastical, we will examine the common stuff, the things that are most likely to go wrong; often the simple things you don’t think about, until they stop you in your tracks far from home. We’ll also examine subjects related to vehicle dependent expeditionary travel, such as remote area driving, utilising the vehicle in a survival situation, and the fine art of negotiating foreign boarder crossings.

You will learn:

  • Mechanical Sympathy
  • The vehicle as an expeditionary tool
  • Realistic vehicle preparation, weight factor, modification vs stock etc
  • Vehicle recovery equipment and its use
  • Recovering a stuck vehicle without equipment
  • Submerged vehicle recovery
  • Improvised repairs including cooling system, suspension, drive chain, brakes, tyres, ignition and fuel systems
  • Improvised welding
  • Repairing and reseating tyres
  • Utilising an unrecoverable vehicle in a survival situation
  • Jedi and the art of border crossings
Experiential learning will feature heavily throughout this course, expect to be hands on with all vehicle components and regularly presented with problems without obvious solutions. Please bring a pair of overalls, robust footwear and protective gloves (washing up gloves are perfect).
“Fixing cars in the wild and sleeping under the stars what else could you ask for!? This course represented excellent value, especially since the instructors where available late into the evenings sharing their real life experiences. Stuart had an excellent level of knowledge and very wide range of experience in travelling in the Bush. His obvious passion for the subject was refreshing. Thanks to Woodsmoke for organising this event. I have been looking for this type of course for years. I can  definitely recommend this event, especially the recovering of a vehicle from a river!” – Hamish Morton, May 2014.
2018 DATES: 3 – 5 August
VENUE: Claife Heights
PRICE: £295.00 per person (inc. All food, beverages, courses equipment, camping fees & VAT.)