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FAQs

wc_fire-man2 WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED TO BRING? A comprehensive list of equipment and clothing for all our UK bushcraft courses can be downloaded as a pdf here – uk_bushcraft_course_equipment_check-list  Print it now…
wc_globe2 HOW TO GET TO YOUR COURSE? A link to detailed set of arrival instructions will be included within the automatic email response when you place your booking using our on-line booking system. The Virgin West Coast rail line means we can be reached by rail from London Euston in 3 hours on any day of the week. We run courses from three venues in the UK – so please ensure that you have received and printed the correct arrival information!

Claife Heights Venue – Info Here

Witherslack Venue – Info Here

Ardnamurchan Venue – Info Here

wc_fungi3 ARE THERE AGE RESTRICTIONS? We have a lower age limit of 18 on all our wilderness skill courses, but there is no upper limit. In the past, we have taught students in their seventies. Provided you are in good physical health and have a positive mental attitude, there is no reason why you should not attend. If you are in any doubt, please consult your GP before booking, and feel free to contact us to discuss your concerns.
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wc_sheltercrop DO I NEED PRIOR EXPERIENCE? Not at all. If you enjoy being outdoors and are keen to learn – we will welcome your company. Although previous camping experience can be an advantage on the overnight courses, it is not essential. Some of our more advanced courses do have pre-requisites; please see course details.
 wc_cropped_spear CAN I ATTEND ON MY OWN? Yes! Our bushcraft courses are aimed at private individuals who have a passion to learn. Although some people attend in pairs or small groups, the vast majority of our groups are made up of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds.
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wc_sun2a WHAT ABOUT BAD WEATHER? Courses will run in all but the most extreme weather conditions. Bad weather makes learning the skills more challenging and harder to master, but you will be rewarded with a higher level of ability and a greater sense of achievement. The unpredictable weather in Britain makes it one of the best training grounds in which to learn bushcraft. In addition we have a large, light and airy, wood-stove heated geodesic dome, which we use for difficult weather conditions, out of season courses and craft workshops.
wc_cross2 SANITATION & HYGIENE – Courses are run from an expedition-style base camp, this means that our toilet facilities are screened, covered latrines. We have used this system for the past 10 years of our teaching experience and find it to be the cleanest, most environmentally friendly and hygienic system. It is an essential part of wilderness living and you will be given clear instruction about latrine construction, considerations for wilderness travel and base camp life, and a few simple protocols about hygienic use upon arrival to base camp. In addition a basic, screened expedition gravity fed shower will be available for your use.
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wc_sun-dial2 HOW DO I BOOK A BUSHCRAFT COURSE? Booking your course on-line is fast and simple. All you need to do is visit the course page you would like to book, click on the ‘book this course’ link at the bottom of the page in the details box and then follow the simple instructions.
 wc_pot2 WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY COURSE INFORMATION , SUCH AS KIT LIST AND ARRIVAL DETAILS? Upon placing your booking you will receive an immediate & automatic payment confirmation which contains an email with all the info you need for the course. Unless you have any other queries, you will not necessarily hear from us again until we meet you for your course. If you have NOT received any details for your course, it is very likely that this is because you have a ‘btinternet’ email address. There is a general problem with these email addresses receiving mail from ‘URL’ email addresses such as ours. Contact the office (01900821779/ 07703002769) if there seems to be a problem.
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 wc_fire-man2 TERMS & CONDITIONS – before placing a booking, please take a moment to observe our uk_terms_&_conditions of booking, particularly for our cancellation policy. We also highly recommend that you seek insurance against the unfortunate event that you should need to cancel your place unexpectedly – missed course bookings are not transferable. expedition_terms & conditions can be found here.
wc_sun2a I HAVE PLACED A DEPOSIT AND NOW WISH TO PAY THE REMAINING BALANCE? – If you have placed a payment deposit for a course, and now wish to pay the remaining balance. Please just go through the same process as your initial payment, only where it says ‘deposit’, simply select the drop down menu using the little arrow on the right hand side of the ‘deposit’ box, and then select ‘balance’, and continue the process.
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wc_sheltercrop I WOULD LIKE TO CANCEL MY COURSE – If, for any reason you wish to cancel your course, please refer to our Terms & Conditions (links above). You will not be offered a refund for any money for late cancellation, neither will you be offered a transferral of your money to another course. Please seek appropriate insurance against late cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances!
wc_hedgehog2 I WOULD LIKE TO BUY A COURSE VOUCHER – Please visit this web page for instructions on how to buy someone a course voucher and download and print your own gift card.
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wc_seeds2 CAN I ATTEND FROM CONTINENTAL EUROPE AND BEYOND? Many people travel from outside of the UK to attend our courses; often from continental Europe, but also from further afield such as New Zealand and the USA. Providing you have a good grasp of the English language, can understand this website and feel that you will understand detailed verbal information and instruction there is no problem for you to join us for a course. Please be aware that the Lake district can be much colder and wetter during the summer than many continental countries and so please take our kit list very seriously.Many airlines fly into Manchester airport, where you can board a train to Oxenholm (Please note that some journeys to Oxenholme may require you to change trains at Preston, although many are direct to Oxenholme). At Oxenholme, you will need to change trains for one stop to Windermere. This journey usually takes between 2 hrs and 2 hrs 45min depending on connections. A standard saver return costs approximately £ 35.00, although with a bit of forward planning, you can purchase single tickets each way for as little as £8.50 each way.

Newcastle airport is also an option, and being a smaller airport is in some ways more convenient. If you decided to opt for Newcastle airport you need to take the Metro to Newcastle Central Station, cost £ 2.40. From Newcastle Central Station take the train to Carlisle, where you change for Oxenholm, change at Oxenholem for one stop to Windermere, where we will collect you. This journey usually takes about three and a half-hours and a standard saver return costs approximately £ 35.00.

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wc_group2 HOW DO I BECOME A WOODSMOKE BUSHCRAFT INSTRUCTOR? Working with Woodsmoke will allow you to join a small dynamic team of committed outdoor professionals, who represent some of the most experienced and dedicated Wilderness Bushcraft educators in the UK, with a global reputation.Applications are currently closed, but if you would like to make a speculative job application, please read our bushcraft instructor notes about what we look for in an apprentice and download the bushcraft_instructors_application_form

Please also note that we will not consider any applications that do not fill in our own application form and follow the instructions there-in. However, we are happy to receive your own CV in addition.

wc.ocation2 WHERE CAN I STAY BEFORE/AFTER MY COURSE? If you are interested in spending some time enjoying the stunning scenery of the Lake District, either before or after your course, you can contact Windermere Tourist Information on 015394 46499, or for camp-sites and B&B accommodation within walking distance of our course meeting point at our Far Sawrey location, contact Hawkshead Tourist Information on 015394 36525. You may also find it useful to visit these pages for more information.
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wc_sun-dial2 COURSE ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE TIMES – For almost all our courses we meet at 19:30 hrs on the evening of the course start date (19:00 hrs if you are arriving by train) and you will be back to your cars by 16:00 hrs on the last day of the course (17:00 hrs at the train station). However, specific course times, arrival details and equipment lists are contained in the email that you will receive automatically once you place your on-line booking.
wc_hedgehog2 WHAT HAPPENS UPON ARRIVAL? Our bushcraft courses usually start in the evening. Upon meeting us at the rendezvous point, your cars will be safely parked on the estate and your equipment will be transported to the base camp, by the Woodsmoke Land Rovers. From your cars you may be asked to walk the stunning 2km walk to our base camp, so please be dressed for any weather, and have your boots and head-torch to hand. Once at base camp, you will erect your tent or sleeping system and join the main fire. After a brew, some bread and soup, and safety briefings, you will be introduced to each other, the Woodsmoke team and to the course. You will also be shown the camp set up and simple protocols will be explained. You will spend the evening having a chat around the fire and teaching will begin the following morning.
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wc_dead_fish2 WHAT WILL I BE EATING? All meals are cooked on site. Food preparation and cooking will be a joint effort, involving both students and staff. All of our full time staff hold ‘food handling and hygiene’ certificates. All our courses and expeditions are fully catered, however you may be required to cook for yourself or in groups on occasion, forming part of the educational aspects of the course (please see individual course page for further information). A typical days food would be: Breakfast – tinned fruit and various cereal options; Lunch – bread rolls, a selection of fillings (e.g. cheese, ham, tuna), a healthy salad, fruit and snacks; Evening meal – Rice dishes with Thai, Indian & Chinese style curries; or pasta with Italian style, tomatoes based, sauces. Course participants are usually pleasantly surprised by the high standard of the food and meals we provide, however please remember that this is an expedition style base camp and therefore has inherent limitations with regards to producing meals to cater for individual tastes. Whilst we are proud of the tasty, nutritious meals we produce with basic amenities, but our focus is to educate, not to compete with restaurants.There will always be a brew pot on the go and a biscuit box available, so that students are free to make tea and coffee at any time. The food provided will be more than adequate, but feel free to bring extra provisions if you wish.
wc_fish2 DIETARY REQUIREMENTS – We are happy to cater for medical intolerance’s, allergies and for vegetarian diets, but please let us know when you place your booking. However, we do not cater for preferences or mild intolerance’s. If you have a dietary intolerance of any kind then you are kindly asked to bring your own snacks, gluten free bread, and any other specifics you may feel necessary. If you are in doubt then do contact us to discuss options. If you have very specific requirements or very serious allergies then you may be asked to bring your own food and cooking equipment so please inquire about this before booking on-line.
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 wc_cropped_spear ARE THE COURSES TOUGH? Our bushcraft courses should be viewed as being a wilderness education experience and not as an ordinary holiday. They are educational courses, but just as importantly, they are a ‘hands on’ experience and at times can be quite challenging. Due to the nature of the location and the course content, you will be expected to take short hikes over uneven terrain, therefore a good level of fitness is required – on occasion you will be wet, muddy, tired, too hot, too cold, frustrated and exhilarated!
wc_bowyer CAMPING?Lake District Camping
Everything you need to know about camping and camp sites in the Lake District National Park and Cumbria in the UK.Go Lakes
Lake District info – we have an extensive and user-friendly information network in place. Whether you require details on how to get here or how to get around, advice on what to see and do, suggestions of where to stay and eat or anything else that will enhance your stay.
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 wc_tyre WHERE WILL I PARK MY CAR & WILL MY STUFF BE SAFE? Courses are conducted on a private estate, with limited access to the general public. There are parking facilities provided within the estate, and whilst we cannot guarantee the safety of your vehicle, there have never been any incidents of theft within the grounds. We would recommend that you keep any valuable personal belongings in your day sack. From your cars, you and your kit will be driven to our base-camp location, therefore it is not essential that you pack all your equipment into one rucksack, you will not be required to walk more than 100m to the camping area. Please note, that once at base-camp you will not return to your vehicle until the end of the course.
wc_acorn2a IS IT SAFE? “Adventure is a romantic name for trouble…” At Woodsmoke the opposite is true, as you will get the opportunity to learn wilderness living skills in a safe and controlled environment, where making mistakes will not put you in danger. However you must come in the knowledge that no outdoor activity is entirely without risk, as you may be using sharp tools or walking across uneven terrain. Accidents can happen. We advise you take out adequate adventure travel insurance for the duration of your course or expedition – here is a link to one bushcraft specific insurance company – Sports Cover Direct. The biggest risk to your welfare is from ticks, but through good bite avoidance measures they should not present any problems – for more information, please download our pdf on tick_awareness.
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 wc_pot2 ALCOHOL – Alcohol is strictly forbidden on all our courses, due to the obvious health and safety risks. Alcohol and cutting tools don’t mix! However, it is not unusual for students to get together at the end of a course for a well-earned pint.
 wc_axe-man2 AXES? Axes must not be used at any time, unless the individual student has permission from the Woodsmoke instructor leading the course.
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wc_mad_dog2 DOGS? Pets are not permitted on any of our courses – sorry!MOBILE PHONES? Mobile phones are permitted, but please use them very quietly & discreetly! Please bare in mind that you may not get a signal at our site. EE receives the best reception. We do not provide facilities for charging phones.