Free Outdoor Learning Activities

By on December 13, 2015

These are free activities that are available to paid up attendees of The Big Outdoors!

o Enjoy the Peace and Quiet

One of the best parts of the Big Outdoors is the location, tucked away in a rural valley surrounded by hills. Get away from your fellow campers or lay awake at night and you will may surprised by the silence of the countryside, broken only by the hoot of an owl or the bark of a fox in the distance. 

o Star Gazing

We are really pleased to announce that Jo Richardson from “Space Detectives” will be at The Big Outdoors! 2017. This is one of the FREE activities available to full Big Outdoors! attendees, 

Subject to weather (cloud formation) on the night!

Here’s a little more about Jo and the work she does:

Hi I’m Jo Richardson and I have had a passion for Astronomy and Space since childhood. I have worked in Public Outreach for many years, covering not only all astronomy events run by Exmoor National Dark Sky Reserve but also those that form part of the BBC Stargazing Live South West.

I am the event co-ordinator for both the Wells and Mendip and Tiverton and Mid Devon Astronomy Societies and assist in running all of their public education and outreach events. I am also involved with the National Trust and AONB here in Somerset where I organise and run public astronomy and space workshop events both at Brean Down, Charterhouse Observatory and Taunton Museum.

I am one of the 50 UK Space Ambassadors and represent the South West, working on behalf of the National STEM Centre and funded by ESERO (European Space Educational Resources Office). I am also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

o Casualty Care

We delighted to have Sam Wilson joining us pass on his expertise in dealing with casualty scenarios. Sam’s sessions are not the normal run of the mill first aid orientated scenarios that you would of come across through ‘normal’ course. These sessions are designed to give everyone heads up and help with dealing with a casualty situation, they are tailored to our activities. Sam is also on hand over the course of the weekend should you have any other First Aid based questions/concerns to raise with him.

Campcraft with David & Lyns Gunning

Bush Mechanics Camp Craft with David Gunning


David Gunning and his partner Lyns of Bush Mechanics, have spent a lifetime gaining experience, working on vehicular expeditions in all conditions all over the world.

At the Big Outdoors, they will be discussing their training philosophy and demonstrating their love of Camp Craft.

Come along to the 2 free 1 hour workshops to learn all elements of field to fork.

So what will be covered?

Shelter – Examples to be covered:

  • Axe and saw demonstration
  • Different types of shelters to put a roof over your head. All weathers, environments and climates discussed.
  • Watch demonstrations and have a go to make your own abode.
  • What materials are best?
  • Placement?
  • Where to look.
  • Vehicle discussions


  • Materials – what burns best? Building a stock pile.
  • Tinder
  • Fire lighting methods – pros and cons – what is the fire for?
  • Practical exercises
  • Types of fire for cooking
  • Extinguishing the fire and giving back to nature, “leave only footprints and take only memories”
  • Utilising vehicle materials


  • Knife skills
  • Hunting and Trapping / Shopping or Grabbing
  • Food resources – what’s avaialbel at particular times of year and climates
  • Preparation – Field, Air and Water
  • Get involved, see demos and try for yourself.
  • Dutch oven and tripod
  • Foraging
  • Drying, preserving and smoking
  • Manifold cookery talk.


  • Where to look?
  • How much is needed? Groups size and needs.
  • Effective use of – determinant on different climates and conditions.
  • Filter, treat and make useful.
  • Effective and safe recycling of water.
  • Vehicle – watering the vehicle and making use of vehicle methods of collection.

o Base camp for own greenlaning trips

Improvised welding & Bush Mechanics

Nick Watts will be joining us to show us all how to make field repairs with topics covering: improvised welding, vehicle bush repairs and puncture management. Nick has been involved with 4x4Adventures Ltd for many years and the stark memory of him welding Rogue Vogue at Walters Arena in a flowing river, during an event using kit he had on board his challenge truck was an unforgettable memory. A welder and fabricator by trade there are many tricks and tips Nick Will be able to pass on.

o Vehicle Talks/Overland Prep

The Unfinished Business crew will be on hand again to pass on their tips for Overland vehicle based travel based on their experience. Last events talk was well received with talk not only on equipment and vehicle preparation but also covering group dynamics. So expect diversity and to be fully engaged.

In addition to the Unfinished Business Crews talk we are also hoping that like minded travellers would be willing to show off their own prepared vehicles and equipment tips they have found work for their own travel. This may be which stove works best for them and wheres its kept through to which awning or sleeping system they use. Any experience gained is useful advice to be shared with others.

Knots & Splicing

Do you know the difference between a Bowline and Sheet bend ? Learn an Eye Splice along with a figure of Eight
We will show you how to do the most common ones,, everyone has their own favourite!

o RC Crawlers Area.

Following the success of our first Radio Controlled (RCs) course build back in May 16 we will be making another intriguing course for your to try out your RCs on over the course of the weekend. The aspiration is to make the course available throughout the whole event, we welcome any suggestions or specifics people may like.