Starting a fire without matches in the wild

The ability to start a fire in the wilderness is a very important skill to have as this is your only means of cooking food and staying warm. It is not like at home where you can simply turn up the heating to stay warm, along with the help of a Boiler Service Cheltenham company like giving your system a look over each year. A fire will help dry out clothes/equipment, warm up your shelter, boil your water and cook your food. So how can you do this if your matches and lighters have got soaked through in the last deluge? Here’s a step by step way to set up a fire and get it started.

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Create a tinder nest

To start any fire, you need to create a tinder nest. This is to cultivate any sparks that you have created to get the fire going. You need to gather some dry wood to maintain the flame. It needs to be dry or the flame won’t catch. Certain trees burn better. Look for information about the area you are travelling to and find the best trees for burning. Birch, for example, even when damp will burn extremely well. You can now use one of the following methods to create your fire.

Flint and steel

This is a well-known method for starting fires. An outdoor bushcraft store may sell pre-packaged flint and steel for your convenience. Carrying them around should be an essential part of any survival kit. If you don’t have a kit find a grey stone or a quartz if you cannot find flint. Strike against a piece of iron or your knife. The ensuing sparks will help your tinder smoke and start your fire.

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Batteries and steel wool.

This is another great method for making fire. Find the terminals of the battery, preferably a nine-volt battery. The terminals are the two prongs at the top of the battery. Take the steel wool and rub it against the terminals. You are creating a current that will heat up and ignite. The finer the wool, the better the outcome. A paper clip will also work instead of steel wool if you can’t find any. Add the items to your survival kit.

Use a magnifying glass

This is something we learn at school. Tilt the lens of the magnifying glass towards the sun until you see a circle of light in the middle of your tinder nest. Hold in place until it starts to smoke and flame. Sunlight is essential for this method!

Unique Wedding Bouquet Ideas

If you’re looking forward to your nuptials this year, then you’ll be busy planning every tiny detail from the favours to the music to make sure everything is perfect. One of the most exciting choices is the bridal bouquet which you can have created for you at a Gloucestershire Florist such as . Whether you’re going to stick to tradition or try something new and unique here are some interesting ways to make a statement with your bouquet:


A wreath makes a beautiful alternative to a traditional bouquet. If you’re having a country, rustic, winter or vintage style wedding, then bridal and bridesmaid wreaths will look perfect. They come thick with vivid green foliage and are often a cheaper option.

Giant Balloons

This is a new and quirky idea that makes for great wedding photographs but probably not all that practical during the ceremony! They look amazing in fun photos and can then be re-used later in the day for your reception décor.


If you’re planning an alternative, relaxed and hippy-style wedding then pinwheels are the perfect inexpensive accessory. They also make great alternative bouquet ideas for pageboys and flowergirls. They look very cute and bring a different dimension to the theme.

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Paper Flowers

The quality and appearance of paper flowers has increased significantly over the last few years, now almost looking like the real thing. Crafty people can make them at home and keep them as stunning wedding mementos for many years.

Wrist Corsages

These were worn years ago but have recently enjoyed a surge in popularity. They are the ideal way of incorporating real flowers into your ceremony but at a reduced price tag. They allow you to have your hands free which is useful and are extremely pretty.

Alternative Bouquets

If you still love the idea of a traditional bouquet but with a twist, why not think about incorporating earthy and natural elements instead of flowers? Interesting alternatives include wheat, eucalyptus, pine cones, cotton and herbs. The only limit is your imagination.

Fabric Bouquets

If you’re not keen on fresh flowers for whatever reason, a popular trend is to have a beautiful fabric bouquet instead. They can be made at home or bought pre-made and include options like silk, cotton, felt or even pom-poms!

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For rustic or wintry weddings, having your bridesmaids carry lanterns instead of flowers is a growing trend. They can also look incredibly romantic for ceremonies that take place later in the day where the candlelight creates a warm and romantic ambience.

Fruit Bouquets

Perfect for autumn weddings, fruit bouquets look stunning in photographs. Remember that too much fruit will make the bouquet heavy and you might want to avoid any berries that could stain dresses.


Kitchen Improvements on a budget

If your kitchen is looking a little tired, there are loads of ways you can freshen it up without having to splash out on a complete kitchen refit. With a bit of creativity and some imagination, there are plenty of cost-effective ways to improve the look and feel of your kitchen. Here are a few ideas:

Painting your cabinets

You don’t have to replace shabby cabinets; a simple coat of paint is a great way to get a new look. If you have a neutral background you could consider adding a dash of contemporary colour to the cabinets for an upbeat, fresh look.

New worktops

If you’ve not got the budget for a complete overhaul, then why not replace the worktops? This can totally transform the feel of your kitchen. Perhaps you could add in a few luxury extras like a built-in draining board or heat rods.

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Get better storage

Most of us struggle to find room for all the stuff we accumulate over the years. Sorting out your kitchen cupboards is a good place to start, throwing out anything no longer needed or expired. A bit of organisation will vastly improve the amount of space available, clearing worktops and giving you the extra space to make your room look bigger. An added benefit is that it won’t cost you a penny!

Keep cool

If you are a fan of cooking and like to really move around we all know it can get really hot. If you want to stay fresh why not get an Air conditioning Gloucester company to help you pick a air conditioning system.  They also provide units for business needs so why not pop over to sites such as and take a look at your options.

Replace cabinet doors and handles

If there isn’t much wrong with the structure of your cabinets, replacing the doors and handles only can provide enough of a change to instantly update your kitchen. Brand new, sleek doors and some interestingly shaped new handles will make it look like you have a refit.

Introduce new fabrics

Perhaps you could consider some new seat cushions, a new tablecloth or hanging some brand new Waterproof Roller Blinds to brighten up the room.

Treating yourself to a new appliance can also help to improve the look of your kitchen without having to change the furniture. When replacing appliances, be sure to choose energy efficient models to save on future bills as well.


This is a cheap way to liven up your kitchen. Buy some new accessories to display, whether they are kitchen-related crockery or glassware or flowers for example. Accessories will brighten your kitchen in an instant and you can choose a theme to bring the look together

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Extra lighting

If your kitchen doesn’t have great task lighting, consider installing some spotlights over the worktop or new, attractive ambient lighting over the dining table. Lighting is a great way to set the mood and brighten up a tired kitchen.



This will liven up old walls without breaking the bank or taking up too much time. Choose a modern colour and maybe even create a feature wall to really make a statement.


What’s the point in Art History?

If you’ve ever wondered why people chose to study Art History then you might be surprised to learn that there many fascinating subjects involved and extremely useful qualities to be gained. Art History is so much more than knowing who painted what. It’s about culture, politics, economics, humanity, war, love and so many other things. Here are some great reasons to study Art History:

Every piece of art tells a story

Each artist who has ever created something has done so under an individual set of circumstances. The Renaissance artists had to please the Roman Catholic Church for example and modern artists reflect on experiences of war or economic hardship to show their views on society. Every person is a product of their environment, their culture and their time period. If you want to learn about history then art is incredibly useful as evidence of how people felt during the period. Whether it’s a portrait, a sculpture or architecture, everything is a product of personal and sociological influences.

Learn useful skills

Studying Art History will develop your ability to analyse things and think critically about what you see before you. You will also develop writing skills, learn how to source and essays are great for your grammar and punctuation practice! Why do I need these skills? Many career paths require the ability to think critically, for example, becoming an engineer. Writing skills will help many career choices such as teaching, law and journalism.

You’re already surrounded by visual imagery

Every day we are surrounded by visual stimulation, whether it be on a smartphone, tablet or computer. We watch TV and play video games which puts our brains under pressure to process these vast amounts of images. Humans are becoming more adept at thinking and learning visually. All this requires analysis and insight which Art History is perfect for providing.

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More than just paintings

Studying Art History is deeper than knowing the names and dates of famous paintings, it actually encompasses a far broader range of subjects than you’d think. If you’ve ever been interested in animation, photography, calligraphy or movies then you’ll learn about these too. Art History also covers topics like architecture, woodwork, performance art and armour as well as coins! Anything and everything can be found in the world of Art History. The artwork included on items such as armour and coins can be particularly interesting to research and a UK Coin dealers can help to give you further information on certain collectable coins. GM Coins is one of a select few UK coin dealers in Gloucestershire that can help with all of your coin related questions.

A deeper understanding

Humans are a social species and the way we communicate has always fascinated us. Studying this subject offers a greater understanding of different cultures and times by analysing the way they used art and architecture to communicate. It’s the perfect subject for developing deeper humanity and empathy for other people, culture and societies by seeing the world through their eyes.

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Enjoy galleries more

You don’t need to study Art History to enjoy art but you might have a more enjoyable experience with a better trained eye. You’ll see things you hadn’t noticed before, recognise influences in work from other artists, discover a deeper understanding of other cultures and begin to appreciate more diverse works of art that you had previously disliked.

Which minerals make a healthy soil?

Soil is a bit of an unsung hero here on Earth. Without soil, we simply couldn’t exist. It’s as essential as the water we drink and the air we breathe. In fact, without it, we wouldn’t even have breathable air or drinkable water. Soil supports all life on Earth by giving us plants and, by extension, food, fuel and oxygen. What exactly is in our soil, why do we need to it be in optimum health, and what minerals are essential for this?

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The story of soil

Soil is made up of organic matter, liquids, gases, minerals and organisms. Together they make up this black stuff we call ‘earth’ or ‘soil’. Soil makes up one of the Earth’s top layers, the pedosphere. Among the things that make up soil, minerals play a key part. The better the ratio of minerals, the healthier the soil and thus, the healthier the crop. In the future, sustainable agriculture will be key to our survival, making healthy soil more important than ever. 

The Big Four Minerals

1. Calcium

Calcium is absolutely essential for plant growth, and farmers often add soluble calcium to ensure that their soil has good levels. 

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2. Phosphorus

Phosphorus is essential for providing plants with energy. A soil with a good level of phosphorus is more likely to yield a bigger crop. Phosphorus levels should ideally be above 0.2%, but its efficacy is dependent on the existence of other soil elements such as mycorrizhae, which aids phosphorus uptake in plants.

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for plants in order to photosynthesize, but too much in the soil is not good. Magnesium and phosphorus also compete for plant takeup, so it’s important to have the right balance.

4. Boron

Boron is essential for calcium uptake. There is little point improving calcium levels if boron levels are not simultaneously increased.

Other steps to healthy soil

It’s not just the minerals we need to worry about; human actions have degraded our soil enormously and added all sorts of pollutants, including building debris and asbestos. A soil remediation service such as those offered by is a great way to get soil to a healthier state. 

Without healthy soil, the populations of this planet simply couldn’t survive. For farmers, however, a healthy yield is also essential for business.

Flooring Choices that make you Breathe Easier

You may have read or heard about the potential dangers of formaldehyde in our homes – how this naturally occurring colourless gas can be found in a large number of products we install and use in our houses, including paint, fabrics and certain types of flooring.

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The reports are often confusing and worrying, indicating as they do that regular exposure to formaldehyde can cause irritation to the eyes, throat, skin and nose, can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory problems and even be a principal cause of some cancers.

It is a fact that formaldehyde is a known carcinogen – that is, in high enough doses it can cause cancer. But does that mean we need to worry about what type of products we put in our homes?

How can we lessen exposure to the chemical when it seems it is to be found all around us?

What Is the Problem?

Formaldehyde is used in a huge number of products we commonly use in our homes, including paint, detergents and some furniture. Over time, these products give off the gas into the air we breathe.

It is often found in glues or resins which are used to bind wood chips or fibres into plywood, particleboard and the like and is usually used in the manufacture of laminate flooring.

If we use a lot of products in our home, especially new ones, then we may be exposing ourselves to higher levels of formaldehyde than we would get naturally, which may have detrimental effects.

Steps to Take

To limit your amount of exposure to formaldehyde, if you are buying anything new, look for versions of the product which have lower levels of the chemical.

According to the National Cancer Institute, before purchasing any pressed-wood products, buyers should ask about the formaldehyde content to make sure it is at safe levels.

In flooring, this could mean buying pre-finished solid wood floors, which have lower levels of the gas than laminate.

To see what  types of flooring are available, including engineered wood flooring and Laminate Wood Flooring contact a supplier such as

Other steps you can take include ensuring there is good ventilation in your home, particularly after installing new flooring or furniture, banning smoking, not overheating the home and keeping humidity to a minimum.

These measures should help you breathe easier about your flooring choices.

A Quick History of Human Lighting

Where might we be without lighting? It is one of life’s absolute necessities, however it hasn’t always been this accessible and was once only a serious extravagance. Everything began about 400,000 years BC when people initially found we could light flames. Whether it occurred coincidentally or through shrewd perception, most human improvement has originated from that revelation. It’s been a significant voyage from the first flames that man made to the dazzling LED displays we see today. For LED Lighting Specialists, visit    

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Man’s first lighting came as tied branches were lit using flammable liquids. This early crude lighting in the form of torches originally showed up around 70,000 BC and comprised of shells or stones containing animal fats and vegetation. The Ancient Greeks would make torches from clay on an earthenware wheel, which began the main large-scale manufacturing of such things. Candles originally showed up in China around 200 BC that were made of the fat from whales with rice paper wicks.

Lights and candles lit the path for humanity for a huge number of years until power showed up on the scene. Oil lights stayed unaltered until the eighteenth century when a Swiss scientific expert made the ‘Argand light’ endlessly improving the oil lighting of the time. It provided much more light and was a lot more secure. At that point in 1846, a geologist refined kerosene from coal and found that it ignites with a brighter fire than oil. Thus, began the use of kerosene lamps form that point on in both Europe and the US.

In England, a creator called William Murdoch refined gas from coal and lit his home using the technique. From 1807, London got its first gas lamps, lit and quenched by hand each morning and night. Everything was to change with the approach of power.

The absolute first case of an incandescent lightbulb was made by Sir Humphry Davy who completed a test with a portion of platinum and a battery. Numerous researchers and innovators endeavoured to enhance his experiments and it was Sir Joseph Swann and Thomas Edison who succeeded by using a vacuum and carbon fibre. Electric lighting was conceived!

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It took a long time to develop a sturdy and industrially feasible light. Endeavours were made over the world by researchers and designers. Thomas Edison’s first genuine achievement came in 1879 utilizing a carbon filament. The bulb went on for 13 hours. In the wake of trying different things with a wide range of materials, he found that carbonized bamboo went on for more than 1000 hours. In 1904 tungsten was used just because different researchers found it sparkled more brightly and lasted much longer.

Today, the emphasis is on LED bulbs to light what’s to come. They have numerous advantages, for example, more effectiveness, longer enduring, progressively directional and non-heat discharging. A decent quality LED bulb can keep going for 25,000 hours or longer which is multiple times longer than a conventional light. As they produce such tiny degrees of warmth, none of that energy is squandered, making them amazingly efficient. They are simple to maintain, very impervious to breaking and smaller, making them an ideal choice for lighting installations in our homes and workplaces today.

Home Sweet Sustainable Home – 7 of the Eco-friendliest Houses in the World

There is much desire to live economically and sustainably these days and home builders are continually searching for new and creative ways to deal with greener structure, regardless of whether it be the utilization of recovered materials or making the home as sustainable as it can be. From basic structures to charming manors, here are some splendid examples of the most eco-accommodating homes on the planet:

1. The S House

This undertaking is situated in Vietnam and is the result of the quest for supportable, cheap and eco-friendly lodgings for the population of the future. To manufacture, the home cost just $4000 and it’s produced using locally sourced, promptly accessible materials including covering produced using Palm leaves and bamboo. The structure can be effectively dismantled and moved to another area and the highlight is one enormous open inside space for comfortable living.

2. The Fall House

At the luxury end of the spectrum, this extravagant house flaunts strong green accreditations and wonderful style. Along the Californian coastline, the outside of the property is uncommonly canvassed in copper. The salty ocean climate and patina the copper after time which will look incredibly extraordinary yet additionally offers a high state of flame security. The perspectives over the Pacific are dazzling through the large windows. The open stack plan of the property takes into account normal cooling ventilation and decreases the requirement for cooling. Grey water reusing is likewise part of the home’s framework. Find Construction Companies Bishops Stortford like who can help you design your dream eco-friendly structure.

3. The Waste House

At the University of Brighton in the UK, a house made wholly of waste has been built. You probably won’t care for the sound of it, but you can’t argue with its eco-friendly credentials. Roughly 90% of the development material is produced using DVD cases, toothbrushes and rug tiles! No one lives in the house, yet it offers a motivating case of what can be accomplished with trash that would somehow have wound up in landfill.

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4. The Old Water Tower

Built in Berkshire, England, this astonishing property requires no warming at all. Warmth created from windows, the people living in it and home apparatuses is caught and flowed around the house to keep a steady temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. Triple coating and thick wood dividers ensure that no warm air is lost outside. It brags being multiple times more effective than a standard-fabricated home and the zinc rooftop offers perfect protection and is recyclable. All the electrical machines keep running on low power too which keeps the fuel bills even lower.

5. Active House

This advanced looking property is in Denmark and is portrayed as dynamic since it catches more energy than it uses. It includes an enormous number of solar panels which give boiling water to underfloor warming. The abundance of power that it catches is sold back to the grid for 8 months of the year and this cash will inevitably counterbalance the expense of the structure of the house. Interior temperature is computer controlled so it can open and close windows when it monitors the temperature. The objective of this task was to accomplish a zero-carbon residence. There are gigantic glass windows that let in a staggering measure of light even on the greyest of days.

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A relaxed look for your day trip or weekend away

When it comes to your everyday work wear, you’re sorted. You have a few well-tailored suits that fit you perfectly, a selection of smart shirts, a rack of ties and a whole drawer full of suitable socks. At the weekends, however, you struggle to put together relaxed looks that see you feeling just as at home at the footy or pub as sitting down to Sunday dinner with the family or a day out to a market town.

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Check out these suggestions to help you put together a simple weekend wardrobe that will see you through anything your social calendar throws at you.

Summer Casual

Team a casual shirt with tailored shorts for the perfect summer look. Roll up the sleeves (or opt for short sleeves if you prefer this style) and wear with white trainers or casual brogues for a relaxed look that’s nevertheless smart enough to take you from the beer garden to dinner with friends.

If you’re struggling to find the perfect shirt, maybe take a trip out for the day as this could be one of the Things to do in Market Harborough as they have a great variety of shops to look around. You could try the market harborough community website before you head there for the day to see what they have their and then on the day find the perfect blend of casual and smart  shirts will see you right through summer.

Beach Days

Nothing signals the start of summer like the first day spent at the beach. The key to looking casual yet still put-together is in the quality of your clothes. Don’t be tempted to just throw on any old t-shirt – something you got free from the pub on the last St. Patrick’s Day, for example, or that faded t-shirt you bought on holiday four years ago. Splash out on a few good-quality polo shirts and plain t-shirts and you’ll look casual without looking scruffy. When it comes to shorts, choose between chino-style for a smarter look and regular gym shorts if you’re feeling more sporty. Finish your look with a stylish backpack – according to GQ Magazine, they’re making a comeback this summer.

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Cooler Days

Of course, summer doesn’t always mean warm weather in the UK. If temperatures dip, wear a checked shirt open over a white t-shirt for a laid-back, casual look that will keep you covered up.

Nights Out

Whether you’re off for dinner or drinks, a pair of dark denim jeans and shirt will be hard to beat. Roll up your sleeves if you want a more relaxed look, and finish with mid- to dark-brown casual shoes.

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