It was a Thursday afternoon and I was casually skinning a deer in the depths of Cornwall with a cool breeze blowing and birds crowing from the trees.
I’d been invited to get a taste of ‘Filson Life’ by the Alaskan outfitter, which is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, but has two stores in London. Its much-anticipated UK online site has also just launched.
The brand’s goods are tough and heard-wearing, with thick cotton shirts designed for a spot of lumber jacking and long aprons lovingly waxed to repel any spot of blood from a deer. But what I love is that the products are also stylistically on point.
I was with six men at the tucked-away survival camp 7th Rise, which I found after following some very vague instructions.
My journey had taken me on an overnight bus from London, a boat up the river from the quaint city of Truro and a walk by foot through the rolling fields.
I definitely felt I was doing my part by injecting a little girl power when it came to refining my survival skills.
7th Rise is an awesome place. It was set up by Thom Hunt, who some might recognize from the Channel 4 show Three Hungry Boys.
The Lancashire lad spent three years renovating a tumble down charcoal factory into a livable space. While the main house has several cosy bedrooms, there is a quirky tree house and old lobster boat by the water where you can rest your head for the night.
Today Thom and his team run outdoor survival courses, which prove popular with corporations looking for team building opportunities. Brides and grooms-to-be are also apparently big clients, looking for alternative forms of pre-wedding revelry.
Our group was definitely bonding. After practicing our fire lighting skills in the woods, foraging for edible ingredients in the undergrowth and battling the rainy weather around the campfire, we’d got to know one another a little better.
Decked out in Filson gear, we all appeared to be part of some secret club too. I loved my Filson cotton plaid shirts and they kept me warm in the damp weather.
My Filson cap also came in handy when we went on a mackerel fishing expedition in the midday sunshine before the deer butchery masterclass.
Another ingredient which fired up the good spirits was a punchy bottle of Filson whisky, which was a special batch and apparently no longer in production.
We also had libations provided by a local master mixologist who only uses natural ingredients. After the bearded magician pulled out some gin infused with wild flowers he promptly rustled up a divine spin on a Pimm’s Cup.
Things got a little hazy after that. Although, one thing that definitely stuck in my mind were the mouth-watering treats produced by Simon Stallard, a culinary maestro who is known in the area for his fantastical beach-side BYOB cookouts.
He cooked off the deer we’d sliced up earlier and threw in some black and blue steak. Campfire-roasted vegetables rounded off the magnificent feast.
All in all, despite the scattered British showers, it had been an epic few days with Filson.
I’d revelled in the opportunity to get back to basics and conveniently lose phone signal.
For me that sums up the Filson brand. It’s simple, unfussy and got the outdoors at its core.
So I hopped on the train back to London Paddington and bid a fond farewell to the peace of 7th Rise.
I sniffed my hair. The smell of wood smoke and forest damp stirred up memories of the fun few days we’d had.
To book a course at 7th Rise visit or to learn more visit www.7thrise.co.uk.
Browse the latest collections from Filson via www.filson.com.