If you’ve bought or played with one of our den kits you’ll recognise these most tactile of objects - designed to bash those tent pegs into the ground.
They are rather special to us, and have come a long way since the days when Kay and Jo gave themselves ‘mallet elbow’ by making them by hand with an axe. We still make them in-house, but have given the job of crafting to our super woodsman Jake, superstar of this lovely video, who thankfully has a machine to hone those handles and sand away any sharp edges or splinters.
The wood we use is coppiced from a local woodland, enabling the host tree to regrow and crucially making it a sustainable product. Ash is an example of the species that is perfect for this method, and the majority of our mallets are currently made from this.
Because we adore the natural colour variation that comes from the bark as well as the wood itself, we keep our mallets clothed in their bark outer protective layer. We don’t think it matters if the bark chips or indents through use - we like to see each mark as personalisation of an already unique tool.
The process of kiln-drying reduces the moisture content in the wood - which makes it easier to use and rids it of any unwanted residents (and is far kinder to the wood and environment that treating with chemicals). It’s a lengthy process - from first cut to kit-ready it takes 3 weeks - but at the end we have rows of new tools, made for adventure and ready for their new owners.
In essence, we love our mallets because they connect us with nature. The solid weight of the mallet in our hand reminds us of this connection - it is satisfying, purposeful, pleasing - and need no redesign or embellishment. We sell them separately to our den kits now, making them the perfect gift for a young explorer.