30.3.11

What goes around comes around.

What goes around comes around - or more to the point, quoting Darth Vader, " THE CIRCLE IS NOW COMPLETE!"

How??

I grew to understand what the concept of Bushcraft was while serving in the Military. At that time I was, understandably, into military Survival which is a completely different beast to bushcraft in as much as Military survival is E+E based while bushcraft tends, as the name suggests, is about crafts!

So when I first came into bushcraft I came dressed and carrying "buckshee" gear from the forces, as I progressed into bushcraft, I like so many others (probably including you if your honest with yourself) became seduced by the brand name shiney shiney must have world which more and more has taken over bushcraft. Maybe its natural for people from a capitalist consumer society to be "gear hounds" maybe not? All I know is when I first left the army and started Shrafting there were about three models of bushcraft knife (for example) now there are hundreds...............

But I digress - my point in writing is I have now slowly escaped back to a world were my bushcraft is pure - following the ideals of Bushcraft which were originally so enticing - to me choice is a bad thing and simple is beautiful.

So before you to fall foul of the money pit that bushcraft can and has become consider this - do you need it? Dont confuse want and need either - do you need it or does the thing you have already work well enough? More importantly a bushcraft skill often over looked is the ability to make do or to improvise ........ anyway for me the circle is now complete and I find myself back where I started using kit thats dependable but more importantly kit thats affordable freeing my purse strings to allow me to "to do bushcraft" instead of trying to buy it and as a bonus it also means I have to use skills to over come problems rather than hiding behind kit!!

As a wise old man once said, "DONT REPLACE MISSING KNOWLEDGE WITH KIT - LEARN TO REPLACE MISSING KIT WITH KNOWLEDGE!"


22.3.11

Fundamental Bushcraft 101 on youtube

For a long time I've been thinking about making a series of bushcraft video's for the novice bushcrafter based on the fundamental skills taught by most bushcraft schools which, like myself, hail from the Ray Mears school of bushcraft ways. The idea is to cover in bit size chunks all the skills covered on the average weekend course to allow the novice to watch and then practice them for themselves.

I know so schools will bitch about it costing them customers etc but in times of financial woe I feel it only right to allow folks to learn the skills which are all our rights to know for free and gratis.

Sadly the size and time limits on Youtube make content tight but below are the first of what I hope will be many.

Remember theres more than one way to skin a cat so while these vid's may help, practice and more practice will see people learn their own ways of doing things and that in the long run is what its all about!!







Enjoy

13.3.11

Ray Mears Bushcraft Episode - Similar to Nordmarkens area!

A chap booking a Canoe tour of the area around Nordmarkens Sweden HQ and Glaskogen National Park asked me to tell him more about the area, I directed him to this episode of Bushcraft - its a favourite of mine and the canoeing area/terrian (south central Sweden) is exactly the same as Nordmarkens!

12.3.11

More Tomahawk thoughts ........ can you see where my minds going?? ")

Not as good as the other tomahawk vid but ok

And yep I am playing with tomahawks at the moment - finding them far more versatile than a standard axe - I guess I'll also do a video pretty soon ...............




But for now ...........

10.3.11

Woods Wanted

Woodland access wanted.

Basically dear reader I'm feeling a little wander lust and want to explore pastures new and as such would be interested to hear from anyone who has woodland access or vermin (rabbit) control issues who wouldnt mind allowing us access to their sites.

Alternatively I was wondering if anybody fancies arranging or being involved with a meet up of bushcraft bloggers .............. it would be fantastic to meet some of you guys and to share skills and stories in the flesh rather than on this cold and faceless medium!!

So there you go - woodland access? Rabbit problems? Or a genuine olde worlde bushcraft bloggers Rendevous!!

Anyone interested??

7.3.11

Walking Sticks

Walking sticks or hiking poles seem to be popular these days but I have always avoided them due to the fact that in my eyes they always seemed a bit of a nerdy peice of kit. You know what I mean? I imagine people who use them to be typical of the type who good out for a afternoon with a rucksack full of the latest shiney gear and yet whose longest hike is a bimble of a couple of miles on a route the guide books would rate as easy to moderate!!

Well, proving your never to old to learn, I've had my opinion of these items completely changed over the last week or so due to my own need to use them.

Need - yes need, you see due to a old knee injury I suffered as a soldier resurfacing I decide that I'd take sticks with me to the Brecon Beacons rather than risk making the knee worse and it was the best decision I could have made for not only did the sticks save me a lot of agony from my knee I also found that they allowed me to walk longer and further with less fatigue at the end of the day. Most impressive.

Additional I found that the poles made excellent probes for the several river fordings we made, were equally efficient at probing the bogs we crossed allowing me to choose routes on the firmer ground. For ascents and descents they made stability devices not to mention excellent additional shelter poles when we used a buckshee poncho as a windbreak come roof for our communal area on windy rainy evenings.

So you will never find me in the hills without my poles .......... I doubt I'll use em for bushcrafting as my packs never that heavy and the distances covered never that long - but when I'm hiking they will always be with me from now on!!

6.3.11

TOMAHAWK - INTERESTING VIDEO



Possibly proving the versatility of the Hawk over the more traditional axes made popular by TV and such! Remember in the woods when your doing it for real you need a adaptable tool - axes  are homesteaders tools after all ..................

3.3.11

Brecon Beacons and Survival bag video

Well dear reader I apologise for the lack of posts recently but this time of year is my play time - the time when I get to do stuff I enjoy and not have to worry about courses and students ect ........

Last week for example Steve and I drove across to Wales for a week hiking the Brecon Beacons, an area I havent visited since I did my SCBC there in the 90's!

What a great area and fantastic people - both of which went to make our weeks hiking one of the best, most relaxing weeks I've had in a long time!!

The highlight of the week was re-doing the fan dance ......... although I have to admit where once I ran I now walked (slowly!) but it was great to get back up Pen-y-fan one more time - unlike last time this time, as we hit the fork and turned right for the Fan we were met with a freezing wind which took our breath away and and almost blow us back down the ice covered slopes! 25 to 30 mile an hour winds sent the temperature plummeting to around minus 11 - but rather than spoil the week this only served to highlight it and give an unforgetable finally to a cracking week!

Winter hiking = no public = hills to yourself = well worth it!

Oh and heres a little video the content of which I pray you never need to employ!