Average Joe Bushcraft
Since the mid to later 1990's bushcraft has slowly become a very popular and expensive hobby. I can still remember the world BM (before Mears) when we didn't even know we were doing bushcraft when we went off to the woods or coast line and foraged and had fun!
These days I find it sad that so many people seem to think of bushcraft not by the skills they have/should learn but by the Kit they feel they have/should own. Now, before you comment in righteous outrage let me point out that I too have been one of you (gear hounds!) and it is not a insult merely a fact from my new prospective as you will see.
However recently, on my 48th Birthday no less, I had a run in with my manager which resulted in my handing in my notice and leaving my job. An event like this very quickly brings your priorities into sharp contrast. You may not like what you find but every cloud has a silver lining as I soon found out.
Firstly, I realised how rich I am in my family and friends and that in this respect I really am a wealthy man - Secondly, I realised after taking stock how much bushcraft gear I owned, and how much of it was "surplus to requirements" which was handy as I am/have sold the lot on Ebay for some much needed funds.
But, what this left me with is a much refined kit and a far greater appreciation of, not only how my hobby and myself had changed for possibly the worse, but also a clear picture and plan of how I could "find my bushcrafting roots" once more.
What is AVERAGE JOE BUSHCRAFT?
In Britain people of all ages and social groups enjoy bushcraft just as do similar folks all over the world, but for a long time TV companies here only seemed to employ well spoken middle class types to teach the skills ect and this I believe opened up the hobby to a particular group of people MAMoMCo's - the middle aged males of middle class origins (a generalisation I know but from my experience not one that is unfounded) - and this group of people more than any other had (pre-recession) a large surplus income they were only to happy to spend on their hobby. Before the mamomco age many of us still enjoyed the outdoor life but had to either make our own gear or generally rely on army surplus kit but after this (in the last two decades) the market has been flooded with gear as people hurriedly bought into a dream.
My new prospective however has made me realise that in chasing the dream with a wallet we miss some much and that in turn lead me to decide that would introduce to my blog a series of articles for the average joe (what Dave Canterbury terms a common man) - these articles, I hope will be of use to those who (and in this day an age there are lots of us) still want to enjoy the outdoors, enjoy bushcraft but who aren't lucky enough to have fat wallets.
To quote Ray Mears, "Of the students I have taught it is often those who cannot afford the fancy gear who learn bushcraft the quickest and most thoroughly - and in doing so gain in experience and confidence".
As Average Joe's, together we will learn new skills in both our back yards and in the woods, we will find out what is the best value gear and how we can use it to its greatest advantage and much more.
More importantly as Average Joe's we will need to learn from each other so I humbly ask all my readers who are interested to submit articles to me also, those I feel relevant I will publish on this blog - also please send me links to anything you think our community might benefit from and like wise I will share that knowledge.
Next Article - Average Joe Bushcraft Gear ......... Minimal kit maximum skills.