quinta-feira, 19 de maio de 2011

When did Bushcraft become Camping?

Today, i have recived my daily update of Google Alerts and with in the Bushcraft theme i found this great article by http://ranger-pathfinder-notes.blogspot.com When did Bushcraft become Camping?: "(Reposted from an older Blog)

I was reading through some blogs on the subject of bushcraft/survival skills and found an interesting post, the author put forward an argument that I have been feeling for some time, I am a member of many forums involved with Bushcraft, and I have noticed that as a group the hobby is losing its original focus, we all seem to be more interested in comfort kit and snivel gear and less interested in the actual skills and practice of “true” Bushcraft, I see lots of pictures of campsites with folding chairs and large coolers, even with the family car sometimes, it just makes me wonder where the original idea went…



Now, I do understand the fact that not all of us can go to an exotic location and practice our skills, we all have work to do and obligations at home, but I think we need to get a little discipline back into the hobby, get a little further away from the car, walk a little longer before we set up camp, take some time to get into the woods and away from the “synthetic” world and one more thing… carry less kit!

Some loads I see for a weekender are more than is needed for a month out in the woods!

The whole point of bushcraft I think is to do more with less, learn to make what we need and stop buying it all and never learning to make it…

Sure, we need a certain amount of kit to do it safely, and there are a few things I would not leave at home that make my trips more enjoyable, and when we start out, we need a certain amount of “fall back” kit, but as we get more experience, we should be carrying less not more…

The amounts of money we spend on our hobby is astronomical, to pay $500 for a jacket and $900 for a sleeping bag is just crazy! And yes, I am guilty of this too, but in the end is it really worth the money when a cheaper option works just as well?

There are only a few items that I would justify spending a little more on, a good quality knife, well-fitting sturdy boots, a good pack to carry your needs in… all the rest can be got as cheaper options that work well…

Mil surplus is as good as any kit, and a lot of kit can be found in OG rather than cam, if you don’t like the colour you can change it with some dye, or paint it if needs be…

I do understand that people don’t want to look like some Rambo Survivalist, I don’t, but we are becoming snobs in some regards, we have the two factions of elitists and the others, elitists have all the shiny kit and show it off to all and sundry, the others don’t and wish they did so they could feel like they fit in, along the way we lose the skills and enjoyment of nature.

Simplicity and improvisation were the parents of the skills we practice, evolution comes along and starts an upgrading program on the skills, we start to carry the more up to date kit, and start to worry less about if something goes wrong, our ability to put up a waterproof shelter is lessened because we us a GT Bivi bag inside so it won’t matter too much if it leaks, our fire lighting ability lessens when we can use a lighter and fire starters to make up for a sloppy fire lay, etc.

Look at kit like this:

If I take my kit out for three or more trips and I find I’m carrying items I don’t use then I remove them, if I go out again and find I needed it then it goes back in… the only exception to this is first aid and emergency signalling/safety kit.

It is just an observation I have made and has been nagging me for a while now…

So… when did Bushcraft become camping out?

Safe Trails...

Karl.
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