Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thoughts on going bushy

I learned to hunt, for real, when I was about 19 years old. Before that, the woods, the brush, the space beyond the pavement, was a decoration for the place where life happened.

Life changed a bit and I spent a lot of time looking at the bush and what seemed like the wild places. Then I met someone who knew what I wanted even when I didn't and showed me how to hunt squirrels as a way to begin to know the outdoors. I carried that with me for almost 20 years. When February came, I went into my own version of seasonal affective disorder and basically hated everything until September came back and squirrel was back in season.

About a year ago I started to make knives. As a result of this I ran into something that about half the guys in England seems to be talking about... bush knives. From there I began to know this loosely defined group of ideas everyone throws out as bushcraft.

Now, for lots of folks, the line between survival prep and bushcraft is nonexistent. For others, bushcraft is about carving spoons and making fires and hanging with friends. It's a pretty diverse thing, this bushcraft stuff. So what I think, and what I am headlong down the road to doing, is learning how to get along in the world that isn't man-made. There's a bunch to learn and a bunch more to do and in the end, it seems to all be about self reliance and knowledge. I like that.

So let's begin then. Thursday, Mrs Joel said get out so I got out. I made myself a little vid of my adventures and figured we'd open up the new blog with one of my new favorite things - making and managing a fire well enough to stay warm and make some tea. It was a good day.


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