When I was first learning about more advanced outdoor skills I was originally very excited by the idea of knowing 18 ways to make a fire using only organically collected, free range mouse farts and the heat generated by leaves blowing in the wind. After a while though, I started to realize that the skills were not the stopping point / not the destination for me. They were really the stepping stone to ensure that when next I was lost, I would likely know what to do to get unlost or remain not dead and unharmed until help could find me.
Around the world these skills are, more and more, being called Bushcraft. It's a good and fitting name but; In the end though, you have to do something with them or you're just a guy out in the woods with $2000 in gear, making a fire and winding up cordage to save for some later date. It's not that expensive gear is bad at all. I have a few things like my canteen sets that cost ton and seem to be worth every cent. But like most things though, the products of the skills (fires, shelters, cords, carvings) and the culture around them (gear collectors, knife experts, raving survivalists, etc.) can be filled with folks only interested in those elements. I'm not sure I know why and I am pretty sure I no longer care about things like; Who has the best knife? Who makes the best feather sticks? Who posted the coolest pics on the outings forum? You know, spontaneously winding cordage at your neighborhood BBQ is an excellent parlor trick. These things though, they are not for me anymore...
I realized that what I really love is the outdoors itself and I had lost that in there. The time spent not being bound to a desk or baseball practice or whatever is essential to me. I like to go from one place to another on foot, through as much natural stuff as possible, and take in the trip along the way. I also know that I love to write about these things. Which brings us to here and now... Coffee in the basement, typing post #1.
|That's a heavy Cover Ti canteen cup on an Esbit Stove, surrounded by my workbench and all of its junk... :) Starbucks Via - Pike Place, cookin up to steaming goodness.
Like most good ideas I have had, this one started in a bunch of trees and then came to life on a really cluttered work bench, next to my desk. Welcome to the tales of my coffee making along the trail. Why coffee? It's a pretty simple thing really:
- First - I have been playing out in the trees with the explicit goal of learning things for about 6 years now. One of the things that is constant in my time out is making a decent cup of Java. Among the other things I have learned, this one remains a constant regardless of season, company, or other goals for a trip... and I love the stuff. A good brew at the right time just makes a trip.
- Second - It doesn't take a helluva lot to make a really good coffee wherever you are outside. It packs up small and packs lite. It's a good reward for the other half of the equation I have concocted here.
- Third - It compliments almost everything else I get out to do. It's silent. It's healthy-ish. It's a touch rebellious if you know my background. It's something I like to take pictures of.
- Fourth - Thinking about it metaphorically, the trail isn't just in the woods and I think writing it down more and more will be good for me, inside this head.
Speaking of gear, over Christmas I was part of a Secret Santa thing on BCUSA.com. It got all mixed up and one of the guys not assigned to me, filled in with some last minute stuff to so I wasn't left hanging. It wasn't really required but I was so grateful. One of the things that showed up from Amazon with this Kuksa...
|Kuksa on my desk, hot Java on board, typing out my thing... :)
Now, I have owned a few of these wooden cups over the years and nearly all have fallen short in my expectations. They look great but leak or crack or they don't look so great when you get them in person or they just can't take being packed around. This one was manufactured and not hand made and I suspect cost a good deal less than the ones I had previously. It completely proved my ideas about these cups false. If you can find 'er over on Amazon, I think this one is worth a look. I surely like mine and will be taking it along as much as I can. The randomness of the good things happening when I have stopped trying to make them happen makes me happy. Coffee and random cup goodness... worth a smile, every time.
It's about time to wrap this one up. The wife and kids are barking for outside time and I am honestly with them on this. More trips in the future me more time away from them so when I am here, I should make the most of it. :)
Feel free to stop back by. I'll be posting a bit now and then with my thoughts on coffee and other nonsense that doesn't matter in the material sense but will, with any luck at all, be good for a soul or two. God Bless and take care...