Curious about your evolution.....

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Beach Hiker, Apr 14, 2019 at 10:13 AM.

  1. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker LB #42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    How did you get to where you are today, bushcraft wise?
    What do you do now that you didn't used to?
    What don't you do now that you used to do?

    I'll start off....
    I used to carry a pack that was way too big and heavy.
    I lightened up and went ultralight. I hiked some serious miles going super-light, but realised I was missing a lot of the fun of being in the woods....
    So I went to a 30 litre pack. And I stuffed it too much.
    Then I went to a 20 litre, and that's where I am now.
    With knives..... always loved them, and still do.
    Cooking.... I use my twig stove a lot more than I used to.
     
  2. J Stephens

    J Stephens Scout

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    The evolution

    As a kid, one can say "ignorance is bliss," ergo really didn't care how much or little I had for camping. All I needed was my imagination.

    As I got older, some time in my late teens early twenties, I stupidly got caught up in survival and all the paranoia that surrounds it. Going to the woods was no longer as fun. I was too busy playing fantasy role playing games about survival.
    The interesting thing is that survival bug was a long time grooming. It truly was a cultish grooming of sorts. The more I hung around survivalist and the community, which was easy because of the friends I had made, the more conditioned I was becoming to the dogma. I can honestly see how some cults convince their followers to do stupid stuff.

    One year I went to wintercount and my eyes were really opened...So many people camping with so little and they were as happy as could be. And these people had waaaayyyy more skills than the BS survivalists with all their gear. I remember feeling a bit jealous of some of these people with their skills and little gear.

    I quickly dumped every and anything I acquired during what I call my paranoid years. I didn't want to go full primitive, but it helped me shed the weight of survival and just go back to camping and enjoying the outdoors

    Sometime in the 90s, I remember reading something about Ray Jardine and then I went down the ultralight philosophy route.

    So, between primitive skills, ultralight philosophy, and common sense I am where I am today.
     
  3. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That is an interesting and thought provoking question @Beach Hiker :)

    As a youngster I took very little when hiking. Literally a rolled up wool blanket and a small aluminum pot to heat water and that was done over a fire with a few stones as a pot support. I did have a cheap external frame pack that I kept packed, but seldom used it.

    In later years, after marriage and children - and making more money - I moved to a nice external pack and more gear. Single burner Coleman stove, stainless steel cook set, big sleeping bag, etc. Found though, that the more gear I had, the less stuff I would use it? But I kept getting more and more gear. This is the time period when my knife collection really expanded.

    Now? Well, I still have enough gear to supply a platoon. Or at least a few families. :) I have been giving tons of stuff away. Doing some selling. Some trading. I still love the gear, still buy some, because that's how I have always been. I think I will be going on a major gear and tool purge this spring though. Not the kind of gear purge of one who is giving up on life and such, but a realistic look at stuff I have and never use.

    I have tents that I bought close to twenty years ago that have never been out of the box, or set up once and put back. Sleeping bags and cots and all manner of things.

    There are a few things that I am evolving towards. I want to finally get a nice high end lighter weight sleeping bag. Or maybe a higher end not so lightweight, like a Wiggy. Or both. I would still like to pack a Randall on my belt, at least for awhile. A real nice sleeping pad too. Other than that, I am pretty good on gear, and what I want or need. :)

    As to my activity stuff?

    I don't hunt or fish nearly as much as I used to, but that may change shortly. Hopefully. :)

    I now know what fatwood is! :) And love it.

    I make fires in many other ways than just matches.

    Seeing so much of my old stomping grounds getting posted or sold has given me a deep appreciation of places i still have available.

    For a few years, if I didn't have someone to come with me I would usually stay home. Now, it makes little difference to me. Codger I guess is setting in. :) But if I want to go out, I will usually ask my wife or one of the kids. If no one wants to go, I will just go anyway. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019 at 1:14 PM
  4. Ron

    Ron Guide

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    I guess everyone started by carrying to big loads.
    I remember carrying a Vulcan II and stuffed the thing full. Used all sorts of milsurp in the beginning. Still do actually, but of a different kind and mostly predating what I used in my early days.

    In the beginning I used bushcraft to get away from people, went tactical in order to hide from prying eyes. I remember often "hiding" right next to trails (not much room elsewhere) and people not even noticing me.
    Then I moved to Sweden and the whole escape-routine evaporated. Now I hardly go out into the woods with the purpose of "bushcrafing" or escaping. I no longer need to or feel the urge to. I live quite secluded.
    I attend meetups to fullfill my social needs, enjoy the likeminded company, but rarely spend the night. I no longer like sleeping on the ground, being stiff and sore and unrested in the morning.

    I have developped a liking for shoulder bags; small, many internal pockets, so easy to keep everything in its place. I go nuts (as in so not like) with backpacks that have 1 single room for everything! When it comes to backpacks; framed ones only.
    This almost obsessive fascination with (overpriced) knives and axes I have often witnessed both online and in real life... Don't understand what's driving people. I have some Moras and they perform very well, especially in regard to their price. They do all I need them to do and more if I push them. Axes I use almost daily for firewood at home. None follow me into the woods.

    Cooking; IKEA hobostove or Swedish army messkit.

    But I have actually outgrown bushcrafting alltogether. I focus on homesteading more. But that might end soon, due to deteriorating physical abilities, which might turn me back into a 9-5 job again or going back to school, involving being around people all day, which might lead to a slightly altered version of step 1 again.
     
  5. Haggis

    Haggis Bushmaster

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    I always preferred a twig fire,,, don’t need any tools beyond a match or Bic. Twig stoves too can be fun and very effective.

    I do enjoy having/collecting gear for camping, but I’ve always been the poster child for the lazy woodsman... not a gram weenie, just hate heavy and bulky,,, always did.

    Can’t say I’ve evolved much,,, the trip still determines pack size.
     
  6. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    I camped, fished and Hunted with my father from age six on up. I soaked up EVERYTHING he taught me and still use 90% of it today. Some of these skills are a step away from what most modern bushcrafters do but everything works for me.

    When I was in the Coast Guard, I found a copy of "The Complete Hiker" (I think) by Colin Fletcher. I got interested in backpacking and when I was discharged, I solo hiked a section of the Pacific Crest Trail from Donner Summit to Bishop California.

    The next year I spent a bit over three weeks hiking in the "River of no Return" wilderness area in Idaho. Each trip caused me to pare down my pack weight to the point that I seldom carry much more than 10-20 lbs. After that, life and jobs pretty much got in the way of wilderness adventures.

    I almost always fall back on the skills learned from my Dad and that hasn't changed at all. My fire making tools have changed from a waterproof container of stick matches to a Ferro rod.

    My pack went from a big red Kelty external frame to a much smaller frameless pack of military design. I no longer carry fresh or canned food but have gone to freeze dried vittles. Actually nowadays my backpacking adventures are limited to several walks around the block. At 70 I just don't feel like any more mountain adventures.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 3:49 PM
  7. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    It all began in 1964 on my first fishing trip with my Dad. He took me to the rod and gun club he belonged to. Showed me how to bait a hook with worms while he fly fished. Caught my first rainbow trout, 14". (Well maybe he caught it and put it on my line, like a good dad would!) We had lunch. He brought a haversack with a folding sterno stove, a can of B&M baked beans, a loaf of french bread with Gulden's mustard, a hank of cheese, and a roll of liverwurst and a small onion. Dinner was the two trout we caught cooked in a frypan he brought on that sterno stove. For the next several years it was these fishing trips that kept developing in me a longing for the outdoors. Then came Boy Scouts.

    Scouts is where my knowledge of the outdoors started to grow. Our Scoutmaster was a crusty and very knowledgeable woodsman. It seemed we were always on outings and camping trips throughout the year. He instilled in us what it really meant to "Be Prepared". He taught us all the woodsman (bushcraft) skills needed to "smooth it" in the woods. He was a HUGE fan of Nessmuk. I learned that a backpack is nothing more than a bag of bags. A bag for everything to keep things organized.

    In high school I became part of Project Adventure and got involved in rock climbing, mountaineering, canoeing, and long range trekking. This is when I started to become a gear junkie.

    Then the Army as an Infantryman. Honed skills, learned new ones, went to a lot of different schools. Fast forward to finding BCUSA. Here I have learned less is more and each tool for its own purpose. I have grown to love shoulder bags. My favorite bag to head into the woods is my Frost River XL Shell bag. I also was introduced to hammock camping and my back loves it.

    I have gained a lot here at BCUSA and am very appreciative.
     
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  8. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    I’ve never wanted to spend much or carry much. I think I overloaded a pack about once and learned my lesson.
    If I’m car camping then I take tons of stuff but even then it’s more for the comfort of the people I’m with than my own use.
    My first “solo” overnighter was in the back yard in a blanket tent my dad set up for me when I was four. Actually my dog was there too so not totally solo.
    My dad was the kind that as a boy would spend the night coon hunting with his dog with little more than a kerosene lantern, a single shot rolling block .22 a few shells and a sandwich.
    When I went into Boy Scouts I was lucky enough to be best friends with the scout masters two sons. We were always doing something in the woods and never had much gear at all.
    Our troop really stressed light and fast travel and skills much more than gear. Much of our gear was made by us and experimentation was highly encouraged.
    When I went into the Army and served in Nam I was actually kind of shocked at how, “unschooled” most of my fellow soldiers including the officers and non-coms were about actually living outside. What I learned from the Army was more about combat than survival or especially bushcraft. By the time I enlisted I was already a better marksman and knew how to move quietly and quickly than many of the instructors.
    My mother was an amazing tracker. Better than anyone I’ve ever met. I picked up some of that but never approached her skill. My youngest brother got that gene.
    My evolution has been pretty level until I got to BCUSA. My horizon has been broadened considerably since joining.
     
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  9. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    As a little kid I was along for the ride , dad one who to bring and pretty back woods savvy, having grown up on a farm.
    Never thought much about what to take not having a lot to begin with .
    I had a fixed blade knife . and a blanket . but I didn't do any snow camping till I was in Search and Rescue and then there was a was a whole list of things you needed they required.
    I was accustomed to hard work and heavy loads, so for me it was no big deal to carry a 70lb pack @7000 feet elevation all night usually .
    Now days my EDC is a 40lb Swiss Army computer back pack , tough as nails.
    Grant you Im not climbing with it,but at my age , but it goes where i go .
    Once S&R always S&R so I cary a lot of health care needs 24/7 including my laptop .
    It is also my GHB "Get Home Bag" in the event I am to and about and things go seriously wrong .
    If there is an EMP I can freely dump the dead electronics and replace those with water with bladders and filter, dumping 4 lbs and gaining 8 .
    The trip home can be 10-50 miles depending on the level of the event, so I prepare for both, the possible return on foot.
    I try to cary more things in my vehicles for preparedness, and I can accept the idea that somethings may have to be left behind, and that's fine ,may be used for barter .
    On the other hand I can appreciate what a long trek can entail and the possibility that going home may not be a viable option . In which case other skills are required to survive.
    Can you be devastated if you loose every thing ?
    It happens , I consider it.
     
  10. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Used to hike and carry a load without thinking about it.
    Got old and wore out.
    Now I think about hiking.
    Truck carries me and gear to within stumbling distance. :oops:
     
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  11. Hiwa

    Hiwa Guide

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    Self-motivated from single digit years. Taught myself mostly and listened to older people with more experience a lot.
    Got my first bush survival badge at 10 , way ahead of all the other kids. Nothing I liked more than firemaking and building lean-to's , fishing , and learning about nature.
    Dad ( rest his soul) liked camping and fishing and taught me about guns , handling, and safety.
    I just evolved from there. There was no such thing as Bushcraft term being used then. It was either camping or bush survival skills.
    I'm getting on in years and take things easy now. Still practice my skills when I go camping. I like foraging ,learning plants , watching nature, shooting , fishing , and do a lot of wood processing.
    Having to work in the city takes a lot of time away from my outdoor pursuits lately , as I am close to paying off all my debts ( beside normal house bills) so I can flow into retirement. Once that happens ( a few years or so) , I will spend a lot more time in the bush. Money poor and gear heavy.
     
  12. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    My evolution was in the UK. Started with my Dad in the back yard, progressed through scouts and then venture scouts. This started my love of the outdoors, woods craft and camping. My first "Survival Kit" was in a plastic box used by Agfa to supply photographic developing kits (my Dad was a photographer that processed his own film at home) and I took that old yellow box on many a scout trip.

    After starting work I was selected to go on the full Outward Bound course and a couple of other leadership courses involving the outdoors which broadened my enjoyment of camping and added a lot of other outdoor activities to the things I had learnt from the scouts. I also started "glamping" with my new family although we were still based in small 2-3 man tents that you couldn't stand up in! But it was glamping in that we loaded a car with as many comforts as we could and drove to our campsite rather than hiking in.

    Fast forward a few kids and a couple of marriages! I got the bug to be out and about in the woods again and restarted camping trips mainly on my own as a form of escape from the grind, relaxation and rejuvenation. This is what got me involved in "Bushcraft" and eventually led me to these forums. Throughout all of this I was fishing (particularly beach fishing) and doing other outdoorsy stuff even if not actually hiking/camping out overnight(s), though sometimes we would fish through the night just because of the tide timetable. On those nights we often would build a fire from driftwood to keep warm and hunker down under a fishing umbrella or build some sort of shelter to get us out of the weather.

    That was where my major turn to Bushcraft came to the fore and was my "Step-evolution" from camping. I changed from carrying a tent to constructing and using some form of "open shelter". Fishing umbrella to brush shelter (if enough on the beach or near the lake/gravel pit) to a tarp shelter to give more room than an umbrella so that the gear would not get wet as well. Then it was a case of taking things further in terms of lightening the load and in particular towards multi-use items and this is where I guess I am at today.

    Although moving to the USA a few years ago stopped the sea fishing trips, and old age has curtailed the hiking, I still go glamping (with a tent I can stand up in and cots to lay on) and tend to backyard Bushcraft, especially with the grandson, and try to pass on at least some of the stuff I have learnt over the years (and am still learning from sources like these forums).

    Thank you to everybody who contributes to these forums. I am still learning.

    OJ
     
  13. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Idot Supporter

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    I used to have gills and fins. Now I pretty much stick to breathing air and bipedal locomotion.
     
  14. insector

    insector Scout

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    Ever since I was a young boy- I hunted with a single shot .22 and a 20 gauge out my front door. No one in town then seemed to be intimidated by it. Many boys my age hunted around the perimeter of town. Small game and coyotes (for pelts) in the sagebrush and small draws and streams. Ducks and geese and pelts of beaver and muskrat on the Humboldt river. The cub scouts gave me a good start on outdoor skills and tools. My Dad played a large role in promoting these type interests.

    In high school I hunted mule deer mainly in the hills, canyons and mountains of Northern Nevada and began to camp overnight from a pickup. I hunted chukars and sage grouse also. It seemed to keep me out of a lotta trouble. Usually. I never backpacked until I graduated from high school and then got into it in college for some time in Reno. Then I began backpacking with friends and a girlfriend or 2 and really got into it. It was the 70s. Gear was heavier and Packs were larger. But I did not pack solo much.

    Then I thought maybe there must be a life after college and decided to get a real job as a beekeeper in a small town in north Nevada for some time. I completed a masters thesis while there and then got a job in Montana as a bug man for the department of Agriculture here. I then started my own pest control business. I got married and then divorced and it was the divorce that spurred my backpacking which centered around elk hunting. I spent much time hiking, fishing, hunting and exploring the wilderness here from there on out............all over the state. It was the adventure of my life. I met many good people and then eventually my daughter also got her college degree........

    Through it all the backpacking seemed to absorb me. It progressively got more intense, lighter and more frequent. Longer times spent on trail- up to a month in the summer at one time. I learned how to grocery shop for fish, rabbits, grouse, squirrels, dehydrated vegies, etc. And my pack partners were a dog or 2 over the stretch of 3 decades................

    Then I got old. I went deaf. Knees, ankles, the lower back and my achillies began to limit my excursions more and more. the elk harvests became fewer and fewer. So my age is a limiting factor now and I nurse my right achilles tendon more than ever............So my advice to the younger ones now is:


    Dont get old!..............it hurts...............ha. But I can still get in a decent hike or 2 on occasion. And I can still pack and I can still hunt elk.............so far
     
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  15. bosque bob

    bosque bob Guide

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    That may not be evolution
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019 at 8:34 PM
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  16. Athena Grey

    Athena Grey Tracker

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    Sometimes you can only escape the city by going to the unwanted places: the abandoned quarries, the marshes and the ravines, all the liminal places where no one figured out how to make urban money from that particular bit of land. They were never big enough places to need a lot of stuff, so I didn’t carry much. They kept me sane and helped me discover the skills that are in my genes, part British farmer and part Quebeçois adventurer. Girls didn’t get to do that kind of stuff when I was growing up, at least not the adventurer part. But I could study nature and be a birder. I realized that you can indeed hike in a dress, and in fact have a wonderful photo of my Mum and her two sisters, clad in tweed skirts and sensible shoes, preparing a fire (presumably for tea) while hiking in the woods.

    I did a stint of ultralight hiking, some 15 years ago, but realized the miles didn’t matter, and that seeing the woods as a long green tunnel to push on endlessly through was not for me.But I had some cool gear and I thought I’d go back to ultralight hiking someday.

    Fast forward to a few years ago. The ultralight gear got lost in a move, but for a few things, and I realized that I didn’t really need an alcohol stove and a titanium teakettle, and whatever else I had. I bought some land, and realized that I didn’t want to be a farmer or play an adventurer. I just wanted to get to know every tree and bird on the land, and embrace slowness, natural beauty and sustainability. I wanted to carve my own spoons and make simple things with the resources of the land. I even have a small base camp in mind.

    I didn’t replace much of the missing gear . I have a pack basket and a smaller basket that hold my things. I am not a reconstructionist or a re-enactor, though I have been both at times. I am rather fluid about the time period of my gear. Whatever works best. I say that I am informed by history, but I am not enslaved by it. I have the soul of a sixth century Druid but I wear modern wellies. I am idiosyncratic in my choices, and have some particular aversions to things that a lot of people take for granted, like camo print and military surplus items, which I find overbuilt and unnecessary for what I do. YMMV, of course, and I mean no disrespect if they are staples of your gear. I just prefer the tweeds and natural colors that my ancestors spun and wove.

    That’s where I am now. You can find yourself in the woods if you slow down and stop running away from yourself all the time. And it takes very little gear to do that.
     
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  17. McKBrew

    McKBrew Tracker

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    I haven't even started to evolve. I enjoy camping but let life control me in a way that didn't allow me to do much of it the first couple decades of my adult life. I was in the Navy, gone a fair amount but could have made better use of time.

    I've never done an overnighter that involved throwing on a pack and getting away from the car. I have done some camping where I literally slept in my vehicle when working out of town. Company gave you a set amount of perdiem and could care less how you spent it.

    My goal this year was to go camping at least once a month every month. Haven't quite met it but I've been out a couple times so far so it's a start. My goal is to do some more remote camping that involves walking in but honestly if I am able to camp at all I'm a happy guy .

    I don't consider my self a bushcrafter per se but I've definitely learned about some different gear and techniques that I had never heard of until I started hanging out here.

    If I have one thing to offer it is don't waste life. Yes we all have obligations and responsibilities but you have to find a way to do the things you want to do once in awhile. I sometimes think about all the camping trips I could have done, all the hikes I could have taken and the skills I could have gained if I would have devoted even a small amount of time to them.
     
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  18. doulos

    doulos Supporter Supporter

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    Hummm...

    Well, I went from the Marine Corps to living in the mountains for a few months, to a backpacker who carried way too much gear, to a Mountain Man going to rendezvous' where I never knew anyone, to a Longhunter with not enough gear and no place to practice my skills. I don't have any friends who share any of my interest and never have had. Now that I'm getting old and physically challenged with too many aches and pains, I live my life vicariously through the internet, collecting gear that I rarely get to use and only occasionally go for short hikes after a long drive to find some trees and water. Pretty pathetic actually. :(
     
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  19. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    You aren’t the Geico Gecko are you?
     
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  20. CosmicJoke

    CosmicJoke Tracker

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    I can't really say if I have evolved or, devolved.

    I spent a lot of time living in the city as a kid. When I was 14 we moved into the country again and I had a lot of woods to play in. Friends and I would just hit the woods with our sleeping bags and some hot dogs. I enjoyed that style of camping more then car camping. We just called it backwoods camping. I had never heard the term 'bushcraft' until about 8 years ago. But the style is the same. You go off into the woods, set up a camp, and enjoy it using as little gear as possible.

    I have gone from just using my sleeping bag on the ground ( when I was younger my mom got tired of washing it all the time and bought be a cheap tarp to put down ), to using different variations of tarp shelters, to trying a hammock, to using a tent, all were done without a sleeping pad. I got tired of snakes, bugs and waking up to a racoon hissing in my face, and started using a tent 99% of the time. But, I stayed true to only taking waht was needed for that trip. Food changes all the time for me, what I take to eat really depends on what I am doing and where I will be, but I try very hard to avoid most canned goods these days.

    When my back got screwed up, I still fought like hell to maintain my jobs and sleep on the ground. Things got bad. Now, I have to make a ton of trips in for gear, or use a plastic sled. I can't hike as far back in as I used to be able to. I have to use a bigger tent and a cot. I still hate firing up a lantern and rarely have one in the backwoods. I have changed to mainly using freeze dried meals. I can't stand solo trips anymore, I enjoy having someone to talk to, bust ba*** with, and share and receive knowledge.

    No one really taught me anything about backwoods camping, no books and when I got into this over 30 years ago there was no www. I was camping in the backwoods well before it was a trend. I taught myself how to use a ferro rod and knife to make a fire, and what kindle or starters would work. Trial and error was my mentor, and it taught me well, still teaches me at times.

    Don't get me wrong, reading books and in this day and age can teach you some basics, but to own it you need to do it. Bushcraft really isn't rocket science, it's knowledge of the outdoors and how to use what resources nature can offer and use them.


    I may have lost a few steps over the years, I have forgotten how to do a few things, but I'm doing what I can to get back into more primitive camping.
     
  21. backlasher

    backlasher nothing to do and all day to do it in Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    My entrance to the outdoors was through fishing. I've always lived less than an hour from the Gulf of Mexico and as a teenager, I fished with a lot of friends. We took a blanket, a knife and some matches and slept like the dead. One of my fondest memories was of one guy building up the fire, another getting the grease hot in a frying pan and me cleaning a stringer of fish we had just caught. I had an uncle who taught me a lot about the outdoors and about fishing. He was the one who noticed that I need some alone time to stay sane. That never changed even though marriage, children and life tried to take it away. As a Pastor, getting that alone time was a challenge and it became only half a day, once in a while. When I was younger, I carried too heavy a pack and traveled too fast and too far to enjoy the scenery. I quit going out when it got too hard to get up from the ground but when I discovered hammocks, I started going out again, mostly car camping. At 72 I still enjoy the smell of a fire, the smell of the pines and the company of some good folks. Oh! Once in a while I still go fishing.
     
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  22. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker LB #42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That was fascinating to read.
     
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  23. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker LB #42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    One evolution I've had since joining is that I buy much less, and make s lot more.
    I also am much more experimental than I used to be.
     
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  24. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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    I got smarter and less influenced by new gadgets and unnecessary stuff, KISS!
    DOMINICK............
     
  25. bumma

    bumma I'm not lost. Just a bit confused. Supporter

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    I like the way you put this.
    I'm right there with ya, brother.
     
  26. bluecow

    bluecow Scout

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    I haven't evolved so much except by need. Just try finding a Prince Albert can to carry fishing worms in. I'm still to lazy to lug around to much I just have age as an excuse.
     
  27. nomad orphan

    nomad orphan Scout

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    bushcraft was a new word for me.
    been doing it longer than I knew there was a word for it.

    my "ah-ha" moment?
    when everyone was froze and fireless.
    yanno... but I wasn't.

    common sense in a,"spy vs. spy" kindaway
     
  28. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Guide

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    My father and both grandfathers were outdoorsmen. One of my grandfathers had a cabin with some woodland. I grew up spending time there being taught everything from knife craft to map and compass. By the age of 10 I could trek into the hills behind the camp over night by myself (well my younger brother was along sometimes). My other grandfather had a large farm so also another area to roam. The cabin that my grandfather built in the woods will be 100 years old next year. And now owned by my brothers and I.

    Over the years I went from Boy Scouts to backpacking, cross country sky camping trips, canoe trips, etc. Today I'm getting back to the basics and teaching my grandson much of what I learned from my grandfather. Time to pass it on.
     
  29. Metaldog

    Metaldog Just chasing my tail... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I grew with parents who loved the outdoors. My parents took off to the woods every opportunity they could get. We nearly always camped while on vacation. Even though my dad was in the USAF, he didn't like flying on a plane. Most of our vacations, we would load up the family station wagon, and off we went. Dad usually had 6-8 weeks of time off per year, so we usually went camping in 2-3 week blocks. We almost always went primitive camping (even in campgrounds), with no amenities. No running water, no electricity & no bathhouse or restrooms near by. Friends of our family referred to us as a bunch of Gypsy's.

    When I was a kid, it was nothing for me to grab a knife, a small bag of food & a canteen, then just run off into the woods for a night or two. Back then, I was still respectful of the land, and kept a clean, organized camp. I just wasn't as concerned with the impact I made. The "leave it as you found it" thinking. I had no qualms in finding a good spot & using the dead wood around me to build a debris hut, or similar shelter. I was wild & free, so to speak.

    While in my teens & 20's, I got into long haul hiking, backpacking & dispersed camping. A group of friends & I would go hiking/backpacking for days at a time. Sometimes a week or more. It was nothing for us to don an 80-100 lb. pack and head out. I generally tried to stay around 60 lbs. with my pack. We hiked mostly in the Appalachian Mountains, but we also did a couple of trips to the Rock Mountains, and a ten day excursion hiking & dispersed camping the Grand Canyon. As technology advanced and materials became lighter, I downsized my gear and got it down to about 45 lbs.

    As time progressed, the group began to settle down. And with new responsibilities of jobs, family, and having children, the group eventually stopped trekking together. Many of us still keep in touch, and even get together once in a while. But alas, our time spent hiking & backpacking came to and end.

    I too, went the family route. I found my true love in a beautiful blue-eyed, red haired Irish immigrant girl. My parents did not like her much, but I didn't care. I married her, and we began a family. In time, my parents became very fond of her, and welcomed her as though she was their own child. That in itself was a huge relief. My wife & I had four children. Two boys & two girls. We too, mostly went camping while on vacation. We, like my parents, were off to the woods every chance we had. Hiking, backpacking & camping.

    Our kids are all grown & on their own now. And we now have a grandson who is two. My wife & I still love the outdoors. And we still go camping when we have time to. Our only differences are that she likes to be near the bath house. I like to be ALONE. Get me as far away from civilization as humanly possible. We still love to hike and backpack. But now, the hikes are usually shorter, and the packs are usually in the 20-30 lb. range. Personally, I am anxious for the day that I can share some of these experiences with my grandson, and future grand children.
     
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  30. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Guide

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    When my own kids were growing up I was doing a lot of flying for business. So I hated going on planes for vacations. Almost all my kids vacations were camping. Mainly east coast from the Carolinas through Maine and even up to Quebec. Once they were old enough canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes went along. They may not have gotten to Disney World but they did get to see large bull moose, loons, and black bear. Fantastic waterfalls, lakes, and mountain vistas. These days when we reminisce with friends my kids realize how unique their experiences have been.
     
  31. S.Decker

    S.Decker Guide

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    I'm still dragging my knuckles.
     
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  32. dirt7

    dirt7 Supporter Supporter

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    I grew up wandering the woods with a backpack and Red Ryder, fairly clueless about "survival" but I had a love for the calm being alone in the woods gave me. I went through scouts in the 90's and got a decent amount of backpacking gear aquired. I went to college, got married and had kids and fell out of touch with being in the outdoors other than small hikes with my kids and eventually taking them camping then they were around 2 years old. A few years ago the bug really hit me again, so I dusted off some of my old gear and with the help of the new fangled internet I was exposed to a lot more in terms of gear and "bushcraft" that I learned in scouts years ago. Now that I am an adult I try to choose gear that will benefit me, ranging from backpacking gear to car camping with the kids and making it enjoyable for them. There are still some high dollar items I would love to eventually get, a custom knife, titanium cookware, and maybe a better hammock system for those remote places that just suck for setting up a tent.

    This site has be very useful in teaching myself some of the more primitive skills and really get out there and practicing them. Knowing I am carrying enough gear to survive a nigh in the woods if I had to is always reassuring.
     
  33. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Idot Supporter

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    Knuckles...must be nice...I'm still rockin' flippers. Hope to upgrade soon.
     
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  34. S.Decker

    S.Decker Guide

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    I don't think I ever really evolved. I still do things pretty much the same as I always did. Over time, my gear has changed some. Mostly because the old stuff wore out. Not to say that I don't try new things, I do. Heck, I got a Emberlit twig stove, for Pete's sake. I just don't feel the need to "keep up". Yes, there are things that I'd like to acquire, but, I just can't afford them, at this point in time. It's not like I NEED them. I just would like to have them. Big difference between needs and wants.
     
  35. JAY

    JAY Guide

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    I never had much of a childhood, and as an adult, life was all about work. My evolution into camping and Bushcraft though, has gone from a military belt along with pouches of various sizes hanging off it, then to a back pack that my back could not handle. I finally decided I didn't want to look the para-military type and have finally decided on what is showing in the following pic. My age prevents little more then day hikes, with the possibility of an emergency over night. Retired now to within 6 miles from the Appalachian trail, I have lots of time for woods bumming. I seem to be always swapping items out, as to make bag lighter, and with less bulk. 00000018.JPG
     
  36. Metaldog

    Metaldog Just chasing my tail... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I can understand that. Probably much the same for my father. But, one thing I can say, the memories will last a millennia. We vacationed about every 3 months, it seemed. Never the same place twice. By the time I graduated high school, I had seen about every sight there is to see, and visited every state except for Hawaii. Because of the inspiration it gave me growing up, we have taken our own children to many of the sights in this country. From the Statue of Liberty to Mount Rushmore. From Niagara Falls to Key West. You name it, we've probably been there.
     
  37. Portage_Monster

    Portage_Monster Experiencing Wanderlust Supporter

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    I have my folks to thank for almost everything. They've always been outdoorsy people and even met working at a summer camp, so this life was pretty much guaranteed from the get go. From as far back as I can remember, my folks took me and my siblings camping every time the family wanted a getaway. As I got older and more independent the only way to get distance from a car camping family was to start pitching my tent further and further away from everyone. By sixteen I'd done a Boundary Waters trip with just a friend of mine and by the end of high school I was sort of the go-to guy for camping stuff.

    Then in college I devolved. Between athletics, working, chasing girls and the occasional appearance in a classroom I didn't spend much time in the woods for a few years. After college, though, I remember thinking to myself, it's time to start becoming a better woodsman. I started paying attention to what was in my kit, and thinking about how to do it better. Then somewhere around 2014-2015 I stumbled upon MCQ Bushcraft on youtube and was hooked. Once I learned the word "bushcraft," I found this place and I went from folders to fixed blades, tents to tarps (when the bugs aren't horrendous), white gas stoves to campfire cooking and spent an insane amount of money on improving my woods time.
     
  38. Morris777

    Morris777 Scout

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    well in college I was with the national youth nature study people, who went old school way (their own very admirable culture, low budget, high fun) army tents, group cooking and bicycle transport (no plastics, no brands), in college the hiking scene and its products were valued by alot of students (admired). I also was shortly lured in for instance the newest Polar Fleece stuff when I was young (I came from woolen sweater old school low budget army surplus and garage sale outfit).
    When I made my first real money (working) I backpacked, with time collected the light gear. Tech stuff. Light, all plastics (I you think about it) and short lived items (even the rucksacks of back then the coating totally desintegrated).
    But I found out walking with 17-20 kg was not so enjoyable. So what was I proving…...Nature walks where my things.
    Ray Mears was in TV and he promoted more traditional gear and approach, which connected with my background and outlook on life.
    Later on Ray went a bit too technical on his website, with too much gear and high tech gear, travelling about in a huge caravan of vehicles and gear. I started crafting myself back then, forging, carving wood, leather craft, wild edibles etc.
    My whole gear is no/then almost devoid of plastic and/or made locally with natural materials.
    So the Traditional Bushcraft had my attention. The hikes were in that day just nature (also foraging resources)) day hikes, but loads of outings from a basecamp.
    Spending whole days on a basecamp and make do with the stuff and food taught me more about resources.
    From my worklife (Nature and Nature Conservation) and historic farming I learned even more abour essential and underrated resources. Also the major state of trouble whe are in or soon are to be in.

    To keep a way to long story short, I have a 35 liter pack now, no more or a gasmask shoulderbag (Tschech one) and am into Self Sufficiency, Permaculture plus Homesteading, since hiking and getting away is nice, but the packs are always supplied by supermarkets and on the other side of the globe producers. Still are, but less.
    At the moment I cannot bother to craft things ( I have all that I need) (I do repairs though), prove anything, travel long distances and focus on my kid (the kids around my kid) and Homesteading stuff.
    I try to teach some people around me (in an extensive way) (since I have 20+ years of Nature and Landschape (incl agrarian) theory and practival), natural history, geology, floras and fauna life experience, some years of old school crafting, with is super rare in the area where I live. But I am not busy, since hardly anyone seems to care).

    Writing this I think I am kind of done on this forum People go through their own progression.
    This is probably some of the last posts.
    It is ok!
    Bushcraft for life!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 10:13 AM
  39. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    never had a lot, just went out with basic household items,
    as I got older accumulated a bit of gear, when it was all stolen I went back to minimalist. for 15 years or so, probably spent no more than total of $100 on gear.
    $20 sleeping bag and $15 tent was the bulk of my purchase.
    now that am involved in scouting am back to accumulating gear, way too much gear for my liking, I prefer and miss minimal days, I hope to be able to teach my son to be less dependent on gear,
    I prefer my $15 tent over my $200 kelty and over my $200 msr tent,
    also prefer my $20 synthetic sleeping bag over my down marmot and kelty bags
    I enjoy my outings much more when I pack nothing more than what fits in my 20l backpack,
    when I pack my 60l backpack, I feel tied down to my gear and don't enjoy the outings as much
     
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  40. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker #42 Supporter

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    I am in the process of using what I have lots more and selling lots of what goes unused.

    Less is more.... is where I am but I came from a mentality in Boy Scouts where I needed a maximum number of redundant items. All of our trips back then were in large groups so I always carried enough gear to help not only myself but several others if the need was there.

    Slowly, I started to have the expectation that folks need to rely on themselves more than anything. The skill sets of an individual do not NEED to fill out a group, they can stand on their own. Leadership became a mindset of mine as I worked towards the end of Scouting with my Eagle Scout project.

    I learned quickly that my experience in Scouting was sort of like an Olympic sized swimming pool that was only a few inches deep. I have lots left to learn to deepen my knowledge base.

    So since then, I have been making my pool of knowledge a bit smaller but lots deeper. Learning to do more with less is how I have evolved in the last 10+ years.

    Great thread idea!
     
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  41. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    I am involved in cub scouts, different outings,
    yet when I see the boy scout troop load up for outings I cant believe the amount of gear they are loading,
    multiple coolers, various kitchen/cooking gear, bunch of other gear, it actually leaves a negative impression on me of the outings.
     
  42. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    My evolution...?? It was just life. I grew up in the country. I learned at an early age how to do most things from my Grandfathers. Fishing, hunting, using knives and guns. Later to using equipment like chainsaws, tractors, mowers. I got away from it for several years in HS and college......as much as I wanted an education to escape this small town.....5 years in college in Atlanta made me realize how much I love country living......After college I came back home to live in the country and I have not left. I don't really consider myself a bushcrafter as I don't live without the nicer things in life. IN fact, I have way more toys than anyone should ever have or need.... I find myself now going back to an even slower life. Gardening, camping, fishing, hunting, riding my bicycles, hiking, and still working seem to be my life these days. Kind of full circle back to what I did mostly as a child. I do want to add some travel to these later years, but travel by car or bicycle so I can experience some of this country on a more leisure pace. I really would like to do a long bike tour and maybe even hike the AT before I die.
     
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  43. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker #42 Supporter

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    Seems to be an over extension of the 'be prepared' principle. I agree, it really does leave a bad feeling knowing how much some folks need to be prepared.
     
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  44. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Guide

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    When I was in Scouts back in the 60's most of the dads had served in the military. We often carried iron fire grates in our packs! :mad:
    Taught me to speak up years later when I was involved in youth leadership roles.
     
  45. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Bushmaster

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    How did you get to where you are today, bushcraft wise?

    Think of things that I want to do and do them. I learn by doing. The more I do the more I learn, not just that specific task but skills that can be applied in many situations. The more stuff I do the more confidence I have to do more things.

    What do you do now that you didn't used to?
    • Hike, backpack, camp solo
    • Cook over the fire when the mood strikes me
    • Use an axe
    • Cover more distance
    • Camp in more interesting areas
    • Car camp when the occasion calls for it
    • Tenkara
    What don't you do now that you used to do?
    • Carry a larger knife
    • Use heavy gear
    • Use paracord for bear bag line or pretty much anything
    • Offroading
    • Tire out and sweat buckets
    • Struggle to start fire in tough conditions
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 5:39 PM
  46. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    When I was young the neighborhood was full of older kids; who were nasty at best. I lived way on the outskirts of town and had lots of woods behind the house. So I took to them. I owned an Air Force survival manual and several other military texts as well as scouting hand books from my brother’s years of scouting. I built every shelter and trick and trap in those books. I had a veritable arsenal of spears, bows, arrows, clubs and other things here unmentioned. I filled the woods with punji stick traps, snares etc, they may yet still be catching things for all I know. That was more than 50 years ago, I’m still playing in the woods to this day.
     
  47. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    I think in my case, I am going through more of a devolution.

    Started with simple, affordable stuff. Most expensive part of my kit was my LK35 that I got for $15, and my Mora for about the same. Lots of military surplus pouches and such.

    Now I want more leather, waxed canvas, brass, handmade type stuff. I had a fine hatchet, Wetterling actually, that had been hanging out at my cabin for decades.....but now I want that Council Tool Woodcraft Camp Carver or whatever it is. The hatchet alone will cost more than my entire original kit did.

    Yeah, I'm totally devolving. I want nicer stuff.

    Does that make me a bad person?
     
  48. Quinlan

    Quinlan Supporter Supporter

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    Greetings,

    This is a very interesting question, thank you for posing it @Beach Hiker.

    Having read all the previous posts, I will try to answer it in an unorthodox manner, for the aforementioned posts cover me completely.

    This is where I am still at:
    This is when in the future I will change my approach and adjust as necessary in order to continue enjoying bushcraft:
    Regards,

    Christos
     
  49. chansta

    chansta keeper of the flame Supporter

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    9B0B40FF-D7D3-4662-8158-8D2805666758.jpeg Back in 2015, I was on a date with this girl I had no business being with. Completely beautiful and amazing. We planned a short hike into a state park at a “primitive “campsite. I had no experience or knowledge. Donning my circa 1980s external frame backpack, a 6 pound tent, And no headlamp, we ventured into the camp.
    As the sun receded behind the mountains and the valley began to chill, a front moved in.

    “Build me a campfire “ she pleaded. “I’m cold.” I fumbled with a lighter as t began to rain. Throwing some GREEN twigs together, I attempted a fire. She looked puzzled, but didn’t interject.

    With night closing in, and the rain making everything impossible to light, I felt completely emasculated. Fire is so essential, and I couldn’t even manage to get a modest flame.

    Having given up on this task, she asked me if we could put up a tarp. I tried tying paracord to trees but couldn’t even begin to understand how to achieve tension or secure to the line.

    The trip ended, we became friends, and research on how to light fire in wet conditions totally consumed me. From there, I worked on ridge lines and became a knot junkie.

    End product above
     
  50. Luke Dupont

    Luke Dupont Tracker

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    This guy inspired me to get into bushcraft:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAL3JXZSzSm8AlZyD3nQdBA

    As a kid, I was always fascinated by primitive skills, and traveling the country and going to national parks, I always loved learning about the Native Americans. On every road trip, I looked for some form of flint / knappable stone, but never found any. I tried knapping random rocks with very mediocre results. I also tried and failed at friction fire -- hand drill, which I still can't seem to do yet. I didn't know about bow drill at the time -- I think if I had, I would've been successful.

    Then, I stumbled across the above channel, and also some of Dave Canterbury's videos, and knew that Bushcraft is for me. I love making and improvising stuff, and learning fundamental skills -- and I love being self-sufficient, or at least having the knowledge to be self sufficient.

    It wasn't until I moved here, to Japan, however, that the outdoors became more welcoming, You see, I'm from the deep South, and to be perfectly honest, it is far too hot most of the year to enjoy the outdoors. There are only 3-4 months of tolerable weather a year along the gulf coast. I've come dangerously close to heat stroke a few times trying to brave the weather in late spring / summer, and suffered from very severe heat exhaustion one day. Not saying it can't be done, but, I think I am not well adapted to the heat even after trying very hard to acclimate to it.

    Well, Japan is a different story! Everyone thinks it's hot and humid here in Tokyo, but it's way better than where I lived previously! There's actually four seasons here! Heck, I can wear a sweater for at least 6 months out of the year! That's a world of difference! There are only 3 months or so of truly hot weather, and it's still not quite as bad as where I'm from. Moreover, Japan has a ton of traditional culture, some of which is very much along the lines of "bushcraft", from traditional crafts to foraging and preserving wild edibles, to knowledge of friction fire. Many traditional skills are still alive. And, the nature itself is beautiful.

    So, I decided last fall that it was time for me to start Bushcrafting! And, my goal is to make quite a bit of my own gear, if not all of it! It'll be a long process, but we'll see how that goes =)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 12:33 AM
    Captain Airyca and M.Hatfield like this.

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