Ten Years of Bushcraft USA: An Interview with the Founders. (complete)

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Beach Hiker, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    A little while back I wrote to the founders of Bushcraft USA about doing an interview with them.
    They readily agreed and also pointed out that the timing was perfect since Bushcraft USA will be celebrating its tenth anniversary on September 15th.

    So take a seat around the fire and join Guy and Jason as they talk about Bushcraft USA.

    Question 1

    Beach Hiker:
    Welcome gentlemen, and thanks for doing this. Let's start from the beginning.
    So Guy, and Jason, how did you decide to start a bushcraft forum, the one that we all know and love, that has become Bushcraft USA?

    Guy and Jason:
    We had been around to various sites and forums that related to bushcraft and outdoor survival but there seemed to be a real lack of US based forums that focused primarily on bushcraft.
    Most of the other places were preparedness, knife and firearms sites with a sub-forum on bushcraft. We thought there was a need for a US based forum dedicated to bushcraft as the main topic.
     
  2. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    BH:
    What was the forum like in the early days? Was it difficult getting members and content? What were your hopes or expectations?

    Guy and Jason:

    Our expectation was simple, create a dedicated bushcraft forum where knowledge could be openly shared and gathered in one spot. A virtual campfire for like minded individuals.

    We were a bit naive at first in that we didn't intend on banning anyone, thought the forum would police itself, and intended to pay all the expenses out of our own pockets.
    We wanted it to be simple and small. Our expectation was maybe 1,000 people max?

    The forum grew on its own without any advertising, in fact it grew so quickly that it surprised us. There was this milestone when we had a phone call discussing how hard it was to believe that we had reached 6,000 members. We never thought we would ever get to that point. Now we have close to 70,000 and it grows every day.

    Those are just the registered members, interestingly that is only a small portion of our site traffic and most of the site visits are actually lurkers.

    Now we are looking at our ten year anniversary, never in our wildest dreams could we imagine that.

    BH:
    Stay tuned for more questions and answers in the following days as we lead up to the tenth anniversary of Bushcraft USA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  3. bumma

    bumma Supporter Supporter

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    This is good stuff...Thanks.
    :dblthumb:
     
  4. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Watching this!
     
  5. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks, watching. joe
     
  6. Jason

    Jason Founder Staff Member Administrator Vendor

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    Thanks to Beach Hiker for doing this, made us think about the old days of the forum.
     
  7. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I watched this video yesterday afternoon.

     
  8. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock T's Custom Outdoor Gear Vendor Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Very cool BH! I've had the honor of sharing an actual campfire with @Guy and it was so awesome to hear from one of our founders all about how BCUSA got started and progressed to where we are now.
     
  9. dub

    dub BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    This is great. Can't wait to read it all.
     
  10. gohammergo

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

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  11. PACoureurDuBois

    PACoureurDuBois Scout

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    Amazing how Fire, Steel, and Wood brought so many people together!
     
  12. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    All right, we're back. Just putting a few more logs in the fire.
    Question 3
    BH:
    There must have been some bumps in the road and hiccups along the way. What would you consider to have been the biggest challenges so far?

    Guy and Jason:

    We did have some obstacles along the way.

    At one point we had such an influx of bushcraft related vendors that it almost ruined the forum, that's where most of our advertising rules were born.

    We have had site attacks, spammer issues, and who could forget our mass incursion by post-apocalyptic preppers looking for a new home. That was when the site looked like it was about to take a serious turn in the wrong direction and a mass banning was required.

    That really shook things up and some members were upset because they thought we were too heavy handed but we were not about to let the forum stray from its mission.

    To be clear we don't have anything against preppers and even have a sub-forum for it but it was getting out of hand and there were other places to discuss that topic on the internet.

    The worst decision we ever made was having a sub-forum called "The Pit" which was basically an off-topic area not subject to most of the forum rules. This forum created nothing but drama and contempt between members and seemed to bring out the worst in some people. That's where our no religion and no politics rule started because these topics seemed to create the biggest divide. You can still see the remnants of the pit as one of the major sub-forum titles.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  13. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Question 4

    BH:
    It's clear that the members love BCUSA. What has surprised you the most about how the site has developed? Do you have any examples that stand out for you as particularly exceptional?

    Guy and Jason:

    We are amazed at the sense of community and fellowship the site has created. Anonymous strangers meeting on the internet and developing into long-term friendships.

    The people we've met here on the forum are some of the best friends we've ever had. The members are always willing to respond to calls for help in a time of need.

    Something else that the site has done that we never intended is create its own small economy. It has brought vendors and makers directly to their consumers and we have seen many hobbyist makers able to make the leap into doing what they love full time and able to quit their day jobs.

    One of the things we are most proud of is the BushClass, never did we think there would be a structured course available online for free like this, with so many great instructors sharing their knowledge. A special thank you goes out to Terry Barney for organizing the course.

    BH:
    Stay tuned for more questions and answers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  14. Ron

    Ron Guide

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    I am loving this!
     
  15. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hey folks. Comments please. Have to keep this thread "live".
     
  16. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Anxiously awaiting the next installment!
     
  17. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    This is very interesting and cool. Having been here a few years I’ve picked up a few casual references to the “early days” of the forum but it’s cool getting a little clearer history.

    In the future I wonder if the founders would ever consider a planned Q&A session. Might be tough to moderate in real time with people bombarding with questions but if there was a way to keep it organized or perhaps for them to solicit questions ahead of time via PM and then respond to. Just a thought for a future idea along the same lines as this.

    Thanks for putting this together @Beach Hiker and for taking the time @Guy and @Jason
     
  18. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

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    Interesting read.
     
  19. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Following...

    Question: What do you see at the future of BCUSA and the BC outfitter store?
     
  20. PACoureurDuBois

    PACoureurDuBois Scout

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    With me only joining earlier this year, I was unaware of the Pit's history, and of the issues early on. This was definitely a good little history lesson.
     
  21. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Ohhhh Boy, is this Great!

     
  22. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

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  23. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Really great idea for a thread, thanks for doing this!
     
  24. Quinlan

    Quinlan Supporter Supporter

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    Greetings,

    This is a great idea for a thread. I am watching as well!

    Regards,

    Christos
     
  25. kronin323

    kronin323 Tracker

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    I applaud this rule. There's another forum that's dear to me and I just can't stand going there right now because of how badly it's degenerated from its owner allowing this very behavior to run rampant; I had to take a break, perhaps a permanent one. Maybe someday they'll wise up like you guys did.

    That said, on this forum I'm still a newbie and I've really appreciated how supportive and well behaved the people are here. And the focus of this forum is an area near and dear to me as well; I think I'll stick around...

    Looking forward to more of the interview.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  26. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    We're back with questions 5 and 6 (of 10).

    Question 5

    BH:
    Well, it wouldn't be a bushcraft interview if we didn't talk gear.
    Let me put you on the spot here: what gear items are you particularly fond of?

    Guy and Jason:

    Tarps of course! We are clearly passionate about our shelters at Bushcraft USA which is why we focused on them so much.

    Guy is also particularly fond of packs and cooking implements. Jason really appreciates the combination of a good 4" bushcraft knife and a fire steel.

    When we initially started the store it was secretly about getting gear for "testing and evaluation" and not feeling guilty about buying it ourselves.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  27. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Question 6

    BH:
    Getting back to the site itself, it must be a lot of work keeping it running smoothly on a daily basis. Could you give us some details as to what this involves and what types of new challenges you see?

    Guy and Jason :

    One of the biggest challenges is keeping the site free from spammers. We have a multi-step process for evaluating each member that is done at the administrator level and even that doesn't prevent them completely.

    There are also many other administrative duties required to manage a forum of this size.

    Moderating the forum is another challenge we face every day. We have to walk a fine line between being too heavy handed and letting the forum run wild. Regardless of which approach we take there will be members who are upset so it's more about trying to please the most people while staying true to your mission statement.

    Believe it or not, the members themselves help us do most of the moderation by using the "report post" function.

    My favorite story was when Guy inadvertently deleted his master administrator account years ago; I was on the phone with him at the time and we were fairly certain the forum was officially dead! Fortunately my amazing computer skills saved the day (he talked me through it).

    BH:
    Stay tuned for more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  28. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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    Great idea BH .
    I guess I thought BCUSA was older then that .
    It seemed so established when I joined 7 years ago .
    Did not realize there was a crisis when the preppers over ran the place either . I’m really glad that Battle was won ..
    I was a fugitive from such a sight . That place
    Became junior high school with a bunch of cool kids trying to denigrate people that disagreed with their politics etc .
    I requested that I be banned for life from that sight because I thought that’s all there was out there and I had been spending way too much time there looking for woodsy topics
    and feeling icky afterwards .
    I was googling about looking for log
    cabin builds and could not believe guys discussing these topics with respect towards one another and genuine camaraderie.
    I don’t recall ever participating in the pit because like I said that’s exactly what I was running from .
    I think I must have been on 20 or 30
    BCUSA camps thru the years and met some amazing guys with way more knowledge than I .
    I still correspond with some of those guys once a month or so
    Even tho some have lost the internet etc .
    Like I told @MrFixIt one time you guys provide a pattern for some of us ,not so nice guys ,how to act .
     
  29. bumma

    bumma Supporter Supporter

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  30. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I like this.

    Correct. There have been a few incidents but for the most part those were removed in short order. I encourage everyone to read and understand the Forum Rules https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/forum-rules.192399/ . Policing ourselves can only help keep the community as it is.
     
  31. azmike9

    azmike9 Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks for doing this interview. Great info on the start of Bushcraft. The members, staff and founders have , IMHO , have created the best community on the internet. I could never thank all on this forum enough for the info and enjoyment this forum has given me.
     
  32. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Still going Supporter

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    I love this place !
     
  33. Skruffy

    Skruffy Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks @Beach Hiker for doing this interview! BCUSA is my GO TO site for everything Bushcraft. I don't even bother Google'ing anything anymore before I search the forums first. This community definitely has the greatest supporters found any where on the internet and I greatly appreciate everything that @Jason, @Guy, @IA Woodsman and the members do to keep the content relevant, informative, and purposeful!! :dblthumb::dblthumb::dblthumb:
     
  34. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe Supporter Supporter

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    ^^^^THIS^^^^
     
  35. dads2vette

    dads2vette Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Thanks for the thread. It's nice getting some history on a great place.

    dave
     
  36. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    It's funny you mentioned this because differing view points on the rules can be it's own issue amongst the members. I recently saw a new member in violation and did what I thought was a polite nudge that the needed to review the rules. I got called out by someone with a different point of view. Trying to be civil, we took it to PMs, but basically just agreed to disagree with no hard feelings.
     
  37. highlander

    highlander Supporter Supporter

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    I tripped over BCUSA back in the early days when looking for primitive skills. I went to the old site intermittently, but never became fluent with it until around 2010.
    I had been kicked and boo’ed off a few forums for noob questions or noob statements. One forum I was ridiculed because my ideas didn’t match the ideas of the forum elite...
    Then I came here. I always liked the camaraderie that oozed from this place. Right now it’s pretty much the only forum I visit. Multiple times a day...
     
  38. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    So, we're back with questions 7 and 8. Just one day to go until the 10 year anniversary.
    Thanks for all the comments.

    Question 7

    BH:
    One of the things that amazed me when I first joined was the generosity of the membership. From giveaways to random acts of kindness, it's quite exceptional. What are your thoughts about that?

    Guy and Jason:

    We have no idea why, but the membership here is unlike anywhere else we've seen on the internet. The level of respect and kindness shown by our members is something we've never witnessed before.

    The forum has raised tens of thousands of dollars for members in need and their families.

    New members are given help, encouragement, and gear by complete strangers.

    The amount of random giveaways is unprecedented and gives us hope that there are indeed good people left on this earth.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  39. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Question 8

    BH:
    The amount of excellent content on the site is astounding. The range of topics is also very impressive. Did you ever imagine that the site would be so rich in content and variety?

    Guy and Jason:

    We never imagined in our wildest dreams that there would be so much good information contained on the site. We would argue that Bushcraft USA is one of the largest collections of bushcraft and wilderness survival related information on the internet.

    The collective experience on the forum is astonishing.

    We never declared ourselves experts on the subject, and still consider ourselves students of bushcraft, which is perhaps why the forum has the tone it does. We are always open to hearing of new ways to do things.

    BH:
    Stay tuned for the last two questions tomorrow, the tenth anniversary of BCUSA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    Lichen, Primordial, GGTBod and 29 others like this.
  40. Kacie

    Kacie Guide

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    Family friendly means alot to me. The concern, sharing and kindness shown is amazing.
    Great interview, thanks y'all.
     
  41. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

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    You kill me when you do this BH. The anticipation...
     
  42. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I think you're the only one who sees it!
     
  43. ExAF1N1

    ExAF1N1 Purveyor of sharps and savory burnables. Supporter

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    Not always lol. Timing is indeed everything in certain circumstances. Staying tuned, as my 8yr anniversary here is near if not slightly passed.

    Thank you for taking it upon yourself to do this.
     
  44. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Just to explain to those wondering. ..
    I write these early morning Europe time. I write "res" (for reserved) in two posts, and then go back and put the content in. They're only there a half hour or so...
     
  45. ExAF1N1

    ExAF1N1 Purveyor of sharps and savory burnables. Supporter

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    And, consequently, those of us CONUS with night owl tendencies see the same.

    Proceed, sir! I look forward to the final installment. Thanks again.
     
  46. kronin323

    kronin323 Tracker

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    The thing about reserving posts like that, subscribers/watchers only get new post notifications when you first post to reserve them, not later when you edit them to add content. If the timing works out ok it doesn't matter but if people catch your reservation posts before you go back and add content, they may miss it later.

    Personally if I have to make a series of important posts and don't want responses interjected in-between, I'll draft everything in Word (or word processor of your choice) and take my time with them then copy-paste into posts bam bam bam, no time for responses in the middle yet all of the new post notifications are fresh.

    Just meant as constructive criticism. Again I appreciate what you're doing here with this thread, it's great. And that's really what's important here.
     
  47. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Your method makes sense!
    I just always wonder who is up so late in North America! Go to bed...lol.
    In any case, only two questions to go... it's been fun, and I'm glad to see people seem to be enjoying it.
     
  48. kronin323

    kronin323 Tracker

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    'Tis me!!! And I shall...:4:

    :42::42::42:
     
  49. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    A good thread young fellar, and I'm not up late, I'm up early. :59: joe
     
  50. oathkeeper762

    oathkeeper762 Bushbum & PT Wanderer Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Thanks @Beach Hiker for a great interview. I love this site and all our Brothers and Sisters here that make it special. @Jason @Guy thanks for making this all possible and for providing us all a place by the fire. The collective knowledge available on this site is astounding and the sense of kinship and brotherhood unmatched elsewhere on the inter web. Well done my friends, well done.
     

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