In life, often people make assumptions or they make their mind up without taking the time to find out about facts or motivation.
This is something that I think happens regularly with Bushcraft and here are some examples that I have come across….
Assumption 1: People who are into bushcraft enjoy killing animals for sport
My observation: Every bushcrafter I know has an absolute respect for animals and wildlife and takes no pleasure whatsoever in the death of them. In fact, I would argue that an interest in bushcraft and nature strengthens the link with animals. My Flint takes real pride in using every part of an animal and really appreciating their life and the resource they provide.
Assumption 2: People who are into bushcraft forage so much that they take destroy the natural hedgerows
My observation: Bushcrafters are often into foraging but they understand the importance of sustainable foraging and the need to ensure their pickings are spread far and wide so as not to impact on the environment. Flint and I only take a little something here and there and are grateful for it all.
Assumption 3: People who are into bushcraft are doomsday preppers
I think bushcrafters have a sensible awareness of the need to be able to care for yourself and not rely on systems and convenience all of the time. Flint and I don’t live like preppers but we will often talk about little things we can do to be a little more independent. Its simple stuff like growing your own veg, making your own alcohol (this may not count for survival!!), or using a wood burner instead of central heating. I relish the fact that little old me would now know how to make water safe to drink, or how to make us a cup of nettle tea, or how to find north using the sun or the stars (I’ll write about this at some point!).
Assumption 4: People who are into bushcraft need to have all the ‘right’ kit
There are lots of people who like to look the part and there’s a HUGE market out there for stuff. But actually, to me, that kind of contradicts what bushcraft is all about? If you do it all with kit is it really bushcraft? or is it just glamping?!!
Don’t get me wrong I LOVE our new Vango sleeping bag – its a double and so snuggly!! Also, I cant really talk about this because I don’t spend days and nights out in the cold woods and forests under the elements like Flint and many others do. However, one thing which I think is great is how he tries to make as much of his own kit as possible. Off the top of my head I can think of his knife, sheath, moccasins, hoody, gloves, bivvy bag (I think that’s what its called?!), and tons more. Also, I crocheted him a hat – does that count?!
Assumption 5: People who are into bushcraft are a bit weird
I remember when Flint and I first met and I tried to explain to family and friends about his job and his lifestyle. Everyone was polite and supportive of my new relationship but I could tell they were a bit unsure! Until they met him that is, then of course they loved him like I do ! Bushcraft isn’t weird, its an interest and a way of life. Just like people are passionate about football or rugby, or music or art, Flint is passionate about bushcraft. Whats weird about that?!!
Assumption 6: Anyone who would consider marrying someone who is into bushcraft is mad
My observation: Erm… I haven’t thought this one through yet…