The making of my new bedroll put me in mind of the jolly Swagman of old Australian ballad. As a younger man I waltzed my Matilda all over. I hitch hiked and back packed my billy into the wild at every opportunity I had. That developed over time into an interest in landscape photography and the load I was carrying steadily increased. Cameras, lenses and tripods were not lightweight, especially in the days before digital imaging. Fortunately, those days also corresponded to the availability of a vehicle for getting me to the trail head but the distance I tramped certainly started to shorten. I still sleep under canvas beneath the stars every chance I get but the realities of life and work now means the opportunity to do so are spread further and further apart. I used to get out on living history camps pretty regularly over the sunnier seasons but sadly even those opportunities have now largely dried up. Looking back today, brings me to the realisation that it has now been a good few years since I truly waltzed my Matilda anywhere at all. The last time I actually stepped out towards a distant horizon with all my kit was now seven years ago and even then it was packed on a sled and not in a backpack. It would appear that with the inevitable passage of time, I have become that most ridiculed of beasts, an armchair bushcrafter... Granted, my armchair is now quite often a folding one and my roof is still frequently made of taut canvas. I use ancient skills and antiquated gear to manage my camp life and make, modify or mend my equipment but the nature of my outdoor life now bears little resemblance to my greener days. I am certainly older and perhaps a little more eccentric but there is rarely a day that I do not enjoy a quiet moment or two planning my next outing. The difference is that outing is now more likely to be laden with equipment reminiscent of a nineteenth century expedition. Occasionally I wonder if I should return to those worthy days of sleeping on a browse bed deep in the woods and as I lie on my comfortable mattress looking at the lamp lit canvas above me, I realise that these days I would need to check every inch of my body for ticks, my back would take a fortnight to forgive me and I would not be looking forward to a fine English breakfast made over an open fire. Yes, my outdoor life has indeed changed but do I regret it? . . . . . .. . .Not one little bit. How have you adapted to the march of time?