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Bushcraft Etiquette (resurrected)

Discussion in 'Bushcraft Chatter' started by Cobweb, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Cobweb

    Cobweb Native

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    I was reading a recent thread and came across a link to a very old thread which I duly went and had a read of as well. I loved it so much I was inspired to copy and paste all of the pertinent information into one long list...

    Bushcraft Etiquette

    1. Never shine your light into someone’s camp and never shine your light into someone’s eyes.
    2. When someone wants to enter another's camp, they ask before approaching and when they have been asked to the fire, lanterns and flashlights should be turned off, prior to entering the camp.
    3. The person who starts the fire owns the fire.
    4. Never burn plastic and other rubbish in the fire, someone might want to cook over it later.
    5. Never borrow people tools without permission
    6. If you are going to brew up it would be courteous to see if anyone else fancies a drink too.
    7. No leaving knives and axes on the grass
    8. Consider where you go for the "natural stuff", keep well away from living areas and water sources.
    9. If washing cooking gear in a standing water source, like a lake or stream, do not empty the dirty water and old food etc. back into the water.
    10. "If you have a fire, add some ash and water to your pan.
    Ash + water = alkali + gritty silica
    alkali + fat = soap
    soap + gritty silica + slight scrub = clean pan.
    When you have washed the pan pour the water into the fireplace, this area has already been affected by the alkali.
    Rinse with water and again pour it into the fireplace.
    On the next rinse you can pour the water away elsewhere but not into the water source.
    11. The cook should never have to fetch firewood or water. If you have time to spare offer your services to the cook, washing up, peeling potatoes etc
    12. When food is cooking on the fire do not heap on firewood without making the cook aware of what you are doing
    13. If it’s your turn to cook wash your hands and clean your fingernails
    14. If you need to clear your throat it should be done away from the general camp
    15. Stale clothing and body odour are as difficult to stand in the bush as anywhere else. Your bush skills are poorly developed if you do not know how to return to civilisation as clean as you left it
    16. Do not step over food
    17. Do not put rubbish into the fire whilst food is cooking or people are eating
    18. Do not leave dirty (or clean) dishes under foot. if washing your own dishes is camp custom take care of this chore immediately, generally it is excusable to do away with most eating utensils and even to eat with the fingers, however do not handle someone else’s food with your hands
    19. pay particular attention to the corners of your eyes and mouth when washing, after eating ensure there is no food on your face
    20. Do not ask to borrow someone’s private knife, axe or saw. If a job needs doing and you do not have the required tool, ask the owner to do it for you.
    21. when on the trail if the branches from the person in front are slapping you in the face, it’s your own fault, don’t follow so closely
    22. when visitors happen upon your camp, it is the custom to at least offer tea
    23. if you are a loud snorer, or prone to considerable flatulence you should have the good manners to set up your own camp an appropriate distance away
    24. cleanliness and neatness of persons are desirable quirks
    25. good manners dictate that all vulgarity, mishaps, blunders and accidents on the part of others be let off without comment with a philosophical indifference
    26. If you have children, try to keep them under some semblance of control.
    27. If you do use a flashlight (torch) at a campfire at least aim the beam to the ground out of everybody’s eyes, turn it off at the first occasion. Bring along a bag of marshmallows for all to use.
    28. Don’t untie someone’s hammock when they're sleeping, no matter how funny it seems.
    29. A small torch or a candle lantern is all that is really needed to navigate bad terrain in the dark.
    If you have a searchlight or a super bright gas lantern is it really needed to get yourself to the campfire?
    I would say though that olive green or black guy lines stretched out across a pathway do need either flags or marker lights if you do not expect someone to demolish your camp in the dark.
    30. Don’t drive goats into the other team's camp when out on a competition
    31. It’s better to use the established fire circle and leave it tidy for the next party.
    Of course, if you're making a fresh one you should clean it up.
    32. In any situation, anyone should feel able to calmly and politely express concern at the unsafe behaviour of others, if you see someone swinging an axe in a way that is going to injure them or a kid taking a canoe out on the water alone and with no PFD you should say something…Don't make someone uncomfortable about looking out for your safety.
    33. If you want to wash yourself or your kit then collect enough water and take it somewhere that others won’t have to walk through after you’ve finished
    34. People playing loud music either recorded or live, especially drum'n'bass through a ghetto blaster is a big no no
    35. Enjoy the outdoors and respect your surroundings.
    36. Have fun!

    Kudos goes to Wayland for starting the thread but if you would like to add any more to this list then please do so!
     
  2. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    It was a great thread. My own bugbear is the music one - personally I would suggest:

    The best music of all is nature. If you enjoy music outdoors, great - but please understand that others may not want to hear it. Please keep your music personal. If you plan an outdoor recital please let others know in advance so they can choose to camp elsewhere.

    Red
     
  3. ol smokey

    ol smokey Full Member

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    This thread may be a bit comprehensive, but some folk need everything spelt out for them.
    I would support this all the way and feel it should be made a STICKY as it is really the basis of good woodcraft. I would add that (while we do not want anyone getting too bossy
    at a camp,) It should be accepted that the person first picking the site, should designate
    a suitable site for Male and Female latrines at opposite ends of the camp. It is also a good idea to bury human waste and peg a couple of twigs in the form of a cross over the
    spot so that it is not dug up inadvertantly at a later date. Incidentally, if you bury sh-t
    much more than a foot deep it will remain there for ever ( almost,) as bacteria does not
    exist deeper than this to dispose of it.
     
  4. John Fenna

    John Fenna Lifetime Member & Maker

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    For fast bacterialogical digestion of Sh1t it seems that smearing it thinly over rocks or tree-bark is the most efective!
    Not that this would be very nice on a crowded site....smell, flies "what did I just sit on?" etc......
     
  5. Northern Giant UK

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    Well, After venturing into the woods today I would add . . .

    "Red Bull belongs in clubs and bars and not in pre-teen lads with A.D.H.D"

    They're worse than ghetto blasters and more destructive! :rant: :red: :rant:

    Kev
     
  6. Bogman10

    Bogman10 New Member

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    The last time I went to a Public campground with the wife, a whole group of 20-25yr olds Cranked there music all night, followed by late night fire works! Worst trip ever!
    If you want to party and just get loaded, go to a club!!!! The rest of us are there for the Nature!
    Not to mention, there taste in music was Brutal!! ( Rap , bad Rap too ! )
    :soapbox: :soapbox: :AR15firin
     
  7. Wayland

    Wayland Hárbarðr

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    If there's a possibility of this becoming sticky could I add the blade safety notes we worked on too.


    General Outdoor Cutting Tool Safety.

    Before using any cutting tool make sure you know where your first aid kit is and how to use it.

    Wear appropriate clothing for the work you are doing. Stout boots and no loose dangling clothing is a good start.

    Inspect the tool for damage or loose parts. Do not use a damaged or loose tool without repairing it properly first.

    Use cutting tools in a well lit area. Avoid using cutting tools after dark or after drinking alcohol, plan to do all chopping of firewood in daylight.

    If you drop your cutting tool, let it fall – do not attempt to catch it.

    Do not fool around, run or move through rough ground with an exposed cutting tool.

    Never throw a cutting tool to anyone. When passing an open or exposed cutting tool to another person, hold it by the back of the blade with the cutting edge away from your hand. Place the handle of the tool in the other person’s hand. Make sure they have a firm hold before you release your grip.

    When putting a cutting tool down, make sure the blade is in a safe position if you or any other person were to accidentally fall upon it.

    If you are going to leave the tool, put it in a sheath, fit a blade cover or fold it up safely. Never assume other people know it is there.

    If there are any children or non responsible people around do not leave a cutting tool where it can be easily picked up.

    Do not dig cutting tools into the ground or leave them stuck into wood.

    Do not throw a cutting tool into trees or the ground.

    Use a cutting tool in the correct way and always use the correct tool for the job.

    Keep your cutting tools clean and if they are not Stainless steel keep them oiled and free from rust.

    A sharp tool is often considered to be a safer tool because less force needs to be applied to cut with. However a sharp tool can also cause a deeper injury if it slips or is misused.

    Learn how to sharpen your tools correctly and safely.


    Knife Safety

    Only unfold your knife or remove it from its scabbard when you are going to use it. When you have completed your task, put it back in its scabbard or fold it up keeping your fingers away from the folding blade path as you do so.

    Hold the handle firmly, keeping your fingers away from the cutting edge of the blade. If it is a folding knife, always be aware of the folding blade path even if the blade is supposed to lock open. Such locks have been known to fail.

    Always try to cut away from your body, face and hands. Before making a cut look at the direction the blade can move in when the cut is completed or if the blade slips. Make sure your fingers, or any other parts of your body, are not in that path.

    Even if you are only cutting part way into something, always consider what will happen if the blade slips all the way through what you are cutting. Do not rest the item on part of your body.


    Axe Safety

    When using an axe or other chopping tool, check your working area by slowly turning around with the tool in your outstretched hand to make sure there is nothing inside your work area that can be harmed or cause your swing to be deflected. Repeat this check over your head and in the follow through area as well. Your safety area should be twice this radius to allow for flying chips etc. If possible cordon off this area.

    Use a wooden block at about thigh height under the item you are chopping, this makes the axe more effective and safer. If the block is smaller kneel down to adjust your height.

    Make sure your body is not in the path of the axe or in any place the axe could be deflected towards.

    Hold the axe firmly so that it cannot slip or bounce out of your hand while chopping.

    If you are splitting or chopping something that requires holding in place, make sure your hands, feet or other body parts are well away from the cutting area. If necessary use a small stick to hold the item instead of your hand.

    Pay careful attention to the position of the item being chopped and the impact point. Will hitting the item cause it to pivot like a see saw? This is a common cause of injury.


    Saw Safety

    Make sure the item being cut is held firmly so that it cannot move down, forward or back.

    Make sure your body is not in the path of the saw blade.

    Position the item being cut so that the cut will tend to open up rather than close on the blade causing it to bind. Lubricating the blade with wax or oil will help prevent this.

    Work out how and where the cut item will fall. Do not cut anything that could fall on you or others. Always remember that a branch or tree under tension is like a spring ready to snap free. Think how dangerous a spring trap is.

    Starting a saw cut is the most dangerous point. Make sure your hand or other body parts are not in a position to be cut if the blade skips or jumps from its position. Do not guide the saw blade with your finger. If possible keep your hands and fingers behind the saw blade.
     
  8. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Glad its not just me. The only thing worse than a boom box is some talentless nerks with a guitar and a penny whistle who think "music should be live".

    Perhaps.

    However one more version of a chuffing folk song by someone who thinks they are Jethro Tull but actually sound like a donkey having an amorous encounter with a slipping fan belt and the music may be live but I can't answer for the musicians!

    Red ;)
     
  9. Jodie

    Jodie Native

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    ...and we were worried about a lull in the forum?? This is fantastic :)

    Revisiting an old thread with new perspectives or putting it in context - or even getting it
    all together in one place... that gets my vote!
     
  10. firebreather

    firebreather Settler

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    :red: have you been talking to Wayland and Matt about my banjo playing on the thursday night at middlewood.........and before i get flamed i did ask if they wanted me to get it from the car and only "played " :eek: for a short while. Well I do only know a few tunes.

    I quite like folk music even when its played badly as its just story telling in a different guise and we all have to start somewhere. I do prefer it when the players are sober tho then at least they are giving it there genuine best shot and not some drunken rendition.
    Greg
     
  11. rik_uk3

    rik_uk3 Banned

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    I love music when camping, but I use headphones on my radio/MP3/MP4 player. I don't like people camping right next to me, and if a fellow camper(s) really want to play an instrument(s), please take them far away from me.

    While most bushcrafters are too polite to say "your music is getting right on my mammary glands" I'm not. I'm all for someone bashing their bongo into the early hours, so long as I don't have to hear it;)

    So I think one important rule is to give each other space unless you know them well, and they like to listen to the Radio 4 news in the morning, there is always something to talk about later in the day broadcast on that station:)
     
  12. pibbleb

    pibbleb Settler

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    It's the increasing amounts of rubbish I see that gets me going! So if you bring it out with you take it home with you!


    Still a good thread, needs a sticky I agree.

    Pib
     
  13. Big Geordie

    Big Geordie New Member

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    I'm very pleased you mentioned the music which the player finds great but everyone else wishes they would stop. I was at a great party on the Isle of Jura recently, and we were just drifting off to bed about 5 am, when a piper stood up and played the big bagpipes. Amazing for the first half hour.. but after I went to bed.. :BlueTeamE

    He continued to 8.30 non stop whereupon a young farmer hit him with a log!:(
    We agreed over breakfast that it was foolish to have hit him, however we all kind of agreed it had the desired effect and it should have happened a little earlier. :D

    Love the thread, particularly Wayland's blade code. Well done Gary.
    George
     
  14. yes the amounts of rubbish is bad i not long ago went out and bedded in for the night then heard this horrible groaning sound then boom loud rap and dance music in the middle of the forest kids screeming and fighting manage to get to sleep next day walked down they had gone but left loads of empty beer cans around and full fires still smouldering it really annoys me no respect
     
  15. Bogman10

    Bogman10 New Member

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    LOL Although, I my case with the Rap and Fireworks, I would have needed about 15 plus me to evenout the odds abit!

    It's all about not being so self centered, consider your fellow campers!
    Sadly it's the people LEAST likely to be reading this, that are trouble!
    END OF ANOTHER RANT !
    :rant: :beerchug:
     
  16. BOD

    BOD Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Well done Gary and Cobweb.

    Are public campsites that bad in the UK?

    Its been years since I camped in such places or near strangers. Luckily the land here is still open to wandering and camping
     
  17. Cobweb

    Cobweb Native

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    I agree completely with the music rants, I hate people imposing their tastes on me, although saying that it is nice to sit around the campfire singing along to a guitar but I prefer to do this at about 7pm until about 9. Any music after then is annoying as it interferes with people trying to get to sleep.

    As for campsites in the UK, it depends on where you go. The ones near a big town or city tend to be worse than the ones where it is quiet... I like to go to Borth in Wales on my family holiday, the beaches are great for the kids and the campsite is just outside of the town. We always go there just after the factory holidays and it is usually pretty deserted and because it hasn't got a shop, nightclub or pool the 'chavs' don't go. One year we decided to camp near Aberystwyth and this one had a shop and nightclub... The camp site was a good distance away from the club and the music wasn't audible, although the people that came back from there were. Needless to say, the next day, we broke camp and went back to our regular site and had a great holiday :D

    The people from this forum that take the time and trouble to come to meets are very nice and noise isn't a problem at all :) It's the other buggers that are there.
     
  18. andy_e

    andy_e Native

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    Shining lights in other peoples eyes is my biggest camp etiquette bug-bear, it's bloody inconsiderate and provides a reason for carrying that million-candle, sunburn inducing searchlight - to teach them a lesson, but then that goes against the spirit of point 25 and point 30 rules out the other fun alternative.
     
  19. shep

    shep Maker

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    I loved the etiquette list, and I'm sure most of it is common sense to all but the least considerate. But I take a slightly more live-and-let-live line when outdoors in a group.

    If you're walking in a group, I think you do need to be considerate of people behind you and not twang branches. I met a guy who lost an eye that way. If you want to twang, walk alone, or at the back. I would, however, be interested to know if there is a consensus against me on this point.

    My view on the music thing is on a similar note (pun intended). If I want nature and peace, I camp alone, or in a small group. If I'm on a campsite or at a meet, I'll have to accept that the rest of the community may want to do something 'communal' like play music. It's a whole different kettle of fish. Of course, beyond 10-11pm the consideration should go the other way and as for early morning bagpipes, I'll find the stick myself!
     
    Toddy likes this.
  20. andy_e

    andy_e Native

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    I'd agree with you on that Shep, I think if you're travelling as a group then you have to be looking out for each other, after all you don't know when you might have to rely on someone else.

    Edit: you can borrow my stick, once I'm finished with it ;)
     

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