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Bushcraft or Survival? The[b] Question[/b]

Discussion in 'Bushcraft Chatter' started by Gary, May 3, 2003.

  1. FGYT

    FGYT Maker

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    Bush Craft = summit people choose do who want to go into or live in the wild

    Survival = summit people Have to Do to Get out of the Wild
     
  2. TheViking

    TheViking Native

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    Hi...

    I think bushcraft is about living in the wild.
    Survival is about just staying alive.
    When you bushcraft, you live out there..... comfortably! (Though some 'citypeople' would never connect this word with being outdoors, at all... I know some people who says: "ARGH! An ant", even if there is a distance of 4 feet between them) I don't bother laying in a few ants or slugs or you name it. They can't and they will not harm you! (not the small ones that I know of) :biggthump
     
  3. Mikey P

    Mikey P Full Member

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    Surely survival is a specialist 'subset' of bushcraft? Perhaps the 'minimalist' arm of bushcraft?

    I think the answer to the question of which one is best is 'neither'. All depends on your situation.....
     
  4. TheViking

    TheViking Native

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    Like said before: the survivalist does not choose to be 'stuck' in the wild, neither do the bushcrafter. The bushcrafter chooses to walk into the wild and practice skills that can make life more comfortable in the bush. He/she is a volunteer of the woods and know where he/she wants to go.

    The ones who ends up in a survival situation, is often people who doesn't have a clue on what they're doing or where they're going. I think that the group of people who ends most up in a survival situations is hunters, hikers, anglers and so on. Because they are out, doing something that sometimes implies a risk. Citypeople can end up there too, and I think most of them who does, goes in panic and panic kills...! :wink: If a person who is interested in bushcraft (like us here at BCUK) ends up in a survival situation, I think most of us would be calm and cool and use our known techniques to live with nature. (If you know how to build proper shelter, find and purify water, and make fire without matches, you will live for at least 3 weeks.!) But it will always be on the terms of nature! :wink: :)
     
  5. sargey

    sargey Mod
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    i tend to think of it the other way round, what is bushcraft without bushes? you can do survival anywhere.....
    :eek:):

    cheers, and.
     
  6. leon-1

    leon-1 Mod
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    Sorry folks, I cannot see a great deal of difference between the two on the skills side of life (unless you take into account the military side of life).

    The major subset of skills are the same (the ability to forage, start fire, build shelter and collect safe water for consumption). In the end food warmth and shelter protect against wind, wet and cold.

    The thing that does make the difference is the situation, survival (the perpetuation of life), the chances of having the kit that you have with bushcraft is very unlikely or the specific piece of kit that you require you have not got.

    The psychological impact of a survival situation is different, in survival situations (both military and civilian) the end goal is the same, retrieval and to stay alive, even if the means of attaining that goal are different.

    One thing to note, civilian survival situations (the unexpexted type) you would not give a damn about the enviroment, military you would as this provides groundsign where you can be tracked.

    Bushcraft is enviromentally friendly. What seperates survival from bushcraft really is the situation alone (once again unless in the military and then there are a few more rules to learn).

    One could be classed as a necessity and the other a need, but there is a huge grey area where you would be hard pressed to tell the difference (the aborignal tribes practice bushcraft to survive).

    It is a point of view and could be debated for years, but when you are out there practising your bushcraft skills, quickly think about whether those same skills may be being taught to someone just in case they need to survive using them as a way of life. :)
     
  7. HuBBa

    HuBBa Forager

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    I think this pretty much sums it up. In a Bushcraft venture, you will bring a minimum of tools needed (preferably, some people take all the tools they can find ;) and pretty much make sure your stay is closer to camping than survival.

    In a survival situation you do not have the luxury of selecting your tools, location or even duration of the stay so it becomes more applied bushcraft with improvisation.

    Imho, Bushcraft & Survival training are very similar. In fact, the skills you learn while doing bushcraft is essentially survival skills only put in a slightly different way. Bushcrafting is a lot about problemsolving, where is the best site for setting up camp, if i do not have a tool to do A, how can i build the tool needed. Survival training is essentially the same, but distilled. In a bushcraft approach, you will train the basics of making a fire, how to use tinder, kindling, gradually building up a fire. This is then distilled for survival training into how to get flame without using matches/lighter/fire-rod etc. In bushcraft you learn how to build a good sturdy shelter that you could live pretty well in for weeks, and this encompasses selection of place, the basic structure of shelters, rain/water issues, etc. In Survival this is distilled into being able to improvise a shelter without tools using only the knowledge of how a shelter should work and materials that can be found on site.

    So in the end, Survival is a subset of Bushcraft. Without the knowledge of Bushcraft, Survival becomes to heavily emphasised on survival gear which imho is a big mistake since you will most likely not have that gear when you do need it :)

    This is MY personal opinion though.
     
  8. lardbloke

    lardbloke Nomad

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    There is one element I have not read in here yet regarding bushcraft/fieldcraft and that is the appreciation with nature itself. In bushcraft if you remove part of a tree for your own use i.e a green branch, then the tree should be appreciated and removed in such a manner that new growth can be generated. Whilst in a survival situation you would not really care about the tree and just remove the branch by any means necessary for your use. I remember learning survival skills that obviously overlap into what now is termed 'Bushcraft' but do not recall that much regarding appreciating nature itself. In survival it is considered a tool to keep you alive and get you out of the present situation, whilst bushcraft should have you examining the aesthetic qualities of nature itself that live long side survival techniques.
     
  9. match

    match Settler

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    For me - the difference between survival and bushcraft is the way you treat the environment you live in.

    Most people stranded in a jungle would practice survival - i.e doing whatever it takes to stay alive.

    Most indigenous people in the same jungle would be closer to bushcraft - they too are surviving, but not to the detriment of the environment in which they live - it is more of a symbiotic or a neutral relationship.

    Some bushcraft practitioners have been known to take the approach that when you can't survive in the environment without in some way damaging it, or being parasitic, you don't have a right to survive there at all. I suspect that survival experts would not hold so closely to this view...
     
  10. Firewyre

    Firewyre Member

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    I think -

    Survival uses any means possible to achieve a basic level of living quality.

    Whether that is the bushcraft-like skills of skinning a rabbit, or lighting a fire, or whether it's barter in a foreign land, or possibly building man-traps if you're stuck in an extreme 'behind enemy lines' situation.

    You can't learn survival - you 'do' survival only when you have to. But you can learn bushcraft skills and many of those skills could prove useful in a survival situation.

    Imo ;)
     
  11. RovingArcher

    RovingArcher Need to contact Admin...

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    Survival is one's ability to successfully continue existence on a day to day basis, no matter what the situation or circumstances. Bushcraft covers one part of our daily survival in certain situations. Just like the abilities to read, write, use a computer, drive a vehicle, dig a ditch, lay pipe, etc., cover other areas of our lives.

    i.e. The groups survival depended entirely on their knowledge and abilities learned while practicing bushcraft, a favorite outdoors activity, which encompasses the many skills that are essential for day to day living in the natural world.

    Or, the groups ability to survive Prof. Dentons class depended entirely on their ability to manipulate the laws of physics.

    Or, if you want to keep your job (survive), you need to cut your hair, shave your beard and sell all your knives! :eek: :D
     
  12. Abbe Osram

    Abbe Osram New Member

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    My believe is that Bushcraft and Survival are different things for the same type of animal. The little story I found explains it better than I can.

    THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT - a Story from the Buddhist Sutra

    Several citizens ran into a hot argument about God and different religions, and each one could not agree to a common answer. So they came to the Lord Buddha to find out what exactly God looks like.

    The Buddha asked his disciples to get a large magnificent elephant and four blind men. He then brought the four blind to the elephant and told them to find out what the elephant would "look" like.

    The first blind men touched the elephant leg and reported that it "looked" like a pillar. The second blind man touched the elephant tummy and said that an elephant was a wall. The third blind man touched the elephant ear and said that it was a piece of cloth. The fourth blind man hold on to the tail and described the elephant as a piece of rope. And all of them ran into a hot argument about the "appearance" of an elephant.

    The Buddha asked the citizens: "Each blind man had touched the elephant but each of them gives a different description of the animal. Which answer is right?"

    "All of them are right," was the reply.

    "Why? Because everyone can only see part of the elephant. They are not able to see the whole animal. The same applies to God and to religions. No one will see Him completely." By this parable, the Lord Buddha teaches that we should respect all other ligitimate religions and their beliefs.


    cheers
    Abbe
     
  13. swyn

    swyn Full Member

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    can i take a little bite of this thread. Survival in the primitive sense is similar to what is going on in Africa at present with families just trying to bring another generation to fruition without their children dieing. When your country/landscape is in a better state or there is more food then you can practice your craft. With which you may be better able to stave off starvation in the future. Therefor the two are very closely linked .Perhaps one even not being able to operate without the other ....symbiotic? :rolleyes:
     
  14. bambodoggy

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

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    What's going on in Africa has little to do with bushcraft or survival, it has to do with greed and ignorance.
    The San bushmen would be quite able to survive if they and their lands were left alone.
    The people would be able to eat if the governments of those countries did more to help and less to line their own pockets.

    Lets leave politics out of bushcraft shall we. I can just about see the point you're making but you don't need to make me feel guilty for living in the wicked west and therefore able to afford to practice my hobby. I know how lucky I am thanks!

    Bam.
     
  15. leon-1

    leon-1 Mod
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    Folks may we please try and keep this on track without going political, I know there is such a small border on these things, but we have to try and stay away from politics.

    PLEASE :eek: :eek:
     
  16. swyn

    swyn Full Member

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    a vehement reply from bam, when i did not even think of politics perhaps i should have used another similie?? The closest thing that i could think of was Africa as it links our culture with enormous skills of which we as westerners have probably only grazed the surface of... and that goes for the other wilderness dwellers be they Eskimo or Russian or south American. And me getting a bolloking!!! Thousands of apologies. Perhaps living and working in the woods gives me a very innocent outlook on life???The last thing that i would want to do is belittle anybody or make them feel guilty for practicing bushcraft which is a very important part of my lifestyle too. I am only trying to make what i hoped was a useful comment. :D
     
  17. Spacemonkey

    Spacemonkey Native

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    I would say the difference is that Survival was an 80's thing with big Rambo style knives, cammo clothing and orange plastic bivvy bags, and Bushcraft is a 21st century thing with designer, hand made knives, Swanndri woolies and hammocks.... ;)
     
  18. Wayne

    Wayne BCUK Welfare Officer
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    You forgot to mention titanium pots and pans.

    i can't really see the need to add a label to everything. if i'm enjoying a comfy jolly one weekend looking at nature. i am enjoying bushcraft. If i am trapped in an artic storm freezing my backside off breaking my last shoe lace to create fire then i am surviving. so whats in a name it's the activity and skills employed thats important. i enjoy the nature awareness side of bushcraft and i enjoy the more tactical style of survival.

    there is no right or wrong approach as long as its not damaging to people or the environment.

    Anyway what is bushcraft? i have a friend that somes it up as 1950's camping,
    Do we just give activities fancy names to justify to ourselves, what we are really doing is just play.
     
  19. HuBBa

    HuBBa Forager

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    And may we never grow up =)

    Now. where did i put my Rambo Survival Knife with the hollow handle.

    :D
     
  20. Here in the US, I think there is a misuse of terminology...the word "Survival" (instead of bushcraft/woodcraft) lumps in the Militia/TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It) types.

    Use the term "Survivalist" and you could get flagged by Homeland Security.
     

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