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

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

  1. Stuart

    Stuart Full Member

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    I dont see anything political in what swyn has said bambodoggy, he has simply stated that if you are in a daily struggle to survive without choice (regardless of what caused that situation political or otherwise and regardless of location) as are the San bushmen are then you are surviving in the truest definition as Swyn sees it, but if your situation offers the resources available for you not to have to struggle to live then it becomes your choice if you wish to learn survival skills, and perhaps your choice would be of benefit if you found yourself in a struggle to survive.

    I think you misunderstood what swyn was trying to say bambodoggy

    I dont entirely agree with swyn definition, but i see no problem in the way he explained his view and certainly see no political connotations

    right lets let that misunderstanding pass, I have found a qoute from Mors kochanski which might be of interest in this debate

    "the word survival has become a catchword carelessly used and lacking any precision in application. To survive is to come out of any life-threatening situation alive though being rescued. if you manage on your own, the situation may be termed an emergency or only a great inconvenience. the term survival may be used for situation where life expectancy is reduced to a specified time limit which may also state when irreversible conditions are to be expected. basic survival knowledge is the distillation of the most basic and effective means of staying alive (that disregards everything, especially the environment in the interest of maintaining life at all costs)."

    its certainly an interesting quote which should might put a new dimension onto this discussion, I have only just found it so I am not sure of my own opinion on it yet
     
  2. bambodoggy

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

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    Sorry Matey, I haven't been on for a few days and have just re-read my post....I think I was a little harsh on you, please accept my apologies....darn I hate admitting I'm wrong but it would appear that I clearly took your post in totally the wrong way....sorry :)
    If I make it over to the Wilderness gathering and you're there then I'll buy you a beer :D

    Cheers,

    Bam. :D
     
  3. swyn

    swyn Full Member

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    Thankyou for the replies bam and stuart. A legal collegue has often said when you ask a question, how many answers do you want?!!! :eek: Will look out for you both at the wilderness gathering :D :D looking forward to it. Thanks from swyn.
     
  4. storm

    storm On a new journey

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    perhaps the Media have contributed to my outlook, but when i hear Survival, i can help but envision drooling militia-types hugging their large knives and big guns, which doesn't seem to have much to do with Bushcraft...at least not much in common with my stone age interests, which i realize is just one facet of this field. i hadn't heard of the term Bushcraft until i found this forum.

    ps--if any of you have large knives and big guns, and i just ****** you off, my name isn't really Storm and i live in, uhhh, Antarctica... ;)

    no offense intended, mates! (can a female be referred to as a mate--in this british, friend, sense? or is there another term for the better gender?
     
  5. Spacemonkey

    Spacemonkey Native

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    That's ok, they don't trust us with large knives and big guns in the UK in case we hurt ourselves. Oh, and if you live in Antarctica, then how do you get in the internet then, eh? Eh? Eh? Ah...



    Oh, and Bushcraft is survival. It's how native peoples in their native environment have learned to survive over the millenia, is it not?
     
  6. ChrisKavanaugh

    ChrisKavanaugh Need to contact Admin...

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    A survivalist wears military garb, drives a rusting lorrie/truck with a POW/MIA-you aren't forgotten bumpersticker, carries a bible and eats MREs. A primitive skills exponent wears buckskins or a Whitney point blanket capote, drives a rusty truck with a RESTORE HETCH-HETCHY bumpersticker, packs Muir and eats miner's lettuce and bannock bread. A bushcrafter wears what he can afford since everything went into a Mears knife, drives a Rover, packs Mears ( the book(S) and stirs fieldbrewed alcohol from roadkill hedgehogs, nettles and old Kendal mintcake wrappers with a handcarved spoon. Personally, I am cultivating the laconic persona of british actor Edward Fox, wearing my Harris tweeds and trying to find my old Comoy Canadian straightstem pipe. I'm buying a Hillman Manx in faded blue before the Harry Potter fans see it sitting behind the Jaguar collection . My sticker will read "" I don't know where I'm going, but theres no use being late." I will carry Sir Richard Burton's JOURNEY TO MECCA AND MEDINA and pack a wicker picnic basket relete with wine,cheese, hard salamis and bread. :D On the subject of using the somewhat prejudicial term 'primative' I propose the prefered 'Paleo' used by the late writer Joseph Campbell. ;)
     
  7. innocent bystander

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    But i suspect, the native peoples would call it day to day living. We would call it Bushcraft / Survival. :D

    You forgot to mention that a survivalist need's at least 500 rounds of ap for their assault rifle, just to go to the shops for a loaf of bread ..... :D
     
  8. simonsays

    simonsays Forager

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    Survivalists dont need to go to the shops, they all have at least a years supply of food stockpiled away :rolleyes:

    Simon
     
  9. Spacemonkey

    Spacemonkey Native

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    Yup that's right. And they live in the desert with a rusting shell of a Huey in the yard. I'm thinking of those two in 'Tremors' and Enrique in 'Terminator 2'. Wouldn't mind his underground stash though...
    I'm most definitely NOT a Harry bleedin' Potter fan, but isn't it an old blue Ford Anglia they use? Maybe it was sold as a Minx in the states, bt I didn't think that Roote's cars had any affiliation with Ford so couldn't be badge angineered? I used to have a 1947 Hillman Minx ex RAF staff car. that was cool. Would have made a lovely 'Rod.
     
  10. arctic hobo

    arctic hobo Native

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    Plus they don't believe the shops are still there, because they've been blown up by the Russians/Iraqis/Palestinians/Al Queda/North Koreans/next one on the list :rolleyes:
     
  11. OldJimbo

    OldJimbo Settler

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    I sure like the Mors' quote, thanks Stuart! As usual a few lines takes a lot of thinking about!

    "the word survival has become a catchword carelessly used and lacking any precision in application. To survive is to come out of any life-threatening situation alive though being rescued. if you manage on your own, the situation may be termed an emergency or only a great inconvenience. the term survival may be used for situation where life expectancy is reduced to a specified time limit which may also state when irreversible conditions are to be expected. basic survival knowledge is the distillation of the most basic and effective means of staying alive (that disregards everything, especially the environment in the interest of maintaining life at all costs)."

    Most of the outdoor stuff on my site is in a folder called "survival" because I was on forums that included the word and it was a logical term at the time. Imprecise for sure. But so is the term survival kit. If you have sufficient tools and food then you're probably not in any sort of survival situation and will happily saunter out on your own. So the object of a survival kit is not to have to "survive" life threatening conditions in the first place. Unfortunately the term "Anti-Survival Kit" would certainly be open to misinterpretation!
    Lots of people in areas where natural disaster happen, make an effort ot prepare. Again they do so just so that they won't urgently need help before things return to normal. But they do expect things to return to normal, and want the least possible inconvenience in the meantime. Hardly a survival situation, it's the unprepared who might suffer that.

    It's quite the topic. In 2000 we weren't totally sure about power up here. I didn't have any great concerns about how I'd get on - but I had to be part of preparing for emergency situations with young, sick or disabled people in town. It wan't a survival situation because we were never going to let it come to that. When all the embedded microprocessors worked just fine due to upgrades, we didn't feel silly. You prepare for difficult situations just so they won't come down to survival.

    Yep I like the Mors quote more and more!
     
  12. SMARTY

    SMARTY Nomad

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    I would like to add my 2 penneth worth, to the discussion that will never end!

    1. To most people RM, Mors, Lofty etc etc are known as Survival Experts
    2. How many bushcraft schools have the word Survival in them?
    3.Scenario: During a bushcraft trip you have a serious accident are immobalised and have no signal on your phone. Are you now in a survival situation??

    Hey call it what you want just be safe and enjoy it!!!!
     
  13. karen

    karen Guest

    I like to think that its all part of the same thing myself!! I have no car, occasionally wear camo gear, have at least two different kits and dont walk about with a hand made knife or own a swandri!!!

    I have what I class as a basic kit, which comprises of an orange emergency bag, survival tin, mess tins, foil blanket, hexi stove and dried food stuffs.

    I also have what I class as a camping kit, which comprises of a roll mat, 1 man tent, 1 ring gas stove, survival tin, first aid kit, sleeping bag etc.

    I find that it all depends on what you want when you enter the wilderness, my outdoor skills can be applied to either bushcraft or survival. It just depends on what I want when Iam out there, survival for me isnt just about accidents and because I have to, I have a choice what I would like to practice and how hard I make it for myself!!

    I feel that Iam lucky enough not to HAVE to use these skills to live or survive!

    Thats just my 2 pennies worth tho!!!! :)
     
  14. Stuart

    Stuart Full Member

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    whilst thinking about Mors kochanskis definition of survival:

    "the word survival has become a catchword carelessly used and lacking any precision in application. To survive is to come out of any life-threatening situation alive though being rescued. if you manage on your own, the situation may be termed an emergency or only a great inconvenience. the term survival may be used for situation where life expectancy is reduced to a specified time limit which may also state when irreversible conditions are to be expected. basic survival knowledge is the distillation of the most basic and effective means of staying alive (that disregards everything, especially the environment in the interest of maintaining life at all costs)."

    I came to the conclusion that if Mors was one of the first people to popularise the use of the term 'Bushcraft' in the northern hemisphere to describe what we do then his works may provide insight into what the definition of bushcraft is in relation to survival.

    it would appear from the quote above that Mors is insinuating that if you are unexpectedly in a situation that you are unprepared for and require rescue then you are surviving, from this we can then conclude that if you are in a situation for which you are prepared and do not require external assistance you are engaged in bushcraft

    continuing to think along these lines I had a look though mors kochanskis book, 'Northern Bushcraft' one of the most respected titles on the subject

    this contains chapters on: Firecraft, axecraft, knifecraft, sawcraft, bindcraft, sheltercraft, the Birches, the conifers, the willows, the shrubs, the moose, and finally the varying hare

    there are whole chapters on the correct use of an axe, knife and saw and the many things that can be accomplished with them, there is a chapter dedicated to cordage, a chapter covering the construction of all types of shelters, and four whole chapters coving the uses flora, not for food but for the manufacture of baskets, containers, shoes, pipes, utensils, brooms, knife handles, pine tar even buttons, the final two chapters talk about the hare and the moose but only 4-5 pages are about catching and eating them, the rest concern the animals behaviour and the preparation of there hides, sinews, hooves, bones etc to be used as blankets, glues and tools

    you begin to notice a similarity in these chapters, they all concern the manufacture of things, the crafting of tools and useful items perhaps this is where the word bushcraft finds its definition:

    "Bushcraft is the art of crafting the items you require from the natural resources around you in a situation for which you are prepared and do not require external assistance, with special consideration given to the environment which surrounds you"
     
  15. jamesdevine

    jamesdevine Settler

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    I would agree whole heartitly with you stuart. For me when I associate the word survival with the outdoor it is the act of delaying with a unexpected and un prepared for situation. With a mind set of presivation of the self.

    Bushcraft/woodcraft/campcraft they are trems relating to living and exsisting in the outdoors by choice for either a long or short time and understanding that the only way one can live in the outdoors for any period of time is with an eye to presivation of the whole.

    it's like Oldjimbos observations on the survival kit. It is a strange name for it. Maybe they should be called a living kit.

    James
     
  16. OldJimbo

    OldJimbo Settler

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    "3.Scenario: During a bushcraft trip you have a serious accident are immobalised and have no signal on your phone. Are you now in a survival situation??"

    Yep because if you really are immobilized, then it's rescue or death.

    I suddenly got sick once and after chopping a huge deadfall off the trail. I was able to get a fire going easily from the mound of dry chips,but by the fire i was still shaking and getting worse. I then had to make a decision as to whether I'd be able to keep a fire going or whether to make a big push to get out - and chose the latter because I was getting worse fast. It wasn't a survival situation because no-one was going to come in time. The only part that skils and tools played was getting a fire going in the first place and making a realistic assessment. Certainly an emergency situation because I'll sure never forget that trip out.
    There's a neat piece of writing on survival by Pipedreams - I shall have to see if I can find it. It was a neat rebuttal to those who figured that their skills and equipment would make a survival or emergency situation into an adventure.
     
  17. ChrisKavanaugh

    ChrisKavanaugh Need to contact Admin...

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    In a final summation these terms are being discussed by people sitting in the womb of urban comfort. I think that fact reveals more of a social agenda than what happens 2 feet into the forest. I have lots of social and political issues, but I am not going to sooth my sense of disenfranchisement by going to the woods like a pioneer and carving out some independant homestead just to stand proud like CharltonHeston in the red sunset of the final movieframe while FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN is played. 2 weeks annual vacation by people isn't going to untie all the knots the other 50 weeks wrap us up in either. People need to make the urban environment just as wondrous as the wild. So, I'm off for a walk in our local park. I 'll need to practise my urbancraft to survive the idiots on the freeway and a lion has been rumoured near my destination. :eek:
     
  18. Fire Starter

    Fire Starter New Member

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    Survival skills, living off the land, fieldcraft, wilderness living skills, woodcraft, bushcraft, i'mnotdaft.....whatever it is called who cares we all have a fair idea of what it is.

    Mr Mears, the media and of course the marketing men have certainly done their homework since these days anything with "bushcraft" sells. (does any one remember when black was the new grey or Starburst were Opal fruits...?)

    Mr Mears first book - The Survival (!) Handbook contained everything from flint knapping to hide working, along with other primitive skills - should we now refer to it as The Bushcraft Handbook? I know the term bushcraft has been around since the 1800s but has been treated more as a brand name in this country for the last few years.

    I wasn't aware that we had any actual "bush" in the UK anyway (bushes maybe...) - personally I think the term bushcraft should be kept for places that actually have bush, ie Africa or Australia etc. Do the Inuit describe themselves as practicing "bushcraft" - I don't think so - applies to many other cultures as well.

    I think we have all been hoodwinked by the Mears marketing moguls, so that bushcraft (like Hoover & Biro) has become the accepted word. In the short time I've been a member of this forum, it seems to me that a high proportion of people are hung up on the whole issue of buying more and more kit and going out wearing the "bushcraft" uniform (again as worn by RM) - as with so much else in life, are we all just sheep following the directions of the marketing men - I though that the idea here was to go back to basics and a more simple idea of life? Maybe with all this kit (myself included...) we are really all bushcampers :confused:
     
  19. spamel

    spamel Banned

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    Oooh, controversial comment, but I reckon your right. Mears sells tilly hats on his site, I wonder how many here own one. Probably quite a few. This also applies to GB axes, the WS Woodlore, zebra billy can, Aussie hootchie (cheers big brother for the free aussie hootchie, a nice present!! Thanks also to the unknown aussie SF guy who gave it to him in Iraq!!) and any number of other items seen on Rays programmes.

    The thing is, this kit is used by Ray all the time, who spends a ridiculous amount of time in the 'bush', and therefore we all know that it must work or else he would have ditched it by now. He is doing the hard work by trying this kit out, and we are taking it that it is the best or else he wouldn't use it, so why waste money trying something else that may turn out to be crap?

    Of course, we will look like a rag tag army when we all get together, because we all have the same kit!! :D

    Spamel
     
  20. falcon

    falcon Full Member

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    Quote - "Maybe with all this kit (myself included...) we are really all bushcampers?"

    This comment keeps cropping up and I'm wondering if we're supposed to feel guilty if we merely go "bushcamping" rather than carry next to nothing. It could be that we have to "bushcamp" with basha, stove, sleeping bag etc either because that's only what time permits or we don't have the facilities to go for the more basic option. After all, building debris or rocky mountain shelters, obtaining enough firewood to burn for the evening and night is not something achieveable in just a few hours let alone catch enough wild food to live on and hands up how many people have ready access to the land and resources to do it anyway?

    I would dearly love to practice in a minimalist way but it would be something of a luxury to find the time and place to do it given the other demands on family life - there is an obligation to give something to the family as well. I've been chuffed to bits to supplement a lifetime of countryside activities with an increasing amount of bushcraft practices thanks in no small measure to the help I've received on this forum. It's great to feel comfortable bushcamping and to practice skills which, hopefully, at some point will have their chance to shine at a more fundamental level. Bushcamping ???....bring on loads more of it...after all, if it was good enough for Nessmuk....it's good enough for me (if only).
     

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