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Do we have a responsibility or accountability? (discussion)

Discussion in 'Bushcraft Chatter' started by ChrisAsh, May 27, 2019.

  1. ChrisAsh

    ChrisAsh Member

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    Having just spent some time on YouTube got me thinking.....

    There are a few people who make YouTube videos on the topic of bushcraft. This is a good thing in my opinion, however is there not a risk of accountability on what is shown on these videos?

    My concern is based around the imitation by people who are new/lack the experience of skills depicted, namely in things like axe work. I was horrified at being witness to a YouTuber chopping rounds of wood in a standing posture with an axe not much bigger than a hatchet!!! Now yes a hatchet can be used for this purpose (no complaints there) it is the positioning of the user, especially when it is swinging the tool to chop the round.

    I personally will not be in a standing position with anything smaller than a felling axe or a splitting maul, as I like to have the protection that a chopping block/ground offers in the event of a miss.

    I appreciate we all have faith in our own skills and knowledge. My concern is more about the what if scenario where someone gets seriously hurt imitating what they see in a video. Should we as a community not call out the people who make videos and encourage them to use best practice, after all they are the ones who new practitioners of bushcraft are looking to for guidance.

    Apologies for the soapbox, however I would like to hear what others think, or if I'm just over analysing the whole situation.

    Sent from my G3311 using Tapatalk
     
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  2. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Personally I think you have a valid point. You can of course comment on these sites and I have often seen criticism of what people do or say on their you tube vids. So perhaps a gentle but firm point could be put across on the "comments below" section of the channel is the way to go?
     
  3. Fadcode

    Fadcode Full Member

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    A Very good point, however I don't think your criticism would be welcome by most of these you-tubers.
    I find that most people are not very receptive to criticism at all, you see it on forums when you point out an error, next minute there is mayhem and many threads end up as personal attacks, however, you are quite right that it is our responsibility to point out or advise people who may be carrying out an activity that puts them in danger, as long as we don't expect thanks for it.

    Recently I saw a knife for sale by a well known Firm, the knife was advertised as a legal EDC folder, but they demanded you had to be 18 years of age to buy it, I emailed them and asked if it was a Legal EDC, why they insisted you had to be 18 y.o, their answer was a tirade of abuse, and told me to mind my own business, I had also commented about some of their other knives for sale as they were listed as "Combat Knives" and advised them it would be better to call them "Survival Knives", in the end, I decided it would have been better to say nothing,

    Sometimes it is hard not to point out obvious dangers, but you must be prepared to take the flak when it comes.
     
  4. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    The buyer has to be 18 or over to buy any knife, it’s the law, I’m not too surprised they took umbrage when they’re clearly being responsible by stating legal fact. Legal EDC can confuse people a bit. A locking folder is EDC if there is good reason for a locking mechanism.

    The confusion lies in the ‘carry anytime, anywhere’ without needing a reason (there are some exceptions obviously) and only one knife fits this category, a non-locking sub 3” blade (measured as the cutting edge of the blade). So provided the company you phoned regarding the “legal EDC” fits this criteria, then perhaps they were justifiably annoyed. Verbal abuse however, wasn’t necessary.

    Combat knives is just a label. It refers to the design more than intended usage. Many knives are designed for combat and fighting. In fact the very last type of knife to take into a genuine survival scenario is a combat knife, it would be hopeless for most tasks. Unless of course part of the survival involves actual combat or defence.

    In answer to the OP. In these days of fast moving information, misinformation, social media etc, I don’t think a relatively small group of better educated people like ourselves stand a chance in hell of changing attitudes. I think it would very likely be perceived as patronising and lead to ridicule and accusations of nanny state. YouTube is littered with millions of people pranking, getting hurt, ultimate fails etc. If the guy wants to remove a kneecap with an axe, perhaps the following week he might post a video of the interesting spoon he’s managed to carve from it with his Mora. Just leave ‘em to it. ;)

    People will do these things, and might learn the hard way, it’s impossible for me to feel responsible in the slightest. As said, you can use the comments section, or make your own videos.
     
    #4 Nice65, May 27, 2019
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  5. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    QED :)

    The problem is that every Tom, Dick and Harry (or the equivalent female names :)) that has read a book and spent ten minutes with an axe considers himself an expert. You see countless videos of people doing stuff they 'get away with' but that I would never demonstrate. At the same time we now get new disciples criticizing basic methods that have been practiced for hundreds of years.

    Nah, unless you have a personal connection with the youtuber I'd just leave it; you'll probably just start a rant that raises your blood pressure.
     
  6. Fadcode

    Fadcode Full Member

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    Thanks for reinforcing my point, you do not have to be 18 to buy a knife that is not covered by the law restricting sales, unless that knife falls into the specific categories, a LEGAL EDC knife is obviously not a locking folder, and would not have a blade longer than that stated in the restrictions under 3 inches, the knife in question was in fact a fruit pen knife, the confusion does not lie in the "carry anytime, anywhere", the confusion lies in the first line of your reply, you do not have to be 18 to buy any knife.
     
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  7. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

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    Here is a good example of what happens far too often. It's all well and good to assert something as being true, but you have to back up your argument with objective facts. When it comes to the law, especially, you have to quote the letter of the law.

    The field is incredibly confusing, though...

    According to the Police,

    While the Government tells us:

    Wikipedia tells us:
    So, it's clear isn't it?

    I suppose we need to look at the exemption order of 1996.

    There it is. If you write a comment to a Youtube video, you have to spell out the justification for what you have written, so that it is clear that you are not making a personal attack on the Youtuber. Otherwise that is how it will be received and the response will be defensive at least, and more probably a stream of invective.
     
  8. Duggie Bravo

    Duggie Bravo Nomad

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    Just to help clarify the point about buying a knife:
    https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives

    But a seller can chose who they sell to , so if they decide you have to be over 18 to buy a knife from them, the choice you have is buy elsewhere.


    Sent using Tapatalk
     
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  9. ChrisAsh

    ChrisAsh Member

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    My intention was to debate the ethics of how bushcraft is portrayed on some platforms, not create an argument with the legalities of the sale of knifes.

    The following is from the government website :
    Basic laws on knives

    It’s illegal to:

    sell a knife to anyone under 18, unless it has a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less

    carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less

    carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife

    use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife)

    Scotland

    In Scotland, 16 to 18 year olds are allowed to buy cutlery and kitchen knives.

    So yes 18 to buy knives, unless it is a folding non locking with a blade of 3'' or less. That being said retailer's also have the rights to make/refuse any sales, for companies it is easier to blanket a type of product. Take alcohol, 18 to buy yet a little forgotten element also includes chocolate laqures for those the minimum age is 16 (however who likes them, only seen at Xmas horable things)

    Ethics are tricky, yet all these YouTubers tend to say a disclaimer where edibles are concerned "be 100% in the identity of the plant, use multiple references ect....."

    Those who represent the bushcraft community, should be held to a higher standard, it doesn't take a lot for some levels of freedom to be taken away in changes to the law. An example is airsoft/6mm bb guns, when I was young (as most of you could probably remember also) guns looked like guns, now they are brightly coloured.... Why oh because a small minority used them inappropriately.

    This community also operates on a fine line is some aspects, we like sharp things, and that is bad, the fact that we see them as tools is irrelevant, look at the current knife culture, in the eyes of the law and the public your £300.00+ custom built 4" scandi ground, full tang with curly birch handle, is no different than the amazon £5.00 special combat knife.

    Think about the problems players of Airsoft have to go through to play and have realistic replicas of firearms (look up the VCRA, and the UKARA - uk body for the sale of Airsoft and one of the few defences accepted by the VCRA)

    Do any of you want to have to jump through hoops and have to prove that you have a valid claim to use/buy the sharp things we so love.

    Sent from my G3311 using Tapatalk
     
  10. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    But that's the whole problem - as I said earlier QED.

    You start by suggesting someone has got it wrong and it degenerates into an argument. A few months ago I suggested a member should perhaps have known that what he was doing was wrong (a fundamental aspect of UK wildlife law) and I got shot down by a number of members for being patronising - you can't win.

    We have no way of telling, unless you have met the person, if any contributor has more than YouTube knowledge of the subject or has tens of years of dirt-time experience so it's difficult to judge what level of discussion to enter into until it's too late.

    It helps if people use phrases like "My interpretation of the law is ….", "in my opinion it would be better to ….", "have you thought about doing it this way because …." etc.

    I will continue to provide guidance to those I meet and I spend time with in the woods, and I am happy to put my 2 pence worth into this forum and get very valuable advice from it, but I will refrain commenting or criticising random people on You Tube or elsewhere; I don't believe that is my responsibility - anyway, it would be a full-time job!
     
  11. ChrisAsh

    ChrisAsh Member

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    Broch, I understand what you are saying and appreciate your input and views on the matter.

    The whole point of this topic was for a debate. I am also aware that some of these people on YouTube are also members of this forum, to this extent it was my intention to bring the subject of accountability and responsibility into an environment where there were there is knowledge, experience and input from all levels of people from new beginners to the 40+ years of dirt and mistakes.

    To that end it would give these content makers a fuller picture of what the community believes.
    Making comments and such like you said does cause problems, namely in that you are publicly criticising the individual, at no point have I identified anybody, or identified the channels in particular, this creates the unbiased platform for rational discussions

    Sent from my G3311 using Tapatalk
     
  12. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Well it's possible to make mistakes and have accidents no matter how trained or expert you are. Gone are the days when a ten year old would have been chopping for the family woodpile for a couple of years and knew how to handle an axe unsupervised.
    Yes there is a tendency to tell people they are wrong . It's almost a hobby nowadays. I'd say if you realy feel strongly then as I said a gentle comment would be in order you don't have to go full blown nanny state on them.
    Personally I don't bother to watch any further if I see stupid practice. I give my yt views to those who make good vids
     
  13. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    Keeping off the legality I’ll be brief. I wasn’t aware of the sub 3” folder being exempt, so that’s worth knowing. However, I don’t think you’ll often find a seller who will sell to under 18s, they just apply a blanket rule.

    I’d still have got a bit shirty myself if someone rang me to tell me how to run my business though. :D:D:D

    What was the knife out of interest? Please don’t say Lansky Madrock. :lmao:

    Apologies to Chris Ash for entering the ridiculous and inevitable law argument. :)
     
    #13 Nice65, May 27, 2019
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  14. Fadcode

    Fadcode Full Member

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    No need for apologies Chris, I simply asked the firm why the age restriction to verify whether the knife was a true Legal EDC, as I have seen other knives that were obviously not Legal to Carry described as UK Legal EDC., there does seem to be confusion on the matter of what is Legal to carry, (EDC) and what is legal to carry provided you have a reasonable cause to..
     
  15. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I’m curious what axe the OP saw? When I was still in and Boy Scouts (late 1960s) I had what we called a “three quarter” axe back then. I kept that axe for decades and wish I still had it. More recently I’ve heard it referred to as a Hudson Bay” axe (although that variation had a slightly different head shape) and still more recently I’ve heard it called a “boy’s axe.” They are all basically different names for the same axe: about 2.5 pound head and a 28 inch handle.

    They’re still popular among canoeists and hikers. I can still use it safely and reasonably efficiently but as the OP infers, it doesn’t rely fit me that well now and I prefer a full sized axe. Is this indeed the axe the OP’s referring too?

    In a discussion currently going on over on BCUSA I’m in the minority as more commenters seem to be preferring them.
     
  16. ChrisAsh

    ChrisAsh Member

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    Anything that is handled in a length that doesn't support two handed operation (smaller than the infamous forest axe) is a hatchet style.

    The video in question had the axe as a full metal including the handle, and was swung using a single hand as it was not long enough to accommodate two hands, think tomohok size.

    Like others have said, it is sometimes better to look the other way, and give your views to those who actually show the best practice, I am of the opinion that those who represent the community should be held to a higher standard. It is them who choose to showcase skills and knowledge, I just don't believe that it will be long before something happens that ends up with media attention bringing a bad light onto this subject, after all all if not most of us are out off the beaten track where access is terrible.

    "monkey see monkey do" comes to mind

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  17. Fadcode

    Fadcode Full Member

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    You have a valid point without doubt, and there are some really bad videos out there,a lot say things like " I would normally wear a mask when doing this", or worse, "don't try this yourself", the Internet is a useful tool, and a lot of good things can be learnt from what you see, thankfully we are also able to separate the good from the bad, which in itself is a blessing.

    As for a higher standard should be shown by those who represent the Community, there are actually quite a limited number who you could say represent the Bushcraft Community, and who could be held responsible for their teaching, etc,,there are a lot of dedicated amateurs who simply go on line to pass on their skills and things they have learnt, probably through their mistakes, and do so to save others making the same mistakes.
    The professional Bushcrafters,RM, BG, SC, and others, well they have a team of helpers and advisers to help them, and when they make a mistake, they just cut the filming, and go back and do it again properly..

    You are right that when things go wrong, the media jump on it, remember the fires that have been started by campers, and others being careless, it certainly doesn't help our course, but I think we will always be looked upon as oddballs, when Joe public sees someone walking along with a rucksack on their back, they think we are waannabe soldiers, or the like, they have little interest in our motives or the knowledge we carry with us in respect of the environment.
     
  18. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    IMO, in short - yes we have a responsibility to show 'safe practices'. Here, Youtube, everywhere.

    I have seen horrendously dangerous so called bushcrafting on Youtube.
    One of the worst I have seen is carving with a chainsaw, where the person leaned over the running chain and had his face a few inches above it.
     
  19. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    You can't fix stupid. You can't. Not even with all kinds of links in yet another knife thread.
    I watch huge amounts of fire wood wasted in a burn built bottom-backwards. And they're proud of it.
    The wanton destruction of campsites by people who assume they know what's best.
    It's sloppy. Sloth.
    Make more coffee. Cook a lot more bacon. Show them the truth.
     
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  20. Ogri the trog

    Mod

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    You can be as diligent as you want making and editing a Youtube video, but if the watcher perceives your points incorrectly, who can be said to be at fault? The creator has done all he can to portray a skill - but if the watcher does no further research, more fool him!

    I have seen many cases of folk, bashing the living daylights out of a tree in the name of using an axe, and striking ferro rods with knife blades and spluttering through smoke while lighting a fire and many more things, all because they try to short-cut the intricate nuances that come with proper experience.

    And nothing will ever change that! All you can hope to do is to keep your direct students safe as they gain a little of that experience.
     
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