an Aside: science fiction and bushcraft

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Don Redondo

Jan 4, 2006
NW Wales
Ok, maybe a tenuous link, but one of my favourite SF authors is Kim Stanley Robinson, who wrote several novels dealing with environmental change and how man adapts to these. This is what Wikipedia says:

the interesting bit is down in the middle bit in Science in the Capital where the writer lists things which KSR suggests we should get back in touch with. For those not wanting to go there here's the list:

In Fifty Degrees Below (page 99) Robinson discusses neolithic activities that we, as humans, should return to in order to give us happiness, as our brains are hard-wired to enjoy such things:

throwing things at things
having sex
dealing with the opposite sex
looking at fire
stalking animals
gathering plants to eat
cooking and eating
killing animals for food
experiencing terror

At a lecture on the Chicago Humanities Festival (Nov 5, 2007) he added a few more:

making your bed
looking at the moon

There's plenty there I can put a tick against :)



Dec 15, 2005
I think I must have a loose wire then because I certainly don`t enjoy dealing with the opposite sex, what`ever she says goes, there is no "deal".



Full Member
Jul 16, 2006
Its a good list that I myself can tick off quite a few including the terror but like a few of you have already said I would rather replace it with risk!


Dec 3, 2005
I the is a waiting list of things to do and which order, please put me down for sex please (twice just to be on the safe side)



Full Member
May 2, 2007
Good list; 12 for me ;) . Mind you throwing things at things, dealing with the opposite sex, talking, running, stalking animals, gathering plants to eat and experiencing terror were all down to cleaning out our rabbit hutch and run!


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 20, 2005
Durham City, County Durham
now lets see who can come up with the funniest story combining all of the above!
I climbed down from the temporary platform that had been my bed for the last two nights. The branches supporting it had creaked and groaned in the wind, but it had remained strong and had offered me protection from the wild things that roamed in the dark.

She still slept soundly above though, cocooned in a wrap of fur and in a world of dreams. Her deep regular breathing indicated to me that I would have some time to myself before she awoke and demanded my attentions once more.

In the 'me time' luxury that was all too infrequent these days, I put drill to hearth and with a few strokes of the rib bone bow, I had an ember. Within a minute I had flame and I quickly nursed it with the expeditious use of a few rapidly expelled lungfuls of air into a bone warming blaze.

The cookpot that She had brought with her to the partnership was filled with clear water from the spring nearby and was approaching the boil. I threw in a couple of handfuls of young willowherb leaves and three handfuls of young nettle leaves. Whether it was tea or soup was a moot point, it was breakfast, just as it had been every morning for the last week, month, whatever. Time and it's passage was also a moot point.

I stared for a while at the flames as I sipped the hot brew and felt the warmth awaken my tired body from both inside and out.

It had been a long while since I had felt so good. Good about myself and good about the way She and I were becoming as one. The passion of the night before and the intertwining and ultimate joining of our bodies was in no small way adding to the feelings of wellbeing I was experiencing this day.

We, She and I that is, didn't need to speak much anymore. Not for the routine things anyway like hunting and foraging. We just knew each other's ways well enough to anticipate the other's movements. We still talked of course, lots of talk in fact, but that was different. That was chit chat round the fire of an evening before the cold of the night sent us scurrying under tyhe furs for mutual comfort and warmth.

Still She slept.

From the corner of my eye I glanced movement. I had my slingshot up and swinging before I had taken another breath. Loaded with a beach pebble, I let the thong go and the projectile sped towards the rabbit, catching it in the rib cage. I was on my feet and running before the pebble hit and the rabbit stopped tumbling. I had learned from experience that a slingshot hit doesn't necessarily equate to a kill. Head shots generally killed, but more often than not resulted in complete misses. Body shots were more reliable although a rapid follow up was needed as the animal was usually only winded.
I grabbed the rabbit before it could recover and picked up the pebble too and returned it to the pouch hanging from my belt. Rear legs in my left hand, right hand over back of head, push down and twist and feel the dislocation. Job done. Rabbit for lunch.

God alone knows where he came from, and how he had managed to creep up on me. He had probably been stalking the same rabbit and was mightily peeved at my having got there before him. I experienced a moment of terror. My knife, bow and arrows were over at the camp area, too far to run without the big wolf interceding and maybe deciding I was the better quarry. Wolves had become much less afraid of man these last few years, and roumour had it that attacks by wolves had become commonplace in some areas.

I felt rather than heard the whisper of the arrow as it flashed past my right ear. The narrow bodkin point entered the rib cage of the wolf just behind the shoulder and exited the other side tearing heart and lung as it went. The wolf was dead before it had a chance to howl and all that emited was a rapidly terminated squeak. I stared in amazement, unable to comprehend for a moment what had just happened.

She stood on the platform. Her longbow trailing at her side. She hadn't even drawn a second arrow. She knew one would be enough. I walked over to her as she climbed down from the platform and wrapped my arms around her still naked body.
"Get me a drink" she whispered, still staring at the wolf.
"God, that was a brilliant shot!" I said as I removed my arms and handed her my blanket. I poured her some tea/soup and handed her the cup.
"Why didn't you take your knife?" she asked quietly. "That wolf could have torn your throat out if it had a mind to".
"Didn't think. I just didn't want the rabbit to get away."
"Don't forget in future. Or you'll have me to deal with."

With the swift strokes of a long practiced expert, she skinned out the wolf and had the pelt over a makeshift fleshing beam rapidly removing all traces of meat, fat and blood. She sang as she worked, a song of her family and her tribe. I watched in admiration for she had taught me much and had much to teach me yet.

I think that covers about everything on the list. Anybody else fancy a go, or add to this story if you like.