The three days of riding to the meet-up was with nights in B&B accommodation, with a support vehicle carting our gear and what we needed for the horses, and the support vehicle driver set up picnic table and benches for us... quite glampish, overall, though we riders had to water and feed the horses morning, noon and night.That's the perfect way to introduce kids to the outdoors Keith.
Sorry about the "clickbait" title but it does seem to have served the purpose.
The horse trek sounds great as well.
I think for me the craft side of it certainly takes a larger percentage of the time I dedicate to this and in fact most of my pastimes.I do a lot of foraging this time of year. I make cordials jams chutneys and all sorts of other tasty morsels. My dryer works overtime with fruit leather and dried berries and herbs. Although I'm indoors, to me it's still bushcraft as without those bushes to gather from I'd be doing something else. I try to do something bushcrafty most days. Easy enough in the summer but more difficult for me when cold and wet.
I don't think you have to be in the woods to do bushcraft (tho it is my preferred option)
To me it's more a way of life which encompasses many different skills and fosters a mindset of being able to cope and adapt and improvise in any situation. It fosters an awareness that most people nowadays just don't have.. noses buried in their phones as they walk around, or earphones in and "plugged out" of the world around them.
Armchair bushcraft to me is being sat in a comfy recliner with a book about nature (present read .... walks in the wild , a guide through the forest by Peter wohlleben ) as yet untouched but begging a cosy night in by the woodburner. It will have to wait a bit though as I'm too busy .
I tried to stay awake last night to watch the perseid meteor show... but I fell asleep and missed it. Serve me right for trying to watch from my bed instead of the garden... but I was tired and it was raining.....
I wonder if sitting in my armchair while knitting some alpaca wool socks or fingerless mitts for use with my kit qualifies as armchair bushcraft?
What a grand subject for discussion!
I love canvas, wood, leather and steel as much as the next man and there's something special in using old, handmade, quality equipment. But...
...I'm now in my fifties with a much younger Spanish wife and our outings normally involve tramping the hills, forests and coasts of Galicia and Asturias. Because of this, I've discovered the benefits of lightweight gear. My cooking system is titanium and my knife is an M390/ Carbon fibre job that will last a week in wet weather with no maintenance (and the associated kit) required. The axe now stays at home in favour of a folding saw. One essential piece of kit is a lightweight, folding chair as ground/ log/ beach sitting no longer cuts it. I haven't yet gone 'ultralight' - my pack is 500 cordura - but the system is modular and I only take what I need depending on the type or duration of the outing.
I still have a ton of kit that fits the 'bushcraft' ideal - Canvas and leather pack, 01 steel Knessmuk knives, a GB SFA, a Woodlore clone, nesting steel billies, flint and steel, wool blankets etc - and it's kit that I would love to use more often if I was purely camping for camping's sake, but, more often than not, I'm experiencing the journey as well as the destination and my advancing years have definitely focussed on the weight side of things.
One 'luxury' (weight penalty) item I do take along is a Flexcut carving jack as I have a (frustratingly unrealised) ambition to be a great wood carver and it's a fine fireside activity.
I love all things 'retro' and your set-up, Wayland, certainly provides some inspiration for when the back/ hips/ knees finally give up and I'm driving to sleep in the fresh air. It looks like my ideal man-cave in the woods.
Afraid so!! Still packing a 100l rucksack, but now a 4x4 tarp, arctic issue sleeping bag, dd underblanket and the dd frontline hammock. All very bulky but still, the pace is getting slower and the walks in and out shorter. The dream however lingers on, or at least, DID until last Sunday my beloved informed me that we should now go an buy a campervan. Been checking fleabay, local dealers etc all week. Mind you, I'm hell bent to go on that winter overnighter whatever the physical cost will be!! A dream? Yes, perhaps! But it's worth having!!!The making of my new bedroll put me in mind of the jolly Swagman of old Australian ballad.
As a younger man I waltzed my Matilda all over. I hitch hiked and back packed my billy into the wild at every opportunity I had.
That developed over time into an interest in landscape photography and the load I was carrying steadily increased. Cameras, lenses and tripods were not lightweight, especially in the days before digital imaging.
Fortunately, those days also corresponded to the availability of a vehicle for getting me to the trail head but the distance I tramped certainly started to shorten.
I still sleep under canvas beneath the stars every chance I get but the realities of life and work now means the opportunity to do so are spread further and further apart.
I used to get out on living history camps pretty regularly over the sunnier seasons but sadly even those opportunities have now largely dried up.
Looking back today, brings me to the realisation that it has now been a good few years since I truly waltzed my Matilda anywhere at all.
The last time I actually stepped out towards a distant horizon with all my kit was now seven years ago and even then it was packed on a sled and not in a backpack.
It would appear that with the inevitable passage of time, I have become that most ridiculed of beasts, an armchair bushcrafter...
Granted, my armchair is now quite often a folding one and my roof is still frequently made of taut canvas. I use ancient skills and antiquated gear to manage my camp life and make, modify or mend my equipment but the nature of my outdoor life now bears little resemblance to my greener days.
I am certainly older and perhaps a little more eccentric but there is rarely a day that I do not enjoy a quiet moment or two planning my next outing. The difference is that outing is now more likely to be laden with equipment reminiscent of a nineteenth century expedition.
Occasionally I wonder if I should return to those worthy days of sleeping on a browse bed deep in the woods and as I lie on my comfortable mattress looking at the lamp lit canvas above me, I realise that these days I would need to check every inch of my body for ticks, my back would take a fortnight to forgive me and I would not be looking forward to a fine English breakfast made over an open fire.
Yes, my outdoor life has indeed changed but do I regret it? . . . . . .. . .Not one little bit.
How have you adapted to the march of time?
Reading your post brought back the reason for going with a goproOnly two sets?!! I have the Landy set, the canoe set, the base camp in the woods set, the lightweight back backing set and now (though yet to be tried ) the steam punk set
I've also changed my photography gear - I only take my DSLRs if I'm 'doing' photography and I have a small waterproof and shockproof compact for when I want to record my other activities. I found I wasn't getting my 'good' cameras out of the waterproof bag in the canoe or not taking them at all because of the weight.