Bushcrafter or Urban Outdoorsman, is gardening a legitimate pastime?

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Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
Mid Wales
Theoretically our pond is a 'swim pond' - it's 10m x 8m (so 'splash' pond rather than swim pond) and 1.5m deep at it's deepest, but, because it's naturally clay lined, you sink at least 30cm into the mud at the bottom and come out dirtier than you go in :)

I have to get into it this year though to clear the reedmace.


Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
Can't see a swim pond many metres above the level of our house being a good Idea. What would the insurers say about a self created flood risk?

I guess we have to stick to attracting land based critters instead. I really need to find out what visits our future garden. My tracking skills aren't worth much so perhaps a wildlife cam moved around the garden a bit to catch what's visiting. Any good, cheap ones around?


Apr 27, 2005
I do on my allotment to provide vegetables, and wooden staves amongst other things
What do you grow for staves and how did you get it to start with?

I think gardening is useful from a Bushcraft prosective in that you learn about the cycle of plants however if you are lucky enough to be out a lot you could do the same thing.

Bushcraft is taught face to face but if this forum it's remotely close to being representative of people doing activities called bushcraft then technology is used a lot. How many threads about online videos? How many come here for advice on techniques, where to go, etc? BCUK is a bushcraft resource and it's based on technology. If you really wanted to be pedantic then even stone age techniques are actually technology. Then how many discussions of kit? All technology.
The reason we are the dominate species on the planet is because we could sit down and discuss ideas and pass them on. It might have been slower 10,000 years ago however it what happened.

However purely electronic technology plays a part. There's plenty discussion and imparting knowledge on here, a forum supplied by technology.
I saw a long term Bushcraft set up video a couple of days ago and it had books in it and my first thought was buy a kindle. I remember as a scout leader carrying loads of books because you had no other choice.
I really cannot wait for Amazon to bring out a Colour Kindle.

As to boy or girl scouts. It's not the same with that organisation everywhere. Even in the UK there's variation. I grew up where nobody knew bushcraft skills who had got involved with scouting. The leaders used fire lighters and cigarette lighters to light fires. Heck they use petrol to get camp fires going. And do not get me on to how many times I had to correct my leaders on basic knots. That was in Cubs and scouts.
It always has been like that it does depend on the leaders. I was really lucky in that I joined a break away traditional group and we had a leader who met BP so he was almost there from the beginning. He had lots of resources that no one else had seen at the time which are all available at The Dump.

Even now our sons scout groups spend more time learning about social and environmental matters than bushcraft matters. Activities outside revolve around outdoor activities like mountain biking, climbing (they've got an indoor climbing wall too) and watersports. It's about fun activities for the kids not bushcraft. That's the attitude coming from area and national too.
The thing to do is get them the certificates to go with being outdoor. My Scout Leader got his son a canoeing certificate and it lead to him working at an outdoor place for several summer holidays which lead to him adding the ability to teach more things in the outdoor. One of the things I think is a really good thing to do for kids is get them side hustles like a martial art, music, or the ability to teach anything.
You should get evolved and teach them about the environment from a Bushcraft prospective.

That leaves other sources to find out about bushcraft. Often bear grylls then other online experts. I guess we'll never agree that technology is now a bigger part of bushcraft and learning about bushcraft.
In that little part of my brain that prepares for the apocalypse, I think about what information we would need and how to keep it available. I think we need to work out a tech tree from the bush craft basics up to current life what knowledge supports what.
For example, one of the tasks for the BushCraftUSA online course is making string by twisting by hand. The thing is would would they have done it like that or would they have made a spindle.

Canals are conduits for so many users. On the other side there's space for wildlife because mostly us humans keep to this side. I've seen deer, otters, water voles. Well apart from the water voles our border terrier pointed to on the edge of the field that was totally chilled out chewing the grass, we don't see them just hear the plop as they drop into the water. Usually the same with others except you often catch their tail.
I live right on a river and most admit have been sat here wondering were it goes. A task for my lock down walks I think. It is amazing how much more wildlife you get by being near a water source.

Ducks tend to a bad behaviour as far as I see.
I remember being on a boat holiday and being woken up every morning by scuffling noises and finally discovered it was ducks wondering up and down the edge of the boat.
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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
They are very intelligent, I think comparable with dogs.

My brother's Ducks are always interested what I am doing, although I never feed them.
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