Carrying fixed blades whilst wild camping

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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,385
1,347
Bedfordshire
The problem with asking is that however specific you think you are being, it is still a generic question as far as the police are concerned. It is far easier to give a negative answer that covers them for all eventualities with all people in all situations than it is to risk being seen to encourage something that could cause a problem. This is true for everything where you ask permission rather than forgiveness.

Riven, you are preaching at the choir mate. That line of thought has been expressed many many times, and makes not one ounce of difference to anything.

In fact, it would be nice if this thread, started for a specific situation, could either stay on that point, or just quietly fade away, rather than wander off in the usual direction of all other such threads; unhelpful observations from folk across the pond about how bad we have it, complaints about the minority ruining it for the majority, disagreements about whose interpretation of the law is right, and various cunning plans proposed to circumvent the laws.

The only new stuff in any of these threads is when someone can share a specific example of an interaction with the police, such as Dannyk64 (nice one!) or the OP describing his letter. The BASC page was also useful.
 

Zingmo

Eardstapa
Jan 4, 2010
1,276
90
S. Staffs
I think the law on knives is an example of what I term "Bus-lane legislation". It happens when the lawmakers are unable to think like law-breakers. A bus lane is supposed to provide a free lane for buses taxis and cycles. An unintended consequence of putting one in is that it also gives a free lane to anyone with no intention of obeying the law.

The only people who are not currently agonising over whether or not their hobby is good reason to have a knife or measuring and cutting the tips off their pocket knives are those with no intention of obeying the law. If a bushcrafter is stopped by a police officer, they comply with the officers demands and hope that if it comes to it, a judge will agree with their reasoning about Section 139. If a criminal is stopped they also have the option of running away or stabbing the police officer, but they will also likely have chucked their £2 Wilko kitchen knife into a bush before the conversation begins.

Passing laws does not change the behaviour of those who disregard the law.

Winston Churchill pointed out that in our democracy, it is easy for a national majority to remove a freedom from a particular minority group, but almost impossible for that group to ever win that freedom back.

Z
 

KenThis

Full Member
Jun 14, 2016
825
121
Cardiff
As I see it as a reasonable UK bushcrafter.

Having any blade or tool on your belt/person or plainly visible in a public place is asking for trouble.
Having a blade or tool in your bag (invisible) in public no problem - unless it looks like something from a horror film (even then going to a private film set etc. would probably be a good reason)

When at a camp (including wild camp) carrying a tool or blade (sheathed) to collect / process firewood probs no problem unless you startle someone (probs why I like to wear brighter colours than many)
If you are using your tools/blade and a member of the public turns up sheath the tools and put them away. Explain what it is you are doing if they appear interested.

Any wearing of tools or blades on a belt or person should be kept for private land with permission.

Or put another way unless you are actively in process of using tool keep it sheathed and out of sight. plus endeavour to have a friendly looking tool at all times unless on private land.

Plus as I see it having a non locking multi tool or small folding knife no problem unless you're somewhere where there are gonna be more people than chance to use it.
So pub / club /shopping mall - no.
park picnic / beach walk - yes

Furthermore I would add.
If ever stopped for any reason by the police be polite and courteous first and foremost.
Remember your civil liberties (google them if you don't know what powers police have when stopping you and what questions you must answer when asked) very informative.
Do not get confrontational and rely on common sense.
Listen carefully to what it is they are asking and comply where necessary.
If you know your rights and are not rude you shouldnt have any problems.
Remember that the police are just doing their job to the best of their abilities. They are only human and can make mistakes as much as anyone else but arguing with them is not going to help you in any way.
 

kpeter20

Forager
Mar 24, 2011
242
7
Runcorn
We must all worry about getting stopped while carrying a tool used for bushcraft/camping but the chances of being stopped/searched and taken to custody, charged and then going to court is very slim.
If you add an officer that uses common sense then even if you're stopped and searched then words of advice and on your way would be the ideal.

If you're previously known to police for acquisitive crime/assaults/knife crime and you're stopped and searched with an axe or knife then you're getting lifted.

If you're not known for any of the above with no previous trouble then chances are you would be let on your way after giving your explanation. You would possibly have other evidence of kit with you suggesting that what you're saying is true.

Rightly or wrongly you can also add type of clothing in to the mix along with your attitude and it all goes towards an impression someone makes when stopped.

Likewise if you're wondering the streets of a town or city at 3am with that gear you're getting lifted regardless of who you are.

Common sense on both sides goes a long way and failure on either side leads to trouble.


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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,849
1,061
64
Florida
The problem with asking is that however specific you think you are being, it is still a generic question as far as the police are concerned. It is far easier to give a negative answer that covers them for all eventualities with all people in all situations than it is to risk being seen to encourage something that could cause a problem. This is true for everything where you ask permission rather than forgiveness.

Riven, you are preaching at the choir mate. That line of thought has been expressed many many times, and makes not one ounce of difference to anything.

In fact, it would be nice if this thread, started for a specific situation, could either stay on that point, or just quietly fade away, rather than wander off in the usual direction of all other such threads; unhelpful observations from folk across the pond about how bad we have it, complaints about the minority ruining it for the majority, disagreements about whose interpretation of the law is right, and various cunning plans proposed to circumvent the laws.

The only new stuff in any of these threads is when someone can share a specific example of an interaction with the police, such as Dannyk64 (nice one!) or the OP describing his letter. The BASC page was also useful.

Much to agree with in this post. That said, I'd add that y'all's problems aren't really a lot different from ours:
1) a few bad people spoiling it for the majority
2) the police giving generic answers (for exactly the reasons you mentioned)
3) laws which are meant to give judges room for common sense (phrases such as "reasonable excuse") often become too vague for a easy interpretation
4) lack of knowledge by the rest of the urban population.

These are fairly common problems on both sides of the pond.
 

brambles

Settler
Apr 26, 2012
745
42
Aberdeenshire
I think you need to have another read of this. What you've stated is pretty much the exact opposite of the facts. Some sections of the CJA 1988 only apply to Scotland, all of the rest of it apply to the UK.

Full act here:

www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/33/contents

You are entirely wrong here. You originally link to Section 139 which explicitly states that it applies to England & Wales and Northern Ireland only , yet in the face of your own evidence continue to insist the opposite is correct. The appropriate law in Scotland is Section 47 and Section 49 of the Criminal Law ( Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, and how they are interpreted by the Scottish courts.
 

Adze

Native
Oct 9, 2009
1,874
0
Cumbria
www.adamhughes.net
You are entirely wrong here. You originally link to Section 139 which explicitly states that it applies to England & Wales and Northern Ireland only , yet in the face of your own evidence continue to insist the opposite is correct. The appropriate law in Scotland is Section 47 and Section 49 of the Criminal Law ( Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, and how they are interpreted by the Scottish courts.

Excellent, and thank you! Viewed in plain the geographical extents aren't shown except as an icon which I have, obviously, ignored. My apologies if I have inadvertently misled anyone, I will edit my earlier post to this effect.
 

Klenchblaize

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 25, 2005
2,586
125
62
Greensand Ridge
I'm so glad I have a FAC with what amounts to hunting 'conditions' for all calibres as it might just as well read "Firearms & Cutting Implements Certificate" such is the protection it affords from the oft' crass situations described above. In a nutshell if I have a firearm about my person or in a vehicle I have unquestionable reason to be carrying all but certified zombie or other prohibited edged tools. "I'm going deerstalking Officer" or some variant of.

That I only carry knives when hunting and never engage in bushcraft without a rifle (in attendance) clearly helps!

Of course what I would have liked to confirm is "if I'm to be entrusted with a firearm, surely I might be permitted to own and carry any number of knives" but guess that is far too simplistic and sensible!

Cheers

K
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,270
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Are you allowed these PC days to walk into a pub with a shotgun and belt with shells in?

Me & friends used to do that after a hunt. We did not like to leave the stuff in our cars. We gave the stuff to the Publican to keep safe while we rehydrated.

Edit;
I used to have a knife attached to the ammo belt too. I liked to dress the ducks in the field, less mess back home. The pheasants I took home whole, just took the breasts ( no dressing needed).
I guess that is illegal now?
 
Last edited:

kpeter20

Forager
Mar 24, 2011
242
7
Runcorn
Are you allowed these PC days to walk into a pub with a shotgun and belt with shells in?

Me & friends used to do that after a hunt. We did not like to leave the stuff in our cars. We gave the stuff to the Publican to keep safe while we rehydrated.

I don't want to live in a world where you can't.


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Chainsaw

Native
Jul 23, 2007
1,337
109
54
Central Scotland
Well just packed ready for a paddle tomorrow. Reckon I'll have about 4 fixed blades with me and a locker oh and an axe. I might even camp out in the forbidden lands that is the trossachs national park.....

If someone wants to bake me a cake and stick a laplander in it...
 

robevs73

Maker
Sep 17, 2008
3,007
183
48
llanelli
Sounds likeThe policeperson that sent you that reply was trying to scare you and stop you carrying a knife .
Let's face it what's the chances of you being stopped and searched in the middle of nowhere?
Take your tools and enjoy yourself in the wilds.
 

Robbi

Full Member
Mar 1, 2009
9,406
483
northern ireland
Sounds likeThe policeperson that sent you that reply was trying to scare you and stop you carrying a knife .
Let's face it what's the chances of you being stopped and searched in the middle of nowhere?
Take your tools and enjoy yourself in the wilds.

+ 1 well said Sir :)
 

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