Conflicting views about bushcraft

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copper_head

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 22, 2006
4,261
1
Hull
It's all been said already, just looks like another keyboard warrior with an axe to grind (although clearly not a Gransfors ;)).
 
Feb 17, 2012
1,061
77
Surbiton, Surrey
The thing that jumps out of that exchange is his intolerance of your view-point or the fact that people might wish to spend extra to get better equipment - as people who take their activities seriously do - be it photography, woodwork, bushcraft, fishing or whatever. As an aside, besides my Opinels and my trusty Victorinox, I only have one fixed blade knife, a Mora. In my case, I will reach the boundaries of my talent in the use of the knife long before I could ever reach the technical limitations of the knife :) so I take an inverted satisfaction in knowing my limited ability will save me money! ;)

That was also the bit I found strange, I'm all for people disagreeing with me, swmbo does it daily, but I do like to have a reasoned discussion about conflicting points of view as opposed to a well worded tirade!

In all fairness my skills with a knife don't warrant a custom knife but I had the means and desire to buy it so I did and enjoy using it regularly.
I still use my mora's regularly too and the only difference I find is how they feel in my hand which would be the same of any knife.
The mears does look and feel better made but that is to be expected, as it would be from a £50 or £100 knife.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

vestlenning

Settler
Feb 12, 2015
721
76
Western Norway
As I wrote the other day:

If a knife is worth x to someone it's fine with me, but don't ever tell me that something I paid less for is inferior just because of the price.
 

swotty

Space and time
Apr 25, 2009
1,796
196
Somerset
Hmmm...I wonder what he'd think of my Ray Mears knife that was £90 new!
Im also wondering if he takes the samurai sword he mentioned into the bush with him and how much it cost, real ones ain't cheap and would a cheaper sword be as good....:confused:
 

ADz-1983

Native
Oct 4, 2012
1,589
1
Hull / East Yorkshire
Sorry I didnt read it all but just from his first paragraph he seems to me he is either one of these "reverse kit-snobs" or he is just simply jealous because he can not afford to have the choice to buy more expensive/higher quality gear.

There is a lot of quality gear at low prices same as there is a lot at higher prices, we all make choice in what kit we buy and no one way is right or wrong and nobody has the right to call somebody a moron simply because they CHOOSE a specific knife at a higher price.

I enjoy low cost or budget gear just as much as I do my "gucci" gear. If it serves it's purpose and does it well price is irrelevant.
 
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leon-1

Full Member
Hmmm...I wonder what he'd think of my Ray Mears knife that was £90 new!

That would make you a wannabe Bushcraft Facist. :D

Im also wondering if he takes the samurai sword he mentioned into the bush with him and how much it cost, real ones ain't cheap and would a cheaper sword be as good....:confused:

Obviously the cheap nasty wall fittings designed for nothing more than display are as good as a hand manufactured one, despite the massive amount of time used, folding, tempering of a skilled master craftsman. :rolleyes:
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
11,495
809
48
Wiltshire
I wouldnt sharpen a sword with only two stones, I would bring a dedicated and properly equipped sword sharpener with me.
 

leon-1

Full Member
There are loads of knives out there, if you wish to pay $2250 for a Jimmy Lile first blood knife and can use it then fair play to you. Many people buy them, not many really use them. I daresay that you could pay $600 dollars buying a custom Gene Ingram if you so deisred (I have two of Gene's knives and they're excellent and I even bought one for my brother).

Most of the time when I am teaching I use either Hultafors or Mora of Sweden (Q511's), they actually set a benchmark of what a knife should be capable of doing, but when I teach I use the same thing as everyone else.

For my own private use for many years I have used Fallkniven and mora knives, but I still have other knives that I use, some expensive, some cheap, the reason is that I am constantly in search of a tool that will be better and have a better feel. That does not make me elitist, it makes me discerning. I know the tools and how they work reasonably well, you are always finding something that a knife is good for, but I will never find a knife that's good for absolutely everything. It's always going to be a compromise.

I have "go to knives", a Mark Hill Mora clone, an original mora No'1 and a Guy Stainthorpe are my current tools of choice (Followed closely by a custom F1 and a knife by FYGT), but given anything from my knife collection I am capable of using it for what I require.

Someone here mentioned their limited skills, well they're a lot less limited than they think, the more they practice the more they find they can do and the better they understand a blade and it's design.

Cost means nothing, blade design, handle size / shape, heat treatment and quality of steel are what matter when it comes to a knife. Any well designed knife will do as long as you can use it properly.

What cost is a human life?

If you wish to put your life in the hands of a knife that costs more and you are sure it will do the job when it's required, nobody and I mean nobody can tell you that you're wrong. The F1 is a classic for this, many people don't like it, but many do. It's design is brilliant working through from edge geometry, through the handle (designed to be used with thick gloves), to the steel and it's HT.

All of us have a differing idea of what knives are good or bad. Mors Kochanski is happy to use anything you give him, but uses a Mora most of the time because that's what he uses to teach with. When i gave him a custom version of a Grohmann Boat Knife, he was just as happy to use that as he was a Mora. Does it make him elitist that he owns a "Custom Grohmann", no it doesn't. In fact nothing makes Mors elitist as he is probably the most down to earth man I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,281
1,790
64
Pembrokeshire
Personally I do not go in for knives that have "Celebrity Endorsement" as I figure that the "Name" adds a couple of quid to the price - however there is a world of difference between the fit, finish, build quality and aesthetics of a craftsman made tool and a mass produced item made for the same job.
I enjoy making things, but as I am not the highest earner in Britain (or even our house... ) I started off using cheap and crude tools (some made or adapted by me) that "got the job done" but as my skills refined I chose to move up a notch and invested in slightly better (though still fairly budget) tools which "get the job done" but are a more pleasing way of doing so.

Getting away from the knives in question I have tried an awful lot of axes (including a lot of awful axes!) and have settled on a "Bushcraft Uniform" GB SFA as it seemed the best made tool out there for the variety of tasks I wanted it for, the conditions I would use it in and for where I would use it: as opposed to glass fibre handled axes there is the possibility of my fixing it if it broke and - as a side benefit of its build - I enjoy its looks and feel. There are cheaper options and at home I use some of these to prepare my firewood but none do as many tasks as well as my "Granny B" does.
I own more knives than is probably healthy - and the majority are (or started off as ) Moras and a Mora (or Mora bladed home altered) knife would be my choice for expeditions abroad or where the environment was super harsh (winter canoeing springs to mind) but one of my more beautiful knives (most of my knives are prettier than basic Moras) would be my choice if I wanted to really enjoy the experience of the tool use.
If I want to slap a crude layer of paint on a wall I would chose a "disposable" poundshop ,nylon bristled, plastic handled paintbrush: If I wanted to put a velvety coat of high quality paint onto a well plastered room that I wanted to relax in and enjoy the creating of the best painted wall I could imagine myself accomplishing...then I would chose a natural bristle, wooden handled paintbrush that (with care) could last several lifetimes.
There is no reason not to use a "budget priced" tool that will get the job done.
There are lots of reasons to use a high priced, quality tool that will make getting the job done a pleasurable experience in its own right :)
 

WoodsmanJim

Forager
Oct 27, 2013
205
7
Wirral
Sorry, I know this is off topic and quite pedantic, but I have to comment as it made me laugh quite a bit- it's 'Gucci' (as in the high fashion designer) not 'goochy'. Goochy would be something VERY different! ;)

Anyway, the guy sounds pretty narrow minded and elitist himself, somewhat ironically. I'd pay him no attention at all. He probably spent his formative years being told by his father that 'you don't need all that fancy modern expensive rubbish!' And he's never been able to justify buying one as a result, even if he wanted to and could afford it. He may even be jealous because that's exactly what he wants to do but can't get Daddy's voice out of his head. Whatever his reasons he's welcome to them, but they won't keep me awake at night.


James
 
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Laurentius

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 13, 2009
2,049
327
Knowhere
It's hard to say anything on the internet without offending somebody somewhere or provoking a reaction. Bushcraft is such a broad church though, and we all tend to form fixed opinions. I appreciate fine craftsmanship wherever I see it, and I see a lot of it here. Sometimes it make me feel rather small in comparison, and I guess this guy is reacting as if one person's ownership of a Ray Mears knife is putting him down somehow. Take the Bush out of Bushcraft and what do you have left. You have Craft left and that is about using your skills as best you can in any given situation. I have no desire to own a Ray Mears knife, but then I am not too keen on the aesthetics of a Mora either. At them moment I have been pimping my bill hook, because I like to add a bit of individuality to things. I have to confess that as far as leatherwork goes right now I am using a pack of cheap poundland craft knives. Why? Because it is a lot less bother than forever sharpening a favourite knife until there is no blade left.
 

Tiley

Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,158
229
57
Gloucestershire
It strikes me as bizarre to identify a 'bushcrafter' by the kit he/she has; bushcraft is surely defined by the broad range of activities that we do. Any gear we use is our individual choice, made according to finances and recommendations. It is somewhat misguided to categorise 'good' bushcrafters and 'bad' bushcrafters according to the equipment they choose to buy.


I have to say that I'm not sure that I would have joined battle with this bloke after his first post: it was inflammatory and offensive on any number of levels. The fact that you remained cool-headed in trying to respond to his spurious, unfounded allegations about you, bushcraft in Europe, this country and a whole raft of other targets is entirely commendable.

Yes, there is a lot of expensive stuff out there but it is, by and large, actually used and enjoyed by the folk who decided to make that sort of investment - and that, surely, should be the point: whether your knife cost a tenner or four hundred quid, as long as you utilise it safely and enjoy it, how can anyone criticise you?
 

falcon

Full Member
Aug 27, 2004
1,207
29
Shropshire
It strikes me as bizarre to identify a 'bushcrafter' by the kit he/she has; bushcraft is surely defined by the broad range of activities that we do. Any gear we use is our individual choice, made according to finances and recommendations. It is somewhat misguided to categorise 'good' bushcrafters and 'bad' bushcrafters according to the equipment they choose to buy.


I have to say that I'm not sure that I would have joined battle with this bloke after his first post: it was inflammatory and offensive on any number of levels. The fact that you remained cool-headed in trying to respond to his spurious, unfounded allegations about you, bushcraft in Europe, this country and a whole raft of other targets is entirely commendable.

Yes, there is a lot of expensive stuff out there but it is, by and large, actually used and enjoyed by the folk who decided to make that sort of investment - and that, surely, should be the point: whether your knife cost a tenner or four hundred quid, as long as you utilise it safely and enjoy it, how can anyone criticise you?

This articulates the essential points superbly...and you did really well not to go down to his level. Although articulate his prejudice shone through and was the kind that we see trotted out on both sides of the pond by people who seem gripped by some kind of resentment, the quality of which falls way lower than their communication skills.
 
Feb 17, 2012
1,061
77
Surbiton, Surrey
It strikes me as bizarre to identify a 'bushcrafter' by the kit he/she has; bushcraft is surely defined by the broad range of activities that we do. Any gear we use is our individual choice, made according to finances and recommendations. It is somewhat misguided to categorise 'good' bushcrafters and 'bad' bushcrafters according to the equipment they choose to buy.


I have to say that I'm not sure that I would have joined battle with this bloke after his first post: it was inflammatory and offensive on any number of levels. The fact that you remained cool-headed in trying to respond to his spurious, unfounded allegations about you, bushcraft in Europe, this country and a whole raft of other targets is entirely commendable.

Yes, there is a lot of expensive stuff out there but it is, by and large, actually used and enjoyed by the folk who decided to make that sort of investment - and that, surely, should be the point: whether your knife cost a tenner or four hundred quid, as long as you utilise it safely and enjoy it, how can anyone criticise you?

I must admit I did consider not responding but as I said something about the comment just rubbed me up the wrong way, most likely deliberate on his part.
The funny thing was the whole video was intended as a demonstration that both the cheap and expensive knives do the same job in the same hands so the specific knife you get is all down to personal preference.

I must admit looking back the decision for me to initially buy the knife in question was in no small part down to the Mears branding.
Does that make it a bad knife, not in my opinion. Do I realise there are other knives out there for either a little or a lot less money that are just as good, yes.
Despite this I still have no regrets in buying it and find it a pleasure to use.
 
Feb 17, 2012
1,061
77
Surbiton, Surrey
This articulates the essential points superbly...and you did really well not to go down to his level. Although articulate his prejudice shone through and was the kind that we see trotted out on both sides of the pond by people who seem gripped by some kind of resentment, the quality of which falls way lower than their communication skills.

I will be honest there were a few hastily written then deleted comments which in hindsight I'm glad I didn't post.
One of the reasons I started putting things on YouTube was to discuss things with likeminded people, exactly as we do here.
The web has given me so much help with bushcraft ideas, guides etc... That I thought it would be nice to give something back in some small capacity and filming myself doing something I already enjoy seemed like a good idea.

I was approached by a young guy in that states after he watched a video I did about carving which he was interested in and we have chatted about the best way to get into it on a budget which is just the sort of thing I was hoping for.
Then again I guess like in all areas of life you will always get the idiots too!
 

ayylmao

Banned
Sep 13, 2014
13
0
sussex
People on this forum and in other bushcraft communities buy too much gear and spend too much on £400 knives. The greatest bushcrafters (people such as mountain men, anglo saxon and medieval hunters and woodsmen, hunter gatherer mesolithich tribes) had "low quality" knives and they did fine. IF you got a knife from a hunter in anglo saxon england and compared it to a £400 bushcraft knife the anglo saxon knife would be a "bad" knife, but these knives did fine. A cheap mora will do fine for years (cody lundin has had a mora classic for over 10 years and it's still fine). I have a condor bushlore which is £34, that does fine than expensive bushcraft and survival knives. Too many people just buy gear and do gear reviews when they could get a cheap knife and actually go outdoors.......:confused:
 

falcon

Full Member
Aug 27, 2004
1,207
29
Shropshire
A very fine mentor in Sweden once told us (in so many words) " do not let shiney and expensive kit replace mastering essential skills" and the important thing is for us to practice and practice so that we can DO what is needed with whatever knife is available...expensive or otherwise.

As Leon remarked further down the thread, Mors Kochanski can make virtually any knife talk from the numerous demonstrations available on YouTube and DVD completely due to his mastery of skills and techniques. When talking about his ideal "bush knife" on one of the Karamat videos, his preference is for the Skookum Bushtool....designed by Rod Garcia as his interpretation of Mors' definition in "Bushcraft" and fairly expensive too ! I wonder what your adversary in YouTube would make of that....?

I would say that if people are happy with their skill sets there is no need at all to let other people tell them how to spend their money and it's good that you were encouraging someone else to seek advice as to how to begin their own journey developing their skills
 
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