Happiness doesn't cost the Earth

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Full Member
Dec 14, 2004
After seeing the "what do you have most of thread" recently as well as the general love of kit amongst members of the forum I've been thinking a lot about consumerism and the environment.
having a bit of a surf over lunch i have just read this on the BBC news web site friends of the earth were involved too details here
What i really like about this research is they seem to disprove the modern world views on what can make you happy and give justification to the longing i have for the outdoor simple life. This all sits very nicely with me pretty much proving the point i have to make to my friends that like their massive tellies PlayStation's and plastic pizza.

I guess other bushcrafter will feel the same especially those of us who like to use the minimalist approaches

what do you think? give me your thoughts.



Jun 6, 2006
Wyre Forest Worcestershire
Saw the same thing this a.m. I have been rationlising many things over the last 6-12 months and still have a way to go. I dont have a philosphy regarding this only having observed a friend who does not impulse buy and when he wants an item thinks about it seriusly, then if he realy needs it buys the very best he can afford.
Thought I might bring some items to the moot may be usefull to somebody.
Heres to a lighter rucksack.


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 15, 2005
James, its always made me wonder why people spend and spend and spend. I was one of them. I used to flush money down the loo on tack and gadgets, stuff that was interesting for all of ten minutes.

I came to the conclusion that it was because there was "something missing" in my life and I was purchasing all the junk to try and fill that void. It obviously didnt work so I brought more stuff. Wouldn't say i was obsessive or anything like that, but I drifted in and out of hobbies and got bored of them quickly.

About a year or so ago when I got into bushcraft it all changed. I no longer find the need to buy gadgets. Sure I still like to buy nice, long lasting kit but I dont impluse buy anymore and the stuff I buy for bushcraft is mainly because i dont see myself from not going outdoors anymore.

Sold all the junk I used to have on ebay and the like and treated myself on a new knife :lmao:


Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
I try not to spend too much...largley because I dont have it.

most of the stuff in my house (full of junk) has been given, found, or is bought for both asthetics and investment value. (like my persian rugs which have innumerable uses, such as picnics) or hobbies. (of which I have too many)

I try to make my hobbies pay.

if im getting a book I try to read a library copy first. DVDs I go by reviews.

its all long term using stuff anyway.


May 8, 2005
I think because most of us lead a domestic, urban life we can only get out in the sticks on occasions, therefore we get our fix by concentrating on kit. Buying new kit and 'playing' with it at home, is a poor substitute, but it's still a good way top forget the 9 to 'god-knows-when' daily grind.
Me? Well, I'm still searching for my perfect kit setup. I'm almost there, and my 'mistakes' I hand down to less fortunate friends who can put them to good use, and can carry a heavier load than myself! And now that I've 'done good' after years of struggling, I'm buying all the 'toys' I always wanted but couldn't dream of affording. All the things are long term investments and all serve a purpose, and I've nearly got the lot now. Does it make me happy? Yes, I can honestly say it does as I will get a lifetimes pleasure from using these things, and the years of waiting makes me appreciate them more.


bushcraft certainly shouldn't have to cost lots of money,nature id free,all we ahve to do is care for it and its there for us to enjoy.



Mar 6, 2006
Kent UK
I find that my view on the outdoors sits very nicely with the fact that I am a Buddhist. No I don't wear funny robes and spend all day meditating but I am very aware that having more does not make you happy.

I really don't like waste and try to avoid it wherever possible. Quite often buying something too cheap will not do the job you need and then its a waste of money, similarly buying something with features that you don't need is also a waste of money. Somewhere in the middle is the item that will be good value and do the job just right and I enjoy spending time reading about gear and researching it tomake sure I buy what is right for me:D

I also don't like to see things thrown out when they are perfectly serviceable, and I don't mind buying second hand, e-bay is your friend :) Silimarly I always try to repair something before throwing it out, not only does it save money but reduces our demands for resources.

This is why I have so much kit, if it can be fixed then I fix it, even if its somebody elses and they are throwing it out. For example I have 4 hammocks, I can only use one but I lend them other to new members of my Explorer Scout unit who have never tried one so they can find out for themselves.

My kids find it very difficult to understand why I don't like mobile phones and mine is 5 years old, they really want a 42" plasma TV but why? The chap who sits opposite me at work has just paid almost £3000 for a TV system and it broke down after 2 months. He spent the next month constantly ringing up the supplier and getting tottaly stressed until they refunded his money, so all that unhappines and now he is right back where he was 3 months ago, its not worth it.

Sadly many people do not seem happy with the life and try to make it better by aquiring the thing sthat they think will make them happy but the truth is it doesn't. You can't buy true happines, you achieve it through a lttle bit of thought and going to bed with a clean concience , and that includes knowing that you are not screwing up the planet for future generations :D


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 15, 2005
Yeah, I used to work more and had more money than I sensibly knew what to do with. Sure, I could always find something to spend it on - great hi-fi, fine cigars, expensive wine, etc, etc... But I'm much happier now I work less - I earn enough to have a comfortable life, and I have the time to enjoy the simple pleasures, like home baked bread and home brewed beer ;). All that stuff was nice, but not really satisfying in the long run (except the hi-fi - but I built that myself :)).


Jul 9, 2006
Texas, USA
Where there is limited consumerism, and much of the land is damaged because people subsist. I'm not too worried about the planet, though, because it does better than our very worst efforts.

That said, islands sound like the place to be. :)