Military Connections?

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Military Connections in Bushcraft

  • Ex/current services and proud of the contribution wartime experiences have made to bush lore

    Votes: 178 31.6%
  • Never served, but take great interest in the information and useful kit available from the military

    Votes: 217 38.5%
  • Acknowledge a connection but try to avoid 'looking military'

    Votes: 103 18.3%
  • Think bushcraft should be distanced from the military wherever possible

    Votes: 65 11.5%

  • Total voters
    563

Lister

Settler
Apr 3, 2012
991
0
33
Runcorn, Cheshire
Use surplus gear myself, mostly for the fact that is it made to better standards (in most cases) than civilian kit, family has always had military history and if i'd get accepted I'd happily sign up but know they won't medically accept me. i would say bushcraft and miltary are 2 sides of a similar coin i mean the miltary with use bushcraft/survival techniques and bushcraft tends to like the standard/durability of military kit.
 

Elen Sentier

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
As someone that talks kit like the rest of you talk fungi, I really like army surplus kit. It is cheap and hard wearing so I dont have worry about getting torn or dirty. There bits of it I don't touch with barge pole like the boots.

Obviously I have never served and haven't a clue what OG DPM MOLLE are. As for national service, expecting a generation that has never had any firm boundaries to start taking orders, I think is asking too much of the officer who has to give them. Having troops that expect to able debate a point, or have a discussion of why they should doing to me sounds downright dangerous. I have been in situation where a 18 year smart @r$£ wishes to discuss the morality of control & restraint while you are sitting on someone whose trying to harm, either that or they hide under the table.
Xylaria, You really made me laugh with para 2 but I completely agree with you! That kind of young person is a waste of space to me :) I gather there are some who are not like that ...

On the military kit poll, I've used some but often it's too heavy for me although very good quality usually. I think I'd rather look military than kit-geek ... but that's just me :D
 

TaigaStyle

Member
Feb 24, 2013
13
0
Dalarna, Sweden
I've never been in the military and have no real military family background. I enjoy bushcraft for the peace it offers rather than wanting to get involved in hostile situations.

I'm not so sure the military have a lot to offer bushcraft. Bushcraft on the other hand has served many soldiers very well and allowed them to survive in situations where they otherwise would have died.

I use some military kit. I don't like DPM much and if I can avoid it I do. I prefer olive green kit. Military stuff is often well made and cheap, it would be foolish not to make use of it.
Completely agree with njc here.

I'm the same. Kit-wise too.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,239
536
Lancashire
Old thread indeed, zombie time!

Seriously though the military may be taking advantage of survival skills that are probably part of Bushcraft it doesn't mean those carrying out Bushcraft techniques have anything to do or owe to military. Bushcraft is separate but if you started to learn through the military then great.

For me I don't wear military kit. Perhaps I'm not a real Bushcraft writer and more just a outdoors type. So I tend to wear outdoors kit. I'm not stalking, shooting or trying to n hide out. If ppl see me that's not a problem. I use green tents and tarps because wildcamping isn't a right in England. Whilst in the lakes where I tend to camp out it is not prevented I feel it's respectful to be discrete hence the green.

Having said that me and a mate pitched up after a night out (one hour into the hills, had a drink so best option). At had green tarp but a lot of other bright kit. Walked less than 400m away to take a photo. On turning back it took us some time to see the pitch. IMHO cammo isn't needed.

As for seeing nature goes. I've been less than 50m from a large herd of red deer in the lakes wearing bright blue soft shell top with a yellow and blue climbing sack on my back. I've had a lot of wildlife sightings with my like that.

A bit of a digression but I don't see the need to look like military in the outdoors.
 
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Delboy

Member
Nov 13, 2014
18
0
White Rose
Old thread indeed, zombie time!

Seriously though the military may be taking advantage of survival skills that are probably part of Bushcraft it doesn't mean those carrying out Bushcraft techniques have anything to do or owe to military. Bushcraft is separate but if you started to learn through the military then great.

For me I don't wear military kit. Perhaps I'm not a real Bushcraft writer and more just a outdoors type. So I tend to wear outdoors kit. I'm not stalking, shooting or trying to n hide out. If ppl see me that's not a problem. I use green tents and tarps because wildcamping isn't a right in England. Whilst in the lakes where I tend to camp out it is not prevented I feel it's respectful to be discrete hence the green.

Having said that me and a mate pitched up after a night out (one hour into the hills, had a drink so best option). At had green tarp but a lot of other bright kit. Walked less than 400m away to take a photo. On turning back it took us some time to see the pitch. IMHO cammo isn't needed.

As for seeing nature goes. I've been less than 50m from a large herd of red deer in the lakes wearing bright blue soft shell top with a yellow and blue climbing sack on my back. I've had a lot of wildlife sightings with my like that.

A bit of a digression but I don't see the need to look like military in the outdoors.
Absolutely agree, the military is very different than Bushcraft.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,257
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Depends on which type of unit. And country.


Was not Scouting designed to help foster youth and make service easier for them?
BP was an old army professional and felt that wilderness skills were lacking in the recruits of the British Army.

I do not remember where I read it.
 
Jul 24, 2017
1,162
443
somerset
The kit is cheap and useable, plus I collect some sniper and air force kit and some blades, my family has a lineage of military men, but it was just not for me, I could only fight and kill for what I believe in, can be a loner and freedom and time to me are the milk and honey of life but my respect to those that do.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,239
536
Lancashire
Depends on which type of unit. And country.


Was not Scouting designed to help foster youth and make service easier for them?
BP was an old army professional and felt that wilderness skills were lacking in the recruits of the British Army.

I do not remember where I read it.
Bushcraft is more about skills to live by. I'd have thought military skills are more about survival. Shared skills at times but it's a different attitude or angle to it all. That's my view and only my view based on assumptions made. I am not military so I can't say I'm basing my views on any certainty or experience.

I thought Scouting was about that but apparently it's not quite like that. BP became a national hero in 1900 after his defence of Mafeking. After that his 1899 book on Aids to Scouting manual for the British army became popular with a younger audience so BP wrote the serialised Scouting for Boys. That led to groups being set up informally. BP set up a formalised organization after that.

Oh, nearly forgot. Before the serialisation came out he took a group to Brownsea to b test his ideas out.

Put simply it's not about military but about teaching boys skills that are valid for life. Observation, deduction, camp craft, boating, woodcraft, etc. It was a non-military manual in its origins. It obviously helped create a good adult for the army as a side effect. I'm sure BP would be happy about that.

Now from my scouting days 30 plus years ago it wasn't military. The only remotely militaristic aspect was the formal bit like marches to church, saluting the flag, etc. We never thought it was really about creating soldiers. I would place money the kids in our group of my age never joined the armed forces.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,399
883
63
Florida
Scouting is about teaching Leadership, and Citizenship. If you reach the rank of Eagle Scout you can enter the military as an E-3. Most Scouts here go on to join the military. It's always been that way.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,239
536
Lancashire
It was a church linked boys club in our village. Mind you, there wasn't a strong military tradition in the villages around us the high school never had a cadets. The scouts might have been the only thing remotely militaristic but it wasn't about military for leaders or kids.

The things we liked most about it was the final game, murderball. Basically two sides and one or more balls. The aim of the band was to hit your opponents whilst not being hit... officially. It was really about hurting your opponents. All a bit of fun really. Boys being boys in the old school way.

The useful bits I actually enjoyed most. Knots I knew before scouts (part way through the earlier cubs I got a book of knots and a ball of string - I knew my knots back then). Camp craft wasn't taught really but I knew enough of that anyway. Fire starting was covered with how to use firelighters. I learnt more about that on my own.

Personally with no family history of military service, no interest in joining the military and an interest in the outdoors I guess I'm proof interest in Bushcraft doesn't need any link with military. Same with scouts. It doesn't have to be a training ground for military. They're not a feeder body but interest in certain outdoors activities might be common in those later joining up. It's the Venn diagrams thing. Circles containing military service, interest in bushcraft / outdoors and scouts will overlap but they're not the same circle by a long way.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,399
883
63
Florida
About half (possibly more) of our Scout troops are also Church sponsered. Only a very low percentage of our high schools have JrRotc (our nearest equivalent of your Cadets) Likewise, they weren't and still aren't a military training ground as such. They were and always will be a training ground for leadership and citizenship though (qualities also very much sought after by civilian employers)

The qualities servicemen and bushcrafters have in common? A sense of adventure ranks high to me. Especially given the semi-military nature of the early explorers and pioneers here.
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,257
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
In Sweden the Scouts turned more religious ( church sponsored?) in mid 1970’s. Before, our troop had a cottage in the eoods beside a stream and lake.
Then we had to relocate to the local church assembly hall.
I and my 3 best friends quit and began fishing seriously instead.
Also joined the Air Force Cadets.
I was an exchange cadet to Australia in 1977. Joined the Army in -79.

Military kit? Yes, used what I had at home. Designed to perform and last.
Now msinly civilisn stuff. Never camo. But never colours that stand out for miles.

I was into nature before Scouts, I joined them becsuse I wanted to learn more. I joined the unit I joined to partially to learn more, under extreme conditions.
 
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Insel Affen

Settler
Aug 27, 2014
525
83
York, N Yorks
A lot of people use military kit and some probably got their interest in bushcraft after military service. I thought it would be interesting to see how strong the connection is.
This is not an 'are you for or against the army in general' question. I don't want to offend anyone, or start getting political.
This thread takes a few twists and turns along the way....so I'll keep the spiral going.

Am I for or against the Army? Well pretty much for the Army, it's kept me in employment (joined in '94 and still serving - 9 years left). It's taken me to some lovely countries Bosnia, Croatia, Jordan, Norway, USA and to some real toilets especially Iraq.

Was it the Army that got me into Bushcraft? I've always lived out in the country, so no; I think the two were unrelated. Having an interest in Bushcraft has always been of some use in the Military, but it's not as well practised as most people think. I think that it's not always as close as you might think either. Some things you do in bushcrafting, you simply don't do in the military, i.e. build a fire for heat....not unless you want to "touch the horizon.......go!"

Now the military kit item - I think most military and ex military will probably try to distance themselves from 'green' kit. Like someone said, a bit of a bus man's holiday. As for using military kit, I think there are a couple of things.

One is cost. Generally it's cheap and built to last (longer than some civilian stuff). It (usually) provides good value for money but not in all cases.

Which brings me to robustness - Squaddie proofing. In the last 22 years I have seen kit generally take a bit of a down turn in the quality, this was linked to the cheapest bidder being value for money, but that doesn't wash (so much) these days. The Project teams in charge of them are pretty diligent, such as now buying the US camp cot rather than the naff UK ones. Saying that, I heard from the horses mouth that when we were issued the black Magnums, they were of a poorer quality and the MOD could have had the genuine Magnum for the same price. The MOD being the MOD, said no and they wanted the boots made to their (lower) specs, thus gaining a reputation of being poor quality when in fact they were almost different boots. (I have many more stories).

I think the bottom line is, buy what you need at the price you can afford. Then figure out if it is actually what you need, and if you want the military option or the civvy equivalent.