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

slamdunk

Nomad
Sep 21, 2006
439
1
54
Sussex
Short service commission with the infantry, finished late 1991.

Kit: pick and choose is a definite. Certainly when I served most of the guys bought a lot themselves, particularly boots I seem to recall. That may well have changed now. Military kit was generally very durable (or soldier proof to put it another way) but not always the lightest/best/most comfortable. Blimey, I remember the good old woolen shirts!! Itchy as hell until they'd been worn/washed a thousand times.......
 

PJMCBear

New Member
May 4, 2006
622
2
53
Hyde, Cheshire
Ex Infantry (Scottish Division) before being injured and having to transfer to another Corps to continue serving. Served for 10 years (1987-97), and visited many parts of the World. Something most of my peers in the area I grew up in could only dream about.

I'm proud of my time in the Army and it's contribution to my skillset, although it wasn't my service that gave me the love of the outdoors. That was my Father and Grandfather.

I've no quarms about using military kit. Some of it I love and have yet to find something better to replace it. I'm not really a kit-monster - can't afford to be (SWMBO won't let me become one, either). So if I'm happy with my gear, I'll seldom replace it.

Bring back National Service in the UK.
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
6,833
21
45
Silkstone, Blighty!
National Service when it was on was necessary, but the standard of men back then far exceeds the scrotes running around on the streets nowadays. They would be a detriment to the services, but would be good for penal squads to take the brunt of firepower in a first attack on a heavily defended building or the like, or "finding" mine fields!! :D
 

Pablo

Settler
Oct 10, 2005
647
5
63
Essex, UK
www.woodlife.co.uk
I did 12 in the Army most of that was as a PTI. As such, the connection at the time was 'woolly-hatting' (adventure training; hiking; climbing and such like). Ironically, we kitted ourselves out with civilian kit at the time (I remember buying a civilian Trangia even then).

When I left in the late 80's, I actually missed the Army kit and started buying surplus. This was to pursue survivalist type activites (as it was then).

I think now I've got a pretty good mixture of kit; traditional, civilian and ex-military to suit my needs. I think there's also a connection between certain field-craft skills learnt in the military and Bushcraft skills. That's not to say someone who's not been in the service can't learn those skills of course. The difference is doing it for a living I suppose. What the services did teach me was self-discipline, determination and how to get and keep organised.

Pablo.
 

Jedadiah

Native
Jan 29, 2007
1,349
1
Northern Doghouse
Hey Spam,

how's it going? Do you not think that National Service would cure the 'Lazy Scrotes' of their aimless existance? Give them discipline, a skill, self respect and respect for others? Earning a crust rather than taking handouts or thieving? ;)
 

PJMCBear

New Member
May 4, 2006
622
2
53
Hyde, Cheshire
I'm with you on this Jed. Sure, it'll take time to take affect, but then again, I think it's only since National Service was abolished that the problem has grown to the state of play today. Just my OHO.

Jedadiah said:
Do you not think that National Service would cure the 'Lazy Scrotes' of their aimless existance? Give them discipline, a skill, self respect and respect for others? Earning a crust rather than taking handouts or thieving? ;)
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
6,833
21
45
Silkstone, Blighty!
Jedadiah said:
Hey Spam,

how's it going? Do you not think that National Service would cure the 'Lazy Scrotes' of their aimless existance? Give them discipline, a skill, self respect and respect for others? Earning a crust rather than taking handouts or thieving? ;)

Maybe, but things like thieving still go on in the forces, and a lack of respect is prevalent these days. It has changed so much from what it was, and I believe that if you forced people in to service, it would make the British Forces a non professional rag tag band of scrotes with a handful of people trying to do things right but banging their heads against a brick wall.

Half the young lads coming through training now don't want to be in the army, and they joined voluntarily! What does that tell you? They want an easy life and to be able to see their mums at the weekend, germany postings are dreaded because they can't see mum, instead of being looked on as an opportunity to see parts of europe and the world that their parents could never afford to see. It is a sorry state of affairs and I'm glad I gotout before the whole thing turned into a rotten shadow of its former self.

I'm sure some of the Old Boys would be shocked to hear it, but the young lads don't think twice about going AWOL these days, and the number of times I've heard of mums phoning Sergeant Majors up to complain about how their son is being punished for a misdemeanor of some sort, well, I lose count!

Shocking! :(
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
6,833
21
45
Silkstone, Blighty!
Well, it has been that way a while as you say, but I don't remember 38 being quite as bad as 28 or 35, and 32 is possibly the worst where I've witnessed the blatant lack of respect for SNCO's and, unfortunately, female soldiers using their gender as a tool to get their own way. As I said, I'm glad to be out of it.

n.b. The numbers relate to regiments I have srved in, sorry if anyone is scratching their head at what the numbers meant!
 

Matt Weir

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jun 22, 2006
2,880
2
49
Tyldesley, Lancashire.
Jedadiah said:
Do you not think that National Service would cure the 'Lazy Scrotes' of their aimless existance? Give them discipline, a skill, self respect and respect for others? Earning a crust rather than taking handouts or thieving? ;)

Totally! I watched 'Bad Lads Army' which aimed to recreate the 50's version and that worked on most of them even under the guise of a reality show. Give them some proper treatment behind closed doors and that should knock the big I-AM out of them.
 
Feb 28, 2007
4
0
54
Cleveland
I'm still in the forces after 20 yrs. I wear light blue not green and being a 'techie' the only time I get to do limited bushcrafting in work time is away on expeditions. The standrd DPM stuff we get is definitely on the cheap end of the scale. Personally I try to keep the military stuff at work with the exception of my bivi bag and waterbottle.

As to the lack of respect we've got it big time, there's a strong rumour that they issued red and yellow cards to recruits on basic training to be shown to the instructors referee style if the poor little things felt victimised.
 

Graywolf

Nomad
May 21, 2005
443
2
65
Whereever I lay my Hat
First experience of camping was when I was 6 years old , loved being in the great outdoors ever since.First went camping alone at the age of 13. Have never liked the bright colours of most outdoor gear.My first sleeping bag was a Fairydown that was green my first rucksack was a Karrimor that was green and my first real piece of clothing was a Swanndri Bushshirt in olive. These were bought the first year I started work at fifteen.Now I dont know what influences I had , maybe it was the fact that I was living in New Zealand or the fact that my Dad was a Ex Para (maybe not as he did not enjoy camping/outdoors).Spent time in the N.Z Army but as already mentioned had a love of most things green before I enlisted.
Clayton
 

gregorach

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 15, 2005
3,723
26
48
Edinburgh
Jedadiah said:
Do you not think that National Service would cure the 'Lazy Scrotes' of their aimless existance? Give them discipline, a skill, self respect and respect for others? Earning a crust rather than taking handouts or thieving? ;)

No. If you'd given me a gun at that age, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that I would've ended up like Pvt Pyle in Full Metal Jacket - except I'd've gone for a higher bodycount first. Heck, I spent most of my teenage years dreaming about going nuts with some serious firepower before killing myself. Some folks just aren't cut out for military service.

Fortunately for me, I discovered the joys of sex and drugs instead, which made me think that perhaps life was worth living after all...
 

Graham_S

Squirrely!
Feb 27, 2005
4,016
39
48
Saudi Arabia
I did 15 years in the RAF.
I enjoyed it and it gave me far more in the way of oppertunities than i can easily count.
granted, military service isn't for every one, but it worked for me.
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
21
67
south wales
Some military kit is first rate, things like the old rectangular mess tins, new water bottles, trousers (OG or DPM matters not a jot to me), rat packs, Bergens, Alice packs, all well made, even the humble hexi stove is perfect for a fast brew (don't like the crusader mug though, doesn't hold enough food for me and your hot brew goes cold too fast)

As others say, pick and mix, I won't spend £25 on a pair of polycotton trousers when I can pick up a pair of lightweights for £3
 

ddokkum

Forager
Feb 16, 2007
161
0
46
The Netherlands
At the age of 17 in 1992 I joined the Royal Netherlands marine corps. And I am stilling love my work. And I use a lot of green millitary kit.
 

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