Newbie from Cambridge

May 20, 2020
9
13
31
Cambridge
Hi everyone! :sadwave:

My name's Steve, and I'm new to pretty much all of this! ...'this' being bushcraft, the forum and forums in general!
I'm 31 and from Cambridge...I wish I could say I'm 31 and from somewhere with more trees...or maybe a hill, but nevermind :laugh:

In the last few years, I started getting into camping, a bit of hiking / walking, cycling and just outdoor pursuits in general (especially with my ex, who was a big nature lover).
It was alongside these new-found interests that I started watching YouTubers like MCQ Bushcraft and Haze Outdoors, and became more and more interested in the wild camping / bushcraft / foraging side of things. However, it has always been just that: casual consumption; joining this forum is my first step towards actually getting out there and doing it!

I'm hoping joining Bushcraft UK will help to secure my intentions and introduce me to a lot of like-minded (albeit far more experienced!) individuals.
Although I love gaining new knowledge, I also suffer with a bit of social anxiety, so some aspects of bushcraft (e.g. talking with land owners, meeting other bushcrafters, attending events etc.) are kinda scary to me. But I'm hoping, with the community's support, I can get past all that and have some wonderful experiences.

...So I guess my journey into Bushcraft starts here!
 
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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,912
985
Bedfordshire
Dear Steve,
You have come to the right place. A forum for quiet, unsociable, outdoorsy, crafty square pegs struggling to fit in society's round holes.

Based on my observations at our annual BushMoot gatherings over the last 14 years, bushcraft attracts a higher than average number people with high IQs, a lot of dyslexics (I am one), people on the autism spectrum (even by the standard of an engineer, me again). Lots of current or former martial artist, along with what you would expect are more "normal" interests of canoeing, archery, vehicle mechanics, wood work, metal work, stone work, leather work, foraging, tracking, lock picking (okay, not all so normal) and of course camping and hiking. Far from a complete list, as you will learn. Bushcraft and the things peripheral to it covers a very wide area. You might notice that there are some themes common to many of those activities; artistic creativity, self reliance, and curiosity/puzzle solving tied together with love of the outdoors. Talking to people definitely optional!

Hope you enjoy yourself :)

ATB

Chris
 
May 20, 2020
9
13
31
Cambridge
Thanks to everybody who has replied to my intro post so far - a very friendly and lovely welcome from you all, so thank you!

@Short_edc, I do certainly find that when I'm taking a stroll around the woodlands, I forget anything and everything that's bugging me. I have and still do suffer with depression (although I'm currently in a good place), because as I'm sure you know, it's often very closely tied with anxiety.
I'm looking forward to having something that I can focus on and get lost in :) ...and hopefully in a couple of years I'll be able to look back and be proud of what I've learned and created! I'm actually thinking of looking into volunteering with the woodland trust at some point in the future to really help me learn all about woodland management / tree species etc :)

@C_Claycomb Yep, high IQ...that's what I tell myself too :laugh: but seriously, it's funny you should mention it as my sister has speculated I might be somewhere 'on the spectrum' after a long conversation about mental health recently. If I am, I'm pretty sure I'm very low, as neither me or anyone I know has ever even considered the possibility before...who knows.

Right now I'm just slowly starting to put together some gear ('bushcraft' knife, DIY strop, a pack etc.), and doing a lot of reading up on woodland management, learning my trees and going to visit my local woods and reserves. Going to start bringing bits of dead standing home from different tree species to experiment with for splitting, carving, fire-related work etc. :thumbsup: ...one thing I've learned from my current job (apprentice CNC machinist) is that I LOVE getting hands on and surprising myself with what I'm capable of :cool:

I'd love to get some advice on starting to think about ways to forge relationships with land owners, but I'm guessing there's more than likely a forum section for that!
 
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Short_edc

Tenderfoot
May 1, 2020
74
55
Cambs
Thanks to everybody who has replied to my intro post so far - a very friendly and lovely welcome from you all, so thank you!

@Short_edc, I do certainly find that when I'm taking a stroll around the woodlands, I forget anything and everything that's bugging me. I have and still do suffer with depression (although I'm currently in a good place), because as I'm sure you know, it's often very closely tied with anxiety.
I'm looking forward to having something that I can focus on and get lost in :) ...and hopefully in a couple of years I'll be able to look back and be proud of what I've learned and created! I'm actually thinking of looking into volunteering with the woodland trust at some point in the future to really help me learn all about woodland management / tree species etc :)

right on mate, being in the woods is a great way to be in the moment and forget the rest. I have done some volunteer work for the wildlife trust and it’s definitely rewarding, and also a great way to meet people who have similar interests, also I’d recommend taking a foraging course or two local to me is Hinchingbrooke country park, (when things get back to normality that is) Sounds like your on a great track, if I can be of service or you just need a chat feel free to reach out anytime fella.
 
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Thoth

Nomad
Aug 5, 2008
329
18
Hertford, Hertfordshire
Welcome! I'm not too far away from you in Hertford where there are a few more trees on the doorstep. That said I had a lovely visit to a beautiful little beechwood just on the edge of Cambridge last summer. It is described here and features in Robert Macfarlane's book 'The Wild Places' and is well worth a little visit. I know just what you mean about feeling anxious about meeting new people and asking for permissions etc. Having something in common with new people can really help though, because you know you already have something to talk about.
 
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May 20, 2020
9
13
31
Cambridge
Welcome! I'm not too far away from you in Hertford where there are a few more trees on the doorstep. That said I had a lovely visit to a beautiful little beechwood just on the edge of Cambridge last summer. It is described here and features in Robert Macfarlane's book 'The Wild Places' and is well worth a little visit. I know just what you mean about feeling anxious about meeting new people and asking for permissions etc. Having something in common with new people can really help though, because you know you already have something to talk about.

I have actually visited beechwoods a few times as I used to live a couple of villages away from there. It is indeed a lovely woodland, and feels quite different from a lot of deciduous woods around here because of how clear the woodland floor is in the shade of those towering beech trees!

Bit of a strange recollection from that place, but I vividly remember encountering an absolutely enormous bumble bee on the ground, who didn't seem to want to fly, but rather just dig a hole in the soil. I think I sat and watched it for a good 5 minutes :) no idea what it was doing at the time, but I looked it up and apparently queens (which might explain the size) will dig small burrows in which to hibernate under the right circumstances...either that or it was parasitised :hurting:...hopefully the former!
 
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