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JonnyP

Full Member
Oct 17, 2005
3,833
29
Cornwall...
Have been doing some serious armchairing here and have been looking at a load of old threads. There is some great info on here hidden away...
Is it just me or do we not get much in the way of good bushcraft advice on here any more. Yes there is the odd decent thread, but go back in the archives and see for yourselves, there is tonnes of good info on bushcraft skills..
It also seems that Survival wasn't a taboo word on here in the past either and was discussed without the threads going downhill...
Am I looking with me rosy glasses or are folk less bothered or too busy to put up good advise nowadays on here.
Anyway, just to encourage you guys to go have a looky at some old threads on here to see for yourselves.. If you have the time, that is...
How do you use this site to get info..?
Your thoughts please....
 

JonnyP

Full Member
Oct 17, 2005
3,833
29
Cornwall...
S'orry, it sounds like I am having a go at everyone for not offering any advise any more... I am not, I was just looking at the site from some years ago and seeing something different to how it is now. Maybe thats good, maybe that ain't and maybe its me with me rose tinted specs on...
I would however be interested in your thoughts though...
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
6,833
21
44
Silkstone, Blighty!
The new members usually get the info flowing when they ask a question that hasn't been asked for a while. Questions that crop up all the time tend to be ignored by most, if you are looking for a knife for instance, it would be the Mora to start as most of us know but when you have given that advice so many times it starts to get a bit boring! I've seen the question asked when another thread was already running giving the same advice!

The skill sets are pretty small for bushcrafting, setting up a shelter is something that can be taught in 40 minutes to a complete novice and they will be able to take that basic skill away and expand on it. Sharpening a knife is fairly straight forward and again can be expanded on by the user. I taught myself how to sharpen years back, I thought it was an important skill that would benefit me. Purifying water is a straight forward skill set that takes no time to learn. These skills are very basic and leave very little for further discussion.

The more taxing skill sets such as friction fire lighting, cooking over a fire, minimal kit living, etc. are interesting subjects, but once they are done on a discussion board, then that's that! Sometimes they can be given a new lease of life by a new member.

The interesting posts are usually looking at how an individual does something that is unique. Waylands' hobo stove was great, but we all do it now! At the time, it was pretty much unique and is still an excellent idea. A lot of us have implemented the design, tweaked it slightly to our own tastes and have our own way of packing it. Seeing these things is interesting.

Some of the old posts are fantastic, but then some are down right depressing! I seem to recall BcUK going through somewhat of a black period with people threatening to leave and all sorts of other monkey business. I like to try and forget about that sort of thing, but sometimes a subject comes up and it is interesting to delve into the archives. The recent Snowsled jackets thread was one of those.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,781
1,864
S. Lanarkshire
I wish I could rep you both for the decent way you've answered this. :D

How about we resurrect some threads, along the lines of Wayland's Blast from the Past?

Jon you kicked this off, was there one thread that stood out in your mind as being too good to be archived and forgotten?

cheers,
Toddy
 

JonnyP

Full Member
Oct 17, 2005
3,833
29
Cornwall...
I wish I could rep you both for the decent way you've answered this. :D

How about we resurrect some threads, along hte lines of Wayland's Blast from the Past?

Jon you kicked this off, was there one thread that stood out in your mind as being too goodto be archiveda nd forgotten?

cheers,
Toddy
Yes, found this one earlier that I thought was great... http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4971

Nice one spam...
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
6,833
21
44
Silkstone, Blighty!
I was looking, like I said, for info on the Snowsled jackets and came across a post that Martyn had made about his upcoming 40th birthday and him wanting to go somewhere cold. I've just had a look for it, but cannot find it without delving through all of the Snowsled threads, but then this one came up.

http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4262&highlight=40th+birthday

It seems Martyn changed his mind with a little help from his missus and picked a warmer climate. What I want to know is did this trip get off the ground and have you any pictures Martyn?
 

firebreather

Settler
Jan 26, 2007
982
0
46
Manchester
Still classing myself as a newbie (less than 12 months) I have noticed a change in the time I have been here. Having had a look around at some old posts and giving this some thought, I think that the main difference is that a lot of the information contained in the old threads are now articles and these are great. They are also the first place i look for info then if it is not covered there or I still want / need more then I use the forums to raise a question. So I think its a combination of things that are affecting the style of the forum from great info elsewhere on the site to people getting better at using the search function.
Also I come on here for a general natter with like minded people just like going to the local but in my own living room
Dont know if that makes sence at all.
Greg
 

Jodie

Native
Aug 25, 2006
1,561
8
50
London
www.google.co.uk
I've loved coming across posts from Moonraker but they don't seem to post anymore but
the posts were always beautifully ordered and took me off into unusual websites about
plants.

Anyway here are some of my faves - some of them I found by searching for "fascinating"
as invariably I've wandered into the thread at some point and gone "goodness this is
absolutely fascinating" :D

Bushcraft on a budget
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18667

Five pound sharpening kit
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11571

Biblical fire
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26725

Poisonous plants (featuring TMKTC's hogweed quiche)
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20424

Bothying
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17246

and Natural Remedies - which also includes my first ever post
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15222

It's also quite fun when someone finds an old thread, adds a post and it's briefly
resurrected for a while.

Who on earth is this JonnyP fellow by the way?! ;)

Now reading : Hatfield's Herbal
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,781
1,864
S. Lanarkshire
......

Now reading : Hatfield's Herbal
Me too :D A present from Son2. :cool:
How do you like it? I find it really interesting but keep wanting to add bits and have a discussion.
I do like this idea of calling it Folk Medicine (using native plants and resources and ideas) vs Herbal medicine (imported plants, theories, etc.)

cheers,
Toddy
 

JonnyP

Full Member
Oct 17, 2005
3,833
29
Cornwall...
Nice one Jodie...I miss seeing Moonraker on here too, where are you Simon..?
Jonnyp is someone who never liked having his full name on the internet... I only recently found out you can change your username on here...I always thought you had to get special permission to do so....
 

Jodie

Native
Aug 25, 2006
1,561
8
50
London
www.google.co.uk
Toddy - Hatfield's Herbal was a gift from my mum after a recommendation. I like the
style of writing but I think I might be looking for something a bit meatier in terms of
evidence for things. I've only read a few of the ... monographs ? (bits on individual plants)
- I thought I'd start off with things that I can at least recognise!

Anyway - there's lots of "Culpeper says it was used for this, that or the other" but I'm
frustrated that there (probably doesn't exist yet) enough evidence (not anecdote) of
effectiveness or at least plausibility.

It's a charming book though - full of anecdotes and quotations, but I want something that
links up the science of the chemicals in the plants with their alleged properties. She
does mention of course that this is generally lacking as the large scale trial data isn't
there. I've got another book of hers written with a co-author and I'll have to dig that out
again and see what I thought of that - it was more medical if I recall.

Also I tend to get a bit 'ggggnnnn' (that's me doing an irritated face) at phrases like
"believed to help purify the blood" or "good for the kidneys" as, to me, it doesn't really
mean anything. That's not the authors fault, she's reporting what Culpeper or
Gerard (I think) or someone else has said.

I think it's just me really - I'm a chemist deep down and I want to know (actually know is
probably the wrong word, I'm quite happy with not knowing) a bit more about the chemistry
underpinning these effects. It's not that I don't believe that there are chemicals in plants
that can have effects on the body - I absolutely do, but hearing that so and so records
the belief that a plant is good for something doesn't quite do it for me.

I have already taken a pencil to it - I am incorrigible :rolleyes:

I might have missed the nuance of folk v. herbal although I was surprised that dandelions
were / are imported for herbal remedies... anyway it's firmly attached to my bedside
table as it's a fascinating read.

As an aside - I also received a lovely book by Jean Langenheim on Plant Resins and the
author is a paleobotanist who mentioned in her introduction the many disciplines she has
had to study in order to bring her resins book to fruition (chemistry, ethnobotany, ecology
etc. etc.) and she comments that a university colleague said that resins had created a
nice "cosmos" for her - I suppose a little world full of interesting branches of study.

I smiled when I read that as it's pretty much how I felt when I discovered this bushcraft
malarkey - it's bursting with interesting branches and side-branches. It's a whole world
of fascination really :)

Might have had a wee ramble there :D but I think I could quite happily learn an awful lot
more about plants and medical herbalism. I'm looking into a week long course at
Birkbeck (London) about medicinal plants, for the summer.

Jonny - what a good idea not to have your real name. I did wonder hehe.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,781
1,864
S. Lanarkshire
The folk versus herbal debate is a long running feud really :rolleyes:
Some folk medicine is very clearly described and passed on not just word to mouth but example to example. The main problem is that it's the interpretation that is vital, and that interpretation is called experience, and no book gives that.
The actions I would take with a healthy infant are not those I would use with a middle aged man with heart problems for instance, yet herbals are expected to cover it all. The medical herbalist courses address that issue though.

I too miss Simon's posts, but he did visit in December so thankfully he hasn't disappeared entirely.

cheers,
Toddy

p.s. it took me half an hour to work out who JonnyP was and then I did it by working out who was missing :eek: Sorry Jon, I nearly re-welcomed you to the forum :rolleyes:

atb,
M
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,534
407
Mercia
What an interesting thread!

In returning to Jon's original question, I would agree that, in the last two years, my perception of BCUK has changed. What I can't decide is whether that is because I have changed or the forum has changed. I rather suspect both are at play if I'm honest. I am one of natures "curious" people and many things pique my interest. I write many "pictorials" on things that intrigue me (I was honoured to find one of them amongst Jodies list). I still write them but rarely pubish them here. This is mainly because, whilst I really enjoyed doing the things that I wrote about (from the £5 sharpening kit to axe sharpening, the science of fire etc.), I have written about them now. Since we do have a view of what "Bushcraft" is all about (not that its wrong to have such a thing), I find that many of the things that now occupy my time - usually old country living skills - don't really fit under the heading of "Bushcraft". I really enjoy all the "simple life / self reliance" skills - from making vinegar using only my garden produce to making old fashioned sweets, soap etc. Occasionally I "push it" and do things like the soap making or wine making posts which I was heartened to find people enjoyed but a lot of the things I do are under the heading of "self reliance" which many people view as "survival" and hence not appropriate here. Thats by the way no way a criticism - merely an observation - narrow focus is absolutely fine.

I suppose the other reason I find the forum a different place is that many of my Bushcraft "heroes" have moved on and rarely if ever look in now - people like Old Jimbo, Abbe etc. That of course is the nature of life. As long as there are still people like Fenlander, JonnyP and Toddy around I'll hang out here and enjoy it. Things change and people change - thats life and nothing to fall out about. The one thing I enjoy about the self reliance ethos is that the subject material is so much wider than pure "Bushcraft" that I have a couple of hundred years of learning still to do!

Either way, this is still a nice place to be!

Red
 

JonnyP

Full Member
Oct 17, 2005
3,833
29
Cornwall...
p.s. it took me half an hour to work out who JonnyP was and then I did it by working out who was missing :eek: Sorry Jon, I nearly re-welcomed you to the forum :rolleyes:

atb,
M
Lol...I did leave my avatar the same so not to confuse too much...

Red...Unfortunately Fenlander isn't on here any more either... People do come and go, like you say, thats life, though it is a shame to lose knowledgable folk...
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,534
407
Mercia
Another great Bushcrafter bites the dust :(

Say hi if you speak to him - tell him I miss my lessons ;)

Red
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,781
1,864
S. Lanarkshire
It's a funny thing, the internet. It's apparant immediacy encourages us to believe that we know the people we are writing to/ with, when really it's just shadows of the people.
The astonishing thing is that the forum is really so stable. Yes familiar faces come and go, and at times the threads can feel a little deja vu, but there's always something new cropping up, someone posts something that catches the interest and to be perfectly honest, it's a social thing too.
My life is very seasonal, at this time of year I ache and I want to sit down a four or five times a day and have a cuppa and a blether while I work on something. Later in the year it's a delight to share what bounty I've found or read what someone else is working on. Summer time and I'm hardly here 'cos I'm working all over the place. I come back and find out what you've all been up to :D

The survivalists are very prominent on the web, no harm to them, they have their interests and focus and sometimes a lot of useful info, but, this site was intended to be a social and educational forum for bushcraft, and in particular, bushcraft relevant to those of us who live in the British Isles. That's it. Please don't try to swamp us with Survivalist Superiority stuff and we all get along fine. We don't need to be taught the error of our ways, we're quite happy with them ;)

I do wish there were a bit more DIY stuff, but that's my bias, and I do like the this is where we've been and what we've been doing/ making threads.
I like the ones with the details of bushcraft in other places too, Borneo, Canada, Africa, etc. though I suspect that Eastern Europe and China are huge little tapped reserves of fascinating info for us.

In the time I've been a member I've not only learned an awful lot, but I've met an awful lot of very decent and interesting people :D
I've also met a tremendous number of members in real life :D You are good company, people, much appreciated.

cheers,
Toddy
 

Wayland

Hárbarðr
Snip>How about we resurrect some threads, along the lines of Wayland's Blast from the Past?<Snip
Talking of blasts from the past I'd forgotten that.

The forum has changed over time but it's a living thing that evolves and changes naturally because it's composed of living people.

I post a little less franticly than I used to because I think first about whether I can add anything new to the conversation. I think I've said most of what I have to say these days and probably more than I ought to in truth.

New people come along and fill the gap and that seems like a change from one perspective but it's just the same from another.

These days I think it is the social side of the site that I enjoy the most but there are still a few new threads from time to time that capture something of the old days.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,534
407
Mercia
The forum has changed over time but it's a living thing that evolves and changes naturally because it's composed of living people.

I post a little less franticly than I used to because I think first about whether I can add anything new to the conversation. I think I've said most of what I have to say these days and probably more than I ought to in truth.
That says it so much better than I could!

Red
 

SimonM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 7, 2007
4,014
2
East Lancashire
www.wood-sage.co.uk
As a Newbie, what drew me to the forum was the wealth of information contained, hiding, behind the "search" button.

I "lurked" for about 4 months before registering and in that time gained an immense amount of knowledge. I still use the "search" button from time to time, but return most often because of the friendly conversation that takes place.

I have been amazed at the generosity of members, giving items away, raising money for charity etc and take my hat off to all of you!