Bushcraft Bullshit

I can keep silent no longer. Since I launched my little store here and put the new knives up for sale (they are found under “store” in the menu, but read the article first), I’ve been watching a ton of survivalist videos on YouTube. I do this for research, but not the kind that most people think of. I’m not looking to rehash or recapture other people’s ideas and pawn them off as my own. I’m not looking to advertise a bunch of expensive products. I’m looking for holes that need filling, and I find them with nearly every click of the mouse.

Why am I on this rant. I’m planning to make a couple of simple prepping videos for the average guy or gal to help them be better prepared for the little emergencies that lurk around every corner. With that covered, and a mindset of being prepared (yes, I was a boy scout) triggered, my hope is that they will move on to staying prepared for larger and larger life obstacles. I’ve been scoping out what others are doing and shaking my head, more at the comments sometimes than the creators.

But this thing with bushcraft survival people just trips my trigger. I’m sure it isn’t all of them, and hopefully not even the majority (though the vocal ones would beg to differ). They think they are hot shit with bad-ass gear. They talk smack about everything: bags, knives, axes, saws, etc. They assume that “cheap gear” is worthless. Shame on the poor motherfucker who carries a stainless steel blade, or a budget hatchet. That isn’t good enough to even cut if you ask these guys. And they call themselves “bushcrafters.”

Let me clue you in on something. Bushcraft in aboriginal areas (where the term originates) doesn’t include $300 knives made from tool steel, folding pocket saws, or anything resembling a hammock in many cases. You think stainless is garbage? How about flint arrowheads secured with whatever was available to a slightly bowed branch fired from a wimpy 30lb bow? How about a stone axe ground by hand at a stream? How about people that can take literally nothing and survive in an African savanna perpetually (as opposed to a 3-day bug-out drill).

Now, let me just be clear here. I don’t care if what your definition of camping is. A plush cabin in a park environment? Fine. Fishing at the beach and taking a nap in the back of your truck after the barbecue? Okay, that’s cool. Tent and a campfire? Plinking cans? Building a shelter out of leaves and staying in it for a night? Playing commando on the weekend? All good. Go out and have fun.

My issue is the snide remarks that some of these high-dollar, arm-chair commando, weekend warriors make about sensible equipment. News flash, assholes. Humans have survived for thousands of years without the latest designer D2 or M4 knife. They done it without super para-cord with the 3 or four extra elements for wire and tinder, without nylon clothing and shelter, without a $200 survival compass, tactical backpacks, or damn folding saws. When did those become a thing, by the way? I must have been out here in the woods, cut off from the world.

Maybe it’s just me, but someone who can stumble off into the woods with nothing and in a matter of hours come up with some basic stone tools, a fire, and dinner, impresses me a hell of a lot more than some self-proclaimed super-survivalist whittling a couple sticks to make a wind block for their fire with a knife that cost more than a weeks salary for most Americans. Then to go further and tell people, “if you don’t do it the ‘right’ way, like me, then you’re doomed.”

My humble response to that? Eat shit. You might be surprised by the low calories and anti-oxidant effects. Gluten-free too, assuming that you haven’t eaten anything that would cause gluten to survive passage through your rump.

For those of you who don’t want to spend more than I paid for 80 acres of property on the kind of kit that internet “experts” will tell you that you need. Ignore them. Let them puff themselves up all they want and have their opinions, but if you $15 Walmart knife is working for you, then keep it working. Give it a good sharpening touch-up on the ole driver’s side window of your vehicle, camp, fish, hike, and have fun out there in the wilderness. If survival needed to cost money, none of us would be here right now.

My overall take on this? Get the equipment you need to fill the gaps in your knowledge base, and have fun with it. You can learn some new stuff, or simply do what you know. Stay with the grain or try your hand at making some primitive tools out of nothing, or simply learning a new trick here or there to start a fire. There is NO requirement for ANYTHING! Make it your way, have fun, maybe learn some stuff, but please don’t buy into the bullshit consumerism of “experts.”

End of rant. Have a great night!

2 thoughts on Bushcraft Bullshit

  1. I agree 100%. The knives are pretty, the camp is perfect, and they happen to have everything with them to prepare a gourmet meal, including garnish. Let’s see them “forget” their cast iron frying pan, (too heavy to carry on a real trek anyway) or their $500 knife and make due with a tin can and a swiss army knife. Bushcraft used to be about making your own gear, getting by on as little as possible, and learning new skills. Now it’s about seeing how thin a shaving on a fuzz stick you can get with the new knife your ‘sponsor’ sent you. I’m not a bushcrafter, I’m a backwoodsman. I make due with what I got or can afford, and it ain’t always pretty, but I stay alive…

    1. Awesome, would love to hear more and looking forward to chatting with you on insta 😉 I might be able to learn some stuff from you. I’m learning my skills one at a time, and taking a bit of a backward approach. In many ways I feel like a colonist of the woods. I have some tools with me to make things easier, I get stuff from town and work a day job, etc. But I’m also finding myself a little less dependent on those tethers every week. Nice meeting you and looking forward to seeing you around the interwebs 🙂 Cheers.

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