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are we still allowed to be survivalists?

Discussion in 'Bushcraft Chatter' started by crazydave, Aug 25, 2006.

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  1. Tadpole

    Tadpole Full Member

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    I think we could bring that a lot further forward than hunter/gatherer, my grandfather made his own engineering tools, he also made his own fishing rod and reel, (not just some branch with a bit of line tied to it,) a proper three piece split cane rod with brass ferrules and a cork handle) in his letters to me he attempted to pass on the knowledge and understanding of what it took to wild camp, (something I did and enjoyed as a school aged child). Half the time I bemone the loss of those times and and more so the letters I feel if I knew half of what he knew about camping and the like, I would know three times as much as I knew now.
    His “bushcraft” skills were just a measure of what he had to do for himself, to fish, hunt, cooking, generally to enjoy his childhood. Flint and steel, making a frame rucksack, camping under a “tarp” or canvas sheet, cooking wild food.
    His generation (he was born in 1900) were all able to live off what they could catch, and that was not so long ago.
    Back in 1916 he left Stafford and walked to London to sign up for the Royal flying corp, wild camping all the way. Who of us could do that now without a few weeks of planning
     
  2. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Sounds like a man to ahve as a hero - you are a lcuky guy to ahve known him Tadpole. Would love to hear more about his letters (maybe in a separate thread). Such people are inspirational

    Red
     
  3. leon-1

    leon-1 Mod
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    The actual quote of Mors was this "when you cease to just survive and start to exist in an enviroment then you are at the same sort of level as that of a retarded child of an indigenous people, this is when survival stops and living begins".

    Survival is most definitely how we all start out, however the books and precis that are published from pretty much any armed force is generally aimed at a very basic level. The depth of knowledge imparted is not the same, there are reasons for it, the major one being time to absorb that information and another is the time to practice those skills. Another major factor is that military manuals are all based around short term as you are trying to effect recovery or return to military lines as soon as is possible without being caught by an enemy.

    This makes it fundamentally different from studying and practiceing something for a long period of time when you have no enemy hunting you. You have a greater depth of knowledge in a wider variety of subjects because you have the time and enviroment to both learn and practice, if you then add to that Human ingenuity (I would say common sense, but that appears lacking nowadays) and it makes a great deal of difference.
     
  4. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Thanks Leon :You_Rock_ that's better :D

    There is another point to the constant learning; take me out of my home area and I can find it hard :( Some of the folks who came through to my neck of the woods from the East of the country commented that the woods that I consider familiar habitats were incredibly rich in variety; they were used to having to range much further to find different things in specific areas rather than everything nearby somewhere around.
    Many of the woodlands, mosses and burns around me are ancient ones and while they have been exploited, their wide spread of species is still evident. Within 200 yards of my home I can count over twenty different types of tree alone. To me this is normal, but put me into a plain pine woodland and it's another story.
    To go walkabout with someone else in a different area is a great pleasure for me; a chance to learn, to see how and what other folks use.
    To me that's bushcraft; and the wider my knowledge the better I can manage anywhere I find myself.
    Survival would be making the best job I could of what I could find in a strange area while getting myself safely into a familiar environment or until I could be rescued.

    Survival kit or Possibles pouch.......different worldview I reckon :D I'm a very pragmatic optimist, and I know which I prefer ;)

    Cheers,
    Toddy
     
  5. swyn

    swyn Full Member

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    'Improvise' is my key word. I'm sure many people will agree that if you can do it well the results are very beneficial. Tadpoles grandad could as he was of that generation who could, without thinking, improvise most things. I'm sure this is a thought process that my generation has to re learn as things are more readily available to purchase consequently the thought process is much diluted... :rolleyes:
    I have understood what I'm trying to write... I hope you do! Swyn
     
  6. crazydave

    crazydave Settler

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    I think the core of my question was to get the definitionright - survivalist now has a nasty name due mainly to the american bunker builders - war on terror, maybe they should start at home! in my opinion - changing it to bushcraft though does I think fail to do survival justice.

    chatting on someone elses thread about this on another forum - who are mainly taking the survival side instead of the bushcraft one so its actually quite interesting comparing the two as the uk/europe survival practitioners done like being refered to either as crafters nor survivalists. I regard sewing as survival skill as it helps you get through every day life, same goes for getting water, learning to cook, making fire first aid etc.. all skills which if I've got lost becomes survival, living in the trees for fun becomes bushcraft, sat in cornwall with the missus becomes camping and when sat at home its housework. think of what you have to teach a child to get on in the world - thats domestic survival skills isnt it?

    I think what I'm trying to get across (maybe not that well) is that the survival definition should be dragged out of its dark murky corner and be more inclusive and included in the credits. I've taught soldiers, d of e and scouts 'survival skills' and I always included sewing in the curriculum. You call it bushcraft, soldiers call it fieldcraft, scouts call it backwoodsskills (or used to).

    its not want I want to call myself but.......

    :)
     
  7. chris

    chris Need to contact Admin...

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    who cares what you call it?

    Just enjoy it

    Chris :)
     
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  8. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK New Member

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    If I may be allowed, most of the folks on this side of the pond who inhabit the "wilderness survival" forums do not think of themselves as "survivalists." That term has a connotation of surviving the end of the world as we know it. (What seems so offputting about some "survivalists" is that they seem almost eager for 'The End.")

    I accept that teaching "wilderness survival," while there is overlap with "bushcraft" as generally defined here, involves a different skill set -- less primitive living skills and more skills to get by until SAR arrives or you find your way out of the undesired, threatening situation.

    However, do not think that folks over here who study "wilderness survival" are not "outdoors" types. Most of them enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and other such experiences. They tend to appreciate nature far more than the average person. They post pictures of leanto's, figure-4 traps, scenic vistas, and wild animals in situ. They discuss fire-by-friction, by fire piston, by flint-and-steel - and by every other means. They muse over what wild plants can be eaten. "Most remarkable like you."

    They seldom discuss carving spoons, but even that topic has appeared. :D
     
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  9. Grooveski

    Grooveski Native

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    If someone asks me what I was up to at the weekend the answer is invariably "away camping".

    Just getting away from it all and relaxing with nature for a while. :)
     
  10. Lurch

    Lurch New Member

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    Because I have seen it a number of times before, here and elsewhere. There is always someone who doesn't see the point in an interest in survivalism and therefore doesn't think you should either.

    Ah, here we are:

    Why shouldn't someone be 'in to it', precisely why is it anyone else's business? So you don't buy in to it? Fine, you don't have to and I don't think anyone is asking you to.
    There is no shortage of people in the big wide world who think that anyone with a interest in knives is a nutter, perhaps they consider the knife collector has a violent streak, that they are storing up an 'arsenal'.

    Just like in the thread over in 'the other place' which resulted in my having a strop and taking my ball home, I naively thought people with harmless but non-mainstream interests might be a little less tolerant (and certainly a little less rude) towards others with harmless non-mainstream interests.

    I've been proven wrong again.
    :(
     
  11. Martyn

    Martyn New Member

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    Love you too mate. :rolleyes:
     
  12. leon-1

    leon-1 Mod
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    Then why do most people class it as arts and crafts. On the same topic, people that work with wood or metal are classed as craftsmen.

    Macrame, using knots to make things is a craft.

    Cooking is a skill, people who are good at that are chefs (male or female), but most people who are skilled in something are classed as craftsmen, they are no different.

    Indigenous peoples in certain areas of the world look at making fire as being a craft.

    Builders are craftsmen, they have joiners and brickies, but they are still craftsmen as are the plumbers and electricians.

    No they are living skills in the specific enviroment that they are brought up in.

    Soldiers call it fieldcraft???

    Cam and con, fire and manouevre and setting up a basha, yes, sewing no. Sewing in the forces is kit maintanence or equipment repair. Essentail for survival dependant on what situation you are looking at.

    Kit husbandry is a lot more important in many ways.

    Take a san bushmen, is he a survivalist, no. place him in an area where the Inuit live and he survives for a period of time, yes. Once he has the measure of his enviroment and starts to live then he no longer is surviving.

    The clever people say that they are wilderness living skills, as there are many different types of wilderness and one mans meat is anothers poison.

    However nearly all things that we practice are skills and as such crafts otherwise sewing would come under arts and survival.
     
  13. crazydave

    crazydave Settler

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    so I'm a survivalartist then

    just for the record cam and con, fire and manouvre are battle skills not field ones. setting up camp, staying dry and warm, caring for your kit, cooking and getting a good nights kit are fieldcraft/skills whatever....

    we called it field craft because we went into the field as the bush wasn't big enough - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bush

    sewing is a survival skill just as it is a bushcraft one otherwise how would I fix my kit, make a sock out of the knee of a large animal skin, or stitch together my fancy birchbark container. its a skill to help you exist just like the green cross code.

    'Indigenous peoples in certain areas of the world look at making fire as being a craft' - no its a necessary survival skill not a craft - its a craft when you have spare time to play with it at your leisure without your life depending on it and a box of matches in the back pocket. making it look easy just means you are good at it compared to others.

    'Take a san bushmen, is he a survivalist, no. place him in an area where the Inuit live and he survives for a period of time, yes. Once he has the measure of his enviroment and starts to live then he no longer is surviving.' - again both are a hairs breadth away from death on a continuous basis so they are both survivors or more commonly natives. you teach a child the green cross code to survive the event not so he can become a roadcrafter.

    describing something as a craft actually I feel does it an injustice as it degrades its importance - a knife to do the same job can be made by a native blacksmith for a fiver or can be mass produced for 50 quid or hand made in sheffield for 300 quid by a craftsman - yet the best performance often can be from the first one.

    I do find it funny that we as white men did our best to destroy the skills we are so desperate to save.

    'Builders are craftsmen, they have joiners and brickies, but they are still craftsmen as are the plumbers and electricians' - nope theyre tradesmen and I used to be one when I left the army - the stuff they do to houses now in no way can be called a craft in any sense not even a skill - most of the best houses build today are self builds.

    I answered one of my questions elsewhere funily enough - the main difference between bushcraft and survival is 300 quid for the course and 180 for the knife :)

    I think I prefer being a survivor as to me its a more rounded art but I am finding this discussion over three forums quite interesting - I have similar conversations with those trying to justify the continuing existance of golf or horse racing :D

    before there's the usual who cares what its called replies - bear in mind that this discussion could have stopped as soon as it started but it would have left the two sides no closer to a union as its obvious to me and others out there that there is a rift. survivors accept and welcome bushcraft but I think they dont really understand why it needed the new title for skills they allready practised - I see this as a rugby union or rugy league type thing. I've picked this topic and I suppose I am keeping it going because I do see an issue out there and I'm trying to work out a compromise which hopefully both sides can agree on starting I guess with me.

    getting the military to accept it will be a different challenge as their forums paint 'crafters in a different light entirely - partly due to thier opinions on rm who apparently was rejected for service (not that it matters but its an interesting bit of trivia none the less)

    I have similar repeated arguaments about abs on motorbikes or why the para's arent better than the rest of the army if you want to change the subjects :)

    sorry it jumps about a bit - I typed it out then went off on a web search losing the page and had to start again. if nowt else it gives you something to read as but I think there is a place for the discussion as it allows both sides to look at what they do ;)
     
  14. Stuart

    Stuart Full Member

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    Hello Crazy dave

    Have you considered joining the Ludlow survivors forum? They’re a friendly bunch and they are much more akin to your view of such matters than the membership here.

    However in light of the above quotes I think you should be aware that you wont be welcomed on any forum if your intent is to initiate arguments for your own entertainment.

    Joining forums simply to argue with people about their chosen interest, be it horse racing, golf, motorbikes or Bushcraft will not be tolerated by any site owners and is known in the industry a 'trolling'

    Do you really not have anything better to do with your life than trawl the internet forums arguing with people in order to provide yourself with a feeling of self worth?
     
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  15. crazydave

    crazydave Settler

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    Dont get me wrong - the only thread I started was on this one. the paras topic is on the mil sites and the abs one is on a bmw forum and not of my making. my point was that some topics may never be rectified as there will always be dissenters and like this one the subject will keep coming up until its sorted out.

    I'm not particularly hung up about the term survivalist but I know and read responses from those who definately are - so like the other two examples I seek the middle ground acceptable to both - I'm a libra cant help it (I'm also off work sick so have a lot of brain time spare till the antibiotics do their job and I can go back to work - so I apologise as I'm not out to cause trouble - honest) ;)

    I started this thread not having joined in on the same discussions elsewhere as I didn't know they existed till I went deeper.

    I'm also a tory who votes labour - go figure. in the pub I could take your side or my side if the discussion is interesting.

    I admit that I dont quite understand why certain sides have come about so in part I seek intelligent reasons for them. for the most it is semantics but why?

    :)

    Ill certainly look up the ludlow group as you suggest no doubt over there ill be arguing bushcrafts right to exist - I imagine I'll find the same names there as here and few of the other sites I've perused so far in my current searches.
     
  16. leon-1

    leon-1 Mod
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    You see I thought that BBS (Basic Battle Skills) came under the heading of Fieldcraft and Tactics.

    You mention the green cross code, a skill to help you exist. A lot of kids nowadays would have no idea what you are talking about. I haven't seen one of the ads for years.

    You think that Craft is understating what someone does, here are a few definitions you may want to read;

    [size=-1]craft: the skilled practice of a practical occupation; "he learned his craft as an apprentice" (In this example craft can be replaced with trade)

    [/size][size=-1]people who perform a particular kind of skilled work; "he represented the craft of brewers"; "as they say in the trade"

    [/size][size=-1]skill in an occupation or trade

    [/size][size=-1]make by hand and with much skill; "The artisan crafted a complicated tool".

    You didn't call it fieldcraft because the "bush wasn't big enough", you called it fieldcraft because that is what the armed forces have been teaching when I was in the forces, when my father, grandfather and great grandfather were in the forces. It stems from Field of battle and battlecraft were the skills that a soldier required to stay alive. It got shortened. FieldCraft

    Well you had to say that builders are tradesmen, that they cannot be anywhere near being called a craftsmen and that you were in fact one of them. Well there you go.

    You see you have a problem with the word craft, you appear to of picked on that, whether you don't fully understand what it can be used to describe or not I don't know.

    Whether you like it or not sewing is a craft, it is only the situation that makes it relevant to survival or just plain old living. Darning your socks in your front room at home is not survival, having to stitch up the side of a blacks 2 man tent in South Georgia when there is an 80 mile an hour wind and the ambient air temperature is -34 is most definitely survival.

    I stated earlier "Situation dictates", it goes along with "However If", you may remeber them both from your days in the forces.

    Neither the San or the Inuit are survivors, ask them and see what they say. They wouldn't know what you are talking about. It would be like me saying that I was surviving in my back yard. If Stuart asked one of the Penan if he described himself as a survivor he would be looked at like an idiot.

    If you know no better you are living the life that you were brought up to live, you are not surviving. You would however be surviving if I then shifted you to an alien enviroment, as you have been taken far from what you know and your own comfort zone, you are in a survival situation. The same thing can happen to anyone globally with climatic change or just the unforeseen event. Once again "SITUATION DICTATES".

    The majority of skills practiced are crafts in thier own right, that you wish to use them in the "BUSH", wouldn't it make sense to call the amalgamation of these things bushcraft. Remember Bushcraft is not a phrase made up by Ray it was there before him.

    Now what exactly was your point on this. One of the guys I was in training with kept on getting stress fractures in his shins, not his fault and with everything else apart from tabbing he was very good. He was turned down for service also.

    I have also mentioned that there is quite a difference between military survival and Bushcraft so I am not going to bother going over it again.
     
  17. Lurch

    Lurch New Member

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    Bah, no group hug smilie.
    This'll have to do.

    :240:
     
  18. jdlenton

    jdlenton Full Member

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    yes there is here you go :grouphug: :D
     
  19. crazydave

    crazydave Settler

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    I'm not giving up - but I think this should be furthered over a pint or two if and when the chance arises - otherwise we'll be picking, poking and going over it till the cows catch F&M again which we might enjoy but others will be getting frustrated over - as i think they are allready.

    I would normally sling this into a private area for further perusal by interested parties rather than in the open areas where they are read out of habit - not that it needs hiding but you'ld be surprised how much derision there is over abs on a motorbike - we call it politics and personalities and it an ask for access board :)

    the differences between the 'arts' or 'crafts' - general military survival is no different to civvy survival in the same way that we all put our socks on in the same way, combat survival or E&E is, therefore I have been trying to get over the difference between the civvy versions and bushcraft is pretty much nil. I think the problem is the perseption that survival is a military art and bushcraft is a civvy one hence the selous scouts and doug ritter mentions to try and blurr the line a bit.

    survivalism is a different kettle of fish though as no doubt the guys from ludlow would agree (looked em over last night) - fortunately their site doesn't appear to be as waltish or extreme as the US ones and the guys 'train' pretty close to me so I guess I'll be seeing if they want some company. they still practise bush/field/survival craft but dont seem to have such a prejudice about it or insist on a formula like some of the other craft sites appear to do. I still aim to come along to 'craft' meets as well if possible to improve my own knowledge and share what I have to offer with those who might benefit.

    My statement from the start and throughout is that there shouldn't be a difference and the apartheid between the two camps is unnecessary and often unwelcome - the cross over should be smooth and seamless giving one true fountain of usefull knowledge. hopefully if I and other survivors contribute more to the general threads then it might become more apparent as to what I am trying to get at and vice versa - dont worry once I'm back at work I'll slow down a bit :)

    oh and its not trolling - I asked a friend to look this over who isn't particularly interested in either craft as I was trying to get his opinion on a solution - he says my problem if any is that I am maybe continuing the discussion on the wrong forum so maybe i should stop trying to multitask so much :) he didn't see me as trying to pick a fight with anyone. he reckons that its also maybe my first open set of discussions on the matter whereas you've probably tried to argue it out before and the frustration is in not resolving it last time.

    he says I'm a soldier and always will be - so that solves the arguament for me :D

    I have enoyed the debate so far and no doubt it will surface again in a few months.
     
  20. C_Claycomb

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    Whatever makes you feel better :rolleyes: This subject has been discussed, the members have generally made their possition clear, almost no one CARES about the terminology, except when someone comes along and makes as if they are forcing a particular epithet upon them. Certainly no one cares enough to feel frustrated :rolleyes: because a pointless semantic arguement did, or did not get resolved.

    In closing, perhaps you should have a think about a common human reaction. A person is feeling fine, another person who they don't know very well comes over and starts asking them what the problem is, what they are angry about? Puzzled, the first person replies that they are not angy, and everything is fine. However, the second person persists, they won't accept that there is nothing wrong and that the person was content, and they suggest that the first person is in denial since it is quite obvious that there is some problem which is making the first person angry...by the time the exchange is over, the first person is indeed seething with supressed rage, and if confronted the second can say how sorry they are, but see, they were right, that person was angry even though they denied it at first!

    This is not an effective way of introducing yourself, or of enquiring after someone's well being!
     
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