If you're anything like me you are a bit of a kit hoarder and love nothing better that to drool over my toys. Having said that, bushcraft (to me) is about learning, understanding and practicing skills - the craft of being outdoors in any environment, in any weather and being comfortable.
It seems to me that some of us bushcrafty types either totally immerse ourselves in the more ancient skills (e.g. bow drills & flint knapping), whilst others have a mix of up to date gadgets (e.g. mobile phones and GPS).
I confess that when i'm out in my local woods I'm liable to have my mobile phone as I may be meeting up with some of the other Chilterns' 'locals'. However, when I'm away (e.g. In the hills) I don't often take a mobile. Reception is poor/non existant, and I tend to use a phonebox if I need to make a call. As a kid I had to learn to plan, but remain adaptable, and to navigate - so a GPS isn't something I own either. (Aside. Personally I suspect any object that can tell me my location - the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if it isn't telling some nerd at a computer somewhere else where I am! )
So, in a roundabout way I'm wondering how much technology we need as bushcrafters? Some is good as it makes for and easier time out. E.g. I use a strike force firelighter as its more efficient that a bow drill, and works in any conditions - yet I understand and know how to make and use a dow drill, and I value this knowledge and skill.
Over last weekend I met up with Chris Claycombe, James Lenton and Longstrider: one of our rambling discussions involved "could you make do with just 15 items of kit?"
This would mean:-
boots & laces
Each of these would count as one item of your 15 (some feel that boots and laces are 2 items, I feel boots without laces won't get you far and making cordage laces will take a good bit of your time )
A knife and sheath are 2 items (according to some) - I would count as one (for safety)
Add what else to feel you need, but what else would you carry - but no more that 15 in total.
I guess the gist of my thread is to make us look at what we carry and what we need to carry. So encouraging us to keep our skills sharper and live closer to nature.
Just a few thoughts