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Thread: Using this site to get the best from it...

  1. #1
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    Default Using this site to get the best from it...

    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....
    .

  2. #2
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    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...
    .

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
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    I wish I could rep you both for the decent way you've answered this.

    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
    Last edited by Toddy; 02-01-2008 at 21:16. Reason: typos......again :-/
    You are never too old to have a happy childhood. Muddy is a state of happiness :-)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy View Post
    I wish I could rep you both for the decent way you've answered this.

    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...
    .

  6. #6
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    Maybe we have learned every thing and now spend more time out doing it????

    I wish.................
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    Politicians urinate on us and the media tell us it's raining.

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    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/sho...=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?

  8. #8

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    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

  9. #9

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    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"

    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
    "Ah well that's the trouble you see, only last week the doctor
    said I wasn't even to look at another knapped flint."
    Bertie Wooster.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jodie View Post
    ......

    Now reading : Hatfield's Herbal
    Me too A present from Son2.
    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
    You are never too old to have a happy childhood. Muddy is a state of happiness :-)

  11. #11
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    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....
    .

  12. #12

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    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

    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 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.
    "Ah well that's the trouble you see, only last week the doctor
    said I wasn't even to look at another knapped flint."
    Bertie Wooster.

  13. #13
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    The folk versus herbal debate is a long running feud really
    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 Sorry Jon, I nearly re-welcomed you to the forum

    atb,
    M
    You are never too old to have a happy childhood. Muddy is a state of happiness :-)

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    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
    Quote Originally Posted by Shambling Shaman on his Christmas wish list
    Yep, world peace, end to hunger,

    and possibly a new scope for my rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy View Post

    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 Sorry Jon, I nearly re-welcomed you to the forum

    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...
    .

  16. #16
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    Another great Bushcrafter bites the dust

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

    Red
    Quote Originally Posted by Shambling Shaman on his Christmas wish list
    Yep, world peace, end to hunger,

    and possibly a new scope for my rifle.

  17. #17
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    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

    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
    I've also met a tremendous number of members in real life You are good company, people, much appreciated.

    cheers,
    Toddy
    You are never too old to have a happy childhood. Muddy is a state of happiness :-)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy View Post
    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.
    Wayland

    _ _ _Wayland's World____________ Living a life less ordinary.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=Wayland;359882]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.[QUOTE]

    That says it so much better than I could!

    Red
    Quote Originally Posted by Shambling Shaman on his Christmas wish list
    Yep, world peace, end to hunger,

    and possibly a new scope for my rifle.

  20. #20

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    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!
    Owner & Chief Instructor at Wood-Sage Outdoor Education

  21. #21
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    This is an interesting thread thanks.

    When I first came to the site, and still do to a point, consider myself as something of a jumpy pup desperate to be in the middle of everything, impulsive and probably a bit yappy, what's changed .

    The site has changed, and as I agree with most of the comments I wouldn't repeat, however, I think that with the sites growth, not now just a forum but a huge collection of articles and reviews has perhaps reduced call for bushcraft threads. I sometimes wonder whether the more commercial feel sometimes stifles but I'm realistic and recognise the need for the finance.

    It's for sure people come and go and I guess that helps with the development of the site although it's always sad to see good people go. There are a large number people on this site that I hold in great esteem, strange when you consider I've not met many of you let alone know you, but there you are.

    Those old timers, if you will, who post less frequently are often the ones who have provided the most assistance, guidance and direction to us yappy pups.

    Not to place a burden upon your shoulders, but you/these guys are often the life blood here and I often come to the site, but don't log in just to see who has been up to what.

    On a personal note, when I was in a difficult place, and not wanting to get out much this place was a comfort. Nuff of that soppy rubbish!!!!!

    One last thing about Red said. I have to disagree with your comments about your lifestyle and what pigeon whole it sould be put in and whether there is a place for it here. I think it's all about how it's presented. Self sufficent lifestyles etc all have a part to play in the art of bushcraft, after all it's only a word it's just the one I choose to us.

    Anyway not sure any of that made sense but I applaud you all

    P.S. Jon now you are in Cornwall, you probably don't fancy popping over to the Hen and Chick for a pint! When did that happen

    All the best

    Pib
    Learning how to learn is life's most important skill.
    Tony Buzan.


  22. #22
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    Moved down a couple of months ago Paul...Isn't it your turn to come over my way for a drink anyway...Next friday good for you..?
    .

  23. #23
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    Ooooh, if you're serious I'll check SWMBO's hours and come back to you!

    Pib
    Learning how to learn is life's most important skill.
    Tony Buzan.


  24. #24

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    I think that the point about some of the best posters moving on does have an effect. I do think the forum has regressed a bit, perhaps there isn't as much information posted but there are more kit questions.
    I put less into this forum as I use others more and there simply aren't as many high quality posts here or interesting things as there seemed to be before
    Advice on knife use - "The pink things are fingers"
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam_acw View Post
    I think that the point about some of the best posters moving on does have an effect. I do think the forum has regressed a bit, perhaps there isn't as much information posted but there are more kit questions.
    I put less into this forum as I use others more and there simply aren't as many high quality posts here or interesting things as there seemed to be before
    Well its the people using the forum that make the forum so if everyone did the same as that, there would be no forum, It is down to us all as users to make it happen.
    How can we get high quality posts back up here..? I suppose it would come from us all getting out there and trying stuff and reporting back on here...I really liked the way Gorden and Ray experimented with wild food. I want to try some of that this year. Infact I want to try lots of that this year. Whatever you enjoy doing with bushcraft, if you get out there and do it and tell of your exploits, we can get the quality stuff back on here..
    .

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    Well, for me Jon, its cheese as one of this years new "making" experiments! I already do beer, bread and pickes so we really need cheese to complete the home made "ploughmans"
    Quote Originally Posted by Shambling Shaman on his Christmas wish list
    Yep, world peace, end to hunger,

    and possibly a new scope for my rifle.

  27. #27
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    For me to finally conquer fire by friction, just can't seem to crack that nut!

    Pib
    Learning how to learn is life's most important skill.
    Tony Buzan.


  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyP View Post
    Lol...I did leave my avatar the same so not to confuse too much...
    I thought someone had just stolen your avatar Jon!

    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyP View Post
    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...
    Is that never ever, totally disgruntled with the place or just busy doing other things now?

    I've lost count of the number of 'faces' that have left since I first joined.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew View Post
    I thought someone had just stolen your avatar Jon!



    Is that never ever, totally disgruntled with the place or just busy doing other things now?

    I've lost count of the number of 'faces' that have left since I first joined.
    Hello Stew..... Sorry mate, not for me to say about Fenlander, but we have lost a mind of wealth there....
    .

  30. #30

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    Personally, I think BCUK is a victim of it's own success. I've thought it for some time now.

    It's too big.

    With the settings I have, there are 3-4 pages of threads posted in every day. If I don't check in often (which I don't as much now) then I have lots of threads to wade through to find anything of interest to me. A lot of people are early in their bushcraft experience and new to forums so they are posting the 'same old questions' rather than using the search function.

    As Spamel mentioned, looking at the same questions gets quite demoralising.

    "What's the best knife." "What woods work for friction fire lighting." etc.

    I know it's all about learning but saying the same thing over and over gets boring.

    This makes me less keen to visit as I'll have to wade through posts but then the longer I leave it, the more I will have to look through.

    Quality comes by people being inquisitive. Thinking about new questions to ask - pushing the boundaries of what has been done before ie Rich59 & his 'oven bake' fire lighting technique but it also requires other people to push back.

    If I came on and said that I've found a new miracle way of making fire and the only feedback was 'that's great' with no 'how about you try this' or 'I've tried it myself and this works better' then it drops away into the ether unless I myself keep it going but then what's the point in keep coming back and spending he time if I don't get anything back myself.

    I know that's a bad attitude but I can see it happening. If you look at the posts, I bet the percentage of 'useful' posts is minute (repetitions of the same answer not counted)

    I think a lot of this is laziness. We're very used to just asking for an answer to a problem rather than working it out for ourselves (I'm as guilty as the next). Of course, that's kindof the point of a forum!

    I would be no where near where I am in my knowledge now if it wasn't for the internet but then perhaps I would have a more grounded knowledge in a few areas as I may have done it for myself. Who knows.

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